Saturday, April 14, 2012

Two dollar Warhammer

I haven't played Warhammer Fantasy Battle in probably 20 years (the version I played was with a big orange hardback rulebook, probably the third edition of the game), so when I spotted this rulebook in the clearance section at Half-Price Books for $2, I decided to grab it. 

I'm not sure I'll actually play this wargame, but I like reading different rulesets, as the different perspective helps give me ideas for streamlining or modifying other games, as well as inspiring me in writing my own rules.

The copyright on this volume is dated 1996, so it looks like this is the fifth edition of the WFB rules.  Judging from some of the examples of rules that mention Bretonnians and Lizardmen, this book was probably meant to go with the boxed set like the one I purchased for a song back in January.

I know there's a lot of hate these days for Warhammer's publisher, Games Workshop, but reading through the rulebook so far, the game certainly strikes me as playable, even though the rules could use a little simplifying.  Not only that, but the rulebook states that the rules can't cover every situation, and sometimes the players will have to come up with a solution to continue play.  There's even a note at the end regarding house rules.  As the author points out, the spirit of the game is more important than winning--something applicable to every wargame, not just Warhammer.

All you wargamers out there, did you every play Warhammer (fantasy or 40K)?  If so, what edition, and do you still play this game?

8 comments:

A-Historian said...

I played 3rd edition 40k with great gusto, and 6th edition WFB because my friends were. Much as I loved them before uni, since then I much prefer games that cost less in both money and space.

But those Grey Knights...

Sean Robson said...

I still play both Warhammer Fantasy and 40K. I love the games, but I've come to hate the company and I'm sick of being forced to buy a new copy of the rules every few years. They've priced me out of the hobby and, while I probably won't buy from them any more, I'll likely continue to play with what I've got. Sadly, this is a tactic that only works if you have a group of friends that agree to stick with one version of the rules.

This is a fact that GW exploits to the fullest extent to make their customers buy the same stuff over and over again.

Mike Monaco said...

My brother & I started with 2nd ed. and followed along for 3rd ed but grew increasingly dissatisfied with the armies books (Ravening Hordes for 2e and WH Armies for 3e). We didn't like the 'power creep' as every supplement seemed to add more powerful whatsits, and especially when we found that other players delighted in cheesy exploits of certain rules, spells, etc. Still it was a pretty good game for what it was

pahoota said...

Although Battletech was my first foray into tabletop miniatures, Rogue Trader era 40K is still the source of my best gaming memories.

Maj. Diz Aster said...

I played 40K for about 10 years, dropped about $40,000-$50,000 on minis over that time period, built/painted armies for just about every faction, and grew increasingly dissatisfied with GW's penchant for releasing new rules editions requiring one to buy the newest version of an army you might already own just to stay competitive. Although, I must thank GW for forcing me to find better rules sets(i.e. playable & inexpensive) and better minis(15mm).

Paul said...

Started with 1st edition 40K, played a bit of 2nd ed 4K, played 1 game of 3rd ed 40K before stopping in disgust at the fact that it was now a completely different game. Still play the odd game of Necromunda (1st/2nd ed based small scale skirmish rules).
Played the old Realm of Chaos books for 1st ed Warhammer Fantasy Battle, played a more recent version 2 or 3 times at the local games club, then dropped it when they changed the rules yet again.
Not prepared to splash out on new rules & re-arrange all my units every couple of years!

Darth Bobby said...

I was brought into the Games Workshop world with the original Blood Bowl and Space Marine (EPIC scale 40K). I then bought Rogue Trader and the first big box set of 40K. I liked the rules until they came out with 3rd edition and made combat a "Swirling Melee". I also was disappointed how every new army book was more powerful than the ones before it (power creep, no proper balancing). I found the same thing (although to a lesser extent) with WFB. My friends and I refused to buy the new editions as we saw nothing wrong with the old rules and eventually converted our armies over to No Limits and No Quarter as we enjoyed the custom-ability of these rules. I still buy Games Workshop figs (they are some of the most awesome designs), but haven’t actually used WFB or 40K rules for over 10 years.

Ski said...

40K Rogue Trader introduced me to wargames back in 1990. Played a LOT of 2nd edition 40K and a good bit of 3rd. Played a LOT of WFB 3rd and 4th ed (with the card-driven spell mechanic). Lost interest in GW later on but have a great many fond memories.