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  • #165431
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    Warhammer uses individually based models for making units.

    Here are some random thoughts about the system.

    PROS:

    WYSIWYG:
    Formation changes are obvious, line, column, wedge, square etc.
    They are all easy to set up/represent and it is obvious what formation they are in.

    Unit sizes are obvious.
    A unit of 50 models is 50 models.
    When they take casualties, models are removed.

    No unit markers to show formation changes/casualties.

    You can change the size of the unit by adding or removing individual models.
    I have 2 units of 20 pikemen for example, but could easily make that 1 unit of 40, or 4 units of 10 etc.

    WFB allows mass battle and skirmish games, so that unit of 2o pikemen could be split up and you can have a game where some relaxing pikemen in  tavern must defend it from beastmen,
    4 pikemen, 2 halberdiers and a hand gunner rush out to fight the nasty chaos scum.
    Easy, all the models are individually based so just pick and pluck the models you need.
    You get 2 types of game with the same figures, no rebasing needed.

     

    CONS:

    Need more models per unit.

    Basing can be a PITA. A unit of 20 pikemen is 20 bases and the movement tray.
    In many other games a unit of 20 pikemen is 1 base and 5 models.

    Buckets o dice as combat is model vs model.
    Not a quick or elegant system.
    Though other games use individual basing without buckets o dice.

    Whilst it is more work than many of the alternatives, I like that I can play both mass battle and skirmish with the same models.

    Your thoughts?

    #165435
    Olaf Meys
    Participant

    I think you’ve summed up WH pretty well. I think the pros outweigh the cons for me.

     

    I think I’d also add long-time familiarity with the rules as a pro.

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    #165452
    Mr. Average
    Participant

    I like the earlier editions (3rd most of all) for their flexibility. It’s not as heavily tied to lists and preformed units, so you can build your forces as you please, arm them how you want, and not be tied, as in later versions, to needing a specific model to represent a specific unit “or it doesn’t count.” There are some OSR style games that come relatively close – I’d say Oathmark and Kings of War are reaching for something similar – but the flexibility and visual appeal of the original WFB is so far pretty hard to top.

    #165454
    Mike
    Keymaster

    Ah yeah, I meant to say the flexibility is great.
    You can, as you say, pretty much find rules for any model you have.

    #165457
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    I’m with you guys on this.  WFB also allows for heroes to do heroic things and have a sway on a battle or skirmish.  I always thought that WFB felt more personal as well.  Other games may give a faster fight with just as satisfying outcome but they don’t feel as versatile personal to me.

    I recently tried Lion Rampant (haven’t gotten to Dragon Rampant yet) and there is a lot there to like, I like the pace but it’s not a versatile as WFB.

    Plus, with WFB you can have a roleplay tie-in pretty easily.  The skirmishability allows for things like pirate raids that can have both set units and individuals running about.

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #165459
    Mr. Average
    Participant

    The tie in with RPG elements is another bonus for WFB, especially the early editions. And yes, I also like how heroes and magic were handled, making them key parts of the battle without turning any one hero into a Super Kill-Guy who can’t be stopped.

    #165467
    Dougie Trail
    Participant

    It is a good roleplay skirmish set that allows slightly larger skirmishes (Massed Battle). Warmaster covers the big battle gig. I always felt like it played like a naval battle, each unit whizzing about doing what it liked without reference to anything else.

    #165469
    Mr. Average
    Participant

    That’s actually one of the reasons I’m doing my “modular” WFB set at 6mm scale right now: if I put two squares together I get a single stand of Warmaster figures. Maximum flexibility!

    #165470
    Mike Headden
    Participant

    Mordheim was my go to fantasy skirmish game for ages and I’m still fond of it.

    For me the mechanisms make Warhammer feel like a mass brawl in a pub car park rather than a minor battle.

    Warmaster, on the other hand plays more like a small battle. If units are “whizzing about” doing their own thing and not getting smacked for it their opponents are usually doing something wrong or your armies are rather small.

    I have played and enjoyed all three, though I don’t currently play any of them.

    There are lots of rule sets out there and “I know these rules” is the worst reason to play rules I can think of but it takes all sorts and if people are having fun playing then more power to their elbow!

    Growing old is mandatory, growing up is entirely optional!

    #165472
    Geof Downton
    Participant

    For me the mechanisms make Warhammer feel like a mass brawl in a pub car park rather than a minor battle.

    I hadn’t realised until I read this, but that is exactly why I enjoyed Warhammer (1st and 2nd eds) before I defected to WRG 7th.

    It’s also why the individual bases work(ed), but the ‘element’ bases of WRG 7th (and the following DB whatever) seemed more suited to bigger armies of smaller figures.

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    #165474
    Wouter Wolput
    Participant

    I never played WFB to be honest, all the individual based models really put me off. Warmaster was my first brush with 10mm and a game I still enjoy. But Mordheim was the first GW game that got me really hooked, all the rest was nice and I had fun playing, but Mordheim was on a different level.

    So, I can hardly say anything about the pros and cons of individual basing in WFB, only that I prefer multi-basing for larger battles. Makes it easier to transport as well.

    #165476
    Mr. Average
    Participant

    Yeah the Too Big Models were always hard for me too – I’m just not a good enough painter to handle that scale, and it never made the battlefield feel as epic as I wanted. Right now we have a glut of skirmish games though so it’s gone all the way to the other side. Multi-basing 6mm scale figures may well be the right move for my “happy medium,” I hope. And again, there’s just so much for me to like about WFB 3rd Edition as well as Warmaster, I’m hoping to capture both with a single set.

    Other games may give a faster fight with just as satisfying outcome but they don’t feel as versatile personal to me. I recently tried Lion Rampant (haven’t gotten to Dragon Rampant yet) and there is a lot there to like, I like the pace but it’s not a versatile as WFB.

    I’ve had similarly ambivalent feelings about Dragon Rampant – after a certain point things start to feel the same and the pace is good but the magic and characters don’t have the same feel as WFB. I’ve had very good feelings about Fantastic Battles, and it’s my main go to for 3mm scale mass combat. But I do keep reverting to WFB and its derivatives – just as I still remember Chainmail fondly even though it is for most purposes hopelessly hidebound and out of date. And it inexplicably omitted the Undead – what was up with that?

    #165495
    Sane Max
    Participant

    of course it can be said that this is only a Con if you are a lazy type

    Basing can be a PITA. A unit of 20 pikemen is 20 bases and the movement tray.
    In many other games a unit of 20 pikemen is 1 base and 5 models.

    Me, I find 5 models on one base being a unit of pike a comedy concept 🙂 you need enough of them to make it look like a unit and 20 does the job for me when 5 don’t. I hardly ever play it anymore, but still find myself going ‘we could play Warmaster – how about we double the units to 6 bases rather than 3 so they look like an army rather than a squad?’ and last week we played Ancient and Mediaeval warfare with Warhammer sized units – looked bloody good too. 40 chariots!

    #165560
    Phil Dutré
    Participant

    Don’t forget that the combat resolution engine of WFB 1st edition was presented as a skirmish game for individually based figures. The few combat examples in the first booklet “Tabletop Battles” clearly show this. Only on p27 a mention is made of organizing figures into regiments.

    Hence, combat between individual figures are encoded in the DNA of the Warhammer engine, and this has propagated through all further editions as well. Stats are given for individual figures, and regiments are build from individual figures. Regimental combat is “bottom-up”.

    This contradicts with rules which use regiments are the basic building block. Combat is between units as a whole, and figures are only there to represent the regiments. Whether a regiment is represented by 1 figure or 100 is immaterial, only the footprint of the regiment counts.

    Whether “figure removal” is used as a mechanic for unit status is a different matter. Some older historical rulesets also use units pf e.g. 36 figures, with 5 bases of 6 figures, 2 bases of 2, and 2 bases of 1 figure each. Thus, you can “make change” when figures are removed.

    Personally, I don’t like figure removal that much. It’s an old-school mechanic, and takes away carefully painted figures from the table and diminishes the visual appeal. I want to keep my figures on the table throughout the entire game, and keep track of the status of a unit in a different manner.

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    #165562
    Sane Max
    Participant

    Don’t forget that the combat resolution engine of WFB 1st edition was presented as a skirmish game for individually based figures. The few combat examples in the first booklet “Tabletop Battles” clearly show this. Only on p27 a mention is made of organizing figures into regiments.

    well heck,the original one was really a RPG with a killing stuff focus. I think we are talking about later iterations.

    Personally, I don’t like figure removal that much. It’s an old-school mechanic, and takes away carefully painted figures from the table and diminishes the visual appeal. I want to keep my figures on the table throughout the entire game, and keep track of the status of a unit in a different manner.

    diff’rent strokes – I like figure removal – shows wear on the unit, the state they are in, rather than ‘absolutely fine/suddenly gone.’ Watching an especially bloody game of Infamy! Infamy! last night, (my opponent didn’t turn up) and I thought it looked really good, the thinner and thinner formations hacking at each other.

    #165564
    Mike Headden
    Participant

    diff’rent strokes – I like figure removal – shows wear on the unit, the state they are in, rather than ‘absolutely fine/suddenly gone.’ Watching an especially bloody game of Infamy! Infamy! last night, (my opponent didn’t turn up) and I thought it looked really good, the thinner and thinner formations hacking at each other.

    Except that it’s not what happened, at least until gunpowder weapons got sophisticated, in most cases. At least from the accounts I’ve read.

    Casualties are fairly light until one side breaks off, in rout or retreat.

    There is much pushing, shoving, shooting, sparring and, no doubt, many injuries and some deaths and then one side realises it is going to lose and cohesion is lost and the real slaughter begins. No doubt, in the cases where we have the “We only lost 80 men and killed 8,000 of them” type reports, more of the winners troops died of their wounds in the hours, days and weeks after the battle but many others survived. The loser’s casualties die on the battlefield.

    A unit taking 10% casualties during the actual battle has usually suffered a catastrophic loss. So if your units will be routing of the battlefield once they’ve lost two or three figures  is there a need to base individually?

    I believe most battles turn on loss of cohesion and the draining of morale rather than corpses stacked like cordwood.

    As ever, if single figures and casualty removal works for you then more power to your elbow.

     

     

    Growing old is mandatory, growing up is entirely optional!

    #165566
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    A unit taking 10% casualties during the actual battle has usually suffered a catastrophic loss.

    Damn your eyes sir!
    My Stirlanders are made of sterner stuff than that, same with the undead, they fear no losses!!

    😀

    AKA: In fantasy games such real life rules may not apply…  😉

    (Or indeed be wanted)

    #165570
    Phil Dutré
    Participant

    diff’rent strokes – I like figure removal – shows wear on the unit, the state they are in, rather than ‘absolutely fine/suddenly gone.’ Watching an especially bloody game of Infamy! Infamy! last night, (my opponent didn’t turn up) and I thought it looked really good, the thinner and thinner formations hacking at each other.

    Except that it’s not what happened, at least until gunpowder weapons got sophisticated, in most cases. At least from the accounts I’ve read. Casualties are fairly light until one side breaks off, in rout or retreat. There is much pushing, shoving, shooting, sparring and, no doubt, many injuries and some deaths and then one side realises it is going to lose and cohesion is lost and the real slaughter begins. No doubt, in the cases where we have the “We only lost 80 men and killed 8,000 of them” type reports, more of the winners troops died of their wounds in the hours, days and weeks after the battle but many others survived. The loser’s casualties die on the battlefield. A unit taking 10% casualties during the actual battle has usually suffered a catastrophic loss. So if your units will be routing of the battlefield once they’ve lost two or three figures is there a need to base individually? I believe most battles turn on loss of cohesion and the draining of morale rather than corpses stacked like cordwood. As ever, if single figures and casualty removal works for you then more power to your elbow.

    In most unit-based rules units are also degrading in strength/combat effectiveness/whatevers during the game. It’s just not visualized using figure removal. Figure removal has its own can of worms – shrinking frontages etc ., and needs more rules to deal with that.

    But it’s a matter of preference. I prefer the visual look of ‘full’ units, and keeping track of strength/morale using other means.

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    #165573
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    Warhammer was always the wrong size/scale for me so I never looked at it.

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