Friday, March 9, 2012

Hardly An Evil Empire

The drums are beating that it is a new Empire book for Fantasy next month. I have my doubts but hope I’m wrong. I just wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t see another fill-in month with perhaps the Empire in May or June (post Dark Angels perhaps).
Of all the books out there I think the Empire book has best stood the test of time and is very competitive in the current environment. While it was clearly second tier under 7th and against the best 7th Edition books it has been helped both by 8th Edition and the re-balancing that GW have made. Spell decks such as Light and Shadow really help the Empire army and it really is a good all-round combined arms force.

Given all that, I’ll be very interested to see what changes they make. The old adage “if it ain’t broke” seems to hold true here. I don’t see a lot in the book that is broken or really needs boosting.

Interested in what others think.

13 comments:

  1. Its probably based more on which army can we sell the most new models for. Hence I would expect Dwarfs to get pushed further and further back, and armies like WoC to come first even though their last book update like Empire (as you say here) works very well in 8th.

    Also rumours that the 2 other really old books (older even than Dwarfs) Wood Elves and Bretts are not getting done early as they simply cant figure out what to do with them.

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    1. We'll get one soon John... hopefully. And when we do, we better get something that like kills an entire unit on a 2+, or at least a brass orb equivalence. ;D

      Simon

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  2. I'm really looking forward to the expansion of the Imperial pantheon in the new book. There is so much background to Ulric, Myrmidia and the like which has already been fleshed out, unique to the Empire, which could make for some amazingly diverse army themes.

    I've personally been loving the 'big-crazy' models, and have hopes for a new war wagon type thing :) The rumoured return of some old regiments from long ago would again be cool.

    I would most of all like to see what they are going to do with detachment rules - these should be the army's greatest strength (besides its diversity). This is the one thing on which there are no rumours.

    But I am going to miss all those cool magic items, and I would say they will tone down the artillery (increase points, reduce template size for example).

    Like you say, indications are strong for April release (and have been for a while), to the point where I will be disappointed if it does not come to pass!

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  3. I agree that the Empire book works pretty well as-is, with the possible exception of Warrior Priests adding bonus dispel dice. That can get out of hand very quickly (we see the same problem with Dwarf Runesmiths). They also have a few other things that might be seen as "too good", like their range of magic items.

    This update seems to be commercially driven, rather than based on which army needs the update from a gaming perspective. I guess it's to be expected from a publicly listed company, but it's still disappointing.

    I also find it bizarre that the rumours suggest that the Knight box won't be replaced - just re-cut. When one of the driving factors for these things is updated models to push sales, you'd think a box that is more than 10 years old (with horses more than 20 years old) would be the main candidate.

    I hope the April rumours are true. Once you're pretty sure what army book is next, it's best to get it over with and stop the army from feeling like it's in limbo. I think this may be part of why GW clamp down on rumours - sales surely stagnate for an army once rumours of its re-release start to swirl.

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    1. They recently released a direct order Blazing Suns command upgrade for the knights, so potentially that adds a bit of weight to the "knights wont get new kit" argument. Hopefully they do upgrade the kit though-my knights were one of the first things I painted and they are the worst painted thing in my Empire collection...new models = great excuse to update them!

      Most the items in the Armybook can be found in the BRB anyway. Just hoping the VHS and mace of helstrum stay (and add up to no more than 95 points to fit in the cheap ench shield!). This book will be the first true "what GW think artillery should be" book. Cannons HAVE to get better than the Iron blaster (fluff reasons of course...) and hopefully some of the artillery stays in Special. If they move all artillery to Rare there better be some proper hammers in the book to make up for it!

      Joel V

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  4. Not sure why cannons need to be better than Ironblaster when Ironbaster is almost twice the cost....and gets beaten in combat by HE archers and Lizardmen skinks

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  5. I guess it comes down to price of cannon ability with re-roll bounce + t5 5 wounds + impact hits + move and shoot, and a token gnoblar to get i3. Either some of those abilities are under valued (for the cost of the Iron blaster) or "correctly" valued when thinking 8th. Also as a fluff comparison: an army that basically scavanged the cannons as spoils of war vs an entire college of engineers in Nuln making cannons...

    Either way, I'm rather happy with Empire cannons as they are both in how the work and price.

    Joel V

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  6. What I would be interested in seeing is a single book for "humans" -- include Empire, Kislev, Brets and Estalia etc. Would be nice, flexible. Would match the O&G in total unit numbers and also solve the problem of coming up with a separate Bretonnia book.

    IMO, the Empire should dump knights altogether, or make them better, but more scarce, say a Special choice + Rare Inner Circle. After all -- how much nobility is there in the Empire?

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    1. Empire Knights are not nobility. They are just professional warriors that are mounted. Anyone can become a knight of the empire with enough training and talent. Inner circle knights are the elite but are still fairly common, just more often found around a VIP. Brett knights are knights based around a nobility.

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    2. Thank you for the clarification. I guess, I missed the fluff bit about the "open-door" policy in the knightly orders. Still think the humans could have one book with 50 various units to pick from. Would be nice the see Kislev come back

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  7. Sure if they were basing it on "what needs fixedisms" Empire is pretty low on the food chain but seriously has that ever been a mainstay of GW development. Maybe is starts off that way then a designer walks past some one building a steam tank and then starts re-writing Empire - Magpie Syndrome.

    I like the idea of expanded history and ore choice based on those narratives - ALL the books should have this IMO.


    PS consider yourself followed (as we are in the same country stalking you guys is so much easier on the carbon foot print)

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  8. I'd like to see a use for all those Reiksguard Foot models I have gathering dust. WS4, 3+ Armour save with a 6+ Parry? Combined with Lore of Metal for a 1+ armour save. Fly, my cheese monkeys, fly!

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  9. Check out Joel's blog "The Brush of Doom" where he picks up this topic and expands on it.

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