Following in the tradition of holiday giving, I present the forces of Fantasy with their presents for the worthy and coal for the evil ones…
Beastmen – This is a tough one. This is an army that just doesn’t work well, but it’s hard to tell why. On paper, they’re pretty decent. They’re not overpowered, they have interesting and unique powers and do a lot of what some of the top armies do too, but somehow it just doesn’t fit together. The one rule I look at that needs to be tweaked is ambush, so here goes…Beastmen get a new Rare unit that can declare a charge the turn it comes in from Ambush. This won’t be anything too fighty or durable and will have a modest size limit, but the fact that that threat can be waiting just off the table will make for some interesting battles.
Bretonians – As before, I am not giving anyone an army book. Bretonians are another army that seem to have everything on paper but just don’t pull it together. Again, I’m looking at something that makes them unique and I come to the Lance formation. Brets get two treats…1. Their cav unit maximum sizes get increased. 2. A lance formation that’s 6 wide gets the benefits of being a Horde. A cavalry charge from Bretonian knights is supposed to be devastating and this will make it moreso then before.
Dark Elves – Oh Dark Elves… I look at the Dark Elf army and for the most part, things look pretty decent. The unkillable lord is a pain, but there are ways to deal with him and he’s just one guy. Then I come to one unit that begs for coal…the Hydra. I look at the Hydra and what it does, then I look at the Vhargulf which costs the same points and has half the abilities and I see something that needs to change. They get even uglier at 3000 points when you see 4 of the multi-headed bastards across the table and you wish you had spammed cannons. So Dark Elves get a lump of coal in the form of a 30 point increase on the Hydra.
Demons – Oh come on… Demons, you think you’re getting a gift after the last few years? Sure 8th edition toned you down a little, but I still remember the story of the player that had never played fantasy before and went to a tournament with a tricked out demon army…he placed third. That’s just sick. The problem with Demons is there’s really no penalty for taking gods that don’t get along because they’re powerful, so for Demons your coal will be animosity. If you have a unit of one god near a unit of another god that they don’t like they roll a chance that they’ll charge that unit instead. It still leaves pure builds alone and allows players to work around it, but if you’re going to run some shenanigans, you may have to pay the price.
Dwarves – dwarves are another fairly capable army. They could certainly use an update, but I’ll settle for giving them some models. Dwarves get reasonably priced Plastic Hammerers. Of course they already have these…Mantic makes them.
Empire – Here we really have a tough one. Empire is really capable, but doesn’t need any coal either. I think what they need and what their players will love is the Mortar goes to s3. S4 large blast is a bit much, but S2 is just too much of a nerf considering the points increase. I look at the mortar and just don’t get what they were thinking. So you made it suck and gave it a 20 point cost increase? No. S3 makes it pretty potent against most core, which it should be but not going to S4 makes it reasonable enough considering the price. I think this is what it should be anyway.
High Elves – This is another tough one. To be honest, my first reaction was to give them a points reduction across the board, but while their units are expensive, they also come with lots of special abilities that can be pretty useful. I also wanted to give Teclis a big old lump of coal that he so richly deserves…so I will do that. Teclis only gets his “I ignore miscasts” once per game instead of every turn. Their present is a box of reasonably priced plastic swordmasters.