PDA

View Full Version : Is warhammer too complicated? (not talking about AoS)



taurus-marstein
03-09-2015, 20:11
I have a large attention span, I love complex games and the strategy aspect that can arise from complex situations... and yet I found myself playing a game yesterday (8th edition WFB) and it got mentally exhausting.

It seems like you can't even play a friendly game without dozens of breaks to look up rules, endless ambiguities over who's in B2B or how some special rule interacts with another... our games (2500 points) take over 4 hours to complete and we usually quit after turn 4 ends, forgoing the last 2 turns... all this just to have random events dictate the battle more often than your desired strategy.

So I ask, is warhammer too complicated of a game?

Now, AoS is obviously screaming "hey, warhammer is too complex so let's just set up models and roll dice" and I don't want that either. That's not even a game... and I wouldn't even argue that AoS is much simpler than WFB because every single unit has several unique and arbitrary rules.

KOW is probably the best example of a game where you can have a fantasy battle without annoying over-complexity...

So how can we play a fun ranked-battle game without descending into the mind-numbing drudgery of over-complex rules and ambiguity ruining the fun?

Skargit Crookfang
03-09-2015, 20:17
I have created a quick-start WHFB rule sheet (in the spirit of 8th) which I've been using to "train" people on the game. It's been quick, easy and getting to the point where I feel I can just release it, online, very soon and see what people can do with it, regarding learning the game. I've also written it in such a way where IP won't come into play. Generic writing and smart-omission FTW.

It will be entirely compatible with 8th and some of the homebrew rulesets coming out.

If explained properly, and patiently, WHFB is not that hard to learn. As for mastering it?.... 20 years later, and I'd still get stomped in the ETC entry tournies, I'm sure ;)

big squig
03-09-2015, 20:22
So how can we play a fun ranked-battle game without descending into the mind-numbing drudgery of over-complex rules and ambiguity ruining the fun?

By playing KoW. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea because some people actually like those mountains of complex special rules, but for me I want a simple yet in-depth strategy game that doesn't take 5 hours.

Vazalaar
03-09-2015, 20:25
No, it is not too complicated.

Imo there is no annoying over complexity with Warhammer. A 2500 game doesn't take 4 hours atleast not in my experience. What does take 4 hours is a 2vs2 and each player has a 2500 points army. Occasionally there is a rules discussion, but we just roll a D6 to see who is right and one of the following days we start looking on the internet/faq and such to see how the rule should have been played.

I don't get the feeling that KoW is the holy grail of a tabletop game. The rules/armies seem bland and a bit boring. I admit that I haven't played it, but when I've read the free rules. It didn't give me the urge to try it out.

Skargit Crookfang
03-09-2015, 20:29
No, it is not too complicated.

Imo there is no annoying over complexity with Warhammer. A 2500 game doesn't take 4 hours atleast not in my experience. What does take 4 hours is a 2vs2 and each player has a 2500 points army. Occasionally there is a rules discussion, but we just roll a D6 to see who is right and one of the following days we start looking on the internet/faq and such to see how the rule should have been played.

I don't get the feeling that KoW is the holy grail of a tabletop game. The rules/armies seem bland and a bit boring. I admit that I haven't played it, but when I've read the free rules. It didn't give me the urge to try it out.


KoW is pretty fun- I've enjoyed it. But... it just isn't the feel I'm looking for with regards to my main system.

Jadawin
03-09-2015, 20:30
By playing KoW. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea because some people actually like those mountains of complex special rules, but for me I want a simple yet in-depth strategy game that doesn't take 5 hours.

This echos my feelings, my regular gaming partner and I have switched to KOW, amongst other games, and due to its simplicity of rules we are able to complete a game in under 2 hours. This allows us to play a game of KOW then either X wing or small games of bolt action or warmaster in the same evening.

But to answer the OP I dont think that 8th is complex as such as a rules system, as you mentioned it was/is the layers of special rules, exceptions to special rules, army specific rules, random dice tables and all that clutter that developed over the course of 5 years that made the game more ponderous. And rerolls bloody rerolls endless rerolls for everyone for everything god it got tedious.

Vazalaar
03-09-2015, 20:36
This echos my feelings, my regular gaming partner and I have switched to KOW, amongst other games, and due to its simplicity of rules we are able to complete a game in under 2 hours. This allows us to play a game of KOW then either X wing or small games of bolt action or warmaster in the same evening.

I don't need to play more games than one per evening.

We play mostly a 2vs1 or a 2vs2 game or rarely a 3vs3 game. Small gaming group and we don't play in clubs and such. One enjoyable game = a good and fun evening. ;).

theunwantedbeing
03-09-2015, 20:42
No, but the way the rules are written makes it a lot more time consuming to play than it needs to be.


Doing a straight up re-wording would solve every single issue bar the one of balance.
Balance is easily solved by a bit of sportsmanship.

Col. Tartleton
03-09-2015, 20:44
Basically there should be a type A naked version of the game and a type B advanced version of the game. In type A I just want to be thinking about whether I should be taking 15 guns and 15 halberds or 10 guns and 25 halberds? In type B I'm probably going to be thinking about whether or not my gunners would be better served by a marksman with a rifle or a repeater, should my halberd sergeant have heavy armor and a sword of striking? Should my dwarf lord have armor piercing and flaming runes on his ax or should he pick one? Should my Temple Guard Cavalry take a sacred spawning or bolas? Should my High Elf Mage take Fireball or Flaming Sword of Ruin? Or should he be a Death Wizard? Maybe Beasts?

HelloKitty
03-09-2015, 21:06
WHFB rules as written , as well as 40k, leave a lot of room for ambiguities and rules lawyering, which is the biggest gripe I have about them.

Spiney Norman
03-09-2015, 21:47
WHFB rules as written , as well as 40k, leave a lot of room for ambiguities and rules lawyering, which is the biggest gripe I have about them.

Though in fairness, compared to AoS both wfb and 40k look like tight, well-managed rule sets.

Personally I've played wfb out of the box since 6th edition and never had a problem with, shall we say 'poor attitude opponents'. All things considered the game has worked pretty well over that period with a slight exception for daemons of chaos in late 7E which just had no nice way to play the army at all. That guy is usually pretty obvious and easy to avoid when playing wfb, most people recognised that the army building restrictions were there to promote a fun game and no-one really tried to abuse them. AoS is a very different kettle of fish, now there is no way of telling if your list is 'nice', 'weak' or 'downright nasty', there is no way of comparing unit A to unit B and as a result no-one really knows what they should be taking to a game to make an enjoyable experience for them and their opponent.

taurus-marstein
04-09-2015, 00:48
Yes I am not saying "Hey should we dumb down the game?"... not at all. The game should not be dumber or simpler, but the RULES should be simpler (or at the very least be worded better). You could rule out a massive amount of ambiguities if you had more centralized rules, where special rules all drew upon the same concepts like "this ability lasts until the start of the next turn" and have all of those rules and descriptions for how they interact found in one place.

Granting everyone rerolls is very time consuming, I agree that it is frustrating.

But another thing is how much complicated stuff happens that really has no impact on the battle. Especially when a hero or a monster has some ability that debuffs models in B2B, then basically just a few guys suffer from a penalty and have to roll their attacks separately from the rest of their unit... its just annoying TBH. I completely avoid any and all items/abilities that impact only a couple of models out of a unit in this manner.

Another one is templates... its nearly impossible to figure out exactly which guys are under them and which are not, because you cant look straight down on the table. Also the artillery dice and the scatter dice are a waste of time, it takes wayyyyyy too long to shoot stone throwers in a game with as many models as WFB. A simple "the war machine deals 2d6 hits" would be fine, you still have a chance for a lot of damage or a chance for not much at all. Templates also force a tactic of character sniping down everyones throat where you gotta worry about those sniper cannons that are ready to blow your generals head off with each shot if you fail your Look out sir roll.

What I am trying to say is, couldnt we have essentially the same game (90% or more stuff the same) but just have it easier to play, take less time, and take less of a mental toll on the player's mind? With just a few rewordings, disambiguations, and cleaning up you could save us all a million headaches and rules debates....

Or you know, you could keep rolling on the doomrocket's misfire chart thats different than any other device/war machine/magic item's misfire chart and be content with the overcomplexity and ambiguities of WFB.

Mudkip
04-09-2015, 03:01
I chose no, its fine the way it is., but it's not a matter of complexity, it's a question of design.

GW could have the discipline to stick to one set of universal special rules in the BRB for instance without adding more in every codex/army book. They could put out a Ravening Hordes style booklet to give everybody a basic idea of what other armies are like, so that you don't have to buy/torrent every expensive book to have the faintest clue what's going on. Tedious low-impact stuff (like warlord traits in 40k) don't really make the game more complex, but they certainly start to weight it down and feel bloated.

I think the typical person who plays tabletop games is smart enough that complexity isn't the issue so much as what else they'd rather be doing with their time. Fantasy needs to be a good time investment if you are going to spend an entire evening travelling to and then playing a match somewhere. Sometimes lack of complexity can be the issue there, for instance the horde formation made a couple of games I played feel boring, it made me feel that all the time I was putting into the match weren't as rewarding because it was dumbing down the game for me.

Smooth Boy
04-09-2015, 03:09
I fell in between option one and two. It's certainly not too complex, I wish 40K still had a movement characteristic. But it did need streamlining, too many special rules and exceptions. They could learn from Space Hulk, easy to learn hard to master.

Galadrin
04-09-2015, 03:12
The golden era of Warhammer rules, WFB 3rd Edition, is a fair deal more complicated than 8th. There are 9 or 10 different formations, 10 different penalties to hit with ranged attacks, at least a dozen modifiers to hit in hand-to-hand combat, more psychology states, more regiment statuses (pushed back, unformed, committed), more detailed rules for manuevering (including command checks to successfully maneuver) and even more phases in the turn. Armour slowed down movement, almost every weapon had initiative and armour save modifiers (and several weapons had MULTIPLE initiative modifiers), all equipment costs were modified by model point value and magic items were fully customizable. All this, and 3e was easily the most balanced version of Warhammer ever made (a nod goes to 2e as well, though). How was this possible? The game had essentially zero special rules. Every rule was in the rulebook and could be used by every army (want beastmen in archer wedge formation throwing torinko grenades and laying traps? Done!). The Armies book, which published every army list in one volume and thus achieved the pinnacle of army list balancing, introduced a couple of new rules (wardancers... Maybe war altars, I forget), but otherwise all rules were in the rulebook and accessible to every army.

Greyshadow
04-09-2015, 03:58
Yes I am not saying "Hey should we dumb down the game?"... not at all. The game should not be dumber or simpler, but the RULES should be simpler.

Totally agree, game needs more streamlining for sure. Not saying it isn't an amazing game but it took me about three years to learn to play it correctly. I would have liked to adjust the game so that heroes and lords can't join units and give their buffs and stay safe just by being close. I think that could make things flow a lot better.

taurus-marstein
04-09-2015, 04:12
Or have lords/heroes act more like unit champs. if you DO join a unit, you cant leave it, and there can only be one hero/lord per unit. That would prevent deathstars and prevent stupid/gamey tactics where you pop a hero into/out of units to gain advantage.

I see what you guys are saying. Perhaps the level of complexity and detail are not the problem, but the execution of the game is so god-awful that it makes it fricken tiresome to play, exhausting to play correctly, and boring as all heck to master (with how long it takes to figure everything out).

Playing WFB rules-as-written is often very annoying and very frustrating, to everyone. Most players I know say things like "Hey can we just have non-magical terrain? magical terrain takes too long" and the like, adapting the game to be simpler or more streamlined so that it might remain fun and not taking eons to play.

BTW if you take a look at Twilight Era (link in my signature) you can see what WFB might look like if GW actually organized and streamlined the rules and got rid of all the excessive complexity and ambiguity (at least most of it).

Voss
04-09-2015, 04:28
It needs better written rules, not less complexity. That said, going by the second paragraph of the original post, you're doing something wrong. Base to base isn't ambiguous at all- bases are either touching or... Not. While there are some bad or unclear special rules interactions, the majority aren't that unclear. At least not to the point of being endless or dozens... Maybe a few per game (which could be reduced by writers that can be clear and precise).

Other than editing, by far the biggest problem warhammer had was the developers have absolutely no grasp on how actual people really play the game. Whatever bizarre fantasy exists in their heads when they sit down to write absolutely does not exist outside their little tower.

snyggejygge
04-09-2015, 04:32
Warhammer in itself doesn’t feel too complex, however all the special rules packed onto the models in each army makes the game more complicated than it needs to be, strip away the special rules & the playtime goes down at least 1 hour while the game also increases in the fun department.
It's because of all the special rules I moved towards KoW in the first place. AoS just made the switch easier.

jet_palero
04-09-2015, 07:19
Warhammer had depth, but it also had a little too much nitty gritty. They should have been working on removing a lot of the unimportant details while not removing the depth. instead they removed both when they made AoS. And then someone were stupid enough to put the nitty gritty BACK in the warscrolls.

taurus-marstein
04-09-2015, 19:05
What I meant about B2B being complex is abilities and items that debuff models in B2B like night shroud? or White cloak of Ulric.... when different models in the unit are debuffed or buffed in different ways..... its too complex.

In fact, I think a game that treats the entire unit as a single thing instead of looking at individual models would be way simpler and more enjoyable. So that would mean no templates, no counting models in B2B, just unit X has Y number of attacks if any part of the unit is in B2B contact with an enemy unit.

Avian
04-09-2015, 19:21
I would suggest that some things were needlessly complicated, such as models consisting of several sub-models with different stats (especially different Initiative values). And quite frankly they never had a clue about how to do Leadership, the prime example being how in 8th they decided that big units ran away too often, and solves this by adding yet more mechanisms on top, instead of going back and reworking the system from the group up. Or the Always Strikes First farce (starring all elves, but High Elves in particular).

Davidian
04-09-2015, 19:28
I think it depends on the individual. I for instance, have an inate ability to retain large quantities of statistics and processes in my memory. No doubt leading me to a particularly high possition in avaition engineering in a relatively short period... unfortunately I find it hard to 'switch off' and struggle sleeping.

For me, personally it's not too complicated but I know a few people who struggle to retain all the movement rules, ie measuring more complex moves involving several wheels but I guess it's goin to be entirely subjective.

Urgat
04-09-2015, 19:32
I was about to say yes, but, honestly, the rules themselves aren't so hard to grasp, it's the way they're all over the place which is annoying. Have fun following the tracks of all the doomdiver rules for instance. Imho, AoS has got it right at least on the battlescroll things, WFB could have used something like that. All the rules of a unit on one neatly packed card would have made wonders, instead of jumping from the army list to the bestiary to three different sections of the BRB to know how the damn thing works.
That and more clearly defined rules. Also, I think all the "absolute" rules (ASF, ASL, etc) should have been dropped in favour of modifiers, modifiers would spare us soooo many conflicts.

Galadrin
04-09-2015, 19:36
I would suggest that some things were needlessly complicated, such as models consisting of several sub-models with different stats (especially different Initiative values). And quite frankly they never had a clue about how to do Leadership, the prime example being how in 8th they decided that big units ran away too often, and solves this by adding yet more mechanisms on top, instead of going back and reworking the system from the group up. Or the Always Strikes First farce (starring all elves, but High Elves in particular).

I agree, stats like initiative and leadership were badly misused (a trend that started in 4th edition and comtinued through 8th). With leadership, for instance, a -1 modifier is a HUGE deal to a 2d6 roll, let alone -5 or -7 modifiers that were common with break tests. The fact that you never took a break tests with less than a -1 modifier meant you could have above average leadership (8) on paper, but never in practice. As a result, GW tried to patch the symptoms (Stubborn) instead of fixing the system itself.

Third Edition had a much better treatment of leadership. It was never modified by combat resolution, but there were all these intermediate states between good order and broken, like unformed (which would cause you to break automatically if you lost the next round of combat).

Col.Beefeater
04-09-2015, 19:44
I voted that it is too complicated. That being said I don't think the core rules for the 4 different phases of the game are bad.

The problem is the special rules bloat associated with the game that force constant rules checks. As it stands now a unit's stat line should handle most of what its capable, however it largely comes down to the only meaningful stats are S, T, and W whereas stats like WS and I are useless. That's where you get armies like elves that have a ton of special rules tacked on them to compensate a 'weak' stat-line but still make them a high point cost elite army.

While I'm not an AoS fan, one thing it did get right was increasing the wound count of most models to reflect their durability.

EmperorNorton
04-09-2015, 19:57
I think it is too complicated. I would not say it is too complex, though. Neither do I think it should be made simpler, rather it should be made more elegant.

Tupinamba
04-09-2015, 22:12
WHFB had it´s flaws, but for it wasn´t so much complexity per se.

The problem was lack of clarity, deliberate imbalances and rules that pushed for a gameplay of few big units and/or ultra hard deathstars.

Tupinamba
04-09-2015, 22:13
I think it is too complicated. I would not say it is too complex, though. Neither do I think it should be made simpler, rather it should be made more elegant.

+1

But I can live with simpler rules, like KOW, or wrath of kings for skirmish game, as long as simple doesn´t mean simplistic.

taurus-marstein
04-09-2015, 22:27
When you say "rules all over the place" I think you've really hit the nail on the head.

But what's better? A concise set of core rules that apply to everyone without exception (all catapults work like X, all infantry works like Y, etc.) or having an extremely simple set of core rules where every unit has practically all of its rules laid out in the same place (basically AOS warscrolls)?

Greyshadow
04-09-2015, 22:28
Not that I disagree with the general feelings here but there is one thing I will say in 8th Ed defence. The rules were nice to read. The prose, anecdotes, examples and jokes made it enjoyable to just read from start to finish. This quality got me excited for my first game. This same quality made it a bit of a nightmare to use in game though.

taurus-marstein
04-09-2015, 22:54
I think you can keep all of those writing aspects without having an ambiguous game. The biggest problem with 8th was that it wasn't a living document, they printed it and we're done. If they had cared to put in the time to FAQ it and update the terminology and clear up rules issues and ambiguities then the game would be a lot easier to play without pulling your hair out.

Also, i'm not saying I can't comprehend the movement phase and stuff like that, I can. But there's just so many exceptions made for units and armies that just break the core game mechanics or cause annoying ambiguous situations or force you to look up the rules all day long.

Ollanius Pius
04-09-2015, 23:14
I was about to say yes, but, honestly, the rules themselves aren't so hard to grasp, it's the way they're all over the place which is annoying. Have fun following the tracks of all the doomdiver rules for instance.

I might just be proving your point by showing my ignorance of some hidden rule but pick target, roll to hit, adjust, do damage...what's so difficult about that?



As it stands now a unit's stat line should handle most of what its capable, however it largely comes down to the only meaningful stats are S, T, and W whereas stats like WS and I are useless.


Well, that's patently untrue. It's extremely useful to go first and possibly remove attacks back, and there's a world of a difference between being WS 4 or 5 (or 2 and 5). Yes, a dozen special rules like on some Lizards and Dark Elves dice festing for the dice god show a definite lack of creativity but these are exceptions.

Ollanius Pius
04-09-2015, 23:18
WHFB had it´s flaws, but for it wasn´t so much complexity per se.

The problem was lack of clarity, deliberate imbalances and rules that pushed for a gameplay of few big units and/or ultra hard deathstars.

The rules never ever did that. Why didn't you just take 5 archers and neutralize that one single ultra unit? Seriously, how can people claim this after all the time deathstars have been simply taken out by 30 points and tactics (and then come around and claim there were no tactics)?

AFnord
04-09-2015, 23:24
That depends a bit on what you mean with "too complicated". I don't think Warhammer was too complicated to be played, even by younger players (players in their early teens), but I do think that the rules could use some serious cleaning up, not to remove complexity, but to make them clearer & faster. Do we really need 3 dice rolls when determining if we hurt someone? Basically, I would like to see needless complexity be removed, in favour of complexity that adds more depth to the game.

Had I designed a new wargaming ruleset, I would have aimed for a more unified system, so that we don't get special rules and exceptions to rules all over the place. Have a core ruleset that is robust enough to support enough variety, so that we can have goblins, chaos knights, doom wheels & dragons without drowning in special rules. AoS did take on step in the right direction of removing redundant stats and speeding up rolls, but another step in the wrong direction by introducing special rules for everything.

taurus-marstein
05-09-2015, 00:02
Yes there should be less rolls per kill, for sure. Why can't we just roll a d6, add an offense value, subtract the target's defense value, and if it's higher, you killed them?

Of course there could still be armor saves, wards, rerolls etc but why not have a basic offense and defense value for everyone and stick to just that one number.

Or at least find a way to make there be less than 5 or 6 rolls per kill.

CrystalSphere
05-09-2015, 00:52
Yes, it was too complicated. The main rulebook was fine, however each armybook added a plethora of special rules/equipment that you needed to memorize, these rules often ignored or were exceptions to the main rulebook ones.

The need for so many FAQs and Erratas (one for each armybook, plus the basic rules) shows that the game was needlessly complicated. Most people i know who played WHFB did not learn by reading the rules at home, but by watching others play. And still many veteran players mixed up rules from older editions, forgot about a phase entirely (like magic or movement), or could not memorise the minutiae of each army´s special rules and how they interacted with the main rules.

Dosiere
05-09-2015, 01:14
The basic rules are OK. Most of the issues I had revolved around movement( things like combat reforms), and just putting it all together, even though each individual rule is easy to understand in a vacuum, it's when different parts of the rules started affecting the way others worked it gets messy.

My perfect game would be something in between what WFB is and KoW. WFB takes a little too long to set up and play, and while very interesting it gets frustrating looking up rules, KOW is much more simple and faster, but can be a bit boring. Playing both games really highlights the strengths and weaknesses of both systems.

Tupinamba
05-09-2015, 01:48
The rules never ever did that. Why didn't you just take 5 archers and neutralize that one single ultra unit? Seriously, how can people claim this after all the time deathstars have been simply taken out by 30 points and tactics (and then come around and claim there were no tactics)?

I never said the game was without tactics. I´ve always prefered 7th edition base rules, but 8th was in general a good game. In my experience, 90% of my games were decided on tactics and only some 10% on luck and/or list building.

However, the rules clearly favour big units, as they have increased points efficiency. Also, rules like not getting the points for units reduced below 50% or even 25% again favours having bigger units. The whole "points preservation mentality" etc. Sure you can deal with deathstars. I just find it annoying. And armies don´t look like armies.

I´m not going to get into an argument, as I was and am a supporter of WHFB 8th. ed. But that doesn´t mean that I found it a flawless game. And for me, the flaws were not in its complexity, but in some of the rules and their gameplay effects.

Okuto
05-09-2015, 01:55
I think 8th did get a bit bloated tbh.

IMO the best rules are the simple ones. I felt that many of the armies had way too many unique rules that could of easily been turned into a more streamlined universal ruleset. 40k is starting to do the same thing on a insane scale.....so much book keeping.....

Spiney Norman
05-09-2015, 07:55
Well, that's patently untrue. It's extremely useful to go first and possibly remove attacks back, and there's a world of a difference between being WS 4 or 5 (or 2 and 5). Yes, a dozen special rules like on some Lizards and Dark Elves dice festing for the dice god show a definite lack of creativity but these are exceptions.

How much 8th edition did you actually play? Going first was usually meaningless unless you only ever fielded units consisting of a couple of ranks, step up meant most units were fighting at full strength whether they went first or last, to the point where they actually changed the always strike first rule so that the main point of the rule was to generate re rolls rather than, you know, actually going first.

I wouldn't say WS a meaningless stat, but the problem was its worth was completely based on a comparison to the WS of the unit you were fighting, so if you were in cc with a unit of WS 3 state troops the difference between ws 4,5&6 was entirely meaningless and it was only once you got to WS 7 that you actually got some kind of advantage out of your higher stat.

Urgat
05-09-2015, 11:16
I might just be proving your point by showing my ignorance of some hidden rule but pick target, roll to hit, adjust, do damage...what's so difficult about that?
Right. You have to shoot a doom diver right now. Explain each step in detail (don't check any rulebook).

Nah, don't bother, I'll do it for you.
Put yourself in the shoes of someone who plays, say, 3 times a year. or has just started.

I'm lucky, I remember that it uses the rocklobba rules, that picking a target is just saying "I'm shooting there", and how the artillery and scatter dies roll (that saves me how many different rule pages again? Ah, no, wait, what's the range again (previous edition, range was different iirc, so how is it)? Checking the OnG book army list profile telling me to go check the bestiary entry telling me to go check the BRB, shooting warmachine, scatter, random direction?.
Turns out I still have to check the stone thrower rules: I don't remember the range. Of course you're going to read the stone thrower rules because "dang, there's a minimum range too? What else did I forget?"
I hope you read the whole DD rules first though, because the DD doesn't use the template.
If you did read the DD rules, it saves you checking how templates work (how do we treat half covered minis again? Was it in 8th ed or 7th ed that you rolled a 4+?).
If you didn't, well, you'll swear profusely for the wasted minute as you head back to the bestiary to read what's next, and discover templates aren't needed.
Of course, it's time to head to Warseer to ask, what was that flying doomdiver mini using as a base again? Small or large flying stand? Oh, the minis was released with both... Nghhhhh... Nah, we'll ignore that step. It's your damn fault if you used the model for something else back then because you couldn't forsee it'd have a gameplay use 15 years down the road.
Right, so how do I adjust again? Well I don't remember. Been too long, I just remember it's one the the perks of the DD. 1D6? 1D3? Something related to BS? I choose the direction? Lucky, I'm already back to the bestiary (if I'm a noob, how many pages already?).
Hit, wound, that fine, I remember how they work (if you're a newb, go back to the to wound chart, heh, noob!). Luckily, the strength is available in two places. Profile in the army list won't tell you the D6 part though. Seriously, noob, just ignore the army list entries, it'll just tell you to go see elsewhere. It won't tell you any pages number though.
Ignore save is pretty straightforward, so that's one thing less to worry about (unless you're a noob, a noob will need to double-check, to be sure). You finally pick up the dies and...
Wait, where has my opponent gone?
"hears toilet flushing in the distance".

Yes, I think a scroll that sumarizes the whole process would have been nice. Don't you?

Lovecraft Lover
01-12-2015, 11:38
Hello everyone! I found this thread in google and registered specifically to answer to the titular question: is warhammer too complicated?
I've been trying to get into 40k and later fantasy since 4th and 7th editions respectively. I finally bought Island of Blood starter because both factions seemed really cool, the models were amazing and my friend always told me how amazing and deep WHFB is (compared to 40k more arcady feel). And that sounded very good cuz I'm not afraid of complexity and depth and steeper learning curves.

Since then I try to learn how to play the game. First of all let me say - I liked the rules while I was reading them. They make sense, the book is well written and is a fun read. But there is a lot of minutia which either gets ignored during an actual game or needs to be looked up. That bothers me but hey, practice makes perfect - I just need to play more and try to adhere to all the rules.

The bigger problems for me are:
1) The game plays wastly differently on the table. Reading the book just doesn't prepare you to actually play the game. That's unlike all the boardgames, card games and tabletop roleplaying games I'm used to playing. I tried playing by how I assumed the game worked and by how I assumed the battle would play out and it just doesn't work at all. BRB starts with basic rules for infantry combat and in my experience those rules just might as well not existed. That's disheartening and I just don't want to play again after getting totally destroyed by someone who understands "metagame".

2) Army books remove some parts of the game (Morale for VC), alter other and also add more rules on top. Learning the rules to just face an opponent whose army is immune to half of the rulebook is probably interesting for experienced players but when you learn to play the game? Not cool.

I wish there was an option to play a default army vs another default army. Just stats and a few special rules. I know KoW is like that but I like Warhammer base rules, rolling to hit, to wound and a save, all that.

I want to put enough hours in WHFB to finally learn it, I'm just afraid to learn that in the end there's no depth to it.

Herzlos
01-12-2015, 12:08
I don't think it was too complicated as such, it was just badly written making it a lot harder to understand than it should have been.

It'd have certainly done better with a professional ground-up re-write whilst getting rid of 75% of the special rules, than getting AoS'd. The mechanics themselves were fine, if badly explained.

Fottemberg
01-12-2015, 12:30
Warhammer 7th and 8th have too many core rules and army rules. I think that the core rules and the army rules of 5th and 6th editions were the best: simply and peculiar.

ewar
02-12-2015, 09:12
6th and 7th were essentially identical core rule sets, so I think it might be rose tinted specs that makes you think that.

Honestly I think the complexity is over played - you don't need to follow every tiny rule to have a fun and engaging game of toy soldiers.

Two weeks ago a friend had to fill in in for another friend at an 8th ed tournament. He had never played WFB in his life, but was a 40k player. He had one demo and instruction game to get a handle on the real basics and then played 3 tournament games rhe next day. Did he get everything right? Of course not, but experienced opponents helped him along and he had a blast. All he needed was a one sided 'cheat sheet' for the army explaining th e absolute minimum for each unit.

The key is playing against someone who is more interested in making sure you have a fun time while learning than in crushing you as fast as possible. But th at applies to every tabletop game ever.

Horace35
02-12-2015, 10:06
I love the complexity of the game, it is what makes it rewarding. But then I guess I like complex strategy games (board or computer), the longer and more drawn out the better :)



Honestly I think the complexity is over played - you don't need to follow every tiny rule to have a fun and engaging game of toy soldiers.

Two weeks ago a friend had to fill in in for another friend at an 8th ed tournament. He had never played WFB in his life, but was a 40k player. He had one demo and instruction game to get a handle on the real basics and then played 3 tournament games rhe next day. Did he get everything right? Of course not, but experienced opponents helped him along and he had a blast. All he needed was a one sided 'cheat sheet' for the army explaining th e absolute minimum for each unit.



I do think the game is complex but it is not impossible to grasp the general gist of the game as you say. I taught my wife in one or two small points "basic" games with some of the finer points removed and she picked up the full game in no time.

Obviously the game could be written a touch better to remove some of the grey areas but if the game is played in a friendly manner it is usually not too difficult to come to a common sense conclusion over things anyway. Although all the people I play with ignore TLoS because we simply can not be bothered.

Drakkar du Chaos
02-12-2015, 10:35
The problem i have with official Warhammer as a ruleset is not about complexity, i am fine with it, but there is a lot of core rules to learn and even if you do you need to learn a lot of special rules for your army and every other army. You only have the army book for your army ? Bad for you...

Complexity like we have with chess is great, MASSIVE amount of rules and special rules is not.

Shakkara
02-12-2015, 17:28
Less universal special rules (just have one unique rule per unit at most), much more magic items and ways to customize your characters.

Philhelm
02-12-2015, 18:42
But to answer the OP I dont think that 8th is complex as such as a rules system, as you mentioned it was/is the layers of special rules, exceptions to special rules, army specific rules, random dice tables and all that clutter that developed over the course of 5 years that made the game more ponderous. And rerolls bloody rerolls endless rerolls for everyone for everything god it got tedious.

My vote was "yes" for the reasons already cited above. It isn't that the game system is too complex, but that too much clutter was developed over time.

Arrahed
03-12-2015, 10:26
Less universal special rules (just have one unique rule per unit at most), much more magic items and ways to customize your characters.

I am in favor of the exact opposite. No special-special rules that are unit or army specific. Only universal special rules. Complexity should come from interaction and synergies between few universal rules not from making every unit the most special snowflake in the world. That would reduce the amount of rules in each army book to the statlines and equipment options for each unit. Everything else can be fluff.
That would have the huge advantage that no one would need the army books of all his opponents to understand what is going on on the tabletop.

The_Real_Chris
03-12-2015, 12:57
WHFB/40K has the same problem with complexity. The amount of effort for tactical return is all wrong. All the knowledge of rules, exceptions, special rules, etc etc doesn't give a fundementally different play experience. Complexity should be in the game experience not the rules to get there (Chess, Go, etc are extreme examples). Take Challenger 2000 and Cold War commander. One is a fuyn challenging game to play, the other is an illistrated guide to military capability that takes far too much effort to get through to break into the game on the other side...

Warmaster gave a better mass battle experience than WHFB, and Epic A better than 40k, with far fewer rules and exceptions. I suspect because both came out of skirmish/warband level rules, not custom designed for a certain type of experience.

Allen
03-12-2015, 13:29
GW game systems aren't really complicated per se...on the contrary, they're way too simple. As Philhelm already said, the perceived complexity (or, better, the difficutly in playing such games) come from the clutter of special faction/army/unit/whatever rules that sedimented in years. Black Powder or Hail Caesar are quite simple and enjoyable. Bolt Action and Force on Force are quite complex, but still enjoyable...GW rulesets are usually fairly simple, but really a chore to play - you have to factor in the already cited special rules that pops up everywhere, exceptions to universal rules and whatnot but you have to manage also the horrible balance between factions (or even army builds).

GW should revise their whole approach to game building, balancing and testing. Their products were enjoyable in the 80s and 90s...nowadays they're not really enjoyable to play, and that's an hell of an understatement.

Yowzo
03-12-2015, 13:45
GW game systems aren't really complicated per se...on the contrary, they're way too simple. As Philhelm already said, the perceived complexity (or, better, the difficutly in playing such games) come from the clutter of special faction/army/unit/whatever rules that sedimented in years.

And yet that's a quality on its own. There's an underlying texture that you won't get elsewhere. As I'm saying in a parallel thread our group tried and pretty much sidelined KoW because it just looks and feels too generic, for lack of a better word.

Most of our group used to play ASL back in the 80-90s. Now that's complicated. Warhammer is a kid's game next to that.

However I've seen a trend towards simplification. People want games with less preparation, quicker to play and with simpler outcomes than they used to. You could say there's a shorter attention span.

X-Wing, FoW, Saga. People want games less than 2h (less than 1h if possible) and I think this trend is here to stay.

Lovecraft Lover
03-12-2015, 13:56
And yet that's a quality on its own. There's an underlying texture that you won't get elsewhere.
I totally agree. It's almost like the clutter of special rules and exceptions merge into a positive quality. The rules are perhaps more detailed then thought-through, but those details are at least fun to think about.

Allen
03-12-2015, 14:00
I agree with you on the trend about wargaming: we're going straight towards the "quick" (couple of hours) game as a preferred solution.
However, I don't really agree with this:


And yet that's a quality on its own

Uhm...no. Force on Force (and its brainchild Tomorrow's War) is a complex wargame with a certain quality, just for example. It's complex because the rules are engineered to be complex - GW games feel complex because with time (and without planning) too many special rules, exceptions, anomalies and so on sedimented and started to interact one with another without anyone intervening to clean up a little. It's not really an honourable feature, at least IMHO: it seems simply sloppy planning and playtesting to me.

Yowzo
03-12-2015, 14:16
complex because with time (and without planning) too many special rules, exceptions, anomalies and so on sedimented and started to interact one with another without anyone intervening to clean up a little. It's not really an honourable feature, at least IMHO: it seems simply sloppy planning and playtesting to me.

Time and without planning? Not at all.

Before Warhammer wargames were for the most part self-contained. Here's a book about how to play Napoleonic battles at regiment-level. Here's a book on how to play Medieval/Ancient battles on a small unit level and so on. Even Warhammer started as mostly self-contained. They were rules you could use to a wide range of fantasy settings and races and whatnot.

When Warhammer evolved into a vehicle for selling miniatures the whole thing changed. New minis were written into the rules. New armies were created to keep the machine going.

The setting advanced beyond a mishmash of hastily put together generic medieval-ish and fantasy-ish themes to a more coherent setting with its own life, locations and lore. No other game has this, and the rules follow this, building on top of previous editions and writers. Like you say: sedimentary.

You say poorly thought-out money grabber, I say organic growth. That's something you can't buy or design. It has to grow by itself.

Arrahed
03-12-2015, 14:37
However I've seen a trend towards simplification. People want games with less preparation, quicker to play and with simpler outcomes than they used to. You could say there's a shorter attention span.

X-Wing, FoW, Saga. People want games less than 2h (less than 1h if possible) and I think this trend is here to stay.
I am not sure I agree here. X-Wing for example is a very complex game. The list building options are massive and when you are using ships with support abilities every dice roll is its own small mini game of modifying the results. Always keeping in mind whether you would rather save your resources for potential counter attacks or go all-in because the opponent might not even attack that ship. And you get all that with maybe ten pages of rules including examples and illustrations in a time frame of about an hour.

X-Wing hast simple and streamlined rules. (It has its own problems with weirdly interacting equipment cards but those get usually FAQs quickly.)
WFB has very complicated rules because everything is different and works slightly different than everything else. Some things are abstracted without needing to. Others, that would benefit greatly from abstraction, are not.

The overall tactical challenge is probably similar in both games. The difference is WFB needs hundreds of pages of rules (Including army specific special rules) and X-Wing uses about 10 pages.

This sounds like a harsh sentence for WFB but I actually enjoyed the game very much. I grew up with it and learned to love all its quirks. However, I think X-Wing is much better designed and achieves a similar degree of complexity with much less rule overhead.

EDIT: Of course X-Wing rules grow as well since every new release brings new equipment cards that add new stuff. So '10 page rules' is not quite true. The great thing about that is however that every new rule works with every existing content as well.

Allen
03-12-2015, 14:40
Before Warhammer wargames were for the most part self-contained. Here's a book about how to play Napoleonic battles at regiment-level. Here's a book on how to play Medieval/Ancient battles on a small unit level and so on. Even Warhammer started as mostly self-contained. They were rules you could use to a wide range of fantasy settings and races and whatnot.

When Warhammer evolved into a vehicle for selling miniatures the whole thing changed. New minis were written into the rules. New armies were created to keep the machine going.

The setting advanced beyond a mishmash of hastily put together generic medieval-ish and fantasy-ish themes to a more coherent setting with its own life, locations and lore. No other game has this, and the rules follow this, building on top of previous editions and writers. Like you say: sedimentary.

You're talking mainly of the setting: I'm talking about rules, force composition systems and so on.
GW rulesets - it does not matter if they're mass/rank&file game systems of skirmish ones - share a lot of common concepts and rules, and that's good. But that's not the point. Playing WH40K (current and past top seller of GW) for example is, by all extent, a chore from list development upward to playing turn one. It's not a rulesystem designed to be complex: as you correctly said, it had grown with time. And as any other product that is not designed from scratch it's poorly optimized - it's merely the result of layer upon layer of ideas, rules, exceptions piled one upon another. Just to visualize the difference: the wood pile near my fireplace is complex (it's really A LOT of interlocked logs) but also ordered, because I designed its layout in advance. When city gardeners cut off branches from the trees lining the street outside my house and throw them in a corner to be hauled away, that's complex (there are tons of branches) but it's not in any way ordered or organized...it's just stuff that someone piles layer after layer.

That's the difference between a wargame "designed" to be complex and one that "grow" complex with time. At least IMHO.



You say poorly thought-out money grabber, I say organic growth. That's something you can't buy or design. It has to grow by itself.

Never said "money grabber", but to be honest if we talk about GW I assume that's a feature take for granted :D

Dosiere
03-12-2015, 15:11
And yet that's a quality on its own. There's an underlying texture that you won't get elsewhere. As I'm saying in a parallel thread our group tried and pretty much sidelined KoW because it just looks and feels too generic, for lack of a better word.

Most of our group used to play ASL back in the 80-90s. Now that's complicated. Warhammer is a kid's game next to that.

However I've seen a trend towards simplification. People want games with less preparation, quicker to play and with simpler outcomes than they used to. You could say there's a shorter attention span.

X-Wing, FoW, Saga. People want games less than 2h (less than 1h if possible) and I think this trend is here to stay.

I get what you are saying, and especially to someone who played through a few editions it has a certain draw. That being said the texture which was unique to the game and gave it a certain something became more abrasive over time with the way GW designs its games.

I also know that I am preferring shorter games myself not because I have a shorter attention span but because its hard to get an entire evening free these days. Growing up sucks and leaves less time for gaming than when I was younger and had fewer responsibilities. It also helps that games like X-Wing, KoW, even Armada are much easier to play with younger people than WFB ever was. I have a seven year old and he can play those games just fine and have fun with it, but WFB isn't even worth trying. Hell, I can't remember the rules half the time because they're so convoluted I have no expectation of him doing so.

SuperHappyTime
03-12-2015, 18:04
Necro'd Thread is Necro'd, but still a nice conversation to have.

For myself, my issues with the game's complexity was how spread out the information in the books was spread out. Even with the back of the book statlines, I still had to look up what Spears or Great Weapons did, what the steadfast rule actually said, etc. Maybe the first thing I made after building a list was a list of all the rules necessary for a specific unit.

Strategy in the game wasn't apparent to me at first either. Hammer and Anvil and discussion of other tactics are non-existent in GW material. You had to get these from longtime players, which may or may not have existed in your area.

Some rules interactions make no sense either. How I could charge Unit A, who flees and bounces through Unit B, redirect to Unit B, who flees and bounces through Unit A again, and am then required to stop an inch from Unit A because its a failed charge (and not charge into Unit A as would actually happen in a realistic battle).

gormaster
03-12-2015, 18:08
We played a couple times a month on average. There were times we would still have to double check a particular rules but mostly one of the three of us would know how something was supposed to work. Our biggest complaint was imbalance between armies. Too many times we would know the outcome of a game before it started. This was an army book issue not the core rules. It was frustrating because one of our group would almost always build to crush the opponent, he did not care if the other guy was having fun.

ewar
03-12-2015, 20:31
Necro'd Thread is Necro'd, but still a nice conversation to have.

For myself, my issues with the game's complexity was how spread out the information in the books was spread out. Even with the back of the book statlines, I still had to look up what Spears or Great Weapons did, what the steadfast rule actually said, etc. Maybe the first thing I made after building a list was a list of all the rules necessary for a specific unit.

Strategy in the game wasn't apparent to me at first either. Hammer and Anvil and discussion of other tactics are non-existent in GW material. You had to get these from longtime players, which may or may not have existed in your area.

Some rules interactions make no sense either. How I could charge Unit A, who flees and bounces through Unit B, redirect to Unit B, who flees and bounces through Unit A again, and am then required to stop an inch from Unit A because its a failed charge (and not charge into Unit A as would actually happen in a realistic battle).

I'm going to apologise right now for sounding condescending - I honestly don't mean to be. However warhammer is not a game for everyone and really, if you can't remember what spears and great weapons do then it's probably not for you.

I mean, they're not even incongruous rules. Spears let an extra rank fight (makes sense), great weapons are slow but hit hard (kind of what you'd expect).

The_Real_Chris
03-12-2015, 23:11
I frequently forget very basic rules in a game because I play a lot of different games that handle the same issues in only similar, not the same, ways.


Sent from my iPod touch using Tapatalk

jet_palero
03-12-2015, 23:48
Warhammer 8th was hard to teach new people because while the main rules are relatively straight forward, there is simply too much little minutia getting in the way. Which is why I'm really liking KoW. It retains the depth of play while losing most of the nitty gritty details that don't really matter anyway.

ewar
04-12-2015, 00:11
In my experience you can play 8th ed without any of the minutia and it'll still be essentially the same game. However one of the main reasons warhammer has such lasting appeal is that it is quite a deep game - I think I still learn something new at every event I go to. I'm not saying it's the easiest game to teach someone - it obviously isn't - but if they just play the first few games using only the core rules and none of the unit specific stuff you can add layers of detail on afterwards.

For me, Warhammer always had the right balance between simplicity and customisation - coming up with new builds for characters and units is a huge part of the game in my experience and something that no other game system duplicates as well. (Not saying it's perfect by a long way, 8th had far too many unit specific rules which could all have been rolled into single USRs - which, luckily for me, 9th age has done!)

Spell_of_Destruction
04-12-2015, 00:47
I played very little 8th so can't really comment too much on it. I don't think that 6th/7th were especially complicated, at least as far as the bare system is concerned.

Where GW games have tended to run into problems is special rules bloat. What tends to happen is that you not only need to know all the special rules for your own army but for your opponents as well. This puts more of an emphasis on list building and knowing how all the special rules at your disposal interact with each other. It doesn't necessarily place an emphasis on intuitive strategy and tactics.

There was an interesting discussion on the 40k forum regarding 2nd vs 3rd+ ed and how modern 40k resembles a card game more than a wargame. I think this is what happens when you have too many special rules as the game becomes more of an exercise in exploiting the special rules at your disposal.

SuperHappyTime
04-12-2015, 00:52
I'm going to apologise right now for sounding condescending - I honestly don't mean to be. However warhammer is not a game for everyone and really, if you can't remember what spears and great weapons do then it's probably not for you.

I mean, they're not even incongruous rules. Spears let an extra rank fight (makes sense), great weapons are slow but hit hard (kind of what you'd expect).

Won't lie and say memory is my strong suit, because I couldn't come up with a better example than those.

My point was, keywords are fine, but if you're going to provide a section of the armybook (the back) don't make me look through another book for specifics on the rules. Don't keyword rules used by only one source.

Yowzo
04-12-2015, 09:57
I am not sure I agree here. X-Wing for example is a very complex game. The list building options are massive and when you are using ships with support abilities every dice roll is its own small mini game of modifying the results. Always keeping in mind whether you would rather save your resources for potential counter attacks or go all-in because the opponent might not even attack that ship. And you get all that with maybe ten pages of rules including examples and illustrations in a time frame of about an hour.

X-Wing hast simple and streamlined rules. (It has its own problems with weirdly interacting equipment cards but those get usually FAQs quickly.)
WFB has very complicated rules because everything is different and works slightly different than everything else. Some things are abstracted without needing to. Others, that would benefit greatly from abstraction, are not.

The overall tactical challenge is probably similar in both games. The difference is WFB needs hundreds of pages of rules (Including army specific special rules) and X-Wing uses about 10 pages.

No one is denying X-Wing is a tactical game but come on.... The typical 100 point list contains 4-6 ships, that maneuver in mostly open space (with some asteroids thrown in) and shoot when in range.

Warhammer has characters, several troop types that interact in different ways. A long damage mechanism (hit-wound-armour-ward/regen), a key magic phase, and so on.

You have to worry about positioning your troops to engage on exactly the right opponent you want to hit, to maneuver your chaff to hold on the things you're most scared of, make priority target decisions for both shooting and magic, channel your magic towards one thing or the other.... it's a whole different class. There are a lot more variables at work, and you have to keep them all in mind.

As I said, for some people is unnecessary complication, for us they're additional layers that impact the game. That's also part of the reason it takes at least 2h to play your typical 2400pt game.

It might be that we're used to complication, some of the napoleonic wargames we used to play in the 90s would make you spend hours just issuing orders and then figuring out which unit did what and how. We used to play 3 people per side and communication was exclusively written and moved in the battlefield at pace of a horse messenger. And we loved it! And ASL, and several others.

Warhammer is checkers next to those.

@Allen

Every edition brought new units that were written into the game (characters and units, and at times even unit types). Every new release shook the establishment to the point that it made the game slightly different not only with every edition, but also every armybook.

While this was severely mishandled during the infamous 7th edition power creep, 8th edition was a remarkable effort. It leveled the playing field, had several armybook shakeups (from hordehammer, to monstrous cav domination, then flying characters all over the place).

It never got stale. OTOH, I have several medieval and ancient 20mm armies that I started building in the 90s. The way to keep those armies fresh has involved jumping over several rulesets (DbA/DBMM, FoG, Impetus, even Hail Caesar and WAB made to work on 1/72 and others I have forgot by now, literally dozens).

Daniel36
04-12-2015, 10:45
Too complex for its own good with net lists and "current meta" ruining the game even more... For me, that is.

Arrahed
04-12-2015, 11:07
No one is denying X-Wing is a tactical game but come on.... The typical 100 point list contains 4-6 ships, that maneuver in mostly open space (with some asteroids thrown in) and shoot when in range.
Indeed, 4-6 ships. And usually more meaningful decisions than a 2500 point game of WFB.



Warhammer has characters, several troop types that interact in different ways. A long damage mechanism (hit-wound-armour-ward/regen), a key magic phase, and so on.
The hit/wound/save/second-save/third-save + rerolls mechanic is really no shining example of depths and complexity. It is needlessly complicated without any real benefit.
The magic phase is similar. Complicated and involving many dice rolls that most of the time result in nothing. It is an interesting idea that is poorly implemented

If you compare both games' phases directly:
WFB ------------ X-Wing
Movement-------Movement
Magic-------------Actions
Shooting---------Attack
Close Combat---Nothing

Well, WFB has an additional phase because it separates attacks into melee and ranged. Otherwise its the same work flow in both games.
WFB has additional stuff like Challenges that are fluffy and sometimes fun but cause another big rules overhead on top the other rules. X-Wing has other mechanics that are not directly comparable.





You have to worry about positioning your troops to engage on exactly the right opponent you want to hit, to maneuver your chaff to hold on the things you're most scared of, make priority target decisions for both shooting and magic, channel your magic towards one thing or the other.... it's a whole different class. There are a lot more variables at work, and you have to keep them all in mind.
Sounds exactly like movement in X-Wing to me. Exchange magic with Actions and you could use those exact words to describe a maneuver phase in X-Wing.



As I said, for some people is unnecessary complication, for us they're additional layers that impact the game. That's also part of the reason it takes at least 2h to play your typical 2400pt game.


I still think WFB is an awesome game that gave me tons of fun. But I also still think its a badly designed game that is fun nevertheless.




It might be that we're used to complication, some of the napoleonic wargames we used to play in the 90s would make you spend hours just issuing orders and then figuring out which unit did what and how. We used to play 3 people per side and communication was exclusively written and moved in the battlefield at pace of a horse messenger. And we loved it! And ASL, and several others.

Warhammer is checkers next to those.

That is the difference between a simulation and a game like WFB and X-Wing. Both can be fun. Not necessarily for everyone.

To summarize: I do like highly complex games. I don't necessarily like complicated games.

Acephale
04-12-2015, 11:38
However I've seen a trend towards simplification. People want games with less preparation, quicker to play and with simpler outcomes than they used to. You could say there's a shorter attention span.

X-Wing, FoW, Saga. People want games less than 2h (less than 1h if possible) and I think this trend is here to stay.

It's not only a question of attentions spans. It also has to do with the fact that many of us who started back in the 80s/90s have grown up and don't have massive amounts of free time anymore.

When I was 17, I could easily spend an entire weekend just painting, playing and hanging out with my gaming friends in the basement. Now that I'm 38, married with children and a job, it's just not doable anymore. I still want to play regularly, but if I have to chose between a game that takes 4-5 hours to complete plus setup and so on, and one that only takes 1,5 or 2 hours, including setup, the choice will be easy nine times out of ten.

Also, WHFB wasn't really complex, it was just a very cumbersome game by today's standard. There are so many better, more elegant systems out there (AoS not included) that aren't suffering from decades of accumulated rules clutter and archaic design philosophies.

Sid Snake
13-12-2015, 10:52
Hello everyone! I found this thread in google and registered specifically to answer to the titular question: is warhammer too complicated?
The game plays wastly differently on the table. Reading the book just doesn't prepare you to actually play the game. That's unlike all the boardgames, card games and tabletop roleplaying games I'm used to playing. I tried playing by how I assumed the game worked and by how I assumed the battle would play out and it just doesn't work at all. BRB starts with basic rules for infantry combat and in my experience those rules just might as well not existed. That's disheartening and I just don't want to play again after getting totally destroyed by someone who understands "metagame".

2) Army books remove some parts of the game (Morale for VC), alter other and also add more rules on top. Learning the rules to just face an opponent whose army is immune to half of the rulebook is probably interesting for experienced players but when you learn to play the game? Not cool.


Good points right here: book gives you the impression that you're going to be skillfully maneuvering your regiments to gain the advantage, when in fact you're going to be memorising who's good against who. Which is a very different kind of game. In all the WFB that I played (Lizards v Bretts era then the earlier end of Empire v Orcs & Big Red Book) I don't think I ever saw a flank charge or a charge at a unit's rear - was this just my local gamers?

Buddy Bear
13-12-2015, 12:33
Good points right here: book gives you the impression that you're going to be skillfully maneuvering your regiments to gain the advantage, when in fact you're going to be memorising who's good against who. Which is a very different kind of game. In all the WFB that I played (Lizards v Bretts era then the earlier end of Empire v Orcs & Big Red Book) I don't think I ever saw a flank charge or a charge at a unit's rear - was this just my local gamers?

It's probably just your local games. Although after playing a few games of Kings of War, I have noticed that I've been able to get off more flank and rear charges than I usually did in Warhammer. Kings of War seems to make it easier to maneuver such that you can get flank and rear charges off more often, while at the same time providing more serious bonuses for achieving those flank and rear charges (Doubling attacks on flank charges and tripling attacks on rear charges versus a +1 or +2 combat resolution plus Disruption if your unit meets requirements for that).

ToLongDidntRead
13-12-2015, 13:59
I actually kind of agree with you. As much as I love 8th, the sheer amount of rules that made up the game could be really exhausting for more experienced players at the best of times.

I'm someways AoS was a step in the right direction, it wad executed in the entirely wrong way. A streamlined warhammer done properly could have been an exciting time for the hobby.

2DSick
13-12-2015, 15:13
I'm not entirely sold that it was too complex. Certainly overcrowded to an extent. The core mechanic in movement, striking, casting and resolving combats has always been quite stright forward... It's the miriad minor rules for every possible situation and how they interact (or not) with all the special rules on top of faction rules that makes the game seem too complex.

Chain
13-12-2015, 23:17
It's fine though i hardly ever get myself through reading the movement section.
The random dice rolls of 8'th for charge distance is absurd though as is the fact a unit can respond to several charages(this way a unit can potentially move several times it's normal movement)

8'th ed got ups and downs, but theres to many removal options and for things to go wrong(since they want you to play bigger armies) and far to little customization for equipment in the army books( I want more army unique special items) and several other minor things

in general i got the issue with warhammer now a day the game takes far to much time to set up and pack away for the enjoyment i get.

as for the pool question it is about right, but should get rid of some rules and get some others