Sunday, January 24, 2010

Warhammer Warbands

We played the second round of our Warhammer warbands league yesterday.  We had fourteen players.  The games are very small, only 250 points yesterday.  When we play again in two weeks they will be 300.

I started this league because there were only three of us who played Warhammer at the store.  I gave a lot of thought to the best way to get people to play and decided to give this a try.  The response has been a lot better than I had hoped.  Over twenty people have signed up and we had sixteen the first day and fourteen the second.  There have also been a lot of games during the week.

The nice thing about Warbands is that you start off small.  We began at 200 points.  This gives people the who are just beginning to try out Warhammer without a huge investment in time and money.  One or two units and, perhaps, a hero and you can start playing.  This size force is also less intimidating to get painted, though it is not a requirement that everything be painted to play.

The other nice thing about a league is that people can try a whole bunch of different units and tactics before they buy a lot of models.  It has been interesting to watch people pick units that they think will be great and then to see how they work on the table.  A lot of players are discovering that the unit either isn't all that they hoped or that it doesn't fit their play style.

The bad thing about Warbands is that the armies are not designed to work at this level at all.  Everyone has been playing in the spirit of the warbands rules, ie, it is for fun.  Everyone also sees how much better their army could be if they had more points.

I actually think this is a good thing.  In dating and hobby organization it is always a good idea to leave em wanting more.  If they are thinking about how great it would be to be able to play with more points, then they will want to play bigger games, which means they want to play Warhammer, which is why I did this in the first place.

This league is just for fun.  No money involved.  That gives me the opportunity to modify it as we go along.  I have already increased point levels once.  Yesterday was supposed to be 200pts, not 250.  I also decided that we would just play for the first month.  No league points or anything like that.  In the future I can increase the points, or even push us up into small Warhammer sized games rather than large Warbands games.  We'll see where the community sits on that but I am pretty sure that, model collections allowing, that is where everyone would like to go.

Of all of the players signed up only four or five have played before and they may be the only ones who have the rule book.  The rumor mill is pretty sure that 8th Edition of the Warhammer rules will be coming out this summer so no one is willing to fork out the $$$$ for the rule book.  There are still quite a few instances where people are surprised by the rules, usually to their detriment.  There have also been a lot of people having trouble because the rules are similar to 40K but not the same.

Now that we have had a couple of practice weekends I think we will be able to really get rolling next month.  I'm very pleased with the whole thing.  It has been well worth the time and effort on my part.

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