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The most important changes are:
- Bigger units are now preffered over small units. There's less and less MSU.
- The magic phase took a whole other road with now a random number of dice and you're no longer able of casting the same spell over and over again in the same turn. You do have more control about the spells you want though.
- Everything can be premeasured now.
- Combat has gone up, with now an extra rank of attacks, flanks with even one model, the loss of unit strenght, change of fear/terror rules, close combat breah weapons, stomp and thunderstomp, striking at initiative, random charge range,.... They succesfully nerfed magic to go against the all powerful magic armies, (p.e. deamons with around 20 power dice, which was no fun at all), shooting has stayed the same although war machines are no longer guessing. Movement and combat have grown a bit more important although movement still depends on the army you play.

And they didn't dumb the game. In fact there's a lot more small things to keep in mind now. I've seen people playing demo's and giving them and it seems to be a bit harder to explain to get them started, although with a basic knowledge you can sort of make competetive lists. One of the reasons you can now pre-measure was to go against all the nagging at tournaments. P.e. can i get the charge? (how many times has there been discussing about half or even less an inch and where it's not sure who's right or wrong) now you pre-measure, decide the dice roll you need and roll, either you have it or not, quick and easy.

And to your empire knights. They are fun to play with but now there's a rule called steadfast. This is at the end of a combat, when your enemy has more ranks than you, he has stubborn. P.e. your 10 knights charge a unit of 30 goblins (larger units are more common now) you do an incredible amount of killing and kill 10 of them, lets say they have a lucky blow and kill 1. You win combat with *insert number* CR. But, there are still 20 gobs left, meaning they have the front rank and 3 behind it, you have 9 knights left, so the front rank and 4 knights to the back, even if you didn't lose that one knight it would still be 4 to 2 (or 3 to 1 however you want it) they get stubborness for this test. Now I hear you, pff goblins with ld 7 flee stupid creatures. Well there's a general, suddenly ld 9, and a bsb so a re-roll. They'll probably hold, next round of combat, you lose your lance bonus....and so units get stuck. Knights aren't bad, they're still good but you need to be careful in what you throw them. The one exception to this are chaos knights which have a constant str 5 if you don't give them lances.

Another change is the army composition.
No longer things such as 1 lord, max. 3 heroes, 3+ core etc etc
It now works with percentages. (example 2000pts army)
max. 25% lords (up to 500pts lord choices, including items, mounts, etc)
max. 25% heroes (up to 500 pts hero choices)
min. 25% core (atleast 500 pts core choices)
max. 50% special (up to 1000 pts special choices)
max. 25% rare (up to 500 pts rare choices)

when it comes to special units, you can have max. 3 of the same special choices (p.e 3 units of chaos knights (special) up to 1000 pts)
For rare choices it's 2.
Units which can/could take 2 for 1 choice count as 1 then for determing if they are the same. (so a chaos spawn is/was a 2 for 1 rare choice, now you can still take 4 spawns)

This is also one of the biggest changes imo for some armies are now no longer bound to 1 lord and 3 heroes. Skaven and orcs and goblins can put a small unit of heroes on the table. Bretonnia can play with a bretonnian lord and a lvl 4 together at ease, same for a lot of armies. Because the composition of the lists have changed, the armies have changed and so the style of playing has changed a bit. Imo this is the biggest change done. (Ofcourse the rules are which makes the game roll, but the army lists determine the mentality players have)

If you have any other questions, be free to ask, best is to indeed buy the book IF you're interested and sure to go. Try a demo at first perhaps. Read the rules, re-read them, think of some army lists, write them down, re-read the rules concerning your army (or countering your army), adjust your list, try a battle or two, re-read the rules you forgot or which are hard to remember, adjust list and so on for a while. This seems like a lot of work but it comes naturally, when playing and understanding the way of play you'll notice new paths and directions you can go opening up for you. Don't be afraid to try different things out and keep advice close but don't hang to much on it. 8th edition is new for still a lot of others.
 

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Some people will say yes, others no. I'm of the no type. I don't play Empire so I don't know most tricks they have up their sleeve. But I don't think you need a steam tank to win, I even think it's less fun to play with a steam tank than with any other unit. Just try to make your list first by units you definately want in it, then afterwards you can see how they combine/play. This way you'll discover which units or ways you like best. So you can put a steam tank to try it out but I find the tank a bit to much horizontal lined. It's a steam-empowered ram, nothing more. I advice you to atleast try flagellants, people seem to like them a lot so there must be one positive thing about them :p
 
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