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Commissar von Toussaint
23-06-2006, 02:17
The thread on scenarios got me to thinking about how WHFB (and my fine, fine game Conqueror (http://posseincitatus.typepad.com/the_lantern_waste/2006/06/conqueror_updat.html) ) could use something like that.

Now I am well aware that WHFB has scenarios, but they strike me as rather poor.

The main reason is that they fail to take terrain into account.

Terrain in WHFB is generally random, which I think is rather silly. As I look at scenarios other than Pitched Battle for my own game, it seems to me that terrain should play a role.

If one side holds a commanding position, the other should be compensated with points. Similarly, a river crossing could make for an interesting but otherwise unbalanced scenario.

I also think that a mechanism to incorporate flank marches into the "standard" battle (that is, not as a scenario but rather an option) is worth looking at.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with the Pitched Battle. No two are alike, but for those speciality games, I think more is required.

Sanjuro
23-06-2006, 08:15
I have a little saying about scenarios in Warhammer...

40k needs scenarios to make the game interesting. Fantasy doesn't, since the game is dynamic enough that, as you pointed out, no two Pitched Battles are alike and they all pose unique and interesting challenges.

I think it's quite telling that half a decade after 6th came out, we are still playing pitched battles and enjoying the heck out of them. It doesn't get old.

The reason terrain is supposed to be completely random is due to the tournament mentality that is now completely integrated with the game. When we shed ourself of that mentality, we will come to realizations about terrain as well.

It wasn't always like that. I read an old 4th edition WD battle report from a massive Fantasy megabattle between Orcs and Chaos Dwarfs, versus Empire and Wood Elves (if I recall correctly). They didn't even use army lists for that battle, they just took everything the studio had painted up and what looked like an approximately fair game.

That's the point I'm trying to make - battles aren't always fair, not in numbers and not in terrain. The problem with portraying this is that on the 2000 pts level, things get unbalanced fairly quickly when both sides don't have the same amount of points.

However, I say you should ignore the "everything is random" maxim and start to make your battles a bit more narrative. Some of the best battles I've had were part of narrative campaigns that do not utilize random terrain placement and stuff like that.

Griefbringer
23-06-2006, 08:49
May I recommend taking a look at the General's Compendium - it has a bunch of scenarios that are purely built around specific terrain.

gortexgunnerson
25-06-2006, 11:31
As stated already 40K needs terrain but it is of less importance in Fantasy. The big problem is game flow with terrain, if you play a river crossing game then it will take most of the game to get troops across and give a huge advantage to missile based armies. Its very difficult to get interesting terrain that doesn't unbalance the game too much. I think better ways of mixing the game up are on flows of troops or objectives.

I once played a game where 5000 points DE were attacking 1K High elves defending a town. Then after 2 turns 2000 points of HE reinforcements came on from each end of the table. The spilt of forces and the fact troops were moving on from different areas really gave a interesting game. So when I'm looking to play non pitched battles I design the scenerios like that. (The high Elves won with tecelis bringing down the Witch King with a magic missile cast from 10 foot away! Corner to corner on a 10' by 5' board)

The big battle in 4th Edition was called Gathering of might and was very cool, it had 5 players per side and had generalship rules that orders where past down from the high command and had to be given a turn in advance IIRC. They also had a model to represent each of them and if you killed it the general wasn't allowed to give any more orders.

Gorbad Ironclaw
25-06-2006, 13:58
Terrain in generally is a problem in Warhammer, as most troops, outside skirmishers, just doesn't interact very well with it at all.

Sure, you can sit in cover, but the movement penalties for difficult terrain is so harsh that lots of it effectively becomes impassible to lots of units.

Making the interaction between armies and terrain a much bigger problem than in 40k.

Commissar von Toussaint
29-06-2006, 01:40
Terrain in generally is a problem in Warhammer, as most troops, outside skirmishers, just doesn't interact very well with it at all.

Sure, you can sit in cover, but the movement penalties for difficult terrain is so harsh that lots of it effectively becomes impassible to lots of units.

Making the interaction between armies and terrain a much bigger problem than in 40k.

I don't think I'd call it a "problem." I think the outsized effect of terrain is a feature, not a bug.

That being said, I dislike the random element (and the porta-hills Empire and Dwarfs seem to carry everywhere with them). Generally, the way we do it is one player sets up terrain, the other chooses the board edge.

But what I'm thinking is a way for terrain to be outlined in the scenario itself.

Basically, what if hills cost points? Same with linear obstacles.

Mad Doc Grotsnik
29-06-2006, 01:43
There is one slight problem with fixed terrain for specific scenarios....

Players collections. My Warhammer collection is pretty basic. Hedgerows, Trees and Mordheim ruins. Oh, and Hills of course.

I have no Towers. I have no Rivers. I have no fields. All these things need to be built, and much as I'm game to have a crack, I just don't have the time!

I guess thats why the terrain is generally kept random.

crunchy92
29-06-2006, 19:48
There is one slight problem with fixed terrain for specific scenarios....

Players collections. My Warhammer collection is pretty basic. Hedgerows, Trees and Mordheim ruins. Oh, and Hills of course.

I have no Towers. I have no Rivers. I have no fields. All these things need to be built, and much as I'm game to have a crack, I just don't have the time!

I guess thats why the terrain is generally kept random.

You would be surprised how quickly a few gamers in a room with bits of polystyrene, cardboard and paint can make way too much terrain ;) Games day and a pack from a store gave us loads of trees. One day as I wandered thru town an optician chucked out 20 3ft by 2ft adverts that were made of foam board, admitadly that was a lucky break but foam board is only abt £3 for that size anyway.

Ironhand
29-06-2006, 23:28
Fields are easy. Just go to a craft store and pick up some appropriately colored "fun fur". It makes great wheat fields. I've used it for both Fantasy, and American Civil War Historicals.

mageith
30-06-2006, 14:30
The main reason is that they fail to take terrain into account.

Terrain in WHFB is generally random, which I think is rather silly. As I look at scenarios other than Pitched Battle for my own game, it seems to me that terrain should play a role.

I heartily agree that random terrain is silly.

In our pre-game setup we make one role (edit: roll) just before setting up terrain. The winner either chooses to go first or second (including deployment) or chooses the first placement of a piece of terrain.

The actual terrain pieces are re-rolled depending on the countryside: (desert, woods, open, etc.) There are FIVE pieces of terrain so first choice also gets an extra piece.

This way terrain becomes part of the overall strategy of the army build.

Downside: Can delay the game.

de Selby
01-07-2006, 01:03
IBut what I'm thinking is a way for terrain to be outlined in the scenario itself.

Basically, what if hills cost points? Same with linear obstacles.

It's a neat idea. Something like, for X points, a player has the right to place
an extra hill (or whatever) after ordinary terrain has been placed.

I have no idea how this should be costed (a fixed amount, or a percentage of army size?). Or you could do it like 40k cityfight strategies, and allow other scenario-related advantages for the players to select...

Players can be resistant to modifying their force selection for the sake of something abstract. You could try exchanging 'scenario advantages' for a preset VP amount before the game begins. So players with advantages have to score more VPs to win.

WillFightForFood
01-07-2006, 04:04
Or why not give each side a number of extra points to spend on terrain based upon the scenario. Give every piece of terrain a rough value based upon size. Both sides would have to commit the amount of terrain (aside from the basic board layout) before the game starts and then anything unused goes to their VPs.

Dr Death
02-07-2006, 18:26
The reason terrain is such a problem in warhammer is because of the 6 turn limit. Marching across a 48" board with models which can march on foot usually about 8" means that there's no real time to carefully creep through the woods on your flank (as woods almost invariably are) to prepare for a devestating charge into your enemy's rearmost forces. Terrain simply becomes pretty impassable cliffs.

The other problem is that in order to have a reasonably appealing spread of terrain, it is invariably placed in small clumps of no particular importance. It is simply far easier to skirt the 6" diameter clump of tree's than to expend the nessercary 2 turns and extended referencing of the rules for moving partially in and out of terrain. The rules need to be simplified and the terrain peices made bigger. Bigger terrain peices mean it's a more worthwhile venture to get stuck into them and help get across that tree's arent for decorative purposes only.

Without those changes to the rules and the way people play terrain simply wont be utilised as it should- it's more trouble than it's worth.

Dr Death

mageith
02-07-2006, 19:24
The reason terrain is such a problem in warhammer is because of the 6 turn limit. Marching across a 48" board with models which can march on foot usually about 8" means that there's no real time to carefully creep through the woods on your flank (as woods almost invariably are) to prepare for a devestating charge into your enemy's rearmost forces. Terrain simply becomes pretty impassable cliffs.

Have you tried Lustria? Its not the terrain. It's the rules that we have to deal with Terrain. Some more realistic/reasonable rules could go a long way.

In addition, its Scenario 1 (Pitched Battle). Real pitched battles didn't really have lots of terrain. But real pitched battles were few and far between.

And its not 48 inches, its 24 inches. In other words, if forces really want to face one another its achievable by turn 2 or even the second half of turn one if both armies are mounted. Of course, this is a pretty straightforward, non-tactical game.

WFB tries to be lots (too many things). Its got large flying monsters. Its got wizards. Its got lots of ranked troops. Its got modern combat skirmishers. Its got tank like heavy cavalry and its got fleet footed fast cavalry. Its got light, medium and heavy range weapons, artillery and tank like chariots.

Not all these things existed at the same time (or ever). Since only one type of Battle mode is in vogue (the Pitched battle), some of these troop types work better than others.




The other problem is that in order to have a reasonably appealing spread of terrain, it is invariably placed in small clumps of no particular importance. It is simply far easier to skirt the 6" diameter clump of tree's than to expend the nessercary 2 turns and extended referencing of the rules for moving partially in and out of terrain. The rules need to be simplified and the terrain peices made bigger. Bigger terrain peices mean it's a more worthwhile venture to get stuck into them and help get across that tree's arent for decorative purposes only.

If you have more and bigger terrain, they there just has to be better rules to work with it. I'm saying Lustria is the solution, but it was an honest attempt to deal with it.



Without those changes to the rules and the way people play terrain simply wont be utilised as it should- it's more trouble than it's worth.
Alas, as far as I can tell from the rumors were pretty much without any changes: yours, mine or Lustria's.

Mage Ith

Commissar von Toussaint
03-07-2006, 14:34
What about pre-generated maps?

Looking over my old "Storm of Vengeance" scenario pack, I noticed that it came with nifty little maps on how the board should be set up.

Would anyone play on a standardized set of maps? Would the loss of the customized aspect be compensated for with a more balanced resulting game play?