Just read through all the 9th Age rules today. I like a lot of the changes and think the base rulebook is doing very well. Just wanted to come in an give my opinion. I'm looking at all this from a tournament scene. I've gone to Masters both years as a WoC player from the Midwest.
First thing, Generic Marks for 3 races is a BAD idea. You can't balance them that way as easily and like mentioned previous, you'll ultimately get pretty toned down affects. Also, making them the same point cost is going to be hard to make work. The reason we didn't take Khorne so much wasn't so much because of the frenzy bait, but the pure maths of it showed the other marks being slightly better.
I feel like how the marks are presented now, is a knee jerk reaction to their perception from 8th. Over nerfing some and over boosting others. As is, we're going to see a ton more Khorne and a ton less Nurgle. I mean Nurgle was used in 7th, but it also affected shooting and for a while the FAQ had it at -1 to hit. I won't be spending 36 points to make my opponents -1WS. Specially when for the same points the unit gets +1 str in the 1st round. Always pursuing is a slight handicap, but not having to overrun makes it worth it. There are also very few reason to make your attacks Hellfire. Either they have low T and lots of models so giving them a chance at regen isn't worth it for an additional D3 wounds. Or they have few wounds and high T and the chance of doing D3 wounds isn't likely. Any unit that was forced to have warpflame in 8th was seen as a downgrade. That really leaves me with flaming or magical and they are very situational (just like Nurgle). Again, I'll default to Khorne. AP for Lust at least rivals Khorne. Which brings me back to my first sentence; 8th we had all nurgle and tzeentch warriors and knights, now we'll see all lust and wrath.
Pestilence causing fear could work, specially with fear's new buff. But how that works with fear causers already, I don't know. Would mark of Pestilence knights causing terror be OP?
Playing in Swedish comp for the past 2 years, I haven't run 3rd eye at all. It only saved 1/9 more wounds than a 3+ ward anyways, so it realistically didn't do much, but it helped. Having just a plain 3+ ward though and only 3 wounds meant I died a lot. And there are a lot more items and abilities that cause people to reroll ward saves now. I'd just say keep Change as a stacking 6+ ward. However, if you decide to take the 3+ ward away, there is no need to increase the cost of the disc, because you'll already see less people bringing it. You only ever saw 4+ on disc when it was the 3rd disc rider, or for comp purposes. And the Change mark has to do something to help wizards be more dominate than your average joe schmoe. It could give a +1 to channel no matter how many marks you have in army. As it is, cheaper wizards in other army books will make their armies more dominate than tzeentch's armies. Or give the 8th edition lore attribute back, so that having a 3+ ward capable character won't be broken if taking lore of change. (i'm assuming the lore attribute lasts for a turn). And if you keep 3+ wards, then make discs cost that 50 points.
Also, the reroll panic army wide rule is fluffy and would compensate for losing Slaanesh. WoC are coming to your house to murder you and become a god, it takes more than usual to frighten them. I mean we really don't have the greatest of LD as it is, slaanesh let us mitigate it when we needed.
Eye of the warp seems so basic now. There is no fun or flavor in it, just a stall pick a stat. Drop the stat boosts or make it random. I mean it is the chaos gods giving you a gift, its rarely what you want.
Warpblessed weapons are just fine as you have it.
Hell mortar needs to cause panic checks.
Vortex Aura, will need to actually play with it. It has to be a some what strong ability to make up for what's shooting it out.
Does the void strike not coming out of the magic points seem a little strong? I can get +1 to hit and make you reroll wards and it does D3+1 wounds or D3+2 against fliers.
Warp Familiar, again +1 channel like it had just helps an expensive wizard army keep up with PD/DD generation other cheaper armies will have.
Waste harden skin is fine.
Soul Feeder is fine.
Smoldering flesh is fine.
Banner of wrath wasn't ever used, because you started with frenzy and if you were losing it do to combat, things were already probably too far gone. Now you can take Warriors with EHW, Wrath and Banner of Wrath and have +1int str5 first round and 4 ATKs a piece.
Warpmist standard seems pretty strong too. Almost makes you immune to being shot at. Maybe Reroll 6s to wound. Its still strong, but doesn't really hurt cannons and str3 wounds slightly more often. Stone throwers currently would wound on 6s, all bows the same. Cannons on characters miss 100% more often.
You could just leave both banners as is, but cost them more and then just increase the banner allowance on crushers and warriors back to 50.
Dark sight helm is fine.
You only really ever saw 1 build from a DP in 8th and this doesn't appear to be changed. 2+ against fire, charmed shield and 15 pts to increase offense (+1 to hit or reroll wards). You're just nerfing his accessories he could take from the gifts (breath, heal, MR3). So now we have a 1+ 5+ stubborn with no extra bells and whistles and costs 540pts, where the old DP is much better and cost 550-555. Maybe the nerf bat hit him too hard? Cannon change does need to be taken into account. I won't argue the unbreakable, because I've had enough opponents tell me how much it sucks, but maybe allow him to take 2 gifts? And reduce the points somewhere. You made him MORE expensive and took away his tools and his unbreakable.
The Chaos Lord in general needs a little help. Maybe a special rule that he brings to the table that helps push him over being a huge point sink. You don't really lose much taking an exalted instead. Heck of a lot cheaper. Usually close to same killing power. So maybe a Chaos Lord could give the army reroll panics, or upgrade units some how. Make 1 unit of chosen core for example. That would also help chosen with their problem of being too much like warriors to sacrifice taking special points instead of core. Now you have a good solid reason to take a lord. (maybe if you take a chaos lord you can spend 50pts to give the army reroll panic)
As others have said, drop the need for casters to challenge.
What is the need to drop points and INT on our units? Is this just a general 9th age broad stroke to all infantry? Warriors as is were fine. Mv4 is their huge downfall and more often than not you saw fast armies and maybe 1 warrior block with banner of speed. Reducing points by 1 and int by 1 is just going to make them taken even less frequently. Specially with the ridiculous buff marauders are getting. 8PPM for pestilence and GWs (who cares that you nerfed their int? just more reason to take GWs). Most units hit on 4s now and I can bring 50 of them for only 430 points. Seems like another over nerf over buff that makes 9th age the opposite to 8th. (Is GW really behind this to sell more models?) 5PPM naked with what you have for equipment would be just fine.
I actually used forsaken alot, mostly because of swedish comp loved them. However, they were very flavorful. What you have now is a huge buff statwise. Same INT now as warriors at a 3PPM reduction. Everyone thought they would scout and skirmish going into the 8th book. Now with the D3+1+1(frenzy) attacks each, they can be nasty and different from other unit choices. I actually like what you have. I just need more flavor in the marks, or some other way to make them more mutated. Mv6 and frenzy doesn't make them forsaken. I'm all fine with dropping their chart too. Maybe allow them to take 2 different marks. Its not un heard of and could explain why their brain went to moosh.
Love seeing fast cav getting a 4+ armor. Hate seeing them losing slaanesh and -1int. I'd almost argue for increase point cost for all barbarians and just give them str 4. Makes them more unique in the world of 9th age and the foot guys would now earn their 25mm bases. And the cav would hit harder, As it is, I don't see me using fast cav anymore. Only reason before was they wouldn't ever panic. Now we got crappy strength guys with crappy toughness attacking at the same time as almost everyone else or after them. Int 4 greatly helped here, but str4 could be a huge help. I know Wrath gives str, but that's not enough reason to take an easily panicked unit.
Warhounds are fine
Chariots lose 1mv and 1armor while going up in cost by a lot might be another over reaction. The main rulebook already stops you from taking more than 4. And 4+ armor is a huge nerf. Either give the armor back or reduce points.
I kind of like what you did with the Favored. I still don't think giving an option to make 1 unit core is all that bad. They were found at the core of every chaos army. I think what hurts them is that they are so slow and take points away from special/rare units. I'd personally still use those points elsewhere, specially with the buffs to alot of the other units. But if I could some how get them as core, I'd bring them more often. And let's face it, they were usually brought in the last 2 additions to have a chance at making DPs. Now they can't even do that. (however Wrath chosen with AHW would make elves everywhere cry 3+ to hit, 2+ to wound 1st round and attacking before them)
I'm trying to think how I'd use knights. Probably as slaanesh now and bunker a lv4 slaanesh wizard since the miscast table doesn't auto kill the entire unit. 295 for 6 lust knights with blessed weapons full command and +1 leadership. That's pretty good. Did they lose fear? That's a huge nerf.
Ogres need an option to buy chaos armor. They dropped 3 points, but lost ogre charge (just impact(1) now). But they also lost fear, so I wouldn't argue with an additional drop to 25PPM.
I love what you did to the DrOgres. Except they traditionally couldn't take banners or marks. I'm fine with them picking up banners, but leave the mark option at home.
What's the issue with just making the 2 new units monstrous inf? Just hike their points up. They're much different than ogres that it doesn't put them in the same boat.
Trolls lose fear and get a 5PPM increase for their troubles. Usually only saw them with Throgg, so that's not a problem. If they're losing fear and gaining +1 attack but losing AHW, then I'd say just keep them at 35PPM.
Mauler chariot. Total beast. Slow as all hell, but hard to kill and gains a permanent killing blow. Seems reasonable how you have it.
Warshrine has so much you can do with it. Seems so bland now. At least it got 1 of the 4 army rules. I'd make the bound spell god specific. Maybe just give it the signature spell from its lore and +2 to dispel if khorne (to max of +4)
You guys buffed the brute and it goes to show how bad it was the start, because I still wouldn't take it. Where's the terror? Why drop 1 wound? Why drop strength? And its LD sucks.You could almost just leave it as you have it, but allow it to use the generals LD from anywhere on the table (and add back that 5th wound)
For a 5 point hike, you made a chimera slower and hit softer and moved it to rare (and it lost terror). I understand it always should have been rare, but a lot of people stopped taking it because 4 wounds and LD5 were HUGE liabilities. For its cost, I'd give it a little buff back. A 7th attack, or maybe LD6. And why no terror?
You've killed the hell cannon. Frenzy and LD 4? MV1? It saved 55% of its wounds previously, so the change it type is a nerf. This thing literally has been beaten with the nerf bat right into the ground. There's no reason it can't be LD9 by itself. It should also cause panics. It was powerful at the right times before and people still didn't bring it. With buffs to shaggoths and chimeras going rare, I can't see this ever making it to the table.
Dragon centaur. Love him
I don't know if T5 2+ armor for crushers is the right way to go. Always getting +1str 1st round is huge. I always took lances to get str6 on charge, now I just always get it. And T5... wow. I have a feeling these will be eating up everyone's rare points even more.
If you're nerfing demonic mounts T, then decrease his cost, or buff it somewhere else, as it lost fear as well.
Monstrous cav manticores (Do you really want T5 4W exalted's flying around?)
discs need to be cheaper if you take away 3+ wards.
I just think dragons are too expensive, specially since they have 3+ armor and that's it.
Hey thanks for reading. I am hoping the army list gets fleshed out as they finish it. It seems like a lot of the fun and fluff was taken out just to not have to make a rule for them.
Even if nothing changes, I pretty sure I'll be playing 9th age over 8th.
Dedicated WoC player for 6 years.