Sneak Peek at Upcoming Changes to the Warriors of the Dark Gods Army Book

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  • The Warriors of the Dark Gods were above the desired benchmark, as a few builds consistently over performed. The review was a tough one for all parties, and took a whopping 4 hours. The army has had some major internal design changes and a few builds were addressed in particular. Here are some of the most important revisions:

    1. Marks of the Dark Gods were redesigned on many levels. To begin, pricing has changed. Since different Marks give different features to different units, in the long run sticking with same price for all of them caused some internal balance problems. In the new update the price of each mark will vary for each unit. One mantra of T9A project is to avoid any auto-includes, and MoL chariots, MoC characters and MoW everything else were becoming just that. The new pricing will address this.

    Regarding internal balance, even with the new pricing structure for marks it was likely that some of them would never see play. Therefore, every mark but the Mark of Change got a slight redesign in order to make them more unique. The new Marks are more tactical, promoting good maneuvering and discouraging deathstars. Also, their roles are clearer now:
    • MoW — Offensive: +1 to-hit to the front, can't declare flee.
    • MoP — Defensive: -1 to-hit from the front (but no worse than on 5+), -1 Initiative for the marked model.
    • MoL — Control: Re-roll charge, pursuit and random movement rolls, and Immune to Panic.
    • MoC — Support: Ironically, given the name, there has been no change.
    Finally, the stacking of Marks and "ubermarks" were always on weak foundations balance wise, and with the overall toning down of the power level they had to go away.

    2. Gaze of the Gods gives re-roll to-hit and to-wound the next turn after killing a Monster/Character in a challenge. The current table for the Gaze of the Gods was too complex for what it brought to the table. It saw play maybe once a battle and would always require checking the book because the table, especially the secondary effects, was hard to memorize. Relatedly, Trolls have lost Warped Regeneration.

    3. Complete overhaul of Magical Items and Gifts. This was the #1 priority for the ABC, as they felt that when the book was first published there was not enough time to design the items properly. Many of the old gifts/items were removed and some of the ones that stayed have been changed. It's only a Sneak Peak so we're not going to lay it all out, but some of the important changes are:
    • Nine Tailed Standard now only gives non-Skirmish infantry +1 Movement, but its price has dropped and the bubble effect is still there.
    • Out of the four god-specific banners, all of them but the Banner of Transmutation are available for 25 pts.
    • All the Dark Gods have a separate dedicated gift now - 3 of them are old gifts, but one is completely new.
    • The Once-Chosen gift is back!
    Some of the gifts and items that were removed entirely are:
    • Crushing Strength
    • Blessed by the Dark Gods
    • Dagger of Change
    • Beguiling Chains
    4. Lust Ubermark gives Skirmish and +2 Movement to Chosen and Once-Chosen, but only starting-size units are able to take this upgrade (10 for Chosen and 3 for Once-Chosen). Since the old Lust-marked Chosen hardly ever saw play, we tried a bit of outside-of-the-box thinking and gave it a more flavorful function which was in line with the general concept for Marks and hopefully could also open a new playstyle. That's right: Uberfallen.

    5. Monster Mash with Daemon Prince, Elder Dragon Centaur and 2x2 Crushers was dominating tournament lists and with the changes happening across the board had to be addressed. Fielding this setting in the standard formats is still possible but not with full kit anymore. The flying version was also limited in that WDG can now only field a maximum of 2 Large Targets with Fly, though as always there are upgrades allowing you to circumvent this rule.

    6. Core Wasteland Chariots were too obvious a choice for the standard WDG playstyles and were moved to special. However, this came with returning them to their elite T5 status and with the option to play them in core if you field your General on a Chariot. Another change, prompted by community feedback, is that the Chariot profiles were merged with the Mauler Chariot, which is now an upgrade that increases the chariot's survivability but limits its speed. These can't be taken as core, though.

    7. Wrath Priest was rarely seen, even in mono-Wrath lists, and as a result was heavily buffed. At the start of the game the player can choose one of the three Special Rules, once of which allows the model to count as a Wizard Master for dispelling if no friendly wizards are present on the battlefield.

    8. Hellcannon has gotten a redesign too. We streamlined the unbreakable option with the Daemon Prince and simplified the overall design a bit. Now it has Movement 4 and two modes of fire: if it doesn't move it has longer range and higher Strength. The -1 Ld penalty for panic is gone, but the panic test is still obligatory if it inflicts a casualty.

    9. The WDG heroes and units have very strong natural protection and the mechanic of stacking the Ward Saves globally was pushing their defense over the top. With the new version the Battle Shrine aura is only 6" and it grants Hard Target to all non-LT units. The Change Ubermark has lost the 6+ Ward Save but it gained the Dagger of Change abilities instead to further emphasize the concept behind the Mark.

    10. The Giant got some love too and with the new draft is able to unleash some Pink Fire at the opponent.


    Snapshot of the WDG review about Marks:
  • WDG_review_Marks


  • Please keep in mind that the issues and proposals discussed in those recordings may not always reflect the latest rules update you will see when we finally release the armybook, but we hope it will give you nevertheless an interesting sneak peek.

    5,432 times read

Comments 35

  • billr -

    Sort of disappointing to see that MoW and Inspiring Greatness combo still possible. After seeing it Siege at the Tower and at still at Ohcon, it's just gross.

    • billr -

      Looks like it's been toned down a bit. That's good. Hard to say if it's still too much though.

  • Silver Wolf -

    #1 Mark of Pestilence got it bad this time. Even though it grants -1 to hit, -1I debuff puts Barbarians, Warriors and Chosen in a lot worse position now. That line "-1 to-hit from the front (but no worse than on 5+)" would have been enough.
    Not to mention that it goes against fluff. A certain book we're not naming here said that even with their bloated frames, the followers of pestilence still retain their full speed, mobility and skill.

    #2 Losing Gaze of the Gods is a horrible idea in my opinion. This trend of oversimplifying the rules for tournament use is killing the joy of the game.

    #9 I think that you went a bit too far with nerfing the warshrine. But play-testing will tell.
    Also, Mark of change seems very bland. 6+ Ward emphasizes the fluff behind the mark better and allows more variation in customizing your unit.

    The rest looks fine.

  • Tubby_Fatkins -

    I wish there were more 'fluffy fun and not super useful' things in the army, it all seems to be being washed out. We are CHAOS afterall, I enjoyed random stat effects with Fallen and crazy magic from the Vortex Beast. The Gaze table was fluffy and fun! It rarely impacted gameplay which means that balance wasn't hurt....but now our army is getting more dull :/ Wacky magic items with weird effects, your Lord becoming a spawn (once every 10,000 games) gave us stories to tell our friends and cry a bit about, they are some of my fondest memories about WHFB. Please, please don't bleach this game of all that.

  • Salinas86 -

    MoL — Control: Re-roll charge is still to power full i think

  • Wesser -

    I think the broader picture looks Good. I always hated playing against WoC due to the cartoony builds, and How insanely boring they were to play against. This would fix a Lot of the issues... As for game balance.. We Will have to ser the points.. But conceptwise? Huge improvements

  • PadrePadre -

    I'm not interested in playing this flat and boring codex. According to those changes core is unplayable and other units are boring... "Gaze of the gods" - for real? REROLLS? Wrath mark go up in price? Everyone was playing Wrath not because it was so game-breaking, but beause other marks were terrible.


    I expected 'nerfs' but it went too far, it seems that WDG are simply the boy to beat in T9A ... I'm out of here.

    Flat and boring codex.
    Congratulations.

  • DJWoodelf -

    Guys, congratulations. The 4 hours should be paying off. ;)

    1. Seems balanced and fluffwise fitting, MoP is perfect now as I didn't like the offensive boost by -1WS to enemy at all. But I have to get used to mark of change not being the general-protecting mark anymore but a specific offensive one.
    2. The table looked cool, but as you said was hardly relevant.
    3. OK
    4. good idea
    5. I'm fine with that, to make an upgrade necessary to field more than two flying large targets (dragon, manticore, daemon prince, chimera)
    6. perfect, WdG was the only army left with chariots in core except for UD und BH.
    7. perfect, so my proposals were heard ;)
    8. sounds senseful
    9. OK
    10. I'm excited.

    • Darkstorm -

      We are army that has no real shooting. The reason for core chariots was to get in battle faster. Now, we can get shot to hell faster. As a wood elf you would love the changes.

    • DJWoodelf -

      I'm always regarding rules neutrally, because I possess and play 9 different armies. Dont get deceived by my name. ;)
      I like moves that go in my wished direction, that is: one category characters, one category troops and one category support (=monsters, warmachines, chariots). See in the suggestions threads.

  • Bugman -

    Its always intresting to see people shout "nerf nerf". One has to remember that at least with 9th edition, things can and have been shown to be changed if that nerf or buff is too big/little. If this had been GW, you would be waiting years, or perhaps never, so at least show some thanks that things are at least being looked at and changed to make life more interesting. One also has to remember that across the board these things are happening, so the idea is to make the power levels more or less the same, so sit back, enjoy the coffee and play, because things are only getting better!

    • jimbo81 -

      " Warriors of the Dark Gods were above the desired benchmark, as a few builds consistently over performed."

      Based on what exactly? Certainly not anything I'm seeing. Seems like they've just beat up a mid tier army without provocation.

    • tiny -

      The target powerlevel is not 0.5 average of v0.11 ... Nearly all armies are above the powerlevel

  • tunasandwichify -

    So listening to the audio, there seems to be a lot of hate towards warriors' statline. The fact that we pay for our statline seems moot to certain people on the audio, so on top of an already expensive statline, our marks have to be more expensive now too because they are too powerful?...Seems like they're not even taking into account the other factors of our army like poor/lack of shooting, mediocre magic phase and horrible movement phase(though that may workout differently with the new changes) coming into play. By the time we get into combat, our numbers are most likely dwindled by the time we hit combat. Granted not every army has amazing shooting. But now with our marks only working towards the front, it makes our move forward even slower while we play the movement game, to ensure we don't get flanked.

    Other than the comments I had on the audio, I am cool with most if not all the changes from the sneak peak.

  • FireFlyFox -

    love for the giant yay!
    glad to see auto flying monster massh builds going away

  • Gregus -

    Did the wastelands warriors get any adjustment (execpt in Marks price adjustment)? And what about Barbarians price?

    I think WodG players really want to field more warriors and less barbarians :)

    PS : some other changes seem really good! Like the specialization of marks

    • Drakkar -

      You will not have an official answer.
      But you can expect flail 2ppm for barbarians and warriors 1ppm cheaper with 30 models max size.

    • Gregus -

      I know, but something like "We paid attention to those guys" would be enough for me. Just to be sure the ABC understands why everyone plays monstermash (and wrath barbarians with flail in core)? :D

    • There Is No Spoon -

      @Gregus I know I do, I have about 72 nicely painted and based. I'd LOVE to be able to play them, but when you start crunching the numbers, the unit price is just prohibitive. Barbs win out every time, unless I'm feeling 'fluffy'.

  • jimbo81 -

    Did not think you guys could find more areas to nerf. Very unimpressive marks. No point relief for warriors or Knights? Really? You want to discourage monster mash: players are taking those options because Knights and warriors are so bad.

    • saurus -

      Haven't you figured it out yet Jimbo? Every time you complain about WotDG, the ABC adds another nerf to the pile. It's a conspiracy I tellz ya!

    • saurus -

      I feel bad for you Jimbo. So to lift your spirits I've liked your post too so you no longer have to feel alone in liking your own posts.

  • F.Caccia -

    1.
    MoP will see some use on charachters, none on units. -1 to be hit wasn't enough for warriors in the good old days, now that stuff hit much harder and with the -1 initiative on top it's definitely not good.
    2.
    Seriously.....the problem was not the effect but the trigger. Our charachters will rarely fight other charachters, and surely not two in a row. Now the bonus is even more situational. If you want to keep this horrible idea at least make it apply to killing champions too.
    3.
    Thanks for taking out Blessed and Dagger, the only good items we had.
    4.
    Cool idea but no one is going to pay 200 points for a skirmishing 3 or 10 men unit in special that is not even scoring. Again something that won't see any competitive play.
    5.
    The fact that many people play monster mash lists doesn't mean they are good. I recently got 3rd place at the biggest 9th age UK event with a similar list, and right after I knew I would change half of it, including dropping the DP and Crushers.
    The limit on max 2 LT for the army is one of those things that don't make sense and reeks too much of comp.
    6.
    Chariots have always been a good support unit, not a broken choice regardless of what people say. Core they made sense, special they won't. At least I hope the Gorebeast is also special and got a points drop.
    7-8
    Looks good.
    9.
    How is a 1+/4++ on a 450 points model over the top?
    I kind of like the change to the warshrine too, but you should make it a charachter mount too.
    10.
    Very good

    • Gregus -

      2. "Seriously.....the problem was not the effect but the trigger. Our charachters will rarely fight other charachters, and surely not two in a row. Now the bonus is even more situational. If you want to keep this horrible idea at least make it apply to killing champions too".

      I totally agree with that! As a WoDG players, I barely never rolled the dice on this chart because everytime I had to declare a challenge, my opponents send their champions !

    • Fthunder -

      4. Skirmishing Once chosen will be decent with the +2 movement on Lust. They could never have banners anyway right?

      6. Dropping Chariots out of core seems crazy, but like the idea that you can get it back with a character (like Trolls).

      9. You could get a 1+/4++ on a 180 point model. 225 if they were on a Daemonic Steed.

    • F.Caccia -

      Once chosen can have a regular command group.
      180 point guy is a hero on a horse. 2 wounds T4. 4 S 5 attacks. No thanks.
      DM is doable but you have to factor bsb (25) so we click at 250 for a guy that won't kill anything.
      Also, you may have a lor, and the 50 points talisman may have to go on him.
      Finally, they are freaking chaos charachters! Though and killy, it should be our thing.

  • Lazur -

    Like Janus said main problem is that this changes won't made anything weaker... It made it disapear completely until next draft.

  • There Is No Spoon -

    I'd like to add that the claim that Uber-Marks are OP would be more convincing with some data. Once-Chosen are certainly not in that category. When I suggested taking them to a double's a tourney recently, we both laughed, that's how bad they are.

  • Janus -

    Haha, its funny, most people have played on DP and 2x2 crushers+ shagoth- so conclusion is to cut it! Ex shaggots are not worth they price, they cost too much comparing to what they can do; next issue is Shrine- ok last buff was too powerful, but you have decreased range to 6'' and gice hard target instead ward; now it will be unplayable choice, and you will considering why?? Imo range 12'' should be still available and gives hard target to no LT units; marks good job; the same as chariots and hellcannon; about wrath priest will see; cheers

  • Ease -

    Love this sneak peek - definitely sounds like some movement in a positive direction. Though I must say I'm a little sad that this isn't the SE sneak peak; I thought this was "elf week"?

    • Krokz -

      SE is still under construction, so WDG jumped in since it was ready for some time.

  • There Is No Spoon -

    Interesting listening to the discussion. I disagree with the RT regarding GW's and mark costs on warriors (having play-tested that exact build twice) Their theory-build is sub-optimal even with a maxed block, and players know it, which is why it isn't seen at tourney level as far as I know. On the other hand, I do agree that split mark costs make a lot of sense. Hopefully, tourney data will inform points-cost readjustments in the future.

    • Ease -

      Yeah, although it'd be a lot cleaner to have constant mark costs, I think proper balance would've been impossible. And balance > cleanliness.

    • jimbo81 -

      could we promote Spoon to the Army book review panel please? We need a WDG guy in there.

    • Krokz -

      There should be no "insert army" guy there. For any army.