Low Fantasy

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.

Author: xenite

I am an avid gamer, sculptor, and artist. The creative aspect of this hobby is what really draws me to it. :)

5 thoughts on “Low Fantasy”

  1. I don’t think 8th would benefit from a low fantasy stetting. The rules changes have pushed up the importance of rank and file troops – no amount of magic or number of monsters will win you a game in 8th without some core support.

    7th is where a low magic system would shine. Without monsters and MSU, the traditional WFB rules work wonderfully. I would say the rules were never broken – it was the army books which were broken. WAB is proof that the core WFB rules were solid – Ancients (V1 or V2) is a splendid low fantasy game.

  2. I will agree with Chicagoterrain.

    The core rules are….err were very solid. The books were broken. In my opinion Fantasy should have used the new WAB v2 rules, with the addition of some magic.

    I also absolutely hate the random charge rule, and the fighting by initiative, In my opinion the chargers should have the advantage in the first round of combat.

  3. Low Fantasy seems like an odd fit for Warhammer Fantasy, a game world where an entire chunk of continent exists within the realm of chaos.

    Entire armies can hinge on the presence of magic, so unless you’re preparing to re-work the model range, low magic is kind of out of the question.

    Low magic might work for a world like Westeros. That would be cool.

  4. I disagree… I think that the game in 7th, and 8th is very malleable (most TTGs are). I’m not saying that a tournament setting would be the right place for this, but rather that some of the changes that TOs are making are interesting, and can lead to different interpretations of the game. Nothing in the games rules or setting are so precious that they can’t endure a bit of manipulation.

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