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I have been looking at list people are making lately, as well as my own. Last night it bit me that it really feels like the game is returning to the old days, back in 5th, where whether you won or lost depended mostly on your characters.
Whether it be a tooled up slann blasting everything with magic, Demon princes slaughtering their way through everything, Teclis making your life miserable, it just feels like the game is returning to being character driven.
Not saying that there aren't some good units around, but would anyone take just a minimum point general and maybe a couple scroll caddies, and rely on your units to do all the dirty work.
Anybody else notice this, or am I just hallucinating.
I am right 94% of the time, why worry about the other 3%.
Now that you mention it, it does seem to be getting that way with the recent releases...
VC - Massively powerful Vampires
Daemons - the aforementioned Daemon Princes
Dark Elves - don't know much about their Assassins, but they sound fairly nasty
Lizardman - Super-magic Slaan
But then, you can always argue that VC are a bit of an exception, given that we need those powerful characters to hold the rest of the army together.
And Lizardmen have always had Slaan, who have always been one of the most powerful mages in the game.
Maybe it's a good move? A lot of people focus on their general when construction their fluff, and if you can get yourself a truly powerful general, you may be all the more inspired to document their exploits!
But I can see your point. It also seems armies are getting that one 'Ultimate unit of Doom' as well, which can do practically anything and everything. Especially with your Hero-hammer General on board.
Here's what Zaos77 says:As we look at David's Chaos army concept evolve, I was struck with something. Though this doesn't take a lot of deep inspection, it would appear that Character slots are becoming more expensive, and in some instance, more necessary. Even in my own current army build, with 4 characters and no lord choice, I spend 702 points. If you include the assassin, that comes to 853 points. That is a gigantic amount of points in a 2250 point army.
Currently, We have VC who can't manage to swing it with less than 3 characters of which the cheapest is usually around 100 pt. before magic items and powers. The daemons are immensely reliant on their characters. I really don't think a daemon army would be scary at all with only two heralds.
Even the new Warriors of Chaos need all of their character slots to help balance out the army's deficiencies.
So, are we seeing a re-emergence of the herohammer mentality? I know the prospect of immensely powerful characters is cool, but what about the little guy. My characters rarely win me games, but my troops continually hack and slash their way to victory.
That said, could a low character environment provide more balance to the game? Could a league promoted 2 character/non lord maximum rule institute better equalization?
What are your thoughts? I like the idea of low characters in a game of warhammer. It makes your armies way bigger and makes you more reliant on tactics and situational analysis to win you a game. Anyway, please provide your thoughts. I am anxious to read them.
While it has been established that many of the armies mentioned are character reliant for basic strategy, such as undead and daemons, I think another factor is being ignored here.
In all the armies mentioned above, the basic core troop cost went down. Some cases by an extreme amount (I think the cost of a zombie was cut in half). While I don't question that the power of characters has increased in many cases, things have been done to encourage taking the most basic of troops. I attribute the shift towards a character driven game to be based solely on one thing.
Bloodthirsters, fully-loaded Slann, and vampire lords on zombie dragons are undenialbly concepts that fantasy players think are awesome. Bob, marauder of chaos, is doing his part, but he just isn';t going to attract the attention as Trokdar, cracker of dragon skulls, is going to.
Anyway, I think this sudden shift is just a temporary coincidence of the armies chosen. Just wait for armies like skaven, beastmen, etc to be released and balance this out.
Im seriously worried about my poor TKs they are so reliant on their characters! if we get hit by the Hero-Hammer then i think i may give up...
Im very tempted to write my own rules for Beasts of Chaos too...
I think that there are a few reasons why you are seeing bigger/more characters lately.
1) The newest books either rely heavily on characters(VC and Daemons) or were already known for their big, nasty characters(WoC, Lizardmen).
2) GW is pushing more characters. All the new books have pages and pages of new named characters to choose from. Generally, I think just about all named characters are overpriced for what they do but people like them because a) they come with a pregenerated backstory, and b) they have some abilit(y/ies) that is unique to the character.
3) As Vampfan and Deadstar said, players connect with the leaders of their army in a way that they can't with troops. The story of someone's army is all about how the general led their troops to battle and how they seized on key moments to turn the tide for their side. It may have been a fast cavalry feint that pulled a key unit out of position and guaranteed the victory but to the player it was the general who saw the flaw in the oppositions forces and ordered his men to exploit the weakness.
4) Characters are designed to be necessary to the success of the army. Characters are the only ones who can use magic items, which contributes in large part to the success of an army. Recently, the new books have allowed unit champions to take some magic items so this issue is being addressed. The BSB is an integral part of many armies tactics. That re-roll can be huge for low to med. LD. armies and the magic banners that are only available to BSB's are some of the best in the game.
Do you want a magic phase? You need a couple lev. 2 casters or a Lord caster at least. Even if you don't want to use magic you still need them to control your opponenets magic. Characters are the only ones who can do that(Horrors being the exception). I think this is the main reason for such a high character point to army point ratio. You really need 400-600 pts. of magic users to do anything in the magic phase(including just protecting yourself) before you even look at the other characters you want for your army.
So I think that there are valid reasons for characters to be such a big part of the game. It is also true in life. Most armies are known by their generals. Hitler's Army, Napolean's Army, Hannibal's Army, etc.. That being said troops are the backbone of the armies. As Vampfan said this is also being addressed with a cost reduction for troops.
You don't think that named characters are overpriced? I think there are notable exceptions like Kairos and possibly Skulltaker for Daemons. The rest I see as either fair or overpriced. I don't know all of the special characters available but I can speak for the books I have. I think that all of the Dark Elf Characters are either over or fairly priced, Lizardmen also. Ogres only have 2 with Greasus overcosted and Skragg being fairly balanced considering how he changes the makeup of an army. As for the rest of the books, I don't own them so I can't really speak about them. Just from what I've seen I could speculate that Teclis is underpriced. I have not seen any other High Elf characters or WoC characters abused in lists which would seem to imply that they are not worth the point cost to include in an army. Let me know of flaws in my reasoning here but that seems to me to be how the special characters are currently rated.
Ogres my be a 7th ed army (maybe?), but this is their first incarnation, they have a lot of kinks to be worked out, so for all intents and purposes their special characters are 6th ed - ish.
All of the HE special Chars are ridiculously good for their cost, as are the DEs iirc.
Ill admit i do need to look into WoC a bit more, but in comparison to old special characters, (Tomb Kings' Settra or Khalida for example) where you had to pay extra for the privalidge of taking such an awesome character, the new ones are becoming costed on effectiveness alone, with a discount in points because they are named choices.
Herohammer, here we come...