Monday, April 19, 2010

Warhammer Fantasy - 8th Edition Announced - How it Impacts a Tournament

So, 8th edition is incoming.

The expected release date at present is July 10, exactly 5 weeks prior to the Open. That also means preview copies are probably out 4 weeks before that per usual, for a 9 week period of people looking at and adjusting to the new Fantasy rules prior to the Open.

So, what do we do?

Option A
Play it safe - go with 7th edition, a system generally unpopular and requiring an extensive composition system (with 2250 points level played by some armies at 2600 and some at 2000), but where people for the most part don't have to rebuild their armies to fit the tournament (except that to fit into the comp many may have to).

Option B
Play it new - aggressively study and react to the 8th edition rulebook, put up a FAQ for any of the likely errors / etc., and go with 8th edition, loosening the painting/wysiwyg requirements just a little to encourage people that they'll have their army changes ready

There are pros and cons to each of these, and it presents an interesting question for a tournament organizer

7th edition Pros
Safe and known - we don't have to come up with much of a FAQ, we have a "tested" comp system in the form of ETC, and most people know exactly how to build an army in 7th rules and how their army books work; pro of "don't have to change their armies for tourney" is mitigated somewhat by the fact that we have comp, so that's not really a "pro" or a con

7th edition Cons
A widely unpopular Fantasy edition is now replaced, with the rulebook viewable for 9 weeks prior to the tournament, meaning people may not want to waste their time and $50 + travel going to a tournament to play a defunct, disliked edition that uses a comp system to boot

8th edition Pros
New system used in a major GT may generate interest and sign-ups from people eager for something fresh and new, and eager to put their new army list ideas and armies to the test in a system where less people have number crunched it into the obvious power lists / etc.; most probably will be a better liked edition due to any glaring problems not yet fully realized (or maybe there won't be any)

8th edition Cons
People not wanting to sign up for a tournament so soon after edition releases; more rules questions the day of if the tournament organization team doesn't properly evaluate them all and address in a FAQ; again though somewhat irrelevant due to use of comp for 7th ed, people have to build new armies due to deep structural changes to the game

What do ya'll think?


  1. Have you really heard that 7th edition is "widely unpopular"? This surprises me, as I have heard and personally feel that the basic 7th edition rules are solid, and its the army books that are wildly unbalanced and cause the game to require a detailed comp system.

    I would push for keeping the tourney at 7th edition, as I am not confident 5 (9) weeks is enough lead time to institute a new edition. On the other hand, many tourneys use a 4 week rule, and this edition release sits outside that 4 weeks.

    Your probably safest reserving comment until you have a chance to see the changes made in the new edition.

  2. Safely and fortunately, I'm not a Fantasy player, so for me it's more of a logistics issue.

    7th is widely unpopular BECAUSE of army book imbalance ... to clarify. Most of the 8th edition rumors so far point at it changing the game in a way that fundamentally corrects most of those imbalances.

    In any event ... lead time is good; the more constructive discussion that can be generated before something is a problem, the better and more educated you'll be at addressing the problem when it hits.

    It is at quite the inconvenient time, just outside of that normal 1 month window, especially with the way preview copies work. Who will want to sign up for a $50 7th ed. tournament that happens as many as 9 weeks after they looked at and started playing with that new preview rulebook in their LGS?

  3. "On the other hand, many tourneys use a 4 week rule, and this edition release sits outside that 4 weeks."

    I said essentially the same thing to Mike when he told me of the release date and it does sit outside the 4 week period, by 1 week. In the gaming world this is pretty short. If you think of your casual gamer he may have 6 or 7 games under his belt by the time he gets to the tournament and I can tell you from experience he is still gonna be in the weeds.

    The bad news is that you will have people showing up playing their first or second game of 8th fantasy so it is gonna be like watching a deer learn to walk. The good news is, for the most part everyone is in the same boat. We are all going to be dealing with this new change. I've got to say you need to just suck it up and go with the new version(barring some crazy change that has people re-cutting movement trays and going back to first principles). You may need some extra staff on the fantasy side to handle some of the questions and as good of an FAQ as you can handle. I'm normally a pretty RAI guy and you may have to make some tough rulings on some of the ambiguity that people spout when new books come out just to keep things in check.


  4. I'd go 8th Ed. The rules will be out long enough for the basic adaptation while not long enough for high tweaked 8th ed lists. Should be a fun event and would make me serious consider switching over from 40K.

  5. As a prior tournament organizer, I think 5 weeks is more than sufficient time to change to the new system.
    Consider the type of player that's going to be competitive for top slots in 7th. If the tournament is published as an 8th ed and they have weeks to prepare, are they really going to be unfamiliar with the system? Or are they going to be hitting the preview copies hard, have a personal copy the day of release and be ready for the competition?
    My bet's on the latter. Use 8th ed.

  6. Definitely go for 8th. 5 weeks is a good time to get familiar with things, plus everybody will pretty much be at the same stage.

  7. As someone who doesn't play fantasy, i say go with 8th. Since you're not factoring paint scores into overall winner, it shouldn't punish people who need to switch up their armies in the weeks leading up to the tournament.

  8. Well, I 8th ed, as I've said in other places. Are people really going to want to play an out of date game over a month after it's newer version has been released?

    In addition, a lot of people will get into or get back into Fantasy with the new edition. 8th edition rules will boost the attendance for the event.