Friday, March 21, 2014

New Rules: Let the Debate Begin!

Bob and I are going to try something new and see how it goes, he and I are going to debate certain points regarding the game. This post was created to be a debate but it ended up more as two old guys siting around agreeing with each other for the most part.

1. Parry Save: Good addition or not? Quick fixes/changes?
J. I like the parry save addition, however the full use of this rule bothers me. A skaven clanrat is just as likely to parry as a Chaos Chosen. In a game filled with too many modifications I think parry's need to be modifiable, can't parry an attack from something with double your WS, S or I.

B. I like the parry save as well and the need to make them modifiable. Base should be the 6+ with perhaps 4+ being the max. The 4+ would only be available to the models with the highest chosen characteristic as well as having some form of negative modifier.

J. A regeneration rule if you will. I like the idea

2. To horde or not to horde?
J. Yes- to an extent. I think some armies have to horde to be competitive. I wouldn't mind seeing this being an army specific option or even a points restriction, can't take a horde in a battle under 1500, or if you spend more than 400pts on the unit you can't horde it, I don't know but overall I like it.

B. While I agree that some armies need to horde up for lore or gaming reasons (Skaven, Goblins, etc), I do not like this mechanic overall. Given the scale of models used for Warhammer, and the prices of models rapidly approaching pants on head stupid levels, I don't think the near requirement for hordes in any semi-competitive level of play is detrimental to the game. 

J. This is a case where hording should be an army by army basis not a general rule.

3. Shooting, all negatives no positives?
J. Hate that they got rid of the one positive modifier in shooting in fantasy, shooting at large targets. While I am personally not a fan of the all or nothing in 40k, shooting is getting way too difficult in fantasy.

B. Shooting runs into a very similar problem in The Lord of the Rings/Hobbit game. Take Elves for example, they can hit things very easily considering a high BS or Shooting value, but with no Strength modifier to a long bow they usually can't kill anything nearly as easily.

J. I believe this is slippery slope issue, I would like to see the elves get boosted shooting then for some reason the orks and gobbos will get it too, and that makes no damn sense. I would be all for this is they were able to limit which factions got this bonus, all the elves and maybe dwarves that would be it.

4. Steadfast, how broke?
J. Brokest, most broke, most brokest. All of the above. This needs to be modified, I don't care how many skaven slaves you have, when my Carnosaur mounted Old Blood kills 14 of them, they are going to notice (This actually happened) Again I am not saying get rid of it, but this really needs work.

B. Agreed 100%. There needs to be a rule that negates this when a certain number of casualties are inflicted in a single round of combat.

J. I would like to see this as a percentage, maybe 25% losses from a single round of combat. Basically if it would cause a panic test, if they weren't in combat, they don't get steadfast.

5. Random Charge or Fixed Charge?
J. I like the fixed charge distance. I have seen my dwarves roll double sixes and be able to charge 15 inches, while I've had elves roll double ones and charge 7 inches. This is one place i don't like the randomness.

B. I would say I lean more towards a fixed charge range. It doesn't make much sense that a Dwarf can charge farther than a Elf or Skink.

6. Over Simplification, too big of a rule book?
J. They need to stop trying to fit all the rules into one book, it sucks, doesn't work and takes a lot of the flavor out of the game.

B. I disagree. All of the rules need to be in one book. What would be better would be to publish the small, rules only book as well as the brick. 

J. I don't like how bland the game is getting because of this fact. While it would be handy to have A book with everything I believe you lose the feel of the game. I believe if they go to one book a lot of the uniqueness is going to get bled out of the game- see magic items. The uniqueness is what makes the game, look at how i have grown armys. Elves - too squishy go to Dwarves - too few dwarves give skaven a try - skaven not pack enough damage try lizardmen - lizardmen 'too strong' try other armies (Chaos and Tomb Kings). Once everything is under one book I KNOW the armies will start to look to similar to allow a lot of variance between armies.

B. I am talking about the core game rules being in one book, not army specific information.

7. If you had one general rule (not magic based) you could change what would it be?

J. Unmodifiable Steadfast, i loathe that rule. You take 25% or 10+ casualties you arent steadfast.

B. Besides the Steadfast bull plop, I would totally rework the way armour works. It is completely unrealistic the way the various types of armour are modeled and still represent the same thing (looking at you Empire State Troops and Chaos Marauders).


  1. If steadfast is so 'broken', then what solution do you offer to the armies whose LD tops out at about 7 or so at the maximum? Having had a pure goblin horde army (prior to the steadfast rule) and needing a snake eyes (even with a reroll due to a BSB) to keep the center from disintegrating isn't exactly a fun mechanic. All the more so as that more or less the norm after most combats, and especially after getting pulped by 10 (high LD & stubborn so I couldn't break them on the charge) hammerers or the like. Prior to be thrown the bone of steadfast, constantly needing a snake eyes to keep 40-60+ regiments (much less the neighboring units) from running from some small elite unit ('elite' meaning anything not a goblin), didn't exactly encourage me to keep that army. To miserably low LD armies, steadfast was all but a necessity.

    Try taking those across the board high LD's away from those haughty Elves of yours Bob (...snicker...) and then tell me how broken steadfast looks to you?

  2. That is very true Cheef. What really bothers me the most about steadfast is causing massive casualties to said unit and not having them have any negative modifier. You can't tell me that Goblins wouldn't be a little perturbed at loosing 10 out of a unit of 40 or 50. I agree that having your large block flee after taking a few casualties isn't fun nor does it make sense. Perhaps they could receive a bonus to leadership based on the number of ranks or models up to a certain point.

  3. Is that any worse than a unit with stubborn? Like Hammerers who also have a LD of 10? My old dwarves, holding still with just a lord and 1 or 2 stubborn schmucks standing next to him, in the face of overwhelming numbers brought forth many a curse to my opponents. Honestly how is that any different?

    As for a bonus to LD due to ranks, I believe that that's how it works with the Skaven (having not actually fielded them yet). Still though, the masses in the rear pushing forward, eager for combat are easily oblivious to those dying in the front (even those that they're crushing underfoot to get there)...

  4. Stubborn often isn't in the majority of your large formations though. I also think you should loose Stubborn at a certain point as well.

    I am not sure on the Skaven rules to be honest. The reverse side of this is that for non horde armies who have to field blocks of infantry to stand a chance in holding a line it sucks to deal high casualties to an opposing larger unit but still loose combat due to rank bonuses or simple attrition. High Leadership armies still don't always have it their way. I have no problem with a blob of 60 or more Goblins sticking around if they take 10 or so casualties, it is when they enter into the 15 or 20 range that I start to get annoyed.

    What all this boils down to is that I think the whole hoard necessity needs to be reexamined. I don't necessarily have the answers on how to balance this out. I don't play hoard armies typically so my experience comes from the frustration of having to try and match them with a non-hoard army and still take enough elite units to do serious damage. There has to be a happy medium somewhere.

  5. As a reformed rat keeper myself I understand the need for horde. I just hate the fact that no matter how much damage I do to the horde unit they are sticking around. Your complaints about High LD character/stubborn character goes both ways, you can do it too, and at usually a much cheaper price. (stubborn not so much) You are right about the skaven rule, they get LD bonus for the rank bonus (up to 3) I dont like how they limit it though, 50 ranks +50 LD, however the balancing factor is that it can be modified. skaven clanrat with a hero (LD7 I believe) with 3 ranks equals LD10, wah la High LD. I wouldn't mind a general bonus to LD based on how many more ranks you have than the enemy. Outrank your enemy by 5 +5 LD, then start modifying after I have killed 8 vs 1. Also as far as lore goes horde armies arent the bravest of sumabiches. Kill a leader and they disappear. To me low LD is usually compensated by other factors LOW COST being the biggest. you can take 3-4 goblins per 1 of my dwarf warriors. A couple well placed characters, a BSB and give a unit a magic standard and you will stick around.

    The general problem with horde and steadfast is they take away the biggest/only drawback of a horde army, its LD. It would be like giving the elves higher strength for every rank, or toughness. Boosting a dwarves initiative for being surrounded by allies. Yes the horde armies need help with LD but i don't see it as a game mechanic i see it as a user. Before the last update i fought plenty of horde armies where i had to kill every model in a unit before it went away. Orks and skaven come to mind. And that was because of well placed standards and characters. The more and more I play the more i recognize that LD win more games than any other stat.

  6. My argument is mainly the 'unbreakable steadfast' not hording per-say. Another thing i don't like is that if you lose combat by 1 you take a break test. I would like to see break tests limited to losing combat by more than 2. To me one side is not going to care if they just barely lost combat. LD 10, stubborn is no guarantee you are going to stick around either, nothing brings out the double 6s like a LD test. So a couple overall points. 1. no break test if you lose by 2 or fewer. 2. Give units an unlimited boost to LD (up to 10 of course) for outranking the enemy- this doesnt apply to combat resolution just LD in break test.

  7. "nothing brings out the double 6s like a LD test."

    lol, my old Dwarf army did that with alarming frequency...the Hammerers specifically, fuckers.

    Unfortunately steadfast is one of the typical conundrums where there's no easy fix, and we can argue about it all day long and still come to no solution. So yeah, good topic for a blog post! +1

    My biggest gripe with WHFB are the army percentages where Lords and Heroes are separate sections. With up to 50% of the army potentially wrapped up in uber characters and the monsters they ride. Thus the 'horde' aspect is sometimes a moot point as the game once again becomes 'Herohammer'. Especially given my fondness for large units of garbage troops, led by some idiot standing next to a tattered flag. To find myself setting up across the table from the literal 'gods of war' who are accompanied by a few 'filler' units is a big turnoff to the game. That's a large part of the reason why my WHFB armies are relatively small, it (theoretically) limits the BS that can be stuffed into them.

  8. Ha, I think that was actually my favorite change in this last rule book, I love the percentages, so much better than number of choices. It was the exact same problem you describe. 1000pt daemon prince, 800pt hero and 2 core choices of 10 models a piece. I agree with how the game is getting too focused on individual characters/monsters. They need to work it out where the units are winning battles not heroes. I think in general the basic troops are too expensive compared to some of the betters. I have also always wanted to know what formula GW uses to determine points. Because if you are a bad guy the exact same stats are going to be cheaper than the good guys

  9. here is another imperfect solution. break tests are taken on unmodified LDs for everybody. I have been wracking my tiny little biased mind for ways to get rid of all the modifiers and I think this could be an interesting one. the problem of Low vs High LD exists but guess what you pay a premium for that High Ld

  10. Meybe beating a dead horse here but how about steadfast is not about having more than the opponent but having at least 5 ranks(First rank plus 4 ranks with at least 5 models). That way if two big units are mauling each other they can both be steadfast until losses take their toll.