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Monday, July 19, 2010

8th Ed. Thoughts...so far

So this last weekend I was able to get in a few games of 8th Ed. with a friend of mine. It was his WE vs. my VC, and we got around to playing 1500 and 2500pt games. Anyway, here's some initial thoughts of mine (Blair) on the new rule set:

The game runs a lot smoother. Movement is a ton less complicated, and with pre-measuring you can really get your troops exactly where they need to be. TLoS also helps in this, I think. At first reading I thought it was going to be a pain, but it really simplified the shooting/magic phases. Some 'house rules' might be good, such as not being able to see through forests and such. As for our games, we just agreed beforehand on which terrain blocked what (i.e. you can see Cav behind that hill, but not infantry). This might get a little hairy during heated tournament games, though.

It's a lot harder to direct the movements of your opponent. With Ld checks on march blocking, free reforms after combat, swift reform, no terrain Mv penalties, etc. that big nasty block can really get where it needs to go.

Terrain has changed from hampering movement/LoS to more of a 'tactical vantage point'. You want to keep it between your ranked infantry and his (so if he charges he'll lose Steadfast), or hunker down in it if it will give your troops a big bonus with less drawback (i.e. stubborn units in Forests). I really like this change.

Scouts and Fast Cav have sort of moved toward a more offensive role. They aren't nearly as good at redirecting, but can get up in your face much faster. The march and shoot for skirmishers is huge.

Magic is a lot more balanced IMO, but also very random. It's almost impossible to rely on it, but if you can get a good spell off (be it a huge damage spell, or a augment/hex during a crucial combat) it can completely change the game. Really, it's worth sacrificing your Lvl 1 wizard to roll 6 dice and hope for IF, even if it blows him up.

Mid-game choices are more important than in 7th, or at least there are more of them. Deployment is as important as ever, I think, but what you have your units do after Turn 1-3 is crucial (Is it better to pursue/overrun, or reform? Should I swift reform my block in case he tries for that flank charge? Do I try for that charge now or wait a turn so I can be sure I'll make it? Should my wizard try and blast that support unit to pieces, or give my spearmen +1 Atk in hopes that it will swing combat?)

All in all, I'm liking the changes. I think tactics are sort of shifting away from precise unit placement, to more of 'get your units to the right places on the board'. The lazerbeam statues, hills that give units flaming arrows, and buildings that give stubborn are also a nice twist to the game.

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