No I haven't been snubbing you, I've just been busy being lazy.
No I didn't forget about you, your starting to sound paranoid.
can I get a word in edgeways here!
Well it has been a fiendishly long time since my last post, and ohhhhhhhh so much has changed in the world. i guess i need to get the elephant in the room out of the way first, and i think we allll know what that is....
I MOVED TO HAMILTON!
oh, and the company we love to hate discontinued a game I highly enjoy
I have heard many grumblings and much nerd rage spewing forth from the deepest depths of the internet (otherwise known as fan forums) and have been disappointed by the reaction overall. Though it was not unforeseen (it almost didn't beat the rage leading from warhammer 7th to the "kiddy's version" known as 8th edition) i have a secret for many of my fellow players out there.
Are you listening carefully, good.
you can still play 8th edition
no one is stopping you. many claim that it was the most balanced a warhammer game has ever been. I myself am going to continue to play it as it is a very good game. the difference is I also enjoy Age of Sigmar.
It doesn't seem to be a popular stance, but after a few games I concede that it is a fun game. It has received a huge amount of flak for 'replacing' warhammer but i feel it needs to be impartially rated without the side by side comparisons (which are getting old). So that's what i will do, after a game Vs Tim and Brad at the local Immortals club i feel i can chat about it at last.
First up, and the biggest problem most have with the new game, choosing the army. The lack of a points system is a problem for many, fearing that without the sound logic of math total anarchy will ensue. As many of the loudest nay sayers are approaching from the tournament perspective i can completely understand. however, a quick glance at the rules quickly divulged that it is a game for the fluff gamers more than the 'competitive' crowd. it seems Games Workshop believes a smidgeon of logic is to be found in its player base which; upon reading the rage, it appears there is not.
however, myself and Tim do seem to posses this luxury in droves, and after discussing a possible wound cap settled on 7 warscrolls. this was not difficult. In the end the teams were...
'For the Empire!'
- Lord on pegasus
- heavens wizard
- Priest on Alter
- 4 Demigryph's
- 16 Handgunners
- 40 Halbardiers
- Hellblaster with 3 crew
'Orcs orcs orcs'
- Warboss on wyvern
- Night goblin shaman
- 12 Savage orcs with shivs
- 10 Savage orcs with shields
- 30 Goblin archers
- 6 river trolls
Set-up from the booklette was a breeze. a good balance between terrain and open space. we rolled for sides and pressed on
First things first we liked the randomized start. borrowing heavily from Lord of the Rings, it added a level of tension during the game that can only be applauded.
The new Command phase was interesting, and lent a tactical level that I didn't fully appreciate till late in the game. It turns out bravery is very, VERY important in this game, and being able to stop one unit a turn from losing men is paramount. The option of two abilities but only one choice per turn is something to be contemplated, giving you the option of going big or sticking it out. After nutting out the magic (we had a small misunderstanding in the first two rounds that may have swung the game a bit) we found that it was a good balance of not to strong yet not too weak. Goldilocks would be happy.
Movement still had some tactical potential. More akin to WarmaHordes and Mordheim than most entering the game are used to. Terrain, though dumbed down, was crucial (the re-rolls for the magic forest and the -1 to hit for ranged did factor into both sides strategies). I had no problem with it.
Shooting was obviously the first intro to the new weapon mechanics, and in all honesty I don't mind. Heck it made it a whole lot easier and faster than having to nut out every last variable under the sun which I am seeing all too much at the moment (while trying to write my own deep strategy skirmish game I hit the wall many times trying to make a system that favours neither attacker nor defender too much whilst not being too dense with needless rules). For this reason I appreciate the hit, wound, save, and damage stats. its simple to follow and easy to implement, making it far easier for newer players. It was a bold step, but I think it may pay off in the long run.
Combat was were some real deep strategy came in to play, and where we found some of the most tactical enjoyment fell. Many have complained on the interwebs that the game just turns into a massive brawl, but the fact that you fight one unit at a time is another difference to many mainstream games. Heres how it works
I have the turn, so I get to pick one unit/warscroll to activate. I now can move any troops in closer that might be able to reach the opponent, and fight and resolve the damage from those models. now, instead of those models engaged by them fighting (which was the norm) the opposition may pick ANY of their units engaged in combat to do the same with, continuing between us till everyone has fought. We were soon Oooing and Ahhing about which unit was best for us to activate first each turn, and it proved crucial to two of the first three combats (my giant attacked first against Tims Demigryphs even though they had charged and completely brutalized them, all because he thought it would be smarter to start with the Halbardiers in the centre). This I love love LOVE about the new game, even though there is a sense of fun detachment there are still points that can engage me on a strategic level.
Last of all is, in my opinion, the most brutal part of the game, Battleshock. strategies from the start of the turn can pay off in spades here as bravery decimated both sides, making the choice of command abilities (and the units special abilities) crucial. The fact that I had not grasped this aspect as quickly as Tim meant that I suffered some heavy early losses, which ended up losing me the game.
so far I quite like the game, but i should address the few problems that could arise with the system
- lack of unit sizes
- lack of unit cap
- shooting into/ from combat
- mixed bases
- interactive special rules
I am not throwing away my toys at this stage. I quite liked the rules as viewed in a vacum, and will continue to play it alongside Warhammer as I have continued to do with Mordheim in the past. I can see the potential for scaling up and would be interested to see if they come out with a more kings of war rule set to appease people wishing to do colossal battles. we can only wait and see...