Warhammer Fantasy Battle (WHFB)
|I have been playing WHFB for 6 years now, and have several different
I feel that a lot of opinion on this subject comes from people with
a historical wargaming background, who have drifted into WHFB. The vital
distinction is that it is a fantasy game - fantasy encompasses Magic, powerful
Now, I readily admit that there is clearly the opportunity for
power gaming within the ruleset, but the overwhelmingly vast majority
of people I have played do not participate in this. With restrictions on item points
and characters, the emphasis is firmly shifted toward troop types. After all,
a 300-pt General on some hideous monster will be easily defeated by the
massed ranks of my Skaven army!
The release of plastic regiment sets has
shifted the emphasis even more toward regiments of basic troops. The only
problem I have with GW is the pricing, but provided you search around for
second-hand figures (or know someone in the company to buy them for you at
staff discount - I know this is not allowed by GW, but as they make a 150%
profit...), the cost can be kept down. I know these options are not available
to all, but that still doesn't prevent you from playing smaller-scale games
and slowly building up an army whilst taking time to paint everything you
have to an excellent standard.
Just my 00.2p worth...
|Michael Thomas (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|As I said in my previous post, I've played Warhammer for about 7 years. Again
I must say, I have yet to see a balanced, realistic, and fair system. The
Warhammer system is purposely designed to favor power gamers, rules-lawyers,
and people only interested in winning and not playing. However, I feel like
adding on to my previous remarks on how incredibly poor this system
As one player put it, to see if you successfully kill a trooper, you
need to make 4 rolls. Okay, some spells/weapons don't allow for an armor
save, and some armor saves get additional saves, and some armor isn't
modified by spells, and some talismans give annother save, and some weapons
can cause you to have to make additional saves, and some items let you go
back in time and reroll a result...do you see a trend here? It's ridiculous
that I need to make usually 3 separate die rolls and then my opponent needs
to make 1 to see if some model dies. 4 rolls for 1 result.
To those posts that state, "If you have problems with the game don't
play, or use house rules, or use tournament rules." Well, too bad, I'm going
to play. Secondly, a system shouldn't be so poorly designed that I have
to design house rules to fix it. House rules should be optional to the
game, not to fix glaring problems. For instance, night battles are optional rules as they
increase the options of playing. Having to fix the fact that Total Power
as a magical power card, and remove Spawn of Chaos as a spell card because
they are both overpowering, shouldn't happen. Lastly, 'Use Tournament Rules?'
A game should be designed well enough that I don't need to use a special
set of rules to fix the standard set of rules. If I have to use a special
'Tournament' set for tournaments only, then golly gosh, why don't they just
make these rules the standard rules if they are so much better? Hmmmm...
sounds pretty good to me.
As to the price, well, it's ridiculous, end of story. I'm not poor by
any means. Being a well-employed college grad, I have money, and I am still
astonished that a single knight command model is some 10$. Criminy Chronopia
command figs are about $3.50, with the same scale and same size. In
addition, if I just wanted to start playing, I'd have to spend some 115$ to
get the Basic boxed set and the magic rules. Lastly all these 'Improvised'
figs I can use at home with my buddies, I can't use when at officially
sanctioned tournaments... even after I've paid some $150 to register.
And you need more than 3 rule books. You need 2 rule books from the
basic boxed set (one describing the rules, one describing the creatures, you
need each armies' specific army book) - we'll just say 2 for a 1 on 1 game,
you need the magic book, and any White Dwarfs that are related to 'fix'
rules problems. This is some 5 rules books. On the other hand, if I want to play Chronopia,
I need 1 book. If I want to play Warzone, I need 1 book. If I want to
play Armies of Arcana, I need 1 book...see a trend here? I can
get additional books that expand the game, but all the
rules/armies/templates that I need to play the game are contained in
1 primary book.
Next, each new addition has some new race that is much better than the
older races, leading to an arms race so you won't get beaten. For example,
The Dogs of War. Now anyone can have an army that has no penalties. Don't
have cav, don't worry, you can hire mercenaries. Cowardly soldiers, don't
worry, you can hire mercenaries. Need missile units, don't worry, you can hire
mercenaries. This leads back to my original post that racial penalties
weren't constant and severe enough. Now you can play KHORNE ARMY OF CHEEZE,
and have crossbows and cannon to support your super infantry and knights.
I've seen it done by a player that calls himself, "a true Khorne player."
In case you didn't know, Khorne hates magic and archer units as it disturbs
his severe and strict sense of honor; thus the 'true Khorne player' shouldn't
have cannon and crossbow.
Lastly, any system that doesn't allow for customer feedback is simply
wrong. Try calling the rulesboyz, or mail order to lobby a rule or unit
suggestion, and they treat you like you're spitting on the Virgin Mary. And
when I've asked for rules clarifications, I have recieved such answers back
as, "We don't have time to worry about every little situation that could
arise. Just roll a die." What the hell is this kinda answer?
Frankly I recommend Chronopia Empire (when it comes out), or Armies
of Arcana. Both are superior games that are a lot more fun to play.
What am I trying to say is this: Warhammer is a poorly designed
system that caters to those players who like to abuse rules, be power
gamers, not worry about the sportsmanship of the game, and have the financial
backing of the Rockefeller family.
|Neil Dutton (email@example.com)|
|Are you people nuts?!?|
- Oh it's SOOOO expensive!!
- The rules are too confused!!
- There are too many special characters
- blah blah blah...
Yes, prices have gone
up a lot in the 10 years I've been playing the game, but it still isn't
expensive for a hobby. The minis are better than they have ever been and
improving all the time. The last time I checked, the rules are not a confused
mess. You need 1) the rulebooks, 2) the magic supplement, 3) appropriate army
books - now isn't that unbearably complicated?!?!
If you don't like special
characters, don't use them. If your opponents have a problem with that,
don't play them.
You don't have to keep buying new rules - play the ones you
like, for crying out loud. (If you're that weak willed, contact me - there's this
bridge I'd like to sell you....)
you begrudge a hobby company becoming incredibly successful instead of
remaining a few fat, bearded men toiling in a basement, then that's just sad.
|Dave Ross (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|I started into Warhammer Fantasy a couple of months ago, even though I've had
a lot of experience with other historical periods and systems, and I've got
a lot of other GW minis. The game is good, and has much that other companies
don't provide - good background and presentation, and an excellent variety
of minis and accessories.
But when it comes to price and the pious GW attitude, don't buy into
it - sure, GW makes most of its money selling miniatures, but buy only what
you need, and paint all of it. There's no shame in playing a 1,000-or-less-point
battle! Play more of them if you have the time, or just play them
better. Be creative and allow regiments to have frontages of three! Play
mission-based games. Who cares? As long as you're playing on an equal footing
with your friends, and agree on the house rules, you can always have a good
time. Using smaller blocks of minis is just a good way of representing larger
groups of men (1 mini=10 men).
To GW, the rules come second to the sale of
minis. Buy only what you need, and paint everything before you go out and
Good figures are a nice plus with any kind of historical gaming, and
let's face it, GW makes the best in the business. The battlefield looks
amazing! Just remember, whether you're playing Warhammer or chess, the fun
is always in the strategy and maneuver - focus on that. Limit the magic and
special characters (or disallow them altogether), set up a good looking
table, and you'll always have a good game - with or without the expense.
|If you want to play a good game of Warhammer, use only 25% characters,
and don't use magic items that cost more than 50 ponts. The only problem with
the game is that they haven't released a Black Ork army book...or, at least, a
new Ork army book.|
|Nathan Moore (email@example.com)|
|Gosh, what a lot of crying about WFB. I've been playing since version 1 and
have always loved it. Don't mean I love GW, though.|
Everyone's complaint is
cheese and power gaming. My friends and I have a simple answer: Want cheese?
Don't play with us - go to a tournament!
I'd say WFB are the best fantasy rules out!
|Amin Ibrahim (aaibrahim@earthlink.)|
|WHFB is a good game if you play with the right people. Sometimes I get
downright disgruntled when a 600-point character runs through my non-cheesy
army. Besides the ever rising cost in cash, it's a great game...provided you
play with the right people.|
|Metal miniatures do cost a lot but they are really good looking. Right? I
spend 'bout £5 in month on miniatures... Painting the miniatures takes me
about a month... £5 is not so much per month!!!!|
|David Dailey (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|I have been playing Warhammer for some time, and I am appalled at
the gargantuan prices. It is awful to see such a great game become almost
unplayable, just because you can't afford the pieces!
My group of friends and
I do a lot of "representation." However, we would really like to have the actual
pieces, if we knew of a great place to order them that is not from GW.
Likewise, I would love to
organize a boycott of their merchandise just to get the price lowered
(however unlikely). It would be nice.
| Michael Thomas (email@example.com)|
Warhammer Fantasy is a system with so many holes in it, you
could drive a semi through them. I have played WHFB for over
seven years, and have yet to see a balanced system.
Why do I keep playing? Because it is the only system of its type (and I don't want
to see all the money I invested in it go to waste.)
- Chronopia is
more squad based (but much better designed, and cheaper, but smaller
- Medieval Spear and Lance is 20mm(?)
Warhammer is the only large-scale fantasy game
currently in mass production.
Warhammer does have some plusses:
- It only takes about a day or so to
- Citadel and subsidiaries do produce some fine quality
- Regiments of basic troops do have some advantages
However, Warhammer has a ton of negatives, all of which detract from
the playability and fun of playing the game:
- Rules inconsistencies.
For example, a human with pajamas and a sword is 5 points (mr. average.)
But for 3 more points, I can get 6 points of stat increases and
get a high elf.)
- Magic items and spells are undercost, and
- Characters are huge and undercost (so people
will buy them). For Example, Borgio is 173 points, but has a
50 point magic item for free (his 4+ special save.) He should be
- Race penalties aren't severe and consistent enough.
For example, treemen take double damage from fire. Now that there
is no longer color magic,there are about 5 things that cause fire (3 spells, and
2 items). Not much of a penalty now, is it? Annother example - Skaven
are cowardly, but gain leadership if you have a ton of them, buy
rank bonus, and leadership bonus can't beat that.
- The emphasis on
tooling out your character with monsters and items is ridiculus for
a game that's sold as a regiment-based strategy game.
- Skyrocketing costs of miniatures and supliments.
overwhelming power of units that can fly.
- You have to read their magazine (White Dwarf) to stay on top of all the rules changes.
- The list goes on...
I have seen it improve from 3rd Edition, but not enough to recommend
it to my friends and others. The cost of investment isn't worth the
headache of wondering how to solve a problem with the rules.
Play Chronopia - it's quicker to learn and play, better designed, and
boatloads more affordable.