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Thread: A different warhammer

  1. #1

    A different warhammer

    Hello!

    Here's my idea for a warhammer "fix";


    The idea

    I'm assuming a competetive 1v1 game here

    1. One player is a kind of gamemaster and sets things up. The gamemaster could be decided randomly if both players are interested, or players could take turns or roll off
    2. The gamemaster creates 2 army lists. The army lists don't have to have an equal points value..
    3. The gamemaster now chooses a scenario from the rulebook, or invents a scenario himself. This could be a scenario in the traditional sense (players have special objectives, like 1 guy running away to another side of the board and escaping with as many units as possible, or simply a scenario with a "house rule" "like disruption cancels steadfast in this scenario", the possibilities to create a fun game are endless)
    - The gamemaster sets up terrain and says in which deployment zone each army will start
    - The gamemaster's opponent chooses which army he'll control and players battle it out

    Why am I suggesting this?

    1. I don't like the process of analyzing & optimising army lists. To me it's like you're trying the find the mistakes in GW's army books and trying to exploit them. It also kills variation (if a unit type or size gets relegated to the bench), gives GW power over us (they make it good, we "have" to buy it), gives incentive to look things up online instead of trying to figure things out, and in some cases creates battles where some fun elements are missing
    2. I love the hobby & fluff aspect of the game, but I don't want to sacrifice competition in order to have it
    3. I would enjoy trying out things that are currently impossible, like terrain that extremely heavily favours one player or a neutral unit in the map that isn't even controlled by a player
    4. Whatever miniatures people have painted, they can immediately use them. You are a dark elf player who wants to paint a unit of 10 saurus warriors? You can use them in a serious game
    5. A system like this makes the game perfectly balanced; I think players will play more even, exciting games and less of those one-sided blowouts.
    6. Minor advantage; if you have 2 armies you can invite someone to your home for a game and they don't even have to bring anything


    Drawbacks I can think of
    1. People would have to learn to play multiple armies; they might have more trouble with the rules. However, for me playing multiple armies would simply equal more fun.
    2. The gamemaster and the other player wouldn't have equal chances to win; it would be like chess where starting as white is an advantage (but I think the current system where starting with army book x or buying GW product x gives you an advantage, is far worse)
    3. One player has to feel comfortable with letting someone else play with his figures. I wouldn't have a problem with that.


    I'm wondering how many people out there can relate and how many feel completely differently. Would you be down to try this, or would you hate it? Please give me your input!

  2. #2
    Chapter Master Kakapo42's Avatar
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    Re: A different warhammer

    Soooooooo..... basically you're saying people should play more GM'd games? I actually think Jervis wrote about that in a Standard Bearer article recently.

  3. #3

    Re: A different warhammer

    I didn't even know people ever did this... I would love to take part in a system like that

    maybe I read about it somewhere long ago and convinced myself later that I'd thought of it myself, but I honestly can't recall. I don't what standard bearer is, but can I read that article online?

  4. #4

    Re: A different warhammer

    Ah I found out that standard bearer is a column in white dwarf, so I guess I can't read it. Anyway, the key point of the idea (i won't say "my" idea) is that one player thinks of everything and the other player chooses which army he controls. That's the part that fixes all balance issues - are there people out there who play like that?

  5. #5
    Chapter Master Rakariel's Avatar
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    Re: A different warhammer

    Nice effort and thanks for the writeup.
    There is one inherently flaw (imo) within this design: I am a person who wants to analyse an armybook, I want to find optimized lists but I also want to create my own fluff based list built upon various different themes. Even while trying to find optimized lists it doesn`t automatically mean I have to go all out bonkers on every hard unit in the army but still I want control. I am the one "leading" my army to battle, I`m not just some peasant/footsoldier tagging along accepting orders from someone else.

    A few points:
    1) Why is your game perfectly balanced if everyone can take everything and if there are different points values? Why is it more balanced if someone else designs an army for you, putting his own subjective ideas of how the army should look like into the design? This would create a horrible sense of balance, imo no balance at all.
    2) Your idea builds heavily on "competition kills the game". This might be true to some extent, seeing some people taking only the best options and dirtiest lists but that should only apply to tourneys which are not restricted. A game between friends is in my own opinion never like that, wouldn`t create much of a game-friendship if someone only ever showed up with the cheesiest stuff out there.
    3) Everyone can design their own scenarios under the current rules. I am currently running a very long campaign with a few friends of mine having alot of different armies, rewards for winning a game, own scenarios, storyline etc. There is noone stopping you from creating your own games.
    4) I let my opponents use one of my armies at a regular basis atm, I fail to see why this is an advantage to your system.
    5) If you like your idea, go for it. But forcing it upon everyone as a general rule? GM`d games can be alot of fun, there is no denying that, but having an all out randomization for the sake of avoiding a powerbuild, would that really be fun?

    Therefore your design would have absolutely no merit for me. If I cannot control my own army design it would feel like playing someone elses ideas of how I should play. No sorry, that would kill the game for me.
    Last edited by Rakariel; 29-08-2013 at 07:21.


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  6. #6
    Commander StygianBeach's Avatar
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    Re: A different warhammer

    Have you tried a GM type game before? If you Blog about your experience I will read about it.

    Otherwise I am sure there are better writers than I whom have written about the advantages and disadvantages of GM gaming compared to standarised rules gaming.
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  7. #7

    Re: A different warhammer

    Well it would require someone like me to have a vastly bigger collection of models

    It would require people to play with something they might not want to use

    One player has to come up with everything... which is usually why a gamemaster is a 3rd party...


    Don't get me wrong. Such things are fun from time to time. I remember having to fend off a Chaos attack with a Bret Commoner only force (gulp) for instance, but it is really not casual Warhammer where you bring a list you churned out during lunch and just go about rolling.

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  8. #8
    Banned Lord Solar Plexus's Avatar
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    Re: A different warhammer

    Funny, we're just having a heated comp / no comp debate on W-E over whether the ETC is still Warhammer and stuff...

    I'd like to play like that once in a while. I would probably still adhere to the same point limit rule, although scenarios could well change that. I certainly wouldn't like to make it the only way to play though. As others have said, exploring the AB for new combos is great fun. It's not even about only taking the best choices, since in that case you could stop making new lists after the third or fourth incarnation. For me, that's just as much about shuffling the deck again, taking supposedly sub-par units, coming up with a different theme and so on. Since having a third party make the list seems to accomplish some of those goals, it could be fun, too.

  9. #9

    Re: A different warhammer

    Thanks for taking the time to reply and give your input!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rakariel View Post
    Nice effort and thanks for the writeup.
    There is one inherently flaw (imo) within this design: I am a person who wants to analyse an armybook, I want to find optimized lists but I also want to create my own fluff based list built upon various different themes. Even while trying to find optimized lists it doesn`t automatically mean I have to go all out bonkers on every hard unit in the army but still I want control. I am the one "leading" my army to battle, I`m not just some peasant/footsoldier tagging along accepting orders from someone else.
    This is the biggest flaw I don't have an answer for.. if you enjoy making your own army list, you'd only get to do it half the time and then sometimes your opponent would pick the army you really wanted to play. With the current GW system, you always get exactly the army of your choice.


    1) Why is your game perfectly balanced if everyone can take everything and if there are different points values? Why is it more balanced if someone else designs an army for you, putting his own subjective ideas of how the army should look like into the design? This would create a horrible sense of balance, imo no balance at all.
    It's balanced because the designer lets the opponent choose which side he is. If I make a scenario with 10 bloodthirsters vs a peasant, you will pick the bloodthirsters (presumably ) and defeat me. I made poor decisions during the army list building stage and lost. Next time, I'll try to balance the lists better and maybe the choice of army won't be so easy for you...
    [/QUOTE]

    Your idea relies heavily on "competition kills the game". This might be true to some extent, seeing some people taking only the best options and dirtiest lists but it should only apply to tourneys which are not restricted. A game between friends is in my own opinion never like that, wouldn`t create much of a game-friendship if someone only ever showed up with the cheesiest stuff out there.
    Nono! I love the competition, I just wish for a system where making the best decisions and having the most fun are the same thing, instead of having to choose between one or the other

    3) Everyone can design their own scenarios under the current rules. I am currently running a very long campaign with a few friends of mine having alot of different armies, rewards for winning a game, own scenarios, storyline etc. There is noone stopping you from creating your own games.
    True

    4) I let my opponents use one of my armies at a regular basis atm, I fail to see why this is an advantage to your system.
    Because one player is making the scenario and the other (after learning about everything) chooses the army that he thinks has the best chance to win. This means the designer is incentivised to make the armies match up as well as possible, instead of trying to make his own army as strong as possible.

    If I cannot control my own army design it would feel like playing someone elses ideas of how I should play. No sorry, that would kill the game for me.
    Interesting! I'm starting to think many people feel that way and I might have to bin the whole idea

  10. #10

    Re: A different warhammer

    Thx for your reply LSP! I really appreciate the feedback

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Solar Plexus View Post
    As others have said, exploring the AB for new combos is great fun.
    I have a feeling that this would still be part of the game. For example, if you are the designer you could fool by making a beastmen vs wood elves game where the wood elves seem to have the upper hand, but the beastmen have a combo that isn't obvious to me. You could predict me taking the wood elves when in fact you prefer the beastmen's chances

  11. #11

    Re: A different warhammer

    Quote Originally Posted by StygianBeach View Post
    Have you tried a GM type game before? If you Blog about your experience I will read about it.
    No, I only just recently thought of it and I haven't been able to convince anyone in my playgroup to try it. One player specifically cited "I enjoy writing my own army list" as the reason

    Quote Originally Posted by Wesser View Post
    Well it would require someone like me to have a vastly bigger collection of models
    That's definitely not true I think; almost any collection would allow you to a host a game. Of course if you want to be able to offer people any army...

    It would require people to play with something they might not want to use
    True. That's the killer i guess. Although when you're the designer, you can simply design 2 armies where you like both of them, but when you're not, you'd have to play one of the two armies presented to you.

    One player has to come up with everything... which is usually why a gamemaster is a 3rd party...
    I'd love to be the guy who picks which side he controls, but I think designing the game is even more fun. If you do it alternately you have to do more work than normal one game, true, but also no work at all next game

  12. #12
    Chapter Master Rakariel's Avatar
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    Re: A different warhammer

    My reply might have been a bit harsh sorry for that. What I wanted to say was pretty much, I think your system is good but it wouldn`t be a smart move to implement it as a general GW rule. You have to factor in many different aspects, not only game related but also person related. First of all you would need likeminded people who want to run a system like that, thinking about army lists, putting in the effort to learn pretty much every army etc. Its arguably difficult to expect every or most of the WH players to be like that.

    Secondly you would need to have alot if not every army out there and on top of it lots of different options within each army to allow many different builds. While I can for example provide alot of different armies (yes I am THAT bonkers ) it would be much to ask in general. Btw I did misunderstand you there with using someones army, I was thinking that you meant just lending an army of yours to someone else.

    As I said as your idea is good if you want to try out something new. This invigorates the whole game. The campaign we are running at the moment includes bits and pieces of your system aswell. Its about a journey of an Empire Wizard who has hired an army to find a piece of the Old Ones. He has to travel the land and encounters alot of different armies. Those armies are random depending on the decisions of the Empire player (he has to make decisions along the way which route he will take to find the next piece). To make a long story short, yes these ideas do work and they are great fun but it would be imo near impossible to implement them as a general rule.


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  13. #13
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    Re: A different warhammer

    Quote Originally Posted by Jelle View Post
    Why am I suggesting this?

    1. I don't like the process of analyzing & optimising army lists. To me it's like you're trying the find the mistakes in GW's army books and trying to exploit them. It also kills variation (if a unit type or size gets relegated to the bench), gives GW power over us (they make it good, we "have" to buy it), gives incentive to look things up online instead of trying to figure things out, and in some cases creates battles where some fun elements are missing

    To many people, optimising army lists is an essential part of the hobby. It can be harder than you think, depending on the local meta and the book you're using. Certain kind of lists may be well known and countered in some areas, but virtually unknown in another. Some army books have several "optimal builds", too. Personally, I still have no idea what is an optimal VC list, for example. I think you have a bit too negative view about list making: it isn't always brazenly picking only the most obvious choices every game and only playing with cookie-cutter armies. Rolling for scenario every game helps too, and challenges the list builder even more.

    2. I love the hobby & fluff aspect of the game, but I don't want to sacrifice competition in order to have it
    3. I would enjoy trying out things that are currently impossible, like terrain that extremely heavily favours one player or a neutral unit in the map that isn't even controlled by a player

    You can easily create unbalanced terrain by rolling it randomly. This can be fun in a narrative campaign, for example, but can get tiring. I think most people prefer fighting enemy units than clusters of impassable terrain.

    4. Whatever miniatures people have painted, they can immediately use them. You are a dark elf player who wants to paint a unit of 10 saurus warriors? You can use them in a serious game

    I'm not sure if the game stays very competitive if you mix lists. Different factions are supposed to have distinctive strengths and weaknesses.

    5. A system like this makes the game perfectly balanced; I think players will play more even, exciting games and less of those one-sided blowouts.

    Perfectly balanced? Well, assuming the gamesmaster has infinite wisdom and mathhammering skills, yes. I doubt a perfect balance could be possible in a game like Warhammer. On the other hand, taking a serious beating in a game and coming back with a better list is an important part of learning to play the game. It can be great fun too, gradually learning to overcome that "impossible" opponent.

    6. Minor advantage; if you have 2 armies you can invite someone to your home for a game and they don't even have to bring anything


    Drawbacks I can think of
    1. People would have to learn to play multiple armies; they might have more trouble with the rules. However, for me playing multiple armies would simply equal more fun.

    This is a matter of taste. In my opinion, mastering one army is at least as rewarding as playing with multiple books.

    2. The gamemaster and the other player wouldn't have equal chances to win; it would be like chess where starting as white is an advantage (but I think the current system where starting with army book x or buying GW product x gives you an advantage, is far worse)
    3. One player has to feel comfortable with letting someone else play with his figures. I wouldn't have a problem with that.

    If the opponent is well known and trusted for his care when handling miniatures, I would most likely have no issue it. I wouldn't do it with people I don't know that well, though.
    I think these are all ideas worth trying out, but I doubt if they could really improve the game or have a lasting appeal.
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  14. #14
    Chapter Master zoggin-eck's Avatar
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    Re: A different warhammer

    Sounds closer to the first editions of the game. Regardless of which edition, plenty of people already/still do play like this. Lots of people start out new players like this, or older siblings/friends who can afford the models that younger ones can't.

    Sounds like Warhammer is the only game you've really played? (Sorry if I'm making an assumption there!) Take a look at others, not just fantasy games, too. Game-mastered battles is something Rick Priestly liked to talk about with his Hail Caesar game once he left Warhammer.

    Plenty of historical games players will buy two opposing (and realsiticly matched, "time wise") armies and invite others to play. That way they can collect a "period" army, and not have silly match-ups like Imperial Romans fighting armies from hundreds of years earlier/after.
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  15. #15
    Chapter Master Lordsaradain's Avatar
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    Re: A different warhammer

    I'm all for it. Provided there is a third person who is willing to take the role of GM that is.
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  16. #16
    Chapter Master theunwantedbeing's Avatar
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    Re: A different warhammer

    A nice idea, but ultimately flawed because the average gamer simply cannot be trusted with that level of responsibility.
    The people it'll work best for are those who already play fairly and don't do anything abusive within the rules.

    Definitely one for all to have a go at every now and then as something different, but not great for every single game by any means.
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  17. #17
    Chapter Master Gekiganger's Avatar
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    Re: A different warhammer

    Quote Originally Posted by Jelle View Post
    5. A system like this makes the game perfectly balanced; I think players will play more even, exciting games and less of those one-sided blowouts.
    6. Minor advantage; if you have 2 armies you can invite someone to your home for a game and they don't even have to bring anything
    I'm not sure how you came to the conclusion of 5, part of the initial points you made was that the armies wouldn't have to be of equal points balance - balance is a hard enough issue for the designers to tackle without a random shmuch GM trying to accomplish it.

    6 is something that can be done even with "normal" games, if you have the models to create two lists for a GM'd game, then you have the models to create a list for a "normal" game, something I've done in the past.

    That said, GM'd games can be fun, but I think a lot of the advantages can be accomplished by using varied scenarios (last stands and the like) that pit uneven forces in unusual scenarios against each other.

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  18. #18

    Re: A different warhammer

    This sort of debate has and continues to rage in historical miniatures gaming, especially in ancients/medieval circles (which is one block of gamers, as opposed to ACW or Napoleonic, etc.). ESP in ancients/medieval, many many play "tournament style" using army books and points lists to create optimum (though still relatively historically accurate) armies to fight competitive battles (albeit most ahistorical like Egyptians vs Medieval French). A large group decry the tournament mindset and the ahistorical nature of the gaming and try to relight historical contests or shoot for GM'd games, etc. What has happened is that to a certain degree these subgroups break off and use different rulesets from each other, with the non-tournament crowd often not using rules that provide for points-based optimization.

    I game heavily with the tournament crowd, but at conventions try and play historical re fights and such because the ahistorical competitive gaming gets old. I play with miniatures because I like the fluff and the look. If I wanted to be competitive I will stick to my day job as a lawyer or just take up chess.

  19. #19
    Banned IcedCrow's Avatar
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    Re: A different warhammer

    GM'd games are awesome. I highly recommend you try it. In the hands of a good GM, the game is a blast.

  20. #20

    Re: A different warhammer

    I have jumped into Warhammer Fantasy because I love the fluff and the sculpting of the models. I am probably more collector than gamer. I agree with the original poster that many of the complaints about the rules or GW could be solved by using GM's gaming scenarios. BUT, I understand the other mindset. I think GW shops nights be well-served trying to organize a few more structured GM'd games just to demonstrate the difference.

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