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eekamouse

January 2019 White Dwarf "overwrites" Skirmish book from 2017?

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Ok... To me that is kind of new to all this it would have been nice to have some clear usable rules to get us started, I doubt my wife will trust me to make up my own rules when the official rules are failing... :(

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Okay, I will buy my White Dwarf on Friday (don't have an subscription). But in case of that information @robinlvalentine shared, I would say the following:

1 hour ago, robinlvalentine said:

Overall, the campaign rules in this issue are pretty messy and weird. Instead of being generic, they're tied to a very specific and pretty thinly sketched two-player, six game narrative campaign in the Realm of Metal. They're simple enough to extrapolate out, but why am I having to houserule stuff for what's supposed to be the new version of Skirmish? 

I think we will get at least 5 more Realm rules. We already got an Aqshy Expansion for Skirmish in Malign Sorcery and now Chamon with the White Dwarf.

1 hour ago, robinlvalentine said:

You start with 150 Renown each, which seems like it's just unnecessarily resurrecting the problem original Skirmish had, where loads of factions couldn't actually fit into a starting warband. Stormcast are screwed at 150, for example.

 

It's followed by a battle report that follows a whole six game campaign (though only very briefly describing each battle). It's really weird, because it basically just exposes every flaw of the preceding rules. 

First off, neither warband has a hero, instead using a champion as their leader - presumably because they couldn't fit a hero in at 150 Renown. There's no official rule given about doing this, or even a little caption explaining the decision. It seems incredibly damning to me for the very first battle report of the system has to include house rules to function... 

The point that the champion becomes a leader fixes actually a problem of the old skirmish, because the old rules used 25 Points renown and still needed a hero.

a 150 point warband without a model with a Hero Keyword should be possible.

1 hour ago, robinlvalentine said:

It's followed by a battle report that follows a whole six game campaign (though only very briefly describing each battle). It's really weird, because it basically just exposes every flaw of the preceding rules. 

First off, neither warband has a hero, instead using a champion as their leader - presumably because they couldn't fit a hero in at 150 Renown. There's no official rule given about doing this, or even a little caption explaining the decision. It seems incredibly damning to me for the very first battle report of the system has to include house rules to function...

Then the campaign itself is a classic case of snowballing - it's Fyreslayers vs Skaven, and the Fyreslayers win the first five battles, most of them being complete massacres by the sound of it. 

Then, on the final scenario, the Skaven manage to just eke out a win because they technically kill more Renown of Fyreslayers, even though there aren't any Skaven left on the board. They thus win the whole campaign. I guess it's sort of cool that it's possible to make a comeback like that, but it just feels really weird in the report. 

 

Overall I'm pretty disappointed - last week's article wasn't perfect, but this week's feels rushed and poorly thought-through. The battle report feels like the first playtest, after which you'd go 'right, we obviously need to go back and change a bunch of stuff', but instead we just get the first draft rules. And while I really like the idea of presenting a little narrative campaign, it should be in addition to a core set of 'generic' campaign rules, not instead of, IMO. 

The reward table is quite neat, but apart from that there's really nothing here you couldn't houserule yourself, probably to better effect. 

There's no indication of another article next month, so I suspect this is all we get for the forseeable :( 

Hm, perhaps some sort of map campaign would work better.

 

Edited by EMMachine

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@robinlvalentine, thanks for your review. It will be interesting to see how views change over time. I intend to play it as more a narrative/matched experience. If something ends up dominating too much, I'll take softer choices in the future until it starts becoming a more interesting contest again. I am aiming to use Skirmish as an escalation campaign to prepare my force for Path to Glory.

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Doesn't surprise me. The early peak at the feb white dwarf basically implied to me that this was nothing more than a rules tweak of the original skirmish rules. 

 

Pretty disappointing. They fixed one of the issues in skirmish 1.0 which was the stupid plastic model restriction but have again fallen well short of an interesting system by dropping the ball with the campaign system. 

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3 hours ago, someone2040 said:

Pretty disappointing. They fixed one of the issues in skirmish 1.0 which was the stupid plastic model restriction but have again fallen well short of an interesting system by dropping the ball with the campaign system. 

Well, to be fair, pretty much everyone fixed that problem immediately for GW just by calculating renown for all the figures they didn't include in the 1.0 pamphlet.  Forgotten Heroes puts them all in a handy place, too.

It's really a bummer that they are simply reskinning 1.0 into taking place on Chamon, when maybe two to three extra pages in the second White Dwarf could have at least introduced a Hinterlands-style advancement into the mix.

Edited by Aegisgrimm
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On 1/30/2019 at 9:03 AM, robinlvalentine said:

Got the new White Dwarf, thought I'd post my thoughts on the extra Skirmish rules:

 

Overall, the campaign rules in this issue are pretty messy and weird. Instead of being generic, they're tied to a very specific and pretty thinly sketched two-player, six game narrative campaign in the Realm of Metal. They're simple enough to extrapolate out, but why am I having to houserule stuff for what's supposed to be the new version of Skirmish? 

Basically, after each battle, you gain Renown based on how well you did, plus a roll on a table which can give you a buff for next game, a permanent magic item, or some more Renown. You can also get one of three Realm of Metal spells. The nice thing about these is they feel like they were actually designed for Skirmish. One of them fires out a thin line, and anyone under it takes a mortal wound - I bet it'd be really satisfying to pull off a good shot.  Though I suspect they'll all feel underpowered compared to some of the cheesier spells on some wizard's warscrolls.

The Realm of Metal campaign is basically just you play through six scenarios in sequence. The winner of each battle gets an advantage in the next e.g. choosing who goes first, or picking their deployment zone, or getting an extra artefact. The winner of the final scenario wins the campaign, regardless of what happened in the previous scenarios.

There's not really anything in place to stop snowballing, apart from an underdog bonus (if your opponent's Renown is higher than yours, you get re-rolls to use in the game). 

You start with 150 Renown each, which seems like it's just unnecessarily resurrecting the problem original Skirmish had, where loads of factions couldn't actually fit into a starting warband. Stormcast are screwed at 150, for example.

 

It's followed by a battle report that follows a whole six game campaign (though only very briefly describing each battle). It's really weird, because it basically just exposes every flaw of the preceding rules. 

First off, neither warband has a hero, instead using a champion as their leader - presumably because they couldn't fit a hero in at 150 Renown. There's no official rule given about doing this, or even a little caption explaining the decision. It seems incredibly damning to me for the very first battle report of the system has to include house rules to function...

 Then the campaign itself is a classic case of snowballing - it's Fyreslayers vs Skaven, and the Fyreslayers win the first five battles, most of them being complete massacres by the sound of it. 

 Then, on the final scenario, the Skaven manage to just eke out a win because they technically kill more Renown of Fyreslayers, even though there aren't any Skaven left on the board. They thus win the whole campaign. I guess it's sort of cool that it's possible to make a comeback like that, but it just feels really weird in the report. 

 

Overall I'm pretty disappointed - last week's article wasn't perfect, but this week's feels rushed and poorly thought-through. The battle report feels like the first playtest, after which you'd go 'right, we obviously need to go back and change a bunch of stuff', but instead we just get the first draft rules. And while I really like the idea of presenting a little narrative campaign, it should be in addition to a core set of 'generic' campaign rules, not instead of, IMO. 

The reward table is quite neat, but apart from that there's really nothing here you couldn't houserule yourself, probably to better effect. 

There's no indication of another article next month, so I suspect this is all we get for the forseeable :( 

 

I just got my White Dwarfs and thought I'd add my thoughts to @robinlvalentine's.

First off worth it.... barely. Still happy I got it though. I'll explain why. 

1. The campaign, like Robinlvalentine says, is a straight tree campaign. The same they also put in the rulebooks every.. single.. time. Although not really for me. I like my campaigns to be a be like a tree, but one with branches ;), it's great for your first campaign. So @Umbriel I think it's great for what you say to be looking for. Just give it a go, note what works and what doesn't and by the time you finish all 6 games (probably two afternoons/evenings) you'll have enough experience to make your own campaign. So not for me but I do get it. 

2. The extra metal spells are a cool thought and addition. 

3. The upgrade system... is a little bit soft for my taste. Basically it's all about growing your warband not improving the warriors in it. Strangely though, it seems they 'forgot' to use this in the campaign report. No reference of new models in both the warbands :S If you count it, the Skaven player just added some Clanrats to his warband by round 4. But that's the only group shot. Missed chance imo. 

4. The champion vs. hero as your leader is an obvious choice. Just weird that they didn't mention it. Like they thought people wouldn't run into it when they did so themselves in the first ever report. It feels like GW is a bit blasé about Skirmish. Just like they did in the Twitch stream. (if you didn't see it, mistakes for days the first time they showed the rules in action). 

5. In my mind the reward table helps to balance it a bit more. But again, they never talk about the effects of it. Still happy that I don't have to house rules something like that anyway. The most ever Renown you can gain in one round is 6 from the rewards table + 10 for a major victory.

All in all, I agree with @robinlvalentine's conclusion. The previous update you could judge to be 'thin' on purpose. It could have been the base, the foundation to build on. Like the original 4 page rules. But this doesn't really add all that much for me. I want to care about that rag-tag team of converted soldiers, feel relieve when they live to fight another day and loudly cheer when they gain a upgrade.

There is a big BUT though. It clearly wasn't meant to do what I want it to do. It's not that in depth character progression campaign. It's a warband progression campaign and to really judge that I will play the campaign first. So if you want that first try without thinking too much about it and just play, it should be perfect. Light on the rules, just go out and play it through. When you're done, you're all set up to turn it into your own campaign and house rule whatever you want. 

Happy that its there though, also well worth the money in my mind, because of the big BUT. Except them breaking the rules they set up first by not including a HERO. That's just dumb, shows a lack of commitment. Here's hoping for a next update, because i'm still excited! 

EDIT: one more critical note. I just noted that the 6 extra renown is the only extra renown in there. (6 to 8 used to be a smaller amount). That means in a balanced campaign where you would minor win-minor lose every time, that means 7,5 renown per battle = 37,5 renown after 5 battles. That's only 6 extra clanrats for the final battle... some of the cheapest stuff in there and not even close to the recommended 250 renown for a fun 1 hour Skirmish battle. :S 

Edited by Kramer
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@Kramer yeah the Renown rewards struck me as low, too. I can understand not wanting things to escalate out of control, but if it's a six scenario campaign, you'd expect to be able to add more than one or two warriors. As a Stormcast player, 37.5 Renown is enough for one dude and not much else - if after an entire campaign, I only got to add one model to my warband across the entire run, I'd be pretty put out. 

Definitely agree with you though that, thin as it is, it should be a decent bit of light-hearted fun - they clearly weren't going for the detailed skirmish rules people wanted. Just wish they'd made it a bit tighter. 

Will probably end up making my own tree campaign based on these rules to run through - looking forward to it, despite my complaints :P Nothing a bit of house-ruling won't fix! 

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13 minutes ago, robinlvalentine said:

@Kramer yeah the Renown rewards struck me as low, too. I can understand not wanting things to escalate out of control, but if it's a six scenario campaign, you'd expect to be able to add more than one or two warriors. As a Stormcast player, 37.5 Renown is enough for one dude and not much else - if after an entire campaign, I only got to add one model to my warband across the entire run, I'd be pretty put out. 

Definitely agree with you though that, thin as it is, it should be a decent bit of light-hearted fun - they clearly weren't going for the detailed skirmish rules people wanted. Just wish they'd made it a bit tighter. 

 Will probably end up making my own tree campaign based on these rules to run through - looking forward to it, despite my complaints :P Nothing a bit of house-ruling won't fix! 

Absolutely on all three accounts. I think your middle point is the essence. We wanted something like Hinterlands from GW. GW wanted something easy and light. Just a bit of a mismatch for me. 

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2 hours ago, Kramer said:

Absolutely on all three accounts. I think your middle point is the essence. We wanted something like Hinterlands from GW. GW wanted something easy and light. Just a bit of a mismatch for me. 

I'm sort of left wondering why they decided to update Skirmish at all. The old version had lots of problems in need of fixing, but this new set has really only addressed a couple of them - for the most part, it's extremely similar. A one page errata could probably have had the same effect, and fan-made projects have already gone way further. 

Why bother devoting all this space to it across two White Dwarfs if they weren't going to either fix it properly, or do something really different? Real missed opportunity. 

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2 minutes ago, robinlvalentine said:

I'm sort of left wondering why they decided to update Skirmish at all. The old version had lots of problems in need of fixing, but this new set has really only addressed a couple of them - for the most part, it's extremely similar. A one page errata could probably have had the same effect, and fan-made projects have already gone way further. 

Why bother devoting all this space to it across two White Dwarfs if they weren't going to either fix it properly, or do something really different? Real missed opportunity. 

Probably because I now bought two white dwarfs ;) 

I got a  genuine theory though. In Stormcast episode 1, the video cast by warhammerTV, they had one of their senior rules writers on. He talked about how he got the chance as a game designer with the first version of blood bowl that featured in the white dwarf. He spoke at length about how he learned and that you cannot be a rules designer I theory but only be one by actually publishing your ideas and letting the world test them to breaking. 

I thought the Skirmish rules were his, mr Bracken, first rules in the role of Lead. They hired Bottle, creator of Hinterlands, another creator that needs to test his skills, a combo tome. I think they might be preparing the companies rules division for some new blood and just need space for them to test things. 

Again just my perception, but can’t help but connect that interview with new rules designers suddenly being center stage with their first creations. 

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out of interest would people here be open to a tighter, more developed version of Skirmish that (at least initially) severely restricted the factions/units that you can use? So similar to Kill Team.

personally is say YES, I think that's the best way to go to. I don't think a straight KT port is necessary but there's lots of good ideas in there and amongst them locking down the options definitely makes it more manageable (and dare I say it possibly more balanced) and less prone to weird game breaking abilities popping up.

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No, because with GAs we can have "ragtags bunch of misfits". Old wizard searching for ancient artefact with Fyreslayer bodyguard and saurus warrior sent by his Slaan to accompany them, but really trying to stop them, because that artefact can bring doom to the Mortal Realms. With KT we only have only monofaction teams and it's a bit boring in Fantasy setting. It's good for 40k and infiltrations, scouting and assassination missions - for AoS we need something more colourful.

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ah no I agree with that (in fact one of the things I really want to do over the next month is put together and paint up a skirmish band based on the kids from the old D&D cartoon), so I'd want them to keep the GA thing, as you say I think thematically that's a much better fit for AoS.

but still I think trying to keep a tight ship in terms of what's usable might make it more manageable.

I'd actually like them to expand on the GA bit by having slightly different rules for each alliance in terms of how their warbands grow and are run.

Right now I've been playing around with a Death one led by a Necromancer, Vox Necrosyrtes and his chained in undeath followers, the Vulture's Wake and I picture quite different ways warbands for each GA would run, grow and develop over a campaign. 

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Yes and no, I do think a limited roster allows GW  to create a more controlled system and set upgrade systems etc. Those look cool for kill team. 

But the rag-tag teams like @michu says are a must for me. 

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As far as I can see, it's impossible for the game to both have every AOS unit in it and be balanced, so I definitely think a more restricted roster with Skirmish-specific stats for units would make most sense.

I think I'd have a set list of units for each faction, and then make it work like AOS does, in that you can either make a warband of just one faction, and get more powerful allegiance abilities as a bonus, or mix and watch for a Grand Alliance warband that gets less powerful/specific allegiance abilities. 

Seems like the best of both worlds to me. 

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Man I gotta say that I feel really bummed out that the campaign system has changed so little since last year. How could they miss this? Everyone I ever heard of who played Skirmish when it got out was asking for the same things and none og these has been included. As a matter of fact the only real change from the original rules has been the renown system. 

Damn already planned a skirmish campaign with two different groups but since the WD doesn’t even include more than two players I guess we gotta houserule everything exactly like last year.. What was the whole point of updating Skirmish then?

 

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It’s somewhat telling that they haven’t updated Skirmish on Warscroll Builder, or even mentioned that they are going to update it.

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For The skirmish enthusiasts, warhammer Warcry has just been announced. A age of Sigmar game by the makers of killteam and shadespire. Super excited! 

https://www.warhammer-community.com/2019/02/08/8th-feb-lvo-studio-preview-2019-revealed-new-chaos-space-marines-sisters-of-battle-and-moregw-homepage-post-1/

On a side note, little bit less excited after I watched for the second time and the only chaos artwork, and the ‘call to the varanspire’ reference makes me suspect it might just be for chaos vs chaos  

 

 

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3 hours ago, Kramer said:

For The skirmish enthusiasts, warhammer Warcry has just been announced. A age of Sigmar game by the makers of killteam and shadespire. Super excited! 

https://www.warhammer-community.com/2019/02/08/8th-feb-lvo-studio-preview-2019-revealed-new-chaos-space-marines-sisters-of-battle-and-moregw-homepage-post-1/

On a side note, little bit less excited after I watched for the second time and the only chaos artwork, and the ‘call to the varanspire’ reference makes me suspect it might just be for chaos vs chaos  

 

 

Yeah, I've mentioned this elsewhere, but this really seems like Chaos only to me - the idea of Chaos warbands fighting amongst themselves seeking glory has long been a recurring idea for GW. 

If it is, it definitely reduces its appeal for me. It also makes me wonder about its longevity - the more specific one of these side-games is, the more likely it seems to be that GW will end up abandoning it sharpish, e.g. that Khorne arena game from a while back. 

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19 minutes ago, robinlvalentine said:

Yeah, I've mentioned this elsewhere, but this really seems like Chaos only to me - the idea of Chaos warbands fighting amongst themselves seeking glory has long been a recurring idea for GW. 

If it is, it definitely reduces its appeal for me. It also makes me wonder about its longevity - the more specific one of these side-games is, the more likely it seems to be that GW will end up abandoning it sharpish, e.g. that Khorne arena game from a while back. 

Same page here. Just hope the game system works so well that expansions add destruction/death/order warbands etc.  (IF our guess is right of course) 

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I agree that Warcry looks like it'll be Chaos only. On the face of it that seems a fairly crazy decision, given the partisan nature of their customer's faction choices, but it would allow them to really get a better grip on balance without having to weed through the hundreds of warscrolls.

GW appear to be making a tentative step towards balanced, competitive games with Shadespire and the latest release for Kill Team and I wonder if this isn't an attempt to do this for AOS. Far easier to do this with a limited number of warscrolls, where they can be edited on an individual basis, than to risk oversights by applying some kind of formula similar to what we've seen with Skirmish. 

I'm excited to see how this release develops and doubly so given the involvement of Sam Pearson.

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I think it could be modernized Realm of Chaos with aspiring chaos champions fighting in Varanspire for glory and favor of Archaon (maybe even with new mutation table, but that's probably wishful thinking, because now GW's philosophy is "convert because you like, not because you must"). 

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It is not because it will be set at the all point, that it will be chaos only. Well I sure hope not. It will be a hell of disappointment if they are releasing a proper Skirmish game and limit it at first/on the box set on 1 grand alliance out of 4.

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Or it goes like that: it's a game about chaos champion wandering to the Varanspire, because they want to join Archaon's hordes and Order and Death are trying to stop them and Destruction... just basically joins the fight for fun.

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