Tag Archives: gaming

Storm of Magic Test Game

I might have mentioned that I’m running a Storm of Magic tournament in January: more to motivate folks to give the dang format a try.  The book came out, folks (myself included) bought the book, the cards, Arcane Fulcrum kits… and then never did anything with them.

So, between that, my actually painting some Fulcra, and Eric McK making the call to let folks spend 25% of their points on random Forgeworld & Storm of Magic choices at the (very successful, non-Storm of Magic) Toys for Tots tournament earlier this month: I decided to go ahead and get something on the schedule.

Key is trying to make accessible to folks who felt like paying who weren’t chumps who’d bought the book or felt like playing with the Scrolls of Binding and such.  I’m a fan of inclusive.  So, the format’s 2,500 points: percentages are based off of that (so, 625 minimum Core, 625 maximum rare, etc), and lists can spend up to 500 points on SoM choices (because in SoM you get an extra 25% to spend on those things, we can pretend you’re running a 2,000 point army).  Those SoM choices are totally optional: if someone wanted to show up with their usual 2,500 point army… they’d be fine.

I finally got the chance to get a game in last night: when SoM first came out, I pushed miniatures around the table with Sean for a few hours while we had the book open nearby, but I don’t think that counts.  So, my game with Casey was my first serious attempt at a SoM game.

I ran my usual Skaven list (the Empire’s still being assembled), with two Grey Seers instead of the Seer and the Warlord, and with two Warp-Lightning Cannons as my Rare choices (no Doomwheel, no Hellpit) and just one unit of Gutter Runners.  I spent my M&M budget on a Lvl 3 Fimir Banelord and a Chimera.

Casey ran a normal 2,500 point list: two units of Mournfangs, a horde of Bulls, a Slaughtermaster and a Firebelly.

I won’t do a turn-by-turn battle report, but I will do a braindump of impressions from the game… and that’s actually why I’m writing this post:

  • We didn’t finish.  We didn’t really come close to finishing.  In just over three hours, we got in three full turns.  Now, a lot of that is because we chatted: with each other, with other folks… but decision paralysis from having a bajillion magic dice and an extra 8 (him) to 18 (me, if you count Lore of Shadow) spells to spend them on.
  • The Scrolls of Binding didn’t seem to break anything.  They offered me a lot more choices (a flying monster, a Shadow caster), but I don’t think they turned the tide of anything, really.
  • Did I mention the decision paralysis?  With so many dice and so many spells, it was kind of a lot of work to get through a Magic phase.  That shouldn’t be a surprise, but it is something to keep in mind when approaching the tournament.  Know your spells, try to have a plan.
  • We did not have a single dang miscast.  Not one.  Several double-sixes for dispelling, but never for casting.  Huge bummer.
  • We didn’t do anything with Cantrips.  My heart tells me that that means we were doing it wrong.
  • On paper, it looks like the only thing that matters are the casters on the fulcra, and that everything else is just getting pushed around for the heck of it.  That wasn’t my experience at all: the units on the ground are how you supplement your caster’s attempts to push guys off of Fulcra.  
  • Feast of the Fallen makes me sad.  Wow.

I’d definitely like to see us (locally, at the very least) adopt Eric’s 25% “random stuff” budget.  Cataclysm spells and Fulcrums aside, it’ll breathe some new life into armies that are starting to feel stale to their owners, open the door to clever and interesting conversions… and not be too bad, really.

Empire Test Game

I got in a game with the Empire last night, running pretty much what I listed here (save that I dropped the Obsidian Amulet and an Archer and upgraded one Mortar to a Helstorm Rocket Battery), and went up a not-particularly hard Chaos Warriors list that looked something like:

Lvl 4 Sorcerer of Slaanesh
Lvl 2 Sorcerer, Fire
Lvl 2 Sorcerer, Death

Warriors x50 – Full Command, Mark of Khorne, Extra Hand Weapon,
Marauders x50 – Full Command, Mark of Khorne
Knights x6 – Full Command, Mark of Khorne

Warhounds x6
Warhounds x6

Giant of Slaanesh

A horde of 50 Chaos Warriors can be a tough nut to crack, but I didn’t have to worry about Gateway or anything, so I wasn’t complaining.

I was proxying damn near everything, so I got a lot of comments about how my troops looked like rats.

Overall it was a good, close game that I completely lost.  Some assorted, unordered thoughts to follow.

  • What cost me the game was forgetting about the Prayers of Sigmar every round.  The ability to make a unit Unbreakable was, quite literally, what cost me the game.
  • I misfired once, and the Engineer was around to catch that.  I don’t expect that to happen most games.
  • But the Cannons were great.  Having a flat Strengh 10 feels so much better than the random-Strength shot the Warp-Lightning Cannon gave me.  I miss the template at the end… but I’m happy to be able to shoot things in the face and know they’re in trouble.
  • The Helstorm actually did okay.  I need to work out the ideal distance to drop it from my target, but it hit some dudes more often than not…
  • … which is more than I can say about the Mortar, which was generally disappointing.  That’s a little strange.
  • Halberdiers didn’t feel like they were delivering… but they went toe-to-toe with a Horde of Chaos Warriors for three rounds of combat, so I probably shouldn’t complain.
  • Swordsmen were okay: they performed about as well as I could have asked.
  • The Lvl 1 Beasts caster accomplished precious little. I should consider bumping him to a Lvl 2 (or giving him a new Lore) so he can get more done.
  • Knights were a disappointment, but I don’t know if I’m expecting too much from them.  I lost only 2 of them to 24 attacks from the Warriors, and then the remaining 7 of them killed 5 Warriors.  That’s not bad, but… they just didn’t hit as hard as I thought they should have.  I also completely forgot to do the mounts’ attacks (not used to having cavalry), but I doubt they would have made much of a differece.
  • I miscast twice.  Each time I rolled a 9, which meant that all of my Priests and Wizards took hits.  Blech.  In the last turn, I managed to kill off my little Priest and Battle Wizard with it.  In fact, I think my opponent did 1 wound, total, to any of my characters, while I was able to five.
  • The Shadow Wizard Lord didn’t pull much off, but that’s because he understandably kept getting dispelled.  I really liked having his options, though: he’s not likely to go anywhere.
  • I need to read, learn, and internalize the FAQ.  I lost my Steam Tank to Purple Sun.
  • Archers were the dang MVP of the game: they did better than I could have expected shooting things (mostly because my opponent’s dice were bullshit and kept failing his 1+ saves), but really because they were champs at redirecting chargers and getting in the way.

I’m going to fiddle with dropping the knights (though I should give them another chance) and seeing what else I can do with the points.

I’ve painted up the Helstorm (the weapon, at least, not the team): I’ll try to have some pics up soon.

The Worst Thing You Can Do at the Table

It’s okay to hope your dice roll well.  It’s okay to hope your opponent’s dice don’t.  (You have my permission.)  What’s never okay is to shout out that sentiment while your opponent is making a roll.

Shouting “FAIL!”  “ONES!”  “DIE!” “MISFIRE!” (all things I’ve actually had shouted at me) or anything along those lines isn’t actually going to make that result any more likely.  The only thing it’s going to accomplish is make you look like a complete asshole.

This is a jerk shibboleth to me. If someone does it once, I give them the stinkeye.  People get caught up sometimes, though; I judge… but not a lot.  If my opponent does this once, I’m having a bad game.

Twice, though?  Twice is repeated behavior.  Twice is a pattern of douchebaggery.  I generally call opponents on it if they do it a second time.  “Really?  Really?!?! Did you actually just cheer for me to fail that roll?”  If my opponent does this more than once, I’m having a terrible game and have absolutely lost my cool.

To their credit: I’ve never called someone on this and not have them apologize for being a jerk.

While I wouldn’t begin to suggest that I see this happen regularly; it’s happened to me a handful of times, and I often hear about it happening to other people.

(I try to cheer for my opponents to roll well… I’d rather win a game because I won it, not because my opponent blew some crucial roll.  And, if they do blow it, I’m quietly thankful, not celebratory.  Of course, I also tend to feel pretty bad about total bullshit rolls on my part.  Stupid shame-based religious upbringing.)

Lopsided Rear Ranks

In pulling together a “things that drive me nuts” post, one of the items in the list was “Lopsided Rear Ranks.”  The above unit’s an example of this: the models in its rear rank aren’t centered across the unit.

When I’d see this, I’d say something like, “Come on, man; you’ve got to center your rear rank.  It matters for supporting attacks, templates, charges.  You’re just supposed to be centered.”

Well, as it turns out I was totally wrong.

Removing Casualties (pg 5)
Some of the models in a unit (probably quite a lot of them) will die as the battle progresses.  When casualties occur, models are removed from the back rank of the unit.  If the unit is reduced to a single rank, casualties must be removed evenly from either end of the line.

You only have to start keeping things centered when you’re down to a single rank; until then you can pull from wherever the heck you’d like.  So, the above formation is just fine.

I imagine that means that if you want to shift guys to the left or right (without being charged in the flank), you probably need to make a Combat Reform test, but still…

Anyway, I just learned something new and I’d been doing something wrong: of course I had to share it.

Catching Up

Apologies for the quiet ’round here: haven’t have much going on, so there’s not much to say.

Fantasy Campaign

I dropped out of the Warhammer Fantasy campaign we’ve had going for the past couple of months: it’s felt like work for the past month or so.

The short version is: two guys (one of whom I know to be a cheater and refuse to play) took unfun lists and allied with each other.  On the first day of the campaign, one of them attacked another player who (literally) said, “Not worth it,” and dropped.  So, the rest of us allied to try to keep them from steamrolling: we didn’t want to give them the satisfaction, you know?

I was well-positioned to tie up the other guy.  So, that’s what I did.  It became clear that I was going to play the same game with the same list against the same opponent’s list from now until the campaign wrapped up.  It didn’t take me long to get burnt out on that.

And, to make things even easier, we caught the guy I’d been tying up doing dishonest things with his list in our last game.  Really the worst possible note to end things one.

Question, regarding my hobby status sheet: should I bother logging a game in which the other guy was cheating?

So, I’m a little sick of Fantasy right now, which is a damn shame.  I’m not far from having my Skaven there, you know?

Warhammer 40K

If I’m done with Fantasy for a bit, I can play 40K, right?

I’m having a hard time getting excited about playing it, though.  My Daemons don’t like they’re going to fare well in a post Grey-Knights world.  I still don’t understand my Tau in 5th (and keep hoping they’ll get a new book so I won’t have to).  That leaves my Dark Angels, who got a huge shot in the arm via the updated FAQ… except the list the FAQ really benefited isn’t exactly the list I want to run: Deathwing got a lot better, but I still kinda just want to run Battle Company Dark Angels who are so bad, even “Rank the Codices” lists that everyone loves to do almost always forget to mention them entirely.

Anyway, that’s enough whining.  It might not be quite the list I want to play, but Deathwing’s viable and will give my friend who’s been learning to play 40K by way of playing nothing but (not my) Daemons something new to go up against.

So, this is the list I ran on Tuesday.  It’s pretty much exactly the list Casey‘s suggest I run:

Belial – TH/SS
Interrogator Chaplain – Terminator Armor, Combi-melta

Deathwing Command Squad – Apothecary, Standard Bearer, TH/SS x4, Heavy Flamer
Deathwing Terminator Squad – TH/SS x2, CML
Deathwing Terminator Squad – TH/SS x2, CML
Deathwing Terminator Squad – TH/SS x2, CML
Deathwing Terminator Squad – TH/SS x2, CML

Heavy Support

It did well, despite my dice not really cooperating with me.  I’ve got some work to do pulling the models together for this: my command squad’s currently heavy on Lightning Claws, and I need to assemble a few more TH/SS terminators.

(I also need to figure out if I want to run the CML on one of the TH/SS brothers or on one of the PF/SB brothers.  I’m pretty sure the former’s better, but the latter involves less work.)

NoVA Open

So, this thing‘s on the horizon: about four months out.  I’m not really excited about it right now: I’ve gotten extremely burned out on the idea of Competitive play (capital “C”).  Every time I think about the cash prize I facepalm and start dreading shitty, unfun games… because now there’s actual cash on the line.  Given my recent experiences with the campaign, where nothing has been on the line I think my pessimism is pretty justified.

Furthermore: I’m not sure what I’ll want to do with it.  My Daemons are my most visually impressive army… and I’ll go farther on looks than talent with this thing if you know what I mean.  I’m spinning up on my Deathwing, though, and I think it’ll produce more satisfying games.

At the same time, my Skaven are coming along badass, and could conceivably be finished by August. I’d have to sell / trade my 40K ticket for a Fantasy ticket… but that’s probably more feasible than going from Fantasy to 40K.

Anyway, I’m starting to think about it.

EDIT: It looks like I was conflating two things: the NoVA Open (that I have a ticket to) and the NoVA Invitational (that, let’s face it, I’m not getting an invite to).  So, no cash prizes.  I’m still writhing in the throes of existential hobby disappointment, but the threat of money isn’t contributing to it.


After bitching about needing a lightbox for something approaching a year: I finally grabbed one off of eBay.

I’ve played around with it a bit:  I’ll have some photos taken in it up in the next couple of days.

Escalation League!

As I’ve mentioned, we’re starting up an escalation league at the top of November.

I’ve been noodling about what I’ll be running through the league.  Plans will, no doubt, evolve as the league proceeds… but it’s nice to have a rough plan to have around to evolve.

Roughly, I don’t see a lot of painting work to do.  Just:

  • Heralds of Khorne w/ Chariot x2
  • Bloodletter x2
  • Bloodletter w/ Icon x1

That’ll cover pretty much everything I could potentially run in a mono-Khorne list.  Not really angling for fully-painted points or anything… it’s just I’m so close, there’s no excuse to be anything less.

It can be tricky throwing these things together: I’m sticking with Khornate units and Khornate numbers (powers of 2: 1, 2, 4, 8, 16).  That basically ensures there’s no clean progression from list to list: they can’t “grow” from one to another, which is a shame.

(At least not until Bloodthirsters start sounding reasonable: they come in convenient 250 point packages.)

I’m not entirely happy with them but, as I said, stitching these things together while such awkward numbers are involved can be tricky.  Lots of Monstrous Creatures: given that it looks like there are going to be a lot of Guard players in the league… that’s an unfortunate necessity.  Armor’s such a problem for the army.

If it looks like there’s a strong Dark Eldar presence, that’ll have to change.  I’ve yet to flip through the preview copy of the book, yet, but I’m pretty sure they’ll just tear through high T models.

Anyway, here we go:

500 Points

Bloodcrushers x4 – Fury, Icon, Instrument

Bloodletters x8 – Fury

Fast Attack
Flesh Hounds x8 – Karanak

750 Points

Herald of Khorne – Chariot
Herald of Khorne – Chariot

Bloodletters x8 – Fury
Bloodletters x8 – Fury

Fast Attack
Flesh Hounds x8 – Fury

Heavy Support
Daemon Prince – Flight, Iron Hide

1,000 Points


Bloodletters x8 – Fury
Bloodletters x8 – Fury

Fast Attack
Flesh Hounds x8 – Fury

Heavy Support
Daemon Prince – Flight, Iron Hide
Daemon Prince – Flight, Iron Hide

1,250 Points


Bloodletters x8 – Fury
Bloodletters x8 – Fury

Fast Attack
Flesh Hounds x8 – Fury

Heavy Support
Daemon Prince – Flight, Iron Hide
Daemon Prince – Flight, Iron Hide

1,500 Points

Herald of Khorne – Chariot
Herald of Khorne – Chariot

Bloodletters x8 – Fury, Icon
Bloodletters x8 – Fury

Fast Attack
Flesh Hounds x8 – Fury
Flesh Hounds x8 – Fury

Heavy Support
Daemon Prince – Flight, Iron Hide
Daemon Prince – Flight, Iron Hide
Daemon Prince – Flight, Iron Hide

1,750 Points

Bloodthirster – Unholy Might
Herald of Khorne – Chariot
Herald of Khorne – Chariot

Bloodcrushers x4 – Fury, Icon, Instrument

Bloodletters x8 – Fury
Bloodletters x8 – Fury

Fast Attack
Flesh Hounds x8 – Fury
Flesh Hounds x8 – Fury

Heavy Support
Daemon Prince – Flight, Iron Hide, Mark of Khorne
Daemon Prince – Flight, Iron Hide, Mark of Khorne


What I’m Running with Skaven

For the past month or so, I’ve been running a Skaven list that looks (or at least feels) pretty different from the list s I’ve been running since 8th came out.  I like to think that it’s inspired by what Rhellion‘s been rocking… but given that Rhellion wins, and I generally don’t, that might not be entirely accurate. :)

Warlord – General, Biting Blade, Enchanted Shield, Foul Pendant
Grey Seer – Dispel Scroll, Talisman of Preservation

Chieftain – BSB, Shield, Armor of Destiny
Plague Priest – Lvl 1, Flail, Talisman of Endurance
– Plague Furnace
Warlock Engineer – Lvl 1, Doomrocket, Warp-Energy Condenser

Clanrats x29 – Full Command, Shields
– Poisoned Wind Mortar
Skavenslaves x41 – Musician, Shields
Stormvermin x29 – Full Command, Storm Banner
– Poisoned Wind Mortar

Plague Monks x35 – Full Command, Plague Banner
Gutter Runners x5 – Poison, Slings
Gutter Runners x5 – Poison, Slings

Warp-Lightning Cannon

More than anything, I wish I had another 85 points so I could shift one of the Doomwheels to Abomination-dom.

The Warlord goes into the Stormvermin, the Engineer with the Clanrats, the Seer with the Slaves, the Priest with the Monks (obviously) and the BSB in whatever unit seems most appropriate. This is, generally, the Stormvermin. The Seer goes with the Slaves because he spams The 13th as much as possible; if he miscasts in the Slave unit… I don’t really mind. The rest, I think, is pretty straightforward.

The Stormvermin remain a reliable unit, as do the Clanrats.

I’ve been relatively happy with the horde of Slaves… though I think I’d like to see them beefed out to 50. 40 cuts it closer than I’d like. Overall, though, they’re resilient and are, surprisingly enough, more dangerous than they appear. If I had the points, I’d double-down on them.

If I didn’t have concerns about Fortitude, and if the thought of painting more slaves didn’t make me want to saw at my wrists with a dull hobby saw, I’d consider swapping out one of them for more slaves. That’ll never happen, though.

The Plague Monks are… well, they’re in a horde because there’s no reason for them not to be with the Furnace. They kill the living crap out of whatever they catch (that Plague Banner, especially, makes them ridiculous; thanks to whoever tipped me off to that)… but the Furnace and their size makes them intimidating enough that that’s kind of hard.

The Furnace itself is a bit of a letdown. It’s neat, but I’ve yet to walk away from the table feeling like I’ve gotten 150 points’ use out of it. Having a 760 point unit is also something that skeeves me out. It’s gone when I actually get around to updating my list.

Gutter Runners, as we know, are good. Same with the ‘Wheel and Cannon.

It’s all a bit moot: once November hits (maybe before), I’ll be switching back to 40K for some months.

Hobby Status – 20101007

Thought I’d spin back up on blogging by catching people up on where I’m at.


Currently, I’m still slogging through my fifth batch of 10 clanrat/slaves.  This is… frustrating.  Through the entire month of September, I only managed to paint a single batch of 10 (which stands in stark contrast to August, where I was able to paint 30+ loathsome ratment, plus a table’s worth of terrain).  So, I think I’m ready for a break.

Once I’m done with this batch (I will finish these guys), I’ve got my Chariots of Khorne ready to go: assembled, primed, and waiting for a break in Skaven.  I expect they’ll truck along pretty quickly.

After that: I don’t know.  I love the Skaven models, but it’s clear I need to leave them be for just a little bit.  That my list is somewhat in flux doesn’t help.  I’ve needed to read the Killzone rules for several months, now: I have no doubt that’ll give me the ability vent some creativity on new minis without committing to 2,000 points of them.

I think the new Dark Eldar minis look very nice.  What’s interesting is that they very, very much make me want to do Necrons.  I look at them and I know, in my soul, that when they update Necrons I’ll be buying in.


My buddy Mike is in town from sunny California this week, so we’ll throw down the Skaven vs. Druchii matchup we’ve been rocking since the mid-90’s this weekend.

In November, one of our members (Scott) will be running a 40K Escalation League.  I’m pretty excited about this: I love escalation leagues.  They’re a fantastic opportunity to start a new army, and they do a magnificent job of illustrating how the game plays at different point levels.  It’s going to give two of my non-wargaming, close friends who’ve been sloooooowly ramping up to play 40K over the past year a solid motivation to actually finish assembling dudes and putting them on the table to die for the Emperor.

I won’t be starting a new army.  I don’t feel it.  I’m still waffling over whether I’ll update my Dark Angels to be green Space Marines or if I’ll continue using my Khornate Daemons.  (I’m leaning heavily towards the Daemons, because I don’t feel like I’m “done” with them yet.)  It’s a little sad: one of the local stores is running a 20% off everything in stock sale (more on that in a later post), so I feel like I should pick up a new army… but I just can’t bring myself to do it.

The escalation league also means I’ll be tabling Fantasy for a few months.  I’m okay with that, because I still feel like I just don’t know what I’m doing when I play it… and I love me some 40K.

Skaven Number Crunching

(This post was originally titled, “The case against ‘Horde.'”  That’s because, initially, I wasn’t convinced that deploying units in a Horde is the way to go.  I haven’t really run them, but my gut reaction has been that while, yes, they throw out a few more attacks, they do so at the cost of significantly increased points, as well as reduced ranks (and, therefore, Steadfast).

Also, since I started writing this, I’ve been talking with Torpored in the comments thread on one of Stahly’s posts.  (Are you following Stahly?  You should be.  He paints some beautiful stuff.)

I’m going to go ahead and begin by articulating the arguments against the Horde, then I’ll meander into the Mathhammer I’ve been working with.  Remember: Mathhammer the end-all, be-all, but it’s a good foundation on which to build reasonable expectations. (It’s also significant to note here, that this is incomplete/bad Mathhammer: it’s just straight odds, without accounting for the more nuanced statistical analysis I’m not really built for.))

Less Maneuverable

This is probably the most obvious problem.

Units, as a whole, are more maneuverable in 8th: what with marching made easier and charges greatly sped up and simplified.  Despite this, steering a unit 200mm (or a 250mm) wide unit is hard.  For example, unless you’re Mv 6, you cannot wheel 90° in a single turn.   The guy on the far end of the unit has to travel well over 12″ (nearly 15.5″) to get around.

I also find myself constantly getting in traffic jams, with units getting in other units’ ways.  Doubling the size of a block is only going to make that messier.

More Expensive

I’m a Skaven player.  I’m used to running things in big blocks of 25-30; that’s because I need the 5-6 ranks for Leadership, for Combat Resolution and for Steadfast.  Running in a horde doesn’t change that fact: I still need 5-6 ranks.  Except, in a horde, those ranks are twice as big, which means my unit costs nearly twice as much.

We’re talking turning a 151 point Clanrat unit into a 290 point unit.  That’s still cheap compared to a lot of armies, but we’re losing a banner (and Fortitude) and a unit to scoot around and flank with in exchange for a huge block of rats.

Not As Killy As You Might Think

So, I ran some numbers.  Assumptions made were:

  • I’m talking things vs. Skaven units.  That’s what I care about.
  • There would be enough models on both sides to claim full CR for ranks
  • There would be enough models on both sides for the unit to make its maximum number of attacks
  • The horded-up unit would get 7 files involved, rather than all 10, against a unit 5-wide
  • I ignore things like Hatred and the Always Strikes First reroll.  It’d complicate the formulae, making it harder to cut-and-paste.  Plus, these numbers are going to show things being fairly dire for the Skaven anyway.  They don’t need the help.
  • Both units have as full a command as possible (so, a champ with +1A and a standard where available)

That last one bears some explanation.  Against poorer troops, the Skaven should win.  Increasing frontage will only help with that.  Against the same troops, of course having more models will make a difference.  The real question is, “Will a Horde formation help my Skaven perform against better enemy troops.”  In that case, increasing the number of Skaven files striking will increase the number of non-Skaven files striking back and, because they’re better troops, having more of them striking back won’t make things any better.

So, 7 Skaven on 5 non-Skaven, stronger troops is about as optimal as we can hope for.  If things look bad here, they can only get worse.

I’m also looking at straight odds.  Statistics are far more nuanced than that, sure, but I’m lazy… and I think the straight odds are sufficient.

Initially, I plugged in Dark Elf Warriors (with Shields) and Chaos Warriors (with Halberds), both units I can expect to see, often.  The former should be marginally better (crap, I just realized I forgot to account for Hatred) with a higher WS.  The latter is inarguably better.  Higher WS, S, T, more attacks and a better save. Then, later, I added some other basic infantry, to see how they compare.

Anyway, the numbers:

This table shows the Combat Resolution (CR) difference, from the Skaven perspective, putting aside any other factors besides Static CR and wounds.  (No, no Charge / Flank / Rear / Height bonus.).  So, when the table says “Clanrats: Normal x Dark Elf Warrors w/ Spears = -0.67,” that means that the Clanrats should, by flat averages, lose that combat by about 2/3rds of a point. (Remember the assumptions, though.)

What does this tell us?

For starters: Stay away the hell from Chaos Warriors. For reals. They will wreck your ratty face off.

Spears do make a difference, sorta.  For clanrats, the increased attacks do offset the increased losses resulting from the lack of a Shield armor & ward save, which is surprising to me. You’re still losing more rats, but it works out for the better.

For slaves, it’s just more dead rats.

Horde also makes a difference.  But that doesn’t surprise me.  Of course more models attacking (11, really: 2 additional per rank, plus the extra rank) will make a difference.  But how much of a difference?  And is it worth it?

As far as how much of a difference: it depends.  In general, not very much.  About 1-4 points of CR… 4 CR is kind of a lot.  1… isn’t as much.  The tougher the opponent unit is, the smaller the difference is.  The better the Skaven unit is, the larger… but that shouldn’t surprise anyone.

How much are you paying for it, though?

The following table assumes that a non-Horde unit is 30 models strong and a Horde unit is 50 models strong, which seems reasonable.

Man, I don’t even think “Average” is relevant; not without including every unit in the game… and, possibly, without weighting those units by prevalence.  Clearly, this is evidence that I’m just screwing around with numbers and should walk. away.

I’m not even sure where I stand on my initial thesis.  Horde is expensive, not particularly super-killy, and less maneuverable, but it is somewhat more killy than nothing and ultimately (thanks to combat reforms and Steadfast) somewhat more resilient.  Since I’m not even sure where I’m going with this, I probably should just delete this post and pretend it never happened, but it’d be a shame to throw this work away.

So, anyone have any thoughts?


GW’s FAQ’d  the Warhammer 8th core rulebook.

This is magnificent.  This is precisely how I want a gaming company to handle things.  Nothing’s going to be perfect, but when you find something wrong: fix it.