Thursday, April 28, 2011

Warhammer Plus Math Equals FUN!

My friend came over last night and played his first game of 8th edition. He has played dwarfs since fourth when we both started and he has many older models... unpainted but that is another story. I played Vampire Counts both because I felt it would give him and advantage and because I wanted to try out a couple new units: cairn wraiths and a necromancer on a corpse cart. This isn't a battle report, this is an expose on the insanity of playing the undead right now.

Amongst my units was my nice chunky block of 20 crypt ghouls, which, theoretically should be solid infantry. Not overpowering infantry but 20 models with 2 poison attacks each is something worth throwing at the enemy. By the current rules these puppies (undead, filth-encrusted puppies) throw out 15 attacks with weapon skill 3 and strength 3.
So I threw these guys at a unit of longbeards, a big unit, actually 30 of them with heavy armor and great weapons along with the dwarf lord in the mix. Let me say I did not expect them to win the fight or overcome the foe in melee, but what did happen is what irks me about the current flow of Vampire Counts games for me. Allow me to enumerate...
  1. Crypt Ghouls attack: 15 attacks: 3 are poisonous automatic wounds, another 3 are rolled for wounds (so out of 15 attacks I got 6 wounds on the enemy, not bad, a solid solid hit considering the toughness of the dwarfs)
  2. Dwarfs make three of six saves... so again, solid. If you look at the math out of 15 attacks 7.5 should hit (4+ to hit) and then strength 3 vs toughness 4 means 2.5 should wound. Also, since poisonous attacks wound on a 6 to hit automatically there should have been 2.5 automatic wounds out of the fifteen dice. So getting 6 wounds was solid, and he should make only 2 out of those (5+ heavy armor) which he made 3 making it really just about dead on average.
  3. Dwarfs attack back, including the lord. Now, he had to take a Fear roll first which he of course passed (leadership 10 and all that). His lord does only 1 wound (odd bad luck) and then his long beards do 8 (really good luck, since there were only 12 attacking). I'm fine with this, after all this is longbeards and a dwarf lord. I expected to take a solid six to ten casualties.
  4. I have no saves (oh you silly naked crypt ghouls) so nine guys go back to the ground.
Seriously!? This needs tempered some. He had the fight, next round they would have died to a man (undead man admittedly) BUT ELEVEN CASUALTIES FROM COMBAT RESOLUTION IS COMPLETELY UNBALANCED. There is not even opportunity to raise more from the dead, the entire unit is gone! That was a solid combat for the ghouls, they did some hurt and stood their ground. But how can one play with undead when they are wiped out before you can raise more to support them?

This is a huge flaw in the game currently. There is no undead unit I can throw against the majority of my foes that can stand a full turn. I used 30 skeletons this game and they fought 30 dwarf warriors, the two battled six times and at the end of the game 2 skeletons still stood and they had killed only 6 dwarfs in return. This is after the unit had 14 models raised back into it, so really it was 44 vs 30.

I'm on a bit of a soap box I know...
Pleasantly fragrant.
...but come on! I am hoping the tromb king's army book shows me some hope. As it stands they VC have won a single match, and mostly get pounded into nothingness very quickly.

Obviously as I've posted this if you want to correct me, please do so, and if you have an answer, give me that as well.

You can use my soap box even.


  1. Ive accepted a few years ago GWs games are hardly playtested. And anyone wanting to refute this, please, please show me as many praising posts on the game systems as there are posts like this.

    Buy the models, but dump the rules :/

  2. Thanks for the compliment Captain! Coming from a man with your abilities that is high praise indeed!

    I normally have little griping for any rules set feeling that there is a foil to any tactic, but, seriously the VC have no troop that can equally engage the enemy since fear was changed.

  3. Your not supost to win 1v1 as VC the idea is being tactical, with Etheral Steeds and summoning(+movement) spells you should always make sure to flank or rear to make up the combat resolution. Also lets not forget the amazing hitting power of a VC lord, for 400pts you can create a lord who can fight an infinite number of standard troops and never take a wound.
    VC are not broken, you just have to be tricksy.

  4. Whom is this "anonymous" felow!??

    I know the VC lord is powerful but he's a glass sword. When they break him my army will begin to crumble and that worries me.

    Also, I've tried to go for flanking but I've had little luck so far and singe the unit has to be at least two full ranks to deny them their bonus that is tricksy indeed... as you put it.

  5. Vampire counts require proper movement and position as well as support from your characters and magic along with your units. Dwarves are a bad match up for Vampires as they have high LD, T, Armor and ways to stop magic. With that said, Vampires can beat them. They key to Warhammer is you can't juts go head to head and expect the dice to do the work for you. You need to deploy well, move so your opponent is at a disadvantage and pit the odds so combat results are in your favor. Make sure to avoid anvils and control the board and you won't need luck to win. I can give more specifics on Undead/Vampire tactics as I've played them now for twenty years. Warhammer has been my main game of choice since 3rd edition back in 87.

    1. Hey Nate, thanks for the information and point of view. I can say that this post was before the 8th edition army book came out. Since this the VC has proven MUCH more dangerous and capable as an army choice. :)