Albion, Amazons, Araby, Estalia and Norse updated to 8th Edition Warhammer army book pdfs + 24 other superb unofficial Fantasy Battle armies.
Below you will find:-
- a brief overview of each army
- a slideshow of some pics to give you a taster
- links to the armies themselves (click the army book covers)
- the army discussion threads in the Battle Reporter forum
- notable changes to the 8th edition book and
- a link to my previous 7th edition army book reviews*.
* note that there have been extensive revisions since my previous book reviews but they should still serve to give a faithful impression of the armies.
I will be returning to these armies for more thorough reviews once I have completed my Warhammer Fantasy Battle Leagues project (www.wfbattles.com) which will to go live sometime in August 2013.
To follow Mathias's development plans check out his Warhammer Armies Project blog.
Barbarian warriors, tribal chieftains, mysterious druids and strange occult-like rituals to the Mother Goddess symoblise the Misty Isle and it's peoples (think ancient Britons). Previous Albion Army Book (brief review)
- Extended history for Albion, including Dark Shadows and the history of the Gaels - A timeline of Albion - Completely revised geography section - New units: Hunters and Centaurs - New Special Characters: Dural Durak, Morrigan and Connor McFeud - Completely revised Magic Item section.
Albion Army Discussion thread
Why you should collect an Albion Army
Gaelic Fury (Swiftstride and Hatred to run down your foe), Woad Paint (6+ ward save), lots of fast, cheap skirmisher-like units, Fenbeasts! (fearsome, unbreakable, regenerating troll-like creatures), high toughness centaurs, chariots, Morrigan - an ethereal sorceress and, more generally, the earthy feel and wonderful moody green look to the book - embrace your Celtic soul! Also, you should have no difficulty tracking down the 28mm miniatures you need (Ancient Britons, Celts, Norse, Germanic Tribes etc on eBay).
The mythical legend of warrior women living deep within the jungles of Lustria may not be a myth at all. The military sisterhood army book is wonderfully presented with a plethora of awesome artwork. They share some traits with the Lizardmen army, employing some similar beats such as Terradons and Cold Ones.
A challenging army to use in battle due to their relative low strength weaponry. Previous Amazons Army Book (detailed review)
- 4 new units: Jaguar Hunting Packs, Terradon Riders, Medusas and an Avatar of Rigg - 2 new special characters: Lwaxana and Lysippe - New/updated Magic Items - Timeline for the Amazons - Much edited background section - Units now have access to a multitude of High Age Artefacts.
Amazons Army Discussion thread
Why you should collect an Amazons Army
First and foremost, an all female army is absolutely unique in the Warhammer world and the book is so superbly presented it's difficult not to fall in love with the concept of making male slaves of your enemies. The Amazon miniatures should also be reasonably easy to come by (28mm Amazons on eBay), even the gorillas! Finally, it's a good excuse to play lots of battles against the new Lizardmen and, in my opinion, it's one of the more challenging armies to field in battle which makes vanquishing those pesky amphibians and reptilians even more satisfying :-)
The Araby army (along with Nippon and Cathay - extensive review) is probably one of the most strongly themed human-based armies in the whole collection of unofficial army books.
There is a wealth of Arabic and Middle Eastern background to draw upon; flying carpets (cool!), war elephants (2d6 impact hits), four types of genies, naffatun (skirmishing, napalm grenadiers), janissaries (disciplined, all rounder elites incl. Bs4), assassins and thieves, camel riders, dervishers (a bit like goblin fanatics) and the Sandglass of Time (a hard-to-kill shrine-like war machine that can negate enemy magic and has it's own spell pool).
Previous Araby Army Book review (detailed)
Noted Changes - "...change in their army-wide special rule, which is completely new. Rather than just have a one-turn bonus to the army, I wanted to give them something that would reflect upon the real Saracens' religious focus and fearlessness in battle as well as their speed. As such, all models with Zealotry roll 3D6 for Psychology tests and Break tests (still not as good as Cold-Blooded!), and also re-roll 1's when charging. Of course, this means that there have been points increases almost across the board." - Mathias
Araby Army Discussion thread
Why you should collect an Araby Army
It's a fast moving, daring, desert army with heaps of character and great if you enjoy playing against Tomb Kings because it really fits in with the fluff and geography - unlike many other "vs Tomb Kings" games. Magic carpet riders, Dervisher "fanatics" and Genies - oh yes! What's not to like ?
The army really appeals to me, it's nicely balanced, reliable, with lots of selection options, has interesting units and tactically it has excellent flanking potential. Like all human armies, it's biggest challenge is protecting that oh-so-tender human form (ie. toughness 3).
There are stacks of 28mm Arabic miniatures on eBay that fit the bill.
Similar in many respects to The Empire army, the Estalians deploy well drilled, armed and armoured rank and file and plenty of gun powder weapons. They have a solid selection of ranged and close combat core units; useful cavalry - lancers, cheap fast cavalry (core) and pistoliers; special and rare cannons and are themed by the likes of conquistadors, caballeros, inquisitors and, wait for it... my favourite... the extremely unfortunate Fire Bulls with their Bull Run special rule - how do you like your steak ?
Previous Estalia Army Book Review (detailed)
Almost completely revised history section, including the timeline - New army-wide special rules: Tercio Formation, Estalian Steel, and revised Tactical Supremacy - New units: Almogavars, War Dogs, Mountain Guns. Missionaries, Serfs, Inquisitorial Henchmen are no more - Revised units: Diestro are now characters, Handgunners are a core choice, and Royal Guard replaces Arqubusiers - New Special Characters: Isabella Giovanna Luccelli, Grand Inquistor de Hojeda and Maria de Salvo. King Miraz is no more - 9 new magic items replacing the old ones.
Estalia Army Discussion Thread
Why you should collect an Estalia Army
Estalia is for the Empire rank and file enthusiast looking for something new or for generals who don't care for the Empire fluff but like the kind of tactical options such an army offers.
An Estalian army is even better drilled than an Empire army demonstrated by it's "Tactical Supremacy" army wide rule. This rule allows the army to move more freely using 3D6 (and discarding the highest dice) when testing for marching, reforming, redirecting charges and possibly most importantly when rallying. The Estalians also employ an interesting and quite powerful tactical formation named the Tercio allowing pikemen and infantry men to support one another as a single unit and nearby crossbows/handgunners to lend supporting fire. Both of these unique rules offer something just different enough to tempt a potential Empire player to try their hand at Estalia instead (or aswell as).
The Norse are a warrior based society, steeped in mythology, of extremely hardy, war-like humans and lets face it, you'd have to be living so close to the source of the Chaos Incursions !
With many frenzied, unbreakable and immune to psychology troops the army book really conjures up the impression of desperate men doing whatever is necessary to fend off the marauding Chaos hordes.
The Norse is one of the most popular books among aficionados of unofficial Warhammer armies. In fact, Norse is currently 3rd place in Mathias's Favourtie Unofficial Army Poll just behind the awesome Bretonnia (unofficial) and Nippon books.
Previous Norse Army Book Review
Extended background for the Norse, especially in their history and geography department - New units: Sons of Thor, Thralls, Ulfjarls, Half Giants, Norse Horsemen - 2 new special characters - written by Stefan Wolf, who is starting to become a bit of a regular in helping out with writing supporting background for the units! - New Lore of the Seidr - spells based on the Aenir (Norse gods) - Revised Magic Items - Lots of balance changes - infantry is generally more expensive, but the Norse list have plenty more variation now - Full colour artwork and graphic layout, with lots of great new illustrations to peruse - Counter-Charge now only applies to units with a King or Jarl in them, streamlined function to avoid confusion with multiple chargers - Most Infantry 1 pt cheaper - Fearless rule for Reaver removed - Marauders and Half Giants only have hand weapons as basic, have to purchase other weapons.
Norse Army Discussion Thread
Why you should collect a Norse Army
The Norse are the equivalent in spirit (if not martial prowess) to an untainted Warriors of Chaos army. They live to fight... and win - it's the only choice they have. How can you not like a beleaguered army fighting on all fronts, the first in line to stem the tide of Chaos, true heroes protecting the northern frontier of the Old Worlde ?
28mm Norse / Viking Miniatures on eBay
on Google Drive (note: previews are not always available) :-