Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Crux of 8th Edition

Following on from yesterday's post, something Dan Heelan said on a recent Heelanhammer podcast really summed up what I think is the crux of what GW have tried to do with 8th Edition. Essentially Dan said that GW have listened to the complaints of what people have said they don't like about the 7th Edition game.

Ruminating on that this afternoon I think he is right and here's what I think GW have addressed:

1. Predictability of Magic

In 7th Ed, magic was largely predictable and to a large extent people set themselves up from a defensive standpoint. You knew if you had 5 DD plus 2 scrolls you could stop most things especially in the Comp environment which had a 10PD max cap. Yes there was still one die raising and the odd game changer got through but it was rare at the top end of tourney play.

8th Edition is much more fickle. You can't rely on it either way as much as you could. The ability for a Lvl 1 to pick up 6 dice means it is high risk/reward. You can build a magic phase to defend against it but the certainty is less. For my Skaven list I've gone through the books and built a list that can grasp the winds of magic if they are there but can also go a game without me getting anything off. I think this reflects how magic should be.

2. Avoidance/Points Denial

In 7th you could arrive at the table identify targets that you would destroy with little or no risk to yourself. Dark Elves were the masters of this followed by Lizardmen. I can list how this was so - shades, hotek, engine, etc - but they were done to death on any internet forum.

GW have addressed this in so many ways in 8th Edn.

Firstly, they have changed how terrain works. There are very few safe places to hide now. This is great in my opinion as it brings avoidance back to the pack as a tactic. Your Engine is no good in this game - put him behind a wood. Not anymore you won't. While you're getting your points your opponent will be able to target yours.

Secondly, half points are gone. Now you have to destroy something to get its points. This should mean more risk. Coupled with this no points for quarters....again you need to commit to destroying something.

Last week I killed 48/50 Marauders - in the past I would have been happy with 25 of them. Now all 50 have to die for me to get anything - so wounding then hiding has gone as a plan. Couldn't even nullify this by grabbing four quarters.

So well done GW, more aggressive play.

Third, what appears to be the weakening of skirmishers relative to blocks. This is in terms of relative maneuverability between the editions, the restriction of charge arcs etc. Fighty skirmishers - wardancers, censer bearers etc - will find it harder to get the job done.

3. Stepping Up/Steadfast

In 7th a fast army such as Daemons could hit you hard with little or no risk given average dice. As long as they wiped the front rank out there were no attacks coming back. This usually meant they won on CR and if they had done enough damage autobroke you through fear.

Well in 8th, it's a brave new world. Sure those Flesh Hounds will still deal damage but if you have a block with 10+ models you'll likely get to attack back. And if you have more ranks then you are stubborn.

This stops the blitzkrieg style tactics of armies like Daemons and it will be interesting to see what tactics they develop to adapt.

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