Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ripples on the Pond

In the aftermath of Dogcon there seems to be increased acceptance in Australia of modifying the core rules.

At the event they used a system that required three “sixes” to get an Irresistible Force on a spell and by all accounts that was widely welcomed. A roll of two “sixes” was still a Loss of Control requiring a roll on the misfire table.

On the surface this seems a reasonable change but scratch the surface and I think there is evidence of the ripple effect at work.

If you take the “Watchtower” scenario as an example removing the threat of magic results in pretty much an auto-win for some builds against the majority of armies. For instance, there are very few things that can dislodge the following builds without resorting to magic:

• Dark Elves’ Black Guard buffed by Cauldron and Shadow “Mindrazor”
• Warriors of Chaos Chosen esp if MoT with 4+/3++
• Daemons of Chaos Bloodletters with Herald (especially if buffed with Life magic – “Regrowth” or “Flesh to Stone”).

An assault on the building is unlikely to dislodge these troops – outcome based on wounds, defender Steadfast – nor is shooting – templates = D6 wounds, -2 to shooting.

So how do you prevent the auto-win? You have to start fiddling with other rules be they core rules and/or army composition.

Limiting the size of units is only marginal effective as you can only utilise 10 models in a building combat – so to be blunt there is little difference between 20 and 40 models in the unit.

Change the scoring in the scenarios? Yes you can do this but that starts to generate even more ripples.

Where do you stop? Do you go down the road that the organisers of the UK’s South Coast GT have, where they are playing six games of Battleline?

To me this indicative of people not wanting to adapt to the new rules. Scenarios are a part of it. Big Magic is a part of it. Death Stars are a part of it.

I think the recent UK Masters showed that when taken as a whole the core rules worked. The event was won by a player with a “balanced” army that was effective in the rules, across all scenarios and against all opponents.

Those that tried to be “clever” with their extreme or limited dimension builds weren’t as effective as they hoped.

Rather than start fiddling with the rules people should follow his lead and be able to adapt to various situations.

I’ll happily predict that the removal of the magic threat if widely adopted in Australia will lead to events being dominated by the combat armies. We’ll then see a backlash and further rules “adjustments”.

I’ll watch with interest.


  1. I'm sorry. These people who are arbitrarily making changes to the Core rules have been working as a game developer at GW for how long?

  2. Much as I agree with Pete, lets not get to carried away with thinking games designers are infaliable and that others don't have good solid ideas.