Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Realms of Chaos, some thoughts...

After our first game of Realms of Chaos in a good many years what are the main things that I have either remembered or thanks to the experience of age been able to see about the game.

  1. The system is unfair. By its very nature random tables are unfair, it only take two pieces of luck to really place leagues between two champions. Being a level 20 wizard averaged out with a level 5 vampire really does place my champion in a different league to my brothers level 15 hero. This perhaps is obvious, we certainly knew it in our youth but perhaps here with only two warbands the difference is more marked, on a big table with many warbands things will average out a bit more.
  2. Slaaneshi warbands will find it harder to grow than Khornate ones, particularly if the champion is not capable of throwing offensive spells around. A Khorne champion picks up reward points just for killing in hand to hand, a Slaanesh champion needs to use magic.
  3. Variety is the spice of life. Now it was a fun game, I hope even for my brother who did find himself in a position to cause damage but unable to win but the same two warbands fighting each other are going to need something more than just a pitched battle to retain the fun.
  4. Missile fire is not decisive, perhaps because of the board size and the way we both got stuck in quickly missile fire played a minor roll in the battle. It could also be that beastmen are just great troops to face missile fire with. 
  5. It would be good to have a little more flexibility to arm the troops with basic weapons within reason. The addition of just a double handed weapon to the champion would have improved my brothers lot. Though the option to give Beastmen double handed weapons is always there, something to consider. 

Thoughts and lessons specifically for my warband:

  1. Being half-vampire rocks. Normally the stats for a giant wolf are a little worse than a level 5 vampire in most ways except for movement. However they are as good or better than a half level 5 vampire so turning into a wolf is a no brainer.
  2. The need to summon the numbers that make up my warband and to transform into a wolf does give an opponent at least a turns grace to exploit.
  3. Skeletons are very fragile.
  4. Level 15 Skeleton champions are not very fragile and do kick butt.

How to improve:
  1. Mix things up with some secondary warbands to be played (within the confines of the game)  to be as mean as possible to the other player rather than to build and grow and play on the day.
  2. Scenarios with different win conditions and even given scenarios specific rewards to win. This would have to be judged fairly to ensure you weren’t just going for the good stuff. 
  3. Consider using some of the improvements to the campaign system, in L&D.


  1. I was hoping that people wouldn't beef up their warbands too much, is that really a worry? Also, if the campaign rules are done properly as the champion grows the story of their Warband is one of managed decline rather than a path to glory, they are mere pawns after all. Anyways, you can always just get a GM on the day who drops 12" radius Karma-Comets on any cheese-loving neckbeards.

  2. Thing is right from the start there can be a huge difference in champion status, just look a zhu's champion, loads of fun but game wise not able to stand toe to toe with a regular trooper let alone Dragan. Mind you his troll may have better luck.

    I don't think even uber warbands will be too much of a problem in a mass battle, things should even out.

    I'm not imagining I'll have lots of pre-big game games just enough to inject some character and narrative. We have 6 months to go so don't want to over dose too much, until the big day anyway.

  3. Yeah, those tables are not just random, they are truly wild.

    I thought that the more pitiable warbands might be best off facing each other in the big bash, or going two vs one.

    Flying Trolls are great, while they are passing stupidity checks!

    Given that each game caps you at a maximum of 2 rewards and demands that your champ survives, I thought that getting in two or three games for narrative purposes and putting them on the blog/bloodforum would be a great idea. Theoretically weaker starting warbands should balance out a bit after those games too (no guarantees mind...).

    If the worst case scenario plays out and someone turns up out of the blue with a warband that is a veteran of 20 games, someone may need to have a quiet word. :)

    Perhaps warbands should register progress on the Oldhammer blog or bloodforum?

    At the very least, an uberwarband should have some pretty serious mission objectives for the day, like collecting the same number of enemy champion heads as your Gods number (2xD6 for unaligned!). :)

  4. Depends, my understanding was that all the warbands were facing off at the same time on the same table. Utter chaos but lots of fun.

  5. Yes that was what I expected, not being paired off onto separate like, like, well, a TOURNAMENT! (*hawks*, *spits*).

    Even so, players in multiplayer games tend to get tunnel vision instinctively and go straight forward, never straying from their zone of operations. Just like WW2 Russian divisions.

    I realise I am trying to impose a semblance of order onto the Chaos which is the sign of a very unhealthy mind, a mind crying out to be ignored, but with a little jiggery-pokery by a GM in the deployment phase certain match-ups can be nurtured and bad ones avoided.

    Regardless of all else, shame on those champions that on the day fail to seek glorious combats and dangerously exciting duels. Spawndom awaits them!

  6. "Yes that was what I expected, not being paired off onto separate"