View Full Version : the Themeament

22-06-2005, 14:03
I did this due to the talk in the lustria debate in the main fantasy forum. what do you guys think?

The Themeament Ideal
The themeament is a new way of running a competitive series of games (known to most as a tournament) that elevates it beyond simple gaming into an equal conglomeration of all aspects of the hobby. The themeament, while obviously not for everyone, provides gamers who love a story behind their games and a theme in their armies a chance to take part in a very detailed event that encapsulates not only the results of games but the ideas behind and the effort put into the armies that take part in them. Indeed, it is possible to achieve an excellent score without winning a single game as a majority of points are given to theme, sportsmanship and painting/converting
As stated above, the themeament is certainly more demanding on a preparatory level than a normal tournament, requiring you to put a lot of thought into the creation and background behind your force. While some gamers view this as a nuisance, it is essential to the running of the themeament and a well thought out background (fluff as some people call it) makes the gaming aspect of the themeament far more interesting. So, while you will no doubt have to put far more thought into your army, this will pay off supremely. Of course, some people aren’t particularly into themeing their armies (unkind people refer to these individuals as ‘beards’, but in reality they are people simply more interested in the mechanics and competitiveness of the game, rather than the background) and naturally the themeament is probably not the best event to participate in. Unfortunately, you can’t please everybody
-the story
The story is essential to the themeament. Unlike normal tournaments, the games in a themeament follow a pattern and have effects on one another, all pieced together by a background story. The games will all be a part of a larger conflict that is influenced by their individual results and this story will be created in response to the individual themes behind the participating armies and teams. While the final results of the themeament are final in the sense that the results have no effect on the wider game, the themeament provides far more opportunities to record grudges, forge pacts, initiate blood feuds and so forth that can continue beyond the end of the themeament and maybe even resume at the next one.
-building your army
Creating your army for the themeament is similar to creating one for a tournament. The themeament environment loosens many restrictions common in tournaments (no dogs of war, no special characters etc) but has more restrictions on the formation of your army in regards to its background (i.e. you must have a lot). While some people may take this opportunity to create an army of utter death, you should be warned now that this will not duly influence your result. ‘Beardy’ and ‘Cheesy’ armies tend to be inherently lacking in theme, which is heavily marked in the themeament, so armies keyed only to win, disregarding background will, ironically, lose in a themeament.
-how to find a great theme
the key to finding a great background for your army lies in two concepts- diversity and depth, referred to in short as D&D. The first thing is to find a basis for your army; this can be as detailed as King Henry the 5th or as broad as the Sigmarite Church. This starting theme allows you to then branch into specifics- different sects of the Sigmarite church for example- witch hunters, warrior priests etc. D&D suggests that you search as widely as possible for an original concept- remember, anything can be used to theme an army. Once you have your theme, the second D, depth comes in. do a bit of research, find out more about the sigmarite church, for example, look for handy rules or characters (the rules for the archlector of sigmar, or those for the dogs of war witchhunters for example) look into the origins of the warhammer background itself and have a look through the history of medieval Catholicism and the reformation. All of this can give you some great ideas. Once you have all the information you can start on the army itself
The history and background of the army is almost as important as its actual composition. There is no point fielding an empire captain with a pistol, light armor and hand weapon in a themeament. Scurvy John, the terror of the Reik is much more appropriate. When you get to modeling him, don’t just take a normal empire captain and strap on a pistol. Maybe use the empire engineer with the parrot on his shoulder, add a pirate cap and black eye and you have a far more convincing character. Then comes the interesting bit. Why is this blackheated son of a scoundrel in your army at all? Are all your army dastardly pirates? Or is he a reformed buccaneer dedicated to bringing his former mates to justice? Did he join the army for loot or glory? All of this should be recorded as part of his character and instead of being just a statline and a bit of metal he suddenly becomes a vibrant character, ready to do battle for gold, glory, booze or simply to toss a piratical insult or two at long despised foes. This is the ultimate concept behind the theme of the army- giving your army a REASON to fight in the themeament and, indeed, a reason to be an army at all.
-why is this so important?
The themeament is hugely influenced by the stories behind the armies. These stories will influence teams, create alliances; determine who you fight and why you fight them. Essentially, everything in a themeament is linked deeply to the individual army backgrounds and to have the best experience you can, you should put as much effort as you can into your theme.

Themeament Restrictions
Like all tournaments, a themeament has certain restrictions
-Army composition- what you can use
The themeament has far fewer restrictions than normal tournaments and they can easily be summed up in a few points
• Anything in an army book may be used, including special characters and back of book armies, whether official or not. You may use ravening hordes armies (or the latest chronicles update thereof) and you may use a dogs of war or zombie pirates army. Dogs of War may be used as normal and so can the Kislev allied contingent. You may also use special characters from the GW website.
• Anything published in white dwarf that does not require opponent’s permission may be used- steam tanks and so forth. ANY unit, character or list in the latest warhammer chronicles may also be used, whether it is opponent’s permission or not
• Forgeworld models may also be used, as long as the rules for them are not described as ‘experimental’
Essentially, if it was done by GW and it isn’t a joke or specifically designed for a certain campaign (such as the Bugman’s Lament campaign) it can be used.
Note that while the themeament is still far more liberal in what you can include in your army, army composition is still marked and so taking armies with huge amounts of points spent on characters or only 3 10 man free company units as your entire core selection you will probably lose a few points. Don’t let this dissuade you from themeing your army (it might be based around a single mighty character and his retinue of faithful followers with their personal lackeys for example) as the judges will be lenient if the imbalance is well justified, but even if you do lose a few points, that’s what a themeament is about- sacrificing a little competitiveness for the sake of the story.

22-06-2005, 14:04
-theme restrictions
This is where the most rigorous restrictions of the themeament are placed. While you are allowed a lot more liberty in army selection, you must justify anything out of the ordinary with your background
• You must include one paragraph (and one only) of background for each of your characters and each character MUST have a name
• You may also include up to a paragraph of background for each unit in your army, though this is not essential
• You must have at least one typed or handwritten page of background (500-600 words) for your army as a whole, and you may have up to two pages
• You are encouraged to create a restrictions list to be submitted along with your army list that shows the restrictions you placed upon yourself during army selections- no magic items in a peasant list, compulsory full command for any unit that can take it in an army of grizzled veterans and so forth. This allows the judges to see what sort of thought you placed into the composition of your list
• Themeament organizers will provide you with a core theme around which the themeament story is based (such as ‘conquests in khemri’ or ‘battles on the silver road’) and you are encouraged to figure out a reason why your motley crew or highly disciplined force is present in the conflict- protecting assets, aiding allies, conquering new domains or even just got lost on the way to the pub (though only as a VERY last resort)
• If you have any ‘out of the ordinary’ choices that would normaly not be seen in tournaments such as powerful special characters or outlandish units, you should justify these very carefully and eloquently in your background. For example, if your 2000 point undead army includes the dread vampire, Zacharias the Everliving, you should make it very clear why this lord of the undead has arisen to lead a small army (you won’t have many points left over for troops) into the middle of a huge conflict. If the story was based in khemri, he might be searching for a necromantic tome of great power or seeking to find the original site of his progenitor’s ascension. The inclusion of such a powerful character means you would have to theme the rest of the army very closely around his inclusion. Such a powerful character would no doubt be accompanied by his strongest creations- wights and so forth, and maybe a cowering lackey. The same applies to abnormal numbers of normaly rare units (lots of ratling guns or heaps of repeater bolt throwers). Judges may dock points if they think you have broken with the theme of your army to include something specifically for playability.

-restriction breaking
While you should endeavor to remain as closely as possible within the themeament guidelines, obviously in some cases it is difficult to conform exactly, for example few people could write a paragraph of interesting background about a shambling horde of freshly raised zombies. Breaking the theme restrictions is allowed, but points will be docked if the judges think the break was due to laziness rather than actual inability to conform.
-special characters
Special characters, while readily available, should only be used in one of two circumstances:
_representing the special character himself, in which case you should make a significant effort to theme the army around the presence of such an influential character. If Eltharion leads the army, it should have a distinct Swordmaster theme, and Karl Franz would not go to battle without a bodyguard of his finest reiksguard knights and state troops. Conversely, he would never be seen in a guerilla or peasant style army. You will be severely punished in points and probably in sportsmanship by other players if you use special characters out of context
_representing a character of your own devising. Special characters can be used to represent a character you invented who is accurately portrayed by the special character. For example, you might use Luthor Huss as a fantatical Sigmarite priest to lead your army, or a truthsayer to represent a twisted nurgle wizard (re-naming his magic items and spells to fit in more with the plague god’s minions). This allows you to be very creative and think about explaining every aspect of the character into your force.

Themeament scenarios

-Scenario 1: pitched battle
This battle is identical to the Pitched Battle in the warhammer rulebook. The winner of the Scenario gains a single fortune point in addition to any other winnings.

- Scenario 2: flank attack
This battle is identical to the Flank Attack scenario in the warhammer rulebook. The winning team of the previous round is the attacker in the scenario. At the beginning of the game, after deployment, roll a d6. On a 5-6, place a marker in the centre of the table. Roll a scatter dice +3d6 and move the marker to the indicated point. Use the small arrow in the case of rolling a hit. The army with the closest unit to the marker at the end of the game gains +100VP and 1 fortune point. The winner of the scenario also earns a fortune point.

- Scenario 3: capture
The capture scenario is identical to the Pitched Battle in the warhammer rulebook. In addition, place a marker in a randomly determined piece of terrain outside of both players deployment zones. This marker can be captured by any ranked infantry unit with the maximum command available to it. Units without maximum command, characters, monsters and cavalry cannot capture the objective. The objective can be captured by moving into contact with the piece of terrain and spending one full turn with at least one model in base to base contact. The objective is then captured and is treated as a captured standard from then on (can be captured by enemy units and so forth). A unit that panics will automatically drop the objective as they flee. The player with possession of the objective at the end of the game gains +400 victory points and one fortune point. If neither player has possession, neither gains the victory points. The winner of the scenario gains +1 fortune point
Players who were on the winning team of scenario 2 may elect to have one unit make a single move of 2d6 inches directly towards the objective after deployment but before the first turn of the game.

- Scenario 4: double trouble
This battle is one of the above three scenarios, determined by a d6
1-2: pitched battle
3-4: flank attack
5-6: capture
2 armies form a team (they must be from the same team) and fight together, but are in all other ways separate. They do not share leadership, power or dispel pools, magic items from one army do not affect the other one (for example the blessed tome will not give allied units within 6” +1ld). So the battle is essentially 2v2 in which the teams fight together but act as entirely separate entities. Note that this does not include NEGATIVE effects, such as hostile spells and panic. Plague will still jump between allied units as if they were in the same armies, and panic causing situations will still cause panic in allied troops. Each army on the winning side gains a single fortune point.

- Scenario 5: the final battle
The final battle is a pitched battle from the warhammer rulebook in all respects. However, such is the conviction of the armies nearing their goal (or the desperation of the near-exhausted underdogs) that units that would normally flee off the table will automatically rally when they reach the edge. In addition, each turn some interesting event occurs. Roll a d6 at the beginning of each player’s turn and implement the following results:
1-2: DISASTER: the player chooses one of his own units. This unit falls into quicksand, gets struck by lightning or somesuch other natural calamity and take d6 strength 4 hits, distributed as shooting. This may cause panic as normal.
3-4: ONCE MORE WITH FEELING: the player may choose one combat that is occurring. The participants suddenly feel the end is nigh and throw themselves at the enemy with gusto He and his opponent choose one of their units involved in that combat and unless immune to psychology they become frenzied. This has no effect if they are already frenzied.
5: GET BACK HERE, COWARDS: the player may choose one of his units which is fleeing. This unit is suddenly filled with resolve and will automatically rally. In addition, they will become immune to psychology for the remainder of the battle
6: THE END IS NIGH: in a mighty conflux of magical energy, tempestuous clouds swirl above the clamouring armies and dramatic music swells, played by cackling daemons anticipating the finale. All units become unbreakable for that turn, regardless of whether they are immune to psychology not. In addition, the blood, madness and occasional mighty gust of wind takes its toll on the swirling battle and every unit in both armies takes d6 strength 2 hits with no armor save allowed. Well, it is the finale after all. The winner of the game claims 1 fortune point.

22-06-2005, 14:05
Themeament Twists:
At the beginning of the themeament, players will be divided into two or more teams, depending on the specifics of the themeament (one themeament may be two simple teams- good and bad (or bad and bad, for that matter), another may have, say, 4- the empire and her allies, chaos, WE/HE/Lizardmen and a tomb kings/ogres alliance based upon entering armies). In a round, the winning team is defined as the team with the most victories overall. If teams are tied for victories, the team who earned the most fortune points that round will count as the winner.
-Fortune points
Fortune points are used by teams rather than individual players, and represent the winnings that a victorious side will be able to rack up. As the amount of players in a Themeament will vary, the amount of Fortune points that must be used to influence the story will change. Simply put, a team may at the beginning of any round expend fortune points equal to half the number of players on their team to affect that round, rounding up (so a team with 10 players would have to spend 5 fortune points to create an effect and a team with 7 players would have to spend 4). The team may then choose one of the following effects to place upon each game participated in by one of its members. These effects, unless specifically stated, only affect the team members, not their opponents. Of course, the opposing team could have chosen an identical event:
One unit in the army adds +1 to their movement for the entire battle
One unit in the army gains hatred in addition to its normal rules. Units that are immune to psychology cannot be effected by this event
-He’s the boss:
The leadership radius of the general is extended to 18” for the entire battle.
-plunder and pillage:
One character gains a magic item from the common magic items list worth up to 25 points for free, but otherwise subject to the normal restrictions. (Cannot break the points limit, can’t buy arcane items for non wizards etc) You must ensure your opponent knows about the magic item as it will be impossible to remain WYSIWYG for this round.
- look behind you!:
With some cunning strategic ploy, the army has managed to trick the enemy. After all units, including scouts, have been deployed, you may move one enemy unit up to 6” in any direction. This may not place them in terrain nor may it move them off the table. The facing of the unit is chosen by the opposing player
-we are the champions:
At the end of the themeament, if the team has enough points to create an event they may do so to add a single victory to their score per event for the final round to influence the result. This victory does not count towards personal scores, only team scores.

-Tournament special events
These are interesting twists that are created by the organizers in line with the themeament story. For example, one battle per round might be selected to be of key importance and so any fortune points earned in that game are doubled, or armies that thematically have a grudge might hate each other for that game and so forth. These special events are impromptu but add very much to the flavor of the game while adding interesting tactical elements that must be conquered on the run rather than through stat-bashing. While these might turn the game slightly towards one side (for example a greenskin army gaining hatred against dwarfs, who already suffer hatred and therefore gain no benefits) such is life and the enterprising general might use what most players would identify as a disadvantage as an advantage. Such feats will no doubt be recorded in the story and help you achieve the notoriety you deserve. Winning the Themeament
Just like a tournament, the Themeament has winners and losers (unfortunately) and prizes to be awarded depending on rank. Like a tournament the winners are determined in a variety of ways, and while similar, are by no means identical to the standard tournament method. 40% of your score comes from game score, 10% from team score, 20% from background and theme, 20% from painting and converting and 10% from sportsmanship The way in which these marks are awarded are shown below.
-generalship (40%)
These points are awarded quite simply on your performance in games. Each game is worth a maximum of 8 points for a total of 40 over 5 games. The points awarded are thus.
Win-massacre: 8pts
Win-solid: 6pts
Win-minor: 4pts
Draw: 2pts
Loss-minor: 2pts
Loss-solid: 0pts
Loss-massacre: 0pts.
-team generalship (10%)
This is based upon the performance of your team over the course of the themeament. Players on the winning team each round will gain 1 point (maximum of 5) per round won. Players on the overall winning team at the end of the themeament gain an additional 5 points, for a total of 10 maxium.
-sportsmanship (10%)
Sportsmanship is awarded by your opponent after each game. You will be given a form and may choose to award points as follows
0pts: the game was boring, annoying and you just didn’t enjoy it. You opponent was far more fixated on every inch of correctness than following the theme and even (horror of horrors) maybe tried a little foul play.
1pt: the game was fun, agreeable and just as a warhammer game should be played. Arguments were resolved quickly and fairly amicably and you would enjoy playing this opponent again sometime if the opportunity presents itself
2pts: the game was amazing fun, you loved the result, win or loss and enjoyed every minute of play. There were few debates and those there were were resolved almost instantaneously. You would actively seek out this player for a game from time to time and certainly grabbed their phone number/email.
The maximum sportsmanship score is 2 per game, for a total of 10.
-army theme (20%)
There are two sections to the theme category, decided by the judges. The first relates to the actual background of the army and the second relates to how well the physical army ties in with the background.
Section 1:
Is the army theme coherent, vibrant, catchy and fitting with the background of the warhammer world and the themeament story. This is what this category decides. The judges will each give the army a mark out of ten and the average result, rounding up, will be the theme score. On a scale of 1-10
1: little theme has been given to the army, with the bare minimum of themeament restrictions met, out of character with the warhammer world and rather mundane. Characters are single leveled and simple, units do not have names or histories, and there is an obvious overall lack of effort in presentation and visual representation of the theme in the background area
5: the army is well themed and interesting to read, characters are deep and have personal histories and the ideas behind the background are fine and fitting with the warhammer background. Some pictures or presentation of the theme is present (such as torn/burnt paper, ancient parchment, biohazard bags and so forth) and effort has obviously been invested in this aspect
10: the theme is beautiful, both in content and presentation. It is unique, catchy and presented in a characterful medium. Characters have detailed personal histories, and the ideas behind the theme are both characterful and fitting at a high level. A great deal of effort and research has obviously gone into the theme and any gamer would be proud to use this army.
Section 2:
Does the army represent the background effectively? Are conversions used to enhance the theme and does the whole army tie in thematically with aspects such as bases, accessories, banners and so forth? This is the category that is probably the most important towards theme, the actual realization of it in the army. Like section 1 it is scored on a scale of 1-10:
1: there is little visible theme to the army and little to no effort has been given to relating the army to its background. Characters are straight out of the blister and there are few, if any conversions. Units are not distinguished and there is the occasional bit of unexplained failure to comply with WYSIWYG.
5: the army has a clean theme, visible colour co-ordination and characterful conversions to bring out the theme further. Units have nice banners or other distinguishing marks and characters are painted and converted to represent their background. All representations on units and characters are represented in the background and the army is visually and conceptually pleasing to look at.
10: the army is amazingly related to the background, with extravagant conversions and bases, conversions on an army wide scale, beautiful representation of magic items and other key things in the army. Characters are lifelike and tie in perfectly with their histories and the army is even themed specifically towards the current themeament

-army painting/conversions (20%)
This category is divided into 3 sections- accessories/conversions/bases, painting and wow factor
awarded on a basis of skill level of painting, with a possible 10 points: 1 is majority less than 3 colours/not based and 10 is golden daemon standard on most miniatures. Basic 3 colours and flocked base will score around 3-4.
This category is where detail to bases, banners, conversions and other such intricate and possibly advanced modeling and painting techniques, with a possible 5 points: 1 is an army straight from the packs with little to no effort on conversions and freehand and basic bases and 5 is intricate and detailed conversions, beautiful freehand tattoos, banners, script etc and beautiful, representative bases.
Wow factor:
This is a judge’s personal opinion of the army, how much it grasped their interest and inspired them. This is purely subjective and so there are no criteria, with a possible 5 points awarded.

22-06-2005, 14:07
Best and fairest (1st, 2nd, 3rd)
These prizes are awarded to the overall highest scorers.
Best painted (1st, 2nd, 3rd,)
These prizes are awarded to the armies that scored highest in the painting category
Best theme/background (1st, 2nd, 3rd)
These prizes are awarded to the armies that scored highest in the background category
Slaughtermaster: 1st
This prize is awarded to the general with the highest personal generalship points
Player’s choice: 1st
At the end of day 2 play, players will be asked to display their armies for perusal by all contestants, and contestants will choose their favourite three armies, ranking them 1st, 2nd and 3rd. The player with the most number of votes (1st counts as 3 votes, 2nd 2 and 3rd 1) wins the players choice awards

Example army: the host of Loren: (nurgle daemonic legion)Lords:

ryschath, Lord of the wythal (daemon prince). Blessing of the forest (mark of nurgle), level 4 mage using lore of the forest (nurgle lore), Horn of the hunt (soul hunger), ferocious majesty (cloud of flies)
New Orion model, with bat wings modeled on

Tinuviel, the faerie princess: (exalted daemon). Blessing of the forest (mark of nurgle), level 2 mage using lore of the forest (nurgle lore), faerie dust (stream of corruption)
Old Ariel model

16 spirits of the wood (plaguebearers) with noble spirit (champion)
Dryad models

16 spirits of the wood (plaguebearers) with noble spirit (champion)
Dryad models

4 spirits of vengeance (plagueriders)
Treekin models

Carathalion, the ancient one (chariot of nurgle with additional daemon beast)
Treeman model

Total: 1995