Hi all. Hope you are all keeping safe and well. Another "not a 40K post" today but it is wargaming and it might be something that could interest some of you.
I could never get into the old Warhammer Fantasy Battle (WFB) for a variety of reasons. Primarily it was just how awkward and complex the rules were. I lost many games because my opponent wasn't necessarily better than me or had a better army list, but because they could get their head around certain manoeuvres and actions in the game. I lost many games because certain characters, options and spells were way overpowered (Purple Sun anyone?). On top of that I never got the love of the Old World setting that so many people did. I just found the whole thing rather bland. I like my fantasy fairly generic so I can decide what everything is.
WFB went the way of all things and Age of Sigmar replaced it. At first I liked AoS as it was different, a skirmish game (and back then I was sick of movement trays) and was open to a lot of interpretation. I even liked how the setting was more prog-rock album cover. But even that wasn't enough. In the end it was far far from being generic.
I let me interest in fantasy wargaming die somewhat because of that. That was until I stumbled upon Kings of War by Mantic. A simple wargaming system that although it had a setting, was nice and generic. You had a run down of the world but nothing was forced on you and you could use it as you wanted. I tried to entice some of the old WFB guys to try it but the general vibe I got back was that it wasn't "Warhammer enough" for their tastes. I did get some games in but no one was interested. It seems at my club that if it isn't Age of Sigmar, you may as well forget it.
This last week however, I have stumbled upon something new. I'm not sure how I even found it. The game is called The Ninth Age- and is basically an attempt at Warhammer Fantasy 9th edition. The design team are all long time WFB players and they have taken what made WFB good and made their own very similar (but obviously different) fantasy war game. They have their own setting and it isn't fleshed out so you can have whatever you want, or even just play it as the Old World if you wanted.
So what drew me to this if I was not all that much of a fan of the original Warhammer?
Firstly, the rules which by this time are in their well tested 2nd edition. Everything is a free download from their website. The main rule book, the spell book and the army books. The rules are simpler and better worded that WFB ever was. Even I can understand it so it must be. If you liked how WFB played, you won't be disappointed by this game and how it works. Best of all you'll find the game balanced unlike how it used to be. The design team of done a grand job of ensuring that points costs work out and no unit in the game should be considered not worth the effort.
Secondly, all your old WFB armies are here and ready to be played. The army books cover all the original armies, plus the Infernal Dwarfs (Chaos Dwarfs) and there is the addition of three new armies - Asklanders (Vikings), Makhar (Mongols) and Cultists (human cultists with demon allies all wrapped up in one). There is even a supplemental army book that adds giants to the majority of armies.
Names are obviously different so as not to infringe on GW's original IP but that isn't a problem. There are no named characters as yet but I believe that is in the works for a later date, and the Chaos Gods are not included. Instead Warriors of the Dark Gods and the Demon Legions serve seven evil deities each representing one of the seven deadly sins.
Thirdly, you can all use all your old Warhammer models. You can use any models providing they are the same scale and will fit on a suitable movement tray. If I remember right, there is an example of a giant's round base and how it works in combat, so whether you are using old WFB units, AoS models, KoW models... third party... it's your army and you can have it look how you want. I can certainly imagine an Asklander army made up of models from GW's Blades of Khorne army.
The magic system is much more balanced. Warhammer suffered, I think, from the magic spells being massively overpowered. T9A changes that by making magic worthwhile but it won't win you battles. Magic is much more of a support for your army than the means to decimate your foe. This is a big selling point for me.
So far, reading their forums and chatting to a few of the people on there, has reinvigorated me somewhat. Because of this find I am going to kick myself up the backside and get my Lichemaster army started. With what I have I will only be able to field 1000 points (4500 points is the usual default for an evenings play) but if I can get this game a look in at my local club then I'll be focusing a bit more on it.
In the mean time if you are a fan of the old Warhammer Fantasy Battle or you are looking for a good fantasy war game, I suggest taking a look and see what you think.
The Ninth Age main page.
The Downloads. - You only really need the slim volumes as they stick to the rules and are quicker to download.
If you check them out, let me know what you think.