Well i've been doing a lot of reading online pouring over playtesting reports and listening to podcasts from some of the leading tournament players around the globe on what 8th Edition is going to do. I've also been trawling through Bugmans Brewery the home of all Dwarf players, and I have to say that as a committed Dwarf player I am most definately looking forward to 8th Edition.
Why? Well in particular the following rules really stand out as being advantageous for Dwarf players.
Means that enemy now have to take hits back from my Dwarfs and I dont have to keep suffering through round after round of combat with my front rank dying and not being able to hit back. Also means that GW are going to be a major player in 8th Edition. Yes I will lose my AS but I am still going to get 5 attacks back at you with GW and you are going to lose some of your guys, and with my higher leadership and Runic banners dont expect me to ran away.
Missile troops shoot in 2 ranks
Fantastic for Quarrellers/Thunderers I can deploy them in 2 ranks of 5 or 7 meaning I dont lose a turn of shooting as I hurriedly reform them into ranks to take an enemy charge. Also reduces the width of my armies frontage meaning that enemy troops have to travel further to get to me. That and giving GW to Q & T means that they can dish out serious damage in melee now.
Musicians & movement phase changes
Really add an extra dimension to Dwarf movement no more 1.5" inches backward or sideways, now my opponents really have to stop and think about where my guys are going. Add in the Anvil of Doom and it gets better.
1" inch separation between units
I like this one keeps things really simple and in particular stops that horrible trick of people running fast cavalry between units and reforming in your rear or your flank.
Stone throwers not needing LOS
yes they are only S3, but add on 2xRO Penetrating and that becomes S5 with RO Accuracy I can re-roll scatter dice and stick the machine behind a tree and just lob away. Plus without partials If i hit a unit of 20, ranked 4x5 thats a minimum of 16 models taking hits.
Changes to magic phase:
Will mean bonuses for me, runic items add layers of cheap MR to my characters and units and I can now more effectively than ever kill off enemy magic. Although this really depends on what the new magic lores are like. The massively harmful miscast table also makes mages a more difficult character to use meaning my opponents may often save magic until key turns not it every turn. The changes also mean i can free up points to spend on infantry.
Cannons doing D6 wounds
yes that kills off need for Master Engineer on Cannon, but hey give him to the Stone Thrower with RO Accuracy and I can still re-roll scatter dice and artillery dice and basically I am never going to miss you.
Outnumber by fear causers no longer causes autobreak
The number one reason I take RO Courage on banners and use Hammerers with a Lord. That this rule is going is golden. Yes Fear/Terror add +1CR to combats, yes you have to test vs. Fear every round - but this is going to hurt low leadership armies the most NOT Dwarfs who with a General are L10 and with BSB giving you re-rolls on everything I expect to win lots of combats. This is going to fundamentally change how VC players use their armies, and how players attack fear causing units.
I also see the changes to fear and step up as being Golden for my Phoenix Guard as well. Their 4+ WS is suddenly an even bigger advantage and now they get the one thing they have always lacked, an extra attack even if it is from the 2nd rank.
Finally there is the fact that EVERY player is staring off fresh and having to re-learn how do use their armies. This also gives Dwarfs a slight advantage as our army is simpler to use and the major changes don't hurt us or require us to fundamentally change our tactics.
Also a final note to New Zealand players --> BUY THE RULEBOOK FROM MAELSTROM GAMES in the UK with free postage and even with the exchange rate it is half the price you will pay for it here at home. I picked up mine + the magic cards for NZ$85. The guys selling pre-ordered copies on TradeMe for NZ$145 are ripping people off something shocking.