Friday, July 2, 2010

Empire vs Skaven 2250- 8th Edition!!

@ Games Workshop, Oak Park 7/1

( just out of the bottom of the picture was more terrain and my cannons and crossbows on the lower right)

Finally had my 1st into game of Warhammer Fantasy Battles, 8th Edition yesterday. While my comments in my last post still stand, I want to take a moment and go into brief run down on the details on the game and the gameplay changes. I took a standard Empire list just going by the face value changes to the game without having the book of course..I saved a few points in case I wanted to switch up some items for the new common but I all I did was give my BSB a potion of Speed, due the overall higher initiative of Skaven.

Empire List-
General- Helm of Ratslayer, Holy Relic, GW, Pistol
Captain BSB- Sword of Might, Potion of Speed
Battle Wizard- Level 2, Dispel Scroll, Lore of Life.
Warrior Priest- Armor of Meteoric Iron, Icon of Magnus, GW

(note: General is still a solid choice, Pistols being 12" now is great, even going last with a Great Weapon was not that bad (at least in this game), BSB is now mandatory and useful, Wizard- I found 1 level 2 with a Scroll, being totally adequate against a level 4, a level 2, and level 1, unheard of in 7th ed. The Warrior Priest, got a huge bump with RIP's being able to overlap. although I think the icon of magnus is now mute, 25 point to nerf +1 to your fear causing opponents combat res, when you have a BSB for any leadership a waste of points)

30 Swordsmen FC w/ War Banner
15 Swordsmen Detachment
(initative 4, the best 6 points a man The Empire has to spend, the detachment system is somewhat screwed now in 8th when it comes to Rank and need a 5 x 2 formation, to cancel ranks so taking the odd casualty means you need Detachments of 15 to ensure they get a chance to do their job , which is pretty unwieldly. Not sure how small unit of skirmishers redirecting in 8th will work..I'll have to try that at a later date.)

30 Free Company FC
( 2 attacks each, but now save at 170 points this was very useful unit..these guys are now totally useful as combat unit, not just detachment fodder
or objective grabbers)

24 Flagellants
( Flaggies got a huge boost with "stepping up", no need for a champ and now you always "Martyr" as long as you have the models, it used to be that you'd only "martyr" if you got the charge, 24 was barely enough thou..need to find a way to get 30 in)

10 Crossbows
(great and really the way to go due to S4 and 30 inches, over the overrated handgunners)

10 Handgunners, Marksman HLR
(Handgunners are Empire Fluffy and that's cool, but these guys arent as good as crossbows even with the AP, due to the shorter range, the HLR never does much for me, bad luck I guess)

5 Knights, Musician , Great Weapons
(GW's now +2 Mounted. makes them better than lances again, you can bet GW's for Cav will not be free in the next Empire Army book, sad for the 12 Knights with Lances I have.)

5 Inner Circle Knights, FC Steel Standard
( Cav across the board did take a slight hit, with 3d6 drop the lowest charge thing, I did fail a key charge with a roll of (1,1,2) however I had backup so it was ok, I think with Empire, Standard Cavalry is totally maginalized. In fact dropping both these units, and the Hochland Long Rifle for the Steam Tank and an extra 5 Flagellants would have made my list that much tougher.)

5 Pistoliers, Outrider with Repeater Pistol
( the money, Fast Cav now with Vanguard move, and 12 inch shooting range..expect multiple units in Empire Armies)

Great Cannon x 2

Helstorm Rocket Battery
(Artillery got ALOT better in 8th, it so good now..that one of the biggest problems I see coming in 8th Edition is Artillery Spam the cannons and rocket battery more than earned their points back, and thats the first time I can say that about the rocket battery.)

Skaven List

General- Grey Seer Level 4, 6 Warpstones,on the Screaming Bell
Plague Priest- Level 2 on the Plague Furnace
Warlock Engineer
Cheiftain BSB

60 Clanrats, FC
- Ratling Gun Team

33 StormVermin FC (w/ Bell)
-Ratling Gun Team

30 Plague Monks (w/ Furnace)

15 Poisonwind Globadiers w/ Champ

10 Censer Bearers /w Champ

Plague Claw Catapult

Empire List Notes-

I purposely didn't take the Steam Tank for couple reasons. 1, The Stank was undoubtedly the tournament crutch of Empire in 7th Edition you need it or the War Altar to have something to divert attention from your troops, my opponents had to deal with the Steam Tank, and whatever was dealing with the tank was inevitably something I didnt want attacking my blocks. 2. at 300 points, that's alot of infantry your giving up and above anything 8th ed is all about retrospect it would have been more useful than my Knights in this game..(keep in mind the Stank excels as a Close Combat ramming machine, if you're using it as a shooting platform, you are just a gambler) Overall the Empire in 8th Edition but using the 7th Edition book , just got a whole lot better.

Skaven List Notes- I don't know enough about Skaven to really comment, I've played less than a dozen games against Skaven ever, and only 3 maybe four with the new book, but despite the two big heavies it seemed to me this list was seriously missing some fast flankers and things like Swarms and Jezzails are a serious pain in the ass, big targets like the Bell and Furnace and subject to severe pain in this new Age of Artillery (I'll recap later but I popped the furnace turn 1, and had the bell down to 2 wounds by turn 2). This like a Abomination and Doom Wheel seem now for rats, even more mandatory and powerful.

Table Set Up and Mission

Seeing this was my first game, we choose mission 1, Battlefield, (Pitched Battle). Terrain Rules have changed Big Time you can have up to 10 pieces of terrain on the table (I rolled 8) , and every piece of terrain now has it own rules. Personally I think the new terrain rules are a bad idea, its one thing to have once piece, or objective having special effects but when you have 4,5,6+ all having their own rules/effect it slows the game down and is very tournament unfriendly. There had been alot of talk about the new True Line of Sight rules, but in reality it wasnt that big a deal being able to shoot thru forests is odd but makes sense, if you can see it, you can target it, cover were least it seems to actually be true line of sight unlike 5th ed 40K which isnt True Line of Sight (because of abstract casualty removal)

Movement Phase-
New Movement is different, not sure how I feel about it right definitely takes some getting used to, not sweating the minutia of a 1/8 of an inch in order to feel like you're not cheating your opponent sure is nice. one thing I love, is being able to reform with a leadership check and move normally, this is awesome, no more annoying, 180+ degree wheeling. Getting into a habit of pre-measuring will help you and opponent get the feel of the seemingly now sloppy movement being alot tighter..if your pre-measuring then (rolling for charges) then moving.

Magic Phase-
Ok, I have to say, I flipping love the new magic phase, seriously its so much better than the old magic phase I cant even tell you. There was nothing worse in 7th Ed than having to put a list together based on potential magic abuse by your opponent. Now it doesnt matter, in this game my Level 2 more than held his own against a level 4, a level 2, and a level 1, unthinkable in 7th edition. Warrior Priest Bound Spells are different( as you have to now roll) but since priest dont miscast ( double 1's or 6's may nerf the spell regardless now, not sure) you throw those with what ever you have left unless something else is key, overlapping RIP's is happy new addition to magic phase. This change alone has reset the game completely. also the way default spell now works, Lore Attributes and overall better spells are just better. there is alot of risk involved in Magic and because it now goes both ways...the fun factor of magic went up exponentially.

Shooting is now /will be the big issue in 8th edition, defensively- marginalizing you opponents shooting is now more key than ever, and probably the #1 threat. As I said, no more guess ranging makes artillery brutal, you can also now wound any toughness on the 6, shooting two ranks deep makes units of 20 shooters extreme threats...Dark Elf Crossbows? Look out. We'll need to key an eye for shooting abuses in this edition and for tournament composition systems, Like WPS which focused on magic, new comp systems will focus on shooting particularly War Machine Spam.

Combat -
Close Combat is bloody and brutal, the removal of any psychology from the game means you are always fighting, quicker and more often the question is with how many units...the first combat of this game involved 110 models!!!, I generally don't like pulling insane amounts of models off the
table, but I think this is shell shock from 4th Edition 40K, in last night close combats it all seems to work ok, with combat res typically in the +20 range. (+21 vs 27...etc)

Game Recap-
I brought a small tape recorder thinking I'd just record the conversation to get some good detail for this but it was an old piece of shit using an old school cassette, the tape was quickly eaten, so moot point.( thumbs up for digital recorders, I'll have to get one.) anyway I just moved on with the's a brief rundown.

Turn 1- I won 1st turn, My wizard rolled 2, then 4 for the new lore of life, Flesh to Stone, and Shield of Thorns, both incredibly useful spells, (toughness 5, Free company and Flagellants?, watch out) My cannon blew up the Plague Furnace turn 1 by roll a 6 on wounds, just lucky...I hit the bell as well, but he made the ward save. The Rocket Battery, got both the clan rats and the globabiers..killing a dozen models, wow. On the Skaven turn, I used my scroll to shut down a "cracks call" that could have been nasty with +4 to the dispel the Grey Seer is going to get ough stop alot of spells, with high numbers.

Turn 2- Movement is very fast we where charging and into fights by turn 2. I hit the Screaming Bell with both cannons put 4 wounds on it from one, but rolled a 1 to wound with on the close to finishing it off . Thing about the Screaming bell, I ended up ring it myself from hitting it with S6+ attack but nothing too bad happened. My now Toughness 5 free company battled the furnace less Plague Monks and Priest, even with death frenzy toughness 5 was too much I win the combat, break them and run them down with long overrun...go free company! The huge melee took place directing on the Arcane Ruins in the center of the board. My Flagellant charged his Clan Rats and I also charged my General and his Swordsmen at the Flank of the same Clanrats who where oriented 6x`10 deep..huge flank..I need a good roll and rolled enough to just make it, the rats with Skaven BSB, while decimating my Flaggies (got them down from 24 to 8 or so) my swordsmen Barely took a would on the flank and inflicted some serious pain with characters..I was up by dozen on the combat res forcing an insane courage, failed and run down...turn 2, 60 rats 30 plague monks and two characters dead, this game was far from over. on Skaven turn 2, the Censer Bearers charge the flank of my Free Company that overran..even with T5 stll in effect the flank attack is just too much..I failed 3 toughness tests at T5 with 3 6's I lose and break but get away with over half the more running into an enemy unit and now just run around (via WAB) Skaven put some points on the board.

(the biggest melee took place on turn 2, over 110 models to start on top of the arcane ruins)

Turn 3- Re positioning turn...I get another chance for two cannon shots at the bell, one of my Cannons Misfires, out until turn 5.., other cannon a hits it but rolls a "1" to wound. Pistoliers while down 2 guys are shooting up the Globadiers , I am reforming setting up to charge the bell. On Skaven turn 3, the Bell and Vermin charge my IC Knights who down to 4 guys..I have them flee hoping to set up the turn 5 charges from 4 sides. In the Skaven the Grey Seer Miscasts with triple 6's on 3 dice and does 1 would to bell, 2 to himself and kills another 4 Stormvermin. but the bell ends up ringing twice and I take casualties all over the place. including blowing up one cannon, the rocket battery and putting 2 wounds on the second cannon. The luck keeps on going when the Plague claw catapult hits my Generals block dead on, 28 hits....I lose 11 guys..both rattling guns all of sudden go aces on my same unit...1 turn of Shooting take my 30 man unit down to less than 9 guys.. ouch!, the unit was already unbreakable via a RIP prayer and we weren't sure If I needed to make a panic check anyway so I did and pass. Still great turn for the Rats

Turn 4 - I charge my remaining Flagellants into the flank of the Screaming Bell, hoping to hold it up a turn, so I can get some other units into it.during the magic phase I put both Flesh to Stone and Shield of Thorns on my Flagellants hoping to inflict maximum damage, the Shield gets dispelled, but my Flaggies are no toughness 5. 2 Survive the battle and hold up the bell, taking a bunch of Stormvermin with them. my Knights rally my BSB and Knights are also set up to charge the bell as well a my General. On the Skaven turn the Grey Seer gets some kills with magic and ringing the bell Censer Bearers finish off my Free Company.

Turn 5 - Multi Charges on the Bell ensue..I fail one Cav charge with my BSB's unit rolling 1,1,2..but I have enough other stuff its OK, my Priest takes the bell out with his Great Weapon, My General the Grey Knights kill the rest of the unit...wiped to a man. overrun into the front of one of the weapon teams. My Cannon back in action blows up the Plague Claw. My Handgunners shoot up the remaining Globadiers forcing a panic..they fail and run off the table. All the Skaven has left are some Censer Bearers who charge and kill my Pistoliers but their own gas kills two them, leaving just one..., the remaining ratling guns kills 3 of my 4 knights.

Turn 6- My lone knight charges the Ratling gun and kills it, my general guns down the last censer bearer with a pistol shot. Skaven are tabled, I was at at about 1250 + points we didnt figure it out exactly but it was clear Empire massacre, Skaven did manage to come back in big way between magic, shooting and the Screaming Bell , I had lost 1100 points. If I hadn't of popped that furnace turn 1, would have been a whole lot tougher of a game!

Knight posing, just cause., have a good weekend!



Steve said...

That sounds like a great time!! Its good to see just how valuable infantry are in the new edition. I am not so sure I like shooting being that good, but it will force people to bring more models to the table, not bigger models.

Randroid said...

Nice recap. I'm with you on the terrain bit ... but I have already decided there is no way each piece of terrain on the table is going to get some random effect.

Maybe half or a third of it. Maybe only what seems appropriate given the scenario and the board setup.

Anonymous said...

I agree about the terrain, though I do like that there is now more of it on the table. I think for my club I will put in that only one piece of terrain will be of a special sort.

Lord Azaghul said...

I’ve played about 7 or 8 games of 8th now, and I have to disagree with you on the new terrain rules. I absolutley love them. I’ve found them to be somewhat of ‘an equalizer’. Things like the bane stone making units easier to wound, or ‘mystery’ forrest and rivers. I do agree that this ed will play hell on tourniments, but I’m ok with that, so far, this ed seems to be about having fun. Its random ‘stuff’ that you just can’t account for when building your list. I do agree that shooting is definitely improved. My group was overwhelming by the warmachine volumn at first, then we figured out things like scouts, and dedicated warmachine hunters (anything with poison) is absolutely brutal. However, if you opponent is running lore of life those warmachines are a lot less effective! There are tons of buffs in that lore.
I also agree that this edition favors blocks of infantry heavily (as a dwarf guy I’m ok with that!), but armies like empire received a huge boost.
As far as the disrupting flanks go, my group is a little unclear as to now many models you need. IE is it 2 ranks bonus’s worth = 15 models. Or two ranks = 10 models.
Hopefully a reread of the book with clarify that.

- Jon

John@Plastic.Legions said...

I dont dispute the terrain may be an acquired taste..I'll have to see if it grows on me, the way I read Disruption it's 10 models as the "extra rank" text is right above it and they omit the "behind the fighting rank" in short they just doubled flank requirements from 5 to 10..I run 15 so I can take some shooting and maybe still cancel ranks with the detachment.

Omalley69 said...

I dont share your opinion on the pistoliers.

They do have a range of 12" now, BUT the only ignore minus to hit from moving and shooting, that makes you substract 2 from long range and multiple shots. Thats poor on bs 3 IMHO.

Or what?

John@Plastic.Legions said...

Hello Thomas,

at the time of this game and when I wrote this piece we weren't aware of the range penalty for pistols, since that became clear my opinion is the same as yours and I mention that in follow up empire pieces..


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