Thursday, 2 July 2015

Game Ramblings - DLC and (speak not its name aloud) Warhammer Fantasy

DLC is Here
In one of my regular videogame-to-tabletop comparisons, I commented on the inevitability of the "DLC" approach.  Well, it seems someone IS taking that approach - the TAC series of WW2 air rules available on Wargame Vault is selling the rules for each plane at $2ea. (And selling a lot of them, too!)  It is billed as "only buy the ones you want" which is a bit disingenuous as most pdf rules are ~$10 for the whole game, with ALL the units/aircraft/troop lists etc.  Heck, I paid that for a copy of "Scramble" which has 100+ aircraft listed.  That'd be $200+ under the "TAC" DLC model.  For a bunch of PDFs.     
Note: I've got a lot more interesting points to say on this topic but the rest of my comments are only available as a DLC.  

Age of Sigmar
You'd have to be living under a rock to avoid the Age of Sigmar hype.  Apparently the dying Warhammer Fantasy is being rebooted, with Games Workshop turning it into more of a skirmish game - borrowing ideas from successful rivals like Privateer Press.  No more codexes and $150 rulebooks - just a 4-page basic rulebook, supplemented by "unit profiles" with all the unit information and special rules available in the unit boxes.     Each player deploys one hero/unit at a time until one side says stop. He gets to choose who moves first.  The other player can keep deploying units - there are no "points" or unit size limits - if a player is outnumbered 3:1 he can win by "Sudden Death" - i.e. assasinating a major enemy hero/wizard/monster (Warmachine style) or keeping a designated model alive for 6 turns.  I think this is a really clever idea - no points cap, but allowing victory conditions to limit model count.  However I suspect the community of GW players (who tend to win by min-maxing armies) are going to scent blood in the water.   For what I can tell, the rules don't deviate much from the usual GW formula, though generals make units within 12" immune to morale effects. As morale is apparently quite decisive, I suspect this will emphasize the importance of generals, and lead to a "Warmachine" feel.   I'm not going to jump on board the GW train, but I may just buy my first White Dwarf since... 2002?

Warhammer: Total War
And neatly tying these two topics together - the videogame dev behind the Total War series is making a Warhammer Fantasy version.  It's a match made in heaven.  Creative Assembly are increasingly coming under criticism for their DLC-centric approach.  For example, they sold $100-120 worth of DLC each for their last 3 games.  Some DLC was even released on the same day the game was.  I mean, that's pretty cynical.  Other DLC merely unlocked units already in the game. The latest $3 DLC added more blood spatter and death animations, and sick soldiers now vomit. No, I'm not making this up.  I'm wondering if in Warhammer: Total War you'll only get a "core unit" for one faction and need to buy and download all the units at actual GW store prices....


  1. I'll at least check out the new Warhammer rules to see. Maybe it'll be a hit?

    I did notice that flight game. I dunno if it's awesome or not, but I felt a bit stiffed that each of the extra planes was entered as a ruleset rather than a supplement, to get more front page views :(

    1. It depends how much AoS favours WFB, and how much it favours LOTR:SBG. The latter is actually one of my favourite games - a good example of a relatively uncluttered, adaptable rule set with familiar mechanics with that something extra (Might, Will, Fate).

      A few points that look like good moves:

      It allows any bases - I dislike square bases, and like the Privateer Press lipped ones.

      Also, I hate regiment-style games where you paint 20 identically boring minis to get a single unit. It's why I play skirmish - cos you paint only 1 guy and get a "unit" with the same in-game effect. Moving to a more Warmachine-scale skirmish game gets the thumbs up from me....

  2. "Note: I've got a lot more interesting points to say on this topic but the rest of my comments are only available as a DLC."

    I'll pay you in Downloadable Beers then!