There are two ways to learn a new edition of a wargame.
There is the sensible way, where you wait for an appropriately-priced rulebook to be released, read through it several times – once for squee, once for confusion, once for slow parsing and then once more for actual tactical application – and play a series of smallish games using forces you’re comfortable with, concentrating on the interaction of new mechanics, in a safe and quiet environment free of pressures, with time to look up and discuss complex interactions as they emerge.
Then there’s the stupid way where you play a five-player team game in a Games Workshop branch with a rowdy, rambunctions bunch of old mates, only two of whom have seriously read the new rules, and a high chance of backseat gamers, self-appointed Sun Tzu, hobby elitists and all the other nuisances of the shop environment.
I am stupid. THEREFORE:
Dark Elves 8th Ed Test Run – 2498/2500
Lords – 470
Dreadlord (General) – 180
– repeater crossbow
– Tormentor Sword
– Armour of Darkness
Supreme Sorceress – 290
– Ring of Darkness
– Sacrifical Dagger
Heroes – 595
Master – 340
– heavy armour, shield, sea dragon cloak
– Deathpiercer, Ring of Hotek
Death Hag – 226
– Cauldron of Blood
– Army Standard
Core – 626
39 Warriors – 288
– standard, musician, Lordling
10 Crossbowmen – 100
10 Crossbowmen – 100
5 Dark Riders – 131
– repeater crossbows
– musician, Herald
Special – 637
21 Witch Elves – 275
– standard, musician, Hag
– Witchbrew, Banner of Swiftness
16 Executioners – 232
– standard, musician, Draich-master
– Banner of Eternal Flame
7 Shades – 130
Rare – 200
2 Reaper Bolt Throwers – 200
Dreadlord is in to snipe at things like Fanatics should any be present, and to provide an Ld10 bubble from the heart of the army. Was tempted to merge Crossbows into one big unit and give him the reroll-misses-when-shooting talisman. He gets a cheap magic sword in case of Wraiths – he can join the Spearmen and at least try to slap some wounds on them.
Sorceress goes in the Warrior horde and uses them as ablative wounds and power dice on legs (which should hopefully compensate for her lower level).
Master on Manticore dive-bombs whatever needs dive-bombing – trashes something big and scary like a War Altar and annoys people with his miscasty doom aura.
Death Hag does what Death Hags do – follow the army, being a very tough BSB that also hands out Stubborn to my signature units and buffs like they’re going out of fashion.
Spearmen horde take point. Deliver Sorceress into range and move up, daring charges – Sorceress will have something that still works in combat, be it a Soul Stealer, a Word of Pain or a Black Horror. If she rolls three missiles I’m entertainingly buggered.
Crossbows and Bolt Throwers are flank and rear guards for the army, chucking out volume of fire until they die.
Dark Riders are bait and blockers, as are Shades. Any casualties inflicted by them are a bonus.
Executioners are crap in the new rules but I’m taking them anyway so I can see how crap they are and whether the Cauldron helps them be not crap. Will probably use them to outflank anything fighting the Warriors.
Witch Elves move forward apace, charge in, chop up what they can and keep going until something dies. Switched their configuration around a bit. Suspect will miss Manbane/Armour Piercing combo after a while. Can’t be helped though.
Entry increasingly terse due to exciting sixteen hour day of restoring formatted computer to ordinary functioning, and being placed on hold by Department for Work and Pensions.
Has just occurred to me – members of Dark Elf team have not discussed who will take which items and spell lores to avoid duplication. Pre-game pre-amble could be VERY interesting…
Will try to report on game.