Friday, November 1, 2013

A Golden Age For Warhammer?

2013 has seen Games Workshop release five Warhammer Army Books with one coming out pretty much every two months.

The quality of these books has been really high and generally they have exhibited a greater degree of internal balance than has been evident in the past. Probably the most disappointing has been the Lizardmen book where Core choices were pretty uninspiring and have reinforced the Skink Cloud as the preeminent build. Generally though we are seeing diversity in the 2013 vintage despite the talk of net lists etc. You will always get more efficient builds but all the books released this year have the capacity for several builds.

Against this background we have only five books that do not have an 8th Ed version - Bretonnians, Wood Elves, Dwarfs, Beastmen and Skaven. Of these, only Dwarfs and Skaven are core races - the others being towards the lower end of best sellers. I'm sure I'll now be inundated by wooders who'll tell me that for a three month period in the dim distant past, Wood Elves were the biggest seller in SE Belgium or some other irrelevance. The point is we are nearing the end of the cycle and most of the common armies have an 8th Ed book.

And what has this resulted in? Well I think we have a far more balanced game than at any time in the past decade. Some will point to a dominance of WoC or DoC but I contend that this is mainly due to either Special Characters, ill-conceived comp or rules changes and the lack of scenarios. Generally Top 10s here in NZ have seen a variety of armies.

That aside, the other big difference is that the game is more fun than previous editions. The presence of Big Magic and the shift from resource to risk management make the game more enjoyable. Shit can happen and it does. From my own point of view I have been enjoying two of the more random - in terms of variable - armies. Skaven and DoC while having a bedrock of certainty have a thick veneer of variability. And I love it.

So for me this is a golden age. I love playing the game. I'd happily play most evenings if I could as something wacky happens and I have to adjust. Or it doesn't happen and the best laid plans work.

And I haven't even started on how good most of the new plastic models are!

1 comment:

  1. It's gotten me interested in the square bases for the first time in ages. I understand about the Lizardmen list, but all the other stuff outside of core is soooooo amazing!