Hi everyone, my name is Jake (I post as crazyjake on the forums) and I’ll be writing primarily about Warhammer Fantasy Battles. I’ll write just little bit about myself before I jump into the main topic. I’ve been playing Fantasy for 10 years now. I live in Billings, Montana, meaning that I know what it feels like to be a small town gamer. If there’s ever a topic that you’d specifically like me to address concerning Warhammer Fantasy, please contact me on the forums and I’d be happy to see if I can fit it in to my writing schedule. Here’s hoping to a healthy future for us all!
So why is now the time to get into Warhammer Fantasy? The answer is 8th edition. With the emergence of 8th, a lot of the difficult and confusing aspects of Warhammer have been changed to make the game flow more smoothly and, honestly, it gives a sense of balance that was missing in the earlier editions. If you’ve been thinking about playing Fantasy, but are sitting on the fence because you didn’t like the earlier editions, this is me telling you that this is a worthwhile system.
So what’s changed?
One of the biggest changes right off the bat is the elimination of range guessing. In 8th you can measure anything at any time. You can measure to see if units are in range before declaring shots, see how far away a unit is before declaring a charge, and can measure to see if you’ve placed your mage in an ideal place for casting spells. Range guessing is no more in regards to war machines, so they have become far more deadly (and entertaining) to use.
Magic has also undergone an overhaul. Now instead of having to add and subtract dice based on levels of casters and such, the magic phase has become more exciting. Every phase the controlling player rolls for the winds of magic. The player rolls 2d6 and the total number rolled is the amount of power dice the player gets (the highest d6 determines how many dispel dice the opponent gets). The lores are more balanced and wizards now add their level to the casting value of spells. Magic can be a game changer, but it no longer dominates every game like one could before in 7th. Now you’re going to want to balance your list and see how magic can support your army.
Psychology has changed a lot too. Terror no longer overwhelms the battlefield, so the terror bomb does not exist anymore. The coolest add-on to psychology tests is the use of the Army Battle Standard. In 7th it wasn’t that great (few people took them), but now in 8th a Battle Standard allows you to re-roll any failed psychology test if you are within 12 inches. Coupled with a general and your army isn’t going to be running just because a dragon flew next to you – it’s going to have to convince you in combat that you should be scared.
The biggest change has been to combat. Now, everyone gets a chance to fight. In 7th, models killed took away from the amount of attacks that a player got to strike back with. Now, as long as there are models in your front rank, they get to fight and if you have models in your second rank, they can contribute 1 attack each also (3 if they’re monstrous infantry!). Fighting is done in initiative order. One side fights, the other side fights, then combat resolution is calculated. Easy as pie. Also, numbers mean something now. If you have more ranks then your opponent, you are steadfast, meaning you take your break test as if you were stubborn. Combat is where the excitement is now.
There are many changes that I haven’t even gotten to touch on, but let me assure you, they are for the better. The rules are more accessible and it’s really a lot easier to learn to play. The armies are more balance as a result, and overall you’re going to have a lot more fun playing this game. Thanks for reading and keep in touch!