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

  1. #41
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    Re: Some 4th/5th/6th ed. questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Commissar von Toussaint View Post
    Wow, serious munchkins on this thread. More cheese than the Kraft Corporation. Beards that put Duck Dynasty to shame.

    I really liked the core rules of 5th, enjoyed the bright artwork and hated the game. I read with interest the counters and counter-counters given above, but my analysis is a little different. Basically I found that the key to successful game play came down to the Compression Principle: he who concentrates the most points in the fewest models usually won.

    There was an exception to this and that was Traveling Circus concept, which is where a slightly larger army can dominate by simply ignoring any thought or concept of historical/plausible units and going with a collection of counter-intuitive units that are designed to exploit special rules in a way that make normal tactics useless.

    I'm sure everyone here knows what I mean.

    I enjoyed neither type of game.
    I agree, generally... the very best experience you can have with 4th/5th is when two mature adults get together for a friendly game and take fluffy army choices (WYSIWYG on those gorgeous 1990's GW models, fully painted of course!) and there is a gentlemens (and ladies) agreement to not take any cheesy combos. Lords and heroes with nothing but standard, non-magical equipment are actually perfectly balanced against troops with the same point value, and the same goes for monsters in Warhammer 4th/5th. Things get out of hand when you start to stack up nasty magic item combos, virtues, bloodlines, Chaos marks and runes. If you moderate those things, however, and play with the objective of making sure your opponent has a really fun experience, the game is solid gold.

    And 5th Edition actually told you to do this. In the Battles book, the rules said "set up limits that make you and your group happy." Every group is going to be different, so the limitations one group liked would not work for every gaming club. But to be honest, maturity and friendliness are much more important than hard and fast rules on limiting or restricting things. There's no reason that the Helm of Many Eyes should be banned... it just ought not be taken with a Chaos Lord with Great Weapon. Why not take it on a Chaos Champion armed with a halberd? That would be absolutely fine in my book, and sounds like a really neat character.

    Commissar, this is the way I actually play 5th Edition in my house. Tell me what you think:

    Each army strives to take one of every regiment found in the army book. A Dark Elf army will try to take one unit each of warriors, crossbowmen, Witch Elves, Executioners, Scouts, Black Guard, Corsairs, Dark Riders and Cold Ones. I generally aim for cavalry units of 5 or 6 and infantry blocks of 12 or more. I never have more than one of the same unit in an army, so only one Repeater Bolt Thrower for instance. If I can't field every regiment in the army list, I at least make sure to cycle regiments in that missed previous games (so there is a "bench" for inactive regiments waiting their turn). I usually give characters a single magic item, perhaps with a consumable second magic item. Sometimes we do random magic items (draw four cards from the magic item deck, assign each card to one character). But if the character is already worth a lot of points without any equipment (like 200 points or more), I don't give them any magic items. We always play scenarios. Victory is based both on victory points, as well as on a subjective evaluation of how well each army performed given the particular conditions of the scenario (i.e. a friendly discussion and analysis after the game is over). If an army had a tough objective, even minor achievements toward that goal should be considered significant successes, all things considered.

    This is not the "right way" to play... there is no right way to play. The Battles book was pretty explicit about that. Sometimes the beardy, cheesy way is fun too just for a laugh (and some groups really love to play that way and wouldn't ever want to change). But I also can appreciate the famous Nigel Stillman "Stillmania" articles in 1990's White Dwarf about playing in the "spirit" of Warhammer (look it up, it's a great read... WD 221, if I recall correctly). Fluffy unit choices are awesome too, because it let's you field regiments that are otherwise always overlooked and really get a more complete understanding of the Warhammer world.
    Last edited by Galadrin; 28-03-2017 at 04:44.

  2. #42
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    Re: Some 4th/5th/6th ed. questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Galadrin View Post
    I agree, generally... the very best experience you can have with 4th/5th is when two mature adults get together for a friendly game and take fluffy army choices (WYSIWYG on those gorgeous 1990's GW models, fully painted of course!) and there is a gentlemens (and ladies) agreement to not take any cheesy combos. Lords and heroes with nothing but standard, non-magical equipment are actually perfectly balanced against troops with the same point value, and the same goes for monsters in Warhammer 4th/5th. Things get out of hand when you start to stack up nasty magic item combos, virtues, bloodlines, Chaos marks and runes. If you moderate those things, however, and play with the objective of making sure your opponent has a really fun experience, the game is solid gold.

    And 5th Edition actually told you to do this. In the Battles book, the rules said "set up limits that make you and your group happy." Every group is going to be different, so the limitations one group liked would not work for every gaming club. But to be honest, maturity and friendliness are much more important than hard and fast rules on limiting or restricting things. There's no reason that the Helm of Many Eyes should be banned... it just ought not be taken with a Chaos Lord with Great Weapon. Why not take it on a Chaos Champion armed with a halberd? That would be absolutely fine in my book, and sounds like a really neat character.

    Commissar, this is the way I actually play 5th Edition in my house. Tell me what you think:

    Each army strives to take one of every regiment found in the army book. A Dark Elf army will try to take one unit each of warriors, crossbowmen, Witch Elves, Executioners, Scouts, Black Guard, Corsairs, Dark Riders and Cold Ones. I generally aim for cavalry units of 5 or 6 and infantry blocks of 12 or more. I never have more than one of the same unit in an army, so only one Repeater Bolt Thrower for instance. If I can't field every regiment in the army list, I at least make sure to cycle regiments in that missed previous games (so there is a "bench" for inactive regiments waiting their turn). I usually give characters a single magic item, perhaps with a consumable second magic item. Sometimes we do random magic items (draw four cards from the magic item deck, assign each card to one character). But if the character is already worth a lot of points without any equipment (like 200 points or more), I don't give them any magic items. We always play scenarios. Victory is based both on victory points, as well as on a subjective evaluation of how well each army performed given the particular conditions of the scenario (i.e. a friendly discussion and analysis after the game is over). If an army had a tough objective, even minor achievements toward that goal should be considered significant successes, all things considered.

    This is not the "right way" to play... there is no right way to play. The Battles book was pretty explicit about that. Sometimes the beardy, cheesy way is fun too just for a laugh (and some groups really love to play that way and wouldn't ever want to change). But I also can appreciate the famous Nigel Stillman "Stillmania" articles in 1990's White Dwarf about playing in the "spirit" of Warhammer (look it up, it's a great read... WD 221, if I recall correctly). Fluffy unit choices are awesome too, because it let's you field regiments that are otherwise always overlooked and really get a more complete understanding of the Warhammer world.
    this post need sticking to the top of every forum!

    this is as correct for the 4th/5th ed WFB as it is for 7th 40k and AOS.

    nothing has changed in 25 years of gaming.

    talk to your opponent before the game and find out what you want to play. just saying let's have a 2k 40k game is not enough.

    GREAT POST!
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  3. #43
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    Re: Some 4th/5th/6th ed. questions

    Quote Originally Posted by toonboy78 View Post
    this post need sticking to the top of every forum!

    this is as correct for the 4th/5th ed WFB as it is for 7th 40k and AOS.

    nothing has changed in 25 years of gaming.

    talk to your opponent before the game and find out what you want to play. just saying let's have a 2k 40k game is not enough.

    GREAT POST!
    Thanks, and I agree: every ruleset can be fun with the right attitude, and no ruleset will ever be fun without it.

    The above example about how we play "Herohammer" is not the only way... there are a lot of interesting approaches that were hashed out in the late 90's. Nigel Stillman argued very strongly and passionately for the "one army list" approach. He said it was best to make one army list and never, ever, ever change it... the only surprise your regular opponents should have is how you use that army list, as you develop your tactical understanding of the game and your army over time. That was one great way to excise min-maxing and powergaming, as you would have to bring the exact same list against any opponent. It also made sense in terms of collecting and painting your Warhammer army (something often neglected, but which is as much a vital part of the whole hobby as playing the game). You could set a limit for yourself, collect just the figures you would actually use, get them painted and get to playing the game as it was intended.

    The White Dwarf team also always challenged people to model their armies after the Warhammer fluff... an Empire army without halberdiers, or a Wood Elf army without archers, is just not a Warhammer army, period.

    But another great way to play the game was recommended in the 5th Edition Battles book (a must-have item for any Warhammer player, regardless of edition). First you come up with a scenario with your opponent... "I was sitting in 5th period geography class, and thought up an epic battle where a fast Wood Elf contingent is racing to capture a Dark Elf army fleeing through a mountain pass! They kidnapped the Wood Elf Prophetess Naieth!" Then, you set appropriate restrictions... "Ok cool, let's say that means the Dark Elves can only take one missile unit and one war machine, since they had to leave their ammunition and supplies behind, and the Wood Elves can only take cavalry units, scouts, Warhawks and flying monsters." Then you set a point limit, determine victory conditions and build your armies according to the scenario limitations. This is ALWAYS how we played Warhammer 5th Edition as kids. I quit when 6th Edition came out mainly because everyone suddenly started playing pitched battles and only pitched battles for some unknown reason. I don't remember a single game of 5th Edition that wasn't some elaborate scenario... and we never needed game balance between armies, because victory conditions were always so random and half-cocked anyway! In fact, I don't even remember many 5th Edition games where the two sides had equal points... to be honest, I don't remember using the point system at all that often!

    This approach was really elaborated in the 5th Edition campaign sets. Those gave you army restrictions instead of army lists, letting you build the scenario flexibly, according to the models you had available.

    A third way was probably unthinkable in the 90's, but seems perfectly fine to me now... just make army lists WITH your opponent! Just talk about the kind of game you would want to have: "I've been dying to try out my new Giant model..." "Yeah that would be cool, do you think he could beat my Hippogriff? My Hippogriff is 3 for 0 on killing large monsters this week!" "Cool, you take the Hippogriff and I'll take my Giant. What would be a good match for my Spider Riders?" This actually echoes Stillman's approach... it's all about the tactics on the battlefield, not the strategy of army list building. And ultimately it is about telling stories.

    Some people like narrative games with no care for balance, some people like balanced and straight games, some people like gonzo cheesy competitive games... as long as everyone has the same expectations and interests, everyone will have fun!
    Last edited by Galadrin; 29-03-2017 at 16:06.

  4. #44

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Galadrin View Post
    Commissar, this is the way I actually play 5th Edition in my house. Tell me what you think:
    Generally, I agree with you.

    I still play 40k 2nd ed. and our armies are ALWAYS the result of a discussion about what we think the game should involve. Usually we have a campaign going so we talk about what forces are appropriate for the scenario. This IMHO, is the way it should be.

    The problem with taking that approach in 5th ed. WHFB was that the army books worked against you.

    I was an Empire player. I really liked the look and feel of the army. The notion of a transitional army in a fantasy environment really caught my attention. I also loved the cover art.

    The problem was that their book was old and hadn't aged well. Take their knights, for instance.

    The core rule said that wearing heavy armor reduced your movement by -1. Barding reduced cavalry movement by -1.

    So Empire Knights had only a 6" of movement. They had a 12" charge range.

    The main rules also said that if you have a base move of more than 6" you got to roll 3d6 inches for pursuit. Less than that, you you rolled 2d6.

    What this meant was that Empire Knights were the only cavalry in the game that pursued like infantry. It sucked. I really bought into the idea of the knightly orders and then found out that they completely, utterly, comprehensively and totally sucked.

    Every other army with cavalry got a pass on these rules. Every one.

    This was not an isolated example. There were plenty of instances where "codex creep" really hurt the various lists.

    More than anything else, that was what made 5th ed unplayable at any speed.

    6th ed. did a great job of cleaning up the mechanics. I remember reading their core rules and saying "YES!!!! A thousand times YES!!!"

    And then the army books came out.

    I love the look and feel of the 5th ed. books. When I make conversion lists for Conqueror, I consider those books canon. In fact, when I started my design, I looked at where 5th went off the rails as one of my starting points (historical games was the other).

    I have a lot of warm feelings for 5th, but objectively speaking the game design was badly botched.
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  5. #45
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    Re: Some 4th/5th/6th ed. questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Commissar von Toussaint View Post
    I have a lot of warm feelings for 5th, but objectively speaking the game design was badly botched.
    Well, what you are really saying is that the army books were badly designed. And I agree! There was no doubt some serious power creep by the very end of WFB 5e and that was not a good thing. The new army books looked very nice, but they completely outclassed the old books. I agree completely!

    So let me add something about our home games that I forgot to mention before: I use the WFB 5e rulebook and battles book, and I use 4e army books! The 4e army books often have cooler army lists (Undead with mummies and zombie eagles ridden by demonic babies! High Elves with one-man chariots! Chaos centaurs!!!) and they are much better balanced overall. That's not to say some books weren't stronger than others... Dwarfs could always kit out their heroes better than anyone else, and Vampires and Chaos Lords were always scary... but there was a lot more parity in the overall lists.

    I will also say that I use 4e magic supplements (including Chronicles of War). 5e Magic is fine, but it cut out a lot of the neat features of Arcane and Battle Magic, without adding anything instead. Of course, I'm sure this was simply a space-issue... they literally folded two box sets into one, so they saved space and cut things out.

  6. #46
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    Re: Some 4th/5th/6th ed. questions

    i think it is unfair to compare units like for like across codex/army books.

    yes empire knights didn't have all the special rules compared to say bretonnian knights, but they were supported by volley guns!

    4th ed rules books were generally evenly matched, and even the first 1 or 2 in the 5e were all ok.

    the only change i liked about 5th magic was only being able to cast in your own turn... i think i liked that (when i played dwarfs i definitely did!)
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    Re: Some 4th/5th/6th ed. questions

    Quote Originally Posted by toonboy78 View Post
    i think it is unfair to compare units like for like across codex/army books.

    yes empire knights didn't have all the special rules compared to say bretonnian knights, but they were supported by volley guns!

    4th ed rules books were generally evenly matched, and even the first 1 or 2 in the 5e were all ok.

    the only change i liked about 5th magic was only being able to cast in your own turn... i think i liked that (when i played dwarfs i definitely did!)
    I think that's probably true, but the counter argument is that it still nevertheless felt depressing to plop your Empire Knights down across the table from Bretonnian Knights and know that you are paying the same point cost! I would have always taken the Empire regardless, because Volley Guns and Ogres and War Wagons are so much fun. The end result, though, is that you have to come to terms with the idea that Empire Knights are the worst heavy cavalry in the Warhammer World, technically speaking, which doesn't feel right at all. Of course, that doesn't at all mean Empire Knights are bad units overall. They completely rock on the battlefield, because they are still heavy cavalry with a S6 charge, WS4 and a 2+ save. They're not as fast as other cavalry, but they can be a sledgehammer on the attack and an excellent retinue for your characters. Too much comparison to Bretonnian cavalry etc. can certainly lead one to the wrong impression.

    But again, these are more army book issues than edition issues, and what edition didn't have this problem in the final years of its run? Every edition started out great and generally unwound because of slow but inevitable power creep in the army books (at least since army books first started coming out in the early 1990's). What sets Herohammer (WFB 4th/5th) apart really for me is that it had great aesthetics, great fluff, really fun and innovative mechanics (the magic card system? Brilliant. Warhammer Siege? The light campaign system?), tons of boxed sets with bespoke tokens/cards/templates, tons of army books and the best models and 'Eavy Metal painters in GW history. And admittedly nostalgia plays a part as well!

    But the biggest thing is the rules. The rules of 5th Edition really make for a characterful game where anything can happen. It's a real engine for generating cool stories and narratives. And no army seized this and "rode the lightning" more than the Orcs & Goblins, with all their crazy, random units (true for 40k 2nd Edition Orks as well!). They may or may not have been the most "competitive," but it completely didn't matter to us... Warhammer was always about FUN, and Orcs & Goblins are always fun to play as and against!
    Last edited by Galadrin; 31-03-2017 at 13:33.

  8. #48

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

    The argument that the army books are independent from the game goes back to when Herohammer was current. It still doesn't wash. The books are an integral part of the game.

    Without them, making an army is pure guesswork. The army books are supposed to make that possible. It's like saying the car is great if you disregard the wheel assembly.

    The fact that the books were put out separately allows this rhetorical scapegoating, but it doesn't hold up under examination.

    Almost every army has special rules. Why? If the core rules were that robust, the differences in the profile would pretty much cover things. The few special rules in the core book also should be enough to give a feel for a variety of troop types.

    In fact, the army books were a way to apply selected patches on the weaknesses in the core rules. For example, based on the fluff, High Elves are supposed to be quite superior to goblins in melee combat. But when you do that actual math, they are fairly close in killing potential.

    GW solved this problem by making goblins fear elves and also giving elves a three-rank bonus for using spears. Those are the features - not the core stats - that settle the combat.

    In fact, that pretty much became the rule throughout the game. Differences in WS matter very little and special rules are what actually decided the issue.

    The special rules also were necessary because the core rules didn't work. The "heavy armor gives you a -1 movement penalty" was avoided by almost every army in the game (except the hapless Empire).

    Bretonnians had pure-bred warhorses.
    Chaos had chaos armor.
    Elves wore Ithilmar armor.
    Dwarves ignored the penalty due to their stamina.
    I don't believe orcs or skaven could even take it.

    And so on.

    A core rule that is ignored by everyone isn't a 'core rule' at all, it's a special rule for the lone army it touches.

    This leads me to the point costs.

    Again, when the game was current people tried to defend GW's wacky point calculations by saying you can't compare from list to list. Why they were specially formulated to create better armies! Genius!

    There are two obviously problems with this argument.

    In the first place, there's no reason why points can't be consistent across the game platform. In fact, if you want to downplay the importance of the army lists, that would be what you would do. You would create a "base" calculator and let people build their own lists using it.

    But GW didn't do that. They kept it secret to sell army books and (as I mentioned above) it is difficult for players to self-balance a game because of it.

    The second problem is that GW never really says what that platonic ideal balanced army is. I mean, if you're going to weight things, you might clue the player in on what the goal is, right?

    Of course, it didn't work, and it couldn't work, because without limits on unit types, people would always take the points that got them the best advantage. I know, shocking.

    The result of this was that armies became very unbalanced. People took the best bang for the buck, so to speak - not because they were cheaty, but because that was clearly what the game designer wanted them to do. They were following the incentives built into the system.

    All that being said, it's great that you still enjoy the game. I still enjoy looking through the books and I find the artwork very evocative - a time when fantasy was fun and less dark and death-obsessed. I rather enjoyed GW's "red period."

    Some years ago I set out to collect every 2nd ed. 40k army that got a book. I've now accomplished that goal.

    I'm thinking of building out the 5th ed armies but using Conqueror as my engine rather than 5th ed. Fantasy figures are rather cheap at the moment. When I finish writing my current book, that may become my new obsession.
    Last edited by Commissar von Toussaint; 31-03-2017 at 22:35.
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  9. #49
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    Re: Some 4th/5th/6th ed. questions

    An interesting view, but I admit I am not entirely convinced. In general, my experience is that Empire play fine against most (if indeed not all) opponents. It sounds like Toonboy has similar experiences.

    In any case, it would be interesting to hear how you think 40k 2nd Edition was able to avoid this problem of power creep in the army books?

  10. #50

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Galadrin View Post
    An interesting view, but I admit I am not entirely convinced. In general, my experience is that Empire play fine against most (if indeed not all) opponents. It sounds like Toonboy has similar experiences.
    The question isn't whether Empire could win. Of course it would win. On any given day, any army could win.

    The question was how it won.

    The focus on the Empire is also a distraction. Look at the various lists as a whole. Were some more difficult than others? Why? What gave the "strong" armies and advantage over the "weak" ones?

    In any case, it would be interesting to hear how you think 40k 2nd Edition was able to avoid this problem of power creep in the army books?
    40k was a much more egalitarian system. Consider the lascannon. The lascannon (a basic, unremarkable heavy weapons shared by almost every army) could (with only a little luck) kill every model in the game in a single shot.

    Bloodthirster? Avatar? Carnifex? Dreadnought?

    Yep. One shot, one kill.

    The weapons of that game were very lethal. Even without getting into psykers, there were many ways your doomlord/unit could get whacked.

    This led to better tactics and game play.

    Now let's go back to Herohammer for a second. Take a look at Chaos Armor. Chaos armor actually gave a 1+ save for mounted, barded troops. That meant that units with a strength rating of 3 (which was most armies) could not harm Chaos Knights.

    I want to emphasize that point. It wasn't that they were unlikely to win, they simply could not harm them . No losses at all. Chaos Knights can charge S3 enemies with impunity.

    There's something deeply wrong with a game that permits this to happen.

    Note that in 6th edition, GW introduced the concept that you always fail an armor save on a 1. Well, of course. But in 5th, that wasn't the case.

    That's bad game design. If your goal is to reward good generalship, creating unbeatable units undermines that goal.

    It's one thing to say: "you're pathetic militia has no chance against these elite warriors." People get that. It make intuitive sense.

    It's another thing to say: "you're regular footmen have no chance against my special rules. Unless you load up on special rules and special weapons, your army is toast."

    Look, I really like the look and feel of 5th ed. I like it so much, I want the fluff to actually work.

    I think that High Elves shouldn't need special rules to beat the ever-living crap out of goblins. Of course they beat goblins! They're High Elves!

    So why do they need so many special rules to do it??

    It's poor game design.

    We've focused on Empire, but the whole "elves vs goblins" thing was what really got me rolling on Conqueror. Check out the thread (it's sticky and easy to find). I figured if I could come up with a way to may elves stomp goblins without special rules, I'd have fixed the core problem. Pardon my arrogance, but I think I did it.

    Again, I really like 5th. I lament the fact that my Reiksguard Foot disappeared (though I liked how Empire Greatswords emerged as elite troops in 6th).

    Can people achieve fun games with it? Sure!

    But they do so in spite of the core system. I can't put it any plainer than that.
    Last edited by Commissar von Toussaint; 01-04-2017 at 04:08.
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  11. #51
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    Re: Some 4th/5th/6th ed. questions

    In my experience, the Chaos Armour didn't matter much! A minimum unit of Chaos Knights would be dealing out nearly 7 wounds on a normal round against basic human infantry (and much more if they were charging). Humans never really got a chance to swing back as their front rank was decimated. Even if it was a six-wide block of spearmen, they would have next to no chance of causing even one wound against troops with a 2+ save.

    But that means you have to get around the issue in another way... the most obvious is using shooting or countering with your own elite troops (Empire would eviscerate Chaos Knights with a good Volley Gun blast). Those are all strategic decisions about army list building. Tactically, however, you would flank that Chaos Knight regiment, thereby reducing the attacks that came back at you and maximizing the impact of your troops. Regular infantry in the front could only stall the Chaos Knights, locking them in combat and providing the anvil for another unit to act as the hammer. Maybe those Empire Knights?

    But in the case or Elves vs Goblins, it sounds like something that goes back to at least Warhammer 2nd Edition... the profiles had not changed since those days (Elves vs Goblins were also the core forces of the WFB 4th Edition box set). The Goblin's Fear rule existed in 3rd Edition, I believe, and was really more intended for fluff reasons than balance. Goblins are only meant to be brave in numbers (and cowardly when outnumbered, especially by the strange Elves). It seems like the idea that Goblins should automatically lose to "superior" Elves is based in assumptions about the story. A similar complaint was made about Space Marines in 40k 2nd Edition. In the novels, Space Marines are invincible super-soldiers, but in 40k 2nd Edition they were incredibly fragile (in fact, one could say they are the most fragile army, since you pay 300 points for a 10-man squad that is not much tougher than Imperial Guard when it comes under fire).

    I never bought those arguments, because I think Space Marines (and Elves for that matter) are good enough on the tabletop to create suitably epic situations (which is ultimately the point of wargaming for me... not balance, but rather cool situations and stories that arise from play). But a lot of people did buy that argument, and as a result we got 40k 3rd Edition (which made Space Marines THE defacto army to play, because they became so invincible). 40k 3e perhaps matched some elements of the literature better, but I prefer how 2e played, even with the supposedly "fragile" Space Marines.

    I really hope my defense of Herohammer is not being read as an indictment of your game. I'd love to try it out one day and there is always more room on my bookshelf for new games. I don't buy into the idea that one can have only one sci fi game, one fantasy game etc. Every game brings something new to the table and that's precisely what is cool about this hobby.

  12. #52

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

    One of the difficulties in discussing a game is that when one gives an example to illustrate a flawed mechanic, people focus on how to solve the example rather than looking at the mechanic.

    Yes, I know you can beat Chaos Knights. The question is why do you have to do it that particular way?

    Having a unit that has a 1+ save is a bad mechanic. It's very unbalancing. In a game that is supposed to be about using tactics and strategy, having overpowered units skews the game and puts a greater emphasis on force selection than on gameplay.

    Of course there should be tough units. Chaos Knights in regular armor are pretty tough. They'd also move a little slower, but that's okay. So why were they super-charged? Why did so many core rules have to be set aside to make them?

    A good system should let the core rules speak for themselves. The core rules in 6th did this and that's why I liked them better. Unfortunately GW did what they always do and then wrecked the system with botched army books.

    Quote Originally Posted by Galadrin View Post
    It seems like the idea that Goblins should automatically lose to "superior" Elves is based in assumptions about the story.
    No, it's based on their stat lines. You look at a basic elf's stats and you think: "This guy should mop the floor with that goblin." And then they fight and it's pretty even.

    The reason is that WHFB's engine uses lots of numbers that just don't matter that much. They look scary on the profile, but don't have much battlefield impact.

    This is why WHFB combat really comes down to special rules, magic and characters. One of the good parts in WFHB is that position also matters, which makes it a harder game than 40k - it takes some hard work to get an open flank so you can break a tough unit.

    Going back to the Chaos Knights, they have to have all those special rules to be good at what they are supposed to do because the core rules aren't enough to get them there.

    Most people blame the army book, but (as I said above) the book is inseparable from the game.

    40k 3e perhaps matched some elements of the literature better, but I prefer how 2e played, even with the supposedly "fragile" Space Marines.
    I agree. The 2nd ed. marines aren't fragile, they're outnumbered. That's a big difference. They're still tough to kill and incredibly flexible. I found that 3rd basically tore up the fluff and dumbed down the game.

    I really hope my defense of Herohammer is not being read as an indictment of your game. I'd love to try it out one day and there is always more room on my bookshelf for new games. I don't buy into the idea that one can have only one sci fi game, one fantasy game etc. Every game brings something new to the table and that's precisely what is cool about this hobby.
    Too bad you weren't here in December - I was giving the rules away for free. They're still pretty cheap.

    I know I've bashed Herohammer but it's always worth having some perspective. It was a lot better than the alternatives it was up against. TSR's Battlesystem was horrible. I kept a copy specifically to remind myself just how awful that game was.

    And when played in moderation (that is, not super-competitively) you can have a lot of fun with it. The restrictions on characters and magic that game near the end of 5th really helped improve game play. (Though it did eliminate my Empire gambit of exploiting cheap human characters by creating front ranks entirely made up of heroes.)

    Still, the innovations of 6th made for better core rules. Unfortunately the game still had bad books and their look and feel wasn't as light-hearted and fun.
    Last edited by Commissar von Toussaint; 01-04-2017 at 16:40.
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try the revised and expanded Conqueror: Fields of Victory!
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  13. #53
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    Re: Some 4th/5th/6th ed. questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Commissar von Toussaint View Post
    One of the difficulties in discussing a game is that when one gives an example to illustrate a flawed mechanic, people focus on how to solve the example rather than looking at the mechanic.
    Well, there is a reason for that. Part of the "game" part of Warhammer is that the rules give you a problem. Let's say the stat line is the problem... Elves are never worth their point values in comparison to Goblins, or Chaos Knights are technically invulnerable against 90% of your army list. Now you are seeing this as just a problem, a fault in the rules... that is fair enough! There are other games that are much more balanced right out of the gate... I have found that most of them are pretty bland and dry, but nevertheless you could say that these games don't present players with problems hardbaked into the rules themselves.

    A "win", right? From one (perfectly legitimate) perspective, yes. But for me, the fact that the rules present you with several (indeed, perhaps many) problems is itself part of the game. How do you overcome this on the battlefield? Let's take another look at the Elf vs Goblin thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Commissar von Toussaint View Post
    No, it's based on their stat lines. You look at a basic elf's stats and you think: "This guy should mop the floor with that goblin." And then they fight and it's pretty even.
    To be fair, I don't think that, and I am not sure I have ever thought that... when I look at the stat lines of an Elf, I think "wow, this guy is very fragile... how do I get around that on the battlefield?" In any case, you're being way too kind... a basic Elf may win in a straight up fight against a basic Goblin, but going by point values, he isn't going to be fighting just one Goblin. He has to actually beat three Goblins. And one Elf will never win against three Goblins in a straight up fight (or 10 Elves vs 30 Goblins etc.).

    So your challenge, as a general, becomes... "ok, I bought and painted 20 Elf models... how am I going to get the most out of them? How am I going to overcome their weaknesses and exploit their strengths? And how am I going to deal with those 1+ save Chaos Knights?" Of course, it bleeds into the fluff as well... Elves always feel dangerously outnumbered and in danger of being completely overwhelmed by the Goblin hordes on the battlefield. It is the Elves who are at the precipice of extinction, not the numberless throngs of Greenskins, and when they vanish from the Old World, so too will their ancient civilization and all of its accumulated knowledge and wisdom. They don't kick butt... they are imperilled and can only win a temporary victory and stay their fate a little longer through decisive strategies and tactics and bold moves.

    The counter argument is that this is just lazy design on the part of GW. They shouldn't have these "problems" with balance to begin with. And... maybe it was and maybe it wasn't. But what you are highlighting as problems are things that I have personally had a lot of fun working out on the tabletop. It's weird for me to think of them merely as "errors," so I guess I am just trying to show how I have had fun with them. That is, they're part of the game itself, at least for me. Would I prefer a game where every army book was perfectly equal to every other army book, and the game came down purely to a test of the tactical genius of each player? Personally, no... that sounds a bit more like chess than Warhammer, at least to me.

    Does Conqueror have a PDF version for purchase?
    Last edited by Galadrin; 01-04-2017 at 17:48.

  14. #54

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Galadrin View Post
    Well, there is a reason for that. Part of the "game" part of Warhammer is that the rules give you a problem. Let's say the stat line is the problem... Elves are never worth their point values in comparison to Goblins, or Chaos Knights are technically invulnerable against 90% of your army list. Now you are seeing this as just a problem, a fault in the rules... that is fair enough! There are other games that are much more balanced right out of the gate... I have found that most of them are pretty bland and dry, but nevertheless you could say that these games don't present players with problems hardbaked into the rules themselves.
    Are you really saying that you like unbalanced games with incomplete/flawed rules more than well-crafted ones?


    A "win", right? From one (perfectly legitimate) perspective, yes. But for me, the fact that the rules present you with several (indeed, perhaps many) problems is itself part of the game. How do you overcome this on the battlefield? Let's take another look at the Elf vs Goblin thing.
    I owned a wargame in the 80s that had some printing errors on it: one of the key provinces was missing its manpower/revenue ratings. It was a challenge, all right, but not one I relished...

    To be fair, I don't think that, and I am not sure I have ever thought that... when I look at the stat lines of an Elf, I think "wow, this guy is very fragile... how do I get around that on the battlefield?" In any case, you're being way too kind... a basic Elf may win in a straight up fight against a basic Goblin, but going by point values, he isn't going to be fighting just one Goblin. He has to actually beat three Goblins. And one Elf will never win against three Goblins in a straight up fight (or 10 Elves vs 30 Goblins etc.).
    Okay, I'm going to try one more time because we're clearly talking past each other.

    My contention is NOT that goblins and elves as written in the game are unbalanced.

    Are we clear on that? Similarly, I'm NOT saying that Chaos Knights are cheaty/beardy/cheesy etc.

    What I AM saying is that the way GW decided to create them was a bad design choice because it made it more complex than it needed to be.

    GW very clearly wanted to make high elves superior to goblins. They gave the high elves better stats, but then they also gave them a raft of special rules.

    The end result is the same: 10 elves will stomp on 10 goblins - so the goblins need numbers to win. That element of the design objective was successful.

    HOWEVER, in order to pull that off, GW had to unleash multiple special rules. Goblins have to fear high elves, and every single high elf unit gets a special rule.

    That isn't fluff or chrome, it's the game design equivalent of duct tape, chewing gum and string holding the rules together.

    Now multiply this by a dozen army lists, and now you have some serious problems with complexity and consistency. This is where you get the "irresistible force vs immovable object" rules disputes that made playing 5th such a pain.

    Now let's go back to our much-maligned Chaos Knight.

    Recall that my problem was not with his existence or his power. My problem was that he was given two rules exemptions to achieve it.

    The rule that heavy armor imposes a -1 movement penalty was negated.

    Not only that, Chaos Armor exceeds the allowable bonus for armor - so it's doubly good.

    When you break rules that frequently, you've basically said your system doesn't work. It apparently isn't enough to give these guys extra attacks, superb stats and heavy armor and warhorses - no, in order to fulfill their intended role, two more rules have to be set aside.

    That is what I was driving at when I brought up the Empire. They were basically the only army in Herohammer that had to follow all the core rules. Everyone else got a dispensation.

    That being the case, what does that say about the core rules?

    One of the key problems I grappled with in my own game design was how to make it so that there were very few special rules. The special rules I did make, were about giving units the right feel.

    In the case of elves vs goblins, I achieved that simply by making elves very skilled fighters with good morale and rapid movement. No three-ranks for spears, no causing fear, no great-weapons-go-first and so on. The high elves have zero special rules, but they are a ferocious but fragile army and when they fight goblins, they are terribly outnumbered. (This is why I also created a "square" formation with no flanks.)

    That was a critical part of my effort.

    The same is true with Chaos Knights. I have an equivalent of frenzy, and that plus awesome stats are all they need to cut through units like a blowtorch.

    No need for super armor, no need to waive movement rules, just awesome stats and some chrome (because we all love chrome ).

    The thing is, chrome should be a decoration, not a structural support. That's my big issue with 5th ed.

    Does Conqueror have a PDF version for purchase?
    I believe that is an option when you buy the electronic version of it.
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try the revised and expanded Conqueror: Fields of Victory!
    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wonder what could have happened if someone competent wrote them? Look no further.
    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.
    Check out my bestselling book about the Spanish Civil War.

  15. #55
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    Re: Some 4th/5th/6th ed. questions

    Ah, I think I get you now... and I agree, 5e ended up with a lot of special rules bloat. That's part of the reason why I stick with 4e army books... the special rules may have made some of the older armies "more competitive," but I preferred the earlier, simpler versions. For example, the 4e High Elf book (which was used for about the first year of 5th) adds 2 special rules to Warhammer. The 5e High Elf book adds 15 special rules. That was completely unnecessary... the High Elves played fine in 4e. But GW was bowing to its worst demons and making every subsequent book more powerful in order to (you guessed it) sell more models.

    The thing 5e does better than 4e is the rulebook is much better illustrated, editted and organized. It's actually mostly the same words, copy and pasted, with a few key sections heavily changed (skirmishers and flyers, for example).

    But yes, your point is that you shouldn't need special rules to "patch up" a core rules system. I don't think the special rules were actually needed at all (certainly in the case of the more off the wall 5e army books). But I suspect that these were added just to sell models. 4e never needed this, for example, and worked fine. But your point is well taken... when there start to be more exceptions to the normal rules than there are normal rules, you have to wonder what exactly should be considered the base core rules after all.
    Last edited by Galadrin; 02-04-2017 at 00:43.

  16. #56

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Galadrin View Post
    Ah, I think I get you now... and I agree, 5e ended up with a lot of special rules bloat. That's part of the reason why I stick with 4e army books... the special rules may have made some of the older armies "more competitive," but I preferred the earlier, simpler versions. For example, the 4e High Elf book (which was used for about the first year of 5th) adds 2 special rules to Warhammer. The 5e High Elf book adds 15 special rules. That was completely unnecessary... the High Elves played fine in 4e. But GW was bowing to its worst demons and making every subsequent book more powerful in order to (you guessed it) sell more models.
    Codex creep is real and ongoing.

    The nice thing about playing an obsolete edition is that you can fix it with house rules and never worry about the next update.

    The thing 5e does better than 4e is the rulebook is much better illustrated, editted and organized. It's actually mostly the same words, copy and pasted, with a few key sections heavily changed (skirmishers and flyers, for example).
    When I got involved, 5th was the new hotness, and those were the books one could find. People talked about 4th but I never played it. I heard about older editions with more detailed leadership (I think "coolness" was a stat) and old-timers groused that the game had been "dumbed down" for the kiddies.

    But yes, your point is that you shouldn't need special rules to "patch up" a core rules system. I don't think the special rules were actually needed at all (certainly in the case of the more off the wall 5e army books). But I suspect that these were added just to sell models. 4e never needed this, for example, and worked fine. But your point is well taken... when there start to be more exceptions to the normal rules than there are normal rules, you have to wonder what exactly should be considered the base core rules after all.
    Glad to see we're on the same page.

    Thinking it over, I think the easiest way to illustrate the difference between a clean design and a cluttered one is to contrast the two rosters. The 5th ed. books came with 1,000 point sample army lists in them. I'm going to try to convert them into equivalent-sized forces in Conqueror and see what comes up. That might help provide a common point of reference. I just need to figure out where I put those books...
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try the revised and expanded Conqueror: Fields of Victory!
    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wonder what could have happened if someone competent wrote them? Look no further.
    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.
    Check out my bestselling book about the Spanish Civil War.

  17. #57

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

    Found the books, loaded Chaos to the Conqueror thread. More will come as I complete the math.
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try the revised and expanded Conqueror: Fields of Victory!
    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wonder what could have happened if someone competent wrote them? Look no further.
    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.
    Check out my bestselling book about the Spanish Civil War.

  18. #58

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Galadrin View Post
    Omg omg omg. I was put on earth to sing the praises of 4th/5th edition. There really needs to be a forum that gathers all 4th/5th gamers.
    I agree.

    I cut my teeth on this Edition and enjoy the memories and lessons this game brought. My children are in College now and I have extra time on my hands. Imagine my surprise when I was shown Age of Sigmar. The fact GW destroyed their universe in pursuit of profit and copyright shows this is not the same company I was devoted to in the 90s and 2000s. One Golden Demon, one Silver Demon, and two Bronze Demons, plus a member of the Geeks: I was devoted. Now, I am taking a pause to see what exactly is going on. O_o

    I play Orcs and Goblins and still have the original Orcs I first painted using the 'Eavy Metal guide inside the Army Book. I loved their "1, 2, 3, - then a miracle happens -, done!* painting guide that required the painter to investigate techniques. And the lore within the Army Books. The Bretonnia Army Book story of Thibault and the story of Azhag in the Orc Army Book are one main reason why I got sucked into the Lore. It engaged me and my friends who began playing around the same time. We all met at our local game store weekly and fought battles, learned tactics, and - mostly - followed the ethos laid down within those tomes. Rivalries between armies ensued, and tactics became a topic more often than not. And the Army Books were packed with nuggets of knowledge. One of the first lessons I learned in this Edition was using Magic Items to offset my army's deficiencies - a lesson from Jervis in the OnG Army Book. The battle reports were awesome too as the creators of the games were outlining their thoughts behind army composition and tactics. Most of my early games were played copying their tactics and trying them out when appropriate on the table-top. Great fluff and crunch. I will gravitate between this and 6th Edition. I'm not jumping into AoS just yet.


    I enjoy 4-5th Edition the most as it put the Hero at the front of the story and the Troops were Supporting Characters: the player running the Army was the Hero and the General was their Archetype on the table. With manageable model count, even my units Bosses and Big Bosses were named as they performed Heroic Feats in various battles. Bahgtru Bonesnappa riding his warboar Khoal - joined by da Boar Boyz led by Big Mad Drongo! (That was the Unit that won Gold in 2001.) The Big 'Unz were the foot-sloggers with Uruk in lead. Da Boyz were led by Gothmog. (I was Tolkien before Tolkien was kewl, yo.) Sid da Mad rode his Cockatrice (da Chikken uv DEFF!) into battle leading his Night Goblin units with the Bane of Bretonnia: the FANATIX! Bucket and Two-Squigs led these units, often joined by the Night Goblin Shaman Voodoo Dick who lent magical aid to Nazgob Bonecasta, Bahgtru's right-hand m... orc. Fezzik the Giant was the Cannonball Magnet and da Stoopids (Trolls) were the stumbling blocks. Chariots, Rock Lobbas, and Bolt Throwers, oh my. The OnG will always be my favorite army.

    And as the Special Characters were Special, they didn't take part in our games - unless story campaign called for it. We created our characters from scratch and developed histories for them. Stories embellished with every battle. Campaigns that stretched the breadth of the Old World.
    They were an extension of ourselves.

    The Core Rules set the rules for the world. The Army Books provided special abilities and disabilities upon each army. The Bretonnians fielded Archers - no war machines. The Empire had magic and science - but man they were slow. Orcs and Goblins were bad asses - but had Alpha Male tendencies to hoot and holler at each other for rank at the most inopportune moments... And that was just part of the World that is Warhammer.

    Those who adapt survive.

    Enjoy your game, whatever Edition you play.

  19. #59
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    Re: Some 4th/5th/6th ed. questions

    Quote Originally Posted by raginggaijin View Post
    I agree.

    I cut my teeth on this Edition and enjoy the memories and lessons this game brought. My children are in College now and I have extra time on my hands. Imagine my surprise when I was shown Age of Sigmar. The fact GW destroyed their universe in pursuit of profit and copyright shows this is not the same company I was devoted to in the 90s and 2000s. One Golden Demon, one Silver Demon, and two Bronze Demons, plus a member of the Geeks: I was devoted. Now, I am taking a pause to see what exactly is going on. O_o
    Honestly, I feel the "end of Warhammer" has been a very good thing for fans of 90's GW. GW had been beating a dead horse for over a decade in terms of both Warhammer as a setting and as a ruleset. I was much more disappointed with the way thing were going starting with 6th (which had decent core mechanics, but completely sapped all the magic, the wonder and the heroics out of the game and made the setting a drab grimdark that I felt was taking itself way too seriously. 4th/5th was bright, colourful and firmly tongue in cheek and was just more fun because of it!). When Warhammer "ended," I breathed a sigh of relief as at least one of my favorite childhood games would no longer be mistreated. I did feel empathy for those that lost "their favourite edition," though, as I realize some people only started playing in 6th, 7th or 8th as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by raginggaijin View Post
    I play Orcs and Goblins and still have the original Orcs I first painted using the 'Eavy Metal guide inside the Army Book. I loved their "1, 2, 3, - then a miracle happens -, done!* painting guide that required the painter to investigate techniques. And the lore within the Army Books. The Bretonnia Army Book story of Thibault and the story of Azhag in the Orc Army Book are one main reason why I got sucked into the Lore. It engaged me and my friends who began playing around the same time. We all met at our local game store weekly and fought battles, learned tactics, and - mostly - followed the ethos laid down within those tomes. Rivalries between armies ensued, and tactics became a topic more often than not. And the Army Books were packed with nuggets of knowledge. One of the first lessons I learned in this Edition was using Magic Items to offset my army's deficiencies - a lesson from Jervis in the OnG Army Book. The battle reports were awesome too as the creators of the games were outlining their thoughts behind army composition and tactics. Most of my early games were played copying their tactics and trying them out when appropriate on the table-top. Great fluff and crunch. I will gravitate between this and 6th Edition. I'm not jumping into AoS just yet.
    I neither have any interest nor any strong feelings at all about AoS. There is just no way that GW can ever top what they did in the GW Golden Age of the 90's. Those army books, the fluff and tactics, the amazing painting guides by the best 'Eavy Metal team that ever existed (led by the terrific Mike McVey), the best models ever made (Kev Adams Orcs & Goblins? Never, ever going to be topped.), the box sets with all the cards, the White Dwarf articles... it was the perfect storm of great gaming. I actually just bought some of the Made To Order old Blood Bowl 3rd Edition teams GW rereleased last week, as I own and play complete, brand new copies of: Blood Bowl 3rd, Man O War, Warhammer Quest (with Lair of the Orc Lord and Catacombs of Terror), Warhammer 40k 2nd, Gorkamorka, Epic 40k 3rd, Titan Legions, Talisman 3rd (with all expansions, Space Hulk 2nd, BFG, Mordheim... I'm sure there are others, my gaming shelf is a shrine to 90's GW!

    Quote Originally Posted by raginggaijin View Post
    I enjoy 4-5th Edition the most as it put the Hero at the front of the story and the Troops were Supporting Characters: the player running the Army was the Hero and the General was their Archetype on the table. With manageable model count, even my units Bosses and Big Bosses were named as they performed Heroic Feats in various battles. Bahgtru Bonesnappa riding his warboar Khoal - joined by da Boar Boyz led by Big Mad Drongo! (That was the Unit that won Gold in 2001.) The Big 'Unz were the foot-sloggers with Uruk in lead. Da Boyz were led by Gothmog. (I was Tolkien before Tolkien was kewl, yo.) Sid da Mad rode his Cockatrice (da Chikken uv DEFF!) into battle leading his Night Goblin units with the Bane of Bretonnia: the FANATIX! Bucket and Two-Squigs led these units, often joined by the Night Goblin Shaman Voodoo Dick who lent magical aid to Nazgob Bonecasta, Bahgtru's right-hand m... orc. Fezzik the Giant was the Cannonball Magnet and da Stoopids (Trolls) were the stumbling blocks. Chariots, Rock Lobbas, and Bolt Throwers, oh my. The OnG will always be my favorite army.

    And as the Special Characters were Special, they didn't take part in our games - unless story campaign called for it. We created our characters from scratch and developed histories for them. Stories embellished with every battle. Campaigns that stretched the breadth of the Old World.
    They were an extension of ourselves.

    The Core Rules set the rules for the world. The Army Books provided special abilities and disabilities upon each army. The Bretonnians fielded Archers - no war machines. The Empire had magic and science - but man they were slow. Orcs and Goblins were bad asses - but had Alpha Male tendencies to hoot and holler at each other for rank at the most inopportune moments... And that was just part of the World that is Warhammer.

    Those who adapt survive.

    Enjoy your game, whatever Edition you play.
    That sounds exactly like the right way to play, in my book. Armies had tons of character to them, heroes were actually heroes and every game generates a great story just because of all the random things that can happen. And 4th/5th were definitely the most random in their results (cards, die rolls on special tables, special rules, crazy combos), and O&G were the most random army—you NEVER know what is going to happen each game, and that is what makes it so fun!
    Last edited by Galadrin; 15-04-2017 at 13:12.

  20. #60

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

    Some of this I agree with fully. Other parts, no so much.


    Quote Originally Posted by raginggaijin View Post
    I cut my teeth on this Edition and enjoy the memories and lessons this game brought. My children are in College now and I have extra time on my hands.
    Pretty much. WHFB was my gateway drug to miniatures.

    I play Orcs and Goblins and still have the original Orcs I first painted using the 'Eavy Metal guide inside the Army Book. I loved their "1, 2, 3, - then a miracle happens -, done!* painting guide that required the painter to investigate techniques. And the lore within the Army Books. The Bretonnia Army Book story of Thibault and the story of Azhag in the Orc Army Book are one main reason why I got sucked into the Lore. It engaged me and my friends who began playing around the same time. We all met at our local game store weekly and fought battles, learned tactics, and - mostly - followed the ethos laid down within those tomes. Rivalries between armies ensued, and tactics became a topic more often than not. And the Army Books were packed with nuggets of knowledge. One of the first lessons I learned in this Edition was using Magic Items to offset my army's deficiencies - a lesson from Jervis in the OnG Army Book. The battle reports were awesome too as the creators of the games were outlining their thoughts behind army composition and tactics. Most of my early games were played copying their tactics and trying them out when appropriate on the table-top. Great fluff and crunch. I will gravitate between this and 6th Edition. I'm not jumping into AoS just yet.
    I liked the look and feel of the books and though I fought the fluff terribly derivative, that didn't bother me as I figured GW was catering to the generic fantasy market. There was something for everyone.

    I enjoy 4-5th Edition the most as it put the Hero at the front of the story and the Troops were Supporting Characters: the player running the Army was the Hero and the General was their Archetype on the table. With manageable model count, even my units Bosses and Big Bosses were named as they performed Heroic Feats in various battles.
    I agree with this to a point.

    I think it's nice to have custom characters, particularly in a fantasy setting where it can be tied in to a role-playing campaign (which is what first got me interested in the rules).

    I also liked that fact that certain armies were very easy to get into, Chaos being the obvious example. For a modest outlay, you could get a scrappy little army put together. (In fact, you could gut several if you went and cannibalized a figures from Battlemasters ).

    What I didn't like was the way characters and magic frequently trumped tactics. Even working cooperatively to generate interesting and balanced lists, it was hard not to trick each other and get a lop-sided game. The power of the magic system meant that everyone had to waste points on scroll caddies or get demolished. We tried restricting magic, but that put the armies who relied on it (like Undead/VC) at a disadvantage.

    It was possible to have a balanced game, but it required a lot of extra time and coordination to do it. Simply saying "hey, let's do a 2,000 point battle" wasn't enough to guarantee a competitive (and fun) game.

    And as the Special Characters were Special, they didn't take part in our games - unless story campaign called for it. We created our characters from scratch and developed histories for them. Stories embellished with every battle. Campaigns that stretched the breadth of the Old World.
    They were an extension of ourselves.

    The Core Rules set the rules for the world. The Army Books provided special abilities and disabilities upon each army.
    See my comments above - the core rules were almost always overridden by the army books, which rendered them moot. When only one out of a dozen armies actually follows a "core" rule, it isn't a core rule any more.

    I've slagged on the books a lot, but it is the only edition I still own and I regard it as canon when working on Conqueror lists. My latest project is trying to create character-heavy versions of the old lists, since I think my earlier conversions appealed more to the post-6th ed crowd.

    One of the issues I'm having is which fiddly rules to keep. Animosity adds character, but it's also a time sink. I played with and against Orcs frequently and I can't count how many times we'd be in the throes of a battle, full of tension and one of us would say "Oh crap! Forgot to roll animosity!"

    This dovetails with my other complaint that the game was simply too random. Roll for terrain. Roll for first turn. Draw cards. Roll dice for this and that. I like a bit of chance in a game, but it seemed 5th went overboard on it.

    I didn't have a ton of time to game, and I hated seeing a game devolve to hot dice taking the day.

    My point is that there are better ways to give the feel of an army of ill-disciplined savages than rolling buckets of dice and consulting tables every single turn.

    Enjoy your game, whatever Edition you play.
    I agree with this without reservation.
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try the revised and expanded Conqueror: Fields of Victory!
    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wonder what could have happened if someone competent wrote them? Look no further.
    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.
    Check out my bestselling book about the Spanish Civil War.

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