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Shiodome
02-04-2009, 18:06
Looking for a new way to play WHFB, just for variety... and been looking through the army books that i own, and i feel that for most armies that which makes it 'over powered' are the items/traits/bloodlines/virtues etc that can be bought (not exclusively so, i realise there are other factors too, but i think the 'items' are a major contributor).

I'm basing this really on looking at the WE/DE/HE/Bret/Dwarves/WoC/Lizardmen/O&G/Empire books, i don't own the others (notably vampire/deamons, though i've read them). I feel the 'weaker' armies like O&G match up reasonably against the armies like the elven ones in an item free environment and it brings the game back to units winning the day not characters.

So the question, would you play WHFB without items? (as an occasional break from normal WHFB), or do you think it would 'break' the game, and hideously cripple some armies... bearing in mind that though an army might be significantly weakened by loss of some items, it's also facing opposition in a similar boat. It's just something i'm thinking of suggesting to my gaming group, and wanted some thoughts.

Bies21
02-04-2009, 18:12
Yes I would play without magic period and magic items. It would bring Vampires down dramatically however (which may be interesting).

However really if you wanted to do this you would probably find historical gaming caters for it better then Fantasy does.

Ultimo ninja
02-04-2009, 18:23
Tomb kings and Vamps would be doomed.

Phoenix Blaze
02-04-2009, 18:24
I find that chaos armies (well back in the days of Hordes, I've yet to play the WoC book) could play very well without any magic items or abilities. The shear awesomeness of stats could be enough to win most games, especially if the opponent is also not using magic items and abilities.

Keller
02-04-2009, 18:36
I would happily play w/o magic items. In most of my armies, I take very few now. However, I do think that some armies are very dependent on them, and even more so on magic itself.

I don't think I would want to forego the magic phase entirely; not with WHFB anyway. There are just too many differences in races, differences that can be ironed out with spells. For certain battles it would be interesting, but I don't think i would want to make a habit of playing w/o magic.


I used to play WAB, it was a lot of fun but there was too much imbalance between factions/armies.

Mireadur
02-04-2009, 18:39
I am one of those who has a deep distaste for what the system has come to be. I personally like magic and magic items, but i believe magical items shouldnt be more than 5% of total army value and magic phase should always be between 0 and 2 spells off each turn. Anyhow, the problem with magic its more about the crazy power of some spell lists (and their low casting values) rather than the number of dice present in the armies.

Ancre
02-04-2009, 18:40
I would like to try it with my lizardmen a game or two ; but I like magic too much to definitively let it goes entirely - I mean, shiny swords & stylish spells are as much part of the fun as big monsters ;)

I try to keep magic items low though, just to have more stuff on the table.

Shiodome
02-04-2009, 18:45
i don't intend to remove the magic phase at all, just magic items and their equivalents (like bretonnian virtues etc). so the magic phase will be there, but it will be a straight up dual between mages, without their props, may the strongest mage prevail.

Desert Rain
02-04-2009, 19:00
I would be willing to try but some armies would suffer horribly and it would take some of the fun out of the game, you gotta love magic!

W0lf
02-04-2009, 19:22
If your keeping magic but everything else is gone then thats diffrent. Yes id play that.

I cant help but feel howeer that magic will be even more devastating with no anti-magic items such as scrolls or MR. Vampires are still stuffed though without bloodlines for casting ability.

lord mekri
02-04-2009, 19:25
i have done it a number of times, both with a consenting opponenet donig the same, and alos against my regular opponent using some magic (but not crazy amounts).
it can be a lot of fun, as there is more on the table, and move focus on the movement and tactical elements.

my favorite ways to play are gennerally "low fanatasy" - little to no magic, no big monsters. those games aloways seem to be much more tense and close. it really boils down to skill (and some luck witht he dice of course), and rarely is there a mment where you know you have lost, no chance of recovery.

but this really only works if you like that type of thing, and your opponent does to. i find the worst match ups are when peaople who want totoally different things out of a game try to face each other regularly.
i mean, a low fantasy army facing of against a HE stardragon or teclis list can fun interesting once or twice, but wont make for a good regular match up.
i say low fantasy against low fantasy, and high fantasy vs high fantasy. (does anyone actually do middle vs middle, like they way the game was designed? :p)

sulla
02-04-2009, 19:33
If your keeping magic but everything else is gone then thats diffrent. Yes id play that.

I cant help but feel howeer that magic will be even more devastating with no anti-magic items such as scrolls or MR. Vampires are still stuffed though without bloodlines for casting ability.
3+1+1+1 is hardly screwed, but anyway, you get to compensate by spamming etherals and black knights. Means the VC characters have to bunker since they have no armour available to them.

Shiodome
02-04-2009, 19:38
surely the vampires would be a bit more vulnerable, but balanced by the fact the characters they're facing off against are no longer as 'killy'? same with magic, they'd have less casting ability, but facing off against less defensive ability? on balance they will become less powerfull in relation to other armies, but that's kind of the point... to level things out a bit. vampire armies should be paranoid about losing their general. they're still fear causing, ITP, spellcasting, unbreakable monsters.

not really knowing the demon lists though, i don't know how this would affect them or how significant a portion of their power comes from their items.

Charistoph
02-04-2009, 19:58
not really knowing the demon lists though, i don't know how this would affect them or how significant a portion of their power comes from their items.

Daemons don't really have much in the way of customization outside of their Gifts. IIRC, that just leaves mounts and wizard level for everything but the characters and princes.

But some units need to be hit by magical weapons/attacks to be defeated, which leaves only units of the same kind, Daemons, and units like Chaos Knights, capable of dealing with them. Too many armies (especially the Low Fantasy types like Empire) would be screwed by facing a unit that can't be killed and could only win through pre-kill combat resolution alone.

Shiodome
02-04-2009, 20:07
yeah, ethereals etc would make things a bit... unfair? how about just using common items only? (sword of striking, power stone etc). i want to play in a less item/character dominated environs for a few games... but still prefer to find a way that works and has some balance.

snyggejygge
02-04-2009, 20:14
Yes I would, I already limit myself in magic items, brining max 100 pts in total in our regular 1999 pts games, & never bringing more than 7 PD.

isidril93
02-04-2009, 20:20
fantasy without the fantasy?

WarlockOMork
02-04-2009, 20:34
magic it self is fantasy so are trolls, dragons giants etc.
so it would still be fantasy, just without magic items.

personaly i play wharhammer fantasy battles already with very little to no magic items.
(OnG player with mainly Goblins, and they cant fight even with magic items, and the casting items are bad these days)
So yes i'd love to play with an opponent that does the same :p

Urgat
02-04-2009, 20:51
Well, that's more or less what I do. The only magic items I take are there to cancel the enemy magic, and likewise, my shamans are only there to provide dispel dies while hidding somewhere. It's not that I don't want to cast spells, heh, but whenever I give it a try, my gobs die. The day we have a somewhat less arsh miscast table, I'll try offensive magic again. Till then, screw that crap.

edit: just like my fellow gob general WarlockOMork, in fact.

W0lf
02-04-2009, 23:04
3+1+1+1 is hardly screwed, but anyway, you get to compensate by spamming etherals and black knights. Means the VC characters have to bunker since they have no armour available to them.

8 PD is not great for a 555 pt investment. Not to mention the 255 pt lord has to hide.

However taking of 2x5 cairn wraiths at 2K would be pure cheddar ^^.

With no magic items surely WoC are gunning for top dog?

3x lvl 2 with MoN + Chaos lord with GW = win.

Necromancy Black
02-04-2009, 23:17
No, I wouldn't like it. Magic and magical items is one of the reasons I like fantasy so much. I also play mordhiem and the lack of both in it annoys me.

Witchblade
02-04-2009, 23:29
Without any magic, wood elves would rock! WoC would be boring as hell though. I think this would disrupt the game too much.

No magic items would greatly boost WoC and reduce the power creep of the top tier armies. Most of their tournament armies are built around certain items. I would play with this rule, I think.

O&G'sRule
03-04-2009, 00:00
done it loads of times, you don't really notice after a while, doesn't make much difference to most

Crazy Harborc
03-04-2009, 00:21
Same as O & Gs said. For that last 1-2 years my regular opponents and i have been playing our WHFB games without a magic phase. Usually, we have used magic weapons. Just nothing requiring a magic phase to function.

chivalrous
03-04-2009, 00:57
Hmm, it's not something I've considered but, yeah, I quite like the sound of giving up magic items and Temple of Khaine skills/gifts/poisons.

It would be a little difficult to put down my Blade of Ruin and I'd probably take an extra Bolt thrower to compensate but yeah, I think it might be a fair challenge.

it would also mean my sorceresses wouldn't get their spells shut down as often as, like W0lf said, no more dispell scrolls.

Havock
03-04-2009, 01:11
middle path: Play with only the common items.

WarlockOMork
03-04-2009, 01:12
zomg nooooo's! that leaves the powerstones, and possibly even worse, the dispell scrolls.

Havock
03-04-2009, 01:27
Make all of them 0-1 ;)

Angelwing
03-04-2009, 01:40
I usually leave magic and items at home with my skaven. I try and keep the others to a minimum too, as I have a tendency to forget stuff!

English 2000
04-04-2009, 04:53
I am one of those who has a deep distaste for what the system has come to be. I personally like magic and magic items, but i believe magical items shouldnt be more than 5% of total army value and magic phase should always be between 0 and 2 spells off each turn. Anyhow, the problem with magic its more about the crazy power of some spell lists (and their low casting values) rather than the number of dice present in the armies.

Low or no magic can work (or at least it used to). Years ago I ran an Orc and Goblin list with no magic users, no magic items, just a BO big boss and a BO warboss with heavy armour and great weapons.
I went undefeated for 2 years, I played regularly and entered several tournaments. Even against lizzies toting Slaan and Daemons I never lost. I'm not sure how viable a list like that would be nowadays in this edition.

However, I don't think the "state of the game" has changed dramatically as suggested. There was never a time when magic and heroes didn't play a significant role in the game. Unless you chose not to include it, which hurts some armies more than others. I've been in this hobby since 1993 and magic has always been a significant part of the game. I don't think you'll ever see that change. It's as likely as 40k with no more tanks. If you want to see low/no magic it's going to remain a house thing.

logan054
07-04-2009, 13:07
have actually played warhammer without magic items (5th ed) and just gave out 7 random items to each side, was alot more fun, i would certainl do it again.

The SkaerKrow
07-04-2009, 13:39
Removing magic items from the game just serves to make high statistic armies more powerful, while going a long way to hamper those who are designed to rely on magic items to compensate for lower statistics. You don't solve the imbalances in the army books, you merely shift them around.

So no, I would not play Warhammer without magic items. The Warhammer system makes for an exceptionally poor historical, I've found.

logan054
07-04-2009, 13:44
I guess some people rely on magic items abit much then ;)

The Clairvoyant
07-04-2009, 13:51
i'd certainly give it a go and my two armies are vampires and tomb kings.

I'd even go the whole hog and remove the magic phase too for a laugh.

With no items, but still having magic, the tomb kings will do rather well i reckon. Casket of souls won't get scrolled and some of those extra shooting phases will get through too.
Mind you, i'm more a fan of the tomb king over the High Liche Priest anyway, so i'll gladly take my tomb king with a great weapon in a nice unit of tomb guard.

Ooh, thats a point. Do Tomb/Grave guard still count as having magic weapons for purposes of ethereals etc?

EndlessBug
07-04-2009, 14:09
how about a magic level limit, i.e. you can only have 6 levels of magic throughout the army.

For magic items, allocate an amount of points for magic items in the army, say 150 points each, then the enemy player choses your items. 1 item at a time, roll off to see who goes first.

e.g. 150 points each:
DE Vs Liz:
DE wins roll off, so Lizzi player chose DE magic items first:
1. Armour of darkness
1. Cupped hands of the old ones
2. Sword of ruin
2. Burning blade
3. Scroll
3. Scroll
4. Darkstar cloak
4. Diadem of power
5. Focus familiar
5. Plaque of tepok
6. -
6. power stone

DE player gets:
1. Armour of darkness
2. Sword of ruin
3. Scroll
4. Darkstar cloak
5. Focus familiar

Lizzie player gets:
1. Cupped hands of the old ones
2. Burning blade
3. Scroll
4. Diadem of power
5. Plaque of tepok
6. power stone

They can then give these items to whoever they like in the army. Obviously if one player gives the other a really poor item then the opposition will then return the favour and both sides will end up with poor items, likewise if one player gives the other a really hardcore item then I'd hope that the other player would return the favour.

This way both players know what is out there and neither can complain about unbalanced items as they chose them themselves. Obviously there is a slight advantage for whoever gets their items chosen first but that's random and so cannot be predicted. Also you can chose to limit the randomness in your army by taking very few items, or you can have loads of items but risk getting heaps of poor ones as well.

Mireadur
07-04-2009, 14:28
Low or no magic can work (or at least it used to). Years ago I ran an Orc and Goblin list with no magic users, no magic items, just a BO big boss and a BO warboss with heavy armour and great weapons.
I went undefeated for 2 years, I played regularly and entered several tournaments. Even against lizzies toting Slaan and Daemons I never lost. I'm not sure how viable a list like that would be nowadays in this edition.

However, I don't think the "state of the game" has changed dramatically as suggested. There was never a time when magic and heroes didn't play a significant role in the game. Unless you chose not to include it, which hurts some armies more than others. I've been in this hobby since 1993 and magic has always been a significant part of the game. I don't think you'll ever see that change. It's as likely as 40k with no more tanks. If you want to see low/no magic it's going to remain a house thing.

Umm back in the days of 5th, the magic cards limited a lot the number of spells you could cast. I dont really remember well how was the thing but wasnt it the Irresistible force card and maybe 4 or 5 energy cards top per turn?
You could not cast more than 2 or 3 spells a phase even if wanted to (although most of the times your opponent was able to dispell them thanks to his own cards). Also the difference in the spells list ive commented: there are lists like the 8 magic colleges ones where you couldnt use every spell every turn simply because some of them are situational (which is a good thing). While there are some new lists (undead,DE, DoC) where you would gladly cast every spell in every phase because they are useful at every moment of the game.

Basically the trick to make it work has always been there, but GW seem to have forgotten it at some point:

with the magic cards there was the issue that you rarely could get off a spell (unless with IF card) therefore magicians fought in CC as well as commander characters. Later on with the introduction of the dice system, more spells would go off per round, wizard stats were toned down..But spell lists started getting too overwhelming.

I have played agaisnt imperial wizards or slaans without wizards myself several times without much trouble, the reason is the 8 magic college spells are quite decently balanced that they mean a help in the battle rather than a total annihilation for the opponent.

Umm i have rambled way too much in this one. Sorry :o