Warhammer Fantasy 8th Edition or whatever the hell edition this is

In keeping with their usual pattern of game design, Games Workshop has released a new edition of their Warhammer Fantasy miniature-based war gaming system about four years after they released the last edition. They spent those four years releasing increasingly overpowered army book updates, and now with the new rules, they have done serious damage to the best tactics for most of those overpowered armies, so they can start releasing new, increasingly overpowered army book updates all over again. Being into Warhammer significantly reduces my sympathy for roleplayers who have to deal with a new edition of their games every 8 to 10 years.

I play Vampire Counts, which used to be a pretty good army. They have some nasty monsters, some cool magic, and because the entire army is undead, the entire army causes fear and terror. These grant various advantages, but the biggest one, in the old edition, was that if a fear-causing unit won a round of combat, and also outnumbered the enemy, they would cause that enemy to run away automatically, which made sense; when a scary horde of the walking dead shows up and kicks your ass, you’re much more likely to say “fuck this noise” and make a run for it than you are if your opponents are elves or dwarves. Unfortunately, both fear and terror were significantly nerfed. Since most of my ordinary units, the ones that make up the bulk of my army, are not really great when you discount that they cause fear, it does a lot of damage to the viability of my army.

Not all the changes were bad. The changes to the magic system significantly buffs the power level of one of my units, a black coach that absorbs magic, as there are generally a lot more magic dice floating around. However, the more magic dice also makes one of my regular opponent’s super-spells way easier to cast (for those in the know, it’s the Skavan’s 13th Dread Spell). It’s much more likely to hurt the wizard casting it now, but it can destroy an entire unit of my best type of infantry, and he can still probably cast it several times a game. All in all, the changes in the new edition, despite what GW said in the lead up to it, don’t make magic that much more dangerous, and also makes it easier to cast, which all in all is bad for my army. I can’t get any of the new improved magic spells without spending a lot of build points, my old, weaker magic is easier to counter for high level enemy wizards, and overall I can’t repair my army quite as well as I could. The whole thing is very frustrating, and they may well lose me as a customer. Not sure yet, but it’s not looking good.


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