Thursday, 17 August 2017

Warhammer 9th Ed 1.06 out now!

Some more changes here mainly meant to streamline some gameplay features a bit more. Some of these features were included in the first version of the 9th Age, and were solid enough that I think they are worth including.

  • Streamlined redirecting charges onto two fleeing enemies to "If this second unit also flees, you can instead choose to default back to charging the original fleeing unit". The original paragraph was unnecessarily convoluted.
  • Wounded Characters with Regeneration may regenerate while fleeing.
  • Parry can be used by Frenzied models, but not against Stomps (streamlines Frenzied models and makes them better with shields, while Stomps work the same as impact hits).
  • Shields no longer gives an additional bonus for infantry against missiles (fun idea, but a bit too fiddly in terms of gameplay. Feel free to houserule it if it's something you liked!).
  • Removed Stand and Fire special rule, now it's simply written under the relevant weapon entries (as it was very fiddly and too similar in name to Stand and Shoot).
  • Stomp causes D6 hits, no Initiative test is taken. This makes it on par with things like Impact Hits and template weapons that works in a similar fashion.
  • Units costing less than 50 points must all deploy at the same time - this solves the issue of players deploying cheap chaff while the opponent must deploy bigger, more expensive units. 
  • Infantry and Cavalry may be deployed on 40mm bases (in the case of Blightkings and Pegasi for example).
  • Clarified that Characters may only join a unit if they can fit in the front rank (some leftovers from 8th ed were still in there, confusing things).
  • Units with less than 25% of the unit left rally on half their Ld value, rather than double 1. This gives you a bit of better chance of rallying the remains rather than just blind luck.
  • Removed Insane Courage - while fun for the player who rolls it, it takes away some of the tactics when a superiour force fails to break a unit due to a lucky roll.
  • Overkill nerfed to a maximum of +3.
  • Characters who refuse a challenge cannot attack or use their Ld as before, but is otherwise left in the front rank. This saves the issue of having to fiddle around with moving the models while in combat, and means you cannot attempt to hide your wizards in combat. 
  • Units still in combat after a round must always maximise the number of models fighting, which means "shuffling" the smaller unit closer after reforming if necessary.
  • Fixed some layout bugs.

For future updates, I'm also planning on adding diagrams to explain different combat situations more easily, as well as art and further layout improvements to take it out of its beta-like stage.

If there are other things from 9th Age or simply things you think could be streamlined further, let me know in the comments.

100 comments:

  1. Hey Mathias

    I agree with most of the changes and tweaks, apart from some that I think still has some merit to them.

    The extra armour point against shooting etc, while in general I think it makes a lot of sense in most cases, and I happen to think it could be good to encourage the use of both more hand wapon/shield and spears/shiled troops in the game, I can also see lots of instances where it would not be as easily justified, both from a model perspective and also from a racial perspective in the game.
    That said, I still liked the idea from a tactical perspective and I also like the idea of certain types of units being sort of dependent on their shieldwall holding i melee combat to be able to fight effectivly. If I'm not mistaking, you already have a "shieldwall" rule (on Housecarls I believe) so I think you also see some merit to this idea at least being in the game.
    What I propose is perhaps something that makes a bit more sense overall, a Shieldwall special rule that can be applied to appropriate units in the game. Some thoughts on it:

    - +1 armour point towards the unit's front in close combat. Does not apply when unit charges.
    - If the unit loses a round of close combat, but does not flee, this bonus is lost as the unit is too unorganzed/undisciplined/scattered to make effective use of it. Bonus regained if unit later wins a round of combat.

    Not verly complicated and can be used to distinguish more professional fighting units from more savage ones.

    Btw, I really like what you have done as far as making missile weapons more useful in the game, but I am a bit worried that it will encourage a more passive playstyle for many. This is part why I liked the +1 armour point at long range with shields from the defenders front, cause it encourages a bit more tactical gameplay as far as angles and movement goes etc. Shields (medium and larger) are also terribly effective against arrows at longer ranges where the defender has the time to properly take cover behind his shield.

    I quite liked the nerf for the Overkill as I think you have taken a big step back towards the "herohammer" days where 90% of the outcome of any battle was from static CR or combat resolution and not from anything units really did activly. At least limiting the effect of characters being too overwhelming (if only for a single turn in a challenge) might encourage players a little bit more towards not putting all their points in big block of cheap troops and expensive characters.

    You changed Stump back to being equally dangerous to all again. Gonna hits elves and most lone characters very hard. Shame. I quite liked the notion of seing some lone characters on foot as a possible counter to monsters in the game for one thing (it would have given them a fair chance at least).

    Regarding the refusing the challenge but the model remaining in it's place change, don't forget to rewrite the wording for the Skaven's Lead from the Rear special rule (if needed that is).

    Great weapon infantry have dominated the game somewhat in later editions. Have you considered reducing the Stretght of great weapon attacks to +1 after the first round of combat? Just a thought that struck me here. It does make sense that you'd quickly tire wielding one though.

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    1. Yeah, a lot of the rollbacks were fun ideas in theory, but as both I and other found it slowed down the game further and required more going back and forth through the BRB to catch up. As such, I'm aiming to trim the fat of some superfluous rules to keep things a little faster.

      The "shieldwall" rule had some issues with only working to the front, only working for infantry and also giving it +1 save against a certain type of attacks, which 3 variables to remember as opposed to a simple "+1 AS". It easier for the Norse as it's only a single unit can use it, which means that it's only important for the Norse player to remember it.

      So far, the boost to missile weapons has not changed much in terms of gameplay other than making bows not suck and making missile troops in general more worth their points cost. Of course, further playtesting would be useful.

      About Stomp, this was done for streamlining purposes. No unit gets to avoid Impact Hits or templates with Initiative tests, so I figured it would make sense for Stomps to work the same.

      Will update that in Lead from the Back as well.

      This was mainly an issue in 8th ed due to a combination of step up and supporting attacks (halberds had the same issue), whereas in 9th ed the removal of supporting attacks meant all other weapon options are now more equal by comparison (2HW and spears fight at 100% capacity vs 50% of GW's compared to 8th ed now). I think making GW's +1 in rounds after the first risk making them too much like flails/halberds, or the same as cavalry hammers. It's a really big change to make to the game, their unwieldyness is reflected in their -2 Init instead.

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  2. As a general question regarding 9'th Mathias, is your vision (when compared to 8'th) to take the game in a direction that more rewards good tactical decisions on the tabletop or to make it less tactical but faster and easier to play?
    Granted, it has been a while since I played the game now, but I personally always wanted a game with some more tactical depth too it, without making it too complicated offcourse (which is a big challenge).
    In 8th all too often I found that WHAT one had in ones army ended up being far more important for winning than HOW one used it (assuiming one wasn't a total idiot offcourse) and that imbalance never quite sat right with me. Granted that is a personal thing, but I don't like the idea of some unit always being the best choice, regardless what my opponent decides to bring along. Certain units with great weapons come to mind for example...

    As always, amazed at what you do.

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    1. The primary focus would be to make it both faster and more rewarding for tactical gameplay. Right now, very few rules from 8th ed have been removed, most changes are simply tweaks to improve balance and fix omissions in the 8th ed rules.

      The unit balance is the one thing I've been trying to fix the hardest, making sure all units are worth taking and on even playing fields.

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    2. Unit balance is one thing, but with ony one rank attacking like back in the herohammer days really screws up the balance between Characters and Units more than anything. There was a good reason why people rarely (if ever) spent more than 25% on units back then. It very heavily encouraged overpowered characters and war machines, while the rest of the army was sort of just there to make it look like a game involving armies... It really wasn't a good game back then in the sense that it was much more important how your made your army compared to how you used it.

      If you're admant about only the first rank attacking, I at least hope you have some idea to make the Ogre Army playable (with Ogre regiments). It was basically never worth fielding that kind of a unit as anything but a potential support unit before 8th ed. The Ogre army was a really shitty one and I struggle to see how it can do well when it basically sucked ass pre 8th as far as I can recall and you want to go back to that, with stomps removed and more static CR. I don't see making ogres cheaper to compensate working either, as you only have so big a table to move about effectivly on. You might have some ideas how to fix this though, but I don't see it. It basically applies to all Monstrous infantry units, not just ogres.

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    3. Well, it will be more like 6th ed than anything, though maybe it would be necessary to lower the amount of points one can put into characters to 33% rather than 25% lords and 25% heroes?

      Regarding Ogres, they do lose out on a lot of supporting attacks for sure (though percentage-wise it's about the same as any other unit) as well as losing Stomp. However, unlike 6/7th ed, step up means that they are not quite as hampered by their low Initiative as they would be back then, and they still have their 3 model-wide rank bonus unlike 7th ed. I would say that overall it will be less useful in taking Gutstars, but in units of 3-6 models (equal to a smallish infantry regiment) they should still be pretty effective. Playing MSU and trying to get multiple charges onto the foe will matter more than just taking a huge unit packed with characters.

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    4. I must admit that I am less experienced with 8th ed than I am with 4-7th ed, for which I've had A LOT of experience with, which makes me somewhat concerned tbh...
      It was never a very balanced and good game in the herohammer days and to even try to make it look and feel like tactics mattered as opposed to army creation. It was so bad that to even get it to somewhat "work" as a game that is supposed to be about two armies duking it out, you almost always had to come up with a gentleman's agreement of sorts before army creation, and to me that is a sign that something is very wrong...
      Add to this, an overall higher armour (due to some models now having medium armour armour of full plate earmour, that would in the old days have had light or heavy armour, menaing attacks, especially from troops will overall cause less damage, translating into combat dice being less important.
      A static combat resolution increase also makes the problem somewhat worse.
      Was the front rank narrowed to 4 as in the old days too? Can't remember off the top of my head.

      I'm basically struggling to see if one is a hardcore gamer don't just pick a Lord on a flying monster, a powerfull and mobile wizard, 25% of missile troops and put all the rest into artillery. Every time. You don't have to wipe out the enemy army afte rall, you just have to get more victory points than you opponent. It ends up encouraging the kind of play that was already booring as hell even more unfortunately...

      I also have a lot of experience playing against Dwarves, and I feel for them under these rules. It will be brutal.

      Yes, Ogres might percentage-wise lose out about the same in attacks, but it is no longer cost effective for them to field multiple ranks so that the static CR gav vs their enemies is increased dramatically... The Ogre Kingdoms army didn't work on the tabletop before 8th ed and I really can't see why they would again under these rules when they are basically the same as before 8th ed, just sligthly harsher for them now... 6 Ogres is still just a +1 rank bonus, while for the same cost, the enemy can easily have 20-30 models, thus being vastly superior as far as static CR goes as well as potenitally the same striking power of the front rank as well.

      I don't know how much you played the game back before 8th ed Mathias, but as I said, I played a lot, with lots of different people, and compared to 8th ed it was rarely an enjoyable game, for either winner or loser.

      It is offcourse your project Mathias and I do feel like I'm butting in, but I'd rather offer all the constructive critisism I can before it is too late, than to keep quiet. I'd like your 9th ed to become as good a playing experience as possible, and a noteworthy improvement over 8th ed (and far better than Age of Sigmar), which is why I'm being vocal about it when I see something I think will be bad for the game overall and this is something I strongly feel is something that will outweigh what I consider to be your positive rule changes.

      Well, that's my two cents (or a pocketfull) anyway. I'll just change my vote to 8th ed and make houserules if it ends up going back to being "herohammer" again. That playstyle never sat right with me, nor with most that I tried to introduce the game to I think (granted, a few powergamers did enjoy it a bit too much).

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    5. It's mainly just the elves and chaos warriors that are seing any real armour increase, for the rest it's the same as before. The front rank is still 5 for infantry, 4 for cavalry.

      A Lord on a flying monster and a wizard lord on a pegasus or similar would cost around 700+ points, which means it is only something you could do in games close to 3000 pts (or give them very little in terms of magic items). This leaves you 2100 points in troops, which would make for a lot of war machines and missile troops (around 20 or so if we play with the idea that each of them cost around 100 pts), so I don't think this is something one needs to worry about too much.

      Do you feel the Dwarfs are on the short side of the stick in this edition?

      As for the Ogres, you can get 6 Bulls in a 3x2 formation with 2HW's for 198 pts. For the same cost you can get 36 spearmen with LA and shields in a 6x6 formation.
      Round 1, the Ogres most likely charge, causing 5,78 W on average. The spearmen will cause 1,66 W on average, but have 2 ranks more than the ogres. The Ogres win by 2. The Spearmen does not break. Round 2, a clever Ogre player would reform to get more models into combat, in this case 5. This round, the ogre player will cause 5,6W with their additional models, the speamen player (if he reforms as well) will get around 2W. Spearmen will now have 2 ranks (24 models in a 8x3 formation) or 3 ranks and 1W if he did not reform. Ogres will win by 1-2 points again on average. This is ofc just one generic match up, but the Ogres higher damage output does a lot to deter the static combat res.

      I've played the game quite a lot in 6th/7th ed (though admittedly not against Ogre Kingdoms), the main issue back then was mainly broken army books more than anything else.

      No worries, I appreciate all constructive feedback, and would really appreciate if you could also playtest the rules yourself and see how they work out. I will be having another game next week myself, so far the lack of supporting attacks have not been an issue for any army I've playtested.

      About avoiding Herohammer, what do you think about limiting characters to 33% of the army's total rather than 50% as is possible now? Or maybe even 25% total, though that might be a bit much for certain army that rely on characters, like VC.

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    6. Yes limit the amount of characters from the 50%. 33% sounds OK with 25% on lords max so you can't have 33% costing lord.

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    7. Sorry for the late answer. Got my inlaws here for the weekend...

      25% Lords (either mobile wizard or General on mosnter) + (Mobile Heroes on Flying Monsters) +25% Missile Troops +25% War Machines... I've encountered those kinds of armies more than a few times, and they tend to be near unbeatable with certain armies especially slow moving dwarfs). These armies may not win by much, but they don't have to...

      Regarding the dwarfs, I admittedly messed up a little bit. They really sucked before Step-Up was a thing (basically never got to hit)...
      That said though, they are likely to still suffer a bit much as most elite infantry will, with so little of the total combat resolution coming from non-character inflicted wounds. I think that for many armies, it will be far better to buy the cheapest troops available and just spend more points on additional heroes to actually give the unit striking power and to remove "soft" targets as an option. To really justify the cost of elite troops, they need to be able to make more hits than they what a first rank can do, and that especially goes for the 1 attack ones like Black Guards and similar...

      Regarding the Ogres, I expect them to be able to win against regular empire spearmen. Now do the same with goblins with spears and assume the goblin spearmen will have the general/bsb nearby (as spearmen often do). The Goblins will be some 60-65 strong, which means outnumbering bonus as well, and they can sustain this type of combat for far longer than the Ogres, which means that after a few rounds of combat the Ogres are likely to end up breaking as casualties and static CR cathes up to them, and in the end they will onlyhve lost maybe 1/3 of the goblins.
      I've played a fair deal against Ogres and even with the 3 attacks from supporting rank(s), they are far from a top-tier army and before they had that support they were constantly bottom tier if memory serves...

      I think units need more than just an attacking first rank when facing monsters and characters in general, otherwise points will be spent elsewere and the game will not really feel it is about two armies actually fighting, but a colletion of monsters, heroes with chaff and warmachines going at it... Another thing is supporting type heroes and units influencing attacks, not to mention spells. A lot of buff/debuff spells, initially designed for 8th ed, will no longer be worth it, due to the fewer number of possible attacks they will influence overall with only a front rank striking, compared to possibly 3 ranks in the system they were initially designed for.

      I'm not advocating for the horde rule in 8th Mathias, nor encouraging units to be 40+ strong. I dont't want thedeathstar game to return, but I also don't want it to become herohammer again. My suggestion is to bring back supporting strikes, and maybe 2 supporting attacks from Monstrous infantry etc, and no horde rule (perhaps with the exception of Zombies). I think that would make elites worth the cost again, and also still make Monstrous infantry armes playable. It sounds so easy to make Monstrous Infantry armies 4-5 models wide, but in practice that takes up A LOT of space tht you often don'treally have to play with and I think that is something that is not that often taken into account.

      As far as changing the % of characters, I'm not really sure that is the way to go... GW did all kinds of stuff like that throughout the versons, all depending on how much characters dominated in each partiular version and it rarely really solved the issue. For one thing, you need to e able to field expensive special character Lords at times so... I'd rather approach it from the other angle and make troops cost effective, then that issue will resolve itself...

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    8. Keeping the answer a bit short here; but in regards to lowering the number of points that can be put into characters; would this not really be an issue in lower points values? I mean, if you plan on fielding Karl Franz, you will most likely do so in a 3000 pts battle or so, where you would be able to take up to 1000 pts of characters which still allow for a lot of other character choices.

      About supporting attacks though, (quoting my previous response further down) the main issue with them is that it benefitted halberds and GW's too much, which twice as powerful compared to 7th ed, whereas weapons like spears and additional hand weapons were made much worse (gaining only a 50% increase in attacks).

      What would you suggest to balance this out so that certain weapon options are not too good? Various ideas I have been considering are:

      - Supporting ranks can only make supporting attacks with their basic strength value (no strength bonus from halberds or GW's). This could solve the issue pretty well, but it requires you to either roll the attacks in batches which slows down the game, or use multiple coloured dice.
      - Buffing spears (+1S vs cavalry, AP?), buffing 2HW's (get to make 2 attacks with supporting ranks rather than 1?).

      If this can be balanced out properly, I personally do not have a big problem with supporting attacks (Horde is still a big no-no though, except for zombies). Supporting attacks for MI should probably be up 3 though, one A for each Wound is easy to remember.

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    9. What would you think about a 30% overall Character allowance with no more than 25% from a single Category (Lords/Heroes)? So you could have a cheaper lord supported by lots of heroes or an expensive lord and fewer heroes?

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    10. That would be the idea Ed (though I was thinking 33%, although I suppose that's a bit of an uneven number).

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  3. -I don't like how characters must always be in the front rank. That's all well and good for melee characters who are probably going to be there anyway unless they are low on wounds and you need their leadership boost but it isn't good for spellcasting and support characters who you want to keep out of the fighting. Not to mention, if you include a support character in a small model count unit, having to put that support character in the front will drop the units killing power by a significant amount.
    -Have you considered making monster availability consistent throughout the army books? Either making monsters lord-exclusive or allowing characters from all army books to ride the lower tier monsters, only locking off higher tier monsters from heroes. Griffons and Sun Dragons are available to High Elf heroes, Chaos Warrior heroes can ride Manticores yet Empire and Bretonnian heroes can't ride Griffons and Royal Hippogryphs for example.
    -The Lammasu from the Chaos Dwarfs should be a Monstrous Beast rather than a Monster. It's statline and model size seems to be of one.

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    1. - The normal rule has always been that characters must be in the front rank if possible, only if the front rank was full could you place them in the second rank. 9th Ed simply removes the possibility of abusing this with character walls and bunkering characters. Wizard that you want to avoid entering combat is better placed in missile units or leaving their infantry unit before they get into battle.
      - I have. The issue is just that certain armies have multiple tiers of mounts. A human army likely have horses (available to all) -> pegasi (available to fighters and wizard lords) -> griffons (available to fighter lords, sometimes wizard lords) -> dragons (only a few armies have this tier, usually only for fighter lords). In the case of High Elves, giving heroes the Sun Dragon option was meant to give a bit more meaning to that mount rather than having 3 types of dragons that are only available to princes. But I do not have an issue limiting Monsters to Lords only.
      - It's mounted on a 50x50 base though, and there are other models that are much larger. It has a weaker statline than the Taurus due to it being a wizard more than a fighter. I will consider it though.

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    2. Regarding single-model units, I think those should suffer panic tests when they take 25% or more of their base wounds during a single phase and only rally on half their leadership if reduced to 25% or less wounds. With most monsters, this will mean that they are at risk of panicking if they suffer 2 or more wounds during a single shooting or magic phase and rally at half their leadership if they only have a single wound less. This fixes how wounds suffered affects single-model units less than they should, a monster badly wounded in a short time will likely decide this isn't worth the risk and one that is nearly dead will decide to lick its wounds rather than risking becoming completely dead.

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    3. I agree with Mathias here, that non-combat lords shouldn't be able to hide in the second rank, and thus almost become invulnerable. This is an unreasonable bit of protection I think.
      I don't have the impression that many players use the rule where if you have an infantry character, stay within 3" of an infantry regment, you benefit from the Look Out Sir special rule, but I have used it a fair deal on wizads such as necromancers when playing vampire counts, to good effect. There should always be some risk to every model on the table.

      Please don't make monsters a free-for-all buffet thing as they were back in 4th ed again Mathias, or make them mounts for lords only... First of, it doesn't fit the warhamer setting very well from a lore perspective, secondly it will add to the overall charater power creep in the game.

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    4. Panic on Mo and single-model character could work. At first I thought it would be too fiddly since it's harder to visualise, but then again, a Monster will usually have a W marker anyway which makes it easy to see how many wounds is has taken. I will definitely consider it.

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    5. @Rune - I have no intention of making monsters more widely available than they currently are, rather the opposite. Do you think that any heroes should be allowed to take Mo like they currently can though?

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    6. I'm not sure it is such a good idea to force panic tests on monsters and characters due to wound tbh, even though one can easily make the case for it logically as Roland did above.
      The reason I don't think it will be viable is that it will make a lot of monsters (the chimerac comes to mind) absolutely useless. I'd not even pay 50 points for it then when facing a missile based army.
      Remember, monsters cannot benefit from the BSB any lnger, which makes moe sense than they panicking due to being wounded. One can equally well argue that a wounded monster could get enraged (at least for some of the monsters) as it was to flee as a result of it for one thing, but convincing anyone that any monster would care about any non-agical banner being raised is a whole other ballgame... Combining the two would decimate monster effectiveness I think. Don't get me wrong, I'd like monsters to be powerful but a bit unreliable, but I think this would make them too unrelible.. I also don't like te idea of heroes wounded panicking.. Gotta give them some cred for being heroes after all...

      I think that the whole heroes and mounts issue was pretty much a non-issue in 8th ed. I think it worked fine as it was and I don't really se any reason to change any of it. Besides, the models are already there so...

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    7. How about a/the Monster Reaction Table for lone monsters, thus making them more unreliable? Something along the lines: When suffering 25% of starting wounds, roll a D6. 1-2 is treated like a failed panic test, 3-4 makes the monster lose control and charge the nearest unit, friend or foe. After a out-of-phase combat phase (if the charge was successful), place the monster 1“ away from the charged unit. The owning player can roll again next turn on the table to regain control. 5-6 is treated like a successful panic test.
      Just from the top of my head
      Cheers

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    8. -The upper limit of wounds for Infantry, Cavalry and Beasts is 3 wounds. The lower limit of wounds for Monstrous ________ is 3 wounds and the upper limit is 5 wounds. So that something several times bigger isn't able to take less abuse than something smaller than it, I think Monsters with 4 wounds should either be demoted to Monstrous Beasts/Infantry or get a small boost to 5 wounds.

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  4. Would be cool to get a 9th ed 'cheat sheet' for the basic rules. Keep it up!

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    1. Do you mean like there is at the back of the 8th ed book? I can probably arrange that :)

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    2. That would be cool when the rules were finalized. Especially good to have when bringing new players into the game. :-)

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  5. I think the only thing not so keen on is the removal of supporting attacks (from what I can see). Horde was a terrible rule a terrible addition, supporting attacks, no so much. The rule just needed tweaking so one rule fitted. All. The problem with just a single rank attacking was it made lone monsters rather powerful (as well as multiple attack cavalry. Step up helps a little, but not much. Not having it just encourages msu far more.

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    1. Yeah, I can definitely see that point. The main issue with supporting attacks is that it benefitted halberds and GW's too much, which twice as powerful compared to 7th ed, whereas weapons like spears and additional hand weapons were made much worse (gaining only a 50% increase in attacks).

      In regards to MC being more powerful (though in several cases now losing 1 pt of armour) many of the MC choices have been moved to rare to avoid spamming them, and some of them are more expensive to boot. About Monsters, I did initially remove the Stomp rule to offset this, but this was something people seemed to prefer being left in. You also still have steadfast against these elites.

      In regards to encouraging MSU, that would depend on what qualifies as small. The intention is to try and get away from 40+ units and use more units around 20-30 models instead for standard infantry to encourage the use of flanking manoeuvres and supporting units more.

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    2. I can see your great weapon argument has having a valid point Mathias, but Halberd's too powerful? I can't say I've ever felt that that has been the case in the game. The problem has overall been tons of S6 attacks, decimaing just about everything on a 2+ to wound roll and negaing 3 points of armour. Going from S5 to S6 is very noticable in that regard.

      While I understand where you are coming from regarding the spears, I think it would be a far better option to fix spears than to remove supporting attacks (which influences a huge aspect of the game). Giving Spears and Pikes a +1 Strength bonus when being charged for example. Would make sense and also fit with their defensive/take and hold that position kind of role that spearmen traditionally had.

      Monsters need stomp to be able to stand up to static CR, and even with it it is a gamble. Without stomp, only a few of them could ever stand a chance against any regiment at all. A decent Monster might have around 5 attacks, which makes it impossible for it to overcome up to five points of just static CR. Even on a draw, if the monser somehow manages to hit and to wound on all attacks and not being wounded in return by some miracle, the musciscian will give the win to the regiment. There should be some random elements to every fight and the more dice one rolls, the greater the potential for that to be a factor... It shouldn't be like a game of diplomacy.

      I agree with the idea to see units go back to 20-30 again Mahias, to encourage more tactics to be used in the movement phase and to avoud the big deathstar games. The remval of the horde rule alone does a lot to accomplish this however...

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    3. Alternativly, more professional typespeamen could have a Phalanx typespecial rule, where when armed with Spears/pikes, theyreceived a +1 strength bonus when charged. This could be used to distinguish between spearmen of quality and rabble like goblins and skaven etc...

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    4. The main issue with halberds in this regard is that they are pretty much the only weapon used by the Empire for instance, though a lot of that probably had to do with the Horde rule. If we keep it limited to only nerfing GW's on supporting attacks, should it be that they only get +1S on the second rank or no strength bonus (swinging a large axe over your comrade in front of you does seem like it would be a bit hard to do).

      What about 2HW's? They are also in need of a buff like spears. I think giving all units with spears the same rule would keep things simpler. I'd prefer to make them anti-cavalry weapons if anything, so the strength bonus would only apply against that type of units.

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    5. If support attacks, 8th ed. style, comes back, some major changes are certainly necessary. 15 S3 attacks is a laughing stock against 10 S5 or even S4 because it modifies both To-Wound and Armour-Save.

      And so we are back to some armies having arbitrarily better core-choices because they can have GW's or Halberds. Other armies will just have core as chaff, etc. etc., we all know the deal.

      Spears will be a joke, although they, FOR MOST OF HUMAN CIVILISATION, have been the preferred weapon of the infantryman.

      Maybe some kind of "getting tired" mechanic like was mentioned. No strength bonus from supporting attacks could also sell it, just maybe, and it would be simple because it would just be a general rule, not weapons-specific.

      How to buff spears or 2HW is a good question though. Making spears anti-cav is very nice, and fluffy, but only a minor bonus. With a nerf to S-increasers like mentioned above though, it would start to make spears a decent competitor again.
      With 2HW its a bit harder. Maybe give them Parry or, maybe better, +1 AS against Melee attacks.

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  6. I agree completely that the idea of swinging a great weapon effectively from the second rank would be not nearly as effective from a pure logical standpoint Mathias and I also agree with you that great weapons (especially when you get to S6) are a bit too overpowered to the rest. Granted, some armies now have an overall better chance of using an increased chance to hit, combined with shorter charge ranges (translates into more turns of shooting) to deal with the threat beforehand, but that only apply to some units...
    You could go with a +1 strength supporting attack, or you could go with the idea of them getting exhausted fighting with such big weapons, reducing the strength bonus to +1 after the first round of combat. Both have their merits, although I do think the tired idea makes it a little less fiddly when it comes to rolling dice etc.

    I agree with you that two hand weapons could use a boost. You never realy see people felding that if great weapons and similar is an option. Rarely at least... The historical reason why people used two weapons was mostly for defenive purposes, with one longer and one shorter weapon, so they didn't get in the way, but tis does not neccessarily translate well to what is seen on most warhammer models, where they clearly in most cases have a much more offensive benefit in mind.

    Some ideas (just spitballing here):

    -Gain parry rule, but no AP
    -Maybe allow +1 supporting attack

    Spears being anti-cavalry makes sense for sure, but it would also eqally make sense for them to work the same way gainst any enemy model that came at them in a similar manner, although we for obvious reasons don't have any historical backing for this... :-P In total war:warhammer, spearmen are Aniti-Large units, meaningthey are extra affective against cavalry and larger, which does make perfect sense. Maybe +1 Strength against models charing them that has a bigger individual unit size? That way it would work the same against monstrous cavalry, monstrousinfantry, monsters etc.. Basically anything big enough to have the speed and momentum (and lacking the agility to avoid the attacks) to really impale themselves on the spears as they came charging. It would make spears more flexible in afantasy setting, here cavary don't neccessarily have the same role they had in history and it also makes sense. I think it is better an it also makes other infantry a good counter to blocks of spearmen.

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  8. A though just struck me regarading Stomp Rule change with initiative tests being to fiddly. It could be changed to 2d6 - Enemy unit's Initiative score number of hits (minimum one hit). It would give the likes of small units of expensive, elite elves some measure of protection (on average), also single characters on foot, without forcing an extra set of rolls. Just a thought.

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    1. That could work, but it's still a bit more fiddly compared to the current system. I think keeping it simple and working the same way as Impact Hits is the better way to go right now.

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  9. I'm reading over the changes to the magic rules Mathias, and I quite like some of what you have done as far as spell limitations on levels, increased importance on channeling, made two lower level wizards a more usefull proposition when measured against a higher level wizards previous dominance etc. Lvl 1 or 3 wizards now also have their place. I like all of that :-)

    Some concerns though. With the removal of addint wizard levels to casting, you will for most spells have to spend one extra dice to compensate, which translates into far more risk and a lower total amount of spells being cast due to each spell cast taking one extra dice from the pool (which might be slightly larger, but that also applies on the dispel side). I'm not against this, just stating the obvious here. Spell casting will overall take a hit, which might impact more spell-reliant armies (such as Vampire Counts/Tomb Kings for example).

    Some thougts on possible changes (spitballing again):

    -When casting with Irresistable force, maybe total casting value should have twice the Wizard's level added. This will still make it possible for the enemy to dispel (theoretically at least). It doesn't quite make sense that a spell can't be dispelled at all, and due to an additional being used to cast on average, Irresistable force will be more of a significant factor than before.

    Since Irresistable Force is a more significant factor, so will Miscast be, something that will be especially unfair to armies that are actually depeendant on regular spell buffs to work as intende (VC/TK cough, cough). With miscasts being more frequent, the current miscast table is very harsh indeed (in addition to being a bit fiddly and time consuming to constantly roll on etc). I suggest making miscasts have one standard, more streamlined effect instead of the table it has now.

    Finally, casting a spell with irresistable force (which translates into a lot of magical power), only to roll a 2 on 2d6 for number of hits for example, is a bit illogical, not to mention dissapointing... Maybe a re-roll of a single d6 for spell effect could be a thing to show increased spellpower effect?

    Granted, I have not tested these spell rules, but this was my overall impression at least.

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  10. Regarding Irresistable force, maybe one got a free d6 to add for each 6 rolled after the first (since you need 2 minimum to get the irresistable effect in the first place).
    Additionally, if the spell has two or more casting levels and was cast at the lowest, and the total casting value becomes great enough to cast a more powerful version, then this is automatically done.
    If the spell was already the more powerful version cast, or if the extra power dice is not enought to increase it from one casting level to the next, then a single d6 for the spell's effect may be re-rolled at the caster's discretion.

    Standard miscst result could potentially be: S6 hit to caster, and S3 hit to anyone in base contact with him. No armour saves. No Look out Sir. One Power die is lost from the pool if the Wizard takes a wound. Pretty easy to remember and doesn't punish magic based armies too harsly with a rise in frequency of miscasts and also speeds up the game a little.

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  11. I just noticed that in the description of the Frenzy special rule, it still doesn't allow you to Parry Mathias.

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  12. Some thoughts on Shooting in the game in general after having read through it and pondered a little. Spitballing again...:

    -Volley Fire-

    Change Ignores cover rule to only apply against walls, hedges etc... As it stands now, it alsoworks against units in hard cover within buildings for example, and that doesn't make much sense.
    Possibly Stand & Shoot against Flyers?

    -Javelins-

    Lose Multiple Shot (2). Gain Armor Piercing (1) and Volley Fire.
    Makes them more useful from horseback (since they tend to move & fire). Makes Javelins a weapons that could be used by defensive melee infantry, like the romans did). Not that the game has this, yet at least... It will also beneft skirmishers with javelins, as they will also be moving, thus gaining armour piercing.

    -Throwing Knives-

    It doesn'tmake any sense that something like a throwing star could be even remotely as dangerous as a javelin... People in history kiled by unpoisoned throwing weapons such as that alone in human history can likely be counted on one hand... I think they have a plce though, but first and foremost as a poison delivery system.
    I suggst increasing range to 8" as they are far lighter than throwing axes big enough to grant +1 strength.
    I also suggest Strength is decreased by -1 (possibly -2), but gain Multiple Shots (3) instead. Retain Quick to fire. This will make them into more effective and exotic delivey systems of poisonous attacks.

    -Throwing Axes-

    Not quite sure Multiple Shots (2) is that approproate for two reasons. One being a decent sixed thwoing axe is not quick to throw at all, and one has to reasonably assume it is a decent-sixed one with a +1 strength bonus... Secondly, it doesn't make much sense that any infantry at least would be carrying multiple such weapons about their persons...
    That said, I can't say what I think would give it an reasonable edgeor uniqueness either... Still thinking about that one. Not that Losing Multiple shots (2) with only a 6" range is likely to be a big deal... but still..

    Just throwing some ideas out there Mathias

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    1. Sorry for not getting back to you sooner, been really busy with a ton of work and ebay sales. I will go through and consider your ideas next week :)

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    2. No problem Mathias. It is rarely a good idea to take a stand on any new ideas proposed immediately anyway in my experience. Always best to give it some time, to considerpros and cons etc...
      If I don't respond back soon next week, I blame Xcom2-War of the Chosen and an upcommung weekend trip. :-)

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  13. Have you seen this TWW mod: http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?731465-WARHAMMER-Radious-Total-Units-Mod-(Updated-14-08-2017) ? How cringe-worthy are the new units in that list?

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    2. I think some of the units are fine as they are based on existing material from the Warhammer universe, but some (mainly the Bretonnian units) seem ill-thought through and not very fitting at all.

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  14. hello mathias,
    i got a proposal for the upcoming dark elves.
    the disciples of khaine should be able to channel power and dispel dice as every other priest.
    they also should have access to all lores except life and light. we played it like that in our gaming group and the feedback was very good and it also fits to the fluff. (high elve heritage but lost their connection to the "good" lores due to their evil spirit)

    thanks for your hard work
    you kinda revived fantasy

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    1. Hi, thanks for your feedback!

      The idea is that the disciple channels his magic through inflicting wounds rather than channelling like a normal wizard. I will look into it though with their upcoming book.

      I'll consider adding some more lores to them as well as I know this was requested by other people too.

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    2. maybe he can only channel power dice and gains a bonus equal to his killnumber in the last round of combat?
      something similar for wood and high elves?
      i know HE got the loremaster but i like the idea of a priestress of isha.
      maybe wood elves should have access to all lores except fire and metal. representing their fear from everything that burns their beloved forest and death fits to the darker aspects of their society(death by all means to intruders)

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    3. I'd be a little bit careful giving wood elves too many changes to begin with, as wood elves are the army that will likely benefit far more than any other from te upgrades to the missile rules (bows in particular) combined with the reduced focus on deathstar type hordes. I'm only suggesting keeping changes to a minimum for them until some game testing has been done.

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    4. They will change very little compared to their current RH rules. However, they will get some new units from AoS.

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  15. Had some more thoughts regarding various rules Mathias:

    I like that you have increased the importance of channeling, but if dispel dice are also generated on 4+, then it becomes very favourable for the dispelling player in comparison. Lets say the player who's magic phase it is rolls 2d6 for winds of magic and rolls a 5 and a 3 (orexample), which is an 8 vs 5 dice situation. Now, lets assume both sides get +1 for canneling, which takes it to a 9 vs 6 sitation, which is far more favourable for the dispelling player, as he can judge every dispel roll afterhaving seen the casting result (and it might even fail). So I suggest reducing generating dispel dice to a 5+ or 6+ roll, while keeping the power die channeling as is.

    When rolling to cast btw, one could simply get a free dice for every 6 rolled on the casting roll. Simple, and would go a long way towards mking up for some of the higher casting alues (like say 25+) more attainable with wizard levels not being added any longer.
    With my above suggested changes in this thread, I think magic would be about as cost effective as previously but still be pretty random and dangeous.

    Horde Rule (special rule): While I agree that the horde deathstar game is best removed, I still think it might have some merit on some unit types in the game, such as Zombies, Skeletons, ClanRats, Skavenslaves, various goblins etc...
    First off, I think it fits them rather well, and they are only rally "dangerous" in big numbers to begin with.
    Sexondly, I assume those that already have such armies might have already bought and painted large units likethis already and I'd rater see them used in big, horde style blocks than never breaking tarpits with 10+ ranks...

    An idea for a new rule could also be to dissalow or penalize units in formations with more ranks than they are models wide (alnce frmarion an exception). This would eliminate the unbreakable onemodel wide and X models deep conga-line abuse as well. Narrow units with many ranks tend to also make wheeling into a bit of absurdity, and also often create complications. Just a thought though...

    As far as melee weapons go, I think we both agree that Great Weapons need a bit of a nerf. A weapon that basically hits like a luccessful lance charge every round is unrealistically good and automatically becomes the go-to weapon for every situation. The Initiative penalty rarely matters as far as troops go anyhow. Given a choice betweenHalberd and Great Weapons (at the same cost), I'd wager that even with only a +1 Strength bonus after the first round of combat, people would still chose great weapons over halberds if they could in nearly all cases, and to me that tells me all that I really need to know regarding nerfing great weapons a little.
    I think we both like te idea that more traditional infantry have more of a place in the game and see more use, but if the great weapons don't change, it will not encourage people to change their army compsitions in the end.

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  16. Looking at the voting (so far) it does seem like the vast majority wants supporting attacks to be included. That said, most (again, so far) seem to be wanting it as in 8th ed, which might imply the Horde rule as well. In any case, 8th ed already exist for those players...

    That said, in general I think it is a bit dangerous in general to go by voting if your intention is to make a better system, as people are often by nature quite conservative by nature. Use it as an indicator by all means, but do not allow yourself to be ruled by a vote if you have a vision of how you think the game could be improved Mathias. And again, 8th ed already exist for those that want everything to remain that way, so I think 9th ed should aim for something better, while moving away from the horde focus (which was great for GW selling models), othrewise what is the point of a 9th ed?

    You have already done some things that makes sense and seem to work very well Mathias, but there are still a lot of changes that could be made and tested to improve more upon the game. I've made some suggestions and I'm pretty sure others have too. I know it is not so easy to get everyone as intersted in the core rules affecting everyone as it might be to get the involved in a specific army book, but I hope more people spitball ideas and suggestions that you may consider the merit of, so I encourage everyoe to get involved. Don't turn to relying on any voting system though, cause then you'll never get anywhere. It is your rules and it can't be a democracy. Don't get me wrong, I'll personally nag you if I really feel you are doing something fundamentally wrong, but regardless of your decision I'll respect it in the end. I'm no better than you at game systems, so my stance is that if I fail to convince you, then so be it, my idea was maybe not as good as I first thought anyway, which happens a lot when spitballing ideas.

    Sometimes an idea might be too complicated, or not worth it as it slows down the game too much and I'm fine with that. Ideas can smetimes start off sounding good, but then start to become complicated as you start thinking of exiting rules and such.

    What I hope you are open for is a bit more of a change to some of the more fundamental things in the game and how it is played tactically, or to at least consider it on a case for case basis Mathias. Not that you haven't been mind you, with the drastic change to missiles, magic, removal of the horde rule and my suggeston of monsters not being affected by the BSB re-roll.

    I hope people spitball you more ideas to consider Mathias, to seeif there are other good changes that can be made for a 9th ed.

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  17. On the subject of infantry death stars, would it be helpful if I did some research on the historical use of giant infantry blocks (eg. the Hellenic phalanx and Spanish tercio) and their weakness and then got back to you with some suggestions on how those weaknesses could be incorporated into the game?
    I have a few ideas, but I'd like to see if you are interested before I really got into things.

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    1. You're thinking of some nerf that could be used as an overall mechanism to discouragge deathstar type units, apart from losing the horde rule Zeus_Invictus?

      A note on the tercio though: It does seem to me that in game terms, this would be best represented as different units working together, more akin to the Empire detatchement rules than as one big deathstar type unit...

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    2. Possibly. I was thinking that since it looks like horde rules are going to stay in place, that it may be worthwhile to see why historically giant infantry blocks weren't universally used and then see if those reasons could be added as a way to give them some counters. That way they could be used but wouldn't be the universally best choice.

      As for the tercio, you are correct. My apologies. For some reason I was envisioning it as a block of mixed pike and shot.

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    3. The Horde rules are as far as I've understood Mathias is not what the vote is about. It is about Supporting attacks, i.e, the second rank giving supporting attacks, NOT the third rank granted by the 8th ed Horde rule. This was initially something he had removed all-together, along with the horde rule, in from what I understand, was due to a wish to bring the game back from the domination of the elite deathstar hordes of 8th ed, to a more tactical game, which I personally think is the right way to go too.

      Has ranked up infantry units really been in the thousands since the greeks lost to the lesser, more flexible roman units working together? I'm not a scholar of such matters by any means, but I can't recall organized armies operating in that rigid a manner since then. I might be wrong though :-)

      I think if you remove the Horde rule, there is far less of an incentive to go 30-50 strong elite units (or 18+ Monstrous Infantry), so in general I think that s a good thing. It shfts the game over to smaller units of 20-30 models, but which as a result become a bit more numerous, which results in more tactical finesse when it comes to the movement phase, which I personally think should be the phase that more often than not really determines who the best general is.

      Personally I hope he choses to make the Horde rule into a special rule instead, which may be applied to units on a unit by unit basis, so that the kind of units that really have being a horde going for them and which tends to fight in overwhelming numbers in the warhammer lore, might retain that strength to.

      What I think in many ways are somewhat of a bigger problem in the game, as far as big units go, is when they are only five models wide and then have tons of ranks, basically being cheap tarpits. Without support attacks, such units of cheap models become way to dangerous a tarpit for one thing and another is that they are very awkward to manouver. It is also a bit historically inaccurate, as few armies (if any) seems to have really lined up to fight like that, especially after the death of the greek phalanx.

      Maybe to qualify for rank bonus you should have to be formed up so that you'd have to have a front of 6 models to be elligeble for a +1 rank bonus, 7 models for +2 rank bonus, 8 models for +3 rank bonus. Just spitballing here, but it would do a lot to undermine cheap tarpit units grinding it out forever, discourage too large units overall and do a lot to remove the awkwardness owheeling absurdly long regiments on the tabletop.

      I must admit I had to do a little refreshing on the tercio earlier today, but regardless of which version of the terco I read about, it didn't strike me as something you could have rules for in the same manner as the dark elf city guard (if you are familiar with those from the old days) and still call it a tercio formation. It has been a while since I read through the Estalia Army book, but n the back of my mind I do seem to recall something about sch formations in that book.

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    4. Just a quick note about the "column" problem; this has was fixed early on by disallowing formations that have more ranks than files, you cannot build a conga-formation anymore.

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    5. Yeah, Hordes are not coming back as a universal rule, so the reason to take deathstars is pretty much gone when combined with the huge penalties you suffer when being flanked now.

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    6. Mathias:

      I see you have fixed the column issue already, in a simple way too. This will do a lot towards making giant skavenslave units less cost-effective as tarpits. Nice. :-)

      As far as hordes go, I don't mind facing something like a horde of zombies or skaven clanrats in a game. I find that rather fitting for their lore tbh and creates a bit of immersion in the game. A horde or two of somethinjg like Dwarf Ironbreakers does the exact opposite though. Personally I like it when the army you end up facing is something you could at least somewhat reasonably expect to end up having to deal with in the lore, and I think removing the Horde rule goes a long way towards not encouraging people to play that way.

      Anyone can also create some extreme list that is nearly unbeatable in the right situation (and potentially likely to loose badly if the sitation is not optimal), but then you end up in a situation where the battles are more or less decided at the very outset of the game, instead of both players ending up having an enjoyable tactical game that swings back and forth to the very end. Removing the Horde rule is part of the overall greater picture that ensures the games are not all won or lost on the outcome of a single regiment in the game.

      I did check on the Estalia book late last night regarding the tercio rules. You solved that nicely with combining one regiment and using a detetchment kind of support rule for the shots. Seemded very workable on the gaming table they way it was solved.

      Back to xcom2- war of the chosen :-)

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  18. Curiosity regarding supporting attacks..

    I have been into Warhammer Fantasy Battles since 5th edition. I didn’t play in 5th edition, but new the rules. I played in 6th edition. Missed out on 7th edition due to other interests at the time). I came back to it in 8th edition, and played quite a lot of games there.

    I currently play Lizardmen, High Elves and I am working on a Dogs of War army.

    I can see from the vote regarding reinstating supporting attacks, that most people are in favor of this. What I don’t seem to understand is why? What is it that makes the supporting attacks rule so good?

    I loved some of the rule changes made in 8th edition., my favorite being the step up rule (no more 5-6 High Elves Swordmasters wiping the front row of a unit).

    I have thought a bit about supporting attacks the last couple of days, and what impact it has on the game, so here are my thoughts:
    -Supporting attacks means that great weapons become the ultimate weapon choice, and I think that without supporting attacks all weapons are a more viable option. Of course rules can be made to change the way great weapons function so they don’t end up being alpha omega, but this solution just seems to complicate the game even further.
    -Do people favor supporting attacks because they like to roll a lot of dice?
    -Is it because people would like to be able to field the same armies they did in 8th edition? I mean people have the minis, so I guess it is nice to be able to use them.
    -I think supporting attacks will have the effect that people will field larger units. I know the horde rule is out, but fielding large units to get extra attacks, especially with great weapons, seems to be a must.
    --Fielding larger units in turn means that game sizes tend to increase. As I remember in 5th and 6th edition 2000 pts was the norm, but in 8th this changed 2250-2500 pts (I have not played in tournament settings, so I might be wrong).
    --I prefer the smaller point games, since it gives more space to manoeuvre. When I see pictures of people playing 9th age with 4500-5000 points, which would translate to 2250-2500 points in 8th or 9th edition, it seems that they fill the board edges completely with units, giving very little room to manoeuvre.
    -Cavalry will see a nerf again, albeit they are still a more solid choice than in 8th edition.
    -Supporting attacks makes the game faster since units will be wiped faster.
    -Heroes and monsters have a harder time against supporting attacks.

    What are peoples thoughts on these points and do you have any to add?

    I am not out to offend anyone I am just really curious :D

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    1. Jan Christensen:
      Supporting attacks are offcourse not better than other attacks, but they help to prevent the game from reverting to the” herohammer” days of old where who had the best character(s) in his unit determined the outcome, far more than any measly soldier attacks. Even if you field the likes of skeleton warriors or empire swordsmen, you do wish that their attacks actually matter somewhat and not just their static CR.
      It is a bit amusing as everyone seems to see great weapons as the problem on many fronts, yet somehow fixing the issue that makes every other weapon in the game seem paultry in comparison is somehow "complicated"... A simple solution could be to reduce great weapons to +1 Strength and give them Armour Piercing, and retan the initiative penalty. That would make them more comparable to Halberds, which amusingly enough they have the same point cost as. Go figure...
      Also, the idea that Great Weapons have the same damage as a cavalry lance, in every turn of fighting is a a bit of a stretch... So a reduction to Great weapons is not exactly unjustified by any means... That would also help solve their impact as supporting attacks.
      Do people like to roll more dice. Offcourse they do. When the game was mostly won by characters and static CR, it wasn't a very fun game most of the time. There should be some randomness to the game. It's not diplomacy after all.
      The spell cards are designed for 8th ed, and I think it is a good idea not to modify them. The buff/debuff spells are designed as far as effect and casting values are concerned with the supporting attacks included and potentially also the horde rule... A spell may be worth casting if it effects 20 or 30 attacks, but not worth the risk at all f it only affects 10... This goes for the cost of typical buff type characters that affects attacks too btw...
      The game has had editions where heroes and monsters were king, and units mattered very little apart from providing character safety and static CR... It was not a very enjoyable experience in my opinion, but I know a lot of what I'd personally call more cheesy power gamers tended to like the game back then. I'm not saying this as a player that tended to lose games either btw, just to be clear. I likely won 4 out of 5 games before 8th ed tbh, but it was clearly as a result of army design more than how one played the game and what army one had.
      Supporting attacks don't really encourage you to field very big units on its own... The most you can really aim for with it is to field your unit in a 2models wider formation than your enemy, in which case you gain +4 corner attacks in comparison. This is also hard to plan for since you don't know what size unit you opponent brings.

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    2. The main thing about supporting attacks, like Rune said, is that it gives infantry a better chance to inflict damage on monstrous units, and strips down some of the damage output caused by heroes in combat.

      However, it also made great weapons in 8th ed the go-to weapon in nearly every situation, which was a bad design choice. As such, in order for supporting attacks to return, great weapons needs to change.

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    3. Regarding Great Weapons MAthias, what do you think of the +1 Strength Bonus and Armour Piercing, with your initiative reduction?

      I think it will be god in the sense that it reduces the chance to wound particularly Monsterous Infantry from a typcial 2+ to a 3+ (most great weapon infantry are already S4 by default), which is quite significant. It also allows your average T5 Monster to take some more hits, which I think is reasonable. Great weapons typically used to attack at S6, which is equal in stretgth to a strike from a massive hit from something like the claw of a massive dragon, which seems to me to stretch credibility quite a bit.
      At the same time though, Great weapons retain their anti-armour effectiveness, making them a good counter to heavy infantry and cavalry.

      It is a simple fix, but a very uncomplicated one. Combined with giving spears a defensive anti large buff and additional hand weapons a little boost, I think a lot is done to reduce the Great Weapons from their current go-to swiss army knife status and also make other weapons potentially better, depending on the situation and foe being faced.

      If you think it is worth exploring, I can run some tests here to sort of get a better picture of how it impacts the game in various situations.

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    4. Regarding monsters, two things come to mind:
      -The base size of the monster might be to small. Most monsters have a front size of 50mm, which doesn't give more than 4 20mm or 25mm the opportunity to attack them. Maybe the standard base size of all monsters should be 100x100mm? I know this is a very cumbersome solution, since it will a lot of rebasing work for all players, but it just seems weird to me that monsters are on the same base size as chariots..
      -When you, Mathias, first published the 9th edition rules, you didn't include stomp. People were greatly against this so it got reincluded (people love to roll all them dice). But maybe this is another part of why monsters are so powerful. Maybe changing the stomp rule so that it works in a different way; instead of having its normal attacks and stomp, the monster can either choose to make its normal attacks or it can choose to stomp, and stomp is changed to 2d6 hits?

      Thanks for the replies btw :D

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    5. If the good thing about support attacks is that they give infantry a better chance against Monsters and Characters, why not simply remove Strength-Bonus from support attacks?

      The units that need help the most against the mentioned unit types; Spearmen, 2HW and Sword&Board, get exactly the same bonus as in 8th, while GW's and Halberds, that are effective enough against those unit types as it is, only get a small bonus that can never the less swing a hard combat in their favour.

      Maybe such a restriction should only be applied to GWs though. That would also make Halberds unique and a more viable choice for the formation-inclined generals, instead of them being just a poor mans GW.

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    6. "Monsters" is a term used for a very varied collection of creatures. It would be hard to fit all monsters on even that sizr I think (Terrorgheist and Stonehorns come to mind). Some monsters are larger than others, it's just the way it is. However, it would perhaps not be a bad idea to have a minimum base size listed somewhere for individual monsters ,so that people couldn't try to make bases too small on purpose.

      Monsters are supposed to be powerful and if they don't have the stomps to support their normal attacks, monsters would next to never triumph against any unit with a decent rank bonus, banner support etc.
      You don't think monsters are too powerful Jan? Remember, Stomps only work against infantry and the like, so if the enemy let the a monster sort of pick its fights on it's terms, I think monsters genrelly do well, although many are quite random, but they are rare choices after all...

      Mathias has made Monsters a bit more random with them no longer benefitting from a BSB, and he seems to generally prefer to have monsters back in the Rare section again, so you can't expect to suddenly have to face an army saturated with monsters as you could risk facing aginst some armies in 8th ed.

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    7. Doesn't a Terrorgheist already come on the largest monster base there is, 75x100?

      I don't think that monsters are to powerful.
      They are powerful, but I don't see them making up for their point value. I usually play with a High Elf Prince on a Griffon which is around 375 points with items. There is no doubt that he is a great threat for the enemy, but he seldom makes 375 points in return (I mean he doesn't kill his points worth). Of course I am not a power gamer, so I didn't give him a 2+ rerollable armor save and a 4+ ward save.

      BSB is no where near as powerful as it was in 8th since it only helps with break tests. Usually I only play around 1500 points, so people rarely bring a BSB. In 8th edition on the other hand, at 1500 points, people always brought a BSB.

      Also with the rules for chasing down broken units, monsters have a much harder time wiping them, which was also a bigger problem in 8th.

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    8. I think Terrorgheist do come on the largest one yes.

      Monsters and ridden monsters are two very different things in many regards in the game, with ridden monters being fare more expensive and having a a big X-factor (the rider) to them. It makes ridden monsters and lone monsters potentialy very different. When I'm alking Monsters, I talk about them from an unridden monster perspective, just to be clear Jan.
      But if Monsters are not too powerful, I'm a little confused as to why you see it as a benefit to go either only stomps or regular attacks?

      Presonally I'm of the view that Monsters should be powerful if used right (line breakers), but be slightly weaker towards characters. I also think they should be a little bit of a gamble, which I think they now are since they cannot benefot from the BSB re-roll.

      What I fear is that Monsters right now is too good against what I picure would be sort of the ideal unit to fight them, lightly aroured skirmisher type units that would be nimble enough to dodge and frustrate such beasts all the while darting in and attacking. Personaly I'd like to see maybe stomps doing 2d6 minus enemy unit's Initiative nmber of hits instead, to help make hight initiative, low armour units more of a potential counter to them.

      The bsb in 8th ed was so good that it mosly did away with the importance of panic, fear, terror etc, which I think was too good personally. If something is ALWAYS worth the points, it is to me a sign that thre is a bit of an imbalance.
      That said, I think any decent sized army should bee encouraged to have a proper banner at its core, so maybe there is some other, sensible change that be included for a BSB that hasn't been tried yet? We could spitball some ideas for it if Mathias is remotely on board with finding some middle ground for BSB's Jan.

      Which rulesfor chasing down units are you referring to Jan? It's late here so I'm drawing a blank as to what you refer to.

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    9. I just nticed yesterday that the CR bonuses from regular Banners and the BSB now stack (which I don't think they used to do), so maybe no buff is really needed.

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    10. But if Monsters are not too powerful, I'm a little confused as to why you see it as a benefit to go either only stomps or regular attacks?
      -I am not sure whether monsters are too powerful or not. I just haven’t played any games where monsters were an all dominating force. Must see if Ravensdark42 wants to play soon, I has told me a great deal about his new Terrorgheist ;)

      Personaly I'd like to see maybe stomps doing 2d6 minus enemy unit's Initiative nmber of hits instead, to help make hight initiative, low armour units more of a potential counter to them.
      -I think it might complicate the rules to much. I know it is not a problem for nerds to do maths, but it does slow down the game. The initiative test to avoid stomps (which was just removed) is something I didn’t try to play with, but it makes sense to have stomp work like impact hits, as Mathias stated.

      Regarding BSB:
      -In 8th it also gave +1 to CR, stackable with company standard bearer, just as it does now. It was definitely to good in 8th, and I think it is fine as it is now. If I was playing 2000p or above I will almost always include one, an army needs its standard! :P

      Which rules for chasing down units are you referring to Jan? It's late here so I'm drawing a blank as to what you refer to.
      -I am thinking of a unit breaking and then being run down. In 8th edition the unit fleeing was just killed outright, and the unit stayed in place, though without reforming. In 9th edition, the unit only losses an amount of models based on the unit strength of the pursuing unit; “For each point of Unit Strength the pursuing unit has, the fleeing unit suffers one Wound with no saves of any kind allowed. If any models survive, the charging unit then stops 1" behind the remains of the unit, just as if they had charged a fleeing enemy. If no models survive, see the "Move Pursuers" section below.” -BRB. p.42. At least this makes monsters unable to completely wipe a unit. And with the removal of needing to roll double 1s on a rally roll on a unit below 25%, the odds of that unit fighting again are a lot larger.

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    11. Monsters have a minimum size of 50x50mm already, it's in their troop type rules.

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  19. As far as minis go, and GW's removal of the units from the shelves, I think it is a good idea not to stray too far from the models that most people already have in general. If someone feels sorry for themselves for buying 40-50 executioners for example, they can instead field them cost efficiently in 2 units instead of one.
    Another thought that struck me. Do you remember the cost of Chaos Knights back in earlier editions? I do.. 80 points, and they were worth it for a reason... Granted this was before steadfast supporting attacks and the horde rule, but t does become hard to justify chaos knights at around 40 points per model if they are facing small inits which barely get to strike back at them every combat round, due to only the front rank striking... Too much has changed as far as cost effieciency of various units go to take the game back to only the first rank striking again, without making some serious adjustments to costs etc throughout all army books etc.
    I've just read a little about the 9th age project myself, browsed a few army book and some f the rules, but I've only seen a very small test game being played on youtube. It seemed ok from what I saw, but it didn't strike me as a big improvement on 8th ed. Also, the warhammer but not warhammer annoys me, even though it is perfectly understandable why it is so.
    Nobody is getting offended on any level Jan :-) I'm just answering you because this is something I'm passionate about as far as the game goes. The more people that present their viewpoints and thoughts, the more is added to the pros and cons list that should be considered before making such crucial decisions that affect the game on so many levels.
    It became a bit of a long-winded answer Jan, but from what I understood from Mathias a few days ago he was somewhat pre-occupied with ebay sales and other stuff right now. I've likely been the main protagonist here as far as returning support attacks go, so in case you haven't followed this earlier, I gave a "brief" summary of some of the pros for returning supporting attacks to the game.
    Ultimately though, I think 8th ed exist for those that liked deathstar hordes and 7the ed and back is still out there for those that liked what became knows as "herohammer" forgood reason back in the day. My view is that if 9th d is to have a purpose at all, it should aim to be better than both those versions, which seems to be somewhere in the middle...

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  20. Damn my tablet keyboard... *Curses*

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  21. What if you allowed supporting attacks as per 8th but using GW cancels the ability to use them. I think they would be too cumbersome to use in 'support' anyhow. They would still have their place due to the Strength Bonus, particularly against higher-toughness or heavily armoured infantry or cavalry that usually have lower static CR.

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    1. It is one of the options I'm pretty sure Mathias in considering.
      My concern with it is that it in nearly any situation it will still end up being the preferred weapon against both low toughness/armour and high toughness/armour, at least as long as the great weapon model has 2 attacks or more (which is not unusual for such troops).
      One would always pick 2 attacks with a 2+ to wound and a massive ap reduction over 3 attacks wounding on 4+ with no armour reduction for example.
      Even if the great weapon model only had a single attack, wounding on 2+ with a massive ap reduction is still preferable to 2 ranks of attacks, wounding on 4+, with no ap reduction in most cases.
      This is assuming one is hitting average core troops, which is supposed to be the more disadvantageous of situations for great weapons, yet they are quite good at that end of the scale too.

      There is still the potential of Frenzy to consider on top of this offcourse, as well as other buffs that make the overwhelmingly most dangerous (and universal) weapon, more dangerous still.

      There is also the issue of the weapon not being used aranked up situation to consider. When used by Monstrous Infantry in a singlerank for example, as well as ow it stacks up when you consider a characters number of attacks. A lord with an additional hand weapon (5 attacks) is not even in the same ballpark as the same lord with 4 great weapon attacks, even though the cost difference might be a measly 3 points...

      So I'm sceptical about this really solves the issue in the best way, but that's my two cents on it.

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    2. Hmmm, not so sure;

      Assuming 2 units of 'Standard' Infantry, in ranks of 6 with more than 2 ranks (WS3, S3, T3, W1, A1), one with Sword/Shield allowing supporting attacks & one with GW with no supporting attacks, on average the Sw/Sh will kill 2.5 models/turn whilst the GW will 2.08 (due to the parry save). Fairly even, much more so than if GW were allowed supporting attacks (killing 4.17) or if Sw/Sh were not allowed supporting attacks (1.25 kills).

      Of course this changes with different statlines/model types/other weapons but as far as basic infantry goes, allowing HW/Sh supporting attacks evens the odds against similar infantry with GW.

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    3. I think that the different weapon types should have a specific purpose in mind when selecting them, and therefore giving each one a reason to be selected. I would like to see a buff to spears against charging cavalry for example, such as cavalry 'suffering' Impact Hits when they charge spear units from the front.

      Additional Hand Weapons could also be given a Parry Save (without the AS bonus a shield gets) to aid against GW as you could parry with your weapon.

      Another alternative would be to reassign the Fight in Extra Ranks () Rule, currently in 9th. It seems to cover supporting attacks but could be reworked over the different weapons.

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    4. In your example above, you seem to forget that no such unit exist with great weapons in the game. The only one even close to it are greatswords, but even there you have to factor in a higher WS and a 3+ or 4+ armour save, when the enemy would likely have no armour or at best a 6+ armour save when you take armour save modifications into account.
      Your math isn't wrong, but it does not give a realistic picture of how great weapons actually work in comparison to other weapons, as the units wielding them are pretty much always more elite in nature, often having 2 base attacks as well as an increase to WS and base strength.
      Yes non-Great Weapon units can offcourse have 2 base attacks too, but the impact on the game is not nearly as significant when they do.

      I do agree with you that various weapons should be more optimized for certain situations. Spears and Pikes whenused by infantry was historically a good counter for Cavalry, that is true, but there is no logic as to why this wouldn't be equallt effective against anything with a larger mass coming at you at enough speed to make it hard to avoid the spears. Spears don't have some "magical" anti-cavalry effect specifically, it is just that that is the only thing we can look to since the biggest foe you cold face when spears was used was exactly that, Cavalry...
      I the Mathias already has a good mechanism in place that would work perfectly for determining whom a strength bous was applied against when being charged too, namely indvidual model's unit strength... Don't know if you play total war: warhammer bte, but spears are anti-large (meaning cavalry or larger) in that game too.
      Making it an anti-cavalry weapon specifically would have been fine in our world, but doesn't make all that much sense in a fantasy world.

      I agree regarding the Parry for additional hand weapons. It would gve them a little extra and be historically accurate. With parrying beeing possible for frenzied models, it is a decent enough buff for the points one usually pays.

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    5. In order to compare weapon types, surely you have to compare with a control otherwise you don't know whether it's the rule/weapon or the original stat line that causes the imbalance. Matthias has introduced basic infantry with great weapons, Albion has some for example. But if you want higher tier infantry, run the numbers using two units of Black Orcs (as they are armed to the teeth!) against each other. Can't get fairer than that and I think you'll find similar outcomes to that detailed above.

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    6. Offcourse, but I was just pointing out that what we see in the game in general is that the great weapon advantage is made much worse due to the typical units we see using them (your albion example being one very rare exception).

      It is a potential fix, no doubt, but it is a somewhat strange fix when you say great weapons cannot be used to support but flail can? Doesn't make much sense.
      Some other concerns I have regarding it is that it does nothing to scale down great weapons in the hands of characters and other multiple attack models. For them it will still be the automatic go-to weapon if itis an option, as the bonus is so massive that the more attacks you have the better it becomes in comparison to all other options.

      I have no problem with the -2 armour save from the weapon, as that is what such weapons were mainøy made for historically, but the +2 to Strenght is the property that I think makes t stand head and shoulders above all other weapon options as that is something that is universally very good regardless which foe one faces, armoured or not.

      This is why I'm personally leaning towards +1 Strength, Armour Piercing with the initiative modifier as this affects every model using the weapon equally, as well as brings it down to a Halberd equivalent, which fits from a cost perspecive.

      But, there might be issue regarding this solution that I have not thought of as well, so discussing it to enlighten all pros and cons is a good thing. Any thoughts on the +1 Strenght, Armor Piercing idea Pros and cons?

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    7. It's possible that it comes down to a 'rock, paper, scissors' type scenario where different weapons are chosen to defeat specific things:

      HW/Shield - General, low cost option. Average against everything with extra survivability to hold things in place perhaps.
      GW - Anti-Infantry, Anti-Armour but less good against Monstrous Creatures
      Spears - Anti-anything larger than infantry but less good against other infantry
      Polearms - Combination of GW & Spears
      2HW - Excellent against other infantry but specifically the lightly-armoured kind.

      If the above is used as a guide (for the sake of argument), then I can see the +1S, AP idea working. Whether they then get supporting attacks will need to be tested (although I still wouldn't allow them for GW - I just can't see someone swinging a giant Battle Axe over someone's head in front, catching the enemy but missing his friend. Polearms however would benefit from supporting attacks due to their 'Spear' quality).

      However, if GW are to be used as Monster-killers then they need the +2 S...

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    8. In the same way that Morning Stars were removed in 9th, I would also remove Flails as I don't see them as a huge amount different from GW. They seem to be very faction specific anyway so perhaps they could be added as an army weapon for those that have them.

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    9. We have to keep in mind that with the horde rule gone, people are not just missing 10 attacks compared to previously, but the two ranks that generally would get to attack are greatly reduced due to a narrowed formation too. Just pointing out that this is something to keep in mind when using 8th ed as a baseline for discussions.

      Regarding GW's with +1 Strength, Armour Piercing, I was NOT intending that as stacked on top of any only first rank gets to attack idea. That would make GW's rather useless from a cost/efficiency perspective, and would also require one to go through any and all army books to reduce the cost of GW units.
      As far as taking on monsters go it eill still be the ideal weapon if the monster has armour, while halberds will be preferable otherwise, which seems fine to me.
      Against monsters, which are generally T 5 or T6, I think GW's will still do fine in general as GW troops more often than not have an increased base strength. 11-15 (plus 5-7 in case of A2 models) attacks attacking a monster with S5 seems reasonable to me tbh.
      It might also encourage one to field a bit more heavy cavalry again to get those S6 attacks, which I think is a good thing.

      I think it is a bit of a mis-interpretation to think that ranked up models are all fighting in a phalanx or roman type formation. I don't think this is what is generally represented by this in game terms. "Most" races on warhammer are to savage and beadtial to fight in such disciplined a manner, yet they are not skirmishers. So I think you have to keep that in mind when you're talking about supporting attacks from GW's and Flails.

      Flails are found in enough armies to justify it as a weapon in the rulebook I think. The mornong star was not a weapon used by any non-character unit that I can recall...

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  22. Is there still a fear test in 9th edition? I can't find anything on it except for the terror test for charges.

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    1. No. Fear reduce enemy Ld by -1. Terror reduce it by -2, but still forces the panic test when declaring a charge.

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    2. Thanks, what about when a fear causing unit gets charged?

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    3. You still only apply a -1 to LD for the non-fear causing side. The old roll (which was fogotten half the time anyway, is removed).

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  23. Is there a reason Nipponese Yabusame can't take Sashimonos? Can't see anything in lore or tabletop that would stop them.

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    1. Sashimonos are generally tied to the back of the warrior's armour, Yabusame fight unarmoured, and as such it's a bit tricky to attach the sashimonon anywhere ;)

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  24. Hello Mathias. Thanks for this Codex. Love Nippon Army.
    I'm interested to translate this Codex (Spanish).
    Would be possible share the file to edit this?
    Would be more easy :) (my mail: elsilin@hotmail.com)

    Thanks and Greetings.

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  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  26. Mathias:

    Just noticed that in the description of Overkill on p.74, it still says +5.

    There is a little spacing error on p.52, just above Large Target

    Berserker Rageunder Frenzy still has the cannot parry at the very end

    The Fight in Extra Ranks special rule stil lists monstrous infantry as making up to three attacks. Just thought I'd mention it in case. If Great Weapons are nerfed and supporting attacks come back (no horde), then maybe just a +1 supporting attack will work fine for monstrous infantry (and any other unit type) too, since the other side can't harm them so easily. I'll test a little when the GW issue is resolved I thnk.

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  27. What do people think about letting Ranged units fire into the rear of enemy units in H2H Combat?

    My idea would be that they could fire into combat only if they were in the rear arc of the enemy unit and the enemy unit had 3 or more ranks.

    I think this would give Fast Cavalry a little tactical extra and be more similar to a real combat situation. Maybe they would also need to be in Short Range perhaps?

    In addition, another idea I had regarding ranged weapons would be to have both Short Range and Long Range modifications to Hit. E.G. Short Range up to 25% (rounding down) gets +1 to hit. Long range over 75% (rounding up) gets -1 to hit. So a standard Bow would get +1 to hit at 6" or less or -1 to hit over 18". Thoughts?

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    1. I've also thought a lot about shooting into close combat, with the changes Mathias has made to the shooting rules. The ideas I've toyed around with has been:

      -Allowing BS based missile attacks into unengaged sides of enemy units that are in closecombat
      -This may only be done at Point Blank Range (4"), and the +1 to hit bonus is lost
      Any to hit roll of a 1 becomes a hit that hits a random frendly model instead, which may cause panic tests as normal

      I think this could be good for both fast cav and also skirmisher type units with javelins and the like.

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  28. While I'm on a roll, I also think that Fear would be more beneficial if it added +1 to combat res for the fear causing unit (Terror could cause +2 maybe?) rather than -1 Ld. This would also help monsters creatures from being completely overwhelmed by static combat res if supporting attacks are going to be reintroduced. Some monstrous infantry (such as trolls) seem to flee quite easily when I would think their fear-causing nature would give them a certain confidence. The problem with the -1 Ld is a) again it seems to get forgotten and b) it doesn't help the fear-causing unit at all unless they win combat.

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    1. This is actually a good idea. Could be worth to test.

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    2. Not sure introducing more static CR will make the game better tbh, which is my main concern with that option... Remember, you have Fear on all undead too...
      I rather like Mathias'es LD modifier for fear and terror to be honest, and I think it is easy to remember them as the winner will always be motivated to do so...

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    3. With the way fear is now, it also works on steadfast units.
      In 6th edition (don't know about 7th), fear made you break instantly from combat if you lost and were outnumbered. So in this edition, fear also only had an effect after combat resolution was calculated.

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    4. I think Fear is fine the way it works now (9th Age are also using the same mechanic). The idea of fear is that you get scared, as opposed to the enemy feeling braver because they are scary. There are many +1 combat res bonuses already, so I prefer to see Fear working differently.

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