Another battle, another insight gained, another point mused.
Despite all that "000h-aaah" over the Black Guards in 8th Ed, I seriously felt that they have not being pulling their weight. ASF + Hatred is deadly against MSUs which crumble against the I6, 2 attacks per model. But the real meat that I want to chew are those infantry blocks.
Step-up rules means that for every 10 basic infantry model I kill, another 10 step into their place and force me to make my own saves. With only a 5+ save, that's not enough. Sad to say, but Black Guards got nerfed a little bit in 8th Ed. Where we used to go I6 ASF on some infantry block and no one strikes back, now we feel the full pain of their strike backs and worse, steadfast rules means they are stubborn if they have more ranks than me. Cheap basic infantry blocks will definitely have more ranks than me.
Does it mean a return to my Hydra/Cok days of old?
I don't think so. My chariots now make their return in lieu of the Hydras, so people are now going to stare at 3 Chariots running around instead of 2 Hydras. Impact hits + T5 + 3+ armour save means they survive longer against those pesky infantry blocks than T3 + 5+ armour save Black Guards. I may not be able to break them on the charge, but I really do get to tie them down.
On the other hand, I have I5 cheap infantry blocks. @7 pts a spearelf, I can field a few of them in. HE may still overpower them since they have ASF (and free Hatred), but against any other army, I have I5 and Hatred.
Possibly 3 blocks of Spearelves (1 to take over from the Black Guards) and it will free some points for a 3rd Chariot on table.
Protecting the Supreme Sorceress will also be another thing to watch out for during battle. She hasn't survived any of the 8th ed battles yet so I need to work on protecting her.