Monday, February 17, 2014

And sorrow fail and sadness... at the Mountain King's return!

So, I've played both iterations of Warhammer for a long time and as most players know, it's kind of like waking up on Christmas morning when your army gets that long awaited refresh.  And these days, in what can be described as a Golden Age of Warhammer, those updates are even more exciting.  I've been collecting dwarfs since the mid-late 90s.  Now, I've recycled quite a few of the armies - I remember using Walmart Silver Spray paint as a basecoat for some really old plastic dwarfs - but I have a huge dwarf army and lots of metal miniatures.  This past week, the new Dwarf Army book was released and I went ahead and opted for the Limited Edition version, which is pretty freakin' sweet.  

The book is a muted gray, reminiscent of the stonework of the revered artisans of the mountain kingdoms.  Golden runic emblems adorn the outer covers of the book.  The front cover is magnetized and folds out to reveal the magnificence within.  

And despite the lovely wrapping, that is exactly where the treasure is in this long-awaited army book.  The artwork is masterful - probably the best in any Games Workshop book to date.  This supplements the solidly-written fluff by Jeremy Vetock.  I haven't read the fluff cover to cover yet, but I'm getting there.  There is enough humor, as there usually is with the dwarfs, especially if you are a fan, but the detail given to the many battles and grudges and even to the unit entries is astounding.  

Now, having been a dwarf player for such a long time, I've always loved the appearance and background of the line, but the playability of the army has been somewhat lacking.  This is probably the reason I never played as much Fantasy as 40k (until 6th edition 40k forced me to).  Maybe back when Warmachines were so much fun to use, but over the last several years, the dwarfs just lacked flavor on the tabletop.  This book changes all of that.  

Dwarf players will find it difficult to build a list - not because there isn't effective units - in fact they are plentiful.  So much so that the hardest part about building your list will be including everything you want and figuring out what to leave out - no matter your choice, you will be sad.  This is a growing trend in Warhammer Fantasy, as most books released in the last year have the same problem.  Every unit is good.  There is no looking at the book and saying "this is broken" or "this is awful."  Every unit is good without being broken.  At first glance, the Dwarfs are going to be a top tier book on the tournament circuit, but this is more likely to be because they will change the meta.  The book is FULL of options to give your Dwarfs that cause multiple wounds.  Warriors of Chaos beware.  

Lords and Heroes are very much the same.  The big changes here lie in the alterations to runic items, which have become much more combo-based.  There are tons of additions and many obsolete runes from the previous book have been retired or re-worked.  The most notable changes to the characters are to the Runelords/Runesmiths.  Dwarfs, although very magic resistant, will no longer auto-shutdown the magic phase upon taking a Runelord.  Additionally, the Anvil of Doom will actually kind of give the Dwarfs a magic phase of their own without being so frustrating - many of the abilities improved and the risk for using them has been eliminated.  Both of the Runic characters grant their units armor piercing - sweet for Longbeards or Ironbreakers with HW/Shield.  

Core also remains largely unchanged.  Longbeards no longer require a minimum inclusion of Warrior Units and now units close to them can reroll their panic checks.  Not sure if I'll go all Longbeards yet - they are more expensive than warriors and there are a lot of other goodies in the Special/Rare sections.  

Hammerers, to me, are still the best unit in the book.  They got a 2 point increase in their base cost, but their attacks went from 1 to 2.  All models in the unit can now accept challenges.  

Gyrocopters/bombers are awesome.  I bought 3 so far, but you can take 6 copters and 2 bombers in a standard force.  The models are hilariously small in person - the pictures make them look huge.  

Irondrakes are also a possibility for best unit in the book.  Strength 5 flaming armor piercing guns are an insane thought in WFB.  Add the fact that you can give the champion a STR 8 Multiple wounds gun and we're starting to look like a 40k shooting phase.  

These are just a few of the high points I've noticed.  Someone asked me when I'd be jumping ship from Ogres to Dwarfs - likely as soon as my Ogres get tabled by another Dwarf player.  I can't wait to get some paint on the models - they are gorgeous.  

So, I also have some painting progress.  Essentially finished the 3 Maneaters I have been working on.  Just need to be based but I'm going to do that once I finished painting the rest of the unit (going to prime them once the weather is dry).  Here are the finished models set on their corkstands.  

And - next up on the chopping block.  

These will be fun!  Thanks for reading.  Happy painting!