Friday, May 20, 2011

Tournament Competitiveness - Part 2

So let’s move onto the guys fighting out the mid-table positions. For me these are the Bolton Wanderers or Everton of the Warhammer World. They might snag the odd trophy but it’s going to take a good player because not all the bases are covered (wow, total mixed metaphors).

The key thing with an army in this section is that it has the underlying tools to be competitive in 8th Edition – ranked units, good magic, ability to be combined arms etc. Where they might fall down is that they don’t necessarily have the depth or synergy of the top ranked armies.

1. Tomb Kings

These guys are here because they are new. They are still an unknown force with their new book. I think that the general consensus is that they have strengthened substantially since the old book with much cheaper skeletons (bow armed always hit on 5+) and have access to a WS-hat that makes them far more sustainable – 25% less hits in most cases.

In addition they have got some new toys with the Warsphinx (infantry killer) and Necrosphinx (monster killer). They have lost the ability to magically charge but this was diminished under 8th from what it was in 7th (still a loss though).

2. Orcs & Goblins

The other new boys. I’ve placed them here but they may be better than I think, the jury is still playing through. The book looks very well balanced though there are clearly a few must haves – Doom Divers, Squig Herds, Pump Wagons and Mangler Squigs.

Where this army continues to work is that it has a number of good ranked anvil units that can take the charge – Night Goblins in depth with Fanatics/Nets. It has cheap characters which can be tooled for a number of functions, two good magic decks and good cheap support. I suspect the new Arachnarok in all its guises will be disappointing.

3. Empire

Clearly the “jack of all trades, master of none” winner in the Warhammer World. They are average across all areas – shooting, average magic and with the ability to buy ranks, average combat.

They are clearly a better defensive than offensive army and in that way suffer a bit like Dwarfs in that they generally don’t grasp the initiative.

4. High Elves

Good troops across every area. Certainly their access to the various magic lores means you can tailor your cloth to your needs. The combination of ASF and high Initiative means that you are likely to see White Lions as the preferred fighting troops. For me the jury is out on the initial internet favs, the LSG. However the addition of a cheap flaming banner makes them a reasonable choice.

Banner of Sorcery is great and always go for the Book of Hoeth if available.

5. Vampire Counts

I’m sure a lot will place them in the top band but I’m not so sure. There only seems to be one successful build – big Grave Guard, big Ghouls and MSU Wraiths. However I think it has weaknesses. For instance, the Ghouls lack of muso limits their reform potential. The Grave Guard (like most things) fold under high number of magically enhanced attacks (e.g. Mindrazor) – and these are clearly coming to prominence.

Sure there is a lot to love about Vamps with Van Hels magically charge, ethereal troops etc but given they are a one trick pony there is not much room for evolution as that trick is countered.

So that’s the middle band. Obviously you now know my Top 5 Tournament Armies and I’ll put up my thoughts about them tomorrow.


  1. A really interesting read. Looking forward to pt.3. Cheers

  2. Thanks. I'll try and have it up tomorrow.

  3. I attempted to make a comment on this but it didn't show up?