Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Fantastical Rant (Part 1)

Howdy folks!

Today I have a treat for you. My oldest friend and fellow gamer John recently sent me a rather nice rant concerning Warhammer Fantasy. I have divided the rant up into several different posts with John's rant left almost entirely intact. So without further adieu I give to you Part 1 of the rant:

A Rambling Rant

Grandpa Simpson.

Ok just to start off a couple warnings, I am biased, I will take an opinionated stand, I am a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to gaming, and I will ever so often be a hypocrite. Also if I offend you it is nothing personnel I hate everybody equally, and if I haven’t hated on what you do it means I have either not gotten around to you yet, forgot the horrible things you do or haven’t met you yet.

Ok Warhammer (fantasy {as a warning when I typically say warhammer I mean fantasy, 40 000k will usually be specified as 40 000k}) I think is a great game of generalship, cunning, kunning, krafty-ness a good plan and a good army, and then a shit ton of luck, damn you dice gods damn you. Now that I have ensured that I lost my next battle lets continue.

1.       New Army Building Rules

I love love love the new army building rules, 25% 25% 25%+ 50% 25%, if you don’t know what that means, you can now spend up to 25% on lords, heroes and rare choices individually, at least 25% on core and up to 50% on special. For those good at math or handy with a calculator you will quickly notice that does not add up to 100%. So right off the bat you have to show some skill and creativity (hopefully) in making an army list, where will you spend your points, those pesky last 200 points do you make you beefy elite unit zoomygod-ier, do you add another cannon fodder bus, or another decked out character? Usually I find that on those last points you end up breaking one of the percentage rules, so I have found myself kunningly playing with points sculpting my army list into a masterpiece, at least until the first dice roll, once again damn you dice gods. Oh and yes I do mean to spell cunning with a k, it is a bit of an inside joke I am sure a lot of people know, and it is a reference to orc (or ork) spelling. As one who has fought under the old rules where it was simply number of units and having faced several opponents who brought 1000 point models (I am almost serious, faced a daemon prince worth around 800pts in 2000pt match) then this model is backed by the cheapest and fewest core choices he could table. I hated it as it was so unbalanced. So this new rule I think helps balance things and make the game more fun, as well as making me and you spend more time thinking about it. I have definitely spent hours at work thinking about the 85 pts I have to spend in my tomb king army.

2.       Is Bigger Better for everybody?

 I both like and don’t like that everybody is getting beefier units, monstrous cav and inf. I think more of both was needed in the game I am just not sure everybody should be getting it. While it does drive me up a wall that some don’t. (dwarves are the biggest and they need a rewrite hard more on this later) I like that the game is adding more oomph to the games with bigger scarier newier (more new) units. But I usually find that these units are unstoppable behemoths that flatten everything in their path or they sit there and mess up my dice rolling even more. I think this is because they are new and haven’t been balanced yet, or that everybody hasn’t gotten similar things to counter. So hopefully we see more of these a bit refined, hopefully not to the point where they have lost all their edge. I do agree that demigryphs should be able to roll almost anything they touch but they have a little too much power, the demigryphs themselves. One of the main issues I have with these new big units is that old big units don’t get updated to match, a lot of new monster, monstrous cav, inf or beasts have a ws of 4 or more, while my carnosaur king of the lustrian jungle struggles hitting the broadside of the block of poor empire spearmen. I love stomps, I think they were a needed add to give the big units the edge they needed, while it makes complete sense as far as lore and the ‘real world’ application of these guys. 

 So folk, what do the Fantasy players out there have to say? I myself love the new way armies are chosen. The percentage system works well for Fantasy and for point limits and provides for more diverse armies in my opinion. I prefer taking diverse, tactically flexible armies built around a few central units or an overarching theme. For example my Empire army is a combined arms force of blocks of infantry, ranged support in the form of guns and artillery, and knights to provide a good flank punch. As far as the whole unshakable thing goes I consider it a very double edged sword. I think that if a big hoard unit takes a certain amount of casualties in one round of combat then they should not get a steadfast bonus due to the fact that they just saw their friends get butchered in front of them. Besides that it gives a big advantage to armies capable of taking units of 50 for a very low cost over armies of more smaller, elite units that just aren't capable of killing enough models to make a dent in a hoard. I made an army list for Warriors of Chaos that had over 200 Marauders in it plus several characters that I would hate to see used against my High Elves who, bless their little elven hearts, just don't do a hoard army. Incidently Marauders are as expensive as goblins and skeletons, riddle me that batman! If a big block gets in an advantageous position with terrain protecting its' flanks and good luck moving that. That and I find fights between two big blocks of 50 WS 3, S3 models supremely boring. 
Napoleon Dynamite. God I hate that movie.

Part 2 will be up later this week hopefully. Happy gaming!!