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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Percentages are Back?

Here is a rumor that appears to be gaining a bunch of momentum from that really vocal minority of people who are wrong and is currently preventing me from working on my managerial accounting homework. Percentages are back in Warhammer Fantasy army building. Really, that's a throwback that isn't too likely to show up again. This has hit pretty much every blog/forum under the sun, so for the sake of argument I have arbitrarily chosen this "Plastic Legions" post that lists this along with a pretty decent summary of other rumors that are flying around.

Full Disclosure
The last time I had a chance to play WFB, this was actually a rule in the game. We also played a card game during the magic phase and had to walk up hill through the snow just to get to the game store. I've been working on painting up some Empire and Skaven forces, but shelved the projects as soon as I found out that 8th ed WFB was on its way, just in case the rules changes are drastic enough to make me want to change my army composition. Sprues are better than assembled and painted minis for this; just ask all of my sweet 4th ed carnifexes about how life is currently working out for them.

So here is the actual rumor, in case you don't want to click the above link:
Army construction is moving back to percentages. (you may have 25% of your points spent on heroes, 25%-50% on core… etc.)

Now here is why this rumor sucks:

Unbalance in Balance
A rule like this would obviously be an attempt to balance the power of certain units like characters, monsters, war machines, etc. Doing this would actually fuck up the whole system, though. For some armies it might mean that You only get 1 or 2 characters where you could have had 3 or 4 or more before. On the other side of the spectrum other armies :cough: Skaven, could fit an almost limitless number of cheap characters into their lists. Here is my unit of Skaven slaves with a front rank made up of Warlock Engineers. At 2250 points you could fit 37 Warlocks into your list sans upgrades, in case you were wondering. At the end of the day, I think that all this would do is cause a return to herohammer for some armies, while castrating other armies like Warriors of Chaos. This has about the same likelihood to occur as the world ending in 2012.

Have you read the newer army books?
In case you've been living under a rock for the past year, WFB has seen a bunch of top shelf army books released as of late. What's more these have a bunch of rules that contradict or alter current 7th ed convenions. Do you think this might be setting a tone for things to come? Well take a look at template weapons in the new books and tell me if you think partial hits are in 8th ed or not. Anyway, back on topic, look at any WFB army book and see if you can find any information about force composition. I'll wait....oh you found it...let me check your work. I'll just grab a recent book, shit why not just grab the most recent, "Beastmen." Well let's see now....found it. Right there on page 81; 2 charts spelling out how to choose an army and characters. Do you really think that GW will set out to invalidate a rule standard that is presented in every single one of their in print books? Shit, look at a book that's been around for a long time, like Codex Witch Hunters (now 2 editions behind the curve), and you might be surprised to see how little in the book has been made obsolete by the current 5th ed 40k book. Yes, there are a few things that don't exactly translate into the new edition like some pistol rules, but my point is that GW has gone to great lengths to make sure they will never have to do a full reboot. Under their current system, by sticking to the same general conventions like Universal Special Rules and the like, they can spread out the release of new army books and codices over a greater period of time. For their effort, this will help them achieve steadier sales volumes and grow their business over time. Making a sweeping change like this would instantly invalidate every single WFB book and call for a simutaneous reboot or at least a reprint of everything. Do you really think that this is going to happen if GW is still publishing new books with the current army composition rules in them?

There you have it. Hopefully this will ease some of your concerns about this bullshit rumor. So, If you have an all Stegadon army, are rocking 2 Steam Tanks, or whatever, I wouldn't get my panties in a knot, all is well. If, however, I am wrong I will make good on a promise I made to Laubersheimer Industries and eat an entire rank of spearmen.

Chime in. Let me know how you feel about this.

"lurk moar"


Randroid said...

I agree with your main point - this would fk up too many books.

I do think we will see some restructuring of how army composition works in 8th, but I doubt it will be this drastic.

Dethtron said...

I think there was another rumor that Plastic Legions hints at that scoring units mght be appearing. Like in 40k, scoring units can be used to alter army compositions without changing the rules about army composition. Players will react to the rules change by altering the way they build lists and feel like they are doing it by their own choice. The insidious thing is, that GW will be goading them into with the new rule, without the player being any wiser. This would also likely increase sales for GW, as core units are usually on the higher $ per point side.

In 4th ed 40k did you use 2 troop foc slots or 6? How about in 5th ed? In 7th ed wfb are you using the minimum number of core units? How many coe units will you bring to the party if you can't win without them?

Randroid said...

Yeah, I would expect changes to the gameplay (like kill points, scoring units, etc) that will make Core unit more mandatory instead of just taking the min amount and loading up on characters and special/rare choices.

Chumbalaya said...

Gawd, that sounds stupid. Fantasy has its problems currently, but these rumored changes will fuck up what was previously thought to be FUBAR.

Randroid said...

Like those changes fkd up 40k?