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Harry
16-02-2010, 08:10
As rumours of some big changes to 8th edition Fantasy Battle reach Warseer I am reminded of a conversation I didn't have with Allessio Cavatore.

I was trying to engage him in a chat about 8th edition but he would not be drawn into even admitting they were working on it.
So it was a bit of a one sided conversation as he charmingly dodged all my questions. :D

In the end I just encouraged him to "Be brave, change the puzzle".

If rumours are to be believed they have done just this.

Now I think this is a good thing. If you make big changes you have a chance to fix big things, try great new ideas/game mechanics, change the balance of power between the armies. For us, the players, we have a whole new puzzle to solve, a new nut to crack, we have to return to our armies and rethink how we will build our armies and how the changes will affect each of the other armies and how we will defeat them. I think this is a good thing but then I enjoy endless hours, flicking through army books creating different lists.

My biggest worry remains that they will do something that invalidates a number of my existing armies ... many of which are vintage and classic and for some of these armies the extra minis will be very expensive and more importantly, (now the back catalogue is gone), near impossible to get hold of.

However, I think the need for the game to continually evolve and become a new and interesting puzzle to keep it fresh and to become a new challenge for us is actually more important.

Without getting into specifics of what are only rumours at this stage ... What do you think?

Is it a good idea to change the puzzle every few years?

Condottiere
16-02-2010, 08:19
It will come down to the actual financial and emotional investment involved.

orlanth1000
16-02-2010, 08:26
Yes it is, but you cannot make everyone happy.....just by looking at the threads you can work that out.
Whether that comes into the equation, I'm not sure....but change is good, things need to evolve otherwise how do we know we are playing the best version of the game?.

If this edition is awful, which I find hard to believe it will......we get to moan about it for next few years, and then they can change it again.

I for one am very excited......I'm with Condi above...i'm emotionally involved already and I haven't even seen it yet.

Dai-Mongar
16-02-2010, 08:55
It's not surprising, 5th was essentially a tidy-up of 4th while 6th was a complete overhaul, then 7th was just another tidy-up to be followed by 8th as another overhaul.

Bingo the Fun Monkey
16-02-2010, 09:08
Well I think that the studio has learned a lot from not only their games (like wotr) but also from the competition. They know what they're up against and Fantasy sure could use an overhaul that renewed my fervor when 6th was released.

TonyFlow
16-02-2010, 09:29
Change for the sake of change isnt good i think. If there are flaws in the ruleset then fix them... But changing everything just for the hell of it will push many long term players further away. There doesnt seem to be many complaints about the current system, why not just fix the issues that already exist instead of starting over again making new mistakes (they are impossible to avoid).
What needs to be fixed and changed and completely overhauled is the army book system. I dont understand how there can be such inconsistencies between armies... Yeah yeah i know they follow the "look, shiny new stuff, bigger and cooler, buy it, BUY IT" strategy... But i do think that a balanced ruleset and balanced rulebooks will be much better for the long term growth than unnecessary overhauls of the rules every 5 years and new armybooks every 3-4 months that are either ridiculously overpowered or packed with whackyhammer big stuff...
Sure you need change, but why not change what needs to be changed instead of changing everything?

Sorry for ranting!

phoenixlaw
16-02-2010, 09:44
For me 7th edition is the best one yet. Its almost right, it needs very little by the way of changes. The problem lies in the army books not in the core rules.

Things like the rumoured percentage system coming back seem to me like change for changes sake.

If it aint broke .....

Tarax
16-02-2010, 10:06
Please, define puzzle.

EmperorNorton
16-02-2010, 10:27
Is it a good idea to change the puzzle every few years?

I don't think so.
When I decide to play a game and invest heavily in it, it's because I like it, not because I want the rules to be entirely different.
As far as I'm concerned 7th Edition is pretty good and could be better with a couple of small tweaks, which I expected 8th Edition to be.
The rumours about big changes have unsettled me. Of course they could turn out to be great, we'll have to see. But big changes aren't only the chance to
fix big things, they are a chance to mess up big time as well.
At least there'll be the option of sticking with the old rules.

Harry
16-02-2010, 10:45
My definition of a puzzle in this context would be:

Something designed to test ingenuity and/or knowledge.

blackcherry
16-02-2010, 10:47
I think that in many ways it is good to push a slightly different paradym game wise. Now GW seem to like their backwards compatability so they don't anger people who have just bought new army books, so it may not be the complete overhaul people are thinking it will be.

If its a good game though, people will knash their teeth and wail about it to start with at the changes. They they will sit down, READ the rules, ;) and word will spread. The same with any good game really.

Harry
16-02-2010, 10:57
If its a good game though, people will knash their teeth and wail about it to start with at the changes. Then they will sit down, READ the rules, ;) and word will spread. The same with any good game really.
Yup, I think this will be the way of it.

At least I hope thats the way it works out. :D

Chaos and Evil
16-02-2010, 11:11
Is it a good idea to change the puzzle every few years?
If the puzzle can be made perfect, then changing it is unnessesary, as all it needs then is extra additions (in the form of army books or expansions...).

So in an ideal world, WFB 1st edition would have been "perfect" first time, and it would have been great for everybody in perpetuity.

However financial considerations recommend releasing new editions every 4 years (they're good money spinners), and obvious power imbalances in previous army books can be corrected through the changing of the core rules (not the ideal solution as it can cause constrictions in possibilities down the line, but it is more acceptable than re-mixing an army book that is only 1-2 years old). And so we have a new edition every 4 years.



Is 4 years a good interval for releasing a new edition?

I reckon so. Most "current" players will have left the hobby by then AFAIK, so it is a long enough interval to provide a "current" hobbyist with something genuinely new to them (that being an important consideration, as beyond game balance requirements there is no other driving reason to release a new edition other than to pique the interest of current and former GW customers; a new edition is not a great sales pitch for prospective players who have never played a tabletop wargame), and their interest in Warhammer may well be invigorated and prolonged beyond what it would otherwise have been (which equals financial benefit for Games Workshop). A proportion of longer-term players will inevitably be disenchanted by the endless rules treadmill and leave the hobby however.



Will releasing a new edition financially damage the company, or boost revenue?

A = "Ammount players will spend due to a new edition being released (both from simply buying the rulebook, and also by having a prolonged interest in the hobby, and perhaps by 'jumping system' from Warhammer 40,000 or LoTR as the new edition is released)"
B = "Ammount of sales lost due to existing customers being turned off by the rules changes and leaving the hobby, plus the cost of releasing the new edition"

So if A-B => 0, print a new edition.

If that equation comes out negative (and one may presume that it typically (emphatically) does not, otherwise GW would presumably stop releasing new eidtions! (B would at some point rise to be greater than A and that would show in the company's accounts) ), then "changing the puzzle" would be a financial mistake (we must assume that the equation accounts for long-term changes, not just the three-month period in which the new edition is released), as it would shrink GW's revenue (if not technically the customer base too... as a new edition could technically encourage twice as many players to spend one quarter as much as a player under the previous edition, resulting in a negative result to the equation).



What if a new edition is not required?

If the system has somehow become "perfect" (so that introducing changes would inevitably introduce flaws!) then releasing a new edition would be a mistake. However that's clearly never going to happen, so it was a silly question to ask. :rolleyes::D



Overall I'm broadly in favour of "changing the puzzle" (in this case, through the release of new editions), if not for my own comfort, then for the company's financial health and its appearance of "creative vibrancy"... as long as that equation remains positive, long-term.

I would note that my equation is actually three equations (Warhammer 40,000, Warhammer Fantasy, and LotR), which rely on partially cannibalising each other in 3-4 year cycles in order to keep the customer base interested!

=====

I haven't cogitated long enough on the rumours of new rules for 8th edition in particular in order to decide whether or not I am in favour of this particular round of rules updates.

Harry
16-02-2010, 11:24
Thanks Chaos and Evil ... That is a very helpful post.

TonyFlow
16-02-2010, 12:04
Of course updates are necessary. Refreshing the game and shifting the focus of the gameplay and a financial necessity as well. A ruleset can obviously never be perfect. But most parts are working great and other parts are not working that well... It would be natural to tweak the not so good parts to get a better result, and there will always be something that can be improved. I dont see any reason to just shake the bag and change stuff where there is no immediate reason for it.
Of course it is impossible to please everyone, but a complete redo of the rules will almost certainly push away more players than if you just tweak here and there.

Maybe i have misunderstood the topic, but i read it as big changes vs small changes... Not whether there should be changes at all?

Harry
16-02-2010, 12:10
No ... that is the topic.
Should they change the puzzle?
Should they be brave and make big changes rather than just trying to tweak it some more?

Corrode
16-02-2010, 12:31
I think it depends on how good the puzzle is. As far as 40k is concerned, I'd like to see the 6th edition, but not for a while yet - and when it comes, I'd be happy with another 'tidying-up' edition, fixing the things which don't quite work, adding new things which fit the system as a whole, essentially tying it all together and joining the dots. It's a game I'm happy with playing and I'd like it to remain much the same for a while yet.

My general impression of Fantasy, on the other hand, is that it needs significantly more shaking up - the very basic mechanics are solid, but the way a lot of them interact seems broken enough to require significant overhaul. Skyros' interesting thread about the interactions of Terror and Panic seem pertinent - from his description, the use of flying monsters with Terror which can land pretty much anywhere they please cheapens the offensive use of Terror whilst making the defences against it inordinately difficult to achieve. In other words, the cost/reward is out of whack - for little cost one can reap a great reward, whilst for a high cost one gets relatively little. This directly flies in the face of Psychology as adding to the tactical side of the game, given that one is essentially rewarded for doing something which requires no thought.

The other thing is infantry - a system designed and advertised around blocks of ranked infantry does not appear to allow them to be viably used by many armies. That to me says that something is wrong with the system itself, and that significant change might be required.

These are all observations from a player with an interest in (but very little recent practical experience of) Fantasy, so they may well be inaccurate, but I think it outlines my feelings re: changing the puzzle quite well.

Chaos and Evil
16-02-2010, 12:33
Should they ... make big changes...?
A big change can re-vitalise a flawed product at the end of its market life cycle (Windows 7, to use a recent example) ... or it can harm it (Epic: 40,000, to use a GW example, or Windows Vista, to stick with the Microsoft example).

So, they should only make big changes if they're confident that they know what the market wants... or if a crash in a product line's sales is an obvious continuation of current trends (at which point they have little to lose, as in my opinion it's better to take a (possibly significant) risk to save a company in the short term than meekly accept long term decline and ultimate failure*).


*Assuming you don't have other product lines ready to step into the place of the declining one.

Osbad
16-02-2010, 12:39
All the evidence I have been able to glean from current and former staff members is that WFB model sales are declining and have been for the last decade. 7th boosted things temporarily, but only very temporarily. In fact, one ex-manager told me "we sold more paint than we sold WFB stuff last year".

Now, my evidence is only anecdotal (i.e. from conversations) and there exists no public data on this, so I am not foolish enough to take this as a "given" across the whole of GW. But assuming for the time being that it is, then "chainging the puzzle" is not just desirable but absolutely necessary for long term growth (GW's espoused business aim). The rationale is that the current game has appealed to as many people as it is ever going to and the expected recruitment rate is less than the expected attrition rate, so it is only a matter of time before it becomes not worth selling the range any more. Clearly the time to "change the paradigm" and produce a game that hopefully will be more appealing to new players and not put too many old stagers off is at some point before the range loses too much profit. So, if my evidence is correct, then "about now" would seem sensible.

Speaking personally, I haven't played WFB seriously since 2nd edition back in the late '80s. The things that keep me away from the game is firstly the aesthetics: to whit, 4 or 5 blocks of neatly square models in units of 20 models or so plus a couple of monsters per side does not make for a visually appealing game. It just looks (in my eyes) stupid. Particularly if those tidy, neatly ranked units are supposedly disorganised rabble like goblins or chaos marauders! Something to address this - so that there would be a (lot) more (core troop) models on the table in units that vaguely looked like approximations of the actual typical arrangements of fighting forces from the historical medeival period would attract me for instance. Long, thin ranks only 2 models deep would for instance improve things for me. Maybe the introduction of basing "elements" (multiple models on one base, rather than units of individually based models) as well.

Secondly, if they "modernise" the game rules, this could make things more attractive for new players. The rulebook really is a complicated tome, and nowadays it just seems not worth the effort of wading through. The rules need streamlining and having all the redundancy removed before I'll consider investing any time learning them. I'm no longer a teenager with massive amounts of free time on my hands. I need rules I can learn quickly and remember easily, are intuitive and don't require masses of bookkeeping, table-looking-upping and cross-referencing mid-game. None of these fit WFB as it stands, although they do fit many games from other companies that have produced in the last few years, even ones produced by GW itself (LotR and WotR for instance).

All of this is empirical, anecdotal and personal opinion of course. But it boils down to believing that a root and branch modernisation of the WFB game system is beyond overdue.

Lewis
16-02-2010, 12:53
The problem that GW has is that sales rules. I like WFB for "ranks and flanks" a technically challenging game of moving infantry blocks. However even as someone who likes infantry blocks I find the motivation to paint and buy them far lower than the appeal of starting another 40K army where painting 20 or 30 models would represent half your army. I have 3000+ points of VC I occasionally add to but I have never got far with the other WFB armies I have started. GW evidently thinks this attitude is the problem in sales, especially, I suggest, to younger customers, so we have vargulfs and stegs and three flavours of BoC monsters etc etc to make the model range more exciitng, but as it stands these models are toys on the battlefield and don't make for an interesting tactical experinence. If GW are going to make big changes it will have to square the circle that big monsters make their sales go up but also make their rules set less interesting. I don't have the answer to that I'm afraid

yabbadabba
16-02-2010, 14:28
In answer to your question Harry yes. As you are well aware mate, GW rules only have power in GW environments. If GW make this edition more tournament gamer focussed, I will buy the rules then house rule it to oblivion. If it goes more fluff/campaign driven then there is nothing to stop gamers keeping 7th Ed and house ruling that to make it more competitive.

8th Ed is just the start. Its what we as gamers do with it that really matters. I will not moan or whinge about the next set of rules and/or army books. I will just change them to suit my needs. No wucking Furries.

On a philosophical level, boundaries should be redrawn occasionally - either radically or subtley - so as to keep things fresh, alive and challenging for all.

Condottiere
16-02-2010, 14:38
A big change can re-vitalise a flawed product at the end of its market life cycle (Windows 7, to use a recent example) ... or it can harm it (Epic: 40,000, to use a GW example, or Windows Vista, to stick with the Microsoft example).

So, they should only make big changes if they're confident that they know what the market wants... or if a crash in a product line's sales is an obvious continuation of current trends (at which point they have little to lose, as in my opinion it's better to take a (possibly significant) risk to save a company in the short term than meekly accept long term decline and ultimate failure*).


*Assuming you don't have other product lines ready to step into the place of the declining one.Windows 7 is a tweaked version of Vista, but works great nonetheless.

Unlike Microsoft, GW could radically change the rules without worrying about legacy software, as long as the result is a game that can simulate pseudo-historical battles with a Fantastic twist.

If they screw up the Eighth Edition, I can always park my few models on a shelf and really start looking for an alternative.

Harry
16-02-2010, 14:40
In answer to your question Harry yes. As you are well aware mate, GW rules only have power in GW environments. If GW make this edition more tournament gamer focussed, I will buy the rules then house rule it to oblivion. If it goes more fluff/campaign driven then there is nothing to stop gamers keeping 7th Ed and house ruling that to make it more competitive.

8th Ed is just the start. Its what we as gamers do with it that really matters. I will not moan or whinge about the next set of rules and/or army books. I will just change them to suit my needs. No wucking Furries.

On a philosophical level, boundaries should be redrawn occasionally - either radically or subtley - so as to keep things fresh, alive and challenging for all.

Couldn't agree more with that.
That is kind of where I come down.

Chaos and Evil
16-02-2010, 14:47
Windows 7 is a tweaked version of Vista, but works great nonetheless.
Under the hood yes, but the front-end has some fairly major refinements.


Unlike Microsoft, GW could radically change the rules without worrying about legacy software, as long as the result is a game that can simulate pseudo-historical battles with a Fantastic twist.
They have legacy armybooks and supplements though, constraining them more, I'd argue.


If they screw up the Eighth Edition, I can always park my few models on a shelf and really start looking for an alternative.
Hmmmm, yes. :shifty:

Verm1s
16-02-2010, 14:53
I'm a WarSee. Warhammer 8 was my idea.

Fillertextfillertextfillertext

Harry
16-02-2010, 15:04
LOL brilliant. :D

Chaos and Evil
16-02-2010, 15:11
Possibly the most insightful post in the thread. :)

Llew
16-02-2010, 15:23
The legacy army books are never really a consideration holding them back. Anyone who cares enough to purchase a new edition of the game probably cares enough to buy their army's new book when it comes out. In the meantime, playing an old army under new rules (with all the confusion that can entail) probably whets their appetite more. The ones destined to quit probably quit once they see a friend's copy of the new rules.

I think WFB is in desperate need of not just a subtle shakeup, but a radical one. *IF* they really do some major changes, it might be interesting enough for me to pick up one of the new starter boxes. However, if it's a tweak, it just puts me one step farther away from GW.

So put me firmly down on the side in favor of changing the puzzle.

Chaos and Evil
16-02-2010, 15:27
The legacy army books are never really a consideration holding them back.
Core mechanics such as statlines (Movement, Strength, Toughness, etc) can't be changed. Nor can army special rules and how they are stated to interact with the turn sequence.

Just those two factors alone create a lot of contraints.

New software like Windows can include interpreters that will allow your old programs to run, without you being aware that it's being run through a "16 bit emulator" or whatever... wargame rules on printed paper don't have the same degree of freedom, unless you're willing to throw out every army book and supplement to date.

Avian
16-02-2010, 15:35
Well, I am personally all in favour of change for the sake of change.

HOWEVER, there is a certain risk in drastically altering the rulebook / army books each time it is rewritten. If you rewrite it so much that a significant number of players feel that the money they spent on the game / army is largely "wasted", and they catch onto that this is a trend, there is a risk that they will be less eager to spend money on the product in the future.


For example: Player Jim is interested in starting a Warhammer army, but is told that at any given time, a rewrite of either the army book or the rulebook is ~2 years away, and that a rewrite of either will require swapping out half his army for new models.
[Note that we lump new army books, new units, paint, etc into one big category.]
[Note also that it doesn't matter if this is true or not, the important thing is that Jim gets this impression.]
Jim does some quick arithmetic and realises that this means that each year he will on average re-purchase a quarter of his army, which amounts to X hundreds of pounds.

This has one of two consequences:
1) If Jim has had the impression that game is about buying an army, painting it and then having it for perpetuity, playing with it whenever he likes (like owning a guitar, say*), Jim might reconsider getting an army at all.
2) If Jim has had the impression that the game is about spending a certain amount of money every year to maintain the status quo (like playing World of Warcraft, for example), he might not mind.

Presumably, GW would like gamers to mostly fall into category 2). However, I am not sure an activity where you spend a lot of the time /money in preparation for the activity (i.e. buying and painting the army) is really suited for this. I would expect it to work a lot better with activities with no significant preparation (in WoW, you don't spend the money, spend months preparing and THEN go online and play, you just do it).

But we shall see. It doesn't appear (to me) to be working very well.


* presumably you don't paint a guitar, but you will spend time and/or money learning it before it really gets fun, so the analogy isn't terrible

Poseidal
16-02-2010, 15:36
This is the thing: With a huge shakeup, I would actually rather they nuke all of the current books, put in a new Ravening Hordes and start again.

Maybe this is how I feel: Re-doing the puzzle is fine, but having old pieces from the old puzzle that don't fit into the new puzzle properly will cause problems in the new puzzle.

Llew
16-02-2010, 15:42
Actually, as long as they include conversion notes, they can change anything they want.
"We've done away with the Strength stat and adjusted WS to compensate which may cause some issues with old army books. Until your new book is released, here's how to adapt an old profile. Deduct 2 from your existing WS and add half of the S, rounded down. This will be your WS under the new system.")

Army special rules will either work like before, or be invalidated. If they invalidate special rules, they just have to address how it works now. "Always Strikes First now adds a +4 to Initiative instead of automatically striking first, and breaks all ties in favor of the unit with ASF when determining strike order under our fancy new StrikeMaster3000 system.")

Inside of 2 weeks after release, some enterprising soul will have a complete conversion calculator posted on the web. Or, he will until he gets a C&D from GW.

And there's absolutely *nothing* stopping GW from doing another Ravening Hordes if the changes are too big. It's really not all that difficult to make major changes when you're looking at old books. GW really *is* willing to throw them all out, but they just do it at a really, really slow pace for some armies.

Mahwell Skel
16-02-2010, 15:51
Its difficult to imagine to big a shake up without damaging some of the army books already in use or just released.

The rumoured changes seem to focus on the contact point of units and some artificial limitation on special characters. I think you need to consider WAB 2.0 here in that for a long time special characters have been a grumble of some players and there is a rumoured shake up of combat, how it takes place (the number of ranks involved) and the resolution. WAB has the need for backwards compatable army books crossing many years of releases.

WAB 2.0 has been significantly delayed to get it right and I would not be surprised if this release will impact on the WFB 8th as they can say well we tested it for years and people liked it on release so lets do it for WFB.

Heroes limited to 25%? I say no magic users above lvl10! Get on with the (WF)Battling not the special weapon choosing.

Changing the puzzle may not be good for some lists but I see those are the lists everyone moans about anyway?

Chaos and Evil
16-02-2010, 15:54
Llew: But it's a fundamental principle of GW's games design that their games are approachable for a newbie.

Saying "here's your book, now go away and pencil in all these changes" clearly does not mesh with GW's design approach!

Llew
16-02-2010, 16:15
A Ravening Hordes supplement would answer that nicely. Heck...it would even be newbie friendly as it would give them some basic rules to use in order to try out a *lot* of different armies and maybe get hooked on a couple. Or, GW could print free "8th Ed Updates" for each army book, and give one away with each outdated army book purchased.

It's really not an insurmountable problem. Heck...I'm figuring out solutions in 5 minutes.

Selling a book that is already outdated is possibly more "approachable", but it's certainly not the most effective way of doing things.

Ancre
16-02-2010, 17:27
Speaking personally, I haven't played WFB seriously since 2nd edition back in the late '80s. The things that keep me away from the game is firstly the aesthetics: to whit, 4 or 5 blocks of neatly square models in units of 20 models or so plus a couple of monsters per side does not make for a visually appealing game. It just looks (in my eyes) stupid. Particularly if those tidy, neatly ranked units are supposedly disorganised rabble like goblins or chaos marauders! Something to address this - so that there would be a (lot) more (core troop) models on the table in units that vaguely looked like approximations of the actual typical arrangements of fighting forces from the historical medeival period would attract me for instance. Long, thin ranks only 2 models deep would for instance improve things for me. Maybe the introduction of basing "elements" (multiple models on one base, rather than units of individually based models) as well.

Secondly, if they "modernise" the game rules, this could make things more attractive for new players. The rulebook really is a complicated tome, and nowadays it just seems not worth the effort of wading through. The rules need streamlining and having all the redundancy removed before I'll consider investing any time learning them. I'm no longer a teenager with massive amounts of free time on my hands. I need rules I can learn quickly and remember easily, are intuitive and don't require masses of bookkeeping, table-looking-upping and cross-referencing mid-game.

It looks like what you want is warmaster :)

yabbadabba
16-02-2010, 18:44
I think they should do a Ravening Hordes - and make it compulsory use for tournaments.

If you build a balanced army with a variety of units you are far, far less likely to be hit painfully on a new edition release than if you build one-trick uber competitive armies. If you like that sort of thing then that is the price you pay for operating at the extremes of the system. This way any news of a rewrite is far less likely to cause apprehension or a reduction in army building activity.

Gunless Ganger
16-02-2010, 18:58
Is it a good idea to change the puzzle every few years?

Not when it takes more than a few years to get most of the army books compatible with the old puzzle.

Avian
16-02-2010, 19:04
I think they should do a Ravening Hordes - and make it compulsory use for tournaments.
Given that tournament organisers do as they wish, if they didn't like it they'd just un-compulse it. ;)

Reinholt
16-02-2010, 20:27
Given that I quit wfb about five years ago, my view is definitely that changes are good.

I agree with the point that wfb doesn't have
much to lose... I see more players quitting than starting, so changes are clearly needed. The game is very Byzantine with regard to rules, yet tactically and strategically very shallow due to balance issues. That sucks.

Likewise, I concur that army releases, both regarding time and power balance, is another issue that must be addressed. So put me down for major changes needed.

sigur
16-02-2010, 21:24
I was never as attached to WHFB as I am to 40k but I played it for some years (mid-5th and late 6th to early 7th) and despite the massive trauma I suffered from 3rd edition 40k, I think that shaking up WHFB a bit might be interesting. I mean, they won't be totally destroying the whole system because I'm pretty sure they will keep the army books this time. Maybe they will FAQ them massively but in the very core, the thing will stay the same. I guess.

Hmm, it's really hard to tell wether or not I'd really like "changing the puzzle" because at this point we know so little that this could mean anything ranging from adding a Tau invasion to the background, throwing modifiers over board and instead introduce weapon classes (piercing, stabby, sharp, hitty, hurting and DEEP HURTING) that work against different clases of armours in a rock-paper-scissors way to just reintroduce the ability to shoot at the horses of chariots and encircling units. We just don't know what's going on in the heads of the designers, what they deem problematic with the current system and what direction they want to take the game. Nor do I. My view on WHFB is currently limited to occational visits to WHFB General.

So I'll just be cautious and observe.

Lord Malorne
16-02-2010, 21:41
This is the thing: With a huge shakeup, I would actually rather they nuke all of the current books, put in a new Ravening Hordes and start again.


The armies I have are in a constant state of flux, I myself would be well up for this.

Desert Rain
16-02-2010, 22:01
When 7th edition came out I don't remember being that exited about it when I read the BrB, and I didn't know anything about it before I had the book in my hand. The reason was that it simply was the same as 6th with a few cosmetic changes and minor alterations. Now however, I'm really exited about the upcoming edition since I know that it will change some things, naturally I'm a bit worried about what it will do to my army but overall I'm really looking forward to when it is released and I'm sure we will have a good time here at Warseer now that rumours are starting to appear. Sure, there are always the whiners but I tend to ignore their posts since they rarely contribute anything to the discussion.

Chaos and Evil
16-02-2010, 22:29
Creating a new "Ravening Hordes" book would involve writing off millions of pounds worth of product (army books, at retail price at any rate).

I don't deny that it could be great for the tactical complexity and balance of the game, but is GW really in that bad a state that such a move is desirable?

Lord Malorne
16-02-2010, 22:32
Oh it won't happen, no doubt there, just thinking I would like it.

Occulto
16-02-2010, 22:33
Without getting into specifics of what are only rumours at this stage ... What do you think?

Is it a good idea to change the puzzle every few years?

Depends on your collecting style.

Someone who has built an exact 3,000 point list that they do not vary , is going to have a different opinion to someone who has an extensive collection of models they can field.

I saw this with 5th edition 40K. Those who invested heavily in particular builds cried loudest when 5th edition whipped the proverbial carpet out from under them. The number of claims that their armies were "useless" and complaints about having to buy a new army were legion. That wasn't even changing the puzzle a great deal.

I (like most veterans) on the other hand just made different choices from my collection. Some units that hadn't seen the light of day for a while got dusted off and put on the table.

So I welcome changes to the puzzle every now and then. It stops the game from becoming too stale and gives me a chance to try new things without necessarily handing over another wad of cash.

yabbadabba
16-02-2010, 23:33
Creating a new "Ravening Hordes" book would involve writing off millions of pounds worth of product (army books, at retail price at any rate).
I don't deny that it could be great for the tactical complexity and balance of the game, but is GW really in that bad a state that such a move is desirable? Not necessarily mate but it would upset a load of tournament players :evilgrin::evilgrin:

Chaos and Evil
16-02-2010, 23:40
Not necessarily mate but it would upset a load of tournament players :evilgrin::evilgrin:

*shrug* :angel:

TonyFlow
17-02-2010, 03:38
Are the core rules really in such a dire need of radical change? Isnt it more the blatant imbalances between the army books that deserve the attention?
A new rulebook wont fix all the problems stemming from armybook imbalances. They will most likely just create new imbalances.

As far as houseruling everything, i am all for it. But not everyone has the chance to do that. I dont play with one fixed group of players making it rather difficult to introduce any kind of houserule.

Llew
17-02-2010, 03:45
Creating a new "Ravening Hordes" book would involve writing off millions of pounds worth of product (army books, at retail price at any rate).

I don't know about that. Just because some back stock is still in the stores, I would have trouble thinking it's worth millions of pounds of revenue when a new edition comes out. I guarantee that they lose some sales due to it, but it should be anywhere near that.

As soon as they issue a new edition, the clock is ticking on all the old stuff. Really, it starts ticking as soon as people know a vague release date for the new edition. How many people play Warhammer world wide? And of those, how many see a new edition come out and say, "now would be a great time to buy an obsolete army book"?

With their million-year lead times, GW can start to plan for the obsolence and stop producing certain army books in large quantities as the time for a new edition approaches. If they wanted to be completely mercenary, put out the Ravening Hordes style book for $20 (or 10 pounds) alongside the new edition release. Or do it as a cheaper black-and-white booklet. There are tons of ways they could minimize lost army book sales and maybe even get playtest data for the revisions when they make the real army book.

If GW can't figure out how to make this kind of transition, it's due to a lack of imagination and lack of planning, not a lack of feasibility.

Gazak Blacktoof
17-02-2010, 08:32
I think that warhammer needs to change. The new warhammer that emerges from the flames is unlikely to be what I'd like it to be, simply because there are so many things they could change.

Chaos and Evil
17-02-2010, 09:42
Are the core rules really in such a dire need of radical change? Isnt it more the blatant imbalances between the army books that deserve the attention?
IMHO yes, Warhammer Fantasy was at its most tactically complex, and balanced, at the start of 7th edition.

Most army books since then have followed a new design philosophy, returning to an emphasis on characters and monsters... the result has been a simplifying of the tactical complexity of the game. My brother (who was a huge fan of WFB, but now refuses to play) now calls this edition "chargehammer", because you no longer need so much manouever or battle tactics, all you need is to move your big killy units forwards then charge.

Most characters, and monsters, can now charge an enemy unit in the front, and win in a single turn through combat kills alone. They couldn't do that at the start of 7th edition.

Knowing the skill of the GW Studio Games Designers, I can only conclude that this lessening emphasis on in-game tactics, and a deepening emphasis on pre-game strategy (army list building) and "wow" moments is an intentional move on the part of the game designers in order to make the game have more "mainstream appeal" and require less tactical acumen in order to play it competently.


As far as houseruling everything, i am all for it. But not everyone has the chance to do that. I dont play with one fixed group of players making it rather difficult to introduce any kind of houserule.
We've been considering double rank bonuses for infantry, and denying cavalry any rank bonuses at all (barring Brettonians), as well as some other changes... but nobody I know is interested in playing WFB anymore to find out if that'll make things "better" (more tactically complex) as they've all (to the last man) moved on to other wargame systems that were designed from the ground-up to be more tactically complex... and you can't really turn up to pick-up games against people you don't know unannounced and start expecting your rules changes to be used. C'est la vie.

Chaos and Evil
17-02-2010, 09:55
I don't know about that. Just because some back stock is still in the stores, I would have trouble thinking it's worth millions of pounds of revenue when a new edition comes out. I guarantee that they lose some sales due to it, but it should be anywhere near that.

As soon as they issue a new edition, the clock is ticking on all the old stuff. Really, it starts ticking as soon as people know a vague release date for the new edition. How many people play Warhammer world wide? And of those, how many see a new edition come out and say, "now would be a great time to buy an obsolete army book"?
Armybooks are supposed to be compatible with new editions, so the idea that they are instantly obsolete when in actual fact they will continue to be sold for up to 4 years after the new edition is introduced is silly.


With their million-year lead times, GW can start to plan for the obsolence and stop producing certain army books in large quantities as the time for a new edition approaches. If they wanted to be completely mercenary, put out the Ravening Hordes style book for $20 (or 10 pounds) alongside the new edition release. Or do it as a cheaper black-and-white booklet. There are tons of ways they could minimize lost army book sales and maybe even get playtest data for the revisions when they make the real army book.
Putting out a Ravening Hordes book stills means making your massive investment (an Armybook for each and every army, plus supplements and online articles) obsolete overnight. That's a huge (and risky) step for GW to take.


If GW can't figure out how to make this kind of transition, it's due to a lack of imagination and lack of planning, not a lack of feasibility.
Or a lack of need.

Tarax
17-02-2010, 11:11
My definition of a puzzle in this context would be:

Something designed to test ingenuity and/or knowledge.

In history, generals had to fix the puzzle every time they faced a new enemy. As most new enemies had a different fighting style. The ancient Greeks had to include light troops and cavalry to overcome the Persians, who included them. It took years for the Romans to develop their Legion/Century/Manipel organisation.

In Warhammer there is much discussion on the lack of strength of the spear and/or halberd, referring to history. But they often forget that it took years in real life for generals to find a solution to some army builds.

Also in Warhammer, every time you face a new opponent (and a new race) you have to re-invent you army to have a chance of winning. This is a puzzle in its own right. What works against Orcs&Goblins doesn't (necessarily) work against Bretonnia. And what works against Bretonnia doesn't (necessarily) work against Deamons. Etc.

Making the rules a puzzle to solve, does not make it easier to play against certain armies.

I like puzzles, but I like them on the table-top. Otherwise it's just a matter of coming up with an army and have won by that. (Ie lack of tactics.)

ashc
17-02-2010, 11:35
Its a difficult situation, part of me wants to see a total rework of the fantasy system; 7th edition came along like a fart on the breeze compared to 6th edition (6th was far better balanced in my eyes, in particular regarding army books).

Another part of me says 'lets just play War of the Ring'....

...So what changes can they make to fantasy to make it a far more tactical game, bringing ranked infantry back to use, whilst also keeping the characters and monsters?

Mucho
17-02-2010, 11:52
Me, Iím on the ďchange the puzzleĒ Ėteam. Change is good. It keeps things alive.

However, Iím not a fan of just reissuing a new edition and calling it a day. Warhammer needs a much more fundamental change. Iím thinking here in line of presentation, production and follow up after release of a product.
You see, a new edition or a new army book is just a rebalance of pepper and salt for your Warhammer dish. You change some things, rules or stats. Some people will hate it and be alienated, some people might love it and buy the miniature models. But for most people, at large, the new rules are just a passing thing in which they will get as involved as they can or want, given the time and money they have at that moment. No matter the quantity of White dwarfs you print![cheap shot ;D] Itís just a rebalance of rules like there have been so many; and there will be so many. Feel free to skip one if you want. Rereleasing what already exists getís no one excited, only Apple can do that. And even they are smart enough to make some new i-products in time, or let the rest of the world do that for them trough a online Appsstore.

For me, the 8 edition will not stand or fall with the amount of change it brings but with the amount of new addictive, supercool, warhammer additions it allows to bring. Add new flavours instead of rebalancing what already exists. Think about warhammer Apocalypse, cityfight or planetfall. Make a campaign book about Herman von Kreutzg, and how he as lowly peasant became the most powerful vampire ever in 15 scenarios and 15 models. Tell the story of the elven sundering in 5 different releases, included with scenarios, conversions and new models all brought together under an epic and tragic portion of fluff.

In the end, in every new edition it is starterbox that sells the most and that is not only the effect of the cheaper price. Itís just a box with everything you need to have fun. Legendry story, great rules, lotís of wonderful models and most important off all, the possibility to grow into a whole world full of similar creativity and games.

Hell! As long as we are dreaming, why not make an online downloadshop very similar like Appsstore for small but cool campaigns built by fellow hobbyists like this forum.

Iím convinced that there is a lot of untouched potential in warhammer. So yes, change the puzzle. But think in long terms and new ideas. Do not simply rehash whatís already there. That is not good enough nowadays.

Llew
17-02-2010, 14:22
Armybooks are supposed to be compatible with new editions, so the idea that they are instantly obsolete when in actual fact they will continue to be sold for up to 4 years after the new edition is introduced is silly.

First, it's the new edition that is supposed to be compatible with the old books, much like Windows had to continue to run DOS programs. But regardless of that, they really are obsolete. People can throw an army on the table, but due to points costs that are frequently revised down and the like, they're not competitive.

Ask a Beastmen player how compatible his 6th edition skirmishers were with 7th edition rules. But maybe that's not a fair question, since GW quickly moved to fix that issue. (Yeah...that's probably sarcasm you're picking up.)

And don't confuse a current practice (selling old army books after a new edition) for a required practice. GW has to sell old army books because they have been unable to figure out how to release a block of army books all at once. They can't even figure out how to issue an army book for each army for each edition of the game.


Putting out a Ravening Hordes book stills means making your massive investment (an Armybook for each and every army, plus supplements and online articles) obsolete overnight. That's a huge (and risky) step for GW to take.

It's really not that huge of a problem. Or rather, it shouldn't be for a company of GW's size. I can walk out and buy Warmachine and get a book of rules, with playable rules for all of their starter factions. I get everything I need to test out various armies in the basic book. So at least one company has proven that you can release information on all of your basic armies right along with the rules. It doesn't actually cost them significantly more than just producing the rule book.

How's this? GW could put just some basic units for each army into the book. Give 2 (maybe 3) kinds of infantry, a missile unit, maybe a cavalry unit and an artillery piece for each army. It wouldn't take a long time, and if they spent a bit of time figuring out what was essential to give the flavor of each army, they might have a better idea of how to build on the differing playstyles. Maybe if they started out with a baseline balance, they could maintain that for a whole product cycle. Plus, by having it be limited troop selections with minimal fluff, it wouldn't even cannibalize future army book sales.


Or a lack of need.

How's GW's current system of dealing with WFB working out for them? Are people rushing to pick up the game? Or are people who have played for years putting it aside at higher and higher rates to play different games?

GW *can* change and can do it in intelligent, rational ways. If they did it right, they could even pick up more players. We know they're going to shed some players with each new edition. A good part of that loss is not due to real dislike of the new rules: more often it's just that someone's current army has been broken and they may have to wait 4 years (or more) to get it fixed. *That* is the ridiculous part of their system and I'd be willing to wager that's the cause of more player loss at a new edition than anything else.

GW needs to try to do something groundbreaking and retake the lead as the most exciting, innovative wargame company. So far though, they appear to think that just gentle mucking about is the way to success.

GW should change the puzzle, and they should be far more bold about it than they are comfortable with.

Tarax
17-02-2010, 14:41
The problem is and probably will always be the Army Books.

There are a couple of ways around this.

First: Give all the army lists with a new set and never change them.

Second: Have all the army lists ready when a new edition is out, but release them in time. Don't change the rules in the books, just work on the fluff and perhaps new models.

In either case (these are not all the options) there should be a booklet with all the army lists in the starter set, similar to 4th edition. (Not with 6th, because Ravening Hordes came with White Dwarf.)

Chaos and Evil
17-02-2010, 16:27
How's GW's current system of dealing with WFB working out for them? Are people rushing to pick up the game? Or are people who have played for years putting it aside at higher and higher rates to play different games?
You'd have to check the sales figures... so we've come back to that equation I came up with on page 1... if it's in the red, then the answer is "bad".

frozenwastes
17-02-2010, 20:35
GW has always been very shy when it comes to talking about how much of their sales is in each of their product lines. Things that have been stated by people in the know:

Space Marines make up a bit over half of 40k sales.
Space Marines outsell all of Fantasy combined.
LOTR accounts for 20-25% of their sales depending on the reporting period (this one they will tell you if you email investor relations and ask).

Another illuminating thing Jervis has said is that GW currently believes that over two thirds of their customers do not actively play their games. Jervis called them "craft hobbyists." These customers are their core market.

So the rules don't matter to the vast majority of GW's customers. So should they be brave? Make big changes to fantasy? There's no real reason to do so.

As for me, the only way I'll get back into WFB is if they make huge changes. I have copies of the rulebooks going back to first edition and they've never been brave. The basic mechanics and concepts are decades old and despite revision after revision, they've never strayed from them nor gotten them right. The only way I'd even consider playing WFB again is if they break out of that whole decades-old mess. If not, the best they'll get out of me as far as a sale goes is a few of the box set miniatures off of eBay.

shandy
17-02-2010, 20:48
Part of me would like to almost see a rulebook split into two parts- basic and advanced.
Basic set is the pick and play rules- simple and straightforward that also still allow tactical thinking (and therefore not a dumb down version).
The advance section contains a number of rules to enhance the game- these can be played as a whole or players can select. They could state that all these rules will be part of tournies run by GW.
When I got back into the hobby I found 40k the easier game to pick up and play and while having a DE army for WFB I still have yet to get round to playing it even though I like the fluff and the army.

Tarax
18-02-2010, 09:39
Another illuminating thing Jervis has said is that GW currently believes that over two thirds of their customers do not actively play their games. Jervis called them "craft hobbyists." These customers are their core market.

Ever heard of the 20-80 rule? Whereby 20% of the customers make up 80% of the turnover.

Those 'craft hobbyists' may be the majority, but do they also generate the majority of the turnover?

As far as I can see, those hobbyists will only buy (and paint, etc) a small number of models.

Condottiere
18-02-2010, 10:28
Money does rule; but you need to find a way to access that 20%, since it's not a given that they are actually participating, since are either ignorant of what is on offer or are disinclined to engage with the product.

lanrak
18-02-2010, 20:56
Hi all.
Originally Posted by frozenwastes
Another illuminating thing Jervis has said is that GW currently believes that over two thirds of their customers do not actively play their games. Jervis called them "craft hobbyists." These customers are their core market.

Another example of GW turning a problem into a 'sound corperate decision,' by re-phrasing it.:rolleyes:

'Problem '.
'Our core games are so poor , even with isolated marketing and activley promoting the core games , two thirds of our customers dont bother playing them:eek:.'

Becomes 'sound corperate decision.'
'we cater to the majority of our customers needs by focusing on developing minature ranges , not rule sets.':rolleyes:

What Jervis calls 'craft hobbiests', I call 'disenchanted or detered gamers.'

Only catering to customers with the lowest expectations from your company , is NOT a good way to grow your customer base, is it...:rolleyes:

WHFB and 40k are using game mechanics and resoution methods inspired by games developed in the 1970s...
Other rule sets tend to use far more modern ideas that give straight forward intuitive game play.

So if GW plc decided to re-write Wh -40ks basic rules to make them more straight forward and intuitive, this would be a good long term buisness decision.(IMO.)
As gamers tend to have more reason to buy minatures than 'craft-hobbiests.'.


TTFN
Lanrak.

Lewis
20-02-2010, 10:16
For fear of going off topic, I don't know if the "disenchanted gamer" is what the "craft hobbyist" is. I would count myself in that group, although I'm trying to get out of it. I have several completed, legal armies for both system, and am working up several more. I buy in order to build armies and do so regularly. The problem is that whilst I can pick up some models and paint for an hour orn so in the evening my working and personal life makes it hard for me to get out to a club regularly to game (although I'm trying to change this.). It's not that people like me are uniterested in the rules, I bought a corpse cart when they came out because I knew it would be useful should I play, and I think the amount of griping or not about a given rule set affects my interest in working on models for that system.


Of course in reality "craft hobbyists" who provide GW's income are probably far more an example of what I was aged about 13: kids with 400 points of different armies that they've started, undercoated and abandoned when they got bored before moving on to the next range that has released a massive model.

O

ashc
20-02-2010, 12:25
What Jervis calls 'craft hobbiests', I call 'disenchanted or detered gamers.'

I don't entirely agree with this, I know plenty of people who have no interest in playing games, but love painting and modelling, no matter what game the miniature is from.

Now, I am not saying that it makes GW's decisions ok, but I would not entirely throw the baby out with the bathwater over it.

Corrode
20-02-2010, 16:25
What Jervis calls 'craft hobbiests', I call 'disenchanted or detered gamers.'

Airfix disagrees - there's a huge market for people who just like to build and paint models, with no silly fussing about rules. Obviously companies like themselves and Tamiya are based on people who like replicas of real things, but I would imagine there's plenty of people who like sci-fi, like model-building, and put the two together without every wanting to concern themselves with the fuss of 'rules'.

lanrak
20-02-2010, 20:20
Hi all.
Companies that JUST sell minatures/kits are aimed at those people who JUST enjoy building and painting and converting etc.
(A few customers MAY use thier products to play games with.)

All these companies simply compete in the open market , delivering the best value for money they can.

They dont depend on a large and very expencive chain of own brand stores to promote their own products exclusivley, do they?

No matter how good a games system is , some customers would simply enjoy JUST crafting the accosiated minatures.

There is NOTHING wrong with this.;)

BUT when a company called GAMES WORKSHOP , caters to the lower expectations of minature collectors , INSTEAD of the higher expectations of gamers , simply because its easier for them to do so.

I think this is just a cop out .
IF GW actualy put more focus on game play issues they would increse the amount of customers that engage with their products on a deeper level.

GW fail to produce games that inspire people to play them.(They simply inspire them to buy minatures, aparently :rolleyes:.)
Then they say they are right to ignore the needs of gamers, as most thier customers just collect minatures.:mad:

If this IS the case , why not do away with all the excessivley expensive game development and B&M stores and just sell product on the internet?:evilgrin:

Because they KNOW most of thier revenue comes from gamers NOT collectors.
But if they acknowledge this , it proves thier corperate directive to be misguided.

GW corperate managment is at fault (AGAIN, ) NOT the people who collect minatures and dont game.

I didnt mean to imply for one munite that gamers were more important than collectors, just they have higher expectations from GW, that are not being met.

TTFN
Lanrak,

plantagenet
20-02-2010, 20:39
Just to add my two cents to the conversation but GW in the past has gambled and really tried to invigirate a game system by recreating it from the ground up before and ended up killing the thing off altogether.

In this case I am talking about epic which for awhile was almost considered to be the third core game. Yet its reinvention was so drastic even if you can argue that the rules were better it ended up causing its core support to disappear. In my mind there is slightly less risk with Warhammer of this happening simply because the models as an entire range are superior to Epic's (yes titians were nice but a stand of epic imperial guards man on its own does not overly inspire).

Subtle gradual change is not always a bad thing guys either. I beleive it has worked for Fantasy and 40k in much the same way as the evolution of the 911 has worked for Porsche.

Now having said all this I hope they do tweak the underlying core of the rules. I have always wondered why for example you had to limit stats to 10s...
Perhaps firepower (Epic and BFG)type charts would be a better way of working out shooting than the current method. Looking forward however to seeing what 8th brings to the table.

Verm1s
20-02-2010, 21:27
In my mind there is slightly less risk with Warhammer of this happening simply because the models as an entire range are superior to Epic's

Still, it's a tad unfair. They're only 6mm tall, poor guys. :p And it implies things like overencrusted bling-marines are inherently better.
Instead of 'superior models' how about 'differently-detailed miniature persons '? :D


I didnt mean to imply for one munite that gamers were more important than collectors, just they have higher expectations from GW

They're comin' out of the woodwork, here.
Speaking mainly from a painter/modeller's view, some gamers' expectations seem to end at big guns and swords (with big killy rules), quickly splashed with primary colours.
But again, it's like apples and oranges. It's daft to say that with two groups (with a fair bit of overlap, IMO) looking for different qualities from the same company, one group's wants or needs are intrinsically 'higher'. Loftier, it implies; more rigorous, even 'more important'. It's like something in the "I'm not a racist, but..." vein.

So, something relevant to the discussion: um... er...

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

I've got to agree with Ianrak (Lanrak?) on at least one point, though. I've trouble taking Jervis seriously (GW mouthpiece or not) after that "People buy our minis because they're just so kewl!!1!" Standard Bearer speil.

Corrode
21-02-2010, 01:07
Jervis needs to stop developing core games (which he pretty much sucks at) and being a corporate mouthpiece (which he also sucks at) and go back to developing Specialist Games, at which he's rather good.

vladsimpaler
21-02-2010, 08:06
Not necessarily mate but it would upset a load of tournament players :evilgrin::evilgrin:


I agree. Whatever hurts those soulless, baby killing monsters is going to be good for GW and I for one support GW if they do such a thing. :)

Hena
21-02-2010, 08:44
In this case I am talking about epic which for awhile was almost considered to be the third core game. Yet its reinvention was so drastic even if you can argue that the rules were better it ended up causing its core support to disappear. In my mind there is slightly less risk with Warhammer of this happening simply because the models as an entire range are superior to Epic's (yes titians were nice but a stand of epic imperial guards man on its own does not overly inspire).
Sorry, but I disagree here completely. In 6mm scale it's not the single model usually alone that matters but how the force looks. On that grounds 40k / Fantasy Battle pales in comparison with Epic or Warmaster.

The destruction of Epic in 3rd edition had nothing to do with models (which were a lot better than others back then and some what is currently available). The rules caused a lot of problems with players back then. Then again current edition of Epic redid rules again and this time they are a lot better than what was started in 2nd ed.


Subtle gradual change is not always a bad thing guys either. I beleive it has worked for Fantasy and 40k in much the same way as the evolution of the 911 has worked for Porsche.

Now having said all this I hope they do tweak the underlying core of the rules. I have always wondered why for example you had to limit stats to 10s...
Perhaps firepower (Epic and BFG)type charts would be a better way of working out shooting than the current method. Looking forward however to seeing what 8th brings to the table.
I think that 40k would need to throw the current rules into the crapper if the game really want's to have good rules. I just don't think that GW is interested in doing that. E&C has made a point that they want the rules to be like they are. I don't agree with him that better rules would not be suitable for younger kids as well, but it's rather evident that GW doesn't want to do this. I also think that the work in doing so would be rather great (as they'd be forced to redo all lists as well). They could do them few at a time but I warrant that players would not be happy about that. I wonder if SGs open development would work with 40k as well ... ah well I think it won't happen :)..

yabbadabba
21-02-2010, 09:03
You wouldn't have to dump 40K's current structure to get a good rules system, but you would need to spend a considerable time making sure all the bases were covered.

As for Epic it's re-release through Epic 40000 was hoped to make it a third core game, but the sales shafted that. Even though the rules were a bit ropey, many of us still had the previous edition games and bought the new models to play with those rules. Epic has very occasionally peaked at LotR current average sales volumes.

Kaptajn_Congoboy
21-02-2010, 10:22
Airfix disagrees - there's a huge market for people who just like to build and paint models, with no silly fussing about rules. Obviously companies like themselves and Tamiya are based on people who like replicas of real things, but I would imagine there's plenty of people who like sci-fi, like model-building, and put the two together without every wanting to concern themselves with the fuss of 'rules'.

Well, yes, there is...but I've never perceived this market to overlap all that much with the miniatures gaming hobby. I know a lot of "craft hobbyist" modellers (I've done quite a bit of work in the military and technical museum circles, where modellers frequently are hired for dioramas and model building) and my impression (which is based on Scandinavia alone, mind you) is that these guys are completely unaware of the gaming hobby, with some occasional exceptions on the historical gaming side. Sci-fi modellers, which I know through those guys, typically focus on movie, series and book fiction-based models. Is this different in the U.S. and Great Britain? Are the modeller specialist shops stocked with GW miniatures? All I've seen of GW in regular modeller shops I've visited - all over the world - is the occasional small paint rack, although Vallejo is much more common there...

I have, however, (in Scandinavia) met quite a few younger "gamers" who likely give GW a lot of money - one I know owns multiple sets of every LOTR army out there - all unpainted and barely played, paid for by their parents. One young man I know have likely put more money in GW's coffers during his early teens than active 40k players I know have done over a period of 20 years...

Chaos and Evil
21-02-2010, 12:27
Sorry, but I disagree here completely. In 6mm scale it's not the single model usually alone that matters but how the force looks. On that grounds 40k / Fantasy Battle pales in comparison with Epic or Warmaster.
As a massive (not heavy, just enthusiastic) fan of Epic I disagree.

The 28/30mm models of Warhammer 40,000 look a lot better than Epic's models.

The only time a Warhammer 40,000 game looks worse than Epic is when you're playing Apocalypse, which in my personal opinion tends to look very silly... but to most of GW's core customers the "Apocalypse" aesthetic looks awesome, not silly. I don't begrudge them their fun.


I think that 40k would need to throw the current rules into the crapper if the game really want's to have good rules. I just don't think that GW is interested in doing that. E&C has made a point that they want the rules to be like they are.
Yes, I believe it's a concious effort on Games Workshop's part to make the rules as tactically simple as they are (unlike many here, who seem to believe it's incompetence that leads to the tactically simple gameplay of the core games).

GW goes for the inspiring rules like having Special Rules for almost every unit (and Special Character) in the game, rather than for boring stuff like tactical complexity.


I don't agree with him that better rules would not be suitable for younger kids as well, but it's rather evident that GW doesn't want to do this.
Not "better"; "Targetted at an older demographic".

I like to draw a clear dividing line between those concepts, as lots of adults seem to look at GW's core rules and label them "bad" when in fact I believe they're very good and well-written rules, it's just that they're not (primarily) intended for use by adults... so like trying to wear a 12 year-old's clothes, the rules are often an awkward fit for adults.


I also think that the work in doing so would be rather great (as they'd be forced to redo all lists as well). They could do them few at a time but I warrant that players would not be happy about that.
That would involve abandoning millions of pounds worth of stock (at retail prices, if not wholesale)... can GW afford to take that gamble?

Remember Epic 40,000... one must tread carefully when "being brave and changing the puzzle"!!


I wonder if SGs open development would work with 40k as well
I do not believe that would work well.

Chaos and Evil
21-02-2010, 12:51
You wouldn't have to dump 40K's current structure to get a good rules system, but you would need to spend a considerable time making sure all the bases were covered.
You could make the core rules of Warhammer 40,000 a lot more tactically complex without needing to drop all the codexes & supplements, I agree.

I don't think a "Ravening Hordes" type book would be needed (as many here would like to see). I think a slow evolutionary process that took ~5 years that started with a new set of core rules and ended with the last codex being updated could do it... but that's a "real" puzzle changer, not just re-painting the pieces of the current puzzle!


As for Epic it's re-release through Epic 40000 was hoped to make it a third core game, but the sales shafted that... Epic has very occasionally peaked at LotR current average sales volumes.

I love Epic, it's my favourite GW game ever... but I think that trying to make its current incarnation (Epic: Armageddon) perform as a Core game would be economically harmful to GW...

...because the rules are designed for use by experienced wargamers, and GW's core demographic just wouldn't "get" it....

...a game full of big chunky models and a game system where "understanding the rules" is often tantamount to "knowing how to play the game well", like Warhammer 40,000, is much more appropriate to be a Core game.


=====

Can any of the GW Core Games be modified so as to be more tactically complex***, with less special exceptions to the core rules system in the army books/codexes***, and yet still retain that inspiring character that games like Warhammer 40,000 undoubtedly possess?

I believe they can be, over time, (albeit in different ways, for example I believe the lack of tactical complexity in Warhammer Fantasy is more down to army book rules than the core rules, whilst the issue is inverted in Warhammer 40,000)... but is it a good idea to change the puzzle that much?

Is it a good idea to be that brave?
Or is it just foolhardy?

Would such a move result in another Epic 40,000? (A game that lacked appeal)
Or another Epic: Armageddon? (Whereby GW would be left with a game system that appeals to adults, but not to children)

I would rather Games Workshop take the "third way", if change were required, not to remain in the status quo, and not to revamp everything (with an attendant huge risk of failing to re-find its demographic ala Epic 40,000), but to perform a prudently paced cycle over the course of a full edition (or perhaps even multiple editions, to weed out some rules kinks entirely).

***Which will allow them to appeal more to an adult demographic.

Hena
21-02-2010, 12:52
As a massive (not heavy, just enthusiastic) fan of Epic I disagree.

The 28/30mm models of Warhammer 40,000 look a lot better than Epic's models.

The only time a Warhammer 40,000 game looks worse than Epic is when you're playing Apocalypse, which in my personal opinion tends to look very silly... but to most of GW's core customers the "Apocalypse" aesthetic looks awesome, not silly.
See, this is a matter of "taste" (not that I eat my models, mind you). I don't like 40k look as it's not an army. It's a skirmish. Warmaster and Epic can look like an army. I don't really care that much about individual model (though I admit that more detailed is better) but how the game looks overall. I like armies not small forces.


Yes, I believe it's a concious effort on Games Workshop's part to make the rules as tactically simple as they are (unlike many here, who seem to believe it's incompetence that leads to the tactically simple gameplay of the core games).

Not "better". "targetted at an older demographic".

I like to draw a clear dividing line between those concepts, as lots of adults seem to look at GW's core rules and label them "bad" when in fact I believe they're very good and well-written rules, it's just that they're not (primarily) intended for use by adults... so like trying to wear a 12 year-old's clothes, the rules are often an awkward fit for adults.
See I don't think that 12 year-olds don't want challenging game. I don't mean that i has to be chess level but more intuitive sure. I think you could create inspiring feel without messing up with bazillion of special rules which can easily clash with each other.


That would involve abandoning millions of pounds worth of stock (at retail prices, if not wholesale)... can GW afford to take that gamble?

I do not believe that would work well.
As it would require large investment it would be dangerous and I don't think the managent wants to take that chance. I do remember reading from somewhere that they don't want to get into position as between 2nd and 3rd edition of 40k where they were forced to redo all armies. Whether not it would work or not depends on what they would achieve.

Chaos and Evil
21-02-2010, 13:09
See, this is a matter of "taste" (not that I eat my models, mind you). I don't like 40k look as it's not an army. It's a skirmish. Warmaster and Epic can look like an army. I don't really care that much about individual model (though I admit that more detailed is better) but how the game looks overall. I like armies not small forces.
Yup, well kids like inspiring heroes, and 28mm is a lot better for displaying their abilities than 6mm (where you're resticted to more abstract concepts like "superior command and control abilities" rather than "is awesome at killing monstrous creatures by using his power gauntlet in combination with his "re-roll misses against models with a T stat of 6 or greater" rule!***").


See I don't think that 12 year-olds don't want challenging game. I don't mean that i has to be chess level but more intuitive sure. I think you could create inspiring feel without messing up with bazillion of special rules which can easily clash with each other.
GW seems to believe differently.


As it would require large investment it would be dangerous and I don't think the managent wants to take that chance. I do remember reading from somewhere that they don't want to get into position as between 2nd and 3rd edition of 40k where they were forced to redo all armies. Whether not it would work or not depends on what they would achieve.

To return to Harry's first post in this thread, I had a brief interaction with Alessio (one "L", not two, I think, Harry?) Cavatore a while back where he said he'd love to re-design some of the Core games from scratch (to do the kind of thing that people here are asking for with their "Ravening Hordes" requests), but that the company was now too big for that to be practical... that it was now financially impossible.

I'd expect him to know the practicalities of the financials far better than I... if he said it's financially impossible, he likely had cause to say so. :angel:


***I'm not sure if that rule actually exists anywhere in 40k or WFB. It should though, it's cool. :D

Condottiere
21-02-2010, 13:14
Which basically implies that Fantasy would have to suffer a catastrophic slump in sales over at least two quarters, with no immediate prospect for improvement. A lot of companies then contemplate whether to drop a product range, rather than to relaunch it. Or possibly, farm it out.

Hena
21-02-2010, 13:18
Yup, well kids like inspiring heroes, and 28mm is a lot better for displaying their abilities than 6mm (where you're resticted to more abstract concepts like "superior command and control abilities" rather than "is awesome at killing monstrous creatures by using his power gauntlet in combination with his "re-roll misses against models with a T stat of 6 or greater" rule!***").
Sure. See I don't argue that all should stop playing 28mm and concentrate on 6mm instead. What I am saying is that the argument that "28mm is better because the models are better looking" is not that good as it's matter of taste. Some like, others don't.



GW seems to believe differently.
Obviously :D.




To return to Harry's first post in this thread, I had a brief interaction with Alessio (one "L", not two, I think, Harry?) Cavatore a while back where he said he'd love to re-design some of the Core games from scratch (to do the kind of thing that people here are asking for with their "Ravening Hordes" requests), but that the company was now too big for that to be practical... that it was now financially impossible.

I'd expect him to know the practicalities of the financials far better than I... if he said it's financially impossible, he likely had cause to say so. :angel:
Which is the standard kind of answer meaning they don't want to try it as current system works for them *shrug*. As I said that's what I'd like to see, but I don't hold my breath for it to happen. Why am I reminded of Andy Chambers and the rumours that Starship Troopers rulebase was aimed to be 40k redoing the puzzle :angel:.

Chaos and Evil
21-02-2010, 13:28
Which basically implies that Fantasy would have to suffer a catastrophic slump in sales over at least two quarters, with no immediate prospect for improvement. A lot of companies then contemplate whether to drop a product range, rather than to relaunch it. Or possibly, farm it out.

Unless something's changed, GW don't farm out their miniatures games. I know from experience as I tried to buy one of them (guess which one, heh :D ).

Corrode
21-02-2010, 16:28
***I'm not sure if that rule actually exists anywhere in 40k or WFB. It should though, it's cool. :D

New Space Wolves. ;)

Chaos and Evil
21-02-2010, 16:36
New Space Wolves. ;)
Cool. Either my subconcious knew that, or I've got good design instincts. :D

TheDarkDuke
22-02-2010, 04:15
For me if changing the puzzle makes me at worst tweak my current army fair enough. If it forces me to loose many of my options and make me basically collect a new army half a new army etc, based off of things rumoured to happen I think it is nothing but a ploy to gain additional sales.

A quick example for myself would be Skaven. Last edition I started a heavy Clan Pestilence army, not entirely satisfied with it I left them on the back burner as I really just wanted mass armies of raving lunatic pestilent robed rats! The current army while fielding Skroll now allows me to do just what I wanted! Nothing but a ton of plague monks, 2 units of censers and 1 furnace (now). Upcoming problem is what appears to be very strong rumours of 25% max points of an army in the hero section. Skroll certainly isn't cheap, actually almost entirely taking up 25% of my 2000 point lists rumoured allowed points. Hes good, but all in all for a lvl 3 mage over costed. I can now not even field another plague priest or my furnace in my army due to 25%? So if I want even two plague priests no Skroll, so no more core plague monks for me. Result is they now take away what they just gave me, and flat out ruin the idea of a Clan Pestilence army again.

Result = epic fail and would cause me to drop another 100-150$ to make it a useable army again. Which I will not do. I have tried and tried to defend GW over the years, this rumour of percentages coming back in any form is backwards thinking in an attempt to gain sales with the guise of "this is how we fix what we messed up" oops we mean "this is how we make things better (throw in blast from the past comment) the end".

WFB is slowly dying because of GW which makes me upset, its what got me into this hobby and I then after quite some time jumped on board with 40K. 40K is in terrific shape, I laugh every time I see "balance is broken" thread in the 40K forums as 40K is amazingly balanced. Just look at the mess they have made out of fantasy in general. Fantasy needs core rule adjustments and tweeks, not overhauls. If they think they need overhauls after 7 editions then they are thinking backwards. If overhauls are needed.... leave fantasy with 7th and create a completely new game.

Condottiere
22-02-2010, 09:18
Coca Cola once introduced "New" Coke, by saying they changed the formula. In this game, we can see what the formula consists of and can judge if we like the taste.

There are many reasons that Fantasy doesn't enjoy the potential sales it could achieve, and not all of them have to do specifically with the rules.

vladsimpaler
23-02-2010, 04:28
Coca Cola once introduced "New" Coke, by saying they changed the formula. In this game, we can see what the formula consists of and can judge if we like the taste.

There are many reasons that Fantasy doesn't enjoy the potential sales it could achieve, and not all of them have to do specifically with the rules.


3rd edition 40k was like New Coke but oddly GW kept at it.

Poseidal
23-02-2010, 07:43
3rd edition 40k was like New Coke but oddly GW kept at it.

Now that's a statement I can get behind. I always thought the game lost a lot in the transition to 3rd. Do the decline of the core games indicate his as well?

Condottiere
23-02-2010, 09:31
The evolution of leisure activities may have something to do with it as well; computer games have improved by leaps and bounds from twenty, or even ten years ago; the world moves faster and it's easier to get what we want, when we want, so if we're not getting any satisfaction, or feel less than before, we have plenty of options to fill that gap from other sources.

Poseidal
23-02-2010, 09:39
I would say that core computer games are shrinking as well. All but one publishers of only core games faced significant losses; if anything the core video game industry is in as much if not bigger trouble than GW is.

http://www.destructoid.com/the-future-death-160773.phtml

Glabro
23-02-2010, 09:52
Yes. Fantasy is by no means "complete" in 7th edition, and likely won't be complete in 8th either. By the sounds of it the game will have evolved a great deal though for the better.

sigur
23-02-2010, 10:00
Yeah, because it evolved rather than being torn to shreds, just because they thought they had to make it more different to WHFB. Because obviously 40k players hate systems that work pretty well.

lanrak
23-02-2010, 11:06
Hi all.
In the last 25 years , WHFB has had minor changes to the 'front interface', but the core game mechanics and resolution methods have remained largely unchanged.
The rules of WHFB were written for the game play of WHFB, over a quater of a century ago.
And NEW and IMPROVED game mechanics and resolution methods have been developed in this time!:eek:
Compared to other game systems WHFB is showing its age ,(and the imballance in army books is not helping.)

So perhaps a re-write using more up to date game mechanics and resolution methods could be said to be overdue?

When 40k moved from a large skirmish game, to a battle game ,(2nd to 3d) the game play changed concideraby, and needed a completley new rules set ...
Unfortunatley , for what ever reason,(cough, corperate interferance,cough)
the old rules were just hatcheted to bits and patched up hastily.

But of WHFB and 40k , I would say 40k is in more need of a re-write , to redress the written rules to game play ratio.(Currently 40k has more exceptions than rules.:eek:)

But as GW plc see their rule sets prime function to inspire sales of minatures ,(not deliver the best gaming experiance,) 40k is still conforming to corperate expectations, but WHFB is not generating the returns corperate want, probably.

LuciusAR
26-02-2010, 12:28
Yes WFB needs to change. However unlike many I don't think GW are incapable of making a modern and inovative set of rules it's just that the existing WFB fanbase wont stand for it.

For example WOTR and Warmaster are both brilliantly (though WOTR needs some clarification, but on the whole works better than WFB) they are the games that I wish WFB was.

lanrak
27-02-2010, 10:57
Hi LuciusAR.
I am sure the game developers at GW are capable of writing rule sets focused on game play .
(THEY HAVE written efficient intuitive rules sets!Just not for 40k and WH.)

It is not so much the existing fan base are so resistant to new ideas.
Its more to do with the corperate managment do not want to ''waste time and money'' on game development unless it is linked directly to sales.:mad:

GW plc work on the theory that thier (new) customers do not know of any alternatives, so spend money on GW products untill they get bored, or find something else.

Pre PLC days the GW game developers ACTUALY developed a wide range of games , and realised great game play across a range of games drove LONG TERM growth.

(And as reguards the existing WHFB fan base.The number of players is
shrinking , some are using other rule sets with thier WHFB minatures.Others are just playing other games .)

There are 2 examples of when GW tried and failed to make the change.

40k 2nd ed to 3rd ed , NEEDED a re-write as it changed the game size and interactions dramaticaly.
(GW learned from this and wrote a new rule set for WOTR, seperate skirmish rules and battle rules.)

Epic form SM II to Epic 40,000.
The game went from highly individualistic elements with loads of special rules .
To a generic elements.
The basic rule set was fine , but the shift from 'shiney' to 'smooth' was just too great for alot of players to accept.

Epic Armageddon , is pitched perfectly between the two.(IMO.)

Maybe if the release was delayed for longer , Epic 40,000 would have been a development stage on the way to Epic Armageddon, that never saw the light of day, and Epic would still be a core game?