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This was a White Dwarf article some years back that really struck a chord with me. The idea of minimizing magic, war machines, characters and monsters in an effort to better represent what skirmish-level forces in the actual fluff might look like. 


It's always felt a bit off to me leading forces of perhaps one to two hundred models with characters that should be commanding tens of thousands. We could call it a metaphor or maybe this is their royal guard or something but still... 


I really love the idea of a more rustic, realistic feel for a game that represents, in literal terms, a tiny fraction of the sort of large-scale encounters described in the fluff. At 2000-3000 points I'm picturing one or two hero level characters. One warmachine maybe. One monster maybe, One mage maybe. Definitely not all three and probably not even two. 


Instead 25% core I think more like 75%. Unit selection is more concerned with what is fluff-plausible than what is most effective point-for-point. This is a bunch of guys who are far afield and assembling units from the bedraggled survivors of a long campaign. 


In exchange for optimum list selections I think we could mix it up with allied forces including storm of magic... so long as these additions were made on the basis of fluff rather than some clever winning strategy. 


This is my ideal aesthetic for the game. I'm not sure if it would produced balanced games or not though. Thoughts?

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I love the idea of reducing the role of monsters and heroes.  And I think less magic would be fine too, limiting the number of huge game changer spells.


But I'm not a fan of increased core requirement.  The "required core" part of WFB has always bugged me... if you want to make an elite army you should be able to.  If your army's core choices are boring or don't inspire you why should you be required to have them?  Just because GW says they make up the bulk of *most* armies?  I'd love to see the core requirement disappear altogether, especially given how limited many books are on core choices.


But at the same time I would also like to see the allowance for characters dropped to 50% total (lords and heroes combined), distributed as you like, just to keep the feel of army vs. army battles at least somewhat intact.


I'm with you on the imagery that captivates you... I built my Bretonnia army the way I did (around 150 peasants, just 16 Knights, no flyers) specifically to create battles that capture my imagination.  Granted though, I did include a few heroic Knights that are specifically there to fight big monsters or super-killy characters, because I also like the idea that a lone Knight can still defeat a Dragon if the Lady is with him :)


PS: I also think combined armies using allies from across books are great, but to me they make more aesthetic sense in a larger game (3000 points or something?) unless you have a mercenary band or something (Ogre mercs are always a favorite of mine fluff-wise).

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I consistently play small level theme / skirmish based games and love it! Great ideas with the points levels. What cap would you put on a game? 300 / 500?


I like the tiny games but I don't have a particular cap. In fact, some of my funnest games were 10,000+ points. We did a dwarf versus orc siege battle where green outnumbered short by about six to one but the stunties had the high ground defenses. You pretty much need to eliminate special characters and magic items at that point because its just too time consuming. 


About the core requirment, I guess this is just my feeling about how my own armies would naturally be composed. The way the fluff describes empire and dwarf forces makes it seem like rare units really are rare. Most of the army consists of day laborers who had to enlist on a moments notice to defend the province. And I just like having big blocks of troops. This wouldn't hold for all armies of course. I could totally see elves or bretonnians on campaign with small elite squadrons. Really it's just a matter of playing up the narrative, trying to recreate what encounters would actually look like. 

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