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Pretty big update on the rules, magic, movement, combat, characters, special rules, unit types, formations.
It's very much based on warthrone with elements from warhammer, completely compatible with warhammer books. I still have a lot to do, I need to work on terrain, magic lores magic items, tweak formations.
I haven't just given up on it! had a few family members ill over Christmas.
It's interesting to see the different ways that people are trying to keep 8th edition relevant, or help it to "live on" in some guise or another.
While I have a deep love/hate relationship with '9th Age,' I think that they started with the best plan for keeping 8th alive and kicking. The last I checked, they were breaking away from that, somewhat, and now I've lost track of them altogether since nobody really plays it around here.
Instead, everyone just hopped over to Kings of War.
I've also seen Warthrone, but every review I've seen has come to the same conclusion: it's ill-supported and too complicated to be anything more than an interesting design theory.
It's interesting to see what each game and each fan iteration chooses to change, and what they choose to keep.
I'm always curious as to what their goal is
In my experience, it's always easier to find someone willing to dust off their army and just play 8th. Indeed, that's what most people seem to want. Most people to seek to think that people aren't carrying the torch of 8th because the rules were bad or the game was flawed or whatever. I've found that the truth is just that they know it's a dead game, and unless you can somehow return the full-line model support, and gaming community, they won't return.
In the end, the community is broken. Small groups of friends are still playing - some play 8th or classic editions, some play 9th, or their own homebrew designs, but nobody has actually stepped up to the plate and replaced WHFB. Ironically, our community is a picture of the 40k fluff - we are the Imperium, desperately clinging to a dead and decaying Emperor, to the detriment of our progress.
Part of figuring out how you'll change Fantasy to create something new, is to decide on a set of design goals, and then see if another game does it better. Looking at 9th Age, I have to ask, "why not just play 8th?"
Personally, I think that my friends and I have hit on one of the best solutions, but obviously that opinion varies outside of the group.
We play what we call "Sixth Age" - it uses the 6th edition Fantasy rules and Ravening Hordes lists as a starter point, and then applies many of the Warbands or "Fantasy in a Flash" concepts to the game.
We retrofitted all of 8th edition models to the 6th edition rules and armies, as well as fit in a few of the 8e rules that we enjoyed.
In order to have continued model support, we have also retrofit some of the AoS models into the game - so yes, I have seen someone calculate a 'Rank Bonus' for a regiment of Stormcast Eternals.
From this launching point, we're actually working on adopting the simplified rolls of KoW and AoS. This will actually make the game easier to balance, and make converting future AoS releases far easier.
Our defined goals were obvious from the beginning:
Better balance - the game needed it. In many ways, 6e Ravening Hordes played using the 8e rules was considered the best you could ask for, so we started there.
Smaller Scale - this was important. We are all in our late 20s and early 30s now, so we needed something that can be played with limited free time and limited table space. It's also becoming harder to buy large armies since it often involves eBay lots and the associated repairs/repaints. The AoS stuff is also expensive for just a few models.
We got the unit sizes down to about half the size of the same unit in 8th. An emphasis on smaller games means that we can play on tables as small as 4'x4' or my 3'x5' kitchen table.
Forward Progress - we knew that we wanted to be able to get new models, even as GW phases out the older stuff. We didn't want to rely on companies re-casting the GW lines. So we found ways to incorporate AoS minis/scrolls to the game.
Granularity - this is why we didn't just play KoW (although we all do). KoW treats each regiment as a single monster with wounds. Our game still features "pts/model" list building and upgrades, still allows you to customize your characters, and still sees units reforming on the table as casualties are removed "in 1:1 scale."