The Empire army book 8th edition warhammer review
The book consists of 96 pages bound with hardback covers divided into four sections.
The heirs of Sigmar is a rich history of the empire. From its beginnings with Sigmar himself to the present day empire ruled by the emperor Karl Franz. The empire is the mightiest nation in the old world. Also in this section is the familiar timeline and map of the empire. There is also a detailed section of the colleges of magic which of course reflect the eight lore's of magic found in the main warhammer rule book.
Soldiers of the empire, which contains descriptions and rules for all the different unit types available to empire generals. It also contains all the characters and special characters including a new hero Markus Wulfhart and the return of an old elector count Marius Leitdorf. Also in here is the heirlooms of magic detailing the magic items available only to the empire.
Colours of the empire, is a full colour photograph section 18 pages long of the models available in the games workshop empire army range. These are painted in great detail by 'eavy metal teams (a contradiction in terms really since none of games workshops models are made of metal).
The empire order of battle, the part of most interest to empire generals containing all the points costs and options for the many and varied units available to the forces of the empire. All you need to select an empire army to lead in your next game of warhammer fantasy battle.
The toughness drop of the steam tank from 10 to 6 is just a little too much, I personally feel 7 would have been about the right value though the chance it can "misfire" every turn and the random movement element make it much more balanced as previously it was practically invincible against some lower strength armies.
Demigryph knights can exchange lances for halberds, there is no explanation anywhere for this just an entry in the army list that they can swap from lances to halberds for free. Knightly orders can switch but for great weapons. Personally I would have preferred to see either both or one only of these options for both units.
Games workshop only currently sells the warhammer empire book (and all of its other army and rule books) in a physical hardback format, with the advent of the kindle and other e-readers a PDF or similar version would be welcomed by a lot of people and save having to carry a lot of big and bulky rulebooks about everywhere.
Pro and cons
Excellent book in hardback format, really a must have for empire players in 8th edition warhammer fantasy battle. Well written and presented, excellent full colour throughout with good quality photos of the models. Full of little well presented banners and illustrations (even Rudolph the red nosed empire captain on the front cover) and little tidbits of stories and information scattered throughout the book. Most of the artwork is new and has not been seen before, even the drawings that have been seen before now appear in full colour rather then in black and white as they were in the previous book. Contains the rules for the new empire units demigryph knights, the Luminark of Hysh and the Celestial Hurricanum as well as revised rules for many other units, the steam tank and war machines in particular have had major changes.
Cons are that it is expensive even for a hardback book (though admittedly it will be years until they release an new one). It is also the same size as the previous 7th edition army book despite new units and the chance for more embellishments. It is only for fans/players of 8th edition warhammer fantasy battle. Much of the older history remains the same meaning older fans will already know much of it. For players of the game new units for your empire army means more models (and therefore expense) to buy, build and paint. Some players will also be disappointed at the disappearance of some of the old magic items such as Aldred's casket of sorcery.
Altogether yet another decent looking more balanced army book from games workshop it evens out the units and makes the previous must haves such as mortars and steam tanks more balanced (though many empire players will say less powerful and therefore less useful). Though many units have increased fractionally in cost hopefully the new detachment rules and synergies will even this out. Obviously these army books are aimed primarily at players of 8th edition warhammer fantasy battle, sadly the high cost will put off more casual fans and those interested in warhammers rich history and pageantry.
All the units and characters from 7th edition makes a return as well as three new units, a return of the elector count Marius Leitdorf and a new hero level character Markus Wulfhart who is apt at taking out enemy monsters. The only loses are many of the magic items though this is common to all 8th edition army books.
Overall the book is well written and presented and much more balanced rules wise, the hard back cover is an improvement over the previous covers. Many players will no doubt complain about the changes and points variations in this new army book but overall the balance is much better and most units are a viable choice again. Another well written army book but I feel the vampire counts army book was that little bit superior overall.
8 out of 10 for fans/players of warhammer fantasy battle
5 out of 10 for none fans
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