Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Ninth Age Nearing Completion

With my cry for help yesterday over my missing the "fun" aspects evident in WHFB v8, I was told that all my pleas might be answered with the upcoming release of The Ninth Age.

Apparently the 0.99 Beta is being released with a view to finalising the completed product by April. Posters on Twitter and some of the commentators to the blog have told me that it will address all my 8th Ed yearnings.

I hope they are right but let's say I'm skeptical.

"Why?" I hear you ask Dear Reader. Well two reasons. First it is being designed by Committee (and not one but it appears 20+ committees) and secondly, the Europeans (at the heart of the venture) have a long history - via ETC - of killing any kernel of randomness in the game.

Now I hope I'm wrong but I suspect I'm not. For so long things such as scenarios were a foreign country to the people involved. The Magic Phase was something to be regulated even if that had unintended consequences - the emergence of points denial death stars that plagued the ETC 2012-14. Any item of fun e.g. The Reign of Chaos in Daemons for instance, had to be removed because it was "random". The whole concept of having to adapt in the event of randomness was an enigma that couldn't be faced.

Although I confess to not having read the multiple iterations that T9A has gone through, hearing things like the removal of "Insane Courage" on a Double 1 doesn't make me a happy little camper.

So yes I'm keen to see the final product but we'll see how much "fun" survives the great Euro bureaucracy approach.


  1. The main thing that made me realise 9th Age was unlikely to fill the Warhammer void was the fact that, for IP reasons, it was not still set in the Warhammer world but would need its own background developed.

    I told myself when I started playing KoW that I could still just imagine the game taking place in the Warhammer world, but that doesn't really work. And now I realise that 9th Age might have similar issues as it is forced to introduce its own IP.

    9th Age is basically an attempt to force Warhammer into a balanced, competitive game. Just like the ETC restrictions used to try to do. Ultimately I think KoW is a better basis for a competitive game, and as 9th Age feels like it tries to cover this requirement and the void left by Warhammer, it will probably fall into the gap in between.

    1. Yup. I was keen for 9th Age, but then my Tomb Kings became 'entombed dynasties' and that felt like a bad sign. KoW fluff will grow and over time I'll get over the loss of the Old World.

    2. I just think they are very different games with different mechanics. 9th age is still good for competitive games as was 8th but the way you build a list and use units is different. Not necessarily worse per se. But they sill have a lots of challenges ahead with fluff, momentum and creation of new units.

    3. I think in that regard mccrae going forward they need a model maker behind them as a backer. Some what unlikely they will find one. But it would legitimise what there doing as a seperate game from 8th

    4. Yep I think that is one of two main issues, the other being what happens when the creators lose a bit of interest or something else crops up. As they are not being paid then it has got to be a labour of love so no guarantees etc. But happy to play it as long as I can find opponents in the meantime.

  2. There is a little too much belief that they can remove the need for comp. this has naturally resulted in Comp being pre-written into the rules: check out all the "one of a kind" restrictions and the mass movement of stuff to rare to limit the number available etc. I think the cause of this is ETC choosing 9th for the next event before the rules were finished...naturally resulting in an ETC lense being used for nearly every decision.

    Still, plays like Warhammer and so that's good enough for me.

  3. Can't run a 'passable' vampire lord on Dragon was out...

    1. Well, you can't run a Vamp Zombie dragon with no weaknesses. But with the Vampiric atribute getting wounds back and the necromancy lore attribute doing the same, T6, 3+ save, a magical item that stops multiple wounds, -1 to hit and a general nerf to all ranged artillery I think he is definitely usable. He will just have some counters.

      Personally the only thing in my dwarf army that could take it is my King (if I kitted him out with the S6 D3 wounds. But he is 1 model and M3. The dragon flies.

    2. Yeah, and how much is said kitted out vamp-ragon? You are looking somewhere around 325 for the dragon to have that 3+ scaly skin...

      More saying the vamp-ragon isn't very balanced compared to others available, as if our vamp goes down the army generally follows afterwards. That and if you want a fighty vampire (which you would on a dragon) you must always challenge *eye roll* and ofcourse we can still get eaten alive by SCR.

      That and our magic isn't as strong as it used to be and is the Nerf to the Vamps attribute still in there?

    3. Nick some of that's down to your style of play if you had knights supporting the dragon and a champ of your own to go under the bus while your vamp goes to town

  4. Personally having a lot of fun with the 9th age. The variation in units seen is great. Last night I ran Gyrocopters in units of 2 with forge repeaters and skirmish, miners and warriors with shields and throwing weapons, no bsb, an anvil and a doomseeker with his skirmishing buddies amongst others. No way I could write a good list with all that in it in 8th because half the choices would be sub-par.

  5. The debates nice but in the end GW killed fantasy and no fan-edition is going to resurrect it or my interest in playing.

    In the period since AoS dropped the NZ WHFB player base has either switched to other game systems, stopped playing all-together or divided itself between the 9th Age, 8th Ed and KoW camps.

    Its been great to see KoW events being organised and people going to these, but even here the attendance is down and most of the names I used to associate with WHFB events are no longer present. But if we are going to be honest even before AoS emerged player numbers were in decline at most events and the game was hardly noticeable outside of small/large groups of friends playing together in various parts of the country.

    The bottom line is that the NZ gaming community does not have the size or critical mass required to support multiple versions of a fantasy based table top miniatures game whether it be KoW, 8th Ed, 9th Ed or something else. 9th Age might work in Europe because that mass is there, 8th Ed might survive in other countries but without official support to provide an independent voice clarifying rule interpretations and to revitalise the game with new books & miniatures none of those communities will grow.

    Its a pity too as 8th Ed was a great game and I'd just gotten my armies looking nice...

  6. At the least Pete, i reckon 9th is worth a game or two once they get april update done. been playing it since nov or so and pretty happy with it so far. the only real problem for me is the constant updates and changing - sometimes quite dramatic changes to say the least lol. thats not to say the problems other peeps have with 9th arent valid, when the nerf bat finally came for me beloved lizo ill admit i wavered, but hey i got lots of armies.

    although in saying that, a good majority of the complaints ive heard about 9th are about books, and not the rules. inbuilt comp aside i think the rules are the best version yet. too many changes to list, but read it and decide for yourself. suffice to say magic doesnt win you games, and you can deathstar all you want, you still gotta get the/more objectives for that big win. and lets not forget the rules are online, for free, with hyperlinks to all the rules chapters (so so handy). the rules are super clear, no more raw vs rai, or even a need for an faq. fluffed up army books are en route too.

    now we're ending the end of book power level fluctuations, everyone can finally agree all the armies got nerfed (not just their own), and instead enjoy starting afresh. new rules mean new models baby! or at least new roles for old models. one of my fav parts of 9th so far is learning about all the armies again, and discovering not just the gems, but all the new synergies etc. i think its a fair comment that theres not a new book that has a single list that writes itself, like how there was before 8th. who'd of ever thought saurus warriors would ever be considered op lol. beastmen and brett players are sure to rejoice, they got the books they were owed from gw. its cool to be using units that never saw the light of day back in 8th too across all my armies.

    i think johns got a good point about the size of the community for multiple competitive tourney systems tho, its very much the case in victoria at the moment too, and our scene is still in its infancy. not so much in qld or nsw, there didnt seem to be such a split between systems when the change came. ill admit i played 8th and only 8th till the masters in nov, and straight onto 9th after that. havent looked at any other system. not cause im a fanboy, more that it just seemed like a logical progression to me

    all in all, i reckon its worth a try, or at least a perusal over the rules and books to see what all the fuss is about. i know of at least a couple dudes back in welly that are dead keen on giving it a hoon too, im sure you wont be hard up for a game of it

  7. Queens birthday Pete Nicon is running 9th in sunny Hamilton