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Marked_by_chaos
03-07-2010, 14:40
Before i start i should highlight what i perceive to be a misconception regarding the meaning of tactics as opposed to strategy.

People complaining about the "randomness" of 8th edition are in reality complaining about the perceived demise of the strategic level rather than the tactical element of the game. They were used to a game where you could select an army, characters and magic items so as to remove a lot of the element of tactics from the game - with the assistance of some counter-intuitive rules that heavily favoured extreme (and typically unfluffy) army builds.

The battles were to an extent pre-determined and clearly followed a kind of set path depending upon a papers scissors stone army selection issue.

With certain changes including randomness of charges (which when the dice average out is actually far overstated in impact) such individuals feel that the game is dumbed down.

Far from it! I feel that the new rules have corrected many of the broken issues in the game. There are no cookie cutter no-brainer selections anymore. Gun lines won't work as well, characters are limited and perhaps have less impact than the collective troops around them. Core troops become useful (but not all powerful) elite footslogging infantry become better but there are no more death stars with magic and artillery around (especially as even in victory they will now suffer often casualties.

The real issue with tactical appreciation is reacting to the ebb and flow of a battle - not coming up with a plan A and getting annoyed if under the new rules it can no longer be relied upon to win outright (not to say good strategic decisions might not help initially).

An element of uncertainty actually brings out the best. it doesn't dumb the game down.

Now i can pick a balanced army and have a good, fun and ultimately challenging experience without having to sift through the army books and try to come up with a cunning army designed to exploit often unwitting rules loopholes to win without any real tactical skill.

My ultimate interpretation of 8th edition - the end the rules lawyer era.

duffybear1988
03-07-2010, 14:46
Firstly cookie cutter units will ALWAYS exist, the emphasis just changes from one unit to another. e.g most/if not all empire armies will now include lots more mortars and cannons as they just got massive boosts with the new rules.

The trouble with 'the element of uncertainty' is that 9 times out of 10 it goes hand in hand with sheer stupidity. Take for example a large unit of heavy cavalry charging a block of infantry... now in history there were very few, if any, infantry units that could stand up to such a charge. In 8th edition not only do the infantry hold but they also win the combat somehow. I dare any of you to stand in a field with a wooden shield and get someone to ride a great charger at you at full pelt (it's damn scary let me tell you) now imagine an entire unit of cavalry riding at you and you can get the picture of how terror causing this is.

The rules are so stupid that the game is no fun at all.

NitrosOkay
03-07-2010, 14:48
Typically towards the end of a Rules Edition's lifespan everyone has figured out the loopholes and exploits and maximum possible rules lawyering. This isn't the end, people simply haven't figured out the most efficient way to exploit the rules yet.



The trouble with 'the element of uncertainty' is that 9 times out of 10 it goes hand in hand with sheer stupidity. Take for example a large unit of heavy cavalry charging a block of infantry... now in history there were very few, if any, infantry units that could stand up to such a charge. In 8th edition not only do the infantry hold but they also win the combat somehow.

I'd have to disagree with this. Massed formations of dug-in spears and pikes weren't going to break to a Cavalry charge. More likely the horses would refuse to charge into the wall of points. Cavalry formations exploited their superior mobility to disrupt enemy infantry and hit them from the flank and rear. Heavy Cavalry charges could expect to sweep away less heavy infantry and skirmishers.

Str10_hurts
03-07-2010, 15:01
NitrosOkay beat me too it!
But has anyone of you seen 5 blood knights with hatred banner charge, believe me you need a unit of 50 models to hold that line for 1 turn. These guys decimate units. So you need huge units to hold that impact.

Anyway, you now need backup plans if a charge fails, plans do not evolve around one unit/strategy any more.

chamelion 6
03-07-2010, 15:09
Firstly cookie cutter units will ALWAYS exist, the emphasis just changes from one unit to another. e.g most/if not all empire armies will now include lots more mortars and cannons as they just got massive boosts with the new rules.

The trouble with 'the element of uncertainty' is that 9 times out of 10 it goes hand in hand with sheer stupidity. Take for example a large unit of heavy cavalry charging a block of infantry... now in history there were very few, if any, infantry units that could stand up to such a charge. In 8th edition not only do the infantry hold but they also win the combat somehow. I dare any of you to stand in a field with a wooden shield and get someone to ride a great charger at you at full pelt (it's damn scary let me tell you) now imagine an entire unit of cavalry riding at you and you can get the picture of how terror causing this is.

The rules are so stupid that the game is no fun at all.

One guy with a shield isn't an infantry formation. I dare you to get a horse to ride head long and impale itself on rows and rows of long pointy sticks....

Ya need to read more history. In Ancient times formed infantry with spear or pike dominated. When heavy cav was new it dominated, but that period was brief. 1088 was near the peak. But trained infantry, in large blocks generally with spears or pikes, came to dominate the battle field again it just took a brief adjustment period to regain that dominance. That was what the Swiss and Bergundians built their reputation on, as did the English in the 100 Years War, with the help of som excellent missile troops... By the late Renissance the bulk of most trained armies were armed with pikes and fought in blocks. Remember the Spanish and their Tercios? By the 17th century cav was more and more relegated to protecting the flanks and as shock troops, but with out infantry support, the guys with the pikes and guns, it was fragile and ineffective. Units of Pike and Shot dominated.

By the Napoleonic period the bulk of the Cav was relegated to a recon and light support roll. It's battlefield use was far more limited and required as much luck as skill to break a trained block of infantry.

Through out history infantry has been the dominate element on the battle field. It's been tested, but never lost that position.

NitrosOkay
03-07-2010, 16:27
But has anyone of you seen 5 blood knights with hatred banner charge, believe me you need a unit of 50 models to hold that line for 1 turn. These guys decimate units. So you need huge units to hold that impact.


If my questionable math is right, 5 Blood Knights will cause an average of 13 casualties to a toughness 4 unit the turn they charge. Certainly considerable but not quite enough to break a big unit.

Of course if they roll well that could go up to 17-18.

Ridarsin
03-07-2010, 17:16
One guy with a shield isn't an infantry formation. I dare you to get a horse to ride head long and impale itself on rows and rows of long pointy sticks....

Ya need to read more history. In Ancient times formed infantry with spear or pike dominated. When heavy cav was new it dominated, but that period was brief. 1088 was near the peak. But trained infantry, in large blocks generally with spears or pikes, came to dominate the battle field again it just took a brief adjustment period to regain that dominance. That was what the Swiss and Bergundians built their reputation on, as did the English in the 100 Years War, with the help of som excellent missile troops... By the late Renissance the bulk of most trained armies were armed with pikes and fought in blocks. Remember the Spanish and their Tercios? By the 17th century cav was more and more relegated to protecting the flanks and as shock troops, but with out infantry support, the guys with the pikes and guns, it was fragile and ineffective. Units of Pike and Shot dominated.

By the Napoleonic period the bulk of the Cav was relegated to a recon and light support roll. It's battlefield use was far more limited and required as much luck as skill to break a trained block of infantry.

Through out history infantry has been the dominate element on the battle field. It's been tested, but never lost that position.

I'm pretty sure it was WW1 and the tank that forced the Lance Cavalry off the battlefield. Not that wiki is the greatest source, but accordingly it says that pike and lances were a staple of Western European armies. When I get back later I'll look for a better source.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lance

huitzilopochtli
03-07-2010, 17:42
I'm not a huge history buff, but I have paid attention to one or two specials on medieval weaponry and chamelion 6 is right. Heavy cavalry were replaced as THE regiment by blocks of pikes and spears. While tanks may have finished them off entirely, they were already long past their peak.

If you think about it, it makes sense. Facing against a large unit of spearmen, for example, a charge from heavy cavalry might punch through the first rank or three and kill a few dozen (or score) men, but what then? The horses have lost their maneuverability, surrounded by soldiers. The lances can no longer be used, and the knights' swords lack the reach of the soldiers' spears. All the spears need to do is kill the horse, which fells the knight, then poke the knight till he's dead.

chamelion 6
03-07-2010, 17:52
I'm pretty sure it was WW1 and the tank that forced the Lance Cavalry off the battlefield. Not that wiki is the greatest source, but accordingly it says that pike and lances were a staple of Western European armies. When I get back later I'll look for a better source.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lance

The article just talks about the use and history of the weapon. And there were Lancers in WWII.... But if your taking that to infer that lancer formations were equal to large pike formations, there's no historical basis for that.

You have to look at what they did and how they were used. In WWI the vast majority of the cavalry were "lancers" and their primary weapon was the long lance, basicly a spear. They were a holdover from the Crimea campaigns, mostly for romantic reasons and not because they were suitable for battle. The idea was that at the proper moment after carefully manuevering the formed infantry to draw the enemy's formed infantry into a vulnerable position the cav would charge in and the shock would break and panic the enemy winning the day. The reality was that these wonderful elite troops spent most of the war languishing in the rear with the gear cause machine guns and trenches weren't very forgiving to mounted troops. Tanks were an invention of WWI but it wasn't untill WWII they really made any impact on the battle field.

Lancers were used during the Crimean war to overrun fixed batteries and soft infantry positions. Something they excelled at. The Charge of the Light Brigade being one of the most famous.

Lancers were common in Napoleonic armies too, Poland's becoming the model most often copied by other nations. The lance was a better tool than the sword for the skirmishing tactics used by these light troops, the best comparison to these troops in Warhammer would be Fast Cavalry. But when it came down to breaking infantry formations it was still the combination of invantry and heavy cavalry that was called upon. Ney's famous unsupported charge with the Curassiers against the English infantry's squares at Waterloo is a classic example. That involved a few units of infantry and almost every heavy cavalry unit the French had. And the infantry was the clear victor. The French Cavalry was broken and done for the day.

During the wars of Religion you saw massive formations of Pike armed troops supported by detachments of shot and sometimes xbow or archers. The Spanish made these formations famous, generally referred to as Tercios. It wasn't cavalry that finally defeated them, it was better drilled smaller and more flexible infantry formations that were more and more equiped with muskets. Eventually flintlocks led to formations with more guns and fewer pikes. The invention of the bayonet replaced the pike.

Cavalry charges were glorious and devistating against skirmish and unprepaired or untrained infantry, but mostly just got a lot of horses killed when launched against formed and trained infantry formations.

Formed infantry formations were a tough nut to crack and required a lot of thought and coordination on the battle field. Too often it became a contest between massive blocks of infantry struggeling on the field.

That's the history of it... This isn't history though, so take it all for what it's worth. I'm not too sure where dragons and trolls would have fit in. :)



If you think about it, it makes sense. Facing against a large unit of spearmen, for example, a charge from heavy cavalry might punch through the first rank or three and kill a few dozen (or score) men, but what then? The horses have lost their maneuverability, surrounded by soldiers. The lances can no longer be used, and the knights' swords lack the reach of the soldiers' spears. All the spears need to do is kill the horse, which fells the knight, then poke the knight till he's dead.

That's exactly how it went. Generally the pikes would form the first few ranks of a hollow square like formation. The ranks deeper in were formed by swordsmen, some with greatswords other with shorter swords. As the Cavalry broke agains the formed pike formations the swordsmen would surge forward and finis off the calvary that now found themselves at the mercy of these guys. They were usually stunned and ill prepaird for the the kind of close combat they found themselves in. Once the momentum of the cavalry charge was borken it was over. It was just a matter of mopping up the mess.

Another thing to point out. These infantry formations didn't have a flank. They were like a hollow square with pikes bristling from all directions. The shot units were usually deployed at the corners and fired into the cavalry and they moved into range then fell into the center of the square for protection while the pikes and swordsment did their job.

ftayl5
04-07-2010, 00:06
Yeah...
Haven't you guys seen Lord of the Rings?
When Gandalf comes to save the day at Helms Deep, the Orcs turn around and make this massive wall of pointy objects! How would feel not only as a knight, but as a horse having to charge headlong into that!?
Great movie's aside, I think 8E might be a bit more tactical. I dunno if you'll agree but allowing for snake-eyes and rubber lances in your battle planning is sort of a tactic in itself.

Sygerrik
04-07-2010, 00:15
I think the role Cavalry plays in 8th edition is very accurate. A cavalry charge will break disorganized troops (ie skirmishers) or formations small enough to be entirely bowled over by the impact of the charge (tiny units). Cavalry will simply bounce off of prepared units.

However, if a cavalry unit charges into an existing melee between two sets of infantry, their devastating charge will tip the combat in favor of one side, because the target formation will be in disarray already. Likewise, extremely large units of cavalry (large enough to get a rank bonus) charging infantry in the flank have a good chance of breaking them, because there are enough of them that the momentum of the charge has a good chance of scattering the formation and allowing the cavalry to break into its undefended center.

Chamelion's excellent and very historically literate post demonstrates how cavalry have been used through history. The fear and dread that charging heavy cavalry inspired in unprepared or disorganized troops enabled them to break formations that outnumbered them many times over. A cavalry charge should not be a first strike-- it should instead be the hammer held in reserve until precisely the right time and then unleashed to finish the ruination of the enemy that your infantry have started.

huitzilopochtli
04-07-2010, 00:28
Yeah...
Haven't you guys seen Lord of the Rings?
When Gandalf comes to save the day at Helms Deep, the Orcs turn around and make this massive wall of pointy objects! How would feel not only as a knight, but as a horse having to charge headlong into that!?

:p I was going to mention this as an example of "how it doesn't happen". Glad to see someone else thought of it for me.

Agree with Sygerrik, cavalry are portrayed accurately in warhammer 8th, with the exception that infantry with anything shorter than a spear shouldn't strike before charging lances just because of initiative I feel.

The SkaerKrow
04-07-2010, 01:26
8th Edition is not more tactical, nor is it more strategic. It wasn't meant to be, it was meant to be more accessible (read: simplified/easy/dumbed down).

Don't try to spin the changes that were made to the game as being something that they aren't. You are no longer playing a strategy game, nor are you playing a tactical game. You are playing what is almost a pure game of chance, with the added benefit of having an exhaustive hobby aspect. Enjoy it or don't, but don't start making up stories that try to invest it with some non-existent tactical value.

Ridarsin
04-07-2010, 01:39
snip

Very nice write up. :yes: I guess I stand corrected.

LuitpoldFrohlich
04-07-2010, 02:09
8th Edition is not more tactical, nor is it more strategic. It wasn't meant to be, it was meant to be more accessible (read: simplified/easy/dumbed down).

Don't try to spin the changes that were made to the game as being something that they aren't. You are no longer playing a strategy game, nor are you playing a tactical game. You are playing what is almost a pure game of chance, with the added benefit of having an exhaustive hobby aspect. Enjoy it or don't, but don't start making up stories that try to invest it with some non-existent tactical value.

WHFB was, by definition, NEVER strategic. Strategy gets played out on the grand scale, on a campaign map, deciding what targets are worth fighting over, which nations to invade, whether or not to withdraw or advance. Once the models are on the table, it's all tactical. Mighty Empires is GW's strategic game; WHFB has only ever been tactical from day one.

And while 8E may or may not have reduced the tactical intricacy of WHFB, these repeated claims that it now has a "non-existent tactical value" are pure HORSE HOCKEY. Random charge moves and devalued geometric fidgeting do not eliminate tactics, they simply call for a different set of tactical principles.

If anything, the random charges bring WHFB more into line with just about every other TACTICAL miniatures wargame out there by providing a mechanism to model the "friction" central to Clausewitz's theories on war, adding another layer of tactical nuance, not subtracting.

Will 8E prove a better game than 7E? I ain't got a clue, yet. It may turn out to be one giant dog **** of a game. But even if it does, it will still have tactics.

chamelion 6
04-07-2010, 03:26
I think the role Cavalry plays in 8th edition is very accurate. A cavalry charge will break disorganized troops (ie skirmishers) or formations small enough to be entirely bowled over by the impact of the charge (tiny units). Cavalry will simply bounce off of prepared units.

However, if a cavalry unit charges into an existing melee between two sets of infantry, their devastating charge will tip the combat in favor of one side, because the target formation will be in disarray already. Likewise, extremely large units of cavalry (large enough to get a rank bonus) charging infantry in the flank have a good chance of breaking them, because there are enough of them that the momentum of the charge has a good chance of scattering the formation and allowing the cavalry to break into its undefended center.

Chamelion's excellent and very historically literate post demonstrates how cavalry have been used through history. The fear and dread that charging heavy cavalry inspired in unprepared or disorganized troops enabled them to break formations that outnumbered them many times over. A cavalry charge should not be a first strike-- it should instead be the hammer held in reserve until precisely the right time and then unleashed to finish the ruination of the enemy that your infantry have started.


Very nice write up. :yes: I guess I stand corrected.

Thank you both very much. It was my interest in history that led me to wargaming in the first place, and my love of fantasy that led me to Warhammer. I especially love the periods that the game falls close to.


8th Edition is not more tactical, nor is it more strategic. It wasn't meant to be, it was meant to be more accessible (read: simplified/easy/dumbed down).

Don't try to spin the changes that were made to the game as being something that they aren't. You are no longer playing a strategy game, nor are you playing a tactical game. You are playing what is almost a pure game of chance, with the added benefit of having an exhaustive hobby aspect. Enjoy it or don't, but don't start making up stories that try to invest it with some non-existent tactical value.

If your objecting to the idea that the game is historical, I agree. On the other hand you can't deny that there is a historical model at work in the system, even if it is simplified.

But to make it more historical wouldn't provide the ballet of manuever that 6th or 7th portrayed. I simply didn't work that way.

Where I see the game deviating from history, besides the obivous fantasy elements, is that most of the troop types portrayed weren't generally fielded as separate units, they were more often formed into combined units.

Another departure is that these large units were vulnerable when moving or reforming. That was the Cavalry's opportunity. If you could disrupt the formation you could defeat it. The usual tactics were to threaten it with light skirmishing cav or hammer it with missile fire.

There were lots of approaches to this. There was something called a caracole. Basically a deep formation of light horse armed with several pistols would advance within range and fire into the the block of infantry, then retreat to the rear to reload, the next rank would fire and move to the rear. The process would repeat over and over keeping up a steady rate of fire to either disrupt the formation completey or just break the will of the front rank or two. While this was going on heavier formations of Cav would wait then suddenly charge at what was judged to be the proper moment. The solidity of the formation depended on the nerve of the front ranks... If they panicked then it all fell apart and the Cav ran them down. Experienced infantry understood they were safe only as long as they held and were much harder to break. The final move, usually, was to hit them with more infantry.

I prefer to just see the game as in the Fantasy model it presents itself as. If you want a high degree of historical accuracy there are better rules, If you want a more balanced game for competition there are better rules for that. If you want a game that lets you immerse yourself into a world of fantasy warfare, then WFB is about the only game in town.

Personally I hope it does live up to that aspect.

Sygerrik
04-07-2010, 05:05
8th Edition is not more tactical, nor is it more strategic. It wasn't meant to be, it was meant to be more accessible (read: simplified/easy/dumbed down).

Don't try to spin the changes that were made to the game as being something that they aren't. You are no longer playing a strategy game, nor are you playing a tactical game. You are playing what is almost a pure game of chance, with the added benefit of having an exhaustive hobby aspect. Enjoy it or don't, but don't start making up stories that try to invest it with some non-existent tactical value.

I have a hard time reading this post as anything other than "I dislike 8th edition, therefore I am attempting to denigrate the players who do like it by implying that they are less tactically gifted than I myself am in order to delegitimize their arguments."

You're allowed not to like 8th. But please, don't try to put thoughts in the minds of the designers, and don't try to be the final arbiter of what counts as a "tactical" wargame when several very excellent posts have spelled out what exactly is so tactical about 8th. It's very sour grapes.

Sparowl
04-07-2010, 07:06
I have a hard time reading this post as anything other than "I dislike 8th edition, therefore I am attempting to denigrate the players who do like it by implying that they are less tactically gifted than I myself am in order to delegitimize their arguments."

You're allowed not to like 8th. But please, don't try to put thoughts in the minds of the designers, and don't try to be the final arbiter of what counts as a "tactical" wargame when several very excellent posts have spelled out what exactly is so tactical about 8th. It's very sour grapes.

I find it funny that in one of the other threads, the people who like 8th are using a similar tactic to try and delegitimize the arguments of those who don't like some of the changes to 8th.

While I have some problems with the changes to 8th, I agree that we should keep it civil.

peterburstrom
04-07-2010, 16:15
History schmistory. We can bend and fidget with it all we want until it satisfies our need for some vague argument for the points that we want to get across. I don't think that we should be getting into those kinds of arguments when we concern ourselves with a board game. That is what Warhammer is. A board game.

We never take into consideration that generals in real life actually sent tens of thousands of people to their deaths. Would you be more hesitant to sacrifice that throwaway unit of militia when you know that their families back home are waiting for them? We do not care about supply chain management, the home front, diseases running rampant, or hundreds of other factors that played into any actual battle. Even the most advanced table top war game cannot grasp every single layer of human and environmental factors. It will always be an approximation at best.

Then the question is; is it worth the hassle of history, or should we be concerned with balance and actual playability instead? I know what answer I would pick.

Onto the question at hand, then: Tactics in a game is being able to play it so that you have a good chance of winning, pure and simple. In 7th, everyone knew what to do. Choose one of the few cookie-cutter lists (I honestly never understood that term) out there. Put it on the table. Your chance of winning went up by a lot. If you were a half-decent player as well, it was a certainty unless you suffered horrendous dice rolls.

This is not my way of percieving fun. I hope that the tactics needed to win a game of 8th will be a bit more involved. I have high hopes for this next edition, for the same reasons as the OP.

chamelion 6
04-07-2010, 16:28
Then the question is; is it worth the hassle of history, or should we be concerned with balance and actual playability instead? I know what answer I would pick.


And yet I would go the other way. History isn't the hassle, it's the reason I started gaming in the first place and continue to game. It's an interactive window into the challenges of conducting an engagement all those years ago. And I can say I've learned alot from the experience. I've come to understand things I would have missed without trying to stand in their shoes.

The reason I went into the discussion on history though was to point out where the game did a good job of reflecting it and where it didn't. There were a lot of people on both sides justifying arguments in that light.

I like the history part. Historical engagements arent balanced. I want a game that reflects that. Theyarent random and the objective rare is just to kill the other guy, I want a game that reflects that. I want a game that challenges me to think like a general of that period and to make the kinds of decisions he was forced to make.

That applies to fantasy too. I want something that puts me in the shoes of a character out of fantasy... Interactive storytelling if you will.

Ozorik
04-07-2010, 16:29
Heavy cavalry were replaced as THE regiment by blocks of pikes and spears.

They were replaced as heavy cavalry were hugely expensive yet very vulnerable to gun powder rather than any intrinsic superiority of pikes over cavalry (they were admittedly very good defensively if in formation but slow moving and very vulnerable when out of formation). It was cheaper, and more effective, to field handgunners and pikemen (who were basically there to protect the hundgunners) rather than rely on armoured horsemen. Pikes are a very, very old weapon type yet they didn't stop the rise of heavy cavalry in the first place.

Basically not much to do with a fantasy wargame where only 2 factions actually field gunpowder units (and no one uses pikes).

paulb11
04-07-2010, 16:30
8th is no more or less tactical than 7th. There are still choices to be made, and battleplans to be followed.

The results of those choices are now far more random, so whether your tactics work or not is in the lap of the dice gods.

The skill level has dropped to zero, but maybe the overall enjoyment factor of the game will rise.

My games these days are simply turn up and plonk some units down, move them around a bit and roll lots and lots of dice.

But also Drink more beer and talk nonsese with my mates a whole lot more.

No more, pre battle plans, endless army changes until they are just right. Cos it doesn't matter, even the most skillful player will now lose a whole heap of games to bad dice rolls.

Maybe the skill has gone from the game, but perhaps the fun level might increase.

ChaosVC
04-07-2010, 16:40
8th ed will be tactical until someone do a 2d6 charge "doh!".

Dungeon_Lawyer
04-07-2010, 16:51
8th is no more or less tactical than 7th. There are still choices to be made, and battleplans to be followed.

The results of those choices are now far more random, so whether your tactics work or not is in the lap of the dice gods.

The skill level has dropped to zero, but maybe the overall enjoyment factor of the game will rise.

My games these days are simply turn up and plonk some units down, move them around a bit and roll lots and lots of dice.

But also Drink more beer and talk nonsese with my mates a whole lot more.

No more, pre battle plans, endless army changes until they are just right. Cos it doesn't matter, even the most skillful player will now lose a whole heap of games to bad dice rolls.

Maybe the skill has gone from the game, but perhaps the fun level might increase.

We got a working brain here!!!!

This is a very good summation. You avoid the whole "tactics this tactics that, other editions are better, NO! 8th is" pooh throwing contest by simply avoiding it and shifting the argument to which ruleset requires the most skill.....and 8th requires very little at all other than the ability to read a ruler and throw some dice. Will people prefer this change? Well I guess only time will tell.

chamelion 6
04-07-2010, 16:56
They were replaced as heavy cavalry were hugely expensive yet very vulnerable to gun powder rather than any intrinsic superiority of pikes over cavalry (they were admittedly very good defensively but slow moving and very vulnerable out of formation). basically it was cheaper, and more effective, to field pikemen and hundgunners rather than rely on armoured horsemen.

Basically not much to do with a fantasy wargame where only 2 factions actually field gunpowder units.


The French fielded a disproportionate amount of Cavalry compared to other armies of this period. They also got their butts handed to them a disproportionate number of times. Cost was one of the great limiting factors in cav, but it was the same for infantry. Yes a single heavy calvary trooper was a lot more costly than a single heavy infantry man but the flaw with that is by the time you field an entire block of infantry and a block of Cav the cost per unit was pretty equal. Most countries realized the fickle nature of Cav on the battle field and the fact that, unlike infantry, it was nearly impossible for it to make it's own fortune. Heavy infantry formations could fight well on the defence AND the offence. The image most people have of a bunch of stationary blocks is far from accurate. They were manuevered in battle, just not like Warhammer would have us believe. Pike armed infantry fought ver agressivly especially against other infantry. There are even accounts of pikes charging cav and succeeding.

Gun powder didn't begin to tip the scales until towards the middle to the end of the 17th century, which is well beyond any of the armies in this game. The Empire army most closely resembles an army of the mid 16th century and that period was dominated by pike and sword units. Gunpowder was expensive and not so common. Crossbowmen and archers were still the common missile troops of the day. The era of the Swiss, Bergundians, Landsknechts, and almost every country modeled their army on one of these three patterns, except the French who were more interested in the pagentry of their nobility and paid the price more than once.

Heavy Cav was a development of the stirrup. That allowed the rider to transfer the momentum of the mount into the impact of his lance without being tossed. Heavy Cav's domination of the battle field was brief and glorious, it just took a moment for the infantry to figure out an appropriate responce. It was an important part of the mix but infantry was still the center of winning battles. Many battles wee won without cav, none were won without infantry. (and I'm talking actual pitched battles, not skirmishes)

That said, this is fantasy and not history, but it has enough of a historical element to make the point relevant, especially when people are suggesting the rules are flawed because Cav is too weak in the game compared to their historical counterparts.

peterburstrom
04-07-2010, 16:57
Chamelion 6:

I fully understand your point of view, and I am sorry if I came across as obnoxious and rude. After rereading my reply, I feel a bit ashamed. I am, after all, a teacher of history.

However, there are obvious problems with Warhammer and historical correctness, apart from the magic and trolls and whatnot. The first one being that the armies are supposedly based off of vastly different episodes of human history. Therefore, we have no idea how troops armed with spears, lances, halberds, pistols or cannons, not to mention chariots, would fare against each other in an actual battle. Yet this is the conundrum that the historians of Warhammer deal with. The second problem is the actual fantasy elements. We have no historical recollection of a battle between lizards armed with blowpipes and a race of humanoids who live for thousands of years and can command down meteors with their minds.

I guess that my problem is that the historians of Warhammer (I'm starting to like the term) tend to discuss the relations between cavalry and infantry armed with something, and all the time ignoring the fact that said cavalry could very well be a 500-year battlehoned lizard riding a T-rex, armed to the teeth with blades that warp in and out of reality, and the infantry could either the dregs of a backwater town in the Empire or gigantic man-rats who stab each other just as much as the opponent.

Sometimes, the historians say something at the very end, like "yeah, and then there's magic, and trolls yada yada yada". That would actually be something that would affect the outcome of the discussion, and not something that you simply can add at the very end and never discuss for real. It means that everything you previously discussed has serious validity issues.

But it is all well and fine. You guys go ahead and discuss. But this is a game. Not reality. Hence, reality should play the second fiddle to the balance and playability issues. Not the other way around.

Avatar of the Eldar
04-07-2010, 17:09
8th ed will be tactical until someone do a 2d6 charge "doh!".

Oy, weh's mir! Always with this "random charge eliminates tactics" tactics obsession. It's quite compulsive.

This game is about fantasy battles. Battles are notoriously uncertain with randomness aplenty. Now add fantasy, not governed by our scientific laws, we get even more uncertainty.

What makes one a good tactician is the ability to have a plan AND be flexible enough to modify or abandon that plan as unexpected events arise.

As for this endless harping on the variable charge range issue (Variable meaning certainty goes up as you get closer. It would be random if we also had to roll a scatter die for direction of the charge. :p) many other table top tactics games have a command and control mechanism whereby units sometimes don't get or misunderstand their orders and do nothing or the wrong thing.


I wouldn't mind a little of that in WFB (we see it in Warmaster) but failing that, a bit of uncertainty in a charge or wacky magical terrain serves a similar purpose.

If it's certainty you crave. Select some of your models and put them on a chess board. Otherwise, sack up, try to be a cunning commander and get your game on.

chamelion 6
04-07-2010, 17:12
Chamelion 6:

I fully understand your point of view, and I am sorry if I came across as obnoxious and rude. After rereading my reply, I feel a bit ashamed. I am, after all, a teacher of history.

However, there are obvious problems with Warhammer and historical correctness, apart from the magic and trolls and whatnot. The first one being that the armies are supposedly based off of vastly different episodes of human history. Therefore, we have no idea how troops armed with spears, lances, halberds, pistols or cannons, not to mention chariots, would fare against each other in an actual battle. Yet this is the conundrum that the historians of Warhammer deal with. The second problem is the actual fantasy elements. We have no historical recollection of a battle between lizards armed with blowpipes and a race of humanoids who live for thousands of years and can command down meteors with their minds.

I guess that my problem is that the historians of Warhammer (I'm starting to like the term) tend to discuss the relations between cavalry and infantry armed with something, and all the time ignoring the fact that said cavalry could very well be a 500-year battlehoned lizard riding a T-rex, armed to the teeth with blades that warp in and out of reality, and the infantry could either the dregs of a backwater town in the Empire or gigantic man-rats who stab each other just as much as the opponent.

Sometimes, the historians say something at the very end, like "yeah, and then there's magic, and trolls yada yada yada". That would actually be something that would affect the outcome of the discussion, and not something that you simply can add at the very end and never discuss for real. It means that everything you previously discussed has serious validity issues.

But it is all well and fine. You guys go ahead and discuss. But this is a game. Not reality. Hence, reality should play the second fiddle to the balance and playability issues. Not the other way around.

No offence taken at all... I was just pointing out we each have different reasons for gettin into the the game and have different expectations from it. I took your post as simply an expression of your preference. If I cam across a bit hostile, I apologize, I didn't intend to... I I've been debating this so long that tone is just kind of setting in.

But you're right in that there is no true historical precidents but there are fictional ones. Even getting beyond GW's own catalogue of fiction there are lots of other's to draw on.

It's recreating those fictional battles that intrigues me. The bigger than life, over the top, against all odds games. And a system over concerned with balance and mechanics doesn't portray that well.

No need to be ashamed at all. Yours was one of the more even tempered statements in the debate. If anything I probably came off as harsh.

peterburstrom
04-07-2010, 17:21
Well, in that case, chamelion 6, do you consider Warhammer 8 to be a better or a worse tool for your re-enactments than Warhammer 7?

goodz
04-07-2010, 17:24
lol the biggest thing that has changed is that your ability to eyeball a distance is no longer a factor. Tactically it is just as difficult, at the moment with all the new rules its probably more difficult because you can't just rely on something previously tested by hundreds of players.

chamelion 6
04-07-2010, 17:35
Well, in that case, chamelion 6, do you consider Warhammer 8 to be a better or a worse tool for your re-enactments than Warhammer 7?

Iv'e not played it and I've only skimmed the the rule book, but to me it looks very promising. I sold my stuff when 7th was released, but the atmosphere of 8th has got the juices flowing again. I plan on a new army and getting back into it soon.

A bit part of that are the changes to 40k. That has been a huge breath of fresh air and the philosophy is carrying over to WFB. I like what was done with 40K and 5th is the best edition of those I've played, namely 3rd and 4th.

I believe it will be better, but we will see.

Dungeon_Lawyer
04-07-2010, 17:48
Before i start i should highlight what i perceive to be a misconception regarding the meaning of tactics as opposed to strategy.

People complaining about the "randomness" of 8th edition are in reality complaining about the perceived demise of the strategic level rather than the tactical element of the game. They were used to a game where you could select an army, characters and magic items so as to remove a lot of the element of tactics from the game - with the assistance of some counter-intuitive rules that heavily favoured extreme (and typically unfluffy) army builds..

:eyebrows: Ahh no , epic fail here. This is jarbled nonsense that I cant just give a pass to. You're obviously not a military man.

Strategy is a plan of action to achieve an objective. In WH-fantasy the strategy i.e. the objective ,is to win the battle-period.

So when you write something like this:
People complaining about the "randomness" of 8th edition are in reality complaining about the perceived demise of the strategic level rather than the tactical element of the game.
. You are not defining strategy properly.


Tactics on the other hand is how you go about winning the battle-That is list building, magic item selection, deployment, movement, how many dice to throw at a spell, deciding when to take a risk etc...

So when you write somehting like this:


They were used to a game where you could select an army, characters and magic items so as to remove a lot of the element of tactics from the game - ..
You are not defining tactics properly.

These elements did not remove tactics from the game. They are the tactics of the game!! So when you state that 8th has made these aspects of the game and there proper utilization on the battlefield less decisive, you have actually in your own words made a case for why 8th is less tactical.

Enjoy your headache ! doh!:D

chamelion 6
04-07-2010, 18:07
:eyebrows: Ahh no , epic fail here. This is jarbled nonsense that I cant just give a pass to. You're obviously not a military man.

Strategy is a plan of action to achieve an objective. In WH-fantasy the strategy i.e. the objective ,is to win the battle-period.

So when you write something like this: You are not defining strategy properly.


Tactics on the other hand is how you go about winning the battle-That is list building, magic item selection, deployment, movement, deciding when to take a risk etc...

So when you write somehting like this:

You are not defining tactics properly.

These elements did not remove tactics from the game. They are the tactics of the game!! So when you state that 8th has made these aspects of the game and their proper utilization on the battlefield less decisive. You have actully in your own words, made a case for why 8th is less tactical.

Enjoy your headache ! doh!:D

Uhhhh..... no.

I'll agree on the basic semantics, for what that's worth. Strategy is the over all plan to achieve an objective. It's a little more involved than just "win the battle." It involves deciding the focus of the flow of the assets in the battle. For example, if your plan is to overwhelm the left flank and isolate key units, that's strategy.

Tactics are how you apply your assets in making that goal happen. Detailed decisions like wheter to attack or avoid a given unit, whether to attack a flank and risk delay or to use a unit to fight a delaying action to give other unts a free run to the left. It involves deciding wheter to attack a unit with your cav or your infantry or both. Those kind of decisions are still part of the game so the game is just as tactical as it's always been.

The stratgey should guide your tactics, choosing the options that further you're over all goal.

Tactics in the real world also involve drill and the specific application and use of specific weapon systems.

And that's why I never like the whole tournament thing. It never grew beyond "win the battle." There was no depth to it. You had a single goal, you decided on a list that provided the most powerful options and you rehashed the same tired old tactics over and over. Because the objective never changed.

I want a game that makes you crawl out of that box, at least once in a while.

_dandaman_
04-07-2010, 18:38
As far as cavalry goes, I like the role it's taking, defending flanks, challenging other cavalry, and sweeping archers, gunners, war machines ect. Although I still have my hopes with 10 khornate knights with the reroll hits banner!

Dungeon_Lawyer
04-07-2010, 19:47
Uhhhh..... no.

I'll agree on the basic semantics,.

Then just stop there.


Strategy is the over all plan to achieve an objective.

And the objective in a game of WH fantasy is?



It's a little more involved than just "win the battle."

That I will grant you. Strategy in the real world involves whether the battle should be fought at all and under what conditions. But these are concepts fantasy does not address. Thus "win the battle" parades as grand strategy in warhammer fantasy. You fail to grasp this .



It involves deciding the focus of the flow of the assets in the battle.

That would be tactics.


For example, if your plan is to overwhelm the left flank and isolate key units, that's strategy.

This is simply incorrect. What you describe are engagements-tactical combat employed,(drum roll) to win the battle (strategy).


Tactics are how you apply your assets in making that goal happen. Detailed decisions like wheter to attack or avoid a given unit, whether to attack a flank and risk delay or to use a unit to fight a delaying action to give other unts a free run to the left. It involves deciding wheter to attack a unit with your cav or your infantry or both. Those kind of decisions are still part of the game so the game is just as tactical as it's always been..

"Just as tactical as its always been" is your opinion; the focus of my post was to dispel the thread-starters assertion that 8th is more tactical.


And that's why I never like the whole tournament thing. It never grew beyond "win the battle." There was no depth to it. You had a single goal, you decided on a list that provided the most powerful options and you rehashed the same tired old tactics over and over. Because the objective never changed.
I want a game that makes you crawl out of that box, at least once in a while.

In every Tournament I have ever played in each game had scenario based objectives and or game modifiers that made the experience far more than "win the battle." Wether is was some sort of magic flux game where power dice were rolled (very much like the new magic phase rules actually) or being able to throw snowballs with a unit of rank and file troops that had failed a charge, my experiences at tournies (save for one game) have been awesome. And few and far between were times when I faced off against min'd/max'd lists. And they got beat down most of the time anyway.....

You havent even played a game of 8th yet, yet you are trying to be its champion:confused:



Warhammer almost never rises above what is known as the Operational level of war, and thats chiefly only if you play a campaign.

chamelion 6
04-07-2010, 21:08
Then just stop there.

And the objective in a game of WH fantasy is?
Taking my comments out of context to make them sound foolish is a poor tactic if your strategy is to convince me your thinking is clear and on point. ;)

The objective in a fantasy game is stated as part of the scenario. It may be to defeat the other army, it may just be to survive a given number of turns, it may be to hold a particular point on the board, it may be to take that point away from the other guy or any number of goals that could be imagined.

Because you never got past the "kill the model in front of you" game it doesn't mean there aren't others.:evilgrin:




That I will grant you. Strategy in the real world involves whether the battle should be fought at all and under what conditions. But these are concepts fantasy does not address. Thus "win the battle" parades as grand strategy in warhammer fantasy. You fail to grasp this .

Strategy is only limited to "win the battle" if your limited in your strategic thinking... Many tourny gamers never manage to get past that way of thinking but the nature of the battles they fight never really challenges them to and that's why the games are so one dimensional.........

I guess you could think of strategy in that context but military writers seldom do. Strategy, as applied by those good at it, is goal driven. It's the big plan that drives the rest of the decisions. "Win the battle" is so simplistic and vague it's of absolutely no used in focusing your tactical thinking. That's why your battles never amount to much more that lining up across the board and flinging yourselves at each other. But its mor than that. You have a Grand Strategy that is the plan for the campaign in general, that will define objectives on that level. For instance to take a given set of cities on a map. That then layers down. Those tasked with taking the cities will develop a strategy for doing that. An all around attack, a drive to through and encirclment... so on.

As movements move in and engage each other how they approach the fight and the decisions they make are defined by the strategy. For instance chasing a stray combatant off down the street is a bad idea if your strategy dictates you need to get to the other side of town to support the other prong of the attack. This is tactics, deciding who and how to effectively engage the enemy and acomplish the goals of your strategy.

Every battle (game) has a strategy, or should if it's approached properly. That's the context these terms have been used in by almost every military historian, strategist, and theorist I've ever read. They aren't engraved in stone and they mingle and overlap. The concept is intended to guide thinking in an engagement, not to segregate. It should all fit seemlessly into a coherent whole. The idea of Strategy and Tactics layers up and down, the terms are not unique to one level of the engagement.





This is simply incorrect. What you describe are engagements-tactical combat employed,(drum roll) to win the battle (strategy).


An "engagement" drum roll.... is when two combatants meet. We lay people just call them battles usually. They usually involve explosions and conflict... except in 7th where the winner is the one that yells "BOO!" the loudest. :evilgrin:



"Just as tactical as its always been" is your opinion; the focus of my post was to dispel the thread-starters assertion that 8th is more tactical.

I, personally, never claimed it was more tactical. I've left that for others to toss back and forth. My position is the same. If it involves movement, position, and combat then there will be tactics involved as people try to gain an advantage. To me, the idea of more and less tactics is silly.



In every Tournament I have ever played in each game had scenario based objectives and or game modifiers that made the experience far more than "win the battle." Wether is was some sort of magic flux game where power dice were rolled (very much like the new magic phase rules actually) or being able to throw snowballs with a unit of rank and file troops that had failed a charge, my experiences at tournies (save for one game) have been awesome. And few and far between were times when I faced off against min'd/max'd lists. And they got beat down most of the time anyway.....

You havent even played a game of 8th yet, yet you are trying to be its champion:confused:

Warhammer almost never rises above what is known as the Operational level of war, and thats chiefly only if you play a campaign.

Every example you gave is more of a modifier or an "event" but none are objectives. But I covered that earlier. See above.

8th edition may turn out to be a complete bust and a horrible game. If that's your view I'm good with that. What I object to is this snobbish attitude that many have that if your excited about 8th it's because you are mentally challenged, have no understanding of complex strategies, failed to understand 6th and 7th because it was just too hard, and so on and so on. It's like there's a presence dictating people justify and prove why they want to play it.

I've been a student of history for a very long time and a wargamer for almost as long. You wanna argue history I'm glad to go for it. I'm just a big enough geek to enjoy it.

You liked 6th and 7th because they came the closest to providing a fair balanced contest of two players. I was never interested in a contest so I didn't like 6th and 7th because they came the closest to providing a fair and balanced contest. Why does one side have to prove anything?

Why not just keep playing 7th and see where the system goes?????

What many that don't like the new rules don't seem to grasp is that it is exactly the fact that they abandoned the concepts so dominant in the previous edition that has many of us excited. We like it exactly because it isn't 7th!!!! The more insults and elitest attitude we encounter the more entrenched we become.

And this is to everyone tossing grenades and nobody in particular
I'm ok that you guys don't like it. I even understand why you guys don't like it. But maybe instead of trying to prove to people that like the new rules they're wrong and defective in their thinking, ya'll might try to understand what we do like about them. Doesn't mean you have to like them too, but that would go along way towards an meaningful discussion rather than what I've seen so far.

Oh well....

Deadboytat2
04-07-2010, 21:45
Accually i think the point of WHFB is to have fun.

I agree that the idea of more or less tactics in this game are a waste of time to argue about. But because people are into wasting time on forums ill just say i think there was a loss of tactics from 7th to 8th. You will not be able to play a game of 8th like you played a game of 7th so you lost the old ways of doing things. Dose that mean that 8th will be less of a game then 7th. No its just going to be diffrent and have all new things to try out and do.

8th to me seems like more fun. You are still going to have to pick out good units, magic items, heros, warmachines. But now what you pick is going to change. So what if infantry are better then they were before isent that a good thing. Large bricks of dudes is cool and looks good when fully painted. Thats why im excited.

I think that being forced to take more then 5 knights will be good too as i really like the idea of seeing those 10 to 15 man units on the table. Bretonians have been doing this for a while and it looks great.

I also think it will have just as much player skill as 7th it will just be towards diffrent ends. Sure there is going to be a certain amount of luck involved maybe more so then it used to have but that dose not mean that it gose down to a game of player skill 0 just because of the addition of a few more rolls.

just my 2 cents though.

Marked_by_chaos
04-07-2010, 21:51
:eyebrows: Ahh no , epic fail here. This is jarbled nonsense that I cant just give a pass to. You're obviously not a military man.

Strategy is a plan of action to achieve an objective. In WH-fantasy the strategy i.e. the objective ,is to win the battle-period.

So when you write something like this: You are not defining strategy properly.


Tactics on the other hand is how you go about winning the battle-That is list building, magic item selection, deployment, movement, how many dice to throw at a spell, deciding when to take a risk etc...



So when you write somehting like this:

You are not defining tactics properly.

These elements did not remove tactics from the game. They are the tactics of the game!! So when you state that 8th has made these aspects of the game and there proper utilization on the battlefield less decisive, you have actually in your own words made a case for why 8th is less tactical.




Enjoy your headache ! doh!:D

silly comment really. :eyebrows:

No - the tactics have not been removed from the game. They have actually been brought back in to a degree. Under 7th edition if you had a carefully constructed list you basically didn't need tactical skill you just built a list with a pretty much guaranteed plan a (i.e. all cavalary, magic heavy, gunline etc.) if it fought against an army which it was unsuited it would lose but otherwise no real tactical accumen were required.

You are obviously entitled to your opinion but i disagree. As far as i am concerned having to respond to an element of uncertainty (as in real conflicts) tests skill as you can't basically expect everything to flow in accordance with a one dimensional initial plan (around which your force/magic items have been selected)

Strategy and tactics are to an extent dependent upon context and scale. In a one of game of warhammer strategy would be the higher level army selection, outline plan etc. tactics would be lower level i.e. using units to support each other to carry out strategic aim and to respond to setbacks. actually. List building and magic item selection would in this context arguably be strategic (as far as a non-campaign based one of game of warhammer would be).

chamelion 6
04-07-2010, 21:55
But because people are into wasting time on forums...


Guilty!!!!! I have two papers to turn in and this is my way of avoiding them.... :cries:

Deadboytat2
04-07-2010, 22:08
and im at work so were both guilty. lol.