Am I looking through them?
I came into Fantasy just after 5th, learnt those rules, then got Ravening Hordes, and loved little bits of them - like Wood Elf Waywatchers, and Dark Elf Executioners, but was nothing spectacular.
Then 6th edition came along - the Empire, and Orc Books were amazing, it pretty much blew me out of the water, so to speak. Then with more and more releases (High Elves, with Imrik, still one of the best models to date, if you ignore his pignose, Dark Elves, and arguably the best book to date, Hordes of Chaos (with Beasts of Chaos as well). Then there's Skaven, Wood Elves, and also, Vampires - the background of Zacharias is among my favourites, and I'd love to see him return. It was good, and then we got Tomb Kings, and then it started to go downhill from there - Breton's, mainly, were fairly poor until 7th, and even then were limited, and Ogre's just don't bare thinking about.
But Aside from Ogres standing out as a poorly designed idea not given the attention it deserved, EVERY ARMY WAS PLAYED IN IT'S OWN STYLE, and not OVERPOWERED.
Some things were risky - such as combat lords on dragons versus Cannons - but fuck me, if you played a one eyed bandit (I suppose in both meanings, actually), it was there ability rather than luck of the irish/dice to cause damage due to guess ranges. Then there were convoluted complicated rules such as Lapping Around - but were simple if you got your head around it.
Now, combine that with the days when White Dwarf contained awesome battle reports, the campaigns were interesting, and it contained informative articles that weren't just plugs for the latest model. Although Archaon was obviously the counter to that, but he was still without a doubt the hardest character in game.
Now, we get to 7th. We see some more retard worthy entries, with more interest being shown in the big flashy things rather than the shit which makes it tick. Steam Tank, Popemobiles, High Elf Dragon Flights, Shade Spam, Vampire Horde Casting, Lore of Light Slann, Daemons, DAEMONS, DAEMONS, DAEMONS, DAEMONS, HPA, Doomwheel, Wood Elves without any wood elves, Breton's becoming a ranged army, and of course, Dwarf THorek Gunlines.
And 8th just keeps spreading the gap even wider. 8th Edition Orcs is a worse book than 7th edition Skaven or 6th edition Ogres - they're "selling off" everything about Fantasy for some more pennies and more "40K nubs" to play a new game.
Now, 2 things - Am I looking through rose tinted spectacles? And Is the direction of Warhammer Ancient Battles a better place to start out?
It seems as if the design process is "let's fill out the flash things and then come back later with the boring stuff".
Is it time that the game developers actually said to sit down, and look at the game from the very basic point of view before developing it further.
Remove special rules, remove magic users and items, and just look at a General, a fighty hero, and then work out the difference in stats between a basic human to an elite human, from an elven militia to an elite elf etc?
I can provide the rules for some Warhammer Ancient Battles if some are interested - it's worth a read.
Am I just an old fogey sitting on my porch smoking a pipe in a rocking chair wearing rose tinted glasses moaning about the state of the world, or was there somethings which DRASTICALLY needed changing in the core ruleset that warranted the fuck up of 7th and the travesty of 8th?
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