Thursday, August 26, 2010

WFB 8th Ed Analysis- Beating Yourself Up.

Nothing is quite as interesting or annoying (depending on your POV) then facing off against your own army in Warhammer Fantasy Battles, continuing in the flavor of my posts this month, I’m finding playing against myself, in this case.Empire vs Empire (two games now) To give both a new perspective on the game and my army.

During 7th edition, while I certainly didn’t mind the occasional “one-off” I certainly loathed facing another Empire army in a tournament- something that happened more regularly than I would like. The meta game had it standards and even if it was a softer event certain iconic units we mandatory as well as even the basic army setup and play style.

Now with 8th edition, once again all that’s out the window. While I still play my Empire Army In the spirit of what I think an Empire army in WFB is supposed to look like and with the bell and whistles you’ll need in a tournament. My friend Jeff has no such limitations and looked a 8th as an opportunity to push the envelope of 8th edition with Empire.

Last Tuesday we got together for the same narrative type games we’ve been running. pre set terrain-.a large village encompassing the full 4 x 6 with the exception of the deployment zones. Since I had a watchtower, we used “The Watchtower” scenario from the rule book and made three of the forests on the table mysterious.

The Lists

Empire, Talabecland (Me)

General, Armor of Meteoric Iron, The White Cloak, Crown of Command, Pistol , GW

Wizard Lord, Shadows. Seal of Destruction, Talisman of Preservation (4+ ward)

Captain, BSB, Full Plate, Mounted, Sword of Strife

Warrior Priest, Holy Relic, Mounted, GW


30 Swordsmen , FC War Banner

30 Free Company FC

30 Flagellants

10 Handgunners x 2

5 Knights with Musician, Lances

5 Knights with Musician, Lances





Steam Tank

Empire, Altdorf (Jeff)

General, Biting Blade, Full Plate, Shield

Wizard Lord, Level 4, Lore of Life, Dispel Scroll

Battle Wizard Level 1 Lore of Beasts

Captain BSB, Razor Standard

Master Engineer, HLR.


60 Spearman FC

Detachment 30 Swordsmen

Detachment 30 Swordsmen

Handgunners 10, Marksman HLR


30 Greatswords FC,

Detachment 15 Halberdiers

Detachment 15 Halberdiers

5 Pistoliers, Champ Repeater




Helblaster Volley Gun

Radically different lists, I spent roughly 200 more points on Characters with one less character than Jeff. His list topped out at over 200 models mine was around 130…that's a lot of extra kills I needed to do, Jeff’s huge blocks could a take a lot of punishment In both the magic and shooting phases and still have plenty of fighting power. I made the mistake of trying out the Lore of Shadows attempting to nerf his troops, big mistake

Mainly because my magic dice were horrible only generating above 5 dice once in 6 turns things like Pit of Shades are only mildly effective against this many troops..I never did manage to pull off getting a “Miasa” off lower and units Initiative then hitting it with The big template “Pit of Shades” much harder to do than it sounds.

The game played out like so, I started with 10 Handgunners in the watchtower. Jeff pushed on both flanks, I won the my left flank, he ended up winning the right. Some bad luck had my Flaggies in a “Venom Thicket” T1, causing me to lose 5 right away. Great luck with Mortar gave jeff 4 bullseyes’ out of 6 with mortar which hurt me terribly reinforcing that Mortars are best 75 points in the game. While I had great luck with my Cannon eliminating Jeff’s Cannon and Helblaster by T3, I couldn’t hit the mortar and it punished me all game. My Stank got hit by his Greatswords ASAP..but low D3 rolls on the grinding..forced me to put my Free Company into the melee. My swordsman unit failed to block a detachments counter charge with a bad charge roll allow the detachment to join the fray, unsupported by magic, (no help from Shadow) they did some kills but I took too many casualties and routed, the Stank holding the Greatswords in place.Inevitably the Stank, and Greatswords tied each other up all game. A detachment of Swordsmen, inevitably stormed the tower, securing Jeff the Victory..while almost 100 Empire infantry filled my right flank. Late game I managed a comeback, killing his Wizard Lord and Great Swords..and thinning out the infantry considerably but I had nothing that could dislodge the Swordsmen in the watchtower. On points I only lost by 138…so it was a pretty close game.

Conclusions are apparent, Lore of Life is about mandatory for Empire if you are only running one wizard, be wary of too many toys in your army I spent lots of points on toys That inevitably didn’t matter or never came into play..Jeff took barely any toys in favor of mass infantry, and beat what should have been a superior and more flexible force. Bodies matter, model count is important don’t think the days of running low model count armies is not at all realistic in 8th edition, maybe High Elves can pull it off…but that’s about it. And finally the magic phase, ye who controls the magic phase controls the game It was the same in 7th and while the mechanic is different is 8th, the adage is the same. Since I am preparing for our local Core Competency tournament coming up here in about 4 weeks and then the North Star about 1 month after that, I was glad to play this game as it gave me a new perspective on running my own army. Definitely some things I hadn’t considered before came to light and its is only because I played against my own army. So don’t be so hesitant those mirror match ups, you never know how it might change your own perspective in 8th edition.

I’ll be moving away from these WFB commentary posts the next few weeks in favor of some other games, and some new models I’ve been working on. Keep an eye out for a full on 8th edition Battle Report, I am primed to do one I just need the right game and two painted armies- its in the que.

In scoop/rumor news I can report that the next WFB army book Is Orcs and Goblins and not Tomb Kings or Ogres as we hoped, O&G looks like its getting a big boost in putting bodies on the field cheap and big bump in magic With a retool of “Waaagh” magic and access to at least some of the standard lores.


Ray said...

Wow, spearmen 60 deep and attachments of 30. That sounds both awesome and intimidating when I think about the model count. Steadfast seems to be making list writing almost a game of chicken. I still don't know when to stop adding ranks to ensure I get the bonus v. certain army books. I assume this will start to normalize after a while and the new standards of what works are found. I am liking the larger infantry blocks though (I play Empire). How wide did your opponent run the block of 60? 5 or 10 for horde? Or something else?

John@Plastic Legions said...

Hi Ray,
Jeff was running all his stuff in Horde formation except for his 15 man halberdier detachments.its too flank anybody when your battle line is 6 feet across!.LOL!

Anonymous said...

I faced off against his 60 spearmen, and was able to take them out with 30 tooled up Chaos Warriors... but it did take the better part of forever to accomplish. Its a hard unit for sure.


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