Earlier, before the new hardcover book, I lamented that goblins had no special place in the O&G army. Every interesting advantage (fanatics, netters, hating dwarfs) seemed to be given to their subterranean cousins. In 8th edition rules, the Night Goblins hand weapon/shield combo is also more effective in close combat if you want to stick to the three point models. Goblins needed love. They needed something to make them unique in the O&G book. Did they get it? A little, but not as much as I would have liked.
Comparing the two books, goblins don't appear to have changed much. The basic model has the same stat line. The options cost half as much, so now a more reasonable equipped model with spear and shield costs a point less than in the old book. Night goblins, on the other hand, can get spears for free but can't take light armor. It basically makes spear/shield goblins more expensive than a similarly equipped night goblin, but having a point higher leadership. All command has been made more expensive as well, standardizing on 10 pts per model instead of different costs for boss, musician or standard bearer. The one thing that goblins did get is a new unit addition, the Nasty Skulker. These are basically close combat specialist goblins that get three attacks and killing blow for the first combat they are revealed. The combination of better armor (for extra cost), a few extra attacks in the front rank (for extra cost) and a better leadership than night goblins, regular goblins might have a little more punch in close combat. What the nasty skulkers don't do is add any staying power for a tarpit horde. You aren't planning on these units winning combat, in fact they may be engaged on multiple fronts, so "steadfast" with the general and standard bearer nearby are the keys to survival. Some extra attacks in the front rank probably aren't as useful as another 8 or so goblins to keep the ranks filled. I really like the skulker models too, and will likely be getting some just to paint. I also eagerly await a new goblin plastic kit that actually has the options to kit them out with hand weapon!
The wolf riders were also on my look-at list. I have a grand scheme to create a fully mounted goblin army, using all wolf riders and chariots. So far I have painted one model. My plans move slowly. The wolf rider basic model is down to 10 pts, a significant 2 points less than previous. This model also doesn't come with the default weapon, but cavalry spears are good to have when you are S3. A nice addition is that giving them shields no longer removes the "fast cavalry" rule from them. Wolf chariots got a nice little bump. They are a full 10 points cheaper than in the prior book, and can be fielded in units of 1-3. This gets you a not insignificant maximum of 450 points of chariots for your three duplicate special choices, nearly the maximum allowed for a 2000 point list. Throw in a couple lord/hero choices with chariots and you have a huge rolling army. Effective? Who knows? Impressive? Hecks, yeah!
A couple more observations about the book. The spells of the little waaagh seem very augment/hex oriented, which I really liked. They do things like let goblins re-roll to-hit and to-wound rolls when flighting on flank or rear. That's really cool. The magic item list .... what happened?! They went from 40 unique items in the last book to a pathetic 8 in this book. I know the main rule book has a lot more items in this edition than last, but seriously! And of the 8, two are banners that can only be taken by a particular type of goblin (one regular goblin, one night goblin), one can only be taken by savage orc shaman and two others are 100 point monstrosities. Maybe this is a game design decision to keep things simple, I dunno.
In terms of photos, one of my favorite parts of the books, there are zero pictures of regular trolls, despite them being a special choice now. Stone trolls only make an appearance in the corner of a full-army shot.
So just doing a little math, for my mounted goblin army I could field wolf chariots for 300, Grom for another 285, 4 units of 25 wolf riders (spear, shield, command) for 1320 and still have about 100 points left over for a shaman on a wolf. Sounds like a fun idea, but I can't see myself painting 100 wolf riders this year. Or dropping a couple hundred bucks on wolf chariots. Or not getting distracted by my Skaven or Eldar or Protectorate of Menoth or Marines or Android development. I mean, let's be realistic here.
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