View Poll Results: Should 9th maintain combined army books?

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  • Yes, combined armies are the best way forward for WHFB

    62 30.10%
  • No, combined armies are a terrible idea

    63 30.58%
  • No, combined armies are not good for WHFB however there are too many books to keep updated

    20 9.71%
  • Allied table and army building system similar to 40k would be better than combining books

    55 26.70%
  • Other, there is a better way (explain below)

    6 2.91%
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Thread: Should 9th maintain combined army books?

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  1. #1
    Chapter Master Doommasters's Avatar
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    Jul 2010

    Should 9th maintain combined army books?

    The two questions I have been asking myself is that when 9th edition comes around will GW maintain combined army books and if they do so will I still enjoy the game?

    My view is that WHFB needs less books to keep updated. It is unlikely that WHFB is ever going to be as popular as 40k and therefore I would much prefer to have fewer books with more options to keep me interested than waiting for years to get an update. One thing I have found with the new 40k system is that it is really easy to simply pick up a bunch of models from almost any army and put them on the table and play a game. This also means that when new models are released you can still buy them, paint them and put them in an army with few restrictions. My conclusion is that a new system is needed for this game and my preference would be to have fewer bigger books that are updated more often to keep the game fresh and enyoyable.

    Update: seems the community is very divided by the early responses


    Why combined armies is good for Warhammer Fantasy

    First off you do not have to agree with me but please attempt to explain your reasoning rather than just flaming what I have to say.

    What is my definition of a combined army book?

    Multiple army books combined into a single book designed to work within a specific version of Warhammer Fantasy, balanced as best as possible around other books in the same system. End Times as it currently stands does not fit this criteria, yes it allows you to combine armies but that is where the similarities stop.

    i.e. BoC, WoC and DoC combined into a single Chaos Hordes book developed with 9th edition rules and armies in mind

    What this would likely mean at a top line level;
    1) Less army books
    2) Bigger army books
    3) Rationalisation of ‘current’ units and models
    4) New and possibly more complex army rules

    Possibly there would be more to add to the list but I think that covers the big things. Obviously my personal view is that combined armies are a good idea however I will ‘try’ and be as objective as possible……you can be the judge.

    Less army books

    Downside: Armies as we know them could start to lose some of their rich history and identify. While it is likely that the books would become much larger in size it is unlikely that GW would be willing to maintain every nock and cranny. While it is highly unlikely the history would be lost all together there would be an increased need for summarising and ultimately detail would be lost that existed before.

    Upside: GW would have less books to update ‘likely’ resulting in more frequent releases. Players would likely not have to wait for than 24 months to get an update to their army book.

    Bigger Army Books:

    Downside: Balance would likely be more difficult due to an increase in unit and item combinations. As a result we may end up with a less balanced game system as we know GW does not have the best track record of balance. The books would likely cost more due to the increase in size and resources required to produce….army books could quite easily double in cost. In competitive games you may see less variation in army lists as the internet would quickly identify the best choices within the book. The saving grace would be that books should offer multiple paths for army building.

    Upside: Players would have more units available to build an army, giving you more freedom and choice to build lists and increasing the replayability of the army. GW would also have a wider pool of potential customers each time they release a new book or model as the community would be less fragmented. This would most likely result in more profitable armies and models resulting in increased interest and investment into fantasy. We know GW struggles with the profit side of the Fantasy equation and ultimately this is bad for future development into the game system.

    Rationalisation of units and models

    Downside: There would likely be huge overlap in units when combining books and while some overlap is a good thing models would likely be removed from the range in the short term. GW would keep what they see as the iconic units from each army and the rest would be up for possible deletion. You would expect the overall unit count to be much higher than any single book but substantially less that all the units from the previous books combined. Players that owned those models may find that they are no longer legal in the new system, this can be a hard pill to swallow sometimes. I would imagine a large amount of the rationalisation would come from the core and special sections with possibly increased options around decals for different factions to compensate.

    Upside: GW is likely struggling with maintaining a wide portfolio of unprofitable models while looking towards how they can release new ranges. Rationalisation more often than not leads into an expansion phase, and in this instance GW would likely look to launch new models adding more variety to a wider range of players more frequently. Ultimately this will appeal more to those that enjoy collecting, playing and painting new things.

    New and possibly more complex rules

    Downside: Currently each army has a unique rule set that helps give the army identity. In some cases combining armies will create conflict a decision will need to be made whether or not adapt army wide rules, remove some or increase the rules for different units. Whatever the situation is the books will end up being more complex in terms of the rules set given how streamlined the 8th edition army books are. To some this is a good thing to other it is not. The other side of the coin is balance as mentioned previously. The more rules you have the harder balance becomes.

    Upside: I am more sure what upside there is on this one outside the fact we would more options and it will take longer to unlock the books and how to play them most effectively.

    In summary

    Being one person it is hard to imagine that I have presented all the pros and cons of such a transition however I hope I have done enough to at least spark some debate amongst the community on this topic. The key points for me are that GW is clearly struggling with WHFB and with so many army books and models currently it is no surprise that they are struggling to find a balance. The second thing is that by having so many books GW has effectively divided the player base into very small pockets of players making model lines less profitable than they otherwise could be. Yes model rationalisation would likely happen, yes some of the history may be summarised or even left out and yes army books would be hard to balance, become more complex and expensive. The upside to that is a profitable game system for GW resulting in increased investment into the hobby, books being updated more often and players having a more options to play around with and more flexibility to play with a wider range of new and old models.

    For me combined army books is a logical next step in the evolution of WHFB, for you it might be something totally different?
    Last edited by Doommasters; 18-12-2014 at 00:09.
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