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Just had my first few games of 5th edition the other day and got completly trounced (nothing new there then). So i went back to the drawing board and looked at the rules again to refresh my memory and also came online here to look for some advise. It was then that a question formed in the fog that is my mind thats been bugging me for a while. Can someone answer me this:
I dont play WFB but the new rules just seem to tweek rules, not drasticaly change them. But with 40K that seems to be a different story
People moan and praise 5th ed in equal parts (i praise) but from 4th ed there have been some major changes. Whilst i never played rouge trader, 2nd or 3rd ed i sort of know that between these editions theres also been massive changes.
So my question is 2 fold why does 40K seem to change so much between editions and did WFB have the same trouble back in its 3rd, 4th, 5th edition days and has it only recently leveled out or am i just being silly (quite possible)?
I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand
Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.
Honestly, I'd be pretty mad if they made us buy new rulebooks and spent all this time making it if they didn't make any major changes.
Alot of the griping by really veteran 40k players is that the 4th and 5th gen Rulebooks have just been "£30 patches" to 3rd gen rules. The jumps from 1st to 2nd, and 2nd to 3rd, were much bigger in terms of overhauling the rules. IIRC, the jump from 2nd to 3rd was so huge it invalidated all previous Codices, so they put WIP versions of all of them in the back of the 3rd gen Rulebook. After 3rd, they've just been twiddling with it, trying to get it right. Tbh, I prefered 3d.. but that's probably rose-tinted glasses
As for Fantasy, I really don't know.
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Regarding fantasy, the changes between 6th and 7th edition weren't drastic, that's true, but 5th to 6th was quite the opposite. The magic system was completely revamped, for instance (the magic phase used to be a card game).
I guess when GW gathers a large enough list of addendum and errata it only makes sense to release a new version to keep things cohesive and official.
I think it's because GW considers the Fantasy system "done" and now they are tweaking it. They've been working on 40k since 3rd and it still needs work before we get a final product.
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Yes is the short answer.
4/5th to 6th edition Fantasy was a huge overhaul, possibly on close to the same magnitude as 2nd-3rd edition 40K. The very early (80s) editions of both game systems lean more towards miniatures based roleplaying than the tabletop strategy games we have now. (Although they were definitely the obvious start in that direction.) I think the 'hero hammer' that was Fantasy in the 90s editions is largely indicative of that heritage too!
5ed-6ed Fantasy and (more so yet) 2ed-3ed 40K is a totally different game, basically rewritten from the ground up. Thought out as a table top game first and foremost, not another revision of an extension of the evolution of role playing into miniatures gaming. 5ed 40K is a major overhaul no doubt, but in my opinion it's still an evolution of the same game system that started with 3ed 40K. The same fundamental design principles are there, just better executed.
As I have been playing GW games since 3rd Ed WH and 40k Rogue Trader.
I would like to add my recolections and oppinions.
GW made great 3D RPG games in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
As most games that use 25-28mm minis are Skirmish- RPG, or ranked up units where each model represents many models.(In WH you could have 10 x6 mm figures or just ONE 28mm figure, and we know what looks best....)
Any how WH has changed very little from 3rd to 7 th ed.(Apart from different magic system , and more races.)
The basic game mechanics are identical, the devs just streamlined the rules slightly ,(cynical gamers say that GW did this to up the model count.)
Basicaly because the WH game has suitable game mechanics and just need tweeks to improve gameplay.(A gamer who played 3rd ed would pick up 7th ed and understand 75%+ of the system straight away.)
However 40k started as a sci fi scirmish game .Rick Priestly and co, wrote it using 3rd ed WH rules ,so WFB players could cross over to buy GW sci fi minis...
Rogue Trader had fewer minatures on the table, and so a lot more tactical manouvering to get into weapons range.(And a lot more variation and detail in the game.It made Necromundia look bland in comparison.)(About 300pts of curent 40k armies.)
2nd ed was a large skirmish game.About as big as the WH game mechanics and rules could handle .2nd ed was a natural progression from RT.(About 800pts of current 40k armies.)
However , 3rd ed changed the game size , the level of interaction moved up to the UNIT level, from model interaction of 2nd ed.
Due to the increased model count, and inclusion of more vehicles and non infantry units, to make 40k more of a combined arms game.(As opposed to mainly a infantry skirmish game.)
The game NEEDED totaly different game mechanics .(Unfortunaley it didnt get them.)
The game devs have been trying to get 40k to 'work properly' for over 10 years now.
Micro managing interaction at the abstrcted model level, and macro managing the inter action with the army level sequential phase game turn. Just makes for far too many WTF moments IMO.
Is 40k a fun dice rolling game to use GW minis and model in, yes.
Is it a intuitve effecient and clearly defined rule set.NO.
There are lots of better rule sets free to down load on the internet.
Untill GW use more appropriate game mechanics, the 40k game will only be half the game it could be IMO.
I personally think the worst thing GW did to 40k was 3rd ed, since then it just never been the same game for me, for me i feel like the drained all the tactics out of the game, to me it just seems like a pretty straight forward point and click game. In many ways its like DoW, its fun at first but after a while it gets very repetitive.
I have always enjoyed warhammer on the other hand, whiles it had some major changes from 5th to 6th this only really seemed like in a few places (army composition, magic, characters).
Now, to play devil's advocate (please understand that I am a die-hard WHFB fan, and only play limited amounts of 40K) to these previous arguments, I must make a few points:
1> many people say that WHFB games are decided by deployment. While in 40K it is easy to redeploy, fantasy makes it nearly impossible
2> fantasy takes markedly longer than 40k. If you are crunched for time, Fantasy is not the game for you
3> fantasy is less rewarding to the painter/modeller. Because many fantasy models do not have the interchangeability of their 40K counerparts, conversions are often more difficult GS work. Painting a unit of 20 fantasy models takes longer, and is more tedious than painting 40k units of 10. And when all but 14 of those models are locked on the inside and out of sight.
4> some people don't like the assured combat results. For some, a victory should be about who kills the most enemies. In fantasy, it is quite possible to kill massive numbers of your enemy's unit, and still lose the combat. In 40K, it tends to be far more predictable based on the straightforward "whos' stats are better" scenario. In fantasy, the stats are worthless if your enemy can outsmart you and catch a flank, or bring superior numbers to bear, or put you against a stubborn unit.
Now- what do I like about fantasy? Mostly everything that I said. The models are smaller and more delicate, they look more realistic. The rules are more detailed, the game is more rewarding, and i love the background and the thematic era.
Plus I find the WFB players more friendly then some of the 40k players in my area, for some reason they dont seem to have such an elitist attitude as a few 40k players around Oz.