Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Ramblings of a Lunatic - Formations and 9th Ed rumours

"Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! The sky is falling!" is what many Fantasy players are saying, myself included at some points, but as usual as more information emerges this is starting to go away. Here's a quick breakdown (a TL;DR, if you will) of the current Fantasy ramblings, as well some thoughts about the information that has been confirmed.

Round bases
That nasty picture with the Screaming Bell and Plague Furnace on round bases turned out to be a legit photo and was in WD50. Nothing was said about it, at all. Fantasy releases continue to be exclusively on square bases, and there's no way that GW editors didn't catch the round base thing with all of the hubbub on the internet... WD51 didn't mention anything either.

Is this coming in the future? Maybe, but it seems seriously unlikely that it will be in 9th ed. Even the rumours from "reliable sources" don't seem to be consistent or clear.

Factions
End Times seems to be strongly leading in this direction, so I would expect that we may indeed see this, potentially with future pruning of armies (likely not at the launch of 9th though). 

Honestly, I don't think this is a bad thing. End Times has been an absolute blast, and has been a nice shift in the meta with the new lists. Tomb Kings are finally viable in tournament play, Chaos (of all sorts) got some new toys, Elves... well at least they're a different kind of ridiculously good now.

From a business standpoint, Factions make perfect sense. The introduction of Allies in 40k in 6th edition was a genius move from a business perspective, because now the guy that wanted to start a second army, but couldn't afford a full list, could still buy a few models and use them. Since End Times started I know that I have dropped a few hundred dollars on armies I don't even play simply because I can now field their stuff. Where is this headed? I'll, of course, now be fleshing out a Daemons army as well, because I have the start of one.

Did Allies in 40k have some huge issues? Yes. Was it good for the game? Debatable, but I'd say yes. Was it good for the overall hobby and GW? Without a doubt, absolutely yes.

Armies being cut
Rumour mill is stating that Lizardmen in particular are being cut from Fantasy. As I noted above, maybe this will come down the road, but I seriously doubt that it will be the case for 9th. If anything, they'll likely get the Brettonian treatment of being ignored rather than removed. With that said, they also got a Formation... so they aren't totally left out to dry (eww... Lizard jerky).

And now on to what has been confirmed....

Formations
These are something that have been popping up in 40k as well. They are confirmed for Fantasy, though the images so far are tough to read, but basically they allow specific army compositions that have the potential to ignore things like the normal Core requirement. Expect to see things like all Slayer Dwarf armies, and the like.

At first, the reaction is likely "Crap, this stuff is going to be severely broken!". Maybe, but more importantly it will shift the metagame which is a good thing. 8th edition has been around for quite a while, and things haven't changed much with the exception of new army books coming out and shaking things up (Wood Elves, anyone?). 

In 40k Formations have brought some really crazy stuff like the Adamantium Lance formation for Imperial Knights. People scream that this was broken as hell... but then you look at tournament results and see that Eldar (plain, vanilla, Eldar) are still winning consistently. A lot of stuff will seem crazy at first, and then people will shift their lists to deal with it.

End of an era for the current meta? Yes. End of an era for the game? Hell no.

- Logan (@1PlusLogan on Twitter)

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