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Thread: Some 4th/5th/6th ed. questions

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    Chaplain Teurastaja's Avatar
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    Some 4th/5th/6th ed. questions

    Hi guys.

    My brother and I decided to try one of older editions and build two armies from scratch as a fun project.
    We need some information because we know little about pre-8th ed. period.
    What are 'standard' army sizes in 4th/5th/6th ed.?
    Which edition requires least minis to have a fun, mostly balanced game?
    Is 6th ed. with Ravening Hordes ok for low point games?
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    If the AoS releases so far have been "the tip of the iceberg", then I can only assume that tip is placed firmly against the WFB gaming community's collective anus and the "more to come" includes higher prices, audio rulebooks in the sing along format and backpack add-ons for sigmarines.

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    Re: Some 4th/5th/6th ed. questions

    I have no experience with these Editions but 4th and especially 5th Edition are infamously known as "Herohammer" for their vastly overpowered characters that basically degraded the rank&file troops to bystanders/cannon fodder, not unlike the End Times. But if you're into this kind of thing...

    Remember, 5th Edition was when Nagash first walked the earth... and he was in the basic army book.


    6th Edition, on the other hand, sports a distinct lack of Special Characters, making it kind of an anti-Herohammer. It is relatively mundane and down-to-earth compared to its successors but is otherwise very similar to 7th Edition, if that is any help. I also believe it is reasonably balanced. The Bretonnia book that hailed from this era was in production until the end of the world so maybe you're familiar with it.
    Last edited by Ultimate Life Form; 07-01-2017 at 20:10.

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    Re: Some 4th/5th/6th ed. questions

    The army sizes were a lot smaller in 4th/5th just go and take a look at some of the old White Dwarf battle reports from that era, or the army book photos. Unit sizes were nowhere near what they are now. Plus you get to play with all the magic cards.

    We always used to play 2500-4000 points just because that's what we wanted to play. Make sure to bring your favourite pimped up Lords

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    Re: Some 4th/5th/6th ed. questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Horace35 View Post
    The army sizes were a lot smaller in 4th/5th just go and take a look at some of the old White Dwarf battle reports from that era, or the army book photos. Unit sizes were nowhere near what they are now. Plus you get to play with all the magic cards.

    We always used to play 2500-4000 points just because that's what we wanted to play. Make sure to bring your favourite pimped up Lords
    Could you recommend any WD issue from that time?
    Quote Originally Posted by Pojko View Post
    If you're not trying to win, either for narrative or competitive reasons, it might as well be Age of Little League where everyone gets a trophy so no one feels bad.
    Quote Originally Posted by Deadhorse View Post
    If the AoS releases so far have been "the tip of the iceberg", then I can only assume that tip is placed firmly against the WFB gaming community's collective anus and the "more to come" includes higher prices, audio rulebooks in the sing along format and backpack add-ons for sigmarines.

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    Re: Some 4th/5th/6th ed. questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Teurastaja View Post
    Could you recommend any WD issue from that time?
    WD157 empire V Orcs
    WD159 Dwarves V orc (just before dwarves ogt their powerful runic items)
    i think 164 High Elves V Chaos Dwarves

    then other i remember to be good (just not which issue)

    Chaos Dwarves V Wood Elves (elves got a right pasting)
    Dwarves V Chaos
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    Re: Some 4th/5th/6th ed. questions

    I remember that Dwarves vs Chaos, there was a cool Chaos Lord on Dragon conversion. Cannot remember the White Dwarf number though . . .
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    Chaplain Teurastaja's Avatar
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    Re: Some 4th/5th/6th ed. questions

    Thanks guys, that will be very helpful

    Do you have any general advice on playing 4th/5th ed.?
    Quote Originally Posted by Pojko View Post
    If you're not trying to win, either for narrative or competitive reasons, it might as well be Age of Little League where everyone gets a trophy so no one feels bad.
    Quote Originally Posted by Deadhorse View Post
    If the AoS releases so far have been "the tip of the iceberg", then I can only assume that tip is placed firmly against the WFB gaming community's collective anus and the "more to come" includes higher prices, audio rulebooks in the sing along format and backpack add-ons for sigmarines.

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    Re: Some 4th/5th/6th ed. questions

    stay away from special characters. house rule that each character can only take a single magic item of 50 points or less. this way rank-n-file troops will - occasionally - have a say in the outcome of a battle

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    Re: Some 4th/5th/6th ed. questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Naitsabes View Post
    stay away from special characters. house rule that each character can only take a single magic item of 50 points or less. this way rank-n-file troops will - occasionally - have a say in the outcome of a battle
    special characters were very powerful in these editions, but hat can be said for all editions and even in 40k too. if you are playing them just make sure both players know they are then there are no surprises when Thorgrim rocks up to take on a goblin warlord armed with the biting blade....

    as for limits on magic items, that was seriously hindering for certain armies (like my dwarves).

    tournaments had limits of a total of 100pts worth of magic items per character which sounds more reasonable than 1 50pt item, but again it was very army dependant and to a point dependant on what size game. i agree that seeing a 150pt MAster rune of gromril (T10) would be excessive in a 2000pt game, but on a dwarf lord in a 4000pt game wouldn't be too crazy.

    the problem with a magic item limit is that you can be left with no defence for someone taking a 450pt dragon. that is ok but taking a frost blade isn't?

    GW published a tournament rules set for 2000pt games which was pretty OK, some points were:

    no lvl 4 wizards
    no allies
    no unridden monsters
    magic item limit
    no power 3 spells????? (that was a crazy one)

    as with all editions they were always some tough army builds

    the game would be more easily fixed with objectives that only troops could get thus making their role more important rather than a mechanism for delivering a character to the battle

    AoS seems to have got a better balance with some really powerful characters (Nagash, Araelle, star drakes etc), but having more reliance on the rank and file guys in the emissions
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    Re: Some 4th/5th/6th ed. questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Teurastaja View Post
    Could you recommend any WD issue from that time?
    Here you go

    Some fun reading to be had there.

    https://www.hiveworldterra.co.uk/cla...W/WHart4_5.htm


    I personally did not mind all the OTT special characters, in a funny kind of way they were more balanced than the custom lords. I think you just have to accept that as part of the game in that edition and embrace it. Pick your favourite special characters and go and kill stuff

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    Re: Some 4th/5th/6th ed. questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Teurastaja View Post
    Hi guys.

    My brother and I decided to try one of older editions and build two armies from scratch as a fun project.
    We need some information because we know little about pre-8th ed. period.
    What are 'standard' army sizes in 4th/5th/6th ed.?
    Which edition requires least minis to have a fun, mostly balanced game?
    Is 6th ed. with Ravening Hordes ok for low point games?
    Personally I think 6th with just the RH is the best it ever got! I loved the relative simplicity of having everything in one book/booklet- though they should have got it right and stuck all the RH stuff in the main book...it could have replaced the rather feeble bestiary...then perfection would it have been, yes yes!

    Anything from 1500-3000 points would have been considered standard for those three editions. most battle reports were between those two values. 4th and 5th (which were near as makes no odds the same thing anyway) would require a few less figures, but not many less. The rank and file got cheaper, in 6th but heroes got a bit pricier, and so did magical doo-hickies.

    4/5th usually gets bashed as Herohammer- one guy striding through everything, but it wasn't like that really. There were a few tough cookies that would turn up all over the place*, and certain combos of magic items were popular, but a lot were overhyped and theres a counter to everything- a lot of the really nasty guys become a lot more down to earth when you trap them with the black gem of Gnar, or send in a hero with an item that nullifies nearby magical items...suddenly your opponents entire battle plan is reliant on a guy having to fight you in his underwear!
    Even Characters that were supposed to be scary like Archaon could be beaten up by a level 1 grey wizard (as long as he has the spell that shoots fire from his eyebrows), and the only one that routinely gave everyone a headache was Lord Kroak. But he was a stupid number of points so didn't turn up very often...

    *I always reckoned that that Tyrion chap must have been suffering marital issues...he was never at home, always off taking part in every minor border scuffle that he could find in order to avoid that nagging missus of his. Instead of confronting their issues he just avoided them, for four whole editions! The End Times must have come as something of a relief.
    Last edited by Commissar Vaughn; 10-01-2017 at 22:52.

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    Re: Some 4th/5th/6th ed. questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Commissar Vaughn View Post

    *I always reckoned that that Tyrion chap must have been suffering marital issues...he was never at home, always off taking part in every minor border scuffle that he could find in order to avoid that nagging missus of his. Instead of confronting their issues he just avoided them, for four whole editions! The End Times must have come as something of a relief.
    The fact that he fathered a child with the Everqueen seems to support this claim... but is it a symptom or the cause?

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    Re: Some 4th/5th/6th ed. questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Teurastaja View Post
    What are 'standard' army sizes in 4th/5th/6th ed.?
    Anything between 1500 and 3000 points.
    2000 points was the standard pickup game size during 6th edition IIRC.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teurastaja View Post
    Thanks guys, that will be very helpful

    Do you have any general advice on playing 4th/5th ed.?
    Omg omg omg. I was put on earth to sing the praises of 4th/5th edition. There really needs to be a forum that gathers all 4th/5th gamers.

    A typically size battle for 4th/5th is 1,500 points. That gives you four or five good-sized units, whether regiments, warmachines, monsters etc, and the characters to lead them. Other advice is pretty army specific, but I'll do my best:

    1) Don't neglect characters... most armies really need a Champion in every frontline regiment. One of the reasons I play 4th over 5th is because the rules say that if your badass lord charges my unit, I can simply challenge him with my dinky champion and limit his combat resolution from slaughtering my champion to a measly 1 combat resolution point. Champions give one round of "Frenzied Chaos Lord of Khorne with Hydra Sword" protection in 4th Edition, which matters because games are often only 4 turns long. Give that dinky champion a nice magic item, and he may even surprise that 800 point Khorne Lord!

    2) Use allies. 4th/5th were designed with the assumption that 25% of your army list would be taken from other army books. A Wood Elf and Dwarf alliance is so much more fun and diverse than an all Wood Elf army.

    3) Take a Wizard or two, but realize that the number of power cards you get each turn is very low (2-3 cards, on average) and this is not increased at all by more or more powerful wizards. Magic has a very important and poweful role, but it is not overpowering because of the fixed limits on the Winds of Magic.

    4) 4th and 5th are often called Herohammer. Like many perspectives on the past, this is actually only half true. Yes, heroes were important. They are fully 50% of the game, I would say. Is this bad? No, it is awesome, because heroes being heroic is stupid fun. I am HAPPY to call 4th and 5th Herohammer because I wear it as a badge of pride!

    Now, the half that isn't exactly true... when people say Herohammer they usually mean it as an insult, because they are implying that heroes are unstoppable in 4th and 5th. THIS IS A FLAT OUT LIE. First of all, if you don't use the magic supplement at all, heroes are PERFECTLY balanced with regular troops. Period. Secondly, magic items (which is what people are really complaining about... NOT heroes) are designed as trump cards in 4th and 5th. We all understood this in the 1990's and seemingly no one understands that now. Magic items were powerful, but every one had a counter. Nasty, tooled up Khorne Lord bothering you? Slap him with Black Gem of Gnar, Black Amulet, Van Horstmann's Speculum. Greater Daemon of Khorne heading your way? Trap him in the upper atmosphere indefinitely with Orb of Thunder. Stick him with the Sky Arrow of Naloer to rub it in. Wanna see something funny when he finally comes down? Heart of Woe, baby! 4th and 5th magic items ultimately benefit the underdog more than the powerful. And heck, if you are still having problems, read point #2 again and take a Runed-out Dwarf Lord and a Volley Gun with the Ruin of Disguise.

    The last point shows why there is so much tactica in 4th and 5th. You can do almost anything! On that note, something important must be said: 4th/5th has the MOST tactica guides on the internet, period. 6th? Nope. 7th? Not even close. 8th or AoS? Hahaha, no no... It's 4th and 5th by a mile. The only problem is that you've probably never seen or heard of them. The thing is that 4th and 5th came out in the early days of the internet and everyone had their own fan website (a LOT of them were on GeoCities, FortuneCity etc.) Luckily, these are almost all still available for us to view thanks to the Internet Archive, Oocities, Reocities etc. You should look for Longsword's tactica (there were two iterations of this, one for 4th and one for 5th, either will do... I can provide links if you'd like). The other reason for the extreme amount of material published on 4th and 5th is that there was simply more game in them. Two hundred spells, over two hundred magic items, Chaos gifts and Chaps rewards up the wazoo, dozens and dozens of crazy templates, a proper siege rulebook, tons of boxed campaigns, the most formative army books in the history of Warhammer (which established the fluff for all later editions to follow). As editions, 4th and 5th are LOADED. If you play 4th and 5th with everything, it is an amazing experience.

    My advice is pick up a new copy of the Warhammer Magic box. It is 5th Edition and it is very common and cheap. I got my shrinkwrapped copy last year for $5 USD plus shipping. It is loaded to the gills and is a terrific buy. I prefer the artwork on the 4th edition magic expansions (there are two: Battle Magic and Arcane Magic), but all the information and cards in those were reprinted in the 5th edition Warhammer Magic box, apart from the Colleges of Magic cards (which are nevertheless listed inside the Warhammer Magic rulebook which comes in the box). The 4th Edition boxes are really nice, but they are more rare so just get the 5th edition Magic box.

    Of course, you'll need the 5th Edition Rulebook and Battle Book, but these are easily found in PDF online or second hand on eBay. PM me if you need directions.

    As for the "4th or 5th?" question... it's mostly an aesthetic decision, really. I recommend 5th edition as a base but I prefer three specific army books from 4th Edition: Undead, Chaos and High Elves (5th Edition largely reprinted 4th Edition army books, but in the case of these three, 5th Edition actually replaced them with new books that were not quite as balanced and interesting, in my opinion).

    Quote Originally Posted by Teurastaja View Post
    Could you recommend any WD issue from that time?
    White Dwarf 164 has one of my favorite battle reports, High Elves vs Chaos Dwarves.

    Finally, there really NEEDS to be an online community for Herohammer players. Sorry for the ramble, but I LOVE Herohammer!

    I hope this picture of a tiny fraction of my collection will explain my feelings and excuse the above rant!

    Also, they just did a big Herohammer (5th Edition) tournament in Poland a few months ago. There are some excellent battle reports there, plus a grand battle!
    Last edited by Arnizipal; 17-01-2017 at 12:04. Reason: Merged double post

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    Veteran Sergeant Late's Avatar
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    Re: Some 4th/5th/6th ed. questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Ultimate Life Form View Post
    I have no experience with these Editions but 4th and especially 5th Edition are infamously known as "Herohammer" for their vastly overpowered characters that basically degraded the rank&file troops to bystanders/cannon fodder, not unlike the End Times. But if you're into this kind of thing...

    Remember, 5th Edition was when Nagash first walked the earth... and he was in the basic army book.


    6th Edition, on the other hand, sports a distinct lack of Special Characters, making it kind of an anti-Herohammer. It is relatively mundane and down-to-earth compared to its successors but is otherwise very similar to 7th Edition, if that is any help. I also believe it is reasonably balanced. The Bretonnia book that hailed from this era was in production until the end of the world so maybe you're familiar with it.
    Nagash was already in 4th ed.

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    Re: Some 4th/5th/6th ed. questions

    Nagash isn't that powerful... A Greater Daemon of Khorne could clean his clock pretty quickly! Heck, any hero or lord with the right equipment could do it in 4th or 5th.

    Now, Nagash in a block of wraiths or mummies... I would be worried.

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    Re: Some 4th/5th/6th ed. questions

    We talk a lot about the period that you are interested in at:
    http://www.classichammer.com

    I would admit that the 4th/5th is a little light compared to the 6th, but there are a few people who can provide some answers to your questions.
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    Re: Some 4th/5th/6th ed. questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Teurastaja View Post
    Hi guys.

    My brother and I decided to try one of older editions and build two armies from scratch as a fun project.
    We need some information because we know little about pre-8th ed. period.
    What are 'standard' army sizes in 4th/5th/6th ed.?
    Which edition requires least minis to have a fun, mostly balanced game?
    Is 6th ed. with Ravening Hordes ok for low point games?
    Back then 1500 used to be the norm.

    Then towards the end of 6th and 7th the creep to 2.000, 2.250 and 2.500 because "you can't fit everything".

    If you ask me there's more nostalgic than actual gaming value on those editions. If you did not experience them on your prime wargaming days, the quirks will probably bore or drive you off.

    But of course whatever works for your group.

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    Re: Some 4th/5th/6th ed. questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Yowzo View Post
    Back then 1500 used to be the norm.

    Then towards the end of 6th and 7th the creep to 2.000, 2.250 and 2.500 because "you can't fit everything".

    If you ask me there's more nostalgic than actual gaming value on those editions. If you did not experience them on your prime wargaming days, the quirks will probably bore or drive you off.

    But of course whatever works for your group.
    really? i thought 4th/5th tournament rule set was 2000pts??

    with a lot of WD battle reports at 3000pts
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    Re: Some 4th/5th/6th ed. questions

    Quote Originally Posted by toonboy78 View Post
    really? i thought 4th/5th tournament rule set was 2000pts??

    with a lot of WD battle reports at 3000pts
    Yes, that's my memory too... We had a Rogue Trader store (y'all remember the Rogue Trader program?) and tournaments generally followed official GW guidelines. I seem to remember 2,000 pts as standard (I played 1,500, 2k and 3k back then, but none of us had ever heard of "1,850 pts" or "2,250 pts" or whatever odd point totals the kids are playing these days).

    A point should be made here, though... 2,000 pts was NOT the same thing in 6th Edition as it was in 5th. Compare, for example:

    Chaos Knights: 66 pts (5e) -> 33 pts (6e) (50% the cost)
    Dragon Ogres: 87 pts (5e) -> 70 pts (6e) (80% the cost)
    Empire Knights: 39 pts (5e) -> 23 pts (6e) (60% the cost)
    Halberdier: 9 pts (5e) -> 6 pts (6e) (66% the cost)
    Handgunners: 8 pts (5e) -> 6 pts (6e) (75% the cost)

    Yeah, the most dramatic slashes in point value were done to cavalry. Now you can see why 6e was given the epithet "Cavalryhammer," right?

    Anyway, those point value slashes applied to characters too. A Chaos Lord was 305 pts in 5e, which was reduced to 210 pts in 6e (the Empire General dropped from 100 pts to 80 pts). Thus, you could actually have a LOT more heroes in your 6e army than you could in "Herohammer." The overall point was to make you buy more models, however... if you're 5e army was 50 models in 5e*, GW wanted you to turn that into 90 or 100 models in 6e. At the same time, the game became a little more dry and stiff, like a historical wargame instead of a fantasy one. That killed it for me. A couple years ago, I picked up "Herohammer" 5e again and have been enjoying that ever since!

    The more that I think of it, the more I am convinced that people called it Herohammer because characters were so darn expensive point-wise. Once you dropped 800 pts on your Chaos Lord general and another 500 on a Chaos Master Sorcerer, you didn't have a ton of wiggle room for regular troops. Now a character-centric game coudl be a ton of fun, but if you wanted to have rank and file troops, then you needed to budget yourself and not be greedy for every gadget and gizmo that a character could equip. When people show up for a game and see only a dozen models on the opposite side of the table, they might get a little upset. However, mature gamers can easily come up with some guidelines to make sure this doesn't happen (if they don't want it to, that is). The most common solution I have heard is minimum 50% regiments, maximum 25% characters (perhaps with the rule that Champions come out of Regimental points, not Character points).

    *50 models in 2,000 points is definitely possible for 5e. My 1,500 pt Wood Elf and Orcs & Goblins armies, I have 38 and 86 models, respectively.

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