Like many WHFB players I have been reading many of the blogs, forum postings, and had numerous conversations regarding how the game has changed with 8th edition. There are some calls in the tournament scene to start to develop some composition guidelines (something that has wisely been avoided in the initial tournaments of 8th ed. to give the core rules their fair shake). I have heard about some ideas regarding using 3 rolls of a 6 to trigger IF, while a miscast still comes up with only 2 6s. The no double rare thing is starting to come back. Some of our gaming group is starting to experiment with Warhammer Ancient Battle style army break points in WHFB as well. All of these are ways that people are experimenting with to make WHFB more enjoyable, and manageable, especially as a tournament game. The other thing that could come of this is that 8th ed could develop a “Low Fantasy” play option for those folks who are into that sort of thing.
In earlier editions of WHFB, people got into playing low fantasy styled games, ones where things like dragons, super-heroes, and uber-magic were somewhat more limited than usual. The idea was to create some depth to the way that armies were depicted in the game, and perhaps give more of a sense of rarity to certain elements to the game. Tournaments have tried to encourage core unit selections in various ways over the years, as both a way to create less vicious armies, but also a more thematic experience for players.
Obviously one of Games Workshop’s goals with 8th ed. was to make the game more fantastic. I think they did a pretty good job with this, and hopefully it won’t lead to the next round of army books being overly wacky, or continuing 7th ed style ‘one upping’ in terms of relative power. It is not my point here to say that playing high fantasy is a bad thing, but something that can be supplemented with other styles of play.
It will be interesting to see if some low fantasy leagues catch on, or at least some discussion about it online. Clubs could learn a lot about balancing, and the effect on gamer experience from experimenting with low fantasy rules. This could lead to some renewed thought towards what the goal is for tournament organizers, and their respective events.