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Warhammer Battle Reports 7th / 8thNauticans / Design Fantasy Gallery

Warhammer Fantasy - the battle for a balanced system

Looking for a fair fight ?

I have been following WFB for many years, since the very beginning in fact.

In the early days army selection was a bit like tax avoidance - there were plenty of loopholes to be found in the rules (due partly to their complexity and paradoxically, their flexibility).

The army lists were very 'free form' as well, in fact I seem to recall that you simply had to select from the same alignment, ie good, lawful, neutral, evil (I no longer have the original rules but it was something as simple or nearly as simple as that)

It was like discovering a new country, plenty of options and not much to stop you from doing what you wanted. You could unearth little 'hidden rule' gems in the course of a 10 minute toilet trip.

In the very early days I recall a friend fielding a magic carpet (yes there were rules for it) which was crewed by snotlings bearing crossbows with poisoned bolts ! I can't recall if the rules were really being broken here or not but in the pioneering spirit of the times we let him use his snotlings provided they removed their heavy armour ! (I guess it was one of those strange, "you had to be there to understand the circumstances", decisions)

Now, this did seem mighty cool at the time. 50% of the fun however came during army selection and the remaining 50% when you got to reveal your nasty little suprises to the enemy.

In those days Warhammer was more about the social beers and having a darned good laugh at your opponent's expense when a standstill spell stopped his super unit permanently in it's tracks (at which point it was 'off to the pub')

The fantasy world was rich and full of never before seen suprises.

There was one problem for the 'more serious' gamer though (actually, noone could have been less serious than we were). For the person who wanted to field their wits in battle rather than a rule dodging army list testing the spirit of the game to breaking point...

... There were no meaningful battlefield tactics !

Yep, it was wild west time. What's the point in planning Custer's victory when the Red Indians have an F15 Strike Eagle with nuclear warheads ! (ie either an elemental or a greater demon)

Warhammer has truly evolved. It has become a civilisation with tried and tested laws based on reasonableness. It has become a place where you victories are meaningful and can be compared with other commanders irrespective of who they were playing or what army they fielded.

It's a bit like the A1 Grand Prix, everyone now has a car with the same engine, wheels and chasis. The cars are still different colours but whether you win or not really comes down to your skill as a driver, your racing tactics and the risks you take on the track.

There's not much point scouring the army lists and rulebooks these days for sneaky loopholes - they don't exist anymore. Your success no longer comes down to your army selection alone, flexible battlefield tactics and quick thinking are now key to victory.

In short Warhammer has finally arrived as a balanced and fair tactical wargame.

The playing field has been levelled for all. Long may it remain flat !

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