Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Warriors of Chaos: Looking So Good, Failing So Badly

Dark Elves are not my first Warhammer Fantasy army.  Way back in the mid-to-late 90's I started a Chaos army that had lot's of Knights, Bloodletters, and Chariots.  It was a fun army, but I hardly got to use it before my LGS at the time went under.  So I sold the army on eBay along with my IG army for 40k.  I didn't play Fantasy for years and years until in 7th Edition when the new Warriors of Chaos book came out.  The models were beyond amazing.  The Lord of Juggernaut sold me on the army.  I bought a bunch of stuff and soon had a pretty fearsome all cavalry list with three units of knights, lots of marauder horsemen, 2 mounted nurgle sorcerers and a sorcerer lord of Tzeentch.  It was a fairly by the book list that everyone has seen before.  But it was fun, and I enjoyed it.  

I painted this.  Again, I am aware I suck at painting.
When the rumors for 8th started swirling I knew that the jig was up.  The all cavalry thing was not going to work.  I wasn't going to be able to blow people away with 16 power dice per phase anymore, either.  

So what do Warriors of Chaos have that is good about them in 8th?

1.  Fighty, fast heroes.  Tzeentch exalted heroes on discs pack a pretty mean punch and are pretty resilient.  Having a Tzeentch flying circus is going to be your only real defense against enemy warmachines.  Seriously.  It pains me to say it, but unless you are charging their warmachines on turn 2, you will lose.  Even more unfortunately, these guys can't win you the game by themselves.  They are more fighty point for point than other armies characters but in 8th Edition fighty characters are not going to cut it.

2.  Hellcannons.  High strength large template shots.  Good.  Monster that is hard to kill and is tough in combat.  Also good.  As the army's only real artillery and shooting this is invaluable and absolutely necessary. to have a pair of in a 2500 point army.

3.  Fearless Marauders.  Either Slaanesh or Khorne marauders with flails or great weapons are some of the best horde blocks in the game.  They are very squishy, but they are immune to psychology so they aren't going to run.  They are a glass cannon for sure, but they are a cheap threat that must be dealt with.

4.  Warriors.  They are overpriced, yes.  But they ARE killy.  Mark of Khorne with halberds is 3 str 5 attacks.  That is pretty great.  The drawback is they are slow.  This is why they cannot be the entirety of your core choices.  Treat them the way other armies treat their elite infantry, not their core.  A unit of two that are 12 strong with mark of Khorne are another must deal with threat.

5.  Marauder Cavalry.  Vanguard moves are fantastic in 8th.  So is scout deployment.  Your army is slow and once the game starts your warriors won't be outmaneuvering anyone.  With vanguard moves and 5 flying fighty characters you try to create enough chaos to allow your infantry to deliver.

Put it together and what do we have?

Nothing good.  No magic, no intimidating heavy armor.  Average warmachines.  The army book is simply 'meh.'  You just can't make a balanced force out of it.  Now I know people say you can bring 3 hordes of Khorne marauders with knights on the flanks, backed up by hell cannons and steamroll people, but I've not ever seen that work in practice.  What have seen are those hordes getting cut in half by turn 2, the knights do absolutely nothing important in combat, and ineffectual magic.  Compared to The Dwellers Below, you think anyone gives a crap about Infernal Gateway anymore?

Everytime I look at my Lord on Jugger, I go, "man it would kick ass to play that."  Then I sigh and think, "maybe in 4 years when the new book comes out."

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