A Monkey Pushing Plastic Men

So, yesterday I played my first game of fantasy in many years, which also makes it my first game of 8th edition ever. I played against a significantly more experienced player who was nice enough to coddle me as we worked through the rules. I’ll start by saying that I had a really good time. Considering the fact that we were looking up rules pretty regularly, the game moved pretty quickly. We played a 2,250 game (my army was all proxy). I ran Dwarfs, and he ran Empire.

So, here are my initial impressions:

1. Coming from 40k, building a list is insane. I could make a pretty competitive list with most 40k armies, but it’s so different in fantasy that it’s a bit daunting. However, while I feel 40k players who are just now delving into fantasy will have a steep learning curve, I think many fantasy veterans will have some issues too with the plethora of new magic items and the fact that many items/abilities have been negated by the new rules.

2. The only thing I didn’t like was the terrain. Generating it was fine, but the fact that almost every piece of terrain does something slowed down the game at times. We had a sorcerous portal that cast a random spell each turn. So, we had to look up what spell was cast and then look up the spell because they were from the new lores. I think this could become an issue in the time-pressured environment of tournaments. I think you’ll see tournament organizers pre-generating terrain. I would also like to see them creating cards with the details of each piece of terrain sitting on the board to expedite the process of dealing with it. The truth is that it’s not going to slow down people who play all the time, but it will get annoying. One last thought on this, I think well-organized tournament organizers could actually integrate the terrain into any scenarios they write.

3. The fact that you need two ranks on a flank to cancel out your opponent’s rank bonus is huge. I got charged in the flank with a War Altar and a slightly weakened halberdiers detachment, but neither had two full ranks, so my dwarves were stubborn and refused to break.

4. Stone throwers and their ilk are going to be absolutely brutal. I took 2 grudge throwers, which I gave some runic goodness, and my opponent had a mortar and a hellstorm rocket (I’m not sure about the name here). On the first turn I hit a unit of knights with my GT and killed everyone but the 2 characters in the unit. I also saved my right flank by flinging a rock over essentially my entire army to take out a unit of flankers who were threatening it. With the old guess rules this would have been foolhardy especially considering that I had one of my own units within about 6 inches of the unit. My opponent had difficulty wounding with his templates, but I think the Empire will be good at this sort of long range warfare. Dwarfs, however, can easily dominate the shooting phase. With some well-placed runes and maybe a Master Engineer, they can reasonably cripple at least one or two units per turn with two grudge throwers. This is especially true against those expensive but mega-killy units. (Chaos Knights, I’m looking at you.)

I’m certain that I’m forgetting something that I wanted to mention, but that’s all I have for now. How have ya’ll’s first few games gone? What tricks/trip-ups have you run into?