Thursday, 30 September 2010

You suck and this is why. Part I

In light of my shiny new picture, casting it's glorious radiance all over the rest of my blog, I decided I needed an article called this. All props go to DaveHowitzer
of Crew Shaken Not Stirred (they're in my blogroll, check it out because we need more Scotland in the blogosphere). And now I owe him megaplugz. So... I'll do it at the end of this article.

The matter at hand is why you suck. Simple WHFB beginner mistakes, some of you vets might even make these, it's a new edition after all and everybody has to learn. So here's some of the common errors I see in WHFB. I should say, this article is tailored to new gamers, because from the feedback I've gotten about this blog a lot of competitive 40k players seem to be jumping on this and waiting expectantly for me to teach them competitive WHFB. Whatever. So I decided it's much easier to do a "What not to do" than a "What to do" article, so here goes.

Ok, we'll start with some basics then. I should say, this article may seem a little structureless, but that's because I'm essentially just listing things. I promise though, there's method in the madness.

The first and biggest thing I've noticed in 8E. And it drives me up the wall. NOT (AB)USING SWIFT REFORM. Now, against an army like say, my shooty one. Where I'm dropping 6+ blast templates on you a turn, what you SHOULD be doing with your small elite High Elf army is marching up in 2 ranks, and the turn before combat doing a SWIFT REFORM in to your actual formation. If you (like me) have a unit that can fight and shoot, you should be in 2 ranks, and the round before combat executing a SWIFT REFORM, to get in to your ranked formation. If you want to screen your army with your zombies, put them in a long ass line in front of your army (hard cover for all!) then SWIFT REFORM on LD10 with a reroll the turn before combat. This rule is SO UNDERUSED, and it's something that I feel very strongly about. Of course these are some very basic scenarios, but it's very situational (spreading out with your elite troops to fight a horde for example) and I could never list every opportunity to utilise it. Hopefully this should get you thinking. Oh and of course, you can use it to reform and shoot. Which is awesome.

Reforming in the close combat phase. This is another one I don't see being done nearly enough. Honestly, there aren't many tactics for this ability, I just don't see people using it. I'll just tell you all about it. If you win combat, you can reform for free. If you lose combat, you can reform if you pass a LD test (with all the penalties you had on your break test, unless you're steadfast). This rule is amazing. Charging a horde with chaos warriors. Winning combat. Spreading so your whole unit is in b2b. Good times. IN ADDITION, if you win close combat and the enemy flees, you can choose to restrain AND REFORM. This does not take an extra LD test. This comes free with the restrain move, like prawn crackers with a chinese takeaway. Of course if you play Dark Elves or Khorne WoC, then reroll, stupid armies (I don't actually dislike either of them, I just dislike not having control of my units, admittedly I have panic problems but I'm getting really off topic here, or am I because my next point is about).

PANIC. This is a rule few people seem to understand the full extent of. Here's where it all breaks down. If your unit takes 25% casualties from ANYTHING, it takes a panic test (unless of course it says it doesn't). This could be your jezzail exploding, dangerous terrain, a badly aimed elbow leaning on the table, whatever. You take this panic test IMMEDIATELY. Not at the end of the phase. Not when it's convenient. IMMEDIATELY. So if people want to combine their units fire, it's fine by me, cause I'm laughing inside. I should also point out, you take one panic test per phase, regardless of the source.

If a friendly unit is destroyed within 6", you take a panic test. For any reason. Dreaded 13th? Check. Chariot running in to terrain and dying? Check. Miscast wiping a unit from the face of the earth? Check. Exploding donkey and a crossbow? Check. Blisteringly bad ruling from the erratas? Check (I'm looking at you Dwarf FAQ, destroying the flame cannon was NOT NICE). Even war machine misfire. Shit just got real.

If a friendly unit breaks from combat within 6". This is the one I see forgotten most often, but there you go. Not much to write about it. Also, if you're fled through. But that's never forgotten. Just the first two irk me at times.

Here's one. A unit can rally if it is AT 25% or under. Not just under 25%, as I commonly see played. In addition, even if your unit is at 25% or under, you can rally on insane courage. Yes really. No really, horses eating each other. Yes horses eating each other, read the bible! AND SUDDENLY RAPTUROUS STANDARD. Damn thing -.-'

And speaking of standards (and my lack of them, look at all the whoring and plugging I do) here's one that really bothers me. If you break, your standard bearer dies. If you break, your BSB dies. Yes... really. Stop asking me that now. And once you've seen a temple guard unit get LD bombed and the Slann die just cause the unit broke, you will realise just how potent this rule is. I haven't seen that happen yet, but this rule is potent.

I reckon that will do for now. To attract new people I don't want to go on and on and on and on, and trust me, I could. But apparently I need posts that could keep RealGenius awake, so I'm going to have to call this one here folks. And I want to extend it in to a series of articles, so you'll have to make do. Now for some shameless plugging.

Hope you enjoyed the article!

Once, everything was white. There was nothing, not even darkness. Then out of the mystery of "Open with" came a picture. A picture showing the true master race in all their glory, yes-yes. And on this page did a mighty brush cleave strokes of the most crimson blood. And that blood did spell SKAVENBLIGHT. But it did not merely spell it. It was so finely crafted that you could still see it when you closed your eyes. Then, with divine comedy, was humour added to this celestial canvas. The brush rose and fell, sculpting a form of something more heavenly than Jesus' bathrobe after it's been on the radiator while he's showering.

And if you want this done for you, look up DaveHowitzer on


  1. Archy, you're inspiring me to get bk into fantasy. Alas, my Chaos Cav that your rats knew so well will be all but useless this edition.

  2. Don't be so sure. MSU is for all the cool kids these days and your chaos knights should easily be able to hold their own in combat. I'm posting this here rather than on msn so anyone else with this querie can get the same response, but I'd refer you to

    The bit about 8th Edition combat being more killtacular is good for you, because it means your knights (with 3A per model) should easily be able to keep up.

  3. And since special is 50% of your army, fitting in plenty of Knights is very doable.

    Love the article, Archy.