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MidnightSun 01-24-14 10:41 PM

Why play Fantasy?
 
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I'm having something of a crisis of faith. I've put a fairly substantial amount of time and effort into my Ogre Kingdoms and have reached roughly 2000pts (which is still, according to my group, not enough for most small games, let alone a proper game). So before I shell out a VAST sum of money, I pose a question:

What makes Fantasy worth spending time and money on?

Because I've found it to be playing a dice game, with some plastic ornaments in the background. You sit there and flail ineffectually at each other with giant rectangles of infantry, while your cannons kills each other's cannons, and then Wizards happen to make everything happen. The army hinges on the Wizards - you can't achieve anything without a Wizard, and your opponent can't achieve anything without a Wizard. If you don't have a Level 4 and your opponent does, you may as well call the game at the start. There's no tactics involved - you just slam your infantry into your opponent's infantry and hope that you kill four of his hundred and twenty dudes while he only kills three of your ninety dudes. Your army achieves nothing. Your Wizards, though? They remove handfulls of dudes, or debuff your opponent into oblivion, or make you into unstoppable machines of destruction.

I get tired and frustrated when I play Fantasy, because it seems to be a game of rolling dice to kill a couple of models per turn until one player lucks out on his Winds of Magic or fails a dispel and the game is won in that one magic phase.

Xabre 01-25-14 01:48 PM

Let me start by saying that I don't play much. I don't often say it out loud, but I'll always admit it if challenged: I build and paint and theorize, but I don't play much. That goes double for Fantasy.

But why do I still stick to it? For the epicness of it. I don't like the idea of large blocks of infantry. They bore me. I like going for things that look amazing. My High Elves? Yes, my most recent army will have blocks of spearmen, but that's just because they're so farking amazing for Elves. However that's a 3k grand army list. in 2k? Knights. Armored knights on horseback from every direction. Even if I die a glorious death, I'm going to make you at least grudgingly respect my force on the table first.

I deal in Dragons; I have three of the models, two kitted as mages (7E allowed slots, so I could run two, instead of %s) and one as an 'Imrik' kit with lance and shield. My giant eagles use Drake models, and my Skycutters are pulled by drakes. I even used a Nazgul felbeast to act as a Fire-Drake instead of the Phoenix kit. My magical strength is actually fairly low in my army (far higher in my Grand 3k kit, but that's a more 'traditional' force), but I play towards cavalry, monsters, and specialist units. Toys instead of bodies.

And then I lay em all out on a table and picture the epicness of the story behind the whole thing.

Deathypoo 01-25-14 04:46 PM

8th Edition is a little too magic heavy for me, but otherwise I think you have some complaints common to 40k people who also play fantasy on the side... 40k players think that the point of melee units is to get them into melee as soon as possible. They also think that each death is a lot more meaningful than it is.

When you have a block of 30, you only need 20 for max combat bonus, and only need 10 for max attacks (even your ogres should be taking blocks of 9-12 for core units). This is not like 40k, where every model should contribute to every fight. This means you have a buffer of models to take the extra turn under fire, and maneuver these blocky formations into flank charges. Because that's the other thing about these rectangles... they are VERY HARD to maneuver, so it's easy to just line-em-up and throw them forward, but the game absolutely rewards the person who can make them dance.

I played fantasy for 10 years before I picked up 40k, btw, and I like them both... Some day I need someone to tell me how all my bad habits from fantasy are making me lose 40k games, though ;)

JAMOB 01-25-14 05:07 PM

I love fantasy like I love any other table-top board game, just more. I love the tactical difficulty of playing Wood Elves, but the way that if played right they can do well. I love the formations - outmaneuvering people and making them do things they definitely don't want to is really entertaining - and I love being able to get in close and not lose my entire army immediately (like I do with my BA, though I often kill most of his first and sometimes pull a win). I don't personally put too much into magic, and though I do use a lv4 Beastweaver the best I can do is buff my own units with it. I also don't use large blocks of infantry, which may be why I seem to be enjoying it more than you. I don't know much about ogres tactics, but cavalry, MSU, medium infantry blocks combined with support, all of this works pretty well for me. The fun of the game isn't in crashing your army against your opponents and hoping to pull off a win, but rather from maneuvering, positioning, and bringing your army together to strike at his units in a way that will cripple him at the opportune moment. The movement phase is the most important of the game, because the rest is just dice and target prioritizing.

Jace of Ultramar 01-29-14 12:09 AM

This has been rather insightful for me. I've sat down to go over the various armies in this game over the past year and watched quite a few games play out... long games to say the least since they were high points. I'm looking to possibly make a move into fantasy playing Empire with a Pirate theme.

kickboxerdog 01-29-14 09:51 AM

at my local club we started a campaign, the army starts small at 750pts and follow normal restrictions , im personally quite new to fantasy and im really enjoying it, the game offers such a different tactical layout, having to react in certain ways and trying to get it right , or your units can be left exposed and open to flank /rear charges, i find wfb to be alot more than just large blocks of troops and magic, yes some people do play it like this, but then army who can put out massive blocks( looking at you night goblins) they also die quite easy i run my dwarf and warriors of chaos block at the biggest maybe 21-28 models( ranks of 7) this works well and isnt to big at all and allows for easy movement.

Ratvan 01-29-14 10:18 AM

I have played fantasy for about 14 years and have just never got into 40k despite constant attempts through all the editions. 8th is probably my least favourite ruleset due to the magic phase but I tend to work around it with the armies I play (Loremaster in HE, Arch Lectors and Warrior Priests for Empire) and dont six dice dwellers etc. For me WHFB has more tactical play trying to surround and outnumber my opponent before committing to combats

KarnalBloodfist 01-30-14 03:41 PM

Unless you're using every game to practice for a tournament ... why not change up HOW you and your group play your games? Set certain limits:
1) NO LVL 4!! -- If you're so bored by the power of the magic phase, curb it down a bit. I play a lot of smaller games so this is easier done for me. I've even used no magic with varied degrees of success. But 8th Ed (unfortunately) is mostly a game of "he who gets the nuke off first". Sure you can still do that w/ a lower lvl magic user since they can all use 6 dice but the chances of getting that spell are much lower. Heck, try a few games w/ NO magic.
2) No Horde Formation -- If you find it annoying going up against 2 or 3 horded up units, play some games where horde is not allowed. You could even go so far as to set limits on unit size (max 30, no horde).
3) Try to have everyone use 1 or 2 non optimal unit/formation in a few games.
4) Gun lines got you down? Set a percentage of the army that can be missile units/war machines.
5) Play/make up new scenarios! So many people just want to play the standard battle line scenario ... SNORE!!! Throw some home brewed scenarios into the mix. Make sure everyone agrees on any special rules. Obviously, try to keep them from benefiting/hindering any one army.

These are just a few easy suggestions. Try just one at a time. I'm not a huge fan of the "Super Comp" systems. I think the best form of comp is self restraint. Try to get your usual opponents to try new ways of playing.

I play WoC and they tend to be non-optimized armies. But I play in a group where that's the norm since none of us has played in a tournament for a good 8 years. And guess what, we usually have a lot of ...FUN... when we play! :good:

Zack Cart 02-06-14 06:57 AM

Try playing a few games as wood elves. You'll change your mind about it just being dice rolling and huge blocks of infantry then! (Well, that or you'll be dead in short order)

But I get what you're saying. In 8th especially, the rules support giant hordes of grinding troops, rather than the older, lighter playstyle. I *have* heard rumours that when/if 9th appears, the rules will shift back in favour of small, quick, skirmish style units and terrain-utilizing tactics. Which would be nice.

Samules 02-25-14 08:40 PM

I like dwarves..... Was there supposed to be something more to it?

I have a large group of angry short people with axes who drink beer, grow magnificent beards and hate magic.

I also play Brettonians from time to time, because knights are awesome.

I don't know, every time I try to get into advanced tactics or strategy for a game I just end up not enjoying it as much as when I played how I wanted to.


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