Reflecting on Issue 6 - 2.0 BRB and WDG Background + Rules Spoilers

The "Behind the scene" blog has a new issue: Issue 6 - 2.0 BRB and WDG Background + Rules Spoilers. Read it if you want a few glimpses of our design work!

  • Reflecting on Issue 6 - 2.0 BRB and WDG Background + Rules Spoilers

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    I want to talk about the spoiler for 2.0. In order to do so I have to make a bit of an explanation.

    While it was still supported, Warhammer had been simplified with every edition. Every time this happened it first seemed like a loss but it always turned out to be a step in the right direction. The basic stats were reduced in the change from 3rd to 4th. Leadership, intelligence, cool and willpower were merged into leadership.
    Flying moved from eight to two options and finally to the move-fast-and-then-land we use now. Magic in 4th was a nice little card game within the game. Artillery was guessing and bouncing and accidentally hitting your own troops. Chariots could lose crew or horses and as a consequence lose movement. Talking about movement: moving across a wall would not allow marching and half your movement until every miniature in the unit got clear of the obstacle.
    You get the picture.
    For six editions of Warhammer, the game lost complexity and some lovely, fluffy aspects.
    But it became easier and faster and that was an acceptable trade off.
    So, as we all know, Games Workshop made another big leap of simplification and moved to Age of Sigmar. And with this time, for most of us, they crossed a red line. That’s why we are here on the 9th age forum.

    However, GW had a reason to go AoS (apart from their obvious hate for Warhammer veterans). Games which are too complex and take too long are a no-go. Now, many nerds like myself love to spend an entire day with pizza and miniatures of course. But nobody is stopping us from playing a 15.000 points four army battle about the siege of the kingdom of whatever.
    For tournament players and casuals a “standard” game should be about 2-2.5 hours long. If one of the players knows the game it should take only about one game for the new player to understand the basics of the game.
    I am sad to say that we are moving away from this. The game is getting more complex and it is doing so for a very small gain in fun and fluff.

    Following the given explanations, I am of the considered opinion that splitting weapons skill and movement into two stats is plain wrong. Very little can be gained from this but people will even more often have to stop the game flow and look up stats.
    You could add a vast number of stats to get a more realistic game mechanism and to have tools for fine-tuning.
    We could bring back willpower to resist spells. Intelligence to see if troops are able to follow commands. Add charge to movement and march. Add a second ballistic skill for artillery. Make armor piercing a stat so that it can be removed from strength. Split armor save into save vs. blow and save versus pierce. We have poison and toxic so why not add venom?
    All these changes could be justified and would add to the flavour of the game. But they are just not worth the cost.
    I suggest going the other way.

    For example, make ward save and regeneration one. Get rid of fire born and magic resistance. Have armor and then, for some, have a special save.
    Two saves is already quite complex. If something dies to quickly- give it more wounds.

    Reduce the to hit table to same vs same=4, higher= 3, half or less= 5. You can never hit on 1 and 2 and you always hit on 5 and 6.
    Hitting on 2s is actually a problem in the game right now and causing a lot of frustration especially for people fighting against lightning reflexes.
    Simplify the rules for moving chargers so that clipping becomes impossible and you can’t stop a otherwise valid charge because you start the charge in a facing where you can’t reach the unit.
    Different point costs for starting size and additional miniature. This is necessarily complicated and help very little. Actually, it has created the new problem of minimum-unit-size-spam in some armies.

    There are 77 special rules in the rule book alone. Simplify some and just get rid of others. For example simply delete toxic. Merge crush, stomp and grind. And so on and so forth.

    For what it's worth I really like 9th age so I beg the rule developers: don't make the game more complex.
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    I must say I agree with most of your post ! I don't think that splitting stats goes in the right way. However Oversimplifying the to-hit table wouldn't go in the good way neither because if hitting on 2+ is strong don't forget that this is the main strength of elves or lust daemons : without it they aren't much better than human... Too much streamlining goes to everyone playing the same army with different minis...
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    I dont think splitting WS is very complicated. Many units will have same D/O stat anyway. ...and looking things up is only annoying at first. Heck, even in AoS you gotta keep reading those warscrolls because shields dont even work the same from unit to unit!!! ...now that is annoying!

    otherwise i agree with about half of what you said.
    especially the different points cost for starting size and extra mini. But T9A loves their swedish comp rules. ....the tend to forget that big units dont always grind down to 1 rank, they tend to break and get run down.

    I heard a rumor that they are bringing that swedish comp nonsense more into the game. So first 5 models is 15 pts each, then next 5 is 18, then the next 5 is 20, and so on. Pretty annoying for very little gain.

    I do like the current way where extra models can be cheaper or more expensive. But its not implemented properly. Orcs is a great example. It encourages MSU in an army that should be about hordes.
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    Some of these changes as I understand it will allow for sine of those special rules to be deleted. I.e. lightning reflexes will just be models with high OWS and will give the same result as now once the new table come into effect. Same deal with distracting, parry etc. Simply have DWS modifiers. I struggle to see how that is harder to grasp or more complex.
    Best in race WoDG - Ammerhammer
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    Aka wrote:

    Too much streamlining goes to everyone playing the same army with different minis...
    I absolutely agree. 100%. Don't want to be playing dwarfs and it feels like playing demons.
    That's why I am not playing Kings of War. But between 9 stats and 77 special rules plus army specific special rules, items and equipment there is a lot of room already, if you know what I mean...
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    I agree that over-complication will only hurt the game, but also will over-simplification. There needs to be a fine line between the two.

    If i recal correctly there was a lot of complaining that with the 1.2 version the game became more stale and simple. IMHO the direction that the game development is taking right now is good, BUT i merely conclude this on what i know - until we see (and play, obviously) the new rules we won't be able to draw any actual conclusions.
    Once a Daemon player - always a Daemon player!

    "You can't outthink someone who doesn't think."
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    For the WS split, while in theory it complicates things, it actually makes things easier. For example, now we have rules like Parry. By giving a unit very high defensive WS, parry might not be needed any more. I really dont know how parry will work out, but that's a quick guess when I saw the split.

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    Aka wrote:

    But they still be limited by 10 ? The effectiveness of the Lust harbringer with blissful bindings will be lowered from anybody with WS 6 or lower touch on 6's to anybody with OWS 4 or less touch on 6's... And that if they have DWS10 !! :(
    The DL is being redesigned, so do not worry about such things, there might be no harrbinger of lust and no blissful bindings anyway :P
    In any case, the equivalent character will retain the powerlevel and be playable.

    please see the changes as a whole, not how the reflect on specific units and rules.

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    I don't know if it is going to be limited to 10 anymore. There isn't any sort of direct need for it to be limited, so I suppose it is open to change.

    Also, we don't know if the lust harbinger with blissful bindings is going to exist in exactly that state. It might be a moot point. (The DL team hasn't gotten to characters, so who knows what they will think up).
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    KeyserSoze wrote:

    For the WS split, while in theory it complicates things, it actually makes things easier. For example, now we have rules like Parry. By giving a unit very high defensive WS, parry might not be needed any more. I really dont know how parry will work out, but that's a quick guess when I saw the split.
    Sorry. I have to disagree on that one. 'Parry', wether you hate or love it, is probably the most simple rule, the T9A staff has come up with
    It goes across all armies, units and characters. No need to look up WS. If your opponent has parry, you hit on a 4+ ! Done !

    Splitting up WS in to offensive/defensive, in my view gives the possibility of differentating models/units better
    (and evil tounges would say, it makes it easier for the staff, to 'design' the models/units for specific tasks, be it anvil, hammer, glass cannon, avoidance and so on)

    It also can remove the biggest complaint about parry -> A model with WS 7/8 hitting a model with WS 2/3 and a shield on a 4+
    You can make great weapon models/units more reliable, giving them a high defensive WS as a compensation for not having shield and striking last

    I agree, that the split gives a lot more maneuvre room when designing units, but it it not more simple than the parry rule ^^

    Christoffer
    Banned for posting memes - twice :D

    Herminard wrote:

    *nerfs are so 2016

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Kpl.blutch ().

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    Kpl.blutch wrote:

    'Parry', wether you hate or love it, is probably the most simple rule, the T9A staff has come up with
    It goes across all armies, units and characters. No need to look up WS. If your opponent has parry, you hit on a 4+ ! Done !
    Still it's a rule. Which means you might forget it, or even might check if you have it or not. If this rule is embodied into stats, it makes things simpler. And it was just an example.

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    I know that the RT is very in tune with the issue of making the game over complex. It really is a balancing act. Many want more, many want less. Streamlining of the army books resulted in an avalanche of criticism from the community. So, the design parameters now are, increase fluffiness of the rules while at the same time, not significantly increasing complexity.

    So, for the idea that a split in WS will greatly increase complexity, this assumes that all units will have differing OWS and DWS. I would expect that many units will have the same stat for both. But there may be some specialized units that get different stats. After playing with the new stats for a number of months, these will be memorized.

    On the movement, there is simply a regular move and march move stat. In almost all instances, the march move will be twice the regular move. So again, there should be a small impact on the game. However, this will remove special rules as to who cannot march, or who has triple march and so on. The two stats will just be listed.

    The To Hit table is changing and this again is simply a memorization thing. Special rules like Lightening Reflexes may disappear because they are equivalent to +4 OWS. Likewise, Parry may disappear because it is equivalent to +4 DWS.

    So, the fact is that we have 9 stats and 77 special rules plus army specific special rules currently. But I think you may see that we lose a stat, and we split a couple of the others. However, the split are represented by special rules that will in all likelihood disappear. So I don't think you will see an increase in complexity of the BRB, rather, you will probably see the opposite.

    With respect to the army books, again, the balancing act between immersive rules and playability of the game are in the front of the RTs mind. They take both aspects seriously and are looking for ways to increase immersion while at the same time, not significantly increasing complexity. This game will not get streamlined to KoW, nor will it get bloated to early editions of WH. We will try to hit a sweet spot that *most* people are ok with.

    * I say most because it is absolutely impossible to find a "perfect" spot, because my perfect spot is not your perfect spot and neither of ours is the next guys "perfect" spot. So we aim for a mid point that tries to satisfy the basic thing that people are here for, whether it's a really balanced tournament game, or a really fluffy immersive campaign.
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    There are way to many special rules in total in the game. and in addition the trend to give everything and it´s mother a bunch of special rules is a bad decision.

    Basic CORE units should, if any have 1 single special rule. Army traits should be represented in gear or stats. But not in 3 additional special rules. Points should be low for core to make it worth been taken, and the special troops should have some additional special rules.

    The sneak peaks of the rules seem to me, that there will be even more special rules, that in addition cancel other special rules or add in certain circumstances additional rules. Sure...if we never will attrackt new players, this flood of rules is fine. But it get´s harder and harder to find new players or bring old ones back, when there are more and more special rules.

    Flair of an army, and making armys boring is in 95% just another wording for "We want more power"
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    I agree with OP. I've been thinking about the new stats for awhile and can accept OWS and DWS but the different move values I just can't get to like (Please don't add a "charge" stat ;) ).

    I think old warhamms had a good amount of complexity to it that I personally was very content with. More importantly though I'm afraid more complexity might not only alienate older players that already know the basiscs and have it easy to re-learn parts of it but about how accessible the game will be for new comers. Is there a game on the market that is more complex atm then 9th?

    I think there is alot in the rules that still could be more intuitive/streamlined w/o removing (much) tactical depth.
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    I am OK with splitting WS but I am not sure 2+ / 6+ chances shall be brought to to 'hit rolls'

    Risks:

    I am afraid the game will become more random then before: 1/6 chance to hit or to miss will result in higher percentage of combats with really lucky/unlucky rolls. At least at higher perceived percentage of such combats. It will be hard to balance especially with very high / low WS. Now changing WS may result in 50% chance change (from 33,33% to 50%). Soon such change may result in 100% change (form 16,67% to 33,33%). I am afraid less control over bonus stacking will result in devs dropping most bonuses altogether.
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    I loved third edition.. but man did that take hours and hours lol. But the thing is I could enjoy thinking about all that complex stuff between games. list building strategizing. Thinking of how to set the next game up.

    Part of the complexity really goes to the core conflict between the tournament player and hobbiest. I so miss insane courage. So many cheers heard accross the room at a tournament, and yeah randomness annoys the hard core list crunchers. I am actually right in the middle. I enjoy both. Hosting tournaments, playinging in them to meet new people, showing up with new painted models and conversions, but more often then not I get my one game in a week I can squeeze in. Complex rules cater more to the people who play on the table less frequently but are ALWAYS playing the game in their head.

    I also thinks it very possible to write complex yet Intuitive rules. Its just not easy ;)
    In Davis, CA, USA. Come Play some 9th with the Bizarro Hammer Crew (look us up on Facebook)
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    Frumious wrote:

    I loved third edition.. but man did that take hours and hours lol. But the thing is I could enjoy thinking about all that complex stuff between games. list building strategizing. Thinking of how to set the next game up.

    Part of the complexity really goes to the core conflict between the tournament player and hobbiest. I so miss insane courage. So many cheers heard accross the room at a tournament, and yeah randomness annoys the hard core list crunchers. I am actually right in the middle. I enjoy both. Hosting tournaments, playinging in them to meet new people, showing up with new painted models and conversions, but more often then not I get my one game in a week I can squeeze in. Complex rules cater more to the people who play on the table less frequently but are ALWAYS playing the game in their head.

    I also thinks it very possible to write complex yet Intuitive rules. Its just not easy ;)
    I would argue that the removal of insane courage was not a division between competitive and hobbyist players. It was just whiny players who can't handle a changing battlefield situation. They want to have just 1 battle plan and not be bothered to think of contingency plans.
    it really shows a lack of generalship if you can't handle insane courage.