Monday, May 17, 2010

8th Edition = Better for Smaller Games

It is no secret that I like to play my games of WFB at smaller point sizes. The amount of time I can invest in a game, plus the reduced numbers of models needed to play are the reasons I prefer games around 1000 points. With a new edition only two months away, I have been curious as to how the new rules would impact my preferred game size. I am here to say that if the more solid rumors are true, I believe that the new edition will make for better low point size games.

The first reason I think games will be better in 8th edition is the new composition format. Players will be required to field a minimum of 25% core choices. They are also restricted with regards to the amount of points that can be used on rare units and heroes. Units like Ancient Stegadons, Ghorgons, and such cost more than the rare limit (250 points in a 1000 point game), and thus cannot be fielded. My hope is with this restriction, players will be inspired to consider rare choices that I do not see as often.

The next reason why 8th edition will be good for small games is the changes to the magic phase. The average number of power dice a player will have each turn is 7, with the opposing player having 3.5 dispel dice. Flooding the field with spellcasters will no longer be a solid strategy, so players are going to need to rely more on troops. The rumors around new spells also seem to imply that more of them will focus on defensive and buff type results instead of offensive output. This means that spellcasters become more beneficial when there are more friendly units for them to target with their spells.

Lastly, random charge ranges and other changes to movement should make for playing on 4’x4’ sized tables more balanced. I say this because in my experience, 1000 point games tend to play better on a 4’x4’ table. The problem with playing on a table this size is that movement becomes critical, with units that have a higher threat range dominating most games. Now a unit’s charge range is not set in stone, so there is an increased risk setting up the charge.

When it comes to concerns regarding the new edition, I would say that all of mine are based on what the community does with the new rule set. Among my concerns is how many events will push for higher point sizes just to accommodate demands by players to bring more of their “big’ heroes and rares. My fear is that any push towards more points will have a negative effect because of the new core requirements. To this end, I would challenge other TOs to consider exploring smaller size games (2000 points or less) as an alternative to the current trends.

In conclusion, I can officially say that I am looking forward to the new edition. While I have read a lot about how people are worried that the new edition will force people to play bigger games (~3000 points), I am happy to say that those statements are a load of crap. The new system is really looking to be truly scalable, with games at any point size being more balanced than under the current edition. What this means is that getting started, or building a new army for that matter, shouldn’t be as overwhelming as it was in the past. It could also mean that the “standard” size games will not increase in point sizes, but instead remain as they are or decrease because of the new core requirements. Whether or not that will happen is ultimately up to the gaming community.


  1. Great post!

    I do see tournaments going to higher points to accomodate dragons, etc, which is sad.

    I like the idea that if you take a dragon, that's all you're getting for your characters allotment (assuming 2250). There is a tradeoff there that people must take into consideration.

    All in all, I'm looking forward to the new edition. As my work on my Daemon army has stalled this past year, I'm hoping that it will no longer be one of the power-house armies, and that I'll be able to field lots of Daemon troops effectively.

  2. Indeed good post and good points! I've taken several years off from WHFB. Not for any rules related reasons ... just life ... moving to a new area ... easier to find games of 40K ... yada yada. My current game group is really excited about the upcoming rules release and its looking like we are going to have a glorious fall/winter WHFB season where that is the gaming groups main mini game! So I'm stoked ... really until I read your post I didn't think of the potential for 8th ed relating to smaller point levels ... but if this proves out ... wow ... that is going to be a nice shot in the arm for my gaming group as well. Being able to bust out 1000 point lists and have the games not suck ... will make breaking people into WHFB alot easier.

  3. I hope you're right about it being good for smaller games. I don't think I've actually seen small games, as everyone wants to include a Lord and Rares, bumping things over 2K. Seeing fewer flying Terror causers would be nice too.