Saturday, August 30, 2014

WHFB: Back playing some games

Hmm.. should I pick up Daemons again?

I've recently picked up the game again since there's been a lot of hype generated from The End Times.  Out of all of the armies that I've played in the past, the only one I still have in my inventory is my High Elves.  They were my first army and by that right, they get to stay with me forever.  However, there's another army that I had that I'm thinking about purchasing again, and that's my mono-Slaanesh Daemons of Chaos.

The last time I played with that army in physical form was when the 7th Ed. army book just came out and I completely swept my opponents with it.  I don't think it was really me that did it, it was mainly because the book just allowed so many ridiculous things to happen because it was utterly amazing.  That book is still my favorite book of all time, not just because it was incredibly powerful, but the internal balance was so god damn amazing that almost everything had a use and saw game time.  I don't say this very often, but the fluff, stories and unit descriptions was also godlike (Mat Ward ironically).  It was just externally, the book was horribly over the top compared to everything else, but that was before Dark Elves came out and 7th Ed. army books truly started creeping their way forward.

In the last couple of days, I've been toying around with a mono-Slaanesh list and playing it on Universal Battle.  If you guys haven't played with that program before, I strongly suggest it because it allows you to practice with players from all around the world.  If your meta is as stale as mine (meaning, there's hardly anyone to play), I highly suggest getting on and giving it a couple of games.  Just like Vassal, it's a tool that players use to try out new units and strategies before deciding on the final purchase.  It's safe to say that I feel pretty good coming back to the hobby, mainly because I'm excited to see what else is getting release in The End Times, and hoping that 9th Ed. is right around the corner.

I have very high hopes for 9th Ed. Fantasy.  They streamlined a lot of rules and made it simpler to play, but in terms of movement there's still a lot of clunky stuff out there.  Once they fix the movement to be more like Kings of War (just simpler movement mechanics) and reduce the amount of bullshit magic there is in the game, I think we'll be one step closer to making the game faster to play.

There are 3 things that I care about when I get into any hobby:
  • Time - The most precious of all commodities.  You literally can't take this back no matter what you do unless you're a fucking wizard.
  • Money - How much does it cost me to get into the game?  We're talking dollar bills here.
  • Commitment - Not just from you, but also from your community and how many players are willing to keep playing the game with you.
Strictly speaking about the hobby from a resource perspective, I need the game to not take forever to play, costs to be affordable and enough people to play so I don't get bored.  These are the biggest hurdles for WHFB in my opinion.  It takes an incredibly long time to play and setup because there's just so many models to put on the table.  It takes an extraordinary amount of money to buy-in, and due to those 2 main restrictions, there's not enough players who can be committed to such a thing.  On a surface level, your main competitors is ironically one of your own IPs in the form of Warhammer 40K, Warmahordes and the dominating newcomer in the form of X-Wing.  The only thing that you really have backing your ass up at this point is your outrageous quality in plastic showcase models and high-fantasy fluff that's non-existent in the market right now.

I really hope that 9th Ed. will make the game faster to play, designed in a manner where smaller, more starter-level armies are actually playable (and have fun in them), thus lowering the barrier of monetary entry.  Once we get there, you will see a huge resurgence of Fantasy players because you're already the king of high-fantasy-nerdgasms outside of pen and paper.


Von said...

I'm wondering what stops people from playing, say, 800 or 1600 point games of WFB. Is it just the fear that they won't have their level 4 wizard, Steadfast infantry blocks and three cannons/two monsters at that level, because the thought of sitting down with the hon. opponent and agreeing on what you're going to use adds yet more prep time and buy-in to the whole affair?

Purple-Stater said...

Fast game? 500pts, units cannot exceed their minimum starting size, no lords, no special characters. For 1000pts, same applies but units can be up to double their minimum starting size. Due to the limit on unit sizes you tend to end up with the same variety of units that a full-size provides, and things tend to move along nicely. At either scale it doesn't hurt to limit artillery and chariots though; only one arty/chariot at 500pts, or two/one-of-each at 1000pts.

One last option, that I like, is to play on a 4' x 4' table, and not allow fliers or fast cav.

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