This is the fourth post in my Audit series and this time I look at Warhammer, a game that has very much fallen out of favour with me.
My Warmachine, Hordes, Malifaux and Flames of War models all sit in their cases in the house. My Warhammer models are out in the shed! They outnumber all of the game system models, but they haven’t seen the tabletop in over two years. You can tell where my prioties lie by looking at the number of blog posts in each category – Warmachine:160+, Hordes:90+, Malifaux:27, Flames of War:22, Warhammer:7 (and several of those are sympathy categorisations!). I haven’t played any 8th edition games and indeed the goliath rulebook was my last Games Workshop purchase.
My anti-Warhammer sentiment stems from a couple of places. Privateer Press put in a lot of effort to produce a well honed set of rules that manage to (more-or-less) balance two different games (Warmachine and Hordes) across almost dozen factions. They did this in less than ten years. After 25 years Warhammer is still sloppy in parts, with FAQs appearing almost as soon as rules are released. Privateer Press held an open playtest before coming up with MkII. Warhammer still feels like only a dozen players ‘tested’ it before it was released. So, my first main gripe lies with the lack of precision in the rules and (acknowledged) lack of balance across the armies.
My second problem is with GW’s pricing. Starting a new army is prohibitively expensive when compared to other systems. GW have crept the ‘standard’ size game up to 2500pts. You still only get a 2 hour gaming experience with that and compared to the other games listed above it is at least twice as expensive to collect an army.
It’s not all bad though. The guys playing Warhammer in our club (certainly the ones playing it for fun rather than the tedious ETC/tournament practice ones) seem to be having fun with it. Recently Fergus ran a campaign with custom scenarios and everyone who participated had fun. I think this is what Warhammer is designed for. As I said above, the rules and balance are suspect in (a lot of) places, but what does that matter if you can still have fun with it.
I may play some Warhammer in the next year, but it’ll be for fun, with existing models and rules. Warmachine is my competitive game of choice. Warmachine is also something I really have fun playing. Warhammer will struggle to compete with it, Malifaux and Flames of War for my attention this year, but who knows!
Next up in the audit: The Rest!