View Full Version : ULF does 8th Ed again: putting Blocks and Skirmishers to Test

Ultimate Life Form
11-07-2010, 21:17
Alright, time for another analysis of 8th Ed, this time concerning itself with what most people probably see as the most controversial matter and biggest changes: Blocks and Skirmishers. ULF's Pestilent Horde was kind enough to take the block part, while the opponent dealt with the Skirmishers. The focus was on getting used to the game. To this end we played standard pitched battle without scenarios or terrain or things and both took very normal lists without the crazy stuff. The lists are as follows:


Plague Priest L1 (Wither), Plague Furnace

25 Slaves, Champion, Musician
25 Slaves, Champion, Musician
25 Slaves, Champion, Musician
25 Slaves, Champion, Musician

25 Clanrats, full Command
25 Clanrats, full Command
25 Clanrats, full Command
25 Clanrats, full Command

30 Plague Monks, full Command
30 Plague Monks, full Command
45 Plague Monks, full Command

5 Plague Censer Bearers, Champion
5 Plague Censer Bearers, Champion


Alter Highborn, Bow of Loren, armor-ignoring arrows, 3+ Ward, Great Weapon
Alter Noble, Hail of Doom Arrow, Helm of the Hunt (or whatever), Great Weapon, Light Armor
Wardancer Noble, Blades of Loec

10 Archers
10 Archers
10 Archers
8 Dryads, Champion
8 Dryads, Champion
5 Wild Riders, full Command, War Banner
6 Wardancers, Champion
6 Wardancers, Champion
5 Waywatchers, Champion

I won the roll and decided I wanted to go first (bless the dice; that first turn is always important against WE). If in the pictures you see huge piles of seemingly out of place models those are casualties, I always suffer so many there's actually no space to remove them properly. A grizzly view. :p

Ultimate Life Form
11-07-2010, 21:19
SK Turn 1:

As always with this army an uneventful turn; Everything marches max distance ahead.


WE Turn 1:

Wild Riders charge my leftest Slaves. Everything else just dances in the shadows as always.
Magic: PD6/DD3
The Treeman cast Treesinging on a wood with Slaves in it on 13 but I manage to dispel with 15.
The shooting phase is devastating as ever as 2 units of Clanrats suffer heavy casualties, but thankfully only one panics. This one however will never rally and quickly scurry away to safety. Good first turn riddance I'd say. The Hail of Doom Arrow fails miserably.
Close Combat: My heroic Champion steps up and challenges the enemy to a duel. His sudden outburst of courage is however quickly quelled as the Wild Rider Champion lobs his head off. I also take some more casualties and can't hit back, and so despite rank bonus the WR are so overladen with Warbanners and whatnot that I lose by 3 and break. The cornered rats explode in an unparalleled frenzy (of 1" so my other troops remain safe thankfully), inflict 4 hits on the WR and tear 2 down with them. They served me better in death than in life. :rolleyes:


SK Turn 2

I notice that frenzy forces me to charge the nearest target now, and this is a major pain as it means my Plague Furnace may be dragged through a forest and roughed up on the way. Also we find out that restraining frenzy has no drawback whatsoever so it's something any frenzied unit should do out of principle. Thankfully the Plague Furnace passes as well as my other Monks, giving me the opportunity to act normally. The third PM block charges some Archers who flee on the right and some Clanrats clash with some Dryads on the left flank. I'm starting to realize I have nothing that could deal with the Treeman (as usual) and it is even worse than before with Thunderstomp, so I refrain from charging and try harrassing it with a few interceptor Clanrats and Slaves to keep it away from my General. The left Plague Monks advance far into the enemy lands to seek battle and test out that new block superiority.
Magic: PD10/DD5
I'm trying to cast Wither on the Treeman. Due to fear of miscast I only take 3 dice, and as a result don't reach casting value.
CC: The Clanrats do battle with the Dryads and again the Champions are locked in a challenge. The Dryads have higher Ini but gloriously fluff every single one of their attacks by the opponent rolling fourteen 1's and 2's in rapid succession. The champion takes his chance and takes the enemy champion out of duty while his brethren cut down 2 more Dryads. I win by 6, they break but get away with 11".


WE Turn 2:

Now it gets messy:
The Treeman charges the Slaves in front of him. They mess up their Ld test and flee. As such the Treeman is entitled to charge a new target and now instead takes care of the Clanrats along with a weirdo Lord guy. The Hail of Doom Arrow's power spent, the Noble thinks it's a good idea to charge my victorious Clanrats in the flank. More Dryads, Wardancers and a crazy general take on my Plague Monks in the ultimate flanking fest. Furthermore she rallies all fleeing stuff and shoots the right unit PCB to pieces.
Magic is skipped.
GW means the Noble has to go last. However the Clanrats cannot scratch him. He rolls abysmally but does a wound. It's a draw for now but my ever trusty Musician ensures I win by 1, sending him packing (her reputation of failing break tests catching on again). He gets away for now.
The Plague Monks are not that lucky; the combined assault from two sides inflicts a whopping 16 wounds on them, wiping half the block clean. Didn't expect that (but then again I also didn't expect her to make a full assault). I wound the General and kill a Dryad and Wardancer, but of course I lose. Steadfast on 7, roll 8, run away, wiped out. Where is a BSB when you need him?
The Clanrats manage to wound the Lord, destroying his 3+ ward in the process. Of course they're badly bruised by the Treeman but they hold steadfast on the 7.


Ultimate Life Form
11-07-2010, 21:20
SK Turn 3:

Time to repay in kind. On the right flank the Slaves attempt to charge the Wardancers but fail. The Clanrats however complete the charge successfully. Plague Monks charge Archers who flee but are not quick enough to get away. The once again victorious Clanrats charge the Alter Noble off the board.

Now it got complicated: I died for the chance of charging the Dryads in the back with the Plague Furnace, but doing so meant wheeling through a wood, aka dangerous terrain, so it was very risky. Thinking Skaven, ever being ready to take the risk that could ensure I come out on top (and to test out the game) I decided to do it. 8 Monks got lost somewhere on the way. The losses were great, but at least my PF remained unscathed and my bravery would soon pay off. My PCB charge their flank.

The Slaves continued their headless flight.
Magic: PD3/DD1
Another low roll. However IO manage to cast wither on the Treeman so he's only T5 now.
CC: The Dryads are utterly crushed by my Plague Furnace but not before 2 PCB kill themselves off with their fumes. They spend the rest of the day blocking my PF's path. Great performace.
The Treeman ran down my poor Clanrats.
The other Clanrats are surprisingly effective against the Wardancers despite attack dance and win by 7, putting both of them out of commission (only my Clanrats will return).


WE Turn 3:

The Wild Riders kill my fleeing Slaves and will spend the rest of the game cowardly guarding their victory points. The Treeman moves up and threatens my General's flank.
Magic: PD2/DD1
Unable to stop Treesinging on General's Plague Monks, 2 casualties.
The Treeman strangles the last PCBs to death and shooting sees some more Plague Monks drop. That was actually a short turn.


SK Turn 4:

She set her Wardancers up so my PF would potentially have to chase them through the woods again... very cunning. Thankfully I can restrain and reform so I face the threat that is the Treeman.
Magic: PD10/DD5
Growing desperate I opt for using 4 dice on Wither now but I'm thwarted by an irresistible dispel. Billowing Death neither hurts the Treeman nor the Lord guy behind him. That was actually another short turn.


WE Turn 4:

Treeman charges Plague Furnace for experimental purposes. The Wardancers charge the ever victorious Clanrats that just returned on the table edge.
Magic: PD5/DD3
Sees 2 more Monks drop to Treesinging while the rest of her army litterally shoots half a block Plague Monks to pieces on the right.
CC: Now this was the worst case scenario for me - Treeman in my General. Thankfully it opted to ignore my Priest and Furnace and go for R&F. I suffer 8 wounds. The Enshrouded in Fog didn't faze it, but now the crew drop the censer right on its head for a whopping 10 hits!!!!! 3 wounds on that accursed monstrosity! This was the highlight of the game! I do however lose by 3, but since I'm unbreakable it doesn't matter (except my frenzy's gone, but you can't have everything).
The Wardancers however avenge their fallen comrades. They beat my Clanrats, they lose steadfastly but still turn around and run from whence they came.


Ultimate Life Form
11-07-2010, 21:20
SK Turn 5:

Clanrats charge Archers but neither reach them nor take any wounds from their S&S. The Plague Monks rectify things by sending them fleeing and capturing them. Slaves charge even more Archers but fail reaching them (but not taking a full load S&S).
Magic PD6/DP5
Again a bad roll. I'm desperate now as the Treeman is gonna tear my everything apart, so I decide to be Skaveny once again and actively provoke an irresistible force/miscast as I figure that's my last chance anyway, so I I'd better take it. No miscast could ever be as dangerous as an angry Treeman, and if I drag it down with me with a devastating miscast then all the better. I roll 5 dice this time and do indeed get IF! The dreaded Treeman shrinks down to a glorified Dryad! However it' comes at a price in form of a Magical Feedback that wounds me with a S6 hit - a very good tradeoff.
Enshrouded by Fog fails again as do all those attacks (what did I wither for anyway) but then the Censer drops again with 6, inflicting another 2 wounds so the Wither paid off greatly. As the Treeman also fluffed most of its attacks this time (it tried assassinating the Priest but was in over its head) I win, it screws the all-important break test and I run it over with a sadistic grin (though my opponent claimed I would have shred it soon anyway).


The Plague Priest doing a mad victory dance after knocking the Treeman down.


WE Turn 5:

Shooting at my troops and totally messing up. One Monk dies. Yep, that's it.


SK Turn 6:

The surviving Clanrats charge the Dryads, win by 2, break them and run them down. Yep, another crucial break test failed.


WE Turn 6:

The Clanrats are now a high priority target for the remaining shooters and suffer heavy casualties but thankfully pass panic. Also three more Slaves die. End of game.

Ultimate Life Form
11-07-2010, 21:21

A well deserved DRAW with a difference of 31,5 points in my favor.

I can live with this as it reflects the game well.

Ultimate Life Form
11-07-2010, 21:21
Post-Game Thoughts:

Oh my, oh my. What an absolute disappointing outcome. I felt like a winner in the end but the rules say no. Okay, calm down, take a deep breath...

*pant, pant*

Time to sort my thoughts. Okay, I think I can continue now. So. First I was worried over the course of the first half of the game as the losses started piling up in my corner while she had lost nothing. However that was normal. It's got nothing to do with 8th; it can be attributed to my army. It works that way, closing in then striking with terrible might. Once I started steamrolling stuff with the PF I knew I was still alive. As for other things...

Well, the most surprising find was that the new rules didn't really affect the game. Like, at all. We made all charges except those we wouldn't have made under the old rules either, we still failed all those crucial break tests and the attacking from multiple ranks actually didn't help much, either (a few times I eradicated her entire army with that list without the support attacks, now with suport attacks I lose so you see...)

We both where very surprised that it felt pretty much like a 7th Ed game. To think these whiners here dismissed the game as an abomination, and then actually nothing has changed...

But well of course that's not entirely true. There were a few things that were quite obvious. The first being that combat Skirmishers took a horrible blow. Both I and my opponent had lots of trouble bringing them into the fray, and they always seemed to have the worst possible formation/facing when called upon to fight. You want the units slim to fit through gaps but then they won't actually fight.... groan. Also this constant need to accordeon them together and apart again was annoying to say the least and seems absolutely unnecessary on top of it - if there is fail in the new edition it can be found here.

The new steadfast rule was a great boon to my army and with the General's aura increased by the Plague Furnace means that the army can be very reliable now. The Plague Censer Bearers where a big liability though, effectively just handing over the opponent 380 free VP. I know what I'll do next: Kick them out and get a BSB with Storm Banner for half the price. We both agreed that I would have won with a BSB.

Magic seemed very potent again; the chance to 'force' your spell through by rolling as many dice as possible is very powerful though it comes at a price. This is the next thing I'll thoroughly test; Time to break out the Slann/Engine combo again.

That's it for now, maybe I'll add more later...

11-07-2010, 21:53
Now it got complicated: I died for the chance of charging the Dryads in the back with the Plague Furnace, but doing so meant wheeling through a wood, aka dangerous terrain, so it was very risky.
(By now people probably know me as the guy who jumps into battle reports to correct rules :p)
Did you choose to play the forests as dangerous for everyone?
Since in the rulebook they're only dangerous to cavalry, monstrous cavalry and chariots.

Ultimate Life Form
11-07-2010, 22:00
(By now people probably know me as the guy who jumps into battle reports to correct rules :p)
Did you choose to play the forests as dangerous for everyone?
Since in the rulebook they're only dangerous to cavalry, monstrous cavalry and chariots.

Oh, it's highly appreciated, it's an arduous learning process, so every little bit helps. Probably got confused with the PF having to test and so on. It's one thing contemplating the rules and another having everything in your mind in the heat of battle.

No as WE have the Forest strider rule. I suffered a bit from the dangerous terrain but it didn't matter in the end as it changed nothing. Will be wiser next time.

11-07-2010, 22:24
Great report btw (it wasn't finished when I wrote my previous post).
What's the reasoning behind not taking any magic items on the Priest, and not taking anything else than huge blocks (well, and censer bearers)?
Not critizising, just curious, as it's very different to my style of army building.

Ultimate Life Form
11-07-2010, 22:39
What's the reasoning behind not taking any magic items on the Priest, and not taking anything else than huge blocks

You just found your own answer. :p

When I started out I began with LM, one of the most elite armies out there. I like elite armies. That's why I chose them. However my opponent at that time usually played O&G and I was amazed by the fact he always outnumbered me 2:1, had cheap throwaway units and could afford a few losses without losing any efficiency.

That's when the idea was born.

I knew I wanted to do the ultimate horde. An army where no unit was so important it couldn't be replaced. And Skaven were predestined. They are built to be a horde. Well but then again I'm no fool so I knew 1000 Slaves wouldn't cut it. So I made some sacrifices in model number in order to include more elite horde types and add a little punch. There is no other reasoning behind this army than simply existing for my personal enjoyment. And it does surprisingly well; it usually fought to a draw under the old rules (against very experienced players, mind you). I know it lacks some things like for example ways to deal with monsters, but I don't care as long as I have fun.

But don't worry, I also got some other tricks up my sleeve like Assassins, a Verminlord and Hellpit Abomination and soon Doomwheel should you choose to challenge me in expectation of a weak opponent. :p (Those are also very handy for pushing up to 3000 points; this is my only army that has enough Core to go that high at the moment).

11-07-2010, 22:57
Impressive batrep and a definite kick in the pants for all the whiners saying Wood Elves are pooched :D

Ultimate Life Form
11-07-2010, 23:43
Impressive batrep and a definite kick in the pants for all the whiners saying Wood Elves are pooched :D

Well I think WE definitely got a hit and my army isn't really representative either so it's hard to say how well it reflects actual real life situations, but they are far from unplayable as some people claim.

There are upsides as well, for example the Treeman just got a whole lot nastier with his Thunderstomp and Treesinging no longer limited to L3. I think as always it's a matter of adapting to the new situation; it's not like I didn't struggle under the new rules as well because everything I thought I knew was suddenly different.

My advice: Play more and whine less.

12-07-2010, 00:03
Keep up the great reports and analyses! As a former intensive 5th and 6th , but sparse 7th ed player your reports are definitely educational. Can't wait to dust of my lizzies and empire minis once my 8th ed rulebook arrives at my FLGS...

12-07-2010, 03:52
Nice batrep!

Your army definitely lacked character support/weapons teams, but that seems intentional/acknowledged on your part. I think in 8th ed the tactical out-deploy bait-and-flee skaven recipes are less viable.

Mind you, WE is a fairly specific opponent and I wouldn't try to overgeneralize too much from this game.

generics comments:

- blocks too small
- 3 large unit of PM is slight overkill
- weapons teams!! (although in this particular match they might not of been so effective, although WFT vs. treeman = win)
- im determined to find a way to play PCB effectvely to keep them off the shelf
- 2x50 slaves > 4x25, it is no longer about baiting, but anchroing with 7+ ranks and pouring all your firepower into the tied down unit (8th ed FAQ removed randomized hits when firing at unit in CC w/ slaves!)

12-07-2010, 05:04
My thoughts as I read the report;

Army List: "Unique list, a truly massive horde but good luck painting all of those mate."

First picture: "Wow, looks like he already has them painted, kudos."

Second Picture: "No, wait a minute, that wasn't even half of them in the first picture. Oh dear god, why do that to yourself?"

Fourth Picture: "Is that a coffee mug? Excellent idea." (Goes off to brew coffee.)

...Pause for coffee...
...Post coffee...

Closing Pictures/Statements: "I can't believe you lost, the report gives the impression that you where winning. Mind you, the report also gives me the impression that you're a rat(man)-loving furry...so let's entirely disregard impressions."

Overall, a highly enjoyable report. Looking forward to any more that you put up.

Ultimate Life Form
12-07-2010, 11:11
Thank you, thank you. Yes neowser, I felt that the army played somewhat different. In 7th it was extremely important I plaster the entire table with units so I don't have a flank. If the horde was flanked it was of course curtains, and so I needed to ensure that the opponent has to chew through some Slaves first before attempting to do so.

With the new reform rules on one hand and the lessened impact of flank charges on the other this tactic is less viable/important. I'll have to do a bit experimenting myself; maybe I'll go for horde-horde next time. :p

However I cannot quite follow you there: The blocks are too small, but the Monks are too big? I must say I found it extremely handy for my General's unit to be effectively 60 models; they guarded their victory points until the end, and since there are no points for half damage anymore... Rat death star!

I'm waiting for the Island of Blood Starter set before I exüpand the army; maybe there's something useful in there and an all-plastic army is very convenient.

12-07-2010, 19:30
Thanks for the report, seems your WE player has the same luck as our HE player re:break tests.

I'm amazed/happy ythat the WE's did well in 8th ed :)

BTW how do you get your pics in as thumbnails :)?

Ultimate Life Form
12-07-2010, 19:33
BTW how do you get your pics in as thumbnails :)?

When you post try the 'Manage Attachments' button under 'Additional Options' just below the typing window.

12-07-2010, 20:08
Hey ULF, love your army :)

It wasn't until I read this report that I realized that determining who win/lost had changed ;)

12-07-2010, 21:10
neat rep, and nice pics.
And quite a job ahead getting your army painted :)

Get a BSB, then you'll be golden

Ultimate Life Form
17-07-2010, 19:54

I just realized I made a mistake calculating the Victory points. I accidentaly gave up twice as many points for my PCB as she actually deserved, meaning she got 186 points too much. That tips the scale to 31,5 points in my favor and means the game actually was a DRAW. :D

27-07-2010, 04:27
Why did Plague Monks die by wheeling through a forest?

Why did your Slaves not get to attack back vs Wild Riders?


Ultimate Life Form
27-07-2010, 04:50
Why did Plague Monks die by wheeling through a forest?

Because of some confusion we got the rules mixed up (after a long flipping and skipping session because the rules for the Plague Furnace are scattered across like 20 different places, thank you GW)

Why did your Slaves not get to attack back vs Wild Riders?

Because they needed a 5 to hit, and you know how Slaves are, they just don't do anything.

27-07-2010, 04:59
Ahhh... The way you said it made it sound as though they were denied their attacks.