Saturday, September 24, 2011

Back to the Future

Since I expounded a few posts ago as to why I am not playing the new edition of WFB, (see here) I thought that it would be a good idea to expound on what edition makes me stay in the past and not to move on.  This is actually a very important excercise that I think that us dis-affected veterans of GW should do in my opinion.  It provides a basis for defending your argument against those who claim one thing or another as to why you just don't want to move on.  Shocking that we need to do this, I know, but sometimes you have to in order to get some peace when you are playing another game. 

Suprisingly I had a minor amount of peer pressure at the start of the edition when I told them to count me out of playing in this edition.  Most of my group didn't care one way or another other than to say sorry to see me go, but I did have one or two people who couldn't understand why.  This was the greatest edition since sliced bread for them, so why was I not towing the line?  It got a little out of hand, but we are back on good terms as far as I know.   

Before I get into saying which editions that I like I feel that I should explain what I like about the editions as I see them in general separately first.  Of course I can't really really do them justice in one post so please forgive if I omit one thing or another as I am trying to be brief.  Some of the editions that I will be talking about will not exactly be an edition that I have any first hand experience with.  I will note them once again just to make note, but I will try not to talk in any real detail of them.  Lets start first cronologically I guess with the 3rd edition. 

The Mysterious Edition

I have no real experience with this edition personally, however the good news is that I do have the 3rd edition book and I did read through part of it.  Perhaps it is something that I should read more of given the recent penchant for disaffected gamers to return to this edition.  From what I have read of this edition it seems to be a very interesting edition.  It is a very intricate edition, which does turn off a lot of players.  However if they want simplicity, then that begs the question "Why are they playing this edition, when the 8th is easiest WFB edition that I have ever seen or read?" 

The problem that I see with this edition is also what I like about this edition.  The rules seem to be rather clunky and that makes me apprehensive when it comes to investing the time to learn the rules.  I also dont care for a GM every time that I play a game.  While they did not spell it out, I get the feeling that you may need one in order to play it properly.  I really do hope that I am wrong on this.  Nevertheless I still want to try this edition out at some time.  I call it the Mysterious Edition mainly because I just have no idea, nor a frame of reference as to what the game is like. 

My First Edition

The 4th edition is where I cut my teeth on Warhammer Fantasy, and wargaming in general, hence the header.  It turned out that a friend of mine brought along his free magazine that he got from "Battle Masters" on a trip that I was taking with him and his family.  We read through the mag and I was instantly enamoured.  That summer I started playing the game with him and a few friends.  Since half of my friends stayed at my school and the other half went to a special academic program that I was not elligible for (It was IB and I needed to have Foreign Language classes by then, which I did not have) this was my only real outlet to get my friends together.  I remember it fondly to say the least. 

I would have to say that I would definately have started the edition in the 4th, but I am not so sure that I would have been mature enough to play in the 3rd, even when I started when I did playing in the 4th.  In retrospect I am sure that many people are like me now with the difference between the 3rd and the 4th.  I can tell that it is a slimmed down version of the earlier editions, but it begs the question for me "did streamlining the 4th really make for a better game?"  I simply do not have the experience between the two editions to make that distinction.

Nostalgia is not clouding my eyes on this edition however.  I also can see why people call this edition "Herohammer."  In the Dwarf book they have a scenario between OnG and Dwarves, where the sampler army lists have the Dwarves with over 1200 points in characters alone in a combined 3K list.  Now I know that a ratio of that in an army list at the time may be considered to be light, but looking back that seems to be very shocking.  Even then I thought that it was rather high to have that much invested in characters.(I guess that I was a prolific teen when it came to matters of the pressboard)  I still have to call it a good edition even though my preference is for the later editions as noted.  It still had the variability that I can see in the 3rd but was more controlled with the armybooks. 

The Lost Edition

The 5th edition I have almost no experience with nor any real authority to speak since this was about the time that I left gaming all together.  From what I have read based on other accounts it seems to me that it is more like edition 4.5 to me.  I have no idea what the differences are so I am at a loss to say anything good or bad about them. 

The Crown Jewel Edition

This is the edition that I would consider to be my go-to edition if I had one.  It still had most of the gaming mechanics from back in the 4th, and the noticable fixes were good ones in my mind.  Here you were required to have atleast some basic units in your army, the characters were not nearly as tooled up as before, and flying made sense to name a few.  There were issues of manuaverability with Infantry, and the fact that there is no way to turn a flank like in the 7th, (a great fix in my mind) but those were minor annoyances at most to me.

 I can see and have experienced plenty of abuses of this edition so I know that it can get OTT, however for friendly games with people who want to project more of what their army should be as opposed to an OTT army, I have to say that it can't be beat.  The perfect world is this edition married with WAB.  The Honeymoon would be very ugly I am sure. 

Now I may have the nostalgia bug on this edition but in my mind it had a lot more going for it than not. I also liked the Generals Compendium which took the game to a new level so that is another plus. Which is proabably the reason why I liked the 4th as well in that it had Mighty Empires prominent in the game.  It also has going for it that I came back to the game during this edition.  I guess that the reason why I cam back is that the edition made a lot of sense to me when I read through some of the online army lists for the Bretonnians, Wood Elves, etc.  Even thought I did not have an army book, I read some of the online PDF's and could tell from them that the game has evolved.  Also other factors like good looking plastics brought me back, as well as eventually a good group of relatively balanced army book where nothing was too hard or too soft, atleast in my opinion. 

The Knockoff Edition

Essentially this edition was edition 6.5.  While I did like a lot of the changes that they made to this edition from the 6th, I could take or leave most of the changes in this edition.  The neutered panic, (which also happened with the 6th, but not nearly as much as here) played around with the magic phase, and basically made units more survivable in close combat for the most part.  I'm sure that I have missed something but it boils down to these three items for the most part.  I would have to say that magic was done well, and the close combat rules are great, but it really bothered me that panic was a bit of a non-event in this edition.  So much that it soured the edition a tad, and some of the new rules led to suprisingly confusion and arguments over some of the new rules.  The core rules are great rulesets and I like them a lot, just not as much as the 6th.

I do have to make the notable mention as well that the armybooks (more like fanboy's wet dreams on paper) were abysmal.  When I read The Empire book I had to ask my self "What the hell was GW doing," and that was based on the robo-donkey, and the ICBM's that was in the new book.  This was the start and I was already apprehensive of what they were doing.  That and the OnG book made me take a second look, when they added that WAAGH rule, and nerfed animosity that has never changed since atleast the 4th.  The High Elves sent me over the top when it came out, because that was the writing on the wall.  When they had common elite troops now with multple attacks, it was the beginning of the end and about the time that I started to collect OOP models that I liked for life after GW.  The major problem with this is that the core rules were not built for this kind of combat from rank and file.

Add the major problem of the 7th edition army books, with the annoyances of the core rules, I tend to not want to play the 7th.  It just seems to me too much of a hassle to offer playing it.  I have offered in the past to play with 6th edition books with 7th edition core rules, which I did like and would be interested in playing again, but I don't want to confuse people or be considered an opportunist for what people may think are obscelete books for the 7th. 

And The Winner Is...

If you have read this far, then I am sure that you can tell that I liked the 6th above all.  After that it is a hard choice, between 7th and 4th editions, with 7th ahead due to its core rules that I approve of more.  3rd edition would be next in line mainly because of my lack of experience but interest, and finally the 5th purely due to my lack of experience with it and it being a 4th edition knock off.  To put in order:


I really do want to play a few games of the 3rd to see if I would bump it up a place or two.

Friday, September 16, 2011

To 40K or to not 40K

Over the last year I have tipped my toe into 40K.  It was not because my interest for WFB is waning, but rather I made the decision to start playing before that happened.  I doubt that I will be as attached to 40K as I am for WAB or how I was attached to WFB, but I still plan on taking the time to play it well.  I have never been a major tournament player, I was better at Tournament Organizing instead, so I really dont see me doing the tournament scene with 40K.  Hopefully I will take some of the lessons learned from  my years of collecting WFB and be smarter with how I design my army. 

What Have I done So Far?

I have started my collection with the Assault on Black Reach box, which is the normal for most newcommers.  I have started to put together a Space Marine army right now with a Battleforce along with a few other vehicles.  I am currently around 1850 or so with what I have collected for them which would get me to a bare minimum for playing normal games at my LGS.  As far as painting  goes I am painting them up as Crimson Fists.  I figure that after another battle force plus a few vehicles or two and some sternguard and this army is done for the most part.  At that point it is basically an understrength company which fits the background of the chapter very nicely.  I may put together other companies of the chapter, but I am going to try to take a lesson from my WFB days and focus on one part at a time with this army. 

I may do a home-made chapter, but I am not interested in putting together many of the other different type of space marines.  They just seem like the same damn army but with a few changes here and there.  They remind me of the different bloodlines from the VC 6th edition armybook.  Why cant they put all of the different armies in one book is beyond me, other than GW thinks that their customers are dumb enough to buy them, which seems to be the case. 

What is upcoming

Imperial Guard is what has really brought me to 40K, and that was before the new book came out. IG reminds me of playing WWII games but not being WWII per-sae. I can't stand playing re-enactment games,(something that needs a post in of itself) so playing IG is something that really draws me. Of all of the different armies that I am interested IG is an army that I would most likely form an attachment with like what I had in fantasy. I have collected a few vehicles and some troops for this army and I can see me do a lot of things with this army. These guys are right next after I get the space marines done.

I still have the Ork portion of the AOBR models as well, and I find that to be the perfect opponant for my guys so I am planning on setting up an army with them as well.  My LGS does have a few cheap battle forces for Orks so I would be getting a deal with them.  I do find the army interesting, but not as interesting as the two previous armies.  Perhaps I need to get the codex and read through it.  They do have an easy paint job so I would not be putting much time in painting them.  These guys are proabably next in line. 

Interested but not that much yet. 

Eldar is another army that I have some interest in.  As of right now I have barely flipped through the codex so I have almost no idea what they are about.  I have seen one guy at my LGS that has a beautifully painted army and does play them all of the time.  They are also an army that looks like a sci-fi army, and not some kind of modern warfare knock off.  They are still a cheap battleforce as well which does attract me. 

Nids is an army that does interest me to some extent.  From Starship Troopers to Aliens I can see a few things that I can do with this army.  I think that they serve a great role in that they are the monsters of space.  They serve a very great evil opposing force role that does interest me. 

Tau is another army that I have some interest in.  They actually look like a sci-fi army like Eldar, but they are not Eldar with different rules and choices.  Something that I am interested in but not off the bat. 

After that I really lose interest in all other armies, which makes for about half of the armies that GW has.  An improvement in my mind since I still am enamoured with 75% of the fantasy armies even though I am not active in the 8th edition.  I dont have the emotional nor the physical investment with 40K right now so I am not planning on any grand plans that I had with Fantasy.  Good for me, bad for GW.  If they come to their senses, I will be here if that ever happens.  The good news is yet another hard lesson from GW is that I taking this piecemal as much as I can.  I am not going five armies ahead of where I am like I did in Fantasy, and if something is amiss in the next edition, I have no problem boarding up what I have put together, keep what I really like and sell the rest, sort of what I am doing with my Fantasy inventory right now.   

What is 40K to me?

Well it is a general change of pace for me, and I want to have it as an alternative to WAB and hopefully something that I can use for a break from WAB.  Incidentally I believe that 40K will be the go-to game for most people so that may be switched for me unfortunatelly.  I guess that I really need to start recruitment for WAB apparently.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Apparently, The Roman Army wasn't built in a day either

(You have no idea how hard it was to find this pic, but apparently the word "Gaul" gives me a few pics of a half naked Lady along with everything else that you would expect.  Sometimes you need to just laugh at the internet)

Well since I really don't play much WFB anymore,(please see my previous post Here ) I have migrated to both 40K and to Warhammer Ancient Battle.  Specifically Early Imperial Romans is what I am putting together right now with a Gallic mercenary contingent.  Even though I have over 2K worth of an army according to WAB rules, I know right now that this army will be a lot larger over the years.  I dont plan to be as into 40K as I would be with WAB, but I will leave that to a post of its own.  Now I don't think that I will have much trouble finding any opponants for 40K, but Warhammer Ancient Battle can be tricky to find opponants from what I gather. 

A "Roman Toga Party" it is not around here. 

The good news is that I do have a few good friends and veterans of WFB who want to start playing, or already are playing as well.  I guess that the problem that I am experiencing is finding the variety in play.  The only guy with an army ready to play is another Roman army, and the rest either are taking their time putting together their army or are in a completely different period.  Now I have no problem playing the Roman Civil Wars but the guy that playes the other Roman army guy has an army that is rather booring.  What he fields is basically Wargames Factory plastic Romans and a few Celtic slingers, not exactly what I call a varied army.  We have not played in a few months so he may have made a few additions, but I doubt it.  I guess that I will offer to lend him for the game a few of my units that would give him some variety.  He is usually a good guy so I doubt that I would be overstepping my bounds if I do that. 

The newbies that are assembling their armies will be barbarian armies, so I am definately looking forward to playing them, but I have also not talked with them for a while so I have no idea where they are at.  I only have less than 1000 pts. of Celtic and the vast majority are still being assembled.  Even assembled I dont think that it would be exactly what I would use as say an introductory army just yet.  I think that it needs a few units for it to be more viable, and something that I would offer to play anyways as Romans seem more forgiving.  Given the penchant for disenchantment with WFB, I would not be suprised if I will be playing a few introductory games with people over time so I should be prepared I guess. 

I have as of yet tried to play out of period.  I have no problems with doing that, however I have only gotten a few games in with the new edition so I want to get some experience of how my army works with different armies in their own period let alone in another period.  I can see a few periods that I actually want to try with my Romans and see how they work out.  I want to try the Parthians from the Byzantium book with them, as well as the Shieldwall book with them.  "Hanibal and the Punic Wars" is another period that I think can have a few interesting interperiod games that I want to, but not with the current Romans that I have exactly. 

The thing with WAB that is a double edged sword for me is the variety in the periods.  I am a kid in a candy store with WAB.  I have no idea exactly which project that I want to do next, but most likely I will be making my celtic contingent into an actual celtic army.  Since I just have the generic Celtics from Warlord Games, I have no idea exactly what I want to do with them.  It seems to me that the sky is the limit as far as the projects that I would be interested in doing.  I guess that should be expected once you break out of the paracholism that is Games Workshop.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

At a Crossroads

I find myself at a crossroads over the past year. Since this is a new blog I feel the need to provide brief history of my Warhammer gaming.  I have been playing Warhammer Fantasy for over a decade collectively.  Starting in the 4th over 17 years ago, with a few friends during the weekend.  I started with Dwarves and fell in love with the game.  This was the time before I was in high school so my weekends were not busy working or going to football games.  I did not really play much during high school with the exception of a few games here and there.  There was no way that I could play early in college and basically missed the fifth edition.  When I had a place to set up a painting table I started back in the the sixth, not because I had the space, but rather I got interested once again to the hobby after reading through how the sixth edition worked, and some of the models drew me in once again.  I have been playing ever since.... until last year. 

I read the rumors on warseer when they came out, and I was not that enthused at all as to what I was reading.  As usual the rumors turned out to be true when I got the starter boxset.  I read through the book and played a few friendly games and was not impressed with what I experienced.  I just flat out did not like playing the game that I used to.  The core rules is what really repelled me when I went through them.  It seemed like half of the new rules came from the fifth edition of 40K and the other half were fixes for the screwups that we experienced in the 7th edition.  It is like the saying of what came first, the chicken or the egg, when they were developing the game for the 8th edition.  What came first the terrible army books of the 7th so that the 8th edition is the fix, or did they have the 8th edition in mind when they made the army books for the 7th.  I honestly think that since the 7th edition books went off of the rails with VC and HE, which I believe that they were books 3 and 4, I tend to think that the 8th is to make up for the mistakes of the 7th armybooks. 

Now I flat out cant stand the army books that came out at all during the tenure of the 7th edition.  I believe that I have since sold all but one army book and I dont know why I am keeping the damn thing.  However, I have no problems with the core rules of the 7th edition.  I have personally really did like using 7th edition core rules with 6th edition rulebooks.  I actually have played with a  friend that liked the old army book after his army book "expired" just for fun and we were perfectly happy.  The 8th edition changed everything for me.  Now I cannot tolerate the game at all. 

What dont I like?

Now here is the meat of the problem.  What is it that I dont like about the 8th edition.  How can I count the ways?  Let take this one phase at a time in no specific order.

1: Magic:  I am not a fan of how magic and magic items are put together.  Having generic magic items with a few army oriented items really seems to me lazy and a copout.  I dont like how they have one extra spell that you dont have to roll for.  Not that I dont like that at all, but it makes armies like Elves not as special.  While I did not experience in my few games the uber spells that everyone bemones about, I certainly dont approve of them.  I know that critics will say that it almost never happens, but that is like telling an anti-war protestor "dont worry about nuclear weapons they are almost never used."

2: Close Combat:  I have problem with the fact that most of a unit has the ability to fight in close combat.  Apparently I can have my High Elf spearelves fight with 40 models now.  I know that this is a fantasy game, and we are talking about High Elves, but what exactly makes them able to defy physics.  I dont like how ward saves are given to troops with hand weapon and shields.  Ward saves are supposed to be more or less magical how is it that common troops get it juse because of a weapon choice.(note: I dont like how Brettonians use them)  An extra attack on the charge makes no real sense to me at all, one of the 40K rules that dont translate well.  It seems to me that most of the new rules in close combat that are new were to compensate for very hard elite units of the 7th edition.  This phase is what really sent me over the edge. 

3: Shooting:  I really dont like how warmachines work now it is too much like how 40K is used.  Guessing for the warmachines is a skill that everyone who barely passed geometry can do.  Those who have not done that yet really should not be playing wargames in my opinion, even if they graduate from high school.

4: Movement:  Really this phase is not as bad as others but there are a few problems.  I dont like how you are not allowed to turn anymore. (WAB did that as well, Damn them)  While I like the concept randomness during the charge the way that it works is too varied for my taiste. 

So Now What?

What to do now with all of my books and armies?  Well I am now basically becoming a collector of GW's miniatures, and mainly the older metal models since they are better models in my opinion.  I have recently sold off almost all of my models from the boxset with a few exceptions.  They just flat out do not work with what I have with in inventory with my High Elves.  A lot of my "Future Projects" are on hold if not on the selling block.  Warhammer Ancient Battle is really my game of choice right now.  I am looking at Kings of War from Mantic but we shall see what happens. 

It seems that I am not alone in my sojourn from Warhammer in my area.  I know a few veteran wargammers who are not really playing anymore both personally and online.  I have offered to play them using 6th edition rules to the ones that I personally know, but I have yet to set up a time to play.  Most of them are moving towards Warhammer Ancient Battle if they already are not already playing. 

I have also kicked around the idea about starting a forum for us players who want to play older editions.  I have not seen any forums that have done this so I guess that this will be the first.  I cant see any other way to, dare I say it, "organize" those who want to play the previous editions.  I am not looking to put together a tournament circut, just a way to find opponants. 

Like all change you have no idea where you will land in the end or what it will look like, but the only way to make the change happen is to start trying.

Welcome All

Welcome to my new blog.  This is mainly for me to expound on one of my hobbies that I am currently in, miniature wargaming.  On here the posts will mostly entail what I am currently doing with my miniature armies, as well as commentary on the wargamming issues of the day, as well as some picures of what I have worked on in the past or are currently working on now.  I hope that you enjoy what you see on here.