Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Stay Away Warhammer 9th Edition

The last couple games I have played of Warhammer Fantasy have been using my beloved Warriors of Chaos. Prior to that I snuck in a Dwarf game and prior to that was a lot of Orcs and Goblins.

All of them play very different. The Warriors, at least the way I play them, are fast moving, hard-hitting, putting out a ton of attacks and have an effective range of base to base.

The Dwarfs have a ton of shooting and are the slowest army this side of Vampire Counts and Tomb Kings...and both of those have elements that are faster (Chariots and various knights).

The O&G have some ranged stuff...that never hits...some sneakily good magic and can put out a ton of attacks. They are also much faster and more random than the other two armies.

I enjoy playing all of them and the Beastmen too. The weird part is way back when we first started getting back into Warhammer one of the armies I most seriously considered was the High Elves. I have plenty of models. I have the book. I have tried to make armies. I have even played a game or two with them.

In theory they are a fantastic army for me. They are fast, they can throw out mighty wizards, some knights, a dragon, shooting...they have everything I am looking for.

That begs the question why I do not play them much more frequently. Ultimately I think it is a matter of style.

They do not put out large numbers of shots. Their shooting has always proven ineffective for me...there is nothing quite like having an army of good BS lay out a ton of shooting and seeing goblins be more effective...

They die to a stiff breeze, my magic failures are legendary (in my mind), and fitting in those dragons means big games.

The problem is to play a game big enough for me to take a dragon means the other player can take multiple things that I then have no way of dealing with. Counter-intuitively, playing with my favorite elements is about the only time under 8th edition rules that I feel like I lost the game before it started simply by putting stuff in the list I want to play.


On the bright side, when that is the biggest complaint you can make about an is a good edition. Well done, GW. Please don't make the mistake you are making with 40k.

What I mean is this; in Warhammer, you can pick up the game with the basic rules and your army book. You have just a handful of other armies to deal with and you pretty much know what you will face.

If I run into Skaven I will face numerous war machines and hordes. If I face Tomb Kings I win. I mean, I will face lots of ineffective shooting and easy to re-kill skeletons. If I face Empire I will see a couple war machines, some Demigryphs, a Steam Tank...

In 40k if I am up against, say...Space Wolves, I might be against Imperial Knights, Tau, Eldar and the Inquisition. 4 codexes...or more if they are using Forge World and/or some of the various data slates and formations.

If I am facing Tau I might be facing some of the above or Tau-specific formations, dataslates, etc.

In other words, it is impossible to know what you will be facing or to keep up on the rules. The entry bar for new players is so stiff that unless they run into the right player they will simply not be able to learn the game or, if they do, they will constantly be getting slaughtered when they run into stuff with rules they don't expect that blister them.

This is unfortunate because the rules are otherwise awesome and I am loving the game. I think for the foreseeable future, I will seek out games that are "single codex, no allies, forge world or dataslates" until I know the rules better.

And I really hope the rumor I heard that Warhammer Fantasy in 9th will go to a similar model. Because that would stink.

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