Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Warhammer Army Power Level

A few weeks ago the Bad Dice Daily Podcast did its run through of the Top Five armies in a SCGT comp environment. The order that Ben Curry came up with was:

5. Vampire Counts

4. Ogre Kingdoms

3. Dark Elves

2. Skaven

1. Lizardmen

I think his Top 5 are pretty close to the mark though I would have definitely included Daemons (most likely at the expense of VC) but to be honest there is nothing really between the tough builds of these six.

Of the other armies I believe that their general power level is below this sextet but not to any extent like the power disparity we saw in 7th. Tim Joss has had a lot of success with his Tomb Kings – double casket, double catapult- and last year with O&G. So all armies can be competitive.

The paper, scissors, rock nature of the game means that every army has an Achilles heel. For instance Ogres will generally struggle vs. Warriors of Chaos. Armies such as Beasts can be very competitive with the addition of items like the Shard of the Herdstone. High Elves with a solid block of White Lions and smart combos of magic items are very dangerous in the hands of a good general (or even James) while UK tournament results have shown Empire can go toe to toe with the Top 6.


  1. The thing that fustrates me about these sorts of lists is that we are still seeing a 7th ed power creep hang over; I cant wait for Dark Elves, Demons, and the top end of Skaven to be brought "into line". Lizardmen I can live with because very few people actually use them in their "optimium" ETC cascading fleeing skink spam snooze-fest, so they are a little more reliant on the Slann than they could otherwise be.

    From the games I've had with my Empire army they are competitive vs most armies (and I have discovered exactly how many spells there are out there that ignore armour!), but dont quite have the killer punch to really break the 7th ed power builds, and I suspect that is the same with OnG and Tomb Kings. I'm not sure how VC's are in that top category. My experience vs them is that their core is crap-especially if allow overrun from crumble, so they really struggle to get more than 1 or 2 true threat units on the board...maybe they are just really good at deathstar vs deathstar hammer...

    I think we are in an odd position (meta speaking) in Wellington at least where there are very few Demon and Dark Elf players, so we are shielded from their top builds dominating.

    And Whitelion hordes FTW. You dont need fancy magic item combos...just 2 hordes and a dragon and you're set!

  2. White Lions ...pah!
    A horde of them can't even kill a lone paladin. He didn't even have a magic item apart from the dragon ban gem.
    Your other horde ran away so fast I couldn't catch them.

  3. Replies
    1. Nah, dwarfs are so good, they get a list all to themselves, THE BEST ARMY LIST.

      - Adam Richards

  4. @Joel - the glass is half full not half empty. As you yourself point out your Empire and High Elves are quite competitive under SCGT.

    Clearly the power landscape has flattened considerably since 8th and with the advent of the 8th books.

    I would contend that playing scenarios flattens it even further as the various requirements of achieving all six scenarios further discourages extreme builds

  5. Now back to the topic of the post:

    I agree with Pete about swapping out the VC for Daemons, for both reasons given by Pete and Joel. However, I don't entirely understand why Lizardmen are at number one, I would have put it the other way round e.g. Daemons at the number one spot, with Lizardmen at number 4 or 5.

    Joel definitely has a point about Empire being able to go toe to toe with most other armies, but I would say that the new book does give them a number of "killer punch" units i.e. demi-gryph knights, bufffed greatswords and/or reiksguard knights.

    Also in all seriousness, dwarfs have no chance of being in the Top Five armies list, the army is far too limited i.e. can only move (it does happen), fight, and shoot. Bring on the new dwarf rulebook, when it finally decides to turn up.

    - Adam Richards

  6. Ben stated this was without comp correct? If so I agree with him, though skaven and Lizzie's I'd put top equal. The thing is that while a list like Toms daemons is very good, it doesn't really gain too much under no-comp, whereas all of the other armies can suddenly get a lot more filth into the list.

    Joel, You don't need the core to do anything in a VC list, it's just there to get in the way and provide CR while the Vamp Lord and his Wightlord/Wraith buddies kill stuffs.

    The fact is though that every army has a decent competitive build under 8th which is grelossy he difference is that the lesse armies have matchups that are almost auto losses whereas the top armies can happily scratch out a draw in most circumstances

  7. I think 8th has clearly leveled the playing field. The one thing with the old books is they still retain some of the over the top combinations and magic items that made 7th bad. The sooner they are replaced the better. The newer 8th books have to a degree smoothed this out. There are still some items in 8th that don't fit this mold and some rules that are unnecessary.
    I can't really comment internationally but within NZ, Ogres are the army to beat atm, followed closely by Skaven IMO.

  8. @James - Sorry, I've re-read and it is under no Comp rather than SCGT. I would suggest that it holds true for a light system like SCGT. However Daemons under no comp have been underestimated by Ben. Multiple daemonic gifts, no unit cap and no flyer cap make Daemons much stronger than under SCGT

  9. and definitely the top army in my eyes. SCGT takes the top off DoC more than any other army