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Battletomes, a bygone era?


Arkiham
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Yes it's a clickbait title. But discussion should be had on it. 

 

With the latest beastmen book coming out introducing a swathe of changes to tzaangor models making even less of the disciples of tzeentch book correct, on top of points changes and battalion alterations, faqs etc etc it's basically redundant to new players looking to play 

With new Faqs coming out 2 weeks after releasing the book, potentially making large parts of it incorrect to the print, from warscrolls to battalions to points. 

 

Is there much point to battletomes anymore ?

Aside from. The lore, faction internal factions (colour schemes) pretty pictures etc the rest of the content could be irrelevant soon after print.

 

So, should the points and battalions and warscrolls be removed entirely ?

With more empahsis being given to solid art work, lovely back story, colour scheme ideas for your army, design art work for models, pictures, and narrative gaming etc etc 

 

Then if you want the points it should be access entirely via the app or website, with any and all alterations made to the warscroll itself  so there is no confusion about versions and Faqs etc.

 

Edited by Arkiham
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There's also the fact that in a system with so many unique traits and aspects per faction you really need to be able to read them and understand them yourself before being able to confidently play against any army with a tome at this point. It's not good for the prospects of the game as a game that you need to pay money to be able to know what your opppnent can even do. 

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I too like having a hard copy of rules in my hand.  As someone who doesn't own a tablet bigger than 8" I can't do with ebooks for rules, tried it with 40k PDFs recently, and even if I had a tablet bigger than 8", I'd still get annoyed with all the swiping left, swiping right, and I'm a tech savvy guy, despite being 41...

FAQs are a bit of a PITA, but you can print them off and put them in your books...

Would be a shame if print media was abandoned, it doesn't require power to use it, and is easier to flick through.

Edited by Raven Morpheus
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39 minutes ago, Arkiham said:

Is there much point to battletomes anymore ?

 Aside from. The lore, faction internal factions (colour schemes) pretty pictures etc the rest of the content could be irrelevant soon after print.

 

So, should the points and battalions and warscrolls be removed entirely ?

With more empahsis being given to solid art work, lovely back story, colour scheme ideas for your army, design art work for models, pictures, and narrative gaming etc etc 

 

Then if you want the points it should be access entirely via the app or website, with any and all alterations made to the warscroll itself  so there is no confusion about versions and Faqs etc.

 

Very good suggestion. I find the tomes and supplement books unusable for games. I like having the hardbacks for the lore and art but for games I keep a 250pg binder with PDF print outs that I highlight and tab of all 17 tomes battle trait and strong units, MS spells, FAQs, core rules and realm rules.

Edited by svnvaldez
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33 minutes ago, svnvaldez said:

 

Very good suggestion. I find the tomes and supplement books unusable for games. I like having the hardbacks for the lore and art but for games I keep a 250pg binder with PDF print outs that I highlight and tab of all 17 tomes battle trait and strong units, MS spells, FAQs, core rules and realm rules.

I understand the feeling that updates, FAQs, etc.. make the Battletomes outdated pretty easily and some allegiances need pages in General Handbook each year (Fyreslayers, Seraphon and alike) for that same reason. Pages that could be used by others to make an appearance in the Allegiance section (looking at you Gutbusters). So making the rules in the app or on WH Community seems a really good idea...

BUT if Battletome just came to be just Lore and artworks it won't sell as much. Clearly not all gamers are into the Lore of AoS (not blaming). In my mind it will leave us with Battletome dropping in content and quality (like no new artworks) or with a price increase for the same content that we got now. There was already a discussion on GW problems with translations in other language in the very basic ruleset...and as a big fan of bad movies I'll die  to see a "Loretome" written in frenglish or spanglish ?

I don't know I guess I can't state which option is better for me.

(As always sorry if my far-from-good english makes it painful to read)

Edited by Harioch
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I'll be honest and say I did start off with a "what have we got here" when reading the title.  However I think it's a pretty interesting idea to remove the non-static bits such as warscrolls outside the battletome (leaving key bits like spell lores, allegiance abilities & artefacts in the Battletome).

I'd actually go one step further and say it could include paper copies of the warscrolls with the battletome - that way you've got "everything", but with a disclaimer that these were correct at time of print and subject to change.

I actually think it could be a really positive move and make people a lot more likely to pick up the limited edition copies of the books too - I don't mind spending another £20 for a plush book that I know I won't have to throw in a bag and get scuffed to bits.

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3 minutes ago, MacDuff said:

I love the Warscroll Cards in Soul Wars. I wish all armies had them, and that they'd slip a new one in all new kits. I don't care if I have to add some pen notes for updates. It's so much easier to put 2 unit cards on the top of their decks when they're in combat.

They could make it so that rather than physically writing the warscrolls into the battletomes they could include a bundle of warscrolls that they can more easily replace after a FAQ round (I think with the exception of particularly bad things and major errata they should keep FAQs to big batches about twice per year, making it easier for everyone to know the dates rule changes may occur as well as make it easier for managing).

The battletomes themselves would have all the lore, the fixed allegiance abilities as well as any artefacts of power and spells. In fact, playing into Runebrush's comment above this could almost be split into a separate mini booklet only included in the bundle. This would make it so people still need to get the battletomes (thus allowing for the spreading of lore and helping to keep quality high) whilst also giving an easy option for transport without damaging your fancy lore book.

Can't really see it happening however and im sure a lot of people might complain about being forced to buy the lore book to get the rules but it would keep in line with current situation.

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I'm someone who has every Battletome as a physical copy and some of them in the app, too.

One of the mainproblems is, that printed books aren't that good for a "living rulesystem".  We actually see, that all warscrolls would need an update since AoS 2.0 came out (at least cavalry, ridden monsters and chariots because of the new "mount" and "companion" rulings we see with the new warscrolls, and the new descriptions which weapons a unit can get.

The thing is. Do we want to force people to use a smartphone or tablet (in the end even in the AoS App the Battletomes aren't changed) or should rules be provides as PDF (in this case, how will GW get money? Membership with fee? Giving money for the download? or giving the rules for free like I have seen with other systems and only making money with there miniatures).

 

 

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Dark Age (admittedly not the most widely played miniature game out there) and Warmachine/Hordes are on the same boat. Phisical books with pictures, background and model stats -as they are at the time of release- then model stats dynamically updated as the publisher sees fit.
Moving on pretty pics+background only books seems the logical next step, but I don't think stripping model stats would improve the books any way (like, replaced by more background, stories, etc? I don't think it will actually happen. We will just get slimmer books - probably at unchanged price).

What I would like is, when they change/update something, they give us the correction in a more user friendly way. Like, no more "replace the second sentence of the X paragraph...". F**k that. Give me a freakin' PDF with the whole damn updated Blood Thite Table, not four separate corrections, for god's sake. What you're afraid of? Giving out too much content for free? Whole battletome is available for free, if someone's able to use google. People like me who buy your damn books do it because we want the pysical books, not because we can't access its content otherwise.

[EDIT]
Please note: over the top tone on purpose. I'm not actually angry. Hope nobody will be offended :)

 

Edited by gabbi
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I like having a physical copy. But Battletomes where in my opinion designed for the digital age. 
I would just add a digital copy to each battle tome . Maybe even just for the gaming relevant stuff. All war scrolls, special rules, battalions, artifacts etc. on your phone. The fluffy stuff as a hardcover (or paperback). Done. 
The former is easy to edit, so you're always up to date. The latter stays relevant no matter what.

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It’s only really the Warscrolls that change and they are provided and updated for free in the App. The Battletomes provide much more in the form of Lore, Narrative, Allegiance abilities and painting guides. I think they are still very relevant to the hobby as a whole and the bit that changes get done for free so that isn’t a problem. 

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12 minutes ago, Ollie Grimwood said:

It’s only really the Warscrolls that change and they are provided and updated for free in the App. The Battletomes provide much more in the form of Lore, Narrative, Allegiance abilities and painting guides. I think they are still very relevant to the hobby as a whole and the bit that changes get done for free so that isn’t a problem. 

A quick look at the Tzeentch changes and you'll realise that's not true. Their allegiance stuff was changed to reflect summoning changes and practically every other artefact seems to have some errata on it. One even has a completely different effect to the original one and one spell name was changed because their proof readers didn't catch that it had the same name as another spell in the book (which reflects the overall shoddy worksmanship that leads to mass FAQs). 

I mean it's a different game system but the 40k space wolves just had an entire rewrite for its warlord traits before the book even came out. Thankfully that hasn't happened yet but what's to say it won't affect a future battletome.

Tzaangor are just about to change too and that's not even an FAQ change. They'll literally have a brand new warscroll written for BoC that just requires an update to swap the pages in the Tzeentch PDF but I doubt they'll do it.

Now don't get me wrong, I really like the battletomes and I think theyre a great source of fluff, artwork and inspiration and I think the game would suffer greatly if they didn't exist. However, unless GW is willing to rewrite them at a faster pace they need to do something to at least make the updated rules easier to access. Rules written years prior can't possibly hope to stay balanced as the direction of the game changes (see summoning changes for a big example) and things that were once alright could becomes abusive in later editions if you don't rewrite them. Pretending this doesn't exist and writing fixed books is just GW kidding themselves.

I really hope they come up with some solution such as the aforementioned concept art as that would be great in my opinion.

Edited by Yoshiya
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GW need to make Azyr watertight. I pay for it and it's great- all the warscrolls are now stored locally so no more downloading ****** PDFs. The only issue is it's just completely incorrect in list building so often that's it's not any use. But once you've built your list, and if you know you allegiance abilities, the app on a phone is all i need now.

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I think at this stage the physical editions of the book should come with access to the PDF variants, with the latter always containing the most upto date errata and FAQ content. That way people can pay at a premium for the combined edition (Hardcopy and PDF) or at a reduced price the rules edition (PDF only), I personally love hardback rulebooks, they feel substantial and I like have something tangible in exchange for my money but do agree that rules changing so rapidly can decrease the value on these books sometimes within days of having recieved it.

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14 hours ago, Nos said:

There's also the fact that in a system with so many unique traits and aspects per faction you really need to be able to read them and understand them yourself before being able to confidently play against any army with a tome at this point. It's not good for the prospects of the game as a game that you need to pay money to be able to know what your opppnent can even do. 

From GW's perspective this is a feature, not a bug. I agree it's crazy but I doubt it changes for this reason

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     I’m on of those who always buys his books in hard copy format and don’t want to see them changed but I would love to see the books come with a download code to access just the crunchy bits in the AoS app (like the campaign book battle packs which seem to be gone from the store). This way as changes are made and FAQ’s come out this smaller file can just be updated to reflect the most current rulings and when I want to sit and just read up on the lore I can do so. Since all warscrolls are already built into the app this file would only really need to contain things like allegiance abilities, spell lores, artifacts, and point costs. Bonus points for adding a new icon to the pitches battle profiles to show updated stats to warscrolls since most recent release of that physical book and if the FAQs for a particular book are included at the end of the mini-tome. 

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Just now, sal4m4nd3r said:

Why cant you use the tzzangor warscroll from the DoT book? FAQ states you can use whichever version of the warscroll you want as long as your opponent knows.

We will see what the FAQ brings. In worst case they make an point in the Errata like in the Legions of Nagash when Nighthaunt came out:

Quote

Page 117, 118 and 119 - Cairn Wraith, Tomb Banshee, Hexwraith and Spirithost

These Warscrolls are no longer used. They have been replaced with the warscrolls in Battletome: Nighthaunt.

If we are lucky, they made a namechange so both Battletomes have there warscrolls indipendent of each other.

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