The great change is upon us Warhammer fans! 8th is here, we have read it, we have digested it and now it is time to see how the armies are lining up after the change. There is a new sheriff in town.
The first thing that we all have to realize, and that many have not yet realized, is that everyone’s armies have to change and change a lot to work with 8th edition. The major changes to the army composition rules mean that not only are most armies illegal now, but also obsolete. These changes, along with the greater and lesser rule changes mean that the balance of power among the various armies has shifted. Because of this I assert that the Empire, is now, quite likely the best army, and has overall gained the most from the new edition. Many of the same strengths that the Empire possessed in 7th remain, but the new changes have also given them some powerful new ones, and have removed many of the old weaknesses. So here are five reasons I think the Empire is now the best.
1. Empire Wizards
The Empire has always had solid wizards, while not able to match some of the master wizards in sheer power, they where cheap and able to pick any of the 8th lores which give them an advantage over many other races. Now however with the revamping of the Lores of Magic in the main rule book being able to pick from all 8 is a major advantage and allows the Empire to put some real power on the field. The Empire wizards are also very cost effective, at 2500 pts, which is looking like it will be the new standard, the Empire can field 2 lvl 4 wizards, and still have points for a General of the Empire. Instead of that or in addition they can also take up to 4 lvl 2s, giving them some serious magical punch. Empire also have some good equipment options for their wizards. Van Horstmann’s Speculum, which allows its user to switch stats with an enemy, remains a good choice. The Seal of Destruction, which functions as a dispel scroll and stops the spell from ever being cast again on a 4+ is a good choice now that Dispel scrolls are one per army. Finally the Rod of Power, which allows the user to save power/dispel dice for the next turn will be very important with the new magic rules.
The ability to fire in two ranks means that you can fit a lot more shooty troops in a smaller area, and put out a lot more firepower now. It also means that ranking up your ranged troops is OK, and will make them stubborn, so that maybe your knights can come save them. The mission, Battle for the Pass is fought longways, so your troops will get a lot of time to shot at the enemy. The real point is that now you have to take a lot of core, so why not take ranged troops, in the 3 turns of shooting they get they should more then make back that 2 extra points.
Empire Inner Circle Knights also got a lot better this edition. The ability to attack in two ranks in a huge boost, and makes the boost to straight all the better, these guys are real killers on the charge now. In addition with the comp changes taking some Inner Circle Knights no longer means you have to give up some of the big guns, you can have your cake, and eat it. There are some pretty good spells for casting on knights now also. The basic Lore of Beasts Spell, which is easier to cast on knights, gives the whole units +1S and +1T, making them super deadly. The Lore of Light has a spell to give them all +1A and Always Strike First, and another Lore of Light Spell makes them harder to shoot. Try taking 30 of these guys, for the horde rule so they attack in all 3 ranks, plop a Warrior priest in there for hatred, and then buff them a bit and watch these guys rip through pretty much any unit in the game.