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8Th Edition Rumours

Posted by ReudanRedhammer , 24 April 2010 · 1,181 views

Rumours 8th Edition Rant Gaming
A lot of stuff has been flying around about the new edition of Warhammer Fantasy, and there are a lot of rumours and heaps of speculation being tossed around.

Frankly, I think its all "I Swear too much".

Not that none of the rumours will come true, I'm sure some will, but I don't want ANY of these rumours to come true. LEt's take a look at the big ones:

Percentages. Slots were created to prevent percentage abuse, and now there is talk of reintroducing percentages, either stand alone or on top of the slots that are currently around. I think that this will ruin a lot of the flavour and fun of the game, which is the clash of heroes and villains on an open field. Slots, as they are, give players the option to field elite armies rather than making everyone have a similar sized list, and percentages will force lists to fall into consistent grooves. By giving armies percentages, all armies of the same type will begin to look a lot more uniform. Building a balanced list should not be mandated by the rules, period. Give people the option to build the army they want, and if that means some crazy HE player wants multiple dragons, so be it! I don't think slots are the real issue here, I think undercosted heroes/lords are. What really needs to happen is re-releases of the lists that are easy to powergame with, not an overhaul of the entire system.

Armour saves. Why would we ever want just one? This again is minimizing the role of an elite army too much. The ability to stack armour with ward saves and regeneration lets you create a heroic force rather than a horde army. By limiting it to one armour save, you are getting rid of a lot of the fantasy element in the game. That little tailsman of protection is there as that extra chance of the hero pulling out in the end and fighting to the last, and a blow would have to get through every layer of armour to get to the guy. Things should have to get through armour, then magical protection. After that, you should have the chance to see if the character regenerates the wound properly and in time. By lowering it to just a single armour save I feel like battles will just become "move forward, roll dice" with no heroism or valiance on the field anymore. A horde will ALWAYS beat a small, elite unit unless the unit is kitted out for damage purposes only. It will simply become a matter of who can roll more dice per combat rather than who can have better odds. This should be available as one tactic, not the only one.

Fear/terror. There are scary, supernatural things out there, and a basic human should soil his pants and run away from a dragon every once in a while. The extra combat res will only help units of fear/terror causers, and a dragon or the like will be left out to dry. Not every person should be able to stand their ground against a dragon just because, and a dragon roaring, even if it wasn't in close combat with my unit, would make me quake with all kinds of fear. Fear/terror are great rules that represent the horrors that exist only in fantasy well.

Fighting in multiple ranks. WHY? Nobody has ever given me a good reason why, logically, someone standing behind his buddy would be able to attack with his two dagger/axe/hammer/sword with ease. Spears it makes sense, but these other weapons do not have much reach, and it makes no sense why they could just casually reach over their buddy and attack. I have heard rumours that the guys in the second rank will only get 1 attack, or only get to attack if the guy in front of them dies, but again, I must ask why? This rule doesn't make any sense other than people whining when their front rank gets cleared out. If five guys die, and they were the only ones in reach of the enemy, you should have to step forward rather than get your attack in. This rule is just nonsensical, and is just there to add more dice rolls and weaken armour saves even more.

After talking these rules over with my friends, I hope that 99% of these rumours are totally false. Otherwise, I'm afraid I will just play 7th and be quite annoyed at the newer books for my armies as well. This is a general dumbing-down of a great hobby, and I, for one, am saddened if these rumours are true.

I actually find that some of the rumours are making me cautiously optimistic about the new edition. That said, plenty of the rumours are making me nervous too, so all in all I guess I'm suspending judgement. However, I have some comments on most of the specific changes you are mentioning.

With regards to percentages I think you might be envisioning the worst possible way percentages could work. We already are forces to include some regular troopers in our armies with the slot system (eg 2+ core units). The percentage system would not change this, at least if it takes the form of something like "Core troops 25+%", depending on the exact numbers I don't think it will cause a problem if the categories are kept that general. Of course, if it's something like "10+% warriors" "10-30% thunderers/quarrellers" then it will be ridiculous and force extremely identical armies. I don't think even GW would do that, though. That said, I don't see how reintroducing percentages will make anything better than the current system already is, it seems like an unnecessary complication in choosing one's army - especially if they are retaining the slot system too.

I also agree with your overall statement that the general system of the game isn't too broken, but merely that some (many?) army books need to be recalibrated and -balanced with each other.

Concerning one save only I agree completely. I can't see that making the game better in any way. I expect to ignore this change (if it's true), AT LEAST until new army books are out, when it might be balanced. I would still intensely dislike it though.

I disagree with you about fear/terror though! I don't see how a static bonus to combat resolution is of no use to a dragon. Even though it gets most of its points from kills, a static bonus would still be useful. Personally I find auto-breaking is ridiculous. Not because it's silly that some units are fearsome and more easily makes the enemy flee, but because just a single zombie in favor of the fear-causers will cause even the most hardened Ironbreaker, warrior og Longbeard to flee. I play regularly against VC, and I'm sick of having to spend 100+ points on runes just to feel safe from auto-breaking (I usually don't, but I feel like I always lack defense against the auto-breaking), just because he can field huge, dirt-cheap blocks of zombies. If auto-breaking should be kept it should either be differentiated more, or more units should be immune to fear. Or less units should cause fear (and more than simply outnumbering should be required, perhaps not outnumbering 2-1, but more than one single model). Skeletons and zombies just are not very scary. Sure, it's a rotting corpse etc. but is that really any more terrifying than all the other non-fear-causing horrors in the Warhammer world? Are they more fearsome than Chaos Warriors, who don't cause fear?
Terror does become a little boring if it's really reduced to merely a +2 static combat bonus. I probably would agree that a terror-causing dragon ought to gain a little something extra from it. I'm not sure what though.

Regarding two ranks fighting in close combat I'm really on the fence. Not because I find it's "unrealistic", but because I think it will make combat go ridiculously fast. Close combats are over very quickly already, I don't think they need to be sped up!
However, realism seems to be your main criticism, and I think it actually can be defended. Obviously, a person standing with a sword behind another guy will have a hard time hitting the enemy on the other side. Fair enough. But only if we are supposed to imagine combat as relatively orderly with opposing ranks beating on each other without loosening the formation or ranks. Perhaps the combats are supposed to be far more chaotic than the minis can represent, the minis are already an abstraction it's not a huge step to say that they might represent the two units crashing together, with friends and foes mixed together in a mass of death and violence. If that's what is supposed to be represented it would make perfect sense that more than the front rank gets to attack.
As for people stepping up and still getting to attack I still don't necessary see a problem of realism. I mean, how hard is it to both take a step or two forward AND swing your weapon at the same time?
I could see good reasons for not making the change, but primarily based on the idea that combat would be over too quickly, not because the changes would make close combat less realistic.

Darn, that comment ended up being a bit longer than planned. Oh well...
Am I completely off? If so I'd like to hear how :)
Apr 28 2010 05:43 AM
For percentages, I am not envisioning much bad stuff happening to Dwarfs, and it fact, it will probably be beneficial. I am more talking about other armies (of which I play 5!) that will take more of a hit than us. I like Dragons, Manticores, and Griffons, and really want them to stick around at 2250 and (1000 against high elves). I think many of us forget it is a fantasy game sometimes. I feel like the minimum core requirements along with everything else are enough to balance it out as is, and it seems that you agree with me there. I am against the restriction on character points.

Thank you, and I feel like the age-old expression "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" should apply to warhammer. The ruleset isn't what's broken right now.

As for one armour save, my main disagreement is it goes a long way towards the dumbing down of the system. The only thing worse would be an AP system like 40k, which I feel is totally out of place in fantasy. Spamming little attacks will become the norm if the opponent just rolls one dice instead of two for their armour, as it is a lot more likely to get through. Could you imagine the damage a repeater crossbow gunline would do if there was only one save? Quite a bit more, considering they'd be able to kill lone characters with relative ease.

As for auto-breaking, they have to A ) beat you in combat and B ) outnumber you. Dwarfs with enough SCR and high armour should be able to hold off zombies with ease. However, I could see a toning down of fear, or perhaps a third tier of fear for things like zombies and the like. Maybe just undead cause fear to certain Ld values? Either way, I like fear as it is (and not just because I also play TK) as they are still supernatural horrors in massive numbers, which would worry any soldier except the most elite or the ones who are fearsome on their own. If you're having trouble against VC though, try the Anvil. it's anti-fear can be quite nice. Maybe adjustments to fear could be okay (extra SCR) but terror becomes a bit boring as you said. A Dragon landing right next to you, even without it charging your unit, would be quite the ordeal.

As for the realism of two ranks fighting, I imagine my Dwarfs as a solid shield wall, so if there is chaos and intermingling as you said, I am quite disappointed in my bearded men! Lines are meant to be held, and that's how I imagine warriors with shields would like to hold them. Also, stepping up and attacking is not very realistic at all if you consider the fact there will be a corpse there as well. Bodies don't disappear, and you don't instantly step forward when your friend gets killed. Also, you never count on your friend dying so you'll never be ready for that instant reaction. You reposition yourself to try and keep your guard up. By stepping forward and hacking away all gung-ho you leave yourself open and your poor dying buddy has a chance of feeling his comrade's blade in his back as he's falling down. It is VERY hard to take a couple steps and swing, as you are trying to still maintain a line and not break out of it or stop supporting it, not to mention the fact you would leave yourself open and there would be a corpse falling towards you. I could see slayers doing it, but not many other dwarfs.

Oh, and I agree. The game really doesn't need speeding up in terms of combat, unless you're doing a zombie horde vs zombie horde battle, in which case you're doing it all wrong anyways.

So no, you were not too far off in any regard. Thank you for the comment.

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