Friday, September 30, 2011

If The Rumours Are True.......

The news reported here yesterday (and now more widely reported on the net) is that 2012 will see the release of Empire, Dwarfs and Vampire Counts rather than Brets and Wood Elves.

This would seem to make a lot of sense for GW from a commercial viewpoint as I’d be willing to wager that any of the three armies would sell more than the Brets and Wood Elves combined. Each of those armies are seminal Warhammer Armies fundamental to the history of the Old World. Without wishing to offend anybody, both Brets and Wood Elves are sideshows, similar to the recent Ogre Kingdoms and (perhaps) Tomb Kings.

However there are other reasons why Brets and Woodies may be delayed. Basically their plastic kits are not in desperate need of updating. The key Core choices Glade Guard and Dryads (in Woodies) and Knights of the Realm and Men At Arms (Brets) are all kits that were new at last release and have stood the test of time. I suppose the same argument could be extended to their “replacements” but I wonder why GW would have bothered creating Finecast Treekin.

From a rules point of view there’s not much that I’d like to see in terms of Empire. Cut back the number of magic items in line with the other recent book. Perhaps include some of the wider Empire e.g. Kislev units and variants for different gods. A plastic War Alter seems likely but unfortunately the word is no new Empire Knights.

I’m not sure what they can do to make Dwarfs less boring. Apart from removing that hard-wired piece of the brain that requires Dwarf players to seek out any hill – preferably in a corner – stress if they don’t have 4 more Dispel Dice than opponent’s Power Dice, the ability to take 3+ Scroll equivalents, 1+ re-rollable saves coupled with Immune to Killing Blow and 3+ re-rollable Ward Save etc. Short of making a 12-8 a massacre victory to try and encourage them to live a little and risk going for a 300 point win there’s not much I can see that will save the rest of us further hours of mind-numbing boredom! There’s no point giving them cavalry etc as they may prove difficult deploying behind the hill with the rest of their troops (they have a Gyro already and its use is shunned by any “serious” Dwarf player). Perhaps a new Dwarf Special rule that adjusts any variation (however rare) from 10-10, back to 10-10 so as not to induce stress in Dwarf players.

As for VCs, the figures aren’t the problem, the current list is the real problem. At present there are two builds for VC – the Grave Guard Bus backed by Ghouls or the Black Knight Bus backed by Ghouls. Skeletons and Zombies have fallen out of the game. So anything that expands the viability of different Core choices is good. There is scope for some new figures too. The f-ugly Zombies are a shoo-in for a new kit, particularly in light of the Mantic offering. And Black Knights too. The current figures are incredibly dated and would benefit from an overhaul. My real hope is to see the VC power level clicked back to bring them in line with the recent book. Restricting the number of Magic Items is a start. However I would like to see the development of the various Vampiric lines as in the previous book.

So what are you looking for?


  1. Ah Pete your love of Dwarfs is really starting to shine through - "Me thinks you doth protest to much"

  2. I'm looking forward to Brets or Wood Elves so my favorite opponent will start playing Warhammer again... >:P

  3. I'd like something that allows me to use my hordes of zombies and skeletons again, a variety of viable builds for VC would be great.

  4. Hahah, love that dwarf commentary, funnily enough, dwarf players (incoming mass generalisation) don't like change, don't want fast moving things, don't want anything new, and write things they don't like down in little books that they can refer too easily. Of all the Warhammer races, the player embodies the miniature most in the Dwarves. I have a dwarf army, and the army lends itself to that mindset/deployment/playstyle, you can't help it with the current toolbox.

  5. All I want for my Dwarfs is the ability for the BSB to take Great Weapon just like my High Elves can. That and a lot more fluff in the army book.

  6. Looking forward to the new Wood Elves. About to invest in some more Treekin. I am thinking it may warrant waiting for the new book though.

  7. Yep I'm expecting lots of grumbles from the Dwarf Protection League. Imagine the moaning they will be able to deploy once they get a new book. They will be like pigs in shit!

    "What do you mean I can only have 6 Runes of Penetrating and 5 Runes of Burning on my grudge thrower."

    "Runes of Spellbreaking limited to six! Bah. That means my opponent has a 0.000001% chance of getting a spell off this game. Far too risky"

  8. I can't believe they're saying the Empire Knights won't get an update. The kit is 10 years old, and the horses are 20 years old. The models are not bad, per se. It's just time for something new. And knights on demigriffons is not really what I had in mind.

    Once Dwarfs and Empire have been updated, it's possible that the ability to spam dispel dice (with warrior priests and runesmiths) will be gone. This is not the worst thing.

    The VCs are in desperate need of a new army book, so it's good to see they're on the horizon. The sooner the better.

  9. Pete, is that the grey seer's antipathy towards dwarves manifesting or have you had a couple of bad experiences... :)

    It would be good to see those empire magic items cut back, plus all those free dispel dice. I hate rolling 4-4 on the winds of magic and still not having more dice than my empire opponent...

  10. Dont see how Pete could have had a bad experience with Dwarfs he tends to trample them into the ground with his Skaven most opportunities. Maybe he doesnt find it challenging enough... if we got Giant Dwarf killer warmachines that might help things.

  11. Hamish, is that the warboss' antipathy towards the faith of Sigmar manifesting or have you had a couple of bad experiences... :D

    I like being able to take priests instead of wizards. Having viable options is far better than having to take a similar list every time, a la the current VC lists.

  12. Skaven are a good match for Dwarfs antipathy reflects my enjoyment of winding John and Tane up.

  13. I'm very much still enjoying the empire book and did not think it was in need of an update - especially as they have recently released a whole heap of plastics for it.

    I really dont believe the whole "different gods for Priests and chicken knights" thing. Sure the Empire is diverse, but Sigmar is the focus, and it is an army of men, not chickens! Different gods = more complicated rules, though would be useful.

    I predict Flagellants will move to special and the warwagon will reappear as a rare...but as a huge super awesome kit on the massive base thingie with the war alter as a 2nd option...I want big land ship thingies!

    If they follow the current trend, cannons and mortars will move to rare, but if they dont want to rip the soul out of the Empire, they will stay special, but get more expensive...I'm happy to pay 120 points/cannon IF they are still special. (or have a stupid Nuln Engineer Special character that makes them special).

    I really want the mechanical steed to be a useful option...really do.

    I also predict W.Priests losing dispel dice (sad face), but instead channelling.


  14. A Dwarf army is only boring if it's fielded badly - that is, if the player builds a dull, slow list with the sole intention of winning. Luckily, my regular opponent who plays Dwarves understands that the game is played for joint enjoyment rather than domination and submission. We always play with some kind of scenario, tailored objectives and often used linked battles. If you find army builds can only be done in one or two ways, then my feeling is that you're not playing the game in the same spirit as me.

    For example, if you play VCs and find you never use zombies, then how is that a VC army? Seems to me playing it with as few skeletons and zombies as possible goes entirely against the character of the VC army and that's the fault of the player, not the games designer.

    Simply, the objective of playing Warhammer for me is to play TOGETHER with my opponent and make sure we have an enjoyable evening - winning doesn't really matter.

  15. I agree wholeheartedly Davey, and I'm a fluff player at heart. But. Every unit choice needs to be viable, as the game needs to serve players from casual to hard-core tournament player. I love my zombies, and they still have their very limited uses, but they simply can't be fielded as intended. A horde of 50-60 zombies just wont last in a game of 8th ed. far from being the sticky porridge they should be, they will simply be wiped away by steadfast, supporting attacks, crumble and the new fear rules. Ghouls are simply a better choice, sadly. Skaven slaves are a better tarpit than zombies at the moment. That just doesn't feel right.

  16. Baah, Dwarves are boring, or at least they can be....if;

    -A certain other race insists on 6 dicing Dreaded 13th for 6 turns, requiring massive antimagic to stop.

    -A certain race insists on running Gutter Runners on from my board edge, forcing Dwarves to castle around their squishy, points-rich cannons before they're poisoned.

    - A certain race insists on running Abombs and Plague Furnaces, meaning Dwarves need cannons in the first place.

    I won't start on a certain race's template weapons coughDoomrocketcough, or its fanatically brave Slaves and Engineers or the way its player start to develop prominent incisors and beady eyes.

    I think maybe our next game should be war-machine free and only 1 auto-dispel, but also no Grey Seer/Gutter Runners/Abomb/Furnace. No toys for anyone...

    Then we might see a bit more movement out of the Dwarves. "Up the guts, no smoke, whoever kills the fewest ratboys buys the beers!"

  17. I just want to be able to field zombies again (and TK priced skeletons)... Then I would be happy.

  18. Yes I suppose that's a fair point Mr Saturday, but I've always thought that tournament play was a very strange idea, speaking as an old fart who started gaming back in the eighties.

    I'm sure that an 8th ed VC book will bring appropriate change to the list - they seem to have done a very good job with O&Gs, TKs and OKs.

  19. Well Davey, as one old fart to another (started gaming in 1986) I hope the upcoming books are as apparently even and well balanced as the first three. I'm starting a new warhammer campaign tomorrow, and I've a grudge match on, so I'm looking forward to seeing how these ogres have changed!

  20. Well if they made the infantry cheaper (ie 7pt troll slayers) and the war machines & missile troops expensive. Instead of runes on the artillery you may have to buy a master Engineer to give them a bonus?? You could then see something beside the gun line show up at the table. :).
    If GW keep the current trend going we may even see the Dwarfs with a magic lore, I'd suspect a lore with runic items and no actual levels. Some sort of cavalry ie gyro copter cav perhaps?. Large monsters such as blimps gun ships. Mole machines that transport troops / miners underground. It'll be interesting to see what ideas they come up with.