Ok, before we all chime in and ask “Are Chaos Dwarfs in it?”, we will assume that is a given we all care about that.
As for me, I’m really curious to see how VC are treated. They, Chaos Dwarfs, and Empire are my three favorite armies for various reasons. While Empire got better certainly (in my opinion), my Dark Elves work well and look good, and Skaven are just a hoot… I really care about how the VC will turn out as I can really get into them. Despite being very un-goth, I love the undead (skeletons especially).
The thing I am worried about is, with deadlier combats, magic being less reliable (and likely having to spam Invocation on two dice)… VC might be overly undermined. Combine that with the changes in fear, I worry VC might be borderline unplayable. My old Grave Guard list might work, I typically operated on 7-8 power dice as it was, but I’d have to add 210.5 points of core (assuming dire wolfs don’t count for core min).
Sure, a few necromancers in place of a Vampire can really help spam that Invocation, but if I roll poor on the number of power dice at the wrong time… I’m doomed. As combats being deadlier, even with the durable Grave Guard, you’ll need to invocate more. Let alone with Skeletons, or the likely more fragile than an emo kid’s emotional balance zombies.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some things that work well with VC in 8th (the Helm of Commandment is more useful than ever, but I like my Vampire getting stuck in combat). Casting some of their spells is a bit easier too. However the most important spell, Invocation, is hurting. The whole point of the Invocation spamming was when they got rid of the “once per turn per caster” multiple level Invocation from the old book, and replaced it with the single level spell in the current book.
So I’m really hoping that, with spells having a “ramped up” version that there will be a ramped up version of Invocation. Sure, make it harder to cast. In the new edition, 8+ or 9+ for 2D6 back would be fine.
The whole point of why I set aside the current VC book was (well partially burnout), but because the only list whose concepts I like, tended to be over powered. As such, it wasn’t as much to play them, despite liking the feel and look. That led me to Chaos Dwarfs. Now, especially since I hear some folks around here discouraging CD, I was hoping I could play VC some more. I was fine with them taking a hit in power, dare I say that they might have needed it, but I think the hit they’re taking might be a bit too much. I enjoy a challenge, and I might still play them to be honest, but let’s not gut them either…
Put simply, deadlier combats equal more dead troops which equals worse crumbles. Combine this with overall less reliable chances of invocation working (either by having to use 2 dice to not roll a 1 or 2, or rolling very low on the power dice) equals far squisher undead units. Overall I’m fine with the changes in fear, it isn’t fun to just go “Well, you need snakes” just because I won by 1 and cause fear. I just think that the skeletons, zombies, and ghouls (especially) are pointed for the raising that we’re used to. As combat wise the Skeletons are Goblins, the zombies worse than Skinks, and Ghouls are… well I don’t like Ghouls conceptually, so meh. Grave Guard are more worth their points and abilities, but going Grave Guard heavy is impractical. Plus I am wary of it, due to how nasty my duel grave guard list was before.
Sorry, lengthy explanation and a bit of a rant, but it is my first and foremost concern. Other than that, while I’m hoping for a mention for Chaos Dwarfs in the FAQ, I doubt they’ll get it. So overall I’m pretty stoked for 8th, and I am hoping that VC will not be as undermined as I think they will be.