My group and I only recently started playing Warhammer though I had purchased my copy a long time ago and quite frankly in 25 years of role-playing games this is the first time I have played a role-playing game where at the end of the first session I didn't say "Ya it was fun BUT… xxxx complaints here about the system".
I think three things make this a genre redefining and totally revolutionary system.
First and foremost is the dice pool which in on itself tells a story about not just what the result was, but how the player came to the result. I love the idea of saying "hey your hands are wet because its raining, this black misfortune die represents that".. Than whent he roll is made if something bad happens as a result of that black die, you know exactly what the cause was. This by itself is light years ahead of anything I have seen in a game before.
Secondaly its the first time I have ever seen a role-playing game where everyone at the table knows everything that is going on, aka what the status of everything is. We know positions but we also know the health, condition, level of preperation and all the abilities that might come into play. We don't have to remember that the mage has X hitpoints left, or has X spells available or that have been used. The mystery of the tactical sitution in any given scene is completetly unvailabed by the available cards and tokens and this allows the game to always remain in the narrative rather than people trying to keep track of various stats by erasing, writing and erasing all the time. I absolutly love this aspect of the game and my players while initially a bit resistant ultimatly came to the same conclusion, its much easier to draw a card and put it in front of you than hidden on some character sheet somewhere.
Finally I think the profession system really helps to nail down the presence of the game world. Players are making more meaningful choices rather than creating choices via exploiting the mechanic. Their is no oppertunity to build the most optimal builds, or diversivy the party in the most optimal way. You pick you professions from a pool of three and while limiting this creates a natural dynamic rather than a superficial.. you play the mage, I'll play the healer and you do a tank. I absolutly HATE that about 4th Edition D&D. its a MMO in paper form and becomes a game about stats, builds and optimization. This game is all about the narrative as your characters profession is a guide for what you are going to create rather than a defining "this is who you are and here is the most optimal way to be the best version of that". I also think this ties great into the systems group think, where players have to make do with what they have rather than create and always existing in the most ideal group makeup. It becomes a game that is less tactical and more story driven. Players in my games are actively avoiding fights, trying to resolve dangerous situations and always showing a legiitmate respect to the possibility of bodily harm and death. This gives the game great realism in the narrative and players/characters act less like invincible super heroes and more like real believable characters in a dangerous fantasy world.
Hands down the best system ever made, made better by easy to track components.
Wow. After reading this I totaly forgot what my complaint was. God post.