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View Full Version : Ravening Hordes...inspired by Top 5 Warhammer Cockups thread.



joshypoo
21-04-2006, 06:23
Well I've been reading the "Top 5 Warhammer Cockups" thread for about an hour now and it's getting my blood boiling as well as my brain buzzing. I harkened back to the days of Ravening Hordes and this struck me. Army books with intermingling special rules and magic items/gifts are polluting the game. GW needs to stop simplifying their rules and start simplifying their army books. If it takes a paragraph to describe what something does then its probably going to cause problems. If an ability can do something that will make a 10 year old cry in front of his big brother then it is probably unfair(the tzeentch spell that can turn a hero into a chaos spawn that turns on his own unit comes to mind).

Please discuss or flame at will.

And does anyone agree that Ravening Hordes lists were more fun?

EDIT: i forgot this, with the Ravening Hordes lists I found myself poring over the rulebooks concocting new maneuvers and strategies rather than my army book looking for nasty weapon combos to equip my lord with. And lets face it, napoleon won battles with his maneuvers not by showing up at Austerlitz with a flippin' Axe of Khorne.

Flypaper
21-04-2006, 06:44
...The number of overpowered "pure" combat items can be counted on one hand. Try showing your brother how many goblins you could have brought instead. :angel:

Seriously, I'm not sure what the problem is. If anything, Warhammer magic items are specifically designed not to combo; and what little there is tends to fall under the "cute" rather than "effective" category. And what's the problem with having unique flavourful items? DoW players have been complaining about their selection for years now. :p

Oh, and playing character-versus-character is a mug's game. Use 'em to support units instead. :o

On the other hand, bad writing is bad writing is bad writing. Take a look at that WE item that grants a ward save on the last wound suffered - people have been arguing about it for months!

That's not a problem with complexity, though - if you're playing WFB then you're already dealing with a ton of info just from the BRB - it's a problem with how poorly edited the books are, how little co-ordination and peer review they undergo, and the appalling lack of consistent templating!

Bingo the Fun Monkey
21-04-2006, 07:39
That's not a problem with complexity, though - if you're playing WFB then you're already dealing with a ton of info just from the BRB - it's a problem with how poorly edited the books are, how little co-ordination and peer review they undergo, and the appalling lack of consistent templating!

I agree 100%. *crosses fingers in hopes that 7th ed won't have 541432342341234 pages of errata*

Ravening Hordes was more fun, i believe, because it was a whole new system, in a way. Outnumbering, the formalization on Ward Saves (remember how magic armor couldn't be modded by mundane equipment?). If you are complaining about things like uber characters and the such now, you should consider yourself blessed to have never played 4th (or especially 5th) edition. In the end, I feel GW should get more professional (which they have been doing) and yet try to not turn into a faceless corporate entity (too late:rolleyes: ).

joshypoo
21-04-2006, 08:20
I agree that GW needs more professionalism and effort put into their development but dont you think that their attempts to bring us uniquely flavorful magic items, and uniquely flavorful armies, and uniquely flavorful schools of magic are what puts so much strain on and causes so many problems with development? All I'm saying is that RH was really really fun and I feel that a significant part of that was the simplicity of the lists. I don't disagree that armies should have magic items unique to them but I feel GW is attempting to force too much of the personality of armies into their rules and its not working because they dont have the development structure to make it work.

Gorbad Ironclaw
21-04-2006, 09:33
I agree that GW needs more professionalism and effort put into their development but dont you think that their attempts to bring us uniquely flavorful magic items, and uniquely flavorful armies, and uniquely flavorful schools of magic are what puts so much strain on and causes so many problems with development?



I think it's more that it's just not a priority. As best as I can understand, GW consider themself as a model company, the rules are just a thing to help them sell models, so the rules isn't really all that important.


I don't think the RH lists was much better than the current ones though. They also had lots of problems, just look at the single RH list thats left. Chaos Dwarfs, you could hardly call it balanced(it's hediously powerful), and even with few special rules, there still are some issues. Blunderbusses and Earthshakers spring to mind.

Elannion
21-04-2006, 20:48
I love the idea of unique and flavourful armys and unique rules, i think the problem is GW still haven't passed their english GCSE's and end up explaining things in the most hideously stupid and complicated ways, when things don't have to be. I love the idea of lots of different rules and the idea that prehaps you can't memorise your opponents armybooks off by heart like alot of people do these days and that maybe you don't know the ins and outs of every unit in the game before you battle (i am not saying i want things over complicated though).

Shield of Freedom
21-04-2006, 21:49
Ravening Hordes sucked. At least for me. I had been playing Bretonnia since before the 7th edition rules came out and ravening hordes just about made my army unplayable. That's why Bretonnia was one of the FEW armies to have a white dwarf article to give them a "pre-army book" army list.

I like the new army books. I like armies that have unique units and rules that set them apart from the others. That's what makes Warhammer fun. One of the reasons I don't like Napoleonics much is because the armies are WAY too similar.

Gorbad Ironclaw
21-04-2006, 22:10
Ravening Hordes sucked. At least for me. I had been playing Bretonnia since before the 7th edition rules came out


As 7th isn't out until this fall, I would imagine so:p

Grand Warlord
21-04-2006, 22:21
I enjoy the current Chaos Dwarf list and I keep my Blunderbusses/Earthshakers to the minimum since its the only thing i have for the time being ... not many complaints so far

Krusk
21-04-2006, 23:25
Don't forget the Hobgoblin hordes of doom either, like Goblins, except with toned down animosity, and and WS 3. the only thing they don't get really is spears, which does not really matter anyway. and all for 2 points. The fact that you need some chaos dwarves is not really bad either, as they would be a good idea anyway. I think they are a bit too cheap really.

anarchistica
22-04-2006, 01:41
11 point Chaos Warriors with 2 point chaos armour upgrade... :D

Hashut's Li'l Helper
22-04-2006, 02:03
Blunderbusses aren't so hard as they only hace a move and shoot of 15 inches. against ranked troops they rock but are useless vs anything else.
Hobgobs now suffer from same animosity as O+G. Look in the updated PDF on the website.

Flypaper
22-04-2006, 08:11
I love the idea of lots of different rules and the idea that prehaps you can't memorise your opponents armybooks off by heart like alot of people do these days and that maybe you don't know the ins and outs of every unit in the game before you battle (i am not saying i want things over complicated though).
That's a fair enough call. And if you think about it, the main units that you have to fully understand the extra rules about are the ones that have core design problems to start with.

E.g. if you're facing an infantry-heavy Lizardmen list you'll appreciate just from the visuals that Saurus Warriors are pretty hard, and that Temple Guard are even tougher. You don't need to know the exact figures - you can guess roughly what their tactical use will be.

On the other hand, if your opponent's got a Steam Tank, Night Goblin Fanatics and Squigs or a Casket of Souls, you pretty much have to have access to the other books to figure out what's going on or you're likely to have your strategy torn to shreds. :eek:

Edit: Note that I'm not talking about overpowered units here - I'm talking about units that wrench at the game's core mechanics and consequently become nightmares from a rules-support point of view. Inelegant units. :p

lord_blackfang
22-04-2006, 10:53
I'm talking about units that wrench at the game's core mechanics and consequently become nightmares from a rules-support point of view.

This is my personal beef as well, and it also extends to some magic items. For example, TK have a banner that lets you reform and charge in the same turn. DE have a banner that adds +D6" to charge range. I consider such items "cheap tricks" that ruin the game. The best tactical ability in the world won't help you if you don't know the other guy's Army Book by heart. You can have him totally outmaneuvered and apparently at your mercy, only for him to pull a magic item or spell out of his *** that lets him break core game mechanics. This kind of **** forces you to learn all Army Books by heart if you want to be anywhere near competitive.

Commissar von Toussaint
22-04-2006, 15:27
I don't think the magic items by themselves are that bad, I think it's the special rules that really cause problems.

When the 6th ed. came out, I was really excited because they fixed a ton of problems and it seemed that having things like Killing Blow, Stubborn and so forth would mean that we wouldn't have an endless array of units with the "Super Double Secret Badass" rule.

I mean think back to the 5th ed. High Elves book. Every freaking unit got a special power. Why bother with different stat lines if you are going to use special rules?

Now with my own rules I freely admit that some units have identical stats - that is where army-specific rules are useful.

But when you are going with so many different stat lines, adding special rules is pretty annoying and leads to loads of problems.

I also fully agree that the most annoying thing about WHFB (which is still much toned down) is the ability for magic/spells to negate bad tactics.


Ravening Hordes sucked. At least for me. I had been playing Bretonnia since before the 7th edition rules came out and ravening hordes just about made my army unplayable. That's why Bretonnia was one of the FEW armies to have a white dwarf article to give them a "pre-army book" army list.

Man, I remember the outcry on Portent when the Bret players got their hands on that list. :D

I loved it. I wasn't one of those that argued (insincerely) that their list was balanced or could work properly. No, I was quite open: Your list sucks, but you deserve it!

Anyone remember the virtue that let a lance meet any charge with a countercharge? Gosh, you always get to count your lance bonus whether you're charged or not! Oh that was fair.

And what was the combo that let you roll another attack for every hit you rolled? Combine that with the Hydra Sword and I watched a Bretonnian Lord kill every damn model in a unit by himself. :eek:

Ravening Hordes was exactly what Bretonnia deserved. :)

samw
22-04-2006, 15:47
Ravening Hordes was exactly what Bretonnia deserved. :)

And the 6th ed book was exactly what all the rest of you deserved because of it. Hehe, flying knights, classic. :evilgrin:

TeddyC
22-04-2006, 16:08
Im not fussed how comlex the rules are... id rather have a good complex rules set for every army.

I dont want the game dumbed down....

However what I do want is all rules to be properly explained with much more clear rulings.... Its obvious some questions are raised many times over and asking 100 different staffers will get you 100 different answers. It should be set down that they look on the internet, ask staffers, check their inbox and answer everything clearly. Not just say 'decide for youselves' have a proper stance... thats widely published and recognised by everyone. Staffers, customers etc.

of course that doesnt happen and you get Gav thorpe writing his own army books and no ones happy.

joshypoo
22-04-2006, 19:48
everything you're all saying i could wholeheartedly agree with in a perfect world. but it's not a perfect world, it's GW's world and unfortunately all of us agree that they have not shown the commitment to quality rules that we would all like to see. if theyre not going to make that commitment then i think the next best thing(and likely thing) at this point is to scale some of it back.

on a side note however, i think some of the new 40k codices show promise and therefore hope for the future. 40k's rulebook on the other hand has been dumbed down which is what i do not want to happen to fantasy.

Flypaper
23-04-2006, 11:10
This is my personal beef as well, and it also extends to some magic items. For example, TK have a banner that lets you reform and charge in the same turn. DE have a banner that adds +D6" to charge range. I consider such items "cheap tricks" that ruin the game.
Well, that's not really what I was talking about. A reform is well defined in the rulebook (and free reforms have the precedent of fast cavalry), and adding to one's charge range is a straightforward exercise intelectually. I was aluding more to actions - like the Steam Tank's movement and some of the Giant's special attacks - that work completely independently of the game's established mechanics.

This kind of **** forces you to learn all Army Books by heart if you want to be anywhere near competitive.
How competitive is competitive? If you're talking about full-on cutthroat competition then of course you need to know all the rulebooks by heart! You should probably have memorised every statline in the game and should be able to guess ranges down to the nearest micron, too, if you're facing expert, practiced human beings who are out to do anything (within the rules) to beat you.

That's just the nature of what being competitive means. :)

On the other hand, I don't think the Banner of Murder is exactly wrecking the game. If you're put in a position where a 2" charge bonus will lose you the game then you'd probably already lost from a tactical point of view!

You're entirely welcome to disapprove of the items in terms of their power, of course. ;)

blurred
23-04-2006, 16:12
11 point Chaos Warriors with 2 point chaos armour upgrade...

Sounds good to me. With the current setting (14 pts/model) chaos warriors suck like there's no tomorrow.


For example, TK have a banner that lets you reform and charge in the same turn. DE have a banner that adds +D6" to charge range. I consider such items "cheap tricks" that ruin the game.

I have to disagree. IMO magic banners should be just like these two - they make the game more psychologically challenging and therefore more fun. When the enemy is leaving his elite infantry in a vulnerable position, you start to ponder whether he is just stupid or whether its a trap. And I also disagree with what you said about them being game-winners. Sure they are nasty surprises, but if your whole army is beaten by them you have done something wrong in the first place.

Banners that add one attack to all models or something like that are plain and boring. They add nothing to the tactical aspect of the game.

EDIT: And my apologies for sidetracking the thread. :)

Elannion
23-04-2006, 16:33
I agree flypaper there are some things you need to know, however thats when asking to see their roster or armybook comes into play :P. I don't think the game should be dumbed down atall, if your tactics depend on knowing everything what happens in a situation where for whatever reason you don't know everything.

The Judge
23-04-2006, 17:45
Cheap tricks add to the game - if you're a really good strategist then your opponent should be sweating, even if he has taken a Steam Tank. He might have even taken it just to get the "edge" to beat you.

Every trick has something that can beat it, so yes, I guess you would have to have a good idea of what to expect, possibly even memorise the opponent's army - is being able to understand your opponent's capabilities more than he does not strategy in itself?

TeddyC
23-04-2006, 20:28
Ok so you know that TKs have 'that' banner....

I also know that night goblins have fanatics.... I never know which unit... if any has them.....

By the reasoning that its unpredictable which unit COULD have THAT banner... should we remove fanatics as well?

Sorry for Sidetracking... I just like a game that can throw a lot of suprises at you.... things can get very complex.... but it isnt really the rules that spoil that for me. Its players who dont explain it fully eg. Unit X has ability Y, then it comes to another circumstance and i bring it up theat unit X should be using ability Y... but it turns out they are actually using ability Z... which wasnt explained first time round.

Im happy not to know every book off by heart... thats my perogative, but if I ask for a full explanation a magic item/ability/special rule while it is being used... I think im owed one.