Deathbridge Warhammer

Deathbridge Warhammer

Friday, May 21, 2010

Gettting back into Warhammer Fantasy

I'm sure most of you know that 8th edition is right around the corner. I'm also sure most of you have heard a lot of the rumors swirling around about the upcoming MAJOR revamp to the system. Several Games Workshop stores are holding a 'playtest' of the 8th edition rules tomorrow (Playtest is a real misnomer; that assumes you have input to the process. Truth is the system is done, and printed. This is just a demo. I don't know why they called it a 'playtest') and even more light will be shed on the upcoming changes to the rules.

Wallshammer has already posted some of the older rumors. For those of you who want to see what is currently being discussed, Warseer has an excellent rumor summary done by Grimstonefire.

I'm not going to get into specifics about the rules, but I do want to go over some of the major changes to the system. The first, and most important, is the return to Warhammer Fantasy being about war. The game, in 7th edition, has devolved into a fairly broken skirmish game. A few large single models, some grossly overpowered characters, and minimum core choices. Now, core choices, or at least large infantry units with full command, will become vital to the overall strategy of the game, as the game is moving to objective-based (ala 40k) and only infantry with standards can capture these objectives.

This makes having foot soldiers better and makes the old tactic of large, terror-causing monsters eatng up entire flanks of the table a little more risky (not to mention the fact that the cheap and dirty 'terror-bomb' tactic is a thing of the past), as they will likely now get overrun by larger, more resilient blocks of troops.

Magic is getting a boost, but not in the way you think. In 7th edition, magic had become too reliable, a more or less sure-fire way to win, as long as you had more power dice than your opponent had dispel dice. Now, in 8th edition, magic becomes more powerful, but also a lot more risky. There are simply more chances for your wizard to blow themselves up. Now every army can feel the thrill of gambling that an Orc or Goblin Shaman feels every time he rolls the dice.

Lastly, random charge distances make the charge a little more risky. In 7th, heavy cavalry ruled the close combat phase. Chaos Knights, for example, hit from a long distance, had a HUGE number of attacks, and then what little was left to attack back had to contend with an incredibly good armor save and a high toughness. Now, they'll still be rock hard, but hitting a large block of infantry will be more risky. They might not make it, if they roll low on a charge, so they can't make those guaranteed 14" charges like in the past. Hitting an infantry block in the front might no longer be a sure thing for them either. With boosts in attacks, combat resolution and the possibility of becoming stubborn if the block is large enough, they could likely hold and even get some attacks back.

Essentially, the game is changing in every single aspect. Whatever army you are playing is likely going to need a HUGE rethink as to tactics. All the sure-bet, unstoppable units and combos that ruled (and wrecked) 7th edition are the ones that are receiving the biggest nerfs. Yet, the arms-race will begin anew as people look to find the loop-holes of 8th edition and use them to their advantage.

I realize that sounds bitter, but for those of you who know about the 'behind the scenes' of the game should know that Mat Ward is now in charge of Fantasy, and he a reputation of very poorly worded and thought-out rules. He is the one responsible for the huge 7th edition nerf of the Orcs (an army book which he wrote, then was interviewed for White Dwarf afterward and said he hated the army... nice...) and the book that broke the game Chaos Daemons. On top of that, he was the writer of the War of the Ring rulebook for Lord of the Rings. Opinion on this game is mixed, some say it's fairly brilliant and easy to play, making for fast-paced games. Regular players though complain that several of the rules aren't very well though out and lead to a lot of rules abuse, particularly with characters (I mention this because War of the Ring was a more or less playtest for a lot of the new Fantasy rules).

So I leave it you, the community, to discuss. What are your fears and dreads of a new system? Your hopes? How does this affect your army?


Wallshammer said...

If you ask me, charging is BETTER now.

Think about this...

Charging is base movement +2d6. If you move 7" or more normally it's 3s6 pick the 2 highest.

So dwarves on their VERY worst roll will charge 5 (6 now) and up to 15. Most foot soldiers will charge AT THE WORST 6, instead of 8 now. Average will be 13". That's WAY better.

Cavalry will on average of 2 dice charge 14" but the 3 dice actually make that a bit better.

If anything, cavalry are getting a slight nerf, which is silly. Thier charging SHOULD be more accurate then foot sloggers.

All they are doing is making Foot soldiers get into combat almost as quickly as cavalry, thus speeding up the game. This almost doesn't make cavalry that good at all. Poor Brettonians getting outcharged by dwarves.

Wallshammer said...

Oh and btw... fantastic article AGAIN from our most prolific writer!

Green Feevah! said...

The irony being I'm not a member of the club, nor am I a citizen of Lethbridge, or Alberta for that matter!

Sigmar said...


Did you attend the "play test", I wondered if you had any comments on the new rules. It's not easy finding people who actually have first hand experience and there are a lot of uncorroborated rumours out there.

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