Monday, May 16, 2011

Return to Warhammer Part 1

So as I mentioned last night I'm returning to Warhammer after a very long brake.

Back in the day I owned a Wood elf Army, a Dwarf Army, an Empire Army and  a Dark Elf Army. Suffice to say Warhammer was what it was about for me, that is after historical gaming.

I loved the system,  the story, the character and the imagery.  That was then, I was 13 and I was having a blast, over that period of 5th ed and then 6th ed i built those above armies and loved every moment of it over those intervening years.

Then I came across Fire and Fury Napoleonic s and megalomania set in with ended in this -
I proceed to paint up the entire 8th army corp of Austrians for the Italian Campaign for 1809, and in the progress amassed approximately 200 resource books on the period (and counting- much  to my wife's distress!)

The in the last two years it has been 40k and thus I've come full circle, though my painting and my hip pocket has improved marginally (I'm not going to get into GW price gouging in Australia today).

With that out there I plan to (and all plans fail contact with the enemy!) to closely document the return to Warhammer.  for those reading it may prompt some thought from to old Grognards out there and I invite all to make comment over the series.  I'm not sure how long this series of articles will be and as always Ill be posting up other bits and pieces from my other projects as well - 1807 Russians will make a showing soon ..... i hope..... :P

Warhammer First Impressions.  

What drew me to 8th and more to the point back to Warhammer was a combination of having a regular person to play games against (the incorrigible Harley aka Von Drakin) and that the new models that where being produced look fantastic, the big rule book looked to filled with lots of nice fluff and inspiring pictures, and I could afford the stuff. 
So it had nothing to do with the rules. To be frankly honest what I remember of 6th edition accurately could be collated on a small A4 piece of paper.  I defiantly remember the feel of the game and the way elements interacted but can't draw direct comparison's and to large extent it would be mute to do so seeing as there was a version in between ,the seemingly lamentable 7th ed or "Hero Hammer" as i have read it to be. 

Thus far Ive played only two small games and have read the BRB a about 8 times now, and I'm sure my views will shift a little as we move along. That being said the Internet is an interesting place and there is allot of commentary about 8th out there.  

The 1st impression that was intimated via the glorious web was that hero hammer had been replaced by magic hammer, that Matt Ward had done it again. 
To be honest I'm not a fan of the bloke and find the way he has written some of the recent code's for Warhammer to be poor publications but that aside he seems to be focal point for allot of the rules hate in Warhammer in general, one does wonder how he gets up in the morning 

From the games I've played I have to say the feeling magic has become an all or nothing affair, random winds of magic coupled with limited channeling seems to dictate or almost recommend the power play spell to be enacted when the chance presents.  Clearly the dwellers below and purple sun being the stand outs with the dreaded 13th also being one of this big and scary spells. 

I would say magic back in the early editions had a part to play, but the way some of these spells have been written and clearly there are some cross overs from 7th ed here, they seem to almost dictate you try to A get these spells and B use it to destroy your enemy.  The lack of saves makes them rather nasty and I'm never in favour of completely removing an opportunity to dodge a spells effects with magic resistance etc. 

It does feel then you lose some of the nuance of the game in favor of the OMG I PWNZ YOUZ effect which kids of course will enjoy allot. 

That though could be I suspect from what I see be mitigated in larger games, so of course the impact of these spells is relative to the size of game your playing, but at 1000 pts to 1500 pts these spells seem to possibly cause an imbalance in the game , but that's just from what I have seen so far. 

Movement feels to be ramped up as well, we both (Harley and I) commented in some of the games that models moved across the table at very fast rate and you got to grips with the foe as very early in the game. Pre-measuring also makes this interesting, (though i miss the estimate bounce rule for cannons, that was always fun!) as you no know where everything in terms of range and distance. 

Coming from 40k where pre-measuring doesn't exist and you learn the dimensions of the table by sight, I don't think ill adjust to that quickly.  

So as someone commented the maneuver game is either lost with the increase speed of the game or, it just become more cut and thrust.  
I think anyone looking at it  would realise this is to allow for faster games, thus those who enjoyed the old grind will have to adapt.  Trust me playing Napoleonic's gets you use to that early on.

So that's it for now, not much but that's the impression thus far. 

I hope to have a large 2000 -2500 point in the coming days and that should be the focus of part 2 with a battle report as well. 

Whats everyone else think of Warhammer am I'm reading all this right, how has magic played out for you? 

Till next time 

Black Bob (JP)