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Written by:Boldo
7/1/2010 9:24 AM

Games Workshop is about to release 8th Ed fantasy and it is a serious attempt to fix all the problems of Warhammer.  In 7th ed games were dominated by character heavy points denial armies with lots of magic and big creatures.  Fear was over powered and frenzy was still written poorly.  Fliers had a different set of movement rules than everyone else and skirmishers had another different set on top of that.  Well the good news is that all this is fixed. Armies now all follow a similar set of rules and many special rules were rewritten to have one universal application.  Further they made a interesting difference between elite troops and cheap troops by adding a steadfast rule which allows a unit with more ranks than another to be stubborn.  They also encouraged wide units by offering extra attacks.   They even allow shooters to form up in two ranks and shoot for full effect.  

Unfortunately one of the other problems with 7th Ed was that good players tended to win and GW also decided to try to fix this as well. In the effort to do this they removed all guessing and allow players to measure everything any time.  They increased the number of models that fight by a rank and shortened the board by requiring all units be 1" apart even from their friends.  Then the made charging a random number and made failed chargers barely move.  Line of sight was reduced to true line of sight, encouraging stupid modeling, and almost all terrain no longer blocks line of sight.  By making big units stubborn they removed the many flanking advantages, and if an unengaged unit is flanked it can just reform after a round of combat.  Finally they simplified the cumbersome victory conditions.

Well all is not lost.  Though most of the play that has evolved in the last 12 years no longer applies there are some avenues for good play.  They have added a lot of reform opportunities and given some real reason not to pursue.  They also have made charge redirection easier and there is lots of play to large stubborn units.  Finally there is lots of play with both multiple charges and disposable units so players will have some new themes to work with.  But be prepared for a simpler game which still has lots of rule glitches.

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