Friday, October 31, 2008

GENERAL: Warriors and Salamanders

I read my latest issue of White Dwarf over the past two days. I was looking forward to the launch of the Warriors of Chaos army book for Warhammer Fantasy Battle, as this is the only army I currently own for the game. I play a mortal list so this book would be vital to my next 6+ years of Warhammer gaming.

When I read the battle report I was incensed!

I have contributed to a thread on The Warhammer Forum on this very subject but I thought I'd record my thoughts here too.

I've been playing GW games for 20+ years, but I stopped playing WFB in 3rd edition and just began again in 7th. So I'm a veteran but a newbie to WFB. I chose to play mortal Hordes of Chaos and my buddy picked Dark Elves.

Boy did I get a run around in those early games we played. The problem was that I played a mixed HoC army with light magic, two Warrior units and just one unit of Knights and my opponent just danced around me, whittling my units away with magic and shooting, then delivering a decisive charge in the final turns of the game. It was very clear to me that it didn't matter how hard my units on foot were, if I couldn't get them into combat they were useless.

My fortunes changed when I began to include units and items to negate the enemy magic users, war machines and fast cavalry. Furies were my linchpin but Book of Secrets, Marauder Cav and bound magic missiles helped too.

Now they've improved the Dark Elf army book (much needed I agree) but what the devil have they done to the Warriors? What options do I have now to keep those march blockers off my flank, the mages and bolt throwers from skewering my expensive models?

Surely the inaugural battle report with the new book will advise me?

No. Apparently my plan is to hope my opponent decides to take me on in close combat. Are you kidding me?

Nobody wanted to charge me before, why would they want to now when my Warriors are even better in combat? Can't GW see the effect that this will have on most games?

Your opponent doesn't ever want to make combat so he uses his movement to march block you and his magic and shooting to kill you before you get there. The WoC hasn't got great tools to stop those things so he drops his foot troops and gets more knights. That means the opponent wants to get into combat even less, and he has to kill you even quicker, so he invests in more magic, shooting and annoying support units. So the WoC gets more Cav to make it into combat quicker. Etc, etc.

IMHO the WoC book would have been far better with units a range of abilities which would have allowed greater tactical flexibility for the WoC player AND his opponent. What about skirmishing Marauders in small units with throwing axes and throwing spears? Thugs (that's going back a bit I'll grant you) with bows? Re-introduce some Chaos Dwarf units?

The way it is now is exactly how Alessio describes it in the battle report:

Chaos runs at the guns, and then either a) Chaos is shot to pieces or b) Chaos reaches the gunline in reasonable numbers and cuts the enemy army to pieces.

Reading the battle report again I think that maybe Alessio was actually having a sly dig at the WoC book in his comments about gunlines.

Ahem. With that little rant out of the way I want to point you toward my first battle report of The Gauntlet Tournament. This was versus the new Space Marine codex iteration of Salamanders.

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