OK, so things have been fairly quiet on the Fantasy front for a while, but the internet never sleeps. Here is a fine medley of some of the latest tidbits from the mill. From updated phase order, to the new boxed set, to rank bonus and everything in between:
I was at Warhammer World on Monday and was chatting to a member of staff there. He revealed a few things about the Fantasy update:
1) Fantasy 8th edition is out in summer.
2) The box set – The Gates of Calith – is High Elves and Skaven
3) The Elves get new spearmen and a plastic lord on Griffon
4) The Skaven get a Screaming bell ( )
5) Forge World are definetly doing a Chaos Dwarf rules set and models.
6) The Chaos Dwarfs are estimated to be out in 18 months, but the staff member suspects it might be about 3 years!
I was told at Adepticon by a very reliable source that in 8th ed Fantasy, Rank and File units will be able to go 10 wide, that combat will be fought to completion in one turn and that infantry will fight 2 deep, 3 with spears.
I hope this is true as it will make the game look cooler, and combat will be so much more effective. As it is, there is so much variability as 5 wide one rank deep, you throw so few dice. With 2 to 3 ranks and 10 wide, you start throwing dice like 40K which brings you closer to average and makes the game go back to blocks of infantry and away from the skirmish style game it is now. ~this was clarified to mean that 10 wide is needed to claim a rank bonus!!!
With regards to the ranks… well… what I heard was something that ran along the lines of a unit of infantry could attack with a number of ranks equal to half their frontage (rounding down), with certain beasts etc ( I assume things like ogres etc etc) counting as X number of normal infantry ( I want to say Unit Strength here but a lot of my fantasy knowwats aint all that). THusly a 10 wide block could attack with 5 ranks, an 8 wide block ( which I believe we see a few of in the Skaven book) could attack with 4 and a unit of 6 monsters.. like those 2 by 3 units of Minotaurs we’ve seen of late, could attack with both ranks. This could/would then be affected further by things like spears, other weapons, err… other things that matter in fantasy.
Finally generalanvilpants (see comments below) wades into the muck with the following:
The way the rank thing works in the new ed. is as follows:
-currently if models are slain in the front rank before they have a chance to fight they are removed as casualties and do not contribute attacks back. For example a unit of 10 Dark Elf Black Guard charge a unit of 20 Empire Halberdiers and unsurprisingly slay 5. Since this slays the entire front rank the Empire player gets no attacks back, except for a unit champion if no attacks were directed against him.
IN THE NEW EDITION:
-models in the second rank have enough time to pull their comrades out of the way and step forward to strike. THIS MEANS THAT EVEN THOUGH THE EMPIRE UNIT LOST 5 MODELS THEY STILL GET TO STRIKE BACK WITH 5 MODELS! That second rank DOESN’T get attacks back UNLESS their comrades in front of them fall.
This rule is in there to prevent the first round of combat decimation that happens all too frequently in the current edition. We’ve all seen it. A big ‘Deathstar’ unit (Blood Dragons, Black Guard, FleshHounds, etc.) charges in, slays the whole front rank before it gets to strike back and steamrollers the unit thanks to one-sided combat res.
NOW they will at least face some retaliatory strikes thus mitigating their power and not giving such a huge advantage to the charging, high init./low save, always-strike-first unit and restoring balance to the basic rank and file and great weapon units/high strength.
You need at least two ranks (i.e. 10 models) to get this bonus so THAT is where this misunderstanding of 10 model ranks nonsense is originating.
Other rumors skuttling around include:
-Moving the magic phase to the start of the turn, before movement.
-Possibility of a plastic Hellpit Abomination this year.
-Tomb Kings are still going strong in the development channel, and are coming sooner than later.
~Standard caveats apply to all of this, but while a lot of this is contradictory, you can judge it as a whole aling with our earlier Fantasy 8th rumor dump. With all of this in mind, you can certainly see general design patterns forming. I’m expecting a faster pased, bloodier game with more of an emphasis on infantry blocks, and more models on the table. With the Orks& Goblins, and Spearhead coming up in the immediate months ahead, around August is looking like a likely candidate for this rollout. Have at it.