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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, if a new gaming system that included models and rules for a mass battle fantasy game arose from the mess GW left us in, what would you want from it? Im asking about models, factions, and rules. What would the gaming community like to see from a new game?
 

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A lot of people are already working on projects like this, including myself, Elliasson (of Warhammer Armies Project fame), and the SwedishComp team (my own version, here)

What people "want" differs greatly by group. From what I've seen, there are really three major camps:

The first are those who won't switch systems at all. They're either playing "regular 8th" or they're dropping down to earlier editions in much the same way that the "OldHammer" guys have done. They seem to be the largest group of people who are still playing Warhammer. And swaying them is hard - they're not fans of "fanmade" necessarily, or they don't see a call to change what already exists. To them, a "homebrew" is no more or less supported than 8th is, these days, so really, why bother changing?

The second are those who are willing to switch systems, and likely already have. These are the guys going over to games like Warthrone, Kings of War, etc. Even the AoS guys. People who are willing to just shrug and say that 8th is dead, and go out and find a new, professionally supported system. And it's a valid point because eventually, getting WHFB models will be very hard, if not almost impossible. The "firesales" on eBay are already starting to die down, as collectors have taken advantage of the bow-wave of panic and snapped up models that they will be hard-pressed to ever part with. And when they do, it will be at top dollar as GW phases out the old minis.

The final group are the ones who are attempting to update 8th. And those guys - speaking for Eliasson and the SwedishComp guys, are really just taking this opportunity to say, "well, you were waiting for 9th to fix some problems, so I'll fix your problems", but they're leaving it at that. A lot of the "new" editions are really just cosmetic changes, rules rewording, and a few minor bugfixes that we've all known that 8th edition needs.
The problem with anyone rewriting the rules is that there's no real future for it. It's still tied to the Warhammer license, they can't make any money from it, and when the model lines die, the armybooks die, and really they're only catering to the "hangers on". They can't compete with people like Mantic, who could (if they wanted) bring out new lines of models in excess of what GW was producing. Some wholly new race that GW has never imagined (Nippon? etc).

The big problem therefore, isn't even really working out the rules, it's how to do this legally, and how to make the project viable. You will eventually have to consider whether or not you will sell models. Whether or not you are going to write your own armybooks. If you charge for them, it makes finding art that much harder, as you can't profit off of other people's work. If you're doing this, you need to make sure that GW doesn't come down with an iron-fist and sue you for ripping off game mechanics which still feature in 40k (the statlines, notably). GW knew what they were doing, in that regard. They still have the army titles copywritten, and the statlines and hit/wound charts still exist in 40k so that you cannot copy them verbatim (you cannot copyright rules, but you can copyright text).

Additionally, for those who haven't switched games - their primary reasoning seems to be that they like the factions and models that they already have. They don't want new models, they don't want to lose their factions. Wood Elves, Beasts, and Brets don't sell? Too bad, people aren't going to transfer over if there isn't some way for them to use their Wood Elves, Beasts, and Brets in the game.

What I am doing with my rules, is attempting not only to "bug fix" 8th edition into 8.5 or 9th, but to also show us what GW could have given us instead of AoS, based on their own "design brief". My game is meant to not only fix balance within 8e's normal "2.5k" game size, but also to attempt to fix the balance so that you can play much smaller games. For example, I almost completely remove the concept of "rank width" from the game, the notion that larger units are better, and open up magic so that it "scales" better with the game size. In tests, I have played 500pt games with my systems, using "regiments" as small as just 6 models, and it still felt like we were playing a massive 2.5k battle.
Additionally, I have streamlined the game with the intention of removing a lot of the extra components, needless rolls, and pointless arguments among players. Templates and the scatter die, for example - are gone. The game plays more smoothly now, and in the future, when I move away from GW statlines and start rewriting the Armybooks as a freestanding, non-GW material, the game will actually play even faster as I do away with the complex charts.
Lastly, my version of the game seeks to change some of the fundamental flaws of Warhammer - things that have plagued the game and impacted the way that it's played since the very beginning. For example, I have restructured the turn order, and added rules which help to break the Cavalry deadlock and return them to a more viable role on the battlefield beyond just "getting into the shooting faster", as well as provided a reason for Archers and other Missile Troops to be priced slightly above what you pay for a melee trooper with the same stats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks cap, what i meant though is basically a wish list, if you could play a new game, new mechanics, new setting, with all new factions, either based on traditional fantasy, something historic or totally new. I was just wondering what people would find interesting in a totally new game that isnt trying to be a copy of warhammer, or just fixing it.
 

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Thanks cap, what i meant though is basically a wish list, if you could play a new game, new mechanics, new setting, with all new factions, either based on traditional fantasy, something historic or totally new. I was just wondering what people would find interesting in a totally new game that isnt trying to be a copy of warhammer, or just fixing it.
Kings of War?

Initially that was meant as a joke, but I've been staring at the screen for about an hour, and everything seems to point right back to either KoW, or a "historical" or other setting-change derivative of that. For mass-battle systems that are not trying to be direct Fantasy clones, KoW really knocks it out of the park.

It's sad, but WH:FB and WH:AB were really the be-all-end-all for 28mm mass battle games set in the Medieval or earlier eras (or their Fantasy counterparts). So it would probably help to know what people outside of Warhammer disliked about the game:

mechanically:
> "Clunky" and needed streamlining. The Hit->Wound->Armor->Ward mechanic was very outdated. Most games are moving to a Kill->Save roll mechanic.
> Unbalanced. Which is obvious, but the game *should* be a little more "fair" than Fantasy seemed to be. Both internally (cavalry, infantry, magic, shooting) and between it's factions (TK/Brets vs. WoC/Skaven)
> Complex. This goes along with it being somewhat clunky, but WH had a lot of rules that weren't exactly necessary. I contend this, normally, as I have played vastly more complex systems, and really, anything less complex will have to do away with things like terrain rules and building-assaults. But it was a common enough complaint to be relevant.

setting:
> Grimdark setting, it wasn't too popular with people who didn't read the 'Harry Potter' series because it would turn them into satanists. So... some people wanted something a little more straightforward and less morally challenging and horrific (like the Crusades!)
> Stagnant setting - even for those who were okay with the grimdark, the timeline never progressed or really moved forward at all
> Played-out Tropes - well, yeah. For two reasons. Firstly, the game is based on all of the old Tolkien stereotypical Fantasy races. Secondly, the writers within the game kept reusing the same plot hooks and story arcs in several different locations. The hero always sacrifices himself, the villain is always either tragic or a total joke, etc.

marketing
> Armybook racket was obviously frowned upon. People wanted to buy the core rules, and then either not have to pay for armybooks because they were included, or else pay much less for the books
> Model cost. Duh.

And really, Mantic fixed all of this with Kings of War. Ironically, with GW caving in, the complaints that you see with KoW (pre-set unit sizes, too streamlined, much less interesting lore) have now become the niche to be filled, oddly.

Other niches would of course include any historical system that is currently not available at 28mm. Things like Medieval and Classical battles could be done. Basically bringing an update to WH:AB and rebranding it.

If you're looking to make a new game, I think that you're going to need a very strong "hook". WHFB imploded and that has opened the doors for tons of copycat games. The only ones that are going to "stick" and become successful, are ones that have a very strong appeal and do more than anyone else is doing. Not just trying to be a mass battle game like KoW (as they probably have that market on lockdown) or being a WHFB clone (too many). It needs to be Warhammer the way that the game should have been, plus more. That's the only thing that will thrive. And the problem with doing that is that the ghost of Warhammer Fantasy is still lurking out there and setting the bar very high for that type of game, and GW is probably waiting in the wings to squash any company that makes a good run at it.

That's why, if I ever get things truly rolling on my version, I am planning to only release books. No models at all. At least, not initially.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Saying the crusades are lighter material than gw's original background makes me think you're toying with me, but i think your other points are good. And i even thonk they might be achievable. Definitely what ive been wrlorking on hits a lot of your points. And Gw couldnt stop anything im thinking about unless they redid their game again and came out with a good, thorough, mass battle game again, and if i was the cause of that, i wouldn't complain. I just wish you weren't the only one responding to this because i usually agree with you. Itd be nice to have someone who doesnt see gaming the way i do to leave some input.

*edit*
And i dont see how you could say kow isnt a direct whfb copy. All of their factions (except basileans until aos anyway) are direct copies of gw armies. The rules even use the same movement and phases. Its just warhammer light really.
 

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Saying the crusades are lighter material than gw's original background makes me think you're toying with me
No - that was a joke at the expense of the kinds of silly people demonize books like 'Harry Potter' and games like D&D and Warhammer for not having "Christian values", but think the Crusades were totally cool.

And i dont see how you could say kow isnt a direct whfb copy. All of their factions (except basileans until aos anyway) are direct copies of gw armies. The rules even use the same movement and phases. Its just warhammer light really.
No, KoW is a direct WHFB copy. However, it's also the best (only) mass battle game on the market right now, according to most folks' criticisms of other systems.
While I will not argue that KoW has chosen to be a WHFB copy (for better or worse), I will say that the system does not define the setting. For example, the WHFB rules can be used with 'Warhammer: Ancient Battles' lists, and suddenly instead of mass battles between Elves and Orcs, we're seeing mass battles between Celts and Republican Romans. The rules don't change, only the armies and factions. Warhammer could even be used as passable rules for early blackpowder wargaming - for things like Napoleonics or the American Civil War. It's not perfect, but the rules would support the system "well enough".

If you're designing some kind of mass battles game, the comparison to Warhammer is going to be there. The simple fact is that Warhammer dominates the "pop-gaming" scene, and dominates 28mm wargaming in particular. It's rather hard to "not be a clone" when, at the end of the day, you're going to have regiments of models formed in square on the table and rules which reflect that.

The point is - as I said - figuring out what niche your game is going to fill. What does your game offer mechanically and thematically that the other games are not offering, but that people want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I know what i want. I dont really know what others want. That was the point of this thread really.

What i want is a game that is streamlined as possible without giving up too much depth, (personally ill take depth over streamlined, but i know im in kind of a minority here) i want as much balance as possible and id probably go about it with a points system. But is try to go at it more realistically, for example anyone can look at 8th edition warlocks from the DE book and see that they are undercosted immediately. I want a strong setting that is fun and engaging that supports any kind of stroy within it. I want factions that are new and cool and varied something for every playstyle, but not too many, bc i think that was a misstep on GW's part. Too many factions to update so everyone has to wait years for new stuff. I want a gane that is more reactive, witj turn sequences being completely different. So i can impact the game without waiting for a half hour or more to respond to my opponent's turn. And i want competitive play, i realize some dont but thats what id like. If resouces were available, i would cater to those that wanted a more story telling type game, but the framework for an actual game would be foremost. Thats what ive been working on. I was just curious to know what other people wished from a gaming system
 

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I know what i want. I dont really know what others want. That was the point of this thread really.

What i want is a game that is streamlined as possible without giving up too much depth, (personally ill take depth over streamlined, but i know im in kind of a minority here) i want as much balance as possible and id probably go about it with a points system. But is try to go at it more realistically, for example anyone can look at 8th edition warlocks from the DE book and see that they are undercosted immediately. I want a strong setting that is fun and engaging that supports any kind of stroy within it. I want factions that are new and cool and varied something for every playstyle, but not too many, bc i think that was a misstep on GW's part. Too many factions to update so everyone has to wait years for new stuff. I want a gane that is more reactive, witj turn sequences being completely different. So i can impact the game without waiting for a half hour or more to respond to my opponent's turn. And i want competitive play, i realize some dont but thats what id like. If resouces were available, i would cater to those that wanted a more story telling type game, but the framework for an actual game would be foremost. Thats what ive been working on. I was just curious to know what other people wished from a gaming system
Got the solution. Thanks.
 
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