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Chris Tomlin

Path to Glory - What do you want/expect from it? (Link to full review on page 2)

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Listening to @Chris Tomlin's latest Black Sun review has me all kinds of excited! Sounds like GW addressed every concern I have with the original. Warbands seem to be much more reigned in - for example Stardrakes, Stonehorns and Ironclads giving 0 followers makes them much more playable when you choose a lowly Necromancer as your General. And yet, that you can take an Ironclad and a Stonehorn is great too. (I love the idea of a single Ironclad going on raids and as the admiral hauls back more treasure, being able to recruit more from his skyport!) :) 

I'm going to play with a mixed Order warband and rope my friend into finally getting his Kharadron built for this. This should also let me get my Death on the table, and maybe my Bloodbound (although they are not yet Skirmish size). Anyway lots of exciting games to be played! :D

While listening to the podcast I had a few ideas for further balance tweaks that wouldn't alter the game dramatically at all. This isn't to say the game needs it, and I also want to stress I am very much in favour of playing lopsided games, especially in a campaign, so it's not about making everything perfectly equal, just giving the underdog something up their sleeves to swing the chance of victory in their favour (because games can be lopsided but should never be forgone conclusions).

Perhaps the system doesn't need balance tweaks at all and I will definitely give it a good play off the shelf, but the tweaks I have in mind would be to allow players to go "all at it" without pushing the game past its breaking point (i.e this should allow uncapped summoning to be used to full effect).

So here's the idea:

Warband Ratings: At the start of any game you could add up the points cost for your warband. This is your Warband Rating and it is fine if one side has more than the other. The Warband with the lesser rating becomes the underdog. Depending on how big the disparity is between the warbands will decide how much of a bonus the underdog receives.

The underdog bonus comes in two forms: 're-rolls' and 'gambits/ruses'. The re-rolls system is borrowed from Skirmish and you could set up the boundaries based on 100 points increments:

  • 0-99 points difference = 0 re-rolls
  • 100-199 = 1 re-roll
  • 200-299 = 2 re-rolls
  • 300-399 = 3 re-rolls

and so on. 

Gambits/Ruses: For each re-roll you earn, you can instead choose to spend it on a 'gambit/ruse'. This would be a table of additional bonuses that you roll on. If any of you played Hinterlands I had the 'Underdog Gambits' system in there, and if you have the 40k Open Play cards (which I 100% recommend), there is a similar 'Ruse' system - this is the sort of system I am imaging, so it might allow the player to bring back a destroyed unit as reinforcements or allow the player to buff a unit in some way from an inspiring speech their general gives in battle. Each one gives the underdog a boost and should pack loads of narrative and flavour into your games too. (I know from speaking to Hinterlands players that the Underdog Gambits gave birth to many of their most memorable moments, especially the "Poison Blade").

Summoning: If you combined this with summoning, you could have your Warband Rating change live. Every time you summon a new unit onto the table add their points cost to your Warband Rating. If your opponent is the underdog, each time you summon you may be granting them additional re-rolls or gambits/ruses. If you are the underdog, whilst you wouldn't lose any of the bonuses already granted to you (that would be messy to book-keep), you could eventually start granting your opponent re-rolls and gambits/ruses too as they become the underdog.

This could probably be condensed into 2 pages - let me know if people thing this sounds like a fun optional addition and I will try and put something together. :) 



Edited by bottle
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Sounds great @bottle,

I definitely feel like they've gone in "light" on their campaign systems of late (Shadow War, Skirmish, Path to Glory) compared to our skirmish games of old (Necromunda, Gorkamorka, Mordheim)...but that's fine, it's probably a lot more accessible and appealing to a lot of newer players this way and I guess the games fill more of a gateway slot as opposed to the "Specialist Games".

I have to be honest, I was a little apprehensive when I first picked up the book as I shared many of the fears and opinions that you guys posted above. However as I read through it I was pleasantly surprised and found myself getting ever increasingly interested in playing through a campaign, which I guess is a good sign.

Obviously due to the simplistic nature of the way warbands are "pointed" there will be some balance issues, but you know what, I'm ok with it as it is. I don't see this being played on the Friday at Tournaments (whereas I can see Skirmish in that slot), but for a group of experienced players wanting to try something new, or guys just breaking into the hobby, I can genuinely see some fun to be had here.

You can listen to my full thoughts below (clean/family friendly etc);

You can also find a written review from Tyler @Mengel Miniatures here -



Edited by Chris Tomlin
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