I have just been looking through the book again, hoping to kickstart myself into painting once more, and I stopped by the Anvil. I wonder if it is really as bad as said. The main issues people have with it, from what I can tell are:
- Now needs LOS to cast spells, no longer hiding behind hills/woods etc
- No movement spell
- Now bound spells, low level
- No longer auto cast, and can be dispelled
Lets look at the basics for it.
What do you get?
What does the anvil do for the Runelord? Well, he gains two extra wounds and becomes unbreakable. He also gains an auto 5+ ward (notable changed from a 4+ vs ranged like last time). It also increases the dispel and power dice you get each turn by one. It also gives the model extra attacks at S4 with the armour piercing rule. For less than 200pts, it isn't bad.
One thing to note is that the anvil can move (not if it wants to cast, admittedly) and you can have multiple anvils.
Casting the Runes
This is the part people have gotten so upset about. It was a big change, but I do think some of it was needed. The runes are now bound spells, rather than being an ability which was used in the shooting phase. Of course this was going to change. It basically meant that once per turn the dwarfs got to do some magical ability which no one was able to counter or stop. That was never going to last. Being as they are now bound spells they can be stopped and dispelled like normal magic. One thing of note though, for me at least, is that they are innate bound spells. On page 37 of the rule book an innate bound spell ignores miscasts, you just can't cast again that turn. Why is this good? Well, like all armies you can now six dice something but don't have to fear losing the runelord through a wormhole.
Lets take a look at the runes.
Rune of Hearth and Home- An augment, makes all the friendly dwarf units in range immune to Psychology.
Not too bad, immune to psychology is no longer the powerful ability it once was. And really isn't that good in the dwarf army, but making everyone in range immune might have use in the right situation.
Rune of Oath and Steel - Augment, single unit can increase their save by one.
For me, this has some utility. Everyone complains again their Hammerers only having a 5+ save. For the next two combat phases (yours, and your opponents) they now suddenly have Gromril armour with no loss of damage output. Or how about Ironbreakers with a 2+ save? Basic warriors/longbeards/missile units with a 4+ or better. All for a 4+ to cast.
Rune of Wrath and Ruin - Direct Damage, 2D6 S4 magical hits.
The same as last time, except you now need LOS and it is only against a single unit. Kept back near war machines they might be great for flanking or war machine hunters. These units tend not to enjoy S4 hits, and usually it only takes one or two wounds on them for them to become ineffective.
Is it worth it?
Looking above, is the anvil now worth it's price in comparison to the last one? The simple answer is no. If you compare it to the previous Anvil, that is. The last one had better runes, and was cast unopposed. It was there to get our units into better positions, or in the usual use to get magical charges with miners/rangers. But I feel that this version has a different use. It is something that helps out the army, not loads but enough. The extra dice it has for magic (offence and defence) is always welcome, especially with people complaining how magic now works against dwarfs, and with the armour buff (with the points, it could even be buffed multiple times via 2+ Anvils) and the magic missile. I think it is less of a hide away thing now, but rather behind the army/ war machine support unit.
Buff the important combats, and watch the flanks for small vulnerable units. Or even snipe a rank or rank bonus of the odd unit here and there.
Am I saying it is a must include? Not at all. But I don't feel it is as useless as everyone pointed out, after it was discovered that it lost the movement buff. I feel that it has not been given the chance or tried enough to find its place. I will definitely be giving it a try as I start to get back into the game and see how it does.
What do you guys think? Anyone tried it more than once? Or is it truly just something to look back at the previous version all teary eyed?