Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Storm of Magic in a teacup

I'm not sure if it's deep thinking. There's been a lot of quick posting, so maybe not.

Games Workshop is releasing a supplement for Warhammer - Storm of Magic - with a focus on magic and monsters, and some are already posturing, claiming that since magic, and maybe monsters too, are 'broken', it's a mistake. Another argument says it's a distraction from GW's bringing all of the factions up to date for eighth edition.

But would any organisation not listen like that? Maybe because magic and monsters are so criticised, they've decided a specific supplement is a good way to tweak them?

More likely, this is a set of rules for an alternative way of playing, like the Apocalypse supplement for Warhammer 40,000. In that case, there would be little or no effect on the basic game, but we might expect any effect to be positive. The new monsters due could even be a way of squeezing a quick boost into certain armies in lieu of a full book.

Who knows? It's all still possible. Anyway, best just wait till we know more.

If I'm wrong, I'll be happy to engage in a process of feedback and improvement.


kelvingreen said...

The Apocalypse comparison is very apt, I think. Apocalypse looks to have been a successful experiment, and there certainly seem to be far more vehicles and large models in armies now than there were back when I played, so I don't blame them for trying to extend that success to their other main game.

Porky said...

It does seem natural, and that makes it all the funnier we were caught so off guard by it. I'm looking forward to seeing what they do. There'll likely be a mixed bag, but there's something very exciting about the prospect of new monsters at the very least. They're core to many fantasy worlds, but they get treated a little piecemeal in a world like Warhammer's simply because of the army book approach. It'll be good too see something pan-system.

Von said...

Much of the resistance, I think, comes out of a certain dissonance of values in WFB. It has the aesthetic of swords-and-sorcery, but its developmental roots in old-school historical games.

The old-school crowd who championed sixth edition WFB for 'bringing back proper rank and file gameplay' - appear to believe WFB should be a historical wargame with a few monsters and wizards tacked on.

The new-school crowd, who came in with the fifth edition, or towards the end of the seventh, appear to believe WFB should be a monster mash magic-fest where infantry casualties are largely a means of keeping score.

I just wish it could be one thing or the other. The pendulum swings are, frankly, frustrating - and, ironically, the people who've stuck with one army over multiple editions and made additions to suit their design priorities tend to be best equipped to deal with it. I *really* regret selling off those Vampire Counts...

Porky said...

That's a useful way of thinking about it. My preferred approach would be rank-and-file heavy, but clearly fantastical, with a handful of monsters, but the power in unit leaders, and higher-powered individuals rare. I like the mood of third and early fourth and admire the bold attempt to streamline in fourth. I agree it needs to settle down. Being a blend is just fine, but pendulum swings are unfair.

kelvingreen said...

Or allow both within the same edition. Warmachine and Hordes seem to have the balance right here, allowing players to field an all-mech/monster army against an all-infantry force.

kelvingreen said...

(Though I admit that this impression is based on watching from the touchlines and zero actual play experience.)