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I looked through the forum and didn't see this question, so I'm going to go ahead and ask it.
I played WFB years ago (stopped around the release of 6th edition) as a Lizardman player. I don't have any of my models anymore, so I'm going to start from scratch in 8e. I know a lot of things have changed since then. Can anyone give me an idea of about how popular each army is? or if they're all roughly equal in popularity?
I'm trying to pick an army that doesn't just steamroll over everything (reason that I'm avoiding VC), something that isn't used by half the WFB players out there (Like 40k space marines), and something thats just fun to play and can provide a challenge for both me and my opponent. I like an army with fair magic use and no FOTM aspect. I have no preference over heavy melee vs heavy ranged.
So far I'm looking at Skaven, Empire, and Wood Elves, but please give your thoughts.
VC doesn't steamroll over everything anymore, as it's been heavily nerfed in 8th edition.
We are not very sure about popularity, although no armies are overrepresented like 40K's space marines. We're reasonably sure about strenght.
Most say the top tier consists of Skaven, Lizardmen and warrior of chaos.
These armies tend to be placed alternatively between either top or middle tier: dwarfs, high elves, dark elves, daemons of chaos ( don't kid yourself, they are still an absurd army ) and Empire
Middle tier: VC, Orcs&goblins, beastmen, Ogre kingdoms
Lower tier: Tomb kings, Wood elves, bretonnia
Empire is nice for it's flexibility, high elves are strong allround, pretty fast and have fine magic and troops, wood elves have been nerfed to death because of the 'steadfast' rule as it means their skirmishing elite troops might defeat an enemy unit, but every enemy unit with 5 models left will be steadfast against them.
Beardy said it all i suppose.
If you have some friends with an army (or two) , perhaps you can compare that with what your considering aswell. Some people like to have an army nobody else in your local shop will deploy, or maybe exactly the opposite.
Also. O&G are getting a new book soon (very soon now, time flies!) and there are new skaven models coming out next month!
Warchief Diggah o da Bloodmoon Squiggahs
Chaos, HE, DE and O&G are all quite popular, but as has been said, not to the point of being half the armies out there. I'd avoid wood elves for now, 8th ed has not been kind to their skirmishers.
Having an army and not owning a rulebook is like owning a car with no steering wheel.Originally Posted by amishcellphone
It depends were you live cause in my region there no tomb king 1 beastmen one ogres and I am only high elf but the rest are infested.
Most of the arguments over 'who's better than who' involve the top and middle tiers. If you ignore them, you'll see more or less clear agreement over which armies are near the bottom:
Tomb Kings (their magic is still effective, but most of their units aren't)
Beastmen (Warriors of Chaos are very similar, but clearly better, and Ambush isn't as important in 8th ed)
Wood Elves (8th edition was not kind to them)
Orcs and Goblins (animosity is as crippling as ever, but a new codex will be out soon)
There are two more, but their problems are more complex:
Many place Bretonnians in the low tier, but I find they do excellently if most of their unit consists of cavalry in lance formation. They're still not perfect, but as long as you're playing at 2000 points or more, I feel they're mid-tier. From what I've seen and heard, they did VERY well in the most recent Ard Boyz.
Many place Ogre Kingdoms in the mid tier, but as an Ogre player, I feel they're still low tier. Now, they improved greatly in 8th edition, and you can do very well with them against most armies. The problem which makes them low tier, is that there are two popular spells that will CRIPPLE them, and often make it all but impossible for them to win: Pit of Shades and Purple Sun.
Both spells fire templates that cause each model they touch to make an initiative test or die. Not only will this kill any of your normal infantry 2/3 of the time, but you also might lose characters, if you fail your 'look out sir' rolls.
With these two spells being so widely used in most competitive settings, I just can't see Ogre Kingdoms rising above low-tier. Again, if your opponent isn't using either of these spells, than the Ogres are definitely mid-tier. It all depends on your opponent.
If you want to know what's overall considered the BEST army, it's either High Elves, Lizardmen, or Empire, depending on who you ask.
Last edited by mynameisgrax; January 17th, 2011 at 21:39.
I typically consider the top 3 armies to be Lizardmen, Warriors of Chaos, and High Elves personally. I suppose that yes, Empire could hit that mark if you went gunline, but that's the only way they're competitive, whereas the other 3 lists are flexible enough that you can run several variants and still do well- they're probably the most solidly written books.
I think that you would do well to play Empire, actually. Being basic humans, they're often overlooked. While several people at my store can boast an Empire army among their collection, hardly anyone ever brings one to the table. This means that although your army isn't necessarily rare to a collector, it will be a rare sight in your store. The best part about Empire though is that they offer everything in terms of being flexible. They're like a "jack of all trades". You can certainly build a gunline, and that's their most competitive and broken build, but you can also field lists like my own Irishmen, who still do well despite their focus on close combat and spears rather than halberds or swords. It's all about where you strike the balance between steel and black powder.
True, Chaos Warriors are popular, but I find that the more experienced/competitive players don't seem to like them nearly as much as the newer players. The problem with Chaos Warriors is that the wizards are all expensive, making it difficult to exploit the magic phase, especially at lower point levels. Granted, the wizards are expensive because they're very good in close combat, but you have to pay for it whether you like it or not.
Another close contender are Dark Elves, which are very good, but perhaps not as powerful as their High Elf brethren, mostly thanks to that damn Teclis.
Skaven are very good, but depend very heavily upon their leaders, meaning that a few unlucky rounds of magic/shooting/close combat may quickly end the game for them.
Daemons are also very powerful, but don't have any good Lord choices. They're all terribly overpriced, especially when you take into account how easily many war machines can now take them down.
Finally, Dwarves also come close to the top. Despite their vulnerability to initiative tests, lack of magic, and very expensive special charracters, they still do very well, thanks to rock solid core and plenty of war machines.
All in all, there are many armies 'close to the top' as far as competitiveness goes, and the armies in the low to mid tiers can also still do very well. Compared to 40k, the armies of Warhammer fantasy are a lot more evenly matched.
Skaven are actually widely considered to be the top army of the moment, what with their book basically being written with 8th fully in mind.
The slavetrains of 8 ranks deep, we've all seen it. You are tied up by troops that will most of the time be ld10 and steadfast, while the skaven fire bolts of arcane lightning and other doomsday explosions into the combat. They're only slaves. The skaven player doesn't care. A grey seer on screaming bell can be notriously tricky to kill using shooting or magic ( 2+ ward vs magic, 4+ vs shooting and hits are randomised between him and the bell. Also many players give the grey seer Skalm, which can heal all his wounds whenever he wishes ( one use only item ) ) and throws out his ld aura a whopping 18". Throw in some wildly crazy tech and monsters as well. The HPA is powerfull, weapon teams hurt like hell and if all else fails then start taking toughness tests with some pleasant pestilens units. Gutter runners are incredible at finishing off warmachines. Skaven have the numbers, the leadership and the powerfull tech and monsters to make full advantage of those numbers, to completely overwhelm you on all fronts. I fought 1750 pts vs skaven a while back. His side of the board was covered with units from left to right, and he had lots of weapon teams, rat ogres, HPA and a catapult.
By my reconning the strongest armies are Skaven, chaos warriors, while I am in doubt of the 3rd spot.
-High elves are powerful with Teclis, but without they're simply "good".
-Lizardmen are really good too, but I play with them ( very friendly builds though ) and against them and can't really imagine them as steamrollers as I tend to beat them.. badly.
-Daemon lord choices might be expensive and attract warmachines, but then why bother with taking them? Just take 3x40 bloodletters with a herald with armour of khorne, skulltaker, and another herald with armour of khorne and that -2 ld banner. Howmany points does that cost? A little under 2000? Fill up with the masque and some flamers and you're set. Even if you lose close combat you will still only lose a handfull of daemons to instability at most. Daemon lords are expensive, but everything else is incredibly powerful.
-Dark elves are still strong, but a lot more fragile nowadays, so they are simply a "good" army.
-Dwarfs might be a contender for 3rd place actually because dwarfs have strong counters for pretty much anything. Tournament lists I design for dwarfs go a bit like this: 2 hordes of warriors with great weapons, horde of hammerers with a banner granting a 5+ ward vs shooting to units within 6". Add a BSB, Runesmith with scroll and "I-steal-a-powerdice-from-you-and-add-it-to-my-dispell-pool" item, my personal tank lord that has never died in close combat before.. ever, then 2 cannons, 2 organ guns. Dwarf hordes with great weapons are tough and can give a tremendous beating, similar to a bloodletter horde, their heroes are tough, runic items can fill any weaknesses and their shooting phase can deal with all possible threats.
Mmm.. I'm going for Skaven - Chaos warriors - Dwarfs, in that order, but of course I am biased a bit. Everyone is.
Very good points, bearded one.
Skaven seem a little random for me to consider them the best. I used to think they were #1, but now I'm not so sure. It just seems that if things start going wrong for them, it just keeps getting worse. In other words, they're a Goliath/Achilles army. Either they win big or lose big. However, it might be that I just haven't been playing against the right Skaven players.
Chaos Daemons and Dwarves go down a notch in my view for a reason that many people may not consider an issue: limited number of viable builds. Personally, I feel one of the important elements of success in the game is being able to present your opponent with an army/scenario that they're not completely prepared for, and/or have never played against before. With no viable Lord choices for Daemons, and predictable Dwarven builds, your opponent probably knows more or less what they have to do in order to win, because they've fought your list before. Again, just my opinion. Some may not care about this element at all.
Very good points on Dark Elves and High Elves. I think you have the right of it for both.
Lizardmen are odd, because they always do well, but they never really overwhelm their opponents. They're far more likely to brace for the charge, rely on their great stats and 'cold blooded rule', and exploit a kitted out Slaan with Lore of Life to outlast their opponents, rather than overwhelm them. Also, they have enough characters and interesting units to keep their opponent's on their feet, unlike the more predictable Daemon and Dwarf armies.
Empire may not be the best at any particular thing (aside from Mortars), but they have the advantage of being able to do anything, having access to all lores of magic, all types of war machines, nice cavalry choices, lots of shooting, and descent close combat units (thanks to detachments assisting with flank charges). They can do it all.