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Openhammer - Could it be the Future of WFB?


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Savion beat me to it, so I'm adding my post here instead of making a new thread.

 

Hello all.

 

The future of tabletop fantasy battle wargaming is a topic on many of our hearts.

There are many teams working on a modified ruleset of 8th edition, but two have stuck out to me based on the presentation and the contributors. We have Openhammer, presented by random Italians (what this post is about) and 9th Age, presented by the Swedes.

 

9th age does not have a complete enough ruleset for me to bother with right now (I can't find the base rules, and the only army list I see right now is Brets), so that leaves me with Openhammer. When 9th age has more rules out there, I will be more interested.

 

You will find two files attached to this post, a Rulebook.pdf and a Compendium.html. The rulebook was translated by the authors, so the English is pretty good. You will find the occasional error, but this is their first draft. The compendium is the google translate output of their Italian document. You will need to use your imagination to make any sense of the Compendium. They are working to release the real translated version in the coming weeks. It contains rules for various weapons, all the basic special rules, lores of magic and army lists for 18 different armies.

 

 

  1. Brotherhood
  2. Daemons
  3. High Elves
  4. Dark Elves
  5. Wood Elves
  6. Dwarfs
  7. Chaos Dwarfs
  8. Vampire Counts
  9. Tomb Kings
  10. Ogres
  11. Orcs & Goblins
  12. Bretonnians
  13. Empire
  14. Dogs of War
  15. Chaos Warriors
  16. Beastmen
  17. Lizardmen
  18. Skaven

 

 

 

Here are some the big things I noticed after scanning the rulebook (there are probably more):

 

Miscellaneous

  1. Uses a tier system for Line of Sight. Infantry is Level 1. They can see over swarms and swamps (Level 0). Hills and Forests are Level 4 (no one can see over them). It appears that a unit that flew that turn is visible over everything.
  2. De facto max ward save is 5+ (there is a case where a unit can get 4+, but it is rare)
  3. One of the included scenarios has random hidden objectives (e.g. get 600 vp for killing the general). You know before deployment but you don't reveal until the end of the game.
  4. Army composition: Units divided into Base, Light, Heavy and Elite. Characters into Elite and normal. At 2500, you must have 4 Base units, and can have 1 Lord, 3 Heroes, 3 Light units, 3 Heavy units and 2 Elite units. Duplicate choices: At 2500, Base can have 4 of the same, Light and Heavy can have 2 of the same, and Elite cannot have any duplicates.
  5. Maximum unit sizes. At 2500, Base troops can have at most 50 models, Light and Heavy can have 15, and Elite can have 25. There are special rules that circumvent this (e.g. Skaven).
  6. Weather conditions and time of day. Various modifiers if it's bright and snowy or dark and raining.
  7. Fleeing units and units reduced to 25% of the starting number are worth 50% VP. Half points for wounded characters/monsters.
  8. BSB reroll is only for break tests.
  9. Wound table is slightly different. Instead of 6 always wounding, some higher toughness values need 7s or 8s to wound.
  10. Only two characters can join a unit.

Movement

  1. There is no more wheeling. Units can rotate about their center 90° twice during movement.
  2. Random charging is still in.
  3. Redirection appears to be out.

Magic

  1. Power dice is levels + d3. Dispel dice is levels.
  2. Still add level to each casting attempt.
  3. Lores have been changed a bit, but I won't get into that here.
  4. Can only uses Level+1 power dice for each spell.
  5. Auto fail spell on snake eyes, Irresistible on double 6s. Take a level test for each dice used. Takes a wound with no save for each failed test.

Shooting

  1. Targeting a Flyer that moved last phase is -1.
  2. War machines roll to hit. On a miss, a cannon will scatter only forwards or backwards, while a stone thrower will scatter as normal. They ignore to hit modifiers except for flying and large target. Cannons do d3 wounds (d3+1 for great cannon).
  3. Can't target lone characters that are within 3" of a similar unit type.

Combat

  1. Charging gives +1 CR and +1 Initiative.
  2. No horde formation bonus.
  3. No steadfast.
  4. Characters are removed from units during a challenge, and models fill in the gap.
  5. Hit table has changed slightly. Only meaningful change is that WS3 hits WS10 on 6s, and WS10 hits WS4 on 2s. Large target adds +1.
  6. Supporting attacks are still in.
  7. Stomps and Thunderstomps are gone.
  8. Parry is gone.
  9. Fatigue: after 3 rounds of combat, a unit suffers -1 Strength until the combat is over.

I have more to say, but I'll leave it at that for now.

 

The whole point of this post was to ask if anyone wanted to playtest this with me in the coming weeks. I'm available evenings Sunday - Wednesday, and can be anywhere from Guardian to Ancient Wonders to Dice Age.

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No steadfast... LAME

 

I would never play this, my Skaven army simply would not survive supporting attacks without the steadfast rule. Infantry is pretty much useless without it. The ability of monsters and cavalry to do wounds and mitigate S3 attacks will be the death of certain army builds. Why bring a large block of goblins, humans, rats if they cant hold a charge? Taking away steadfast is a HUGE mistake. 

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I really think this has promise as the rules get worked out and am excited to see where this goes.

 

No more TLoS... Thanks you so much

Army comp intrigues me

going back to autofail on double 1s (though this may not have been as important with restricting # of dice rolled by level)

 

Time to keep reading!

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No steadfast... LAME

 

I would never play this, my Skaven army simply would not survive supporting attacks without the steadfast rule. Infantry is pretty much useless without it. The ability of monsters and cavalry to do wounds and mitigate S3 attacks will be the death of certain army builds. Why bring a large block of goblins, humans, rats if they cant hold a charge? Taking away steadfast is a HUGE mistake. 

 

That assumes you know how tough/what the damage output of those unit types are in Openhammer.  Do you?  I certainly haven't read through the whole thing as the formatting is terrible, but getting frothy over Steadfast without understanding how units interact in this game is a little premature.

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I got all pissy about no steadfast and no Strength in Numbers, but I talked with the guys behind and they said it worked out all right.

 

Basically, I was thinking that with:

  • Supporting attacks
  • Removing models from the back

Steadfast was kind of a counter to all the mass death going on, and attacks not being removed.

The writers disagreed, saying,

"Models are still removed from the rear and supporting attacks are still there (even if without this specific name) but yes we removed steadfast in sake of simplicity. Cheap infantries will still work to screen but there shouldn't be any more cases where 60 slaves will hold forever against a much stronger unit. They can distract it for one turn and it should be enough since they are cheap."

 

So I'm willing to give it a try. I think it'll end terribly. I play Skaven, not mother[big bad swear word]ing night goblins. At least gobbos can cheat the leadership by bringing orcs. Grey seer, Warlord and Verminlord are all LD8.

 

Regarding the damage output: chaos warriors still have two WS5 S4 attacks. Elves don't reroll to hit, so that's nice. Dark elves don't reroll 1s to wound. Ogres have S4 impacts only. Same amount of attacks. But you must take 1 unit of Bulls for each unit of Ironguts, so that helps. Any others I should look up?

 

For now it seems like Skaven got the short end of the stick. It's not like our troops got buffed, but removing steadfast is a big deal. The only thing that would save that is if PCB and Rat Ogres got a buff. Let's check them out... First of all, the toughness test is only after wounding a model, and only works if the model has multiple wounds. It looks like PCB have been merged with PM. It appears like you can replace the extra hand weapon with a flail. -1 to hit vs PM, so that's nice. So PCB don't exist as they used to. On to Rat Ogres... There are two units (not counting the End Time ROgres) One has 6+ regen, the other does not. They are the same as now. So Skaven lost their staying power and their damage output.

 

I'm still willing to test their Skaven ruleset, even if I greatly disagree with it. Any takers? :)

 

EDIT: Nate, here is the original Italian Compendium. 

 

EDIT-EDIT: The Openhammer guys are attempting to work with the Swedes. I'm not sure if they'll get anywhere, but that would be pretty great IMO.

 

EDIT-EDIT-EDIT: Both Openhammer and the Swedes are attempting to have something to present to ETC in August. I think that what ETC picks will be the next big thing. US Masters is another group we can follow. I can't really tell which way either group is leaning right now.

 

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I got all pissy about no steadfast and no Strength in Numbers, but I talked with the guys behind and they said it worked out all right.

 

Basically, I was thinking that with:

  • Supporting attacks
  • Removing models from the back

Steadfast was kind of a counter to all the mass death going no, and attacks not being removed.

The writers disagreed, saying,

"Models are still removed from the rear and supporting attacks are still there (even if without this specific name) but yes we removed steadfast in sake of simplicity. Cheap infantries will still work to screen but there shouldn't be any more cases where 60 slaves will hold forever against a much stronger unit. They can distract it for one turn and it should be enough since they are cheap."

 

So I'm willing to give it a try. I think it'll end terribly. I play Skaven, not mother[big bad swear word]ing night goblins. At least gobbos can cheat the leadership by bringing orcs. Grey seer, Warlord and Verminlord are all LD8.

 

Regarding the damage output: chaos warriors still have two WS5 S4 attacks. Elves don't reroll to hit, so that's nice. Dark elves don't reroll 1s to wound. Ogres have S4 impacts only. Same amount of attacks. But you must take 1 unit of Bulls for each unit of Ironguts, so that helps. Any others I should look up?

 

says the guy that uses night goblins in his skaven army... :rolleyes: i could play you on saturday.  

 

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Rule number 13.1434 of the Skaven handbook:

Never respect a slave by referring to their previous race. This inspires confidence. Confidence leads to revolt.

Punishment: Kill every slave who heard their previous race. 

 

The Skaven handbook is a tad brutal.

 

Alas, I shall be out of town Saturday. I can do Sunday night at WoW, if we can get in the door.

 

BTW, I would like to start at 1000 points, for whoever I end up playing. Just so we can spend enough time playing the game instead of looking up what a "sample" is. (hint: champion. And can someone tell me why the same word means "sample" and "champion"??)

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But they arent taking into consideration the proximity of slaves to the leadership bubble. Slaves are only the tarpits they are if they are within range of LD.

Exactly. Honestly, of all the problems people have with Skaven, tarpit slaves wasn't really one of them. And these changes don't just affect slaves. They affect State Troops, Peasants, Clanrats, Goblins, Maruaders (not as much, because they can have flails), gnoblars. Tarpits can't tarpit, and anything that was too expensive to tarpit but not good enough to kill is even more useless than it used to be.

 

This is how I see my army changing: Minimum units of slaves, no clanrats, big units of whatever my best unit is (SV or PM) probably with a tower. Clanrats didn't have much purpose in 8th (I took them because theme + I didn't own enough slaves) and now they have even less of a purpose.

 

Oh and rat darts are dead, with min size of 30. I'm okay with that. Rat Darts were a recent change.

 

We'll see how this shakes out.

 

EDIT: For those reading through the compendium, you may notice the addition of a "Large Shield" to many knight units. This is to compensate for there being no mounted save. There is a barding save, but not a mounted save. So for Dragon Princes, they have heavy armor, barded steeds and large shields. That puts them at 2+, no change. But Silver Helms do not have large shields, so they only have a 3+ save. Empire Knights also got hit by this change, now having a 2+ save. And Demis. Inner Circle have 1+. Chaos Knights have 2+.

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It also seems like they took away steadfast and added a bunch of other garbage rules to account for steadfast, which would be gone in their rule set. 

 

 

  1. No horde formation bonus.
  2. Hit table has changed slightly. Only meaningful change is that WS3 hits WS10 on 6s, and WS10 hits WS4 on 2s. Large target adds +1.
  3. Fatigue: after 3 rounds of combat, a unit suffers -1 Strength until the combat is over.
  4. Wound table is slightly different. Instead of 6 always wounding, some higher toughness values need 7s or 8s to wound.
  5. Maximum unit sizes. At 2500, Base troops can have at most 50 models, Light and Heavy can have 15, and Elite can have 25. There are special rules that circumvent this (e.g. Skaven).

And if they add in unit Minimums like they have on Giant Rats, what is the point of bringing lesser troops? They will simply get slaughtered in combat and need snakes to stay every time. The damage output that crept in after the Skaven book validated the Steadfast rule. I cannot believe the community has an issue with it. If we remove steadfast, remove stomps and thunder-stomps as its the hard counter to infantry. 

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 If we remove steadfast, remove stomps and thunder-stomps as its the hard counter to infantry. 

 

Whoops, forgot something (I don't think I have ever stomped in 8th edition). Yeah, those are gone. Added it to my first post.

 

That is an excellent point. Another thing that hurt us 7th-8th was the loss of the outnumber bonus. Alas, that is not back in.

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Whoops, forgot something. Yeah those are gone.

HAHA. Had a feeling. Trying to read this while Im at work, and post about it....  

 

I should probably sit down and read the ENTIRE thing before posting anything else about it. 

 

Considering what I have read, I dont know if I even care to read anymore. Hoping for a better compromise. 

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I would prepare two lists for such a game. One that is as close to what I would take in 8th, and another with the new rules in mind. Hopefully I could get two games in. I'm expecting pretty different results.

 

They say they have playtested this compendium enough to think that it is "balanced". I'm willing to try it before I give them any more feedback. Not to say that I'm buddy-buddy with them, but they did respond to my email :).

 

I don't really get the fatigue thing. I'll have to ask what was intended, because it could be so that a daemon prince doesn't wreck your army, being in combat after combat for turns on end. But if it resets after a combat is completed, then it doesn't really make sense.

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The writers disagreed, saying,

"Models are still removed from the rear and supporting attacks are still there (even if without this specific name) but yes we removed steadfast in sake of simplicity. Cheap infantries will still work to screen but there shouldn't be any more cases where 60 slaves will hold forever against a much stronger unit. They can distract it for one turn and it should be enough since they are cheap."

 

Their reply simply isn't logical.

 

Steadfast is dead simple to work out, first of all, so removing it to "simplify" (then adding a fatigue rule which must be tracked over 3+ rounds of combat, and weather conditions, and other high maintenance rules) makes me call "b.s."

 

Also, 60 Men at Arms is not cheap, it's 327 points, and "distracting" for a turn, or "screening" a better unit, is a stupid reason to take a unit.  If that is their purpose, why not buy another one of the good units you are trying to screen with your crappy 327pts of Infantry?  

 

There needs to be a compelling reason to take a slower, cumbersome, less killy, less survivable unit such as Goblins, Men at Arms, etc.  I think Steadfast is the only reason Infantry is playable today, especially junk infantry like Men at Arms.

 

If this is how they reason, I'm not very optimistic that they can write rules :(

 

PS: Not intending to be mean to whoever is working on it, I'm just calling a Spade a Spade... that reply is nonsense!

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That's pretty much what I thought. I figured I should try it first before continuing to push the issue with them. JUST IN CASE it's hidden genius.

I might have to force myself into their team just to make sure that infantry get taken care of, because it doesn't seem like anyone else cares.

 

 

 

This must be how politicians feel.

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Honestly, I liked the game way better before steadfast and am glad to see it go in this ruleset.

Yeah, cause stuff running away despite huge number advantages was sooo fun :tongue:

 

Not that I have studied this stuff, but I'd rather see less departure from 8th in a base level open source ruleset. Not that it could not change over time, but it seems like the existing rules would be a better baseline than a mostly redesigned system. Plus by making huge initial alterations I think many people will feel alienated by changes to rules they like. I actually really like steadfast (in could be improved, but the concept of larger units not fleeing after the first combat round goes south makes sense). I have seen way too many combats lost by one or two only to have the roll missed by that much, then seeing the larger unit flee from the table (often bringing another unit or two with them)

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