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Von Blonde Beer,

After the release of the new full army book for the Warriors of the Dark Gods at the start of the year, we received a lot of great feedback from our community, that was gathered by our heroes in the WDG ACS, and brought to the attention of our design teams.
Thursday will be the release of the updated WDG book, but we wanted to showcase the changes today.
To help explain the changes with the updated book, we had @Gustenpjevs from our WDG ACS round up the changes, and add explanations to all the changes.
A short summary of the feedback that was seen as most pressing by our community were the following:

  • Too many restrictions for army builds and individual rules.
  • Army strengths weren’t implemented enough.
  • Model invalidation
  • Place and push forward – army considered boring
  • Lack of customization
  • Feel and Flavor
  • Loss of favours
  • Price (not anything ADT decides)
  • Infantry play style needs a boost
  • To work on these problems we have had to take some dramatic steps in the overall book itself to correct them, and while we as staff feel that most of these problems are corrected, we also know that there will always be issues that we foresee that the community will see as ‘not fixed’.
    We have been through a lot of different ideas and solutions and have looked at all the responses from the feedback thread though, and tried to integrate them in the overall design approach of the 9th age, where there is a design goal to make every army a bit more unique, and we wanted to explore if some new mechanics could provide alternatives to typical stat fixes.
    This is exemplified in the army wide 'not high' discipline. Alternative measures have been taken to make the army more playable. For some this might be a too big of a change, and something that might be too easily exploitable by their opponents, but from what we see from earlier playtests, we find the current setup worth it to keep continuing with the current approach.

    The big offenders that we have seen fixes toward:

    1: Too many restrictions for army builds and individual rules.
    Examples of fixes:
    * A Hell maw build that doesn’t demand two hell maws on the table
    * The updated Reckoning is much less restricting than the soul token mechanic.
    * The favors are less restrictive and situational and are now available to more units on the table (warriors and warrior knights), something the community strongly asked for.
    * Bigger radius on a number of the key special rules to make them easier applicable on the table.

    2: Army strengths weren’t implemented enough
    Examples of fixes:
    * Veil token mechanic provides better chances of getting more spells through.
    * Hereditary spell and Veil walker to make more spells devastating, fitting the army more.
    * Favors can add a bit of speed and maneuverability, Chimera (unmounted) is a serious buff to speed armies, and a buff to the chosen chariot and knights.

    3: Model invalidation
    Examples of fixes:
    * We added the Chimera (unmounted) again.
    * Adding favours to warriors/warrior knights will also be a factor. * Regarding trolls…
    There has been a load of discussions on this topic, and we haven’t been able to find an agreement on this that will work for all sides of the
    discussion. As a result,there won’t be any new unit that fits troll miniatures better. The only tiny bit of change is the name change from Wretched Beast to Wretched One.

4: Place and push forward – army considered boring
We think there have been some important improvements for the army overall, but this is a broad topic, so less easy to pinpoint what’s
better now.
* A better antichaff game through magic.
* Favours add more strategic depth – to more units.
* Flayers becoming more playable in more roles.
* New chimera is a flexible tool – especially by also being available in the special category
* A single hell Maw can be a tool, so doesn’t have to be an entire army strategy
* Wizard giants!
* Battle Shrine fits in more builds

5: Lack of customization
* Favor upgrades added to warriors and warrior knights.
* Sorcerer general with 200 points special equipment.
* Spiked shield now an option
* New mount options on sorcerer and barbarian chief
* Wizard Giants!
* Chimera
There is a a bit of loss of customization on the Chosen Chariot though, but Greed still add options for different weapons (make a wild guess!).

6: Feel and flavor
* A bit more wasteland fluff feel with the new chimera.
* ACS love the concept of the chosen champion (a requirement for favours for warrior- and warrior knight units) and have fought for this – only because of how awesome this is. Still may need some adjustments pointswise in the future though, but time and playesting will reveal that.
* The Reckoning and Veil walker seems a bit more ‘in tune’ with the overall theme of the Dark Gods.
* Adding more units with the option for favors will strengthen not only their role on the table, but also link them stronger to the background.

7: Loss of favors
* As you can read before, this is something that is strongly improved with the new version.

8: Price
There hasn’t been a lot of rework on the pricing of units.A few units have been designed/redesigned with a change in price as an result.
Unfavoured warriors were designed to be cheaper and possible work in bigger units. The chimera was wanted to be cheapish, but we knew the new Exalted Herald would probably have a small price hike because of a small buff to the combat capabilities and a few adjustments to manifestation, as well as a nod towards the 'speed' aspect of knights and the chosen chariot.
A lot of the armies success and feel depends on pricing, and we expect that a lot of fine tuning is needed in the future before the best
internal balance has been found.

9: Infantry playstyle needs a boost
We’re not 100% convinced yet that the changes are enough to boost the infantry playstyle enough, but that’s why we are still in the Beta phase of 2.0. What has been done to help improve the playstyle are:
* Better chaff clearing
* Favors synergizing with infantry better
* Spiked shield for more resilient infantry
* Hell Maw should be better tuned and can be played with only one.
* War Dais implemented on sorcerer and have ‘C’ in movement
* Bigger warrior units (and also a change in how the core unit functions on the table as a result)

All in all, we are very satisfied with the results, and the changes were made with the community responses in mind, andwe hope you are able to see your feedback in action. While not every wish has been fulfilled, we hope this a good step in a compromise between the wishes of the community and the design philosophy of T9A.
Our own teams really like how the army feels now overall, while we do know that there might be a few more changes in the near future, for
units we need to keep an eye out for.
In particular, these are the Hell Maw, the Battle Shrine, the Chimera, the Wretched Ones, and the Fallen One. Obviously, anything can still
change as we are in Beta, but for know you can consider the book as finished. There will not be another major change like this again in the
near future.

Two special notes to end with:

1. Thanks to all the changes the Army Wide Special Rules are also changing a bit. We will go into the changes and the reasons why tomorrow.
2. The current BLT's job is to make the book externally balanced as much as possible.
Because of that internal balance may be off a bit, but if we want pricing and internal balance to be improved we need to stop doing redesigns to the book so pricing can be data driven and not educated guess driven.

Come back tomorrow for the release, and even more information about the changes to the book!

(Discussion topic can be found here).
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