Monday, July 12, 2010

This Is Why Brian Gave Up WHFB

A few years ago I convinced a few of my coworkers to take of Warhammer Fantasy Battles.  Of those, one gave up the game out of frustration with game mechanics that, in his words, are all about making the other army sad instead of actually killing things.  I vividly recall how irritated he would be when his Dark Elf crossbow troops would shoot a volley of bolts that would darken the sky, only to inflict exactly zero casualties against the Dwarfs he was fighting.  Then, in combat, his troops would inflict more casualties but lose combat because the other guy had ranks, a standard and outnumber.  The Elves, disheartened from their lack of having a pretty flag, would then run away crying and die.  Brian was, shall we say, unsatisfied.

With the advent of 8th Ed. Warhammer, I thought I might see if Brian wanted to give the new ruleset a try. Then I read this passage from an 8th ed. battle report on GW's web site:
Martin charged his Ironbreakers and Warriors into the Eternal Guard. The Elves went first and unleashed a total of 38 attacks, and killed not a single Dwarf. In return the Dwarfs chopped up four of the Elves and the Dwarf Lord caused enough wounds on the eternal Guard Champion to kill him four times over. The Elves promptly ran only to be cut down.
I laughed when I read it, because this is exactly the situation that Brian found so frustrating.  38 attacks and zero casualties.  I think I'll stick to playing Warmachine/Hordes with him and find an opponent for my Skaven elsewhere.


  1. LOL. That can be a problem sometime with GW's multiple check system - hit/wound/save - what seems reasonable at one stage starts looking pretty grim the more stages you have to go through.

    Maybe his problem is playing armies that he feels that he should value his troops. That's one of the great things about armies like Gobbos or Skaven; so they all died - who cares?

  2. Well don't I feel a bit guilty.

  3. You shouldn't feel guilty. S3 attacks hitting on 7's against T4 troops with a good armor save is just not going to kill anything. You can play "scissors" all you want... it's not going to beat "rock."

  4. Yes losing to the dwarves is certainly part of it, but other reasons why Warmachine>Warhammer(fantasy):
    The model count to play a balanced battle is too large with WHFB, which means matches take way to long to play, and too many models to buy and paint. The biggest reason is, I just don't like the looks of 80% of the models and think they are over priced, and cheap looking. Warmachine just suits my taste in both looks and play style. Now 40K is a different story all together, well see :)

  5. (I'm late commenting on this, but what the hell)

    Increasing the rate of death in a warhammer game would, by necessity, increase the number of models required to play - especially by horde armies (Who can and do die in droves - Under 7th Ed rules, I've lost 11 clanrats in a single combat round before). Fights between opponents of equal quality are rather dismal, but changing that would just make life even harder for players of armies with 'weaker' troops - who are already on the recieving end of the 'collecting and painting' stick.

    An interesting alteration would be changing the combat resolution rules, reducing the likelihood of units breaking by a few points (with different consequences for narrow losses), or making kills worth more CR points than ranks, while removing the limit on ranks' CR bonus. That would, at least, encourage multi-turn slugfests where a LOT more warriors die.

    On a final note, noone should quit warhammer because of the rules. Wargames can be changed however you like, to make them fun, personally. That's their big advantage over computer games and the like - if you don't like it, change it! :D