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1) what are your observations of warhammer 8th? What has changed, what didn't, and what surprised you?
The biggest change is army balance: suddenly its big slow blocks of infantry with less of the free wheeling fast units spinning around the board. I was surprised they didnt mess with the turn sequence.. I was looking forward to that.

2) Does it need some tweaks to play well? Does it work as a competitive game, right out of the box, or does it need definite restrictions to create good games in a tournament setting?
Oh hell yes- a rebalancing of the rules has left some units ungodly powerful and nerfed others... and done it on the sly. I would have loved to see FAQ/errata rebalance those units to make them more useful or in-balance with the new rules; it wouldnt have worked but would have been nice of them to try. Power Scroll needs restrictions (like not used for turns 1-3), Teclis is stupid and some of the spells are just too uber... but the thing that annoys me is the 50pt heavy cav model which is now almost useless or something like ogre's yhettes: a nice unit in 7th with a purpose, but now in 8th they are basically bulls with +1M strider +1S and double the cost... but have no useful command and cant have characters (cut their points by 40% and you have a fun special unit that is almost the same as core but with fun extras, but as is they are ridiculous).

3) Do luck, tactics and list building mean more, less or the same in the new edition, as in 7th?
I have to say that with anything other then WE my tactics have just gone. The only tactics that are involved are in designing the list to work. After that its just a combination of luck and target priority (which is tactical, but not tactics) and trying to force the game to be played as your army wants it to be. Luck is a huge factor now: mission type, getting that 1-2 uber spell/s you wanted/needed, getting the winds of magic you need, irrisistable force when needed, bad miscast results and charges making the distance are all massive.
Eg HE vs dwarves- might play blood and gold with a HE mage on eagle rolling final transmutation, getting first turn and flying up and getting irrisitable force against the dwarves main unit, killing the general and BSB and winning the game before the dwarves move. Similarly ogres vs a gunline: if the ogres are ~14" away and declare charges then the game hinges almost solely on those charge roles: if they make it to combat the gunline is toast, if they dont they'll be mincemeat (extra round of shooting at close range, followed by close range stand and shoot) as ogres are too fragile to take that.
I like that added luck makes it more like a real fight where your troops can fail, I just think its a little OTT.

4) Are you Happy with the game? If you're a long term player, has 8th given you a new reason to enjoy the game, or has it lost your interest?
Its a fun edition, more so then 7th... but its lost the reason why I was so passionate about it. If I'm after a bit of semi-mindless fun I'll crack out my 40k and go blatter away at the enemy... but when I got out my 7th ed WFB I knew I would need to carefully think about each move and that the wrong move could lose me the battle. Its still more involved then 40k but I just think GW has gone too far in making it accessibly to smaller kids (good buisness decision maybe, but bad gaming one).

5) What are the general reactions of the gaming communities in your area? Both from local groups, and in the tournament Scene?
We've seeing a bit of an arms race: bigger block units which most people can only counter with bigger units of their own. People keep telling me I'm beardy to use an ogre bull hoard unit and it is very basty... its also nearly 700pts, easy to pound into nothing, easy to snare in combat and is just plain destroyed by some spells.. but while I would love to split it up to have more units (after playing MSU with 4 ogres per unit max suddenly to have 18 is stupid) but then I simply cannot contend with any enemy hoards in combat (a serious problem for a combat army with basically no offensive magic).

6) Any general comments on 8th?
Its fun enough, but personally I think it lacks the addictiveness of 7th... and while I might have been engrossed in what happened in 7th tournies I dont really care about 8th. Suddenly its down to getting a couple of nasty spells or lucky roles, rather then some excellent tactics...
 
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