Monday, June 28, 2010

8th edition play - first impressions.

Got the chance to read through the 8th edition book and play a 2000pt game with the new rules yesterday. While I am sure there are plenty of nuances I didn't pick up on I thought it would be valuable to post briefly about my initial thoughts and impressions regarding the new rules. So here we go!
  • The game moves faster: with the changes to movement, magic, and close combat, the overall "speed" of the game seems to have increased as well. While my first game with the new rules was slower than average this was mostly due to looking up the changes to certain rules or army book interactions. Overall the game was moving much quicker and I liked it.
  • Magic is CRAYZAYY: maxing out on magic users is not always the way to go, in fact it can be a big waste of points. In the end, much of the new magic system comes down to luck. What did you roll for the Winds of Magic? Did your casters manage to channel? How badly do you need your spells to go off? What are you willing to risk? Everything you do in the magic phase has a repercussion. Don't use enough dice - you may lose your chance to cast any more spells with a particular wizard. Use more dice to cast - there is a damn good chance you will get double 6's and suffer some horrible magical backlash in the form of a miscast. Everything is different and I love it.
  • No more lame turn 2: in 7th edition most games stalled out on turn 2 as each side played their part in a game of "who gets the charge" chicken near the center of the board. No longer! With every unit essentially rolling 2d6" for their charge you have the possibility of getting into close combat on turn 2 with plain ole infantry! This greatly increases the chances of things going really well for your army or really poorly depending on how you are used to playing. Personally, I am all for it and I can't wait to break out the Ogres and use their higher movement to my advantage.
  • Measure what matters: gone are the small arguments and bickering over 1/4" and 1/8" and 1/16" short charges. You measure before you ever declare a charge so you will always have a pretty good idea if you can make it or not. Wanna risk that 16" with your unit of Night goblins? Go for it! Never again will you need to scrutinize the small measurements of a wheel and how it changes the charge - you get two free ones! If you can make it from the closest model of your unit to the closest model of their unit you make the charge! It really is that simple, and best of all it makes the game much more fun!
  • Fear not fear: no more outnumber means no more "cheap deaths" after being outnumbered and breaking from a fear causing enemy. No more "I can't charge because I am scared" setups either - fear is tested for after you are in close combat. Fear is good but it isn't game breaking any longer ... so maybe GW can stop giving it out like it is freaking candy now!!
  • Leave your toys at the door: sorry 7th edition min/maxers, the new toy in town is basic infantry. Finally - huge blocks of troops can actually do something and make a difference! Even crappy units like Gnoblars can be really scary when you are facing down 40+ attacks at WS2! Hordes, stepping up, and support attacks drastically change the way the game will be played and is far more fun this way. Lots of dudes! Attacking! Lots of dudes! Dying! Lots of fun!
So there you have it. Just a few quick initial thoughts on the new rules and my own experience with them. For those wondering what I played, it was a 2000pt  game of Vampire Counts vs Orcs & Goblins. You know things are moving in the right direction when the O&G player says "wow... playing against Vampire Counts was actually fun!".

UPDATE: For those looking for a more detailed battle report from 8th edition I recommend reading this:


BJ said...

I am looking forward to my first game under 8th and I am really excited because I think my Orcs will be fun to play again.

I really like allot of the changes you have mentioned, I just hope it takes awhile for the power gamers to find the power builds in this new system.

John@Plastic Legions said...

Great Summary, in line with what I've read and seen. I just posted my own comments that more are of an overview of the big picture. Can't wait to do my 1st bat rep.

MikeD said...

So with the new book wafting in the air, hows the player "feel?" Are people ready to start new/first armies and give it a go? Do you think this new play, i.e. faster play, would be more seductive to newer players? I find myself working on the last bits of my 40k army assembly on my blog wondering how to build my OnG lists now...Damn you. VC and HAZZAH!

Randroid said...

Play feels good. I think the changes have streamlined the game and made it more "fun" and thus more accessible to new players.

No better time to start playing WHFB if you ask me!! I know I will be trying to get new blood in my group from the 40k players.

Jason said...

I am having trouble reconciling the urge to play WHFB after years of 40K with the obvious GW Money Grab of making basic infantry the shitznit now.

They did that in 40K, by making troops matter far more as scoring units, and I am still rankled.

Anyone else feel that way? Ogres are very appealing, and as a greenskin from space player I love Gnoblars like my own cousins, but I bristle at painting a gazillion of the little blighters.

Randroid said...

I have always had a love for big infantry units so nothing has really changed for me ... they are just actually worth taking now.

With a little bit of time you can make interesting diorama/unit filler pieces that lessen the cash burden of the larger units ... especially with O&G.

Anonymous said...

I'm not up to speed at all with the changes in the new addition, so your look is very informative.

Interesting that they have made the game more... accessible? Is that the right word? Personally I wonder is the level of the rules is what wa slowing it down, or whether it is just the players aptitude in general. I mean, I know of some players that, even with vastly streamlined rules, will probably still spend hours fiddling about.