07 September 2011

WFB DOA

Between the development of the game over the later parts of 7th edition (inconsistent army balance) and the changes in 8th edition (I really tried playing it for quite a while) combined with the increased focus on competitive/tournament play (and more importantly, the accompanying player attitudes), and the increasing cost of staying with "official" figures, I think WFB is more or less dead to me at this point.

It really is sad, as I am a long time player (since 3rd edition, well over two decades ago) and although it was not the first (nor last) game that caught my attention, it has certainly been the one with the longest lifespan. I've probably played more games WFB than all other miniature games combined (OK, probably not -- but the numbers are most likely in WFB's favor.)

But, to state it plainly: it's just not fun anymore.

That's not just in terms of the rules, but the atmosphere and spirit in which the games are played. Far more bitching, grumbling and anger. Much more rules-lawyering, points counting, and no one wants to play scenarios if they have nothing to do with tournaments, or any other sort of non-competitive gaming. Army list writing is far more important than making good in-game, tabletop decisions.

I've considered other fantasy games, but when I look at what's available they usually have one or more of the following faults/red-flags: they are trying to emulate WFB, or; they are focused on selling game-specific figures rather than being a more "generic" or open fantasy game, or; they are skirmish games. Some other games may seem appealing, based on the merit of the quality of their rules, but without the high-gloss, coffee-table look (and price) of GW games, or so-called "support" (which usually means a constant stream of new, expensive products to buy) most other people don't seem to have an interest. Image, it seems, sells better than content in the world of fantasy wargaming.


Yes, I'm in a mopey mood. Maybe I'm getting too old for it.  I recently sold most of my Skaven, and it seemed more like a relief than something to be sad about. I think that says as much about how I feel about the game as all my rambling above. The Skaven were my first army, some of the figures (and I did keep a few) dated back to my youth in the mid '80's.

12 comments:

  1. Man I am sorry to hear that... I have had much more fun playing 8th ed than I ever did playing 3rd-7th ed. I think the game is balanced much better than 7th ever was especially at the end. I do concede that the metagame drastically changed but I honestly think that that is for the better.

    Those are my opinions but you know what they say about opinions... everyone has one...

    All the best man!

    B

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sorry to hear you're down about the new edition. For me, skrimish games are easier to get into due to things like cost control. I see that as a plus. Open games, like Song of Blades and Heroes, are even more into it because I can then use any figure I already own. More of that for me.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Actually I think 8th edition is one of it's best editions except for 3rd which is the best. Like you, it's probably the game I've played the most and longest, but I also gave up the game as I don't like the atmosphere of GW games which promote power gaming and at this point play exclusively historical games now. Could also be I've just outgrown it.
    If you consider WAB a GW game then I technically still play GW games, but even WAB doesn't appeal to me much any more and after an event I have this month I wouldn't be surprised if it drops off my list of games being played.
    If I do fantasy games again I'm thinking of Fantasy Impetus which is nothing like GW and I suggest you look into that. I'm a huge fan of it's historical rules is why I'm thinking it over.

    Christopher

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've recently been thumbing through my copy of BattleSystem 2nd ed.While I enjoyed 6th Ed alot,I havent played any past that. I think the most fun I ever had with Warhammer were the 3rd ed games.I had a blast using my Connoiseur and Essex Landsknechts I think the only GW figures I had were my Great Cannon and Volley gun.We recently started playing WAB again(1.5).

    ReplyDelete
  6. In addition to the other issues I mention, my problem with the current edition of the game is that this is how I see the breakdown of what's important, from top to bottom:

    1. Dice rolls.
    2. Army list composition.
    3. Owning the new models.
    4. "Tactical" decisions on the tabletop.


    I think I've also grown tired of special rules syndrome, in which games are won and lost because someone can't keep up with all the special rules. The fact that you need to buy a continuous stream of pricey books just to have a complete set of the rules is also a pattern that turns me off games anymore.

    I've also got a fondness for 3rd edition, though I'm not sure it was the best. The rules were fairly complex, they were all contained in two meaty books, and the decisions you made in-game were definitely important. (I miss the "unformed" rule for units, for example.)

    We used to limit the spells to second level, as some of the upper level ones were outright game-winners. I think we also edited out a few of the bigger second level offenders, too.

    But like I said, the environment has also changed. Back then players tinkered with games. Now there's such an uptight adherence to "official" that it's hard to even talk about tailoring games. The fact that most of the potentially offending rules will usually be army-specific now also brings up cries of favoritism, bias, etc. now, whereas the above mentioned spell limits affected every army equally.

    ReplyDelete
  7. "The fact that you need to buy a continuous stream of pricey books just to have a complete set of the rules is also a pattern that turns me off games anymore."

    Fantasy Impetus is completely free.

    "But like I said, the environment has also changed. Back then players tinkered with games. Now there's such an uptight adherence to "official" that it's hard to even talk about tailoring games."

    Fantasy Impetus you can completely build and make up your own armies. It's back to old school days were you have the freedom to experiment. Your imagination is your only limitation.

    Christopher

    ReplyDelete
  8. I completely understand your feeling about the latest edition...in fact I've not liked any of them since the 3rd. So 3rd edition is what I play. I game with people who like me are more interested in a fun game with a fun story. Find a few like minded gamers and put together a campaign for 3rd. Tournaments have always been the bane of fun for me....its like pro bass fishing...lets take a relaxing past-time and turn it into a high stress competition populated by utter assholes.

    Check out this blog for others who feel the same: http://warhammerforadults.blogspot.com/

    Keep us informed about where you land!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I certainly do agree concerning the new edition. It is just not a game that I have any interest in. Half of the new rules remind me too much of 40K and the other half seem like half assed fixes for problems from the 7th edition.

    It seems that we are not alone on this as well. I am suprised that there is a significant minority who simply dont like the game anymore due to the edition and have flat out quit. Perhaps you would have maybe one or two people who would quit with a new edition, but where I am at I have approximatley 25% of us have quit.

    I have offered to play with those who quit the older editions, maninly the 6th edition, and most of those who quit either already play or want to start WAB. So I am still busy in the general miniature hobby.

    The only good news is that I dont have to rush to paint up a unit for an event and take my time doing the best job that I can on my fantasy armies. I guess that I have turned into a collector of the armies, atleast until I can find someone who wants to play older editions.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I think blue in VT and others have the right idea. Just play 6th edition, and forget that 8th exists.

    That way, you can ignore "thunderstomps", WoW styled trolls, and hordes, and just play with the stuff that makes the game fun.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Actually, when the 7th edition rulebook and most of the early books came out, I thought it was a refined version of 6th and generally my favorite edition of the game since 3rd.

    Then they started releasing army books that were seemingly for an entirely different game.

    There are aspects of 8th edition that I like. I like the centralization of special rules. It's the best job they've done with packing the special rules into the main rulebook (where everyone has access to them) since 3rd. Sadly, that still doesn't solve the problem of having the get all the army books to get all the rules.

    I also like the rules for stepping up to attack, and generally speaking, the idea of large units having a better chance of sticking around.

    Unfortunately the game fails on so many other levels that the good is far outweighed by the bad.

    I hadn't really thought about going all the way back to 3rd ed. Tempting, if I could find some other players and we could modify a few things.

    Another thought I've had is to go in the opposite direction and try a fantasy version of Hail Caesar, which would essentially amount to an evolution of Warmaster. (With 28mm figures n mind.)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hail Caeser would probably lend itself to a "minimalist" fantasy game whereby Orcs are really just greenskinned Germans,Elves are really just Englishlongbow,etc. I actually would love that type of game.You could try importing some Warmaster rules for special units,but how badly would it unbalance it?

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.