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Basicaly i was woundering on just what you would do to IBs to make it worth taking them again in your lists. Think about it in terms of changes in a new book so nothing is off limit; rules, cost, stats, gear, nothing is off limit except exsisting known lore.
The basic issue i think we have with IBs at the moment is that they are a 6-7th ed anvil block in an 8th ed rule set. Our 2+ save on infantry used to be our talking point as the best armoured (along with Chaos warriors) infantry in the game, able to shrug off the high strength attacks of monsters and cavalry, but with a drop of just +1 armour they have become massively suseptable to high strength attacks. We may have the 6+ ward from parry, but every mug with a shield can pull that off. Theres nothing unique about it.
There's then the issue of numbers - cost - unit survivability. IB are expensive when your trying to field high numbers compared to the basic dwarf with shield. You are going to take casualties so is it better to have more models or a better save. The argument currently lies with more models, as more models = greater potential for attacks back, and it is in causing damage where you will win battles in 8th.
So, whats the solution. Is a +1 to the armour going to bring them back into army lists? Im not sure, becasue at the end of the day, you need to rely alot less on anvils in 8th ed. A points drop is almost a certainty, but we can see that coming across the board for units in the dwarf book. IMO theres got to be some new rule to cover IBs so that they are more than just an improved Dwarf Warrior. Maybe a special unit upgrade like those miners get and savage orcs.
Anyway, il leave it to you.
Lots of High strength attacks are the things i face nowadays, i usually play against beastmen and WoC generally. (Minatours, Halberd WoC's, GW marauders, Beastigors)
If IB have 2' armor save instead of 3+ will make them more survivable against S5 at least with 4+ armor save remaining...
For Low strength hordes like skaven they don't have the power to reduce the steadfast quickly, they are bound to be anvil's.
Lower point cost in addition with a better armor save will make them a choice versus Hammerers...
Being hit at S5, and then still having a 50% chance to make a save before your parry is certainly go a long way to improoving this unit. Knowing that even against S7 you still get an armour save means that even large monsters are going to think twice about risking combat with the unit.
I still think there could be somthing else to add to IB which would make them fir for a special choice. Not somthing hugely changing to them but just something to give them a bit of shine. Maybe an improoved parry or Mr 1. Or maybe somthing to represent there time fighting underground most of the time.
Of course all units in the dwarf book could just gain the Stubbron rule when accompanied by a thane or lord, (getting Unbreakable/or an added benifit if already have Stubborn, so that Hammerers dont suffer).
Whatever they do - IB will stay as an anvil unit so any upgrade would have to improve that quality and facilitate that role.
What if they reduce close combat attacks above strength 5 to strength 5? It's tactically interesting (where before you would avoid GWs), and it's different. May seem broken but I think something along these lines would be sweet.
Improved parry? Making their parry save a special 5+ (heck, demons have that all day) but combined with the 3+ armor save that would help.
What if the unit were toughness 5? Would like cost many, many points.
Immune to KB and/or poison?
Re-rolled armor saves?
I just briefly looked at armor runes and figured they could be a viable upgrade.
I don't see why we couldn't get t5. Spending all that time underground should be reason enough.
How about because of the stentch of cheese coming from the unit... yes IB need to be THE anvil unit in warahmmer, at least on what you could call the side of order, but T5 is the wrong way to go. IB dont spend anymore time underground than other dwarfs, except maybe Rangers, its just that they are experts in tunnle fighting. I think less attention should be paid on the natural statline of IBs and more on rules, equip etc.
Most people can see them all getting Ro Stone to help with the armour saves, but anything else they get is going to be highly dependant on changes made to army wide rules. A 5+ parry save perhaps rather than just the normal 6+.
The idea of reducing all hits against them to a maximum of S5 is interesting, but your also paying less for a bolt thrower to have that run on a character. On the other hand, there isnt many things above S5 except the bigger monsters and units with GWs. It would certainly make for very interesting play and the more i run it through my mind the more im begining t like it.
No reason in my mind that they should be immune to poison. All dwarfs are more resistant but its not worth having a stand alone unit for. If Priests of Valaya were introduced then it could be a buff but without it i wouldnt go for it.
Immune to KB, as much as i like the idea, its a litle circumstantial alot of the time so we would only see the benifit rarely, (same with poison). Fluffwise IBs are always getting killed by killing blow anyway. KB is mean to represent an ability to go through armour or target the weak spots. its on 6s most times so if someone is luck enought to roll a 6 then id give it to them.
Last edited by saltrock36; February 15th, 2012 at 17:26.
I've been trying to think of something all morning that ties into the IB fluff and would still make them better without making them overpowered. I might have come up with something...
Defensive Formation - The dwarfs form a defensive unit formation, similar to the stone a lord can take. The dwarfs can still march, but can't declare charges, get +1 armour and have no flanks or rear.
This can work well to represent tunnel fighting, because you never know where a new hole might open up and out pour skaven.
It picks up the armour value to what we want, and makes it a very tough anvil unit. Letting them still march comes from resolute and relentless, so if that were to change, then maybe the IB would not be allowed to march.
Also, on a side note, I always thought it a little strange that hammerers, the royal body guard, only have heavy armour, they should make a unit upgrade to have gromril and maybe KB, only avaliable if the unit has a lord in it.
Yes Hammerers do deserve gromril, but they where given heavy armour back when Gromril and shield could give you a 2+ armoursave. No one would have taken IB once again back then when you could for the same points feild the same unit in Hammerers which come with stubborn and could be immune to fear and terror. Alot of people including myself used to take hammerers with shields an not even bother the GWs in 6-7th ed, opting to just use shields as a bunker unit making IB pointless.
In 8th they definatly deserve it though. and as Longbeards will only have heavy armour thier points can drop down to reflect this.
The problem that the unit continually encounters is anything to make them harder to kill will mean a hefty price/power increase making them unbalanced. The T5 is a dead no, it'll never happen for a basic infantry man unit. The armour increase is a nice idea, but in the days of great weapons it is not all that much better. A GW will make it back to a 50/50 chance of a save vs their 'new' 2+ armour. The increased parry save is something I could see, it makes the unit a lot harder to kill, without it being very overpowering.
The tunnel fighting idea of having no rear or flank is nice, or making it that the enemy does gain any bonus for a rear/flank charge against them.