I fought my first 8th edition battle last week against one of the store managers. As it was scheduled in a hurry, we decided to play with our fairly recent tournament lists at 2250 points, with minimum changes that took about 10 minutes of rule book browsing to make. I thought this would be a good way of trying out the new edition; use what did work in the last edition and evaluate how they do in the next one, rather than make changes directly from theoryhammering.
The narrative would have the Empire forces of Ostermark defend their land against a Waaagh! from the World's Edge Mountains. The scenario was to be "The Battle for the Pass".
The Empire Army
Arch Lector on War Altar
Standard bearer, Musician
24 Great Swords
The Orcs & Goblins army
Black Orc Warboss
Boar, Heavy Armor, Enchanted Shield, Akkrit Axe, Kickin' Boots, Best Boss 'At
Black Orc Big Boss
BSB, Boar, Heavy Armor, Spirit Totem
level 2, Dispel Scroll
Night Goblin Big Boss
Shield of Ptolos, Martog's Best Basha
2x 25 Orc Boyz
Shields, Full Command
Wolf Riders and Spider Riders
12 Black Orcs
Shields, Banner of Butchery
5 Savage Orc Boar Boyz
Spears, Shields, Musician
Orc Boar Chariot
Goblin Wolf Chariot
2x Goblin Spear Chukka
Goblin Rock Lobber
Goblin Doom Diver
The scenario "Battle for the Pass" has each army set up on the short table edges, while the long table edges count as impassable terrain. There were plenty of hills for both forces to deploy their artillery, while in the middle but to the south there were rumors of a magical fountain that could make the drinker unbreakable.
The Waaagh! placed each of their units of Orc Boyz on the sides of the large hill to the west, on which the Black Orcs deployed with Snotlings in front of them. Da Fast Stuff went on each flank.
Meanwhile, the Empire Army placed shooters and artillery in both the southern and the northern side of the eastern pass, while the Archlector and the Knights took up defensive positions on each flank. The troops went in the middle, hidden behind the hilltop.
The Orc Shaman is granted a Headbutt and a Warpath spell, while the Empire Wizard takes a few fire spells that would prove ineffective throughout the game. Unless stated otherwise, the Winds of Magic were not kind to either of the wizards for this battle.
Vanguard move start us out, with both spider riders and wolf riders scouting ahead in search of enemies with missile weapons that they can hunt down.
Turn 1 - The Empire
Flagellants march forward, eager to martyr themselves in battle on the northern flank while the rest of the army hang back, trusting in their artillery to soften the enemy up.
The Canon and the Steamtank take aim on each of the Black Orcs on boars, but some snotnosed goblin must have dampened the gun powder and so they both misfire. The Volleygun empties all their pipes into the Wolf Riders and wipes them off the field. In the south, the Handgunners take out three Spiders and sends them fleeing back to whence they came from.
Turn 1 - Orcs & Goblins
The Squig Hoppers start squabbling behind the hill, while the rest of the army moves forward. The Trolls start drinking eagerly from the magical fountain, but turns out the water is poisoned! This would halt their progress for a turn while they throw up (an experience they probably enjoyed, all things considered).
The Orc Shaman manages to call for a Warpath and Gork stomps all over the canon in the north, inflicting two wounds. The Empire Wizard invokes a magical item which forces the Shaman to re-roll all the dice he used for the spell and for each 5 or 6 he takes a hit (or a wound, not sure). Mork is with him, however, and he survives with one wound remaining.
The Doom Diver takes out two of the Knights, the Spear Chukkas puts a dent or two on the Steamtank, while the Rock Lobber drops a stone on the Greatswords, killing a few.
Turn 2 - The Empire
The Flagellants, eager to meet their doom, charges the Giant but comes up short. The Archers move up around the Swordsmen to get a better view.
The canon still malfunctions, and the Steamtank misfires for a second turn and causes more damage to the hull. Meanwhile, the Volleygun takes out a Savage Orc Boar Boy, while in the south the trolls suffer a wound from missile fire. To add insult to an already miserable Orc Shaman, the Markman among the Handgunners takes out the Hochland long rifle and puts the shaman out of his misery.
Turn 2 - Orcs & Goblins
In the north, the Giant charges into Flagellants and reaches them without trouble. The Wolf Chariot charges an impressive 21" and hits the Volleygun. In the south, the Boar Chariot charges into the Handgunners, who stand and shoot but fails to wound it.
The Doom Diver takes out most of the Knights, who fails their panic test and flees to the east. The Lobba continues to bombarde the Greatsword with rocks while the Chukkas pick their noses.
The Wolf Chariot kills the Volleygun crew and overruns into the Canon, while the Boar Chariot takes out half the unit of Handgunners and sends them running. Instead of pursuing, the crew decides to reform and turn the chariot to the left to threaten the forces north of it. Unfortunately, things aren't going as well for the giant, since the Flagellants get to strike back after his club swing and with Sigmar's aid inflicts nine wounds on the big fellow, killing him outright.
Turn 3 - The Empire
Set in my 7th edition ways, I had placed my center units safely away from the 8" infantry charge range, which of course would cost me in my first 8th edition game. The Greatswords have no problem charging alongside the War Altar straight into the Orc Boyz led by the BSB. Even more upsetting, the Swordsmen charges almost cavalry-like and hits the Black Orcs in the center. Unfortunately, their attachment can't find room. Unsure how to settle it, I allow them to instead charge the snotlings. What remains of the Flagellants eagerly charges to their death against the Savage Orcs. In the south, the Handgunners continue running, but in this edition they apparently run away from the nearest enemy, which is the Boar Chariot so they are still on the field. The few remaining knights manages to rally.
In combat, the Flagellants take out a Boar before they all meet their end. The War Altar and the Archlector does very little, but the Greatswords, spurred on by the eager Warrior Priest, kills more Orcs than the BSB manages to keep in line. Luckily, their flee roll shows a double 6, which is too far for any of their pursuers to match, and the Greatsword detachment overruns to join the Swordsmen against the Black Orcs.
To no avail, as even though they take out 3 of the brutes, the Black Orcs unveil the Banner of Butchery, grabs plenty of their choppas, and proceeds to chop up 11 Swordsmen, putting them on even ranks (none for either). The Swordsmen fail to find their insane courage, breaks and are chased down by the Black Orcs.
The impact hits of the Wolf Chariot takes out the Canon crew, and the chariot reforms to face the center.
Turn 3 - Orcs & Goblins
In the north, the Wolf Chariot charges into the War Altar, hoping to at least keep it occupied for a turn, while the Boar Chariot charges after the Handgunners and catches them. The Trolls, finally done throwing up, charges into what remains of the Steamtank. Sadly for the Savage Orcs Boar Boyz, I forget to declare their charge (even though I rolled to pass their leadership test, doh!) and they're forced to move into a better position for next turn instead. Close to the hill, the broken Orcs manage to rally.
The Doom Diver kills off the remaining two knights and the Rock Lobber rolls a direct hit and takes out half of what remains of the Great Swords.
In combat, the Trolls start smashing the Steamtank, which is below half its original wounds and won't return much carnage. Meanwhile, the Detachment finally goes through the snotlings with only three soldiers still standing, who charge into the rear of the Warboss' unit of Orcs. The Wolf Chariot takes a wound of the War Altar and pins it while waiting for backup to arrive.
Turn 4 - The Empire
Finding themselves right in the middle of so many bloodthirsty Orcs, the Greatswords spots a way out by charging the Squig Hoppers, who had squabbled for two turns and now foolishly had hopped in to join the carnage.
The Archers on the hill spots a Big Boss on a Giant Squig hopping their way and unleashes a salvo straight at it. The Boss reveals the Shield of Ptolos that grants +1 armor save against missiles much to dismay of the Empire hunters.
In battle, the Trolls finally destroy the Steamtank, while the battle between the Wolf Chariot and the Archlector comes to a draw and what's left of the detachment dies at the hands of the Warboss who moves back in the lines to do some chopping. The Squig Hoppers are cut down, but not before bringing the Greatswords and their heroes down to less than a full rank. Even though the soldiers manages to overrun, out of sight from most of the Horde, things are certainly looking grim for the Empire.
Turn 4 - Orcs & Goblins
And things would turn even worse, when the Squig Hopping Boss hits the Archers who can do nothing but hold, and the War Altar is sandwiched between Black Orcs from the south and Savage Orc Boar Boyz from the north. Meanwhile, the Orc Boyz reform to go after what remains of the Great Swords.
It would prove unneccessary, as the Chukkas and the Doom Diver finds their mark and wipes out the few soldiers still standing. That spells the end of the Empire force as they are wiped out on turn 4, giving the Waaagh! their first victory in the 8th edition. Surely they were bolstered by the spirit of Gork (or possibly Mork).
Thoughts on the new rules and potential army lists changes will follow later.