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Idle Speculation: what will 9th bring for VC?

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#1
So with the pending edition change, I've been giving a lot of thought to how things might turn out for VC come 9th. While I know that there's nothing but fumes to work off of right now, I'm still feeling rather optimistic about how our army might turn out come 9th. Thought it might be a fun thought experiment to start a thread on what we think the coming changes might do for our army.

(This thought experiment brought on in no small part by my need to stay motivated while I grind out more hobby for tournaments this summer. All for naught, when I need to rip those models off their bases to stick on rounds? :tongue:)

1) Steadfast: it doesn't take more than 10 minutes on any of the general wargaming forums (Warseer, Dakka, etc.) to find someone complaining about how "broken" steadfast is. Needs to be broken by units in the flank they say. Or at least by disrupted. Needs to be modified by fear and terror. Because obviously hordes of infantry are completely bent in this edition...just ask Beastmen and Horde Empire players!

While obviously I think that this complaint is complete bogus, it remains to be steadfast *could* be a little bit more nuanced than "5 empire halberdiers against your demon lord and I'm stubborn, 4 and I'm on snake eyes."

How does this benefit us?: Well, since we have no access to steadfast anyways, any reduction in this advantage we don't get increases our competitive advantage against everyone that does.

2) Unstable: <knock on wood>...I have no idea what they might change here, but whatever it is we really couldn't do much worse than we already did. Given the tremendous number of attacks suddenly available in this edition our core infantry crumbles like never before.

How does this benefit us?: ANY change would help, really. Perhaps unstable will be benefited by steadfast in some way? Perhaps we'll get some form of demonic instability? (though demons getting regular instability in ET: Glottkin suggests they wont). Either way, it probably can't get much worse...

3) Fear/Terror: once again, these rules were HUGE advantages for us in previous books that got absolutely nerfed to irrelevance in this edition.

How does this benefit us: given that everything in our army causes fear, there's really nowhere to go but up on this one too.

4) Ridden Monsters: the combined-profile ridden monsters of the End Times I think suggest that GW is aware that these previously iconic units are in need of some love. The combined profile ridden monsters of the End Times are completely bent, and I don't expect to see those for everyone in 8th. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that those were the result of a brainstorm session amongst rule writers at GW. End Times seems to be a dumping ground for all sorts of crazy shenanigans they thought "to hell with it, why not?" and the combined-profile ridden monsters are certainly one of these. My guess is that this was a fringe suggestion that they said "no way, that's wicked overpowered"....but then included for the End Times characters to convey the theme of overpowered super characters duking it out during the end times.

My guess is that we'll see MC rules for ridden monsters.

How does this benefit us: Zombie Dragons are one of the few viable ridden monsters in the game. Throw a nightshroud on there and they're amazing. Their biggest weakness, though, is fragility. If you can get the benefit of the VL's ward save on the zombie dragon then you're golden.

Better yet though is coven thrones. Free ward save? Hells yeah. T5 hero vampires? Hells yeah. Extra wounds? Even better. You'd be able to take the Nightshroud instead of a tal of pres, and still have 60 points for whatever magic items are in the new edition.

Ridden terrorgheists would also be amazing. Imagine a SGK with Scabskrath riding a terrorgheist. 2 screams at LD-6! LD-9 if they do combined wounds! Awesome.

6) Always Strikes First: I'm sure even GW has figured out by now that the 3 elf codexes are the runaway success stories of 8th edition. They're definitely a rung above the rest of the armies. Much of that is the result of ASF rerolls, which I don't think they fully appreciated before shelling them out like candy. Hit first AND get rerolls to hit? Ugh...

How does this help us?: Elves give us real issues right now. The biggest benefit of the undead rulepack is that, given enough time, you will eventually flub your roll and unbreakable means that we're likely to be there sticking around, just waiting for that to happen. Against elves that never happens, given the rerolls.

But wait! What about your red fury vampires, you might say. Isn't ASF important for them? Well of course....but luckily we have a spell in our lore that gives us rerolls, and an arcane item in our book to give another crack at it. Not to mention that the coven throne has another spell for rerolls built in. We'll be just fine.

7: Combined Armies: lots of talk about squatted armies. If you're a TK player that's worrying (which I am...so sad). But as a VC player, there is very little chance that there won't be undead in some form kicking around somewhere in the bubbleverse. Whatever changes may come, undead are here to stay. Worst case scenario we get a Casket of Souls ;)



Rose-tinted glasses perhaps, but I'm cautiously optimistic that whatever changes might come will do well for the VC. What are your guys' thoughts?
 

Blutsauger

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#2
I think the changes will be on a much broader scale than this. I don't think Steadfast and Unstable will be problems any more, because I don't think there will be regimental units to take advantage of them.
 

Adam_Barrow

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#3
That's what I'm imagining too. Really, I'm just assuming it'll be 40k with wizards at this point.
 

Blutsauger

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#4
I think that's where they're going to take it. Doesn't matter though, 8th edition will always be around to play instead!
 

El Syf

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#5
Well they've killed off nearly all of our characters, so we will need some new ones depending on how much notice they take of lord of the end times novel.
There may not even be a Vampire Counts army as we know it in 9th, which would be a shame but GW have already killed off lizardmen and dwarves for the most part.
Sigmarines are go!
 
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#6
Well they've killed off nearly all of our characters, so we will need some new ones depending on how much notice they take of lord of the end times novel.
There may not even be a Vampire Counts army as we know it in 9th, which would be a shame but GW have already killed off lizardmen and dwarves for the most part.
Sigmarines are go!
Special characters were all ancient metal/finecast models anyways. Save for the ET special characters, when was the last time they did up a SC in plastic? Have they...ever?

There may not be a "Vampire Counts" army, but there will invariably be an "Undead" army, and I sincerely doubt that it will forego something as iconic as Vampires.

That's what I'm imagining too. Really, I'm just assuming it'll be 40k with wizards at this point.
Based on what, though? We know there's a fluff reboot, but there is very little beyond pure speculation to think it's a game reset as well.

Quite frankly, the notion that GW will just chuck out one of their mainline franchises and product lines on an untested new skirmish game is...well sort of absurd. If there *IS* a skirmish game (which I think is pretty safe to assume at this point), it will run parallel to the current game and use substantially all of the same models.

Think about it: do you really think they'll abandon the game they've spent all this time and energy building up with the End Times? All the customers that the End Times was meant to be fan service to? And all in favour of a new game they have no established customer base for?

Create a parallel skirmish game and they have an established customer base...us. Us with substantially all of our old models and maybe a few purchases here and there.
 

Adam_Barrow

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#7
Short version: It'd be easiest for them. GW stores are rebranded as just Warhammer, now, implying consolidation to me. They've already put a kinda sorta magic phase in 40k. Round bases, skirmish units, the fact that a Mortarch with combined profile is basically the Fantasy version of a tank/whatever heavy thing a 40k army can field. I'm expecting smaller model count too. They'll let you buy a box of ten skellies and that will be a legal squad like a 40k box gets you.

No, there's nobody with a contact at GW saying any of this. But it wouldn't surprise me in the least.
 
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#8
Short version: It'd be easiest for them. GW stores are rebranded as just Warhammer, now, implying consolidation to me. They've already put a kinda sorta magic phase in 40k. Round bases, skirmish units, the fact that a Mortarch with combined profile is basically the Fantasy version of a tank/whatever heavy thing a 40k army can field. I'm expecting smaller model count too. They'll let you buy a box of ten skellies and that will be a legal squad like a 40k box gets you.

No, there's nobody with a contact at GW saying any of this. But it wouldn't surprise me in the least.
How does it make it easier for them, though? Rebranding to Warhammer doesn't mean anything for the future of Warhammer. Everything being a skirmish, round-based format doesn't really do much for stock either. In fact...the models having cross-use in two separate formats HELPS rather than HINDERS their stock movement.

I mean think about it...why alienate us all with a skirmish-only game when they could instead just include us with a skirmish-also game. People keep buying models for their regular armies, and they already have models available for their skirmish armies? I'll also guarantee that lots of people would rather buy new skirmish armies than rebase existing ones.

Not to mention that selling FEWER models doesn't really seem like a good business plan for GW. All they have to do is do a slight update to the existing WHFB rules and we'll all keep playing them, and buying 100+ models for our big 2,500 point matches. Small model count is only good for new players, and a skirmish game helps with that more than anything.

Not to mention that round bases doesn't preclude a continuance of the existing game. Demon players have been doing it for ages with LotR movement trays. Round bases doesn't really do much of anything to that, in fact.
 

Adam_Barrow

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#9
@Pirate Robot Ninja of Death I'll level with you, I'm not really interested in guessing about 9th. It seems like a poor use of energy to me. I've said my piece, and left it with the This-is-speculation coda. I assume you're not just talking to me, simply quoting my post as a jump off point, but just wanted to let you know I won't really be replying beyond what I've said. Again, I don't really care what shape 9th takes at this point in time. Later? Maybe, but not right now. I hope your posts spark discussion, though.
 

Demian

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#10
My two cents here:

No "base to base" contact anymore: meaning that formations, while still the core of regimental playstyle in Warhammer will benefit from a much more "free" way to run through in the field.

Why?

Because I've blocked the advance of an entire horde by turning a simple enemy chariot in the way of it, and even though 90% of the unit would be able to move 4'' and engage me in combat, those 2 models stuck in the way of the chariot won't allow said unit to do what it's supposed to do. It's... actually pretty funny.

Given the "Our rules have changed" slogan from the new Total War: Warhammer and somewhere else I read it from GW, it could mean they'll improve the movement phase a little bit, thus making round or square bases a matter of preference, and not a core mechanic (I've always wanted that my Necromancer could just stick behind his unit and keep throwing zombies at his enemies, which any evil-doer would, instead of sticking his face for it to be poked at with a spear.

This simple improvement could justify getting a "free-range" formation and engagement (you can sit within... I dunno, 2'', 3'' or 4'' from an enemy unit, and still fight it, forming up your advance as you want or need).

Movement trays could serve just as means of transportation, but once the action starts, you'd position every dude in your unit and have him fight whoever you want, making charge rolls an effective way to determine how much can you move and where you'll end up.

----------------------------------------------------------

Combined phases?

I'd be deviating a lot from the core 8th ed here, but it could be simpler to just have a single combined turn, moving 1 unit at a time, until you have nothing left to move, or choose not to (have you guys ever played Warhammer 40k: Conquest?). Thus making it a bit more chess-like, forcing you to relent from playing 3-unit armies and gaining strategic advantage through the use of smaller-mobile units to block or counter your opponent's moves.

Same with shooting and magic phases. Imagine you have to go offensive and defensive with the same amount of dice pool. Could be nice.

-----------------------------------------------------------

What would it mean for us?

- Absolutelly no 9-wound Strigoi Ghoul King on a Terrorgheist with Scabscrath, or at least I don't think that's the way they'll leave the ridden monster rules, without tuning stuff up, in this case, Death Shrieks, haha. It wouldn't be so bad if you used the highest W characteristic of your combined model (just as with Monstruous Cavalry) and also T.

AND

Offensive-wise, use both profiles separately, because having Ghal Maraz Gryphon attacks is just ridiculous.

Terrorgheists would benefit from 5+ Regen (from the Ghoul King) while as a mount, and Zombie Dragon riders could gt it's awesome 5+ scaly skin extra save!


That's it, that's all I can think of that could sound fair and fun, at least for me.
 
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#11
@Demian : I've been trying to guess at what they'll do with combined monster profiles based on what they did with ET, but it's tough. Some of them are definitely tailor-made to be "as awesome as they want them to be," while others were clearly toned back to be a bit more reasonable.

All of the UL characters having just their pants for saves, for instance. Definitely the result of their thought that "combining saves with easy wound regeneration is insanity." However others, like KFA and Malekith, are pretty nuts. 2++ against mundane? 2++ against spells? KFA is only T5, but he's still got a nutty amount of wounds (though I once killed him with two VLs before he could strike).


My thought is that it'll be MC rules with a twist. Perhaps trading combined armour saves for combined wounds. "Takes the armour save of the mount" or something, but you get ward saves and combined wounds. Tough to say. Trouble is if you just go straight MC rules then the whole field is going to be lords on dragons with 1+4++, which will control the meta in a pretty insane way (assuming that generic magic equipment doesn't get changed overmuch).
 

Blutsauger

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#12
Based on what, though? We know there's a fluff reboot, but there is very little beyond pure speculation to think it's a game reset as well.
We've heard the rumours of the game going to skirmish. We've seen pictures of large demo battles, with all the units in skirmished formations. We've seen the pictures of the newer models, on round bases.


None of it's conclusive, obviously. But here's what I think.

1 - GW has a very successful game in 40K.

2 - They have a much less successful game in WHFB

3 - What is an obvious fix for this problem? To make WHFB more like 40K.

The End Times was a way for them to give the old WHFB a send-off and smooth ruffled feathers, to ensure the maximum number of 'old' WHFB players transfer over to the new WHFB, and should not be seen as some kind of assurance that they will keep the old style game largely intact. I think we're in for a ground-up rebuild of the rules like nothing we've ever seen before, and I think the new game is going to have much more in common with 40K than it does with 8th ed WHFB.

Just my thoughts.
 
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#13
I haven't seen these pictures of a demo game all in skirmish formation. Are you not just referring to one of the displays they had at warhammer world?

As for the rest, we're all just speculating here. However the notion that a publicly traded, for-profit enterprise would dump such an enormous investment into an emotional sendoff for one of their product lines seems...strange to me in the very least.
 

Blutsauger

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#14
I haven't seen these pictures of a demo game all in skirmish formation. Are you not just referring to one of the displays they had at warhammer world?
Maybe. My point is, every display for the last 8 editions featured units ranked up as units. This one doesn't. Why not?

As for the rest, we're all just speculating here. However the notion that a publicly traded, for-profit enterprise would dump such an enormous investment into an emotional sendoff for one of their product lines seems...strange to me in the very least.
And if that 'emotional send off' was designed to minimise the alienation of the player base caused by an upcoming rebuild of the rules? It makes a bit more sense then.

Rebuild WHFB from the ground up, so that it is basically 40K with knights and wizards instead of space marines and psykers. Then release the End Times to sell lots of expensive books and models, while simultaneously trying to push the existing player base from the old system into the new system, thereby maximising future profits. Makes a lot of sense to me.
 
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#15
Maybe. My point is, every display for the last 8 editions featured units ranked up as units. This one doesn't. Why not?



And if that 'emotional send off' was designed to minimise the alienation of the player base caused by an upcoming rebuild of the rules? It makes a bit more sense then.

Rebuild WHFB from the ground up, so that it is basically 40K with knights and wizards instead of space marines and psykers. Then release the End Times to sell lots of expensive books and models, while simultaneously trying to push the existing player base from the old system into the new system, thereby maximising future profits. Makes a lot of sense to me.
I'll agree that they're rebuilding WHFB to be more profitable, no questions there. I just don't agree that this necessarily means 40K with knights and wizards.

Turning WHFB into a skirmish game means players would need fewer models to play. What's the sense in that? Certainly having a game type that allows fewer models to play would be good, but maintaining the current system as an "end point" for players building up their armies would create more incentives to keep building up your force. Just creates more markets for their own products.

Think about it: introduce a skirmish game, that you can play with small forces. Introduce an alliance mechanic, where you can combine multiple armies. If you're a warriors of chaos player, maybe that means you start up a demon skirmish army that you can use alongside your warriors army in big games. Helps them cross-sell their miniatures, like they've been doing in 40K.

That maximizes profits much more than just alienating players who don't like skirmish games. There are other, more established skirmish games out there. Not saying that GW isn't capable of the kind of hubris required to stumble into that decision, but I would still rather given them the benefit of the doubt.

Either way, we'll know come a couple months :tongue:
 
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#17
My two cents here:

No "base to base" contact anymore: meaning that formations, while still the core of regimental playstyle in Warhammer will benefit from a much more "free" way to run through in the field.

Why?

Because I've blocked the advance of an entire horde by turning a simple enemy chariot in the way of it, and even though 90% of the unit would be able to move 4'' and engage me in combat, those 2 models stuck in the way of the chariot won't allow said unit to do what it's supposed to do. It's... actually pretty funny.

Given the "Our rules have changed" slogan from the new Total War: Warhammer and somewhere else I read it from GW, it could mean they'll improve the movement phase a little bit, thus making round or square bases a matter of preference, and not a core mechanic (I've always wanted that my Necromancer could just stick behind his unit and keep throwing zombies at his enemies, which any evil-doer would, instead of sticking his face for it to be poked at with a spear.

This simple improvement could justify getting a "free-range" formation and engagement (you can sit within... I dunno, 2'', 3'' or 4'' from an enemy unit, and still fight it, forming up your advance as you want or need).

Movement trays could serve just as means of transportation, but once the action starts, you'd position every dude in your unit and have him fight whoever you want, making charge rolls an effective way to determine how much can you move and where you'll end up.
I will just comment on the movement phase section here, as that is what stuck out to me the most.

I sincerely hope they do *not* go this route. Quite frankly the movement phase is what separates WFB from 40k IMO. It requires tactical planning and skill to play it well, where as 40k, the movement phase is strictly for dictating range for shooting (and assault if you should want to do that for some silly reason in a shooting game).

The fact that you can use failed charges, flee reactions, etc. to manipulate the battlefield is an important part of what makes WFB a different and IMO higher skill cap game. It's a huge part of the reason I play WFB over 40k. Taking away unit formations, facing, etc. just dumbs the game down.

I get what you are saying with regard to the chariot blocking the charge path of your large unit because 2 ranks couldn't swing the move. But think of it like this: yes we suspend our belief in reality for the game, but consider the game is trying to at least keep some semblance of grounding in reality. The units are all moving at the same time, right? It's not like they all march, then stop while wizards cast spells and other units shoot, and continue to wait while their friends next to them get slaughtered in close combat, right? So that chariot that stopped blocking up two ranks of your large unit? What happened? did it fail a charge? The unit currently blocked by it, clearly just watched it sail past in front of it, and is holding until the chariot makes it's way on by. Sure the Chariot moved first, but as it was travelling in front of your unit of infantry trying to get out of the way, they were also trying to move. I feel like this makes a lot more sense out of the movement phase if you think of it like this. And the strategy and tactical options it opens up for the game really give it some depth that 40k does not have.

Now, if your argument is, WFB is too hard for new players to figure out, and the higher skill cap is the true barrier to entry, I won't argue with you, but trying to appease new players by removing that part of the game is just as likely to alienate and drive off those players who feel like I do.
 

Demian

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#18
Hmmm well yes, there is a way to make sense of it all the way it is.

However, I'm basing some of my hopeful thinking on what I saw with Total War: Warhammer. There, your formations are not blocked by your other units (just as fleeing units can ignore stuff), merely hindering it.

With a bit more fine tuning, they can fix these small issues and still maintain the strategic part of WFB that we all love an attempt to master.

What sometimes bothers me is that there is no real reason to keep a frontline here in warhammer. Some units are designed to curb-stomp everything on their path in the same turn they charged, and that's what Steadfast was supposed to fix here. yet, even if you can stop those murderous Khornate warriors, you know they'll just munch the skeletons by the next combat phase and you won't even get into position to bait & trap them, because you can't turn around and charge some dudes 2'' away, even if it meant starting the combay with a "Flank" penalty.

With some serious thought there, we could have an even more strategic game, it's all I'm saying
 
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