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So I have been considering getting into Fantasy but with the new edition and the pdf's up. I don't want to start an army that is going to put me a major disadvantage right from the start. It doesn't have to be the uberstrong but competitive would be nice. I wanted your opinions of what are the top armies right now in your opinion?
 

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High Elves, Skaven, Empire, Dark Elves, Daemons and Lizardmen are pretty tough in 8th and VC should not be sniffed at. These are the biggest dogs in the kennel now IMO, but WoC, Beastmen, Tomb Kings and OnG are very playable too. Ogres continue to be rather underwhelming and Wood Elves and Brettonia are really lacking their former powers.

But this is just my opinion and experience so far.
 

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8th ed has been out what? a week? 2? and you're after top tier already?

no such thing, wait for a few weeks for the environment to settle down.

Strongest army on the magic offensive at the moment is probably Lizardmen, POwer dice are at even more of a premium than before so a free dice for every spell anmd acess to the lore of death to regen power dice is incredibly strong. Other than that? it's anyone;s guess.

So many major cahnges and tweaks that need to be played withm do you go horde or steadfast? how many lords, heroes, rares etc DO you take now? what about new magic item interactions.

You won't see any clear TOP TIER armies for quite a while, in fact not until a decent size tournament or the GT season is my guess.
 

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I would say 1. pick 3 or 4 armies tops that you might want to play, or give us your personal style you are LOOKING for in fantasy. from there we can tell you the best Army for that choice.

Bretonia and Woodelves took a serious hit though with the new rules. Vampire counts are still powerful but they are not the OP annoyances of 100000 power / dispell dice they were in 7th

hoarde races as skaven got a good boost, though skaven still lost to my powerhouse Khornate in 2000 so.
 

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I recon skaven, high elves, dwarves and empire are fighting it out for top spot.
Next probably comes dark elves, lizzies, the vamp counts and WoC
Middling armies include Ogres, OnG, DoC and beastmen
Leaving brets and WE on the bottom rung.

I have no idea where TK fit anymore

My idea of the tier system is based on my own experience, as well as what other people have been saying... although Im sure we'll all find certain placements are totally wrong. I think that I may find my ogres getting stronger and stronger (except against HE... they're just sick)... but then I think doing well with an army is largely down to playstyle. If you can adapt to play a particular army then go for it, otherwise pick one that meets your style of play and you'll do well- my local GW manager is a case in point: he only knows how to attack head on. He used SW, lizzies and WoC... they work quite well for him, though when he said he might want to start a shooty/skirmish army at the end of 7th we talked him out of it... it just wouldnt suit his playstyle at all (I was staff at the time... so not quite so cheeky as it sounds).
 

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why does every1 disregard brets every knight being able 2 attack pretty much and ranks of 3 bretts are still the best cav in the game and capable of breaking units on the charge
 

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Brettonian Knights arent the best cav in the game first of all, well not the basic Knights Errant, or KoTR, Sure what your saying is true, then I could easily say the same about CoKs, or Chaos knights, the size you would need for that formation to be effective is a huge cost in points, so sure there effective, and watch that 1k pt. Unit dissapear to magic and ranged by the second turn when everything aims at your great big points sink.
 

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Well for me it's probably like this:
Top Tier: HE, Empire, Dwarves and Skaven(as long as they don't blow themselves up too much)
Little Behind Top Tier: VC, DE, WoC and Lizzie's
Middle Tier: O&G, Ogres and Beastmen
Lowest Tier: Brettonia, WE

The only one I'm having trouble with to place is DoC, DoC will fit between little behind top and middle tier, better then middle, worse then little behind top
I play Lizzie's and I'm happy they came out so well, though I still hate it that the "free dice" can't exceed the 12 dice cap.
 

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i think bret are the best cav in the game now cheap to get ranks on them a smaller frontage to and very little that will truely mash them especiall when backed up by magic frm that lady or damsel in the second rank you canno see me but i can see you
 

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i think bret are the best cav in the game now cheap to get ranks on them a smaller frontage to and very little that will truely mash them especiall when backed up by magic frm that lady or damsel in the second rank you canno see me but i can see you
I think blood or chaos knights are probably still the best, simply because you can throw a unit of 5 into the enemy and know that you're likely to beat them (just might take a while)... bret cavalry is massively expensive to get working (though not as bad as everyone else to get their ranks) and relies upon the charge to destroy the enemy. If the charge fails to break them (or god forbid thr enemy charge them) then they'll be in a world of trouble... then we have the massively effective lore of metal, bolt throwers and everyone else just finding it easy to wound brets anyway...
 

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i think bret are the best cav in the game now cheap to get ranks on them a smaller frontage to and very little that will truely mash them especiall when backed up by magic frm that lady or damsel in the second rank you canno see me but i can see you
It's 60 points per rank for our cheapest knights errant, while most armies can get ranks of basic troops for 10-30 points. Brets are limited to 5 ranks maximum, most basic troop units start at 5 ranks minimum now. Not to mention that a unit of bret cavalry with 5 ranks is 10" long, 3" wide, and is a ridiculously long and ungainly unit. It doesn't look good, it's annoying, it's a big target and it still won't break most hoard armies, especially not after taking two turns of improved warmachine fire and magic.

Essentially, our basic knight units are only good on the turn they charge, off the charge they have basic human stats. Now, with them coming up against "steadfast" far more often, they usually will end up smacking into an infantry block, being stopped, and then slowly engulfed by the enemy. Sure, I could try a bunch of infantry, but I could do that better with just about any other army. Are there ways to win? well Grail knights are still kickass, Questing knights are better, Pegasus knights are awesome sauce, but all of them are now far more vulnerable to being attacked back by hoards, and GKs are still too expensive to be taken in large numbers. For the most part, Brets just don't have the damage output or the ranks in their knights to overcome steadfast hoards.

Brets may have the best cavalry still, but cavalry now sucks for the most part, except as a support unit, while Brets need them for a main-line unit. Definitely bottom tier now, along with WE.
 

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Calvary really isn't what it used to be. They're by no means bad, but they don't have a way to effectively deny rank bonuses without costing an arm and a leg. They're only really good for either harassing small units (like war machines), escorting characters to battle, or tipping 'infantry vs infantry' battles in your favor by hitting the side while your infantry hits the front.

In short, they're now in the same niche as chariots and fliers. They're good to have, but they won't win you the battle on their own.

Here are my tiers:

Top Tier: Empire, High Elves, Warriors of Chaos, Skaven

Upper Middle Tier: Dark Elves, Daemons, Lizardmen, Vampire Counts, Dwarves

Middle Tier: Orcs and Goblins, Ogre Kingdoms, Beasts of Chaos, Tomb Kings

Low Tier: Bretonnians, Wood Elves
 

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My take on tiers

We have three players in our house and 7 armies to play, started doing partial simulations and play-testing in June when book available to look at in stores and have people in area reporting on games in 8th edition. Here's our view:

Tier 1+: Skaven
Tier 1: Warriors of Chaos, Daemons
Tier 1-: Dark Elves, Lizardmen
Tier 2+: Empire, Tomb Kings(?)
Tier 2: High Elves, Dwarves, Beasts of Chaos
Tier 2-: Vampire Counts, Orcs and Goblins, Ogre Kingdoms,
Tier 3: Bretonnians, Wood Elves

It is too early to tell but our play-testing suggests that Daemons of Chaos no longer have the big advantage that they once had but they have a strategy with Heralds of Tzeentch (loremaster option) and Lore of Life and Bloodletter hordes and blocks with Heralds of Khorne and Lord of Change or Bloodthirster that will make them very tough. Plaguebearers got seriously nerfed, but daemonettes and steeds are improved. Flamers, bloodcrushers, Beast of Nurgle and Fiends all got better. Thus, when all shakes out, Daemons will still be tier 1 but not tier 1+ like before but with less horror units, less plaguebearer untits, and more bloodletter and daemonette units in core.

High Elves were helped on one hand (effectively a form a hatred for high I plus ASF and ASF unit with great weapons) but hurt by the high cost per model, their low S and T, and the step up rule allowing for attacks back. Maybe an archmage with Book of Hoeth will work with a cheaper lord. They are improved slightly, but not tier 1, tier 2.

Skaven were beginning to figure out what works and dominate the local Indy GT's and will only get better. They benefit from: more rare choices and ability to use more of them with the percentage rules; no guess range (warp lightning cannons); multiple lords and cheap heroes to boost LD of units; BSB rules for lord on bell; horde rules; steadfast rules; flyers having less charge range and infantry having greater effective average charge ranges; swiftstride confers less advantage in pursuit and flee than old 3D6 for faster units with M7+; no distruption of ranks unless hit in flanks by a ranked unit; wound on 6's regardless of T and S; step up rule; and okay to decent initiative. Skaven will likely be tier 1 if not 1+.

Warriors of Chaos look really tough in 8th edition. High initiative, T, S, AS and Marks all became more valuable and make them very tough in combat; armies must choose lores with army, so less metal is likely to show up; access of ogres (which are nasty in 2 ranks of 3) and dragon ogres look good, as with shaggoth; warshrine is good for the boost; Lvl 4 sorcs with MoT still allow for cheap lord (boost LD); Tzeentch lore is really excellent in 8th edition with flickering fire, call to glory, pandemonium (RIP, enemy characters cannot give LD to units and miscasts on doubles), treason (only not good against daemons and undead), and gateway all effective and easily cast with lvl 4 MoT giving a +5 casting boost; puppet and will (DP) are really good; have fast cav with vanguard rule and axes now quick to strike; chosen now more viable; only chaos knights and warhounds (don't screen like the past due to TLOS) are less effective than before. Tier 1 without a doubt.

I expect lizardmen to stay between tiers 1 and 2 but the Slaan with extra PD per spell and Lore of Life could change that to tier 1: low initiative hurts but high S, T, and AS is boosted and kroxes get stomp; Slaan gets those extra power dice per spell which is a big advantage over other armies; can't run two EOTGs hurts but can run oldblood cheap and scar vets more often; terradons got hurt but Sallies and Razors as good as ever; skinks have quicktostrike with javelins but not blowpipes(?? cant find in FAQ) which makes them viable; cold one LD tests are helpful.

Dark Elves were definitely hurt in parts but are likely to remain competitive with tier 1, just not one of the three best as before: +can now run two hydras and 2 RBTs or one hydra and 4 RBTs at new standard of 2400 to 2500; spearmen are better; +hydras get to use breath weapon once but in combat, beastmasters get 6 attacks and protected by hydra, hydra gets thunderstomp autohits but hydras have lower I; +dark riders have vanguard rule but shorter average charge range; +corsairs with frenzy banner and Repeater hand bows (quicktostrike) or AHWs got better if run with Cauldron; the cauldron is slightly less protected but also more effective due to ward save, +1 attack and killing blow blessing; +can now run a Lvl 4 Sorc and a dreadlord (cheap); +can now run one more hero; +lots of protective magic items and means of generating extra power dice above winds of magic; ++RXB warriors are substantially improved with shooting in ranks and musicians allowing a free reform and the shield giving +1 AS and 6+ parry save; witch elves lost a lot; execuitioners are not longer playable; harpies are far less effetive due to low LD and having to LD test to march if close to enemy; terror tests and fear tests are now less threatening and were a serious problem for DE units; the 25% core rule is less harmful to DE armies given that they have four viable core choices with 3 of the 4 core units improved in 8th edition relative to 7th edition. DE, thus, will not be as strong as before relative to certain other armies but will likely remain tier 1 or 1-.

Empire I don't know yet. Stanks may be better than before with T10 but also can be killed by certain spells; cannons are definitely improved; Steadfast helps but troops and shooting is not as impressive in comparison with other armies in terms of I, WS, T, and S; and detachments may be good for disrupting ranks. But the cavalry are less effective and new bound spell rules (must use PD to cast) will cut down the effectiveness of war priests. It may take a while for empire armies to figure out what works and they will be as or more competitive but maybe somewhere between tier 1 and 2 or stay at tier 2.

Vampire counts are seriously nerfed and drop from tier 1 to tier 2-. -Winds of magic often limits and makes less reliable the number of power dice in each turn and limits the difference between power dice and dispel dice unless certain vampire items are taken. -The ability to cast a lot with single dice is less likely (unless last spell attempt) because of roll of a 1 or 2 ends the ability of the caster to cast. -The base caster levels are only 1 and 2, not 4, and that puts VC casters at a disadvantage in casting and dispelling relative to certain other armies. Bound spells must now use power dice to cast. -The most competitive vampire armies had heavy lord cost and hero costs and heavy focus on special and rare points and min core units., while skellies and ghouls are playable they are not cheap relative to stats (low initiative) and will eat up points spent in the past on other units and characters. -Fear and terror are not as good as before. -Supporting attacks in ranks means that zombie roadblocks can be wiped out more easily. -No shooting (which is more important in 8th edition). -Less ability than some other armies to go after war machines with flying and fast cav.

Don't know yet about dwarves, They've improved with steadfast, step up, war machine shooting no longer have guess range, and shooting. They move from the bottom tier to maybe tier 2- but just don't have enough movement and magic (better magic defense).

O&G gets boosts from horde rule, steadfast, casting and dispel dice special rules, ability to spam cheap lords and commom magic items. They move up to tier 2- from one of the worst, if not the worst army. Animosity and bad BS shooting really hurts them but doom diver and some other shooting may be a bit better. Rumored new book next spring might get them up further.

Beastman look better and may go from one of worst to tier 2. Ogres benefit a lot but also go from one of worst armies to tier 2- and will still struggle until a new army book comes out. Change is rank size for monstrous infantry, supporting attack rules, and power dice limits from winds of magic helps both these armies become more competitive.

Brets and wood elves got nerfed. GW should have created special FAQs for Brets to allow cav to have a better chance to disrupt ranks and stuff. Wood Elves need a new book and better lore or to go to lore of life; not enough forests in the terrain in 8th edition to help them.

TK is a lot better than people think when played well. TK has been very competitive in our recent Indy GT's in 7th ed. TK priests now get magic levels 1 and 3 for casters and still autocast with incantations (FAQ 1.1). Also, they will get the first book. They are tier 2 but may compete with tier 1 armies with those catapults (no guess range), chariots, and incantations not using power dice.

This is, of course, based on what people have come up with as 8th edition test lists and possible army composition changes. I used to have 5 tiers and armies in tiers 4 and 5 had almost no chance against tier 1 and tier 2 armies unless the top armies were non-optimal and the tier 1 and 2 armies were toned down (which often happened in our tourneys). I collapsed the tiers to 3 but put + and - ranks to reflect the tighter balance across armies that appears to have occured. The one good thing is that a tier 2 or 2- army now has a decent chance, with some luck or better play, to beat a tier 1 or 1+ army. No army is as dominant as before, at least until someone figures out a broken combo. The percentage allocations/limits and winds of magic rolls balance the game a lot. This is just an educated guess for now.
 

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Hmm...that's a good point, Olderplayer. I think Tomb Kings just went a bit up in my estimation.

Yes, Ogre Kingdoms did get better, but if you really want Ogres, you're better off playing Warriors of Chaos, and taking 3 large units of Chaos Ogres as special choices.

However, I definitely believe that both Empire and the Dwarves are near the top, if not at the top. Why? Cannons!

Cannons not only have all the advantages they enjoyed before, and you don't have to guess their range anymore, but on top of all that, if you strike a monster carrying a character with a cannon (doesn't matter where you hit it), both the monster and the rider (or in the stegadon's case, riders) take d6 S10 hits EACH. That's d6 S10 hits for the monster, and d6 S10 hits for each character riding it.

Stanks definitely took a hit, now that anything can hurt it. Poisoned attacks are also a big problem for it, even though that doesn't make a lick of sense. They're okay, but they aren't the powerhouses they used to be. The points are better spent on more cannons. ^_^
 

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I'm currently consistently winning with O+G in 8th ed.

Always underestimated as an army. Horde rules are fantastic and make goblins better than their usual shit in combat if you have enough, steadfast means they don't run as easy either.

100 Goblins + BSB w/ Spider banner = 60 Poisoned shooting attacks. Actually makes them somewhat effective.

In a random turn of events we actually have a BETTER miscast table than anyone else. The new 8th ed one is a lot more harsh than the greenskin one.

Spear Chukkas are sadly a bit shit now since we don't get +1 for sniping large targets, but that's a small wrinkle.
 

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O+G are pretty good in 8th, they have the second best magical defense when they can easily get +4 DD (one of which is stolen) and if they do miscast then its not a terrible miscast table.

My OK have been doing great so far, especially if playing at 3k. Played earlier with 2 units of 17-19 (19 bulls with tyrant with thundermace and dragonhide BSB, 17 ironguts with MR3 butcher and greatskull bruiser) plus 40 gnoblars, slavegiant (took it for fun, fun was had... only killed a fanatic though), a couple of gorgers and a scraplauncher. Learnt that hoard units of ogres are incredibly funny to use, but are the same sort of glass hammers that stanks are: if you can get purple sun or pit of shades on them then they are dead... but taking them in combat is pretty unlikely. I doubt my irongut unit will stay that big but a 18 bulls unit is cerainly something to see (and only 660pts with a banner and musician... shame there is simply no way to protect from instant death from I-test blasts). I do have to learn not to be stupid though- I put buffs up early, and then in the turn I charge I keep having dice to burn... then my opponent uses his spare DD to kill my RiP spells; I should learn to just recast the same spell again (either it gets dispelled, draining dice that cant then be used to dispel the spell already there... or if they dont dispel it then and there then it cant be dispelled that magic phase- Ive had this bite me in the ass 2 games in a row now). Still havent faced a war machine heavy army yet... but when I face a multi-cannon army (or a death teclis) I will be in some serious pain.
 

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The last two posts are consistent with my experience that OK and O&G are now competitive (tier2 and able to beat tier 1 armies with a good player or good luck) whereas before they were not. The ability to steal a dice for O&G plays well with winds of magic.

We'll see if cannons are that improved. Most guess range players I played were so good, pre-measuring is only going to slightly improve the odds. You still have a misfire risk (slightly modified table) and random range and bounce. With armies in combat faster and restrictions on aiming to put at risk your own troops, you may find that cannons lack most viable targets after turn two.
 

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Tim/Steve said:
(or a death teclis)
I imagine Death Teclis is just as painful as a Death Frog.

Death frogs are immense.

+5 to cast, 1 free Dice on every spell. Regenerating power dice off casualties. I watched a loremaster Death Frog cast the entire spell list with 4 power dice.

olderplayer said:
We'll see if cannons are that improved. Most guess range players I played were so good, pre-measuring is only going to slightly improve the odds.
Yeah, my experiences so far with guess range changes show little to no difference where it counts i.e. competitively. Anyone familiar with guess range weaponry has been using it for so long they can guess to within 1/2" anyway.
 

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orc and gobbos have benefited loads by the new rules

Cheap units that can benefit from hoard. check
stone throwers check
cheap lords and heroes check
infantry being generally better check
monsterous infantry[trolls] check

As tony the tiger would say. There GRRRRREat
 
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