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Author Topic: 8th Edition Army Effectiveness- 3 Month Evaluation  (Read 13241 times)

Offline Lanceocletian

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Re: 8th Edition Army Effectiveness- 3 Month Evaluation
« Reply #25 on: August 16, 2012, 03:38:43 AM »
Hey Guys,

I appreciate your time for the responses.  My goal was not to complain about the new book, but since I havenít had a chance to use the new book, try to see how much opinions had changed from the original release.   Moreover, since I have limited time to paint, try to make the best assessment of what I should paint such as two units of demi-knights or one unit plus an actual griffon.

The quick summary appears that as a whole most veteran Empire players are generally pleased with the new book as it did break the pattern of army that everyone was using from the 7th edition book with some interesting additions, but most of us are still frustrated by point-effectiveness of many iconic units such as free-company, swordsmen, hand-gunners, crossbows, etc. 

The competitiveness of the army I think is the element that is still in dispute.  From reading battle reports and surveying responses here and elsewhere for the moment it seems to be about the same rate per player- for instance, if you won 60% of your games previously, it is probably still about the same with the new book.   

Some aspects that are surprising me from comments here and elsewhere:
1)   Demi-Gryph knights are not quite as highly rated as some people thought.  I think everybody believes they are good and very point efficient, but perhaps not quite as strong a hammer unit for the same amount of points of inner circle knights.

2)   The wagons are making more of a difference than I thought they would for people.  I honestly did not think on first glance they were worth the points and I would rather have more cannons or 3 more demi-gryphs. 


3)   Priests- I am seeing a wide variety of responses- many people seem to love them, but quite a few people are not seeing the return in point investment.

Aspects I am curious about going forward:

1)   What is the best general for the Empire list now?  Without the magic items from the last book, I am thinking of making a simple hero level priest my general.  Some interesting variety in the lists I have seen.

2)   Steam Tank-  I expected the verdict to mixed on it when I first saw the new rules, I think the verdict is still mixed, but I am curious changes the mixed assessment.

3)   Will we collectively merge in about a year to the point where 70% of all elements within semi-competitive Empire lists are the same? The 7th edition book for the last two years saw that for the Empire and as many people are aware it is that way for many other books  such as tomb kings (archer hordes), ogres (gutstar + mournfang + 2 ironblasters) or beastmen (gor buses + magic).  My early impression is not quite 70% as the lists above, but more like 40-50% with the standard elements including an inner circle block, halberdier block + detachments, one cannon, and one HBVG), but that is similar to most armies at the tournament level. 

Thanks again for your thoughts

Offline Krudenwald

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Re: 8th Edition Army Effectiveness- 3 Month Evaluation
« Reply #26 on: August 16, 2012, 03:54:17 AM »
Quote from: BrainySmurf
Aspects I am curious about going forward:

1)   What is the best general for the Empire list now?  Without the magic items from the last book, I am thinking of making a simple hero level priest my general.  Some interesting variety in the lists I have seen.

2)   Steam Tank-  I expected the verdict to mixed on it when I first saw the new rules, I think the verdict is still mixed, but I am curious changes the mixed assessment.

3)   Will we collectively merge in about a year to the point where 70% of all elements within semi-competitive Empire lists are the same? The 7th edition book for the last two years saw that for the Empire and as many people are aware it is that way for many other books  such as tomb kings (archer hordes), ogres (gutstar + mournfang + 2 ironblasters) or beastmen (gor buses + magic).  My early impression is not quite 70% as the lists above, but more like 40-50% with the standard elements including an inner circle block, halberdier block + detachments, one cannon, and one HBVG), but that is similar to most armies at the tournament level. 

(1) That depends on the person you ask. But for my part, I'd say either an AL or GotE. It depends on your Hero selection. If you have a few WPs in those slots, you won't gain too much from an AL. If you're full up on Captains/Battle Wizards, then an AL is the choice for you. Either way you need to gear them defensively. Remember that our characters are for support.

Personally, I like the GotE - but that's more for my theme/fluff than anything else. They are both equally viable.

(2) Like you said the verdict seems to be mixed, but overall I'd say that it leans towards the positive. It certainly seems to be able to do a bit more after its taken a beating. It has lost a lot of tar-pit capability by dropping from T10 to T6, but it has gained quite a bit by being able to use the Engineer's characteristics for other things - hitting against his Weapon Skill, testing on his Initiative, etc.

(3) In a competitive setting? Yes. Then again, I feel like all lists in that setting will eventually settle toward the most efficient build. Your definition of "semi-competitive" is probably different than mine, though. Because of that, I can't really say with any degree of certainty if you'd have extremely bland lists. In my area, semi-competitive means fun lists that aren't an auto-loss against WAAC or competitive players. I use Handgunners which are both fluffy (Hochland) and useful (though not as efficient as, say, a HBVG). That said, I won't field the pathetically weak Mortar even though it's fluffy.

A weak or fluffy list would field both. A competitive list would field neither. But having said that, I don't feel like two units of Handgunners will cripple my chances of winning all that often since I'm not a hardcore tournament player.
No, I'm sending it to people I reckon I can trust. Or, at least, people I think I can murder should it become neccesary.

Offline sebster

  • Posts: 293
Re: 8th Edition Army Effectiveness- 3 Month Evaluation
« Reply #27 on: August 16, 2012, 06:27:58 AM »
No I have not.   :oops:  But I do miss the oft used favorites of Unbreakable and healing.  I had opponents tear their hair out because of those!

Also, yeah the Free Company cost is stupid.  Why are Spearmen cheaper?

Unbreakable was nice and being able to heal could be very handy at times, but I can't see how either can compare to giving the 5+ ward save or re-rolls to wound.  Those are very powerful abilities make average troops very effective.

The more subtle, but perhaps even bigger change was the shift to a 3+ casting requirement.  The old spells were nice, but if they were ever really important my opponent would have the dice to block it, and as he had a wizard level the advantage was his.  Shifting to a 3+ has changed that, because now one dice casting is now likely to work, rather than being 50/50.


1)   Demi-Gryph knights are not quite as highly rated as some people thought.  I think everybody believes they are good and very point efficient, but perhaps not quite as strong a hammer unit for the same amount of points of inner circle knights.

DGKs, point for point, as just plain better than ICKs.  3 ICKs cost more and have the same number of wounds as a single DGK.  And those ICKs put out less damage - the ICK get one more attack overall but three of those attacks are just horse attacks, whereas the DMG has much higher quality attacks including that stomp that auto hits.

The devil is in the details, as ICKs maintain almost all their attacks when they have a second rank of troops, while the DMG loses almost all of its attacks in the second rank.  As such, rather that considering point for point effectiveness, consider that there's a cap on the optimum size of DMGs, whereas ICKs can be taken in much bigger units.  Hey I've seen standard knights taken with great weapons in horde formation do very nicely.

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2)   The wagons are making more of a difference than I thought they would for people.  I honestly did not think on first glance they were worth the points and I would rather have more cannons or 3 more demi-gryphs.

I didn't realise how well the buff from the Hurricanum would line up with other buffs.  Having hatred rerolls and the +1 to hit basically means you're at High Elf levels of 'basically everything is going to hit'.  Add in the potential for rerolling to wound on unit of greatswords and you can almost say "basically everything is going to hit, everything is going to wound, so if you don't have armour of 4+ or better just pick up 30 models".

Quote
1)   What is the best general for the Empire list now?  Without the magic items from the last book, I am thinking of making a simple hero level priest my general.  Some interesting variety in the lists I have seen.

Up to 2,000 points and sometimes past that I'm pretty happy with a Ld8 general, and often I only take GotE because I'm pushing the 25% limit on heroes.  I'm finding Hold the Line just that effective.

Quote
2)   Steam Tank-  I expected the verdict to mixed on it when I first saw the new rules, I think the verdict is still mixed, but I am curious changes the mixed assessment.

It probably isn't as effective as it used to be, as you can't just run it into something and know it'll be there until the end of the game, but it puts out more damage now and can be a useful hammer against the right enemy.  But more than any of that the steam tank is loads more fun to play with now.

Quote
3)   Will we collectively merge in about a year to the point where 70% of all elements within semi-competitive Empire lists are the same? The 7th edition book for the last two years saw that for the Empire and as many people are aware it is that way for many other books  such as tomb kings (archer hordes), ogres (gutstar + mournfang + 2 ironblasters) or beastmen (gor buses + magic).  My early impression is not quite 70% as the lists above, but more like 40-50% with the standard elements including an inner circle block, halberdier block + detachments, one cannon, and one HBVG), but that is similar to most armies at the tournament level. 

It's almost inevitable that a fairly typical Empire list will emerge, and I think we all know more or less how that list is going to look.  But fortunately I think that list will be a little more interesting as there will be a little more variety in the supporting options.  And I think there will be at least one variant list that might not be as effective, but effective enough that it'll be taken to tournaments as a list built to win (I'm thinking of a list built around 1+ armour saves).  Hopefully others will emerge.

Offline Lord Solar Plexus

  • Posts: 3212
Re: 8th Edition Army Effectiveness- 3 Month Evaluation
« Reply #28 on: August 16, 2012, 07:01:31 AM »
No I have not.   :oops:  But I do miss the oft used favorites of Unbreakable and healing.  I had opponents tear their hair out because of those!

Ah, I missed healing too last game! Having said that, I don't think I've ever used it in the old book. As to Unbreakable, with a little forethought your whole army can easily be stubborn, Ld 9-10 re-rollable, HtL, with a few gadgets like the Gleaming Pennant on top, or any combination thereof. And you really only need it when you lose combats. While that does happen, it's far from inevitable.

Our reimagined Steam Tank is now amazingly versatile...  The ability to use the benefits of random movement but selecting how far, if at all to move the model makes it a very tactical piece

Uh, what? That is the first time I hear this interpretation.  :?

2)   The wagons are making more of a difference than I thought they would for people.  I honestly did not think on first glance they were worth the points and I would rather have more cannons or 3 more demi-gryphs. 

More cannon? I'm continually stunned why everyone would want these pieces of scrap metal.

Quote
1)   What is the best general for the Empire list now?

The exact same two as before: TGM or Waltar.

Quote
3)   Will we collectively merge in about a year to the point where 70% of all elements within semi-competitive Empire lists are the same?

Hmm. A rough netlist had been developed at the time the book hit the shelves. Whoever takes inspiration from exemplary lists already does so, and whoever prefers to make his own choices too. That's not book-dependent.
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Offline Bigglesworth

  • Posts: 91
Re: 8th Edition Army Effectiveness- 3 Month Evaluation
« Reply #29 on: August 16, 2012, 12:17:10 PM »
Our reimagined Steam Tank is now amazingly versatile...  The ability to use the benefits of random movement but selecting how far, if at all to move the model makes it a very tactical piece

Uh, what? That is the first time I hear this interpretation.  :?

Historically people would just stay 15.25" away from the front charge arc of the steam tank if possible.  Now it has a 360 degree charge arc due to the random movement rule and moves a random distance up to 3d6 (granted the average is 10.5).  The vastly superior charge arc is part of what makes units like HPAs so dangerous.  Now we have a unit that can benefit from the same charge arc but isn't forced to move in the compulsory phase if we don't allocate steam points to movement.  Basically the best of both worlds.  This makes the steam tank an ideal flank protector and you can effectively dedicate one steam point to line up a full powered cannon shot should you need the versatility.

The fact that it isn't auto-hit anymore and if something fails a terror check they'll hit it on 5s is also great mitigation.  It isn't toughness 10 but most things (not all) that can really put the hurt on a steam tank are few in number and can't absorb the impact hits or subsequent grind attacks and stay around in an effective unit size.  With the new steam point allocation the steam tank also retains effectiveness much longer than it did in the previous book.  And not auto-failing initiative tests anymore is nice as well.  50% chance to survive those insta-kill initiative tests!

Offline Lord Solar Plexus

  • Posts: 3212
Re: 8th Edition Army Effectiveness- 3 Month Evaluation
« Reply #30 on: August 16, 2012, 12:42:00 PM »
I meant the interpretation to chose how many of your 3d6 inches to move, or if at all, an interpretation that only existed in my mind, not in your statement!  :icon_redface:
Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself. - S. Clemens

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Offline Bigglesworth

  • Posts: 91
Re: 8th Edition Army Effectiveness- 3 Month Evaluation
« Reply #31 on: August 16, 2012, 01:15:08 PM »
Ah yeah... the 1,2, or 3d6 movement. :)

Offline Syn Ace

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Re: 8th Edition Army Effectiveness- 3 Month Evaluation
« Reply #32 on: August 16, 2012, 03:34:52 PM »
Our reimagined Steam Tank is now amazingly versatile...  The ability to use the benefits of random movement but selecting how far, if at all to move the model makes it a very tactical piece and a full powered cannon frees up points on your list. 

Not sure I'm following along -- are you saying that if you roll a 15 inch movement, you can decide to move less? Because under random movement I thought you have to move what you rolled.
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Offline Fidelis von Sigmaringen

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Re: 8th Edition Army Effectiveness- 3 Month Evaluation
« Reply #33 on: August 16, 2012, 03:50:47 PM »
You can choose how many steam points (up to 3) you will use for movement. For each steam point spent on movement, you roll 1D6. You still do not know beforehand what the distance will be, but if you roll only 1D6 the distance will be between 1 and 6", while if you roll 3D6, the distance will be between 3 and 18".
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Offline Bigglesworth

  • Posts: 91
Re: 8th Edition Army Effectiveness- 3 Month Evaluation
« Reply #34 on: August 16, 2012, 04:20:40 PM »
Our reimagined Steam Tank is now amazingly versatile...  The ability to use the benefits of random movement but selecting how far, if at all to move the model makes it a very tactical piece and a full powered cannon frees up points on your list. 

Not sure I'm following along -- are you saying that if you roll a 15 inch movement, you can decide to move less? Because under random movement I thought you have to move what you rolled.

Correct, you have to move the results of the dice roll, but you can determine how many dice, if any, to throw at it.  That's a significant tactical advantage over other units/models with the random movement rule who 'must' move.

Offline Dosiere

  • Posts: 1085
Re: 8th Edition Army Effectiveness- 3 Month Evaluation
« Reply #35 on: August 18, 2012, 06:39:01 AM »
I'm not sure it's fair to compare the new AB with the old one, considering how much changed from 7th to 8th edition with the main rules. 

I will say that compared to other armies that have gotten an 8th edition AB, Empire is very competitive.  It's annoying that other armies still have old AB with stupid units and prices in 8th ed. (Marauders, almost all Skaven) but that's not really the new Empire  books fault. Bottom line is I think the external balance is just fine if you are willing to embrace the good units in the new book.

If the effectiveness of the new Empire AB is in question it's because it does have some terrible internal balance issues.  Someone at GW really hates Pistoliers for example.

Offline olderplayer

  • Posts: 35
Re: 8th Edition Army Effectiveness- 3 Month Evaluation
« Reply #36 on: August 19, 2012, 02:39:08 AM »
I am seeing the new army hold its own in competitive tournaments.  I have seen both infantry-focused and cav-focused versions of the army win with above average rates and give tough battles.  My son (with a tough Lizardman army) went 4-1 one major Indy GT tournament in June with his only loss to empire and went 3-2 in another in early August with one of his two losses to empire (He has won two second best general awards and one best general awards in major-40+ player tourneys this year).  We've also play-tested it and run simulations of the units in combat.  One no longer feels a like it is a "cheesy" army to play against where one has no chance if the dice roll well ifor the empire player n the first two turns of the game (with the old stank, waltar, and cannons and mortars with engineers combined with dispel dice spam making it such that you sometimes had no chance if the dice were lucky), but the army, when well designed, always gives one a tough fight.   Now, subtle army design choices and tactics seem to matter more than before with this army. 

My observations are as follows:
1.  You have more effective options than before in terms of designing a competitive army from an infantry-focused to a cav-focused build.
2.  They really nerfed or hurt:
     A.  War alter +AL combo by nerfing VHS, taking away unbreakable, making you pay for the ward save for the AL on top - With the new rules, it really does not pay to risk the general on a Walter when one is likely to see cannons on the table (dwarves, empire, and ogre ironblasters) and does not pay to run a Walter with another general.  It is still worth playing a Waltar for the prayer bubble but you take a big risk. 
     B.  Crossbowmen and handgunners-especially with the move or shoot and points cost increase
     C.  Flaggelants were totally screwed up with the combo of the new martyr rules and points cost increase (plus can no longer be core unti)-they should be special but maybe ten points a model and allow a war priest to join the unit (typical GW deal where a unit complained about-although I wasn't that impressed with them before-and going overboard)
     D.  Mortars were totally screwed up -they should have increased the points cost like they did with cannons, not nerf and increase the cost
    E. Engineers-now must declare what war machine they attend to in advance and cannot join a war machine crew, basically means that engineer is only worthwhile with a HBVG and a cannon (cannon when the HVBG is not in range and HVBG always otherwise) and you cannot shoot when the re-roll misfire is not needed
    F.  Free company are not worth an extra point and swordmasters wen from being an obvious choice for core infantry to less preferred relative to spearmen and halberds.  By increasing the cost of most of the militia and state troop models, they are effectively forcing you to rely on war priest prayers and/or augment effects like the hurricanum to make a heavy infantry army viable. 
    G.  They did not need to increase the points cost of greatswords. 
3.  They gave you:
      A. DG knights-they need to be run in single ranks because of the loss of attacks of the mount in supporting attacks, but they are one of the most points efficient models in the game right now-However, why did they not allow for a DG mount for a character, especially a marshall or captain.  It basically means you can only run a character on peg with the unit to get a look out sir and then only with 5+ DG knights (not champion)
      B. War priests have better prayers in terms of augmenting their units instead of primarily benefitting the war priest-The bound 3 instead of 4, no longer RIP, prayers makes them easier to cast and a war priest can cast them all in a single phase, instead of only one.  The loss of dispel dice was predictable, but the prayers are really good and dramatically increase the effectiveness of the units they are in.  Also, the ability of a prayer to benefit a parent and its detachments is quite important. 
      C. Hurricanum and Luminark-I initially thought these would not be worth playing, but the combination of an augment with a DD or PD and a decent chariot is under-rated.  I am especially impressed with the hurricanum, the +1 to hit +1 PD is worth a lot in an infantry heavy army and a S5 T5 and 5 wound chariot is excellent.  Both models are worth their points.   I ran a bloodletter horde into a deep parent unit with two detachments in two battles and was shocked at how effective the +1 to hit with hatred and re-roll to wound prayer were when they got off. 
      D.  The ability to transfer psych abilities of parents to detachments in range really makes a lot of sense and is a tremendous boost.
     E.  The hold the line abilty is under-rated but it is often not worth spending the points on extra captains or a separate general to get it across the army in different units. 
      F.  Reiksguard cav-Totally annoying, try dealing with a unit one or two wide (music and standard in front rank) with a captain and war priest with a DG knight unit at the same time. 
      G.  Inner circle knights as core - guy went 5-0 running a large block of these with two units of DG knights, a stank, cannon and HBVG, and reiksguard.  He would run them narrow with a crown of command character and BSB and full command and use the leadership bubble to support two units of DG knights.   
      H.  The new steam tank is surprisingly effective but not so broken the opponent gets frustrated against it.  It can still do something after taking a few wounds but the random movement and art dice/steam malfunction makes it a bit less predictable and reliable.  It is fairly priced and has a role in the army but you do not have to play with a steam tank if you do not want to.   You have options with a more viable cannon and a steam gun to do some damage out of combat. 
     I.  The new HBVG with an engineer is a fearsome weapon combo, even if it is not cheap. 
       
There are a lot of things about the new army book that bug me (over-nerfing mortars and flaggies, no option to mount a character on a DG, raising the points cost of infantry models already not points efficient, and too gimmicky new models-why not a war wagon chariot model with the benefits of the hurricanum and luminark as options for the model and without the goofy bound spell?- and characters).  However, the bottom line is you no longer have those easy, auto gunline wins where the mortars splat the infantry hordes and the cannons take out the high value targets before they threaten your main line of cheap infantry and the enemy has nothing to deal with the stank and it holds up indefinitely the one unit you fear dealing with.  But you have a competitive army that is not an easy win against hardly ever with a lot of options and tools to deal with any of the competitive armies. 

BTW, the comments on outriders and pistoliers were off base, especially pistoliers.  Quick to fire means pistoliers can march and shoot without suffering a moving penalty and they can bait and flee and protect war machines from scouts and light and fast units.  They are a cheap bait and flee and redirection unit that can do some damage with shooting.  S4 and AP getting shot by a brace of pistols at short range (in the flank or rear) can really hurt. 
« Last Edit: August 19, 2012, 03:45:36 AM by olderplayer »

Offline Count

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Re: 8th Edition Army Effectiveness- 3 Month Evaluation
« Reply #37 on: August 19, 2012, 03:36:26 AM »
I actually had a warrior priest get off all three of his spell on his unit yesterday...needless the unit he was part of tore apart the unit they were in close combat with and then turned around and destroyed in the following turn by challenging with a character and then causing him to fail his stability test as a result of combat resolution.

It does help to roll 10 in your magic phase and then pick up two more dice channeling.  I do find the new codex changes makes large hordes with detachments more effective since their morale is pretty hard to break.