British and German Soldiers Christmas Day 1914
It's an uneasy truce I have with WFB's 8th edition. As I've mention in previous post I am somewhat soured on the game for a variety of reasons. Mainly the inability of the tournament scene to catch up to changes in the rules. I don't have huge problem with majority of the new rules, they're if anything, consistent. A quick overview of my personal troops doesn't bode particulary well in 8th. My planned Lizardmen build got squashed by army percentages, ok, move on I can still make them work but there is really only varieties of one build that seems to work. I don't have the models to make my Daemons work in the new environment, investing in a ton of metal Plaguebearers a couple months before 8th release, was in retrospect- idiocy and I am not particulary interested in investing a ton more time and money into them. With my beloved Empire, I "hate" having to take the Steam tank every freaking game to be competitive in a tournament..but it is what it is, I dont find 4 Mortars and a Master Engineer or 30 spelled up Greatswords or Flagellants anymore appealing and the fact that the detachment system and my favorite Huntsmen are practically useless is a drag. While I have no love for the huge combat res's of the new game its something I can live with while and tactically plan for.
At certain point you just need to decide that you like the game or you don't. Despite my current cynicism and as much as 7th edition had its issues it was very addicting to me, and the drive to make things work in 8th for me is there. I find my Empire Army quite playable in 8th edition as long as I stick to the things "that work" however constantly having to tie up 600 points with a Steam Tank and a Wizard Lord with the Lore of Life, gets old fast. In a casual game, its easy to mitigate the games shortcoming and throw a list together that "kind of works" when you know who your opponent is, its when it comes to an "all comers" list in a tournament environment that is when things go off the rails. " Composition" as we knew it in 8th ed, is gone, the immediate reaction to the initial overview of 8th ed rules was that 8th ed "comps itself"While that might be true in some instances it is clear wide spread army imbalances remain with books in use over now 3 editions and nothing exacerbates army imbalances more that Warhammer 8th Editions poisonous new scoring rules.
I'm not quite sure why tournaments haven't caught on that playing to victory points is a suckers game, no points for fleeing units and having to totally destroy entire units to get full points for them , I am finding frankly- unacceptable. Several friends of mine would argue that figuring out how to completely destroy entire units is chapter1 of the new WFB tactica. I flatly reject that. For me a "wargame" should simulate a tactical battle, tactical battles are about objectives, goals, and even if the tactical goal is slaughter your opponent to the man, leaving one single soldier of unit of 30,50, even 100..or having soldiers literally fleeing the battlefield earning points toward victory is gaming gone awry.
This type of scoring in a tournament, which by my standards is a celebration of the hobby and supposed to a fun day out where the like minded can match wits on as level a playing field as possible, is counter intuitive toward total absurdity, While not everyone plays to win, everyone still likes to win from time to time. There is no glory is winning a game, where you win because your opponent rolled a "1" on his last shooting attack on your lone model of 30 remaining or because he some how couldn't kill your half dozen fleeing units.
The answer is obvious, remove victory points from the equation, the designers imply this in design, but then go ahead and make 4 of the 6 scenarios determined by VP in the new rulebook, so its not hard to see how TO's have followed suit. Despite play results to the contrary. I'd hope that if you played this game for any length of time or like me last night have tried to take you S3, T3, I3 army out against a S4, T4, I4,or 5! army...you know the feeling that in a VP game without some gimmick or fluke of luck how every game becomes "The charge of the Light Brigade", over and over and over.
Personally I'd like to see an Army Break point system similar to Warhammer Ancient Battles new rules. This would be a wondrous thing for WFB 8th, for those unfamiliar with it. basically each unit you field is worth 1 or 2 points...characters are worth an extra point and units over 300 points are +1 points, whatever the total once you reach 25% of your total -your army is broken and the game is over. (varying conditions can of course apply) While army imbalances remain an elite army will something to think about when it breaks after losing just a few units where the horde can lose many more and not worry about breaking. Having to capturing 2 of three objectives in 6 turns, while worrying about your break point creates a far more interesting game from where I am sitting. It's also clear to me that WFB 8th operates much better on a tournament perspective at 2000 points than any greater. Games of 3000+ points only purpose seem to be for big dumb fun because you're literally taking models off the table as quickly as you've put them on.
In the end its about balance, to keep its relativity the Warhammer Tournament scene, now in the hands of independent operators needs to keep people wanting more The game needs an edge, Big and Dumb is fun...but its easy to get your fill. Appeasing new players and vets- I know isn't easy and in the end its the pageantry of Warhammer that is its initial attraction. The problem is as I play more and more games with far better rules its getting easier to overlook the big shiny elephant in the room, that's currently a 528 page rulebook. Stay tuned, it will be interesting how this spring develops.
45 minutes ago