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WFB: 8th Ed. Army Reviews – Part 2/3

7 Minute Read
Jul 16 2010

Welcome to part 2/3 of my Army Reviews for Warhammer 8th Ed.  If you missed the first installment, here’s the link.  In this segment, you’ll find an analysis on WoC, Dark Elves, Lizardmen, Ogres and Beasts.  A lot of these armies will play quite differently than they did in 7th so make sure you check out the analysis to see what’s good and what’s not!

Warriors of Chaos

Warriors of Chaos are going to be one of the strongest armies in 8th Ed.  In short, they have all the right tools for the job.  WoC can have fighty or spellcaster type heroes, incredibly versatile and strong core choices, powerful artillery and the best knights in the game.  The big things that stand out are Chaos Warriors, Marauders, Chosen and Trolls for your front line infantry.  Chaos Warriors are WS5, 2 attacks each at I5 and have Chaos Armor (4+).  Their stats alone makes other faction’s elite pale in comparison and they count as core!  Chosen are even better with their superior stats and the ability to roll on the table of the gods.  Marauders are dirt cheap, WS4 and can carry all the marks and weapons they need to make them some of the best core infantry in the game.  If anything is true about WoC infantry is that they trade extremely well.  High WS, high damage and stepping up for a lot of carnage all over the place.  Other armies’ elite infantry will die in the droves to cheap but powerful Marauders.  Trolls with Regen can wreak havoc on anything with their high number of attacks and slams.  The trolls probably got the biggest boost going into the new edition along side frenzied Marauders with GWs.  Chaos Knights are still the same rock hard shock troops they were last edition, just that they can’t single handily mow down entire armies now because of steadfast.  Last but not least, WoC can take Hellcannons that make SSCs look like slingshots.  S5/10 with no partials and -1 panic tests in addition to a being able to fight is just hardcore!  As with all the big units such as Giants and Dragons, 8th Ed’s TLoS and warmachine rules will keep most of the big boys on the shelf.  It’s OK though, WoC does not need them since they can flood the field with cheap Marauders, powerful Warriors and unstoppable Knights.
Dark Elves
Dark Elves going into the new edition will do just fine.  They still have a very competitively priced army book and many of their options are still ridiculously good.  Hydras are still arguably the best monster for its price and blocks of cheap Spears and RXB will from up the majority of the DE army.  You can still tool out your Lords to be unkillable with Pendant, wreak havoc on your opponent’s army with your now easier to cast Lore of Dark Magic and still get good magic protection from Ring of Hotek (by getting close to his casters).  I mean, who wouldn’t like to drop a Black Horror on someone with no partials and tell them to take off models and take a panic test after?  I think we’ll be seeing a lot more magic-heavy builds with DE in this edition since they DE are some of the only ones that can get more PD in the magic phase. DE players will even see some Corsairs on the field since they can take Quick To Fire Reaper handbows and still fight pretty decently in combat.  Just like all Elven armies, DE are fast and have high WS, but can’t take much damage in return before their lines start to falter.  The Cauldron of Blood will see more play because it got buffed to T10 and have all the right buffs to make your units better.  Black Guard will still hold the army center for the most part, although enemy Stone Throwers might force them to deploy a bit differently than before.  Being one of the more competitive books in the game right now, Dark Elves didn’t get as buffed as the other races when going in 8th.  You can only take so many Black Guard, RBTs lost some of their effectiveness (just like High Elves), Assassins can get killed easier due to stepping up, and the new skirmisher rules decreased the usefulness of Shades.  Fear not though, all DE needs to do is change their playstyles a bit and take more standard troops to compensate for the all-out monster lists or shadestars they were doing last edition.  A good amount of RXB can still pincushion the enemy army well enough for your Hydras and elite infantry to finish the job.
The dinosaurs from Lustria are looking pretty strong in 8th Edition right now.  Slann are the undisputed rulers of magic because of all the disciplines that they can take.  Personally, I like Rumination of Focus, Focus of Mystery and Becalming Cogitation.  Focus gives Slanns’ a free die everytime they cast a spell, so for any lore with relatively low casting values, this is incredible.  Focus of Mystery gives the Slann Loremaster and Becalming Cogitation might be the best anti-caster ability in the game.  By taking away a wizard’s 6s in his casting phase, he can not only strip all chances of the wizard hitting IFs, but greatly increase the chance he loses concentration when casting spells.  As you all know, losing concentration is absolutely huge.. since that basically means that wizard can’t cast anymore his turn.  Magic aside, Steggies/Ancients/EotGs are still good because they can impact hit, do normal attacks and benefit from Thunderstomps right after.  Saurus Warriors are still pretty good and Skinks can do more than expected damage from all their poison-based attacks.  In fact, I bet you’ll see a lot more Chameleon Skinks now because of all the warmachines on the table.  Salamanders no longer care about partial hits and thus they can burn down entire units with multiple templates and Temple Guard still makes for a good anvil for any Slann.  Just like High Elves, I think Lizards will depend a lot on their magic to keep them in the game.  With no true artillery offered to them, they have to rely on their brute strength and durability to gain enough map control.  Lore of Life is exceptionally good on Slann because it gives them the ability to heal their Steggies and resurrect dead Temple Guard.  If that wasn’t enough, ignoring all miscasts on a 2+ and making Saurus/TG Toughness 8 will deter most people from winning combat, or the game itself.
Ogre Kingdoms
The big hulking Ogres from 7th Edition will be bull-charging 8th Ed with a lot of good buffs.  First and foremost, the Ogres have high toughness and multiple wounds, so there’s plenty of fatness to chew through before they start losing combat efficiency.  Combine this with the fact they can now attack in multiple ranks, have bull charge and stomp attacks and you’re looking at real combat killers.  With some of the new common magic items, you can give your Ogres a lot more protection or make virtually unhittable in combat.  Give your Tyrant Glittering Scale Armor and Greyback Pelt and anything WS6 and lower will be hitting you on 6s.  Gut magic and the +4 to dispel from the Slaughtermasters give you flexibility to spam spells and dispel spells, although you gotta be careful when rolling 1 dice to cast for most things.  Despite this minor drawback, since the entire lore is dirt cheap to cast, you can possibly spam out most of the lore with some luck.  For magical defense, the Greathelm is great for both fear of miscasts and protecting a vital unit from magical harassment.  Scraplaunchers are amazing good since Chariots are no longer instant gibbed by S7 and Gnoblars can flood the field with cheap bodies when you want to.  Since there’s no such thing as outnumbering your opponents anymore, Ogres got linearly buffed from having mostly combat res to rely on.  Steadfast units will be a pain for more Ogre players, but I’m sure if you throw enough Ironguts or Bulls into a unit that won’t be a problem.  I can see most players taking a 3×2 formation of Ironguts with Runemaw for a reliable, hard hitting unit.  It’s also safe to say that a Thundermace Tyrant dropping a S4/8 template with no partials might single handily win combat by itself.  Some good times ahead for you guys.

Now that 8th Ed. favors a more horde-ish playstyle, I think Beasts came out pretty good.  They can put some really mean killy heroes and lords inside their numerous horde units.  Doombulls can get tooled up for ridiculous amounts of damage and Beastlords are excellent character choices due to their high Ld and attack potential.  They also got pretty decent initiative, which is pretty important in 8th Ed. because the order at which you attack is based on that now.  Charging doesn’t let you go first anymore, it only adds +1 to your CR.  A Wargor BSB kitted for max survivability should be in every list now.  In fact, BSBs should be in every army list that anyone ever takes because it’s incredibly useful for re-rolling all sorts of leadership tests!  Tuskor Chariots are still a very solid choice for Beast players because they can’t be killed by S7 anymore and they count as core.  Minotaurs and Razorgors are still rock hard units that hit extremely hard in combat, but point wise you gotta manage them well.  Harpies are excellent harassment units that can pressure most warmachines because they’re cheap flying units that can get in combat really fast.  Shamans with Lore of Beasts will be pretty important for your army because you want to buff up your combat characters or units as much as possible.  Getting off the correct spells at the right situations will pressure your opponents to make the correct dispel decisions or lose combat.  Beastman units, although they have pretty mediocre stats, can be buffed to ridiculous levels with enough applications from the Lore of Beasts (duh).  Just like the other factions that can take big giant stuff such as Dragons or Giants, warmachines will most likely wreck your face.  If anything, the bigger stuff on the field are great fire magnets that’ll allow the rest of your beast horde to reach close combat and start tearing things apart.

Don’t miss the final installment to this 3-part review as I cover Wood Elves, Empire, Skaven, O&G and Vampire Counts.  If you think the first 10 armies changed a lot since 7th, you’ll be in one hell of surprise when you find out how the next 5 will play out in 8th.  For more 8th Ed. coverage and battle reports, check out the action here on my personal blog.

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