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jonboyjon1990

Thoughts and Questions from an Inexperienced Player

18 posts in this topic

Hey all,

I've been onboard with this game since day one - I was psyched by the idea of 'FFG does WHFB' - And I really love the system itself. I've been slowly been making my way through painting (you may have seen some of my posts around), but the reality is that I've been really busy (doing a PhD, two kids aged 6 and 3). So I've only played 6 games - 4 'starter' games (i.e the single core set, learning scenario thing) and 2 full games, with full listbuilding, objectives, deployments, terrain etc. For reference, I have access to x2 Cores, x1 Lord Hawthorne, x1 Daqan Command, x1 Ankaur Maro, x1 Waiqar Command. 

I totally, totally get that this is a deep nuanced system and it (as it should!) has a steep learning curve, and I've only played 2 proper games (2!) - so I know most of this post can simply be answered by saying "just play more games",  but interested in a discussion on some thoughts I've had. 

So far, I'm finding the game actually comes with a lot of Negative Play Experience (or NPE). I find that movement and positioning is incredibly difficult, attacks often whiff or are underwhelming and generally it's just quite difficult to simply 'get things done'. In that regard, the game just sort of comes across as...unsatisfying? It's like the game creates very little positive feedback. Granted, I've exclusively played as Waiqar, and I think most people would agree that they're a bit more reliant on harnessing synergy - making their learning curve even steeper. I really can't make any real use out of the Archers for instance. They always get charged down by cavalry, or can't arc on stuff as they're stuck behind other units. Or I place them in front and then they block the movement of my infantry. 

Me and my opponent are just having this sort of deflated feeling a lot of the time when playing:

"Oh that charge just missed then I suppose"

"OK, I'll attack with my Carrion Lancer and I'm flanking you, so here's 4 dice...oh pretty much a whiff"

"We both revealed attacks, rather than one of us charging in..."

It just seems that not a lot actually happens during a game? 

We're also finding that movement in general is really difficult - it's barely possible to move through you're own troops, so you can't really do anything other than just set up abreast from each unit. And therefore it feels like it's really easy to get boxed in or trapped behind your own units. Terrain similarly is very brutal to get stuck around or behind. 

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Again, I'm not saying any of this is a problem per se. I'm not saying "OMG this game is broken! - I've only played twice and I'm not amazing at it" - I don't want a game or a system that I can master after a few plays - that process of learning a new system and how to do well with it is one of my favourite things in gaming. And I've only played 2 full games - I'm more than happy for the answer to this to simply be "play more games", but I'm just interested to hear your thoughts on the above discussion and to hear about how long it felt for you until things started clicking into place a bit more? 

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It looks like more of a case of you need some of the expansions. Waiqar need the synergy cards in the expansions. Combat ingenuity is an auto include on archers in my local meta (and available in the archer box). Simultaneous orders is great for reanimate deathblighters (support lancer and deathcaller), and is in the reanimates box. 

I've found this game to be extremely fun and fast paced. The early games drag a bit, but when you get the flow down a game can be played in under an hour.

The mind games of the initiative system is one of my favorite features. Trying to guess an opponents likelyhood of charging is maddening sometimes.

Bigger units tend to whiff less, due to reroll ranks. I generally never count on a single roll unit doing anything more than half potential damage.

Hope you keep playing and find some enjoyment in it. It's currently my favorite minis game!

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3 minutes ago, Jukey said:

It looks like more of a case of you need some of the expansions. Waiqar need the synergy cards in the expansions. Combat ingenuity is an auto include on archers in my local meta (and available in the archer box). Simultaneous orders is great for reanimate deathblighters (support lancer and deathcaller), and is in the reanimates box. 

I've found this game to be extremely fun and fast paced. The early games drag a bit, but when you get the flow down a game can be played in under an hour.

The mind games of the initiative system is one of my favorite features. Trying to guess an opponents likelyhood of charging is maddening sometimes.

Bigger units tend to whiff less, due to reroll ranks. I generally never count on a single roll unit doing anything more than half potential damage.

Hope you keep playing and find some enjoyment in it. It's currently my favorite minis game!

Thanks for the reply. Yeah since I've only got the 2nd heroes and command packs from the available expansions, I haven't really looked at the other upgrade cards available. I'm in no hurry to get them, but may proxy, since I'm only ever playing at home. 

And I'll definitely keep playing! I'm too invested not to haha! 

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I do think the answer must be: Play more games! ;) The disappointment of a failed charge will turn into excited satisfaction when you successfully pull off that maneuver that you planned.

But there are also a few things you can do to mitigate the frustration of the early games too:

- Remember that you can always pre-measure with the range ruler. This will allow you to better judge distances and prevent those failed charges. 
- Be forgiving. Your opponent accidentally clips a terrain feature by a couple millimeters```? Let him move past and execute his move as planned. Charge fails a millimeter short? Forget it and proceed with the attack. Somehow dialed in an obvious mistake on the modifier dial? Let him change it. 

I've taught the game to a friend recently and we had a week full of interesting games - we played all 125-points skirmish games. You can vary units used quite well with the extra 125 points, and the games were fast and action-packed.

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Our first couple games experienced a lot of missed charges... misjudging distances or making sweeping turning charges from a distance that just didn't connect.  With just one core set at the time we ran out of panic tokens and had to substitute others :P

A little experience and that got much better.  Those faceoff moments when you think they're going to charge so you dial in an attack and then learn they thought the same will happen now and then.  Horrible dice rolls hasn't happened much at all with us, but that's just luck.  It certainly makes you appreciate larger units or abilities that grant rerolls.

 

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I hope you're not offended by this, but my guess would be that you don't have that much experience in miniature gaming. There is a learning curve for miniatures that is completely different from that in board gaming.

Few board games take more than a couple plays to really spot the strategies and concepts that will make for what is considered better play. I have found that most miniatures games require much more experience, and you are, wittingly or not, just in the middle of the learning curve. If the theme is still to your liking and the mechanics make sense to you, keep playing. I would suspect that in just a few more plays you'll be knocking it out of the park.

Once you just start getting everything so it's all second nature, even more strategies and tactics will present themselves. Also, as mentioned above, get just a few more boxes with some of the cards you don't have and also switch sides. Pretty sure it will come to you then.

If you play, say, five more times, and you feel still like it's not rewarding you, you should probably then sell it.

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Waiqar are the hardest to play due to the fact they need certain card combos to function and you have to play them in a certain way. They are very, very unforgiving.

Both archers and reanimates want the cards in their respective box. They drastically improve their output.

Other issue is you have barely any games. This and pretty much any miniature game has a lot of rules you can easily overlook. Several of which can easily be the reason why you feel lack luster performance because you never know you could do X and X situation pops up ALL THE TIME (example: not knowing Surge effects can be repeated if you have the Surges to spend and its not exhausting the card or using the special surge icons found on elf units right now)

You also desperately just need more numbers. If you only have the 2nd hero and a command box you are suffering on proper setups. Maro especially you want a lot of excess trays since he adds them. One command usually isnt enough, generally 2 is ideal if you are trying to use figure upgrades at all (saturate the field with them and it makes character sniping less painful). Archers can usually be fine with a couple 2x1's floating around, especially with Combat Ingenuity on them, but Reanimates blow goats without phat numbers (and lingering dead)

Once you get ahang of the dials you wont have as many issues with people not charging in either. That actually rarely happens to me unless its a mirror match, generally one will charge faster in 90% of situations so its a no brainer who is going to charge (which, again, is difficult for Waiqar since they also have a fairly quick attack but slow movement)

Edited by Vineheart01
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24 minutes ago, kac said:

I hope you're not offended by this, but my guess would be that you don't have that much experience in miniature gaming. There is a learning curve for miniatures that is completely different from that in board gaming.Few board games take more than a couple plays to really spot the strategies and concepts that will make for what is considered better play. I have found that most miniatures games require much more experience, and you are, wittingly or not, just in the middle of the learning curve. If the theme is still to your liking and the mechanics make sense to you, keep playing.

No worries - no offence taken - although I did state in my post several disclaimers that:

1) I haven't played it much

2) I want the game to have a learning curve 

3) I'm just starting on that curve and wonder what people's experiences of it are

And while I do own and play board games more than I play minis games - I've played several hundred games of X-Wing and quite a few of Imperial Assault too. Not to mention loads of other stuff like MtG, 40K etc over the years. 

Quote

 

I would suspect that in just a few more plays you'll be knocking it out of the park.

Once you just start getting everything so it's all second nature, even more strategies and tactics will present themselves. Also, as mentioned above, get just a few more boxes with some of the cards you don't have and also switch sides. Pretty sure it will come to you then.

If you play, say, five more times, and you feel still like it's not rewarding you, you should probably then sell it.

 

Thanks - good advice! Much of my gaming has been dominated by board games over the summer, because my brother in law was around and so our group was always 3+. But he's going back to University, so I'll be getting more games of Runewars in going forward

Edited by jonboyjon1990

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3 hours ago, jonboyjon1990 said:

Me and my opponent are just having this sort of deflated feeling a lot of the time when playing:

"Oh that charge just missed then I suppose"

"OK, I'll attack with my Carrion Lancer and I'm flanking you, so here's 4 dice...oh pretty much a whiff"

"We both revealed attacks, rather than one of us charging in..."

It just seems that not a lot actually happens during a game? 

We're also finding that movement in general is really difficult - it's barely possible to move through you're own troops, so you can't really do anything other than just set up abreast from each unit. And therefore it feels like it's really easy to get boxed in or trapped behind your own units. Terrain similarly is very brutal to get stuck around or behind. 

I think it's definitely a part of learning. Getting a better understanding of how to gauge distance. We constantly used the range stick, but we weren't accounting for the fact the first section was longer than was supposed to, so we missed a lot. Turning was also hard to judge took games and games to get that down, and I'm still not the best.

I one time set up a 2x2 with Ankaur Maro upgrade in it and it got stuck behind units and let behind on my big charge and destroyed because of it, it's a matter of thinking of that and accounting for it. Took me a couple games of that mistake to really think about what units move at what initiation.

3 hours ago, Jukey said:

I've found this game to be extremely fun and fast paced. The early games drag a bit, but when you get the flow down a game can be played in under an hour.

The mind games of the initiative system is one of my favorite features. Trying to guess an opponents likelyhood of charging is maddening sometimes.

I can't tell you how many times I've dialed in a charge only to get charged myself. I've done it several times, I also play as Waiqar and that is something I keep telling myself. Waiqar has to play more reactively, more defensively.

1 hour ago, Vineheart01 said:

Both archers and reanimates want the cards in their respective box. They drastically improve their output.

Other issue is you have barely any games. This and pretty much any miniature game has a lot of rules you can easily overlook. Several of which can easily be the reason why you feel lack luster performance because you never know you could do X and X situation pops up ALL THE TIME (example: not knowing Surge effects can be repeated if you have the Surges to spend and its not exhausting the card or using the special surge icons found on elf units right now)

I've played about 10 games or so. I just found out you can continue to spend surge, we (my group) interpreted that if it doesn't have the + it can't be done more than once, and that has drastically changed everything. I always wondered how blight could be effective and it's because I've only ever been able to do one per turn since I didn't know you could keep spending surge.

There are a lot of things that come from reading forums and just playing. If you're in a small group allow yourselves to proxy cards and save some money. Or proxy units, I use my roommates daqan to quantify my added trays from Maro all the time.

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There's also some interesting nuance with the movement templates and "snap to" aspect of collisions, that other games don't have.  For instance, the wider your unit the further forward a turn will take you.  I played a game the other day where I had a two or three wide unit of Reanimates just outside of range 1 of my opponent's unit, so there was a bit of mind games going on over who would do what.  He thought that my Reanimates couldn't reach him at initiative 5 since the charge would only be a 1 straight march, so he planned accordingly.  Instead I dialed in a turning charge at initiative at 5, and the outside corner of my unit collided with his pretty easily.

I think the idea of deploying your units all neat and lined up against the enemy they want to attack is a bit of a trap as well.  The Waiqar for example almost all have a wheel modifier.  This can let you deploy them facing different directions than might seem intuitive, and cover ground they wouldn't be able to otherwise in the opening turns.

My suggestion would be to play only, or at least practice deploying and a few opening moves, with the Careful Approach setup for awhile.  That deployment forces you to think a bit differently about movement compared to the others

 

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51 minutes ago, Curlycross said:

 

I've played about 10 games or so. I just found out you can continue to spend surge, we (my group) interpreted that if it doesn't have the + it can't be done more than once, and that has drastically changed everything. I always wondered how blight could be effective and it's because I've only ever been able to do one per turn since I didn't know you could keep spending surge.

 

@Curlycross - you can absolutely keep surging unless it has the "circle surge" (look at the Deepwood Archers) which makes it a unique (one of) ability.

While the objectives try to force engagement/tempo, what I've seen, is that most armies rally on Turn 1 (think banking engineering or nav in Armada) so you kinda need double blight to make a blight stick (probably saying double immobilize is a stronger example).

Of course, a Rally Action removes all banes.

Tell you what, from playing WHFB... once you line up, you really don't maneuver... and one turn of lucky shooting, the game is over.

RuneWars feels like what a rank and file game should be!

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Thats what he meant. He recently learned you CAN do that, they've been playing you couldnt. Which, tbh, is primarily only a problem for waiqar so nobody else noticed anything odd about playing that way.
Daqans all have 2 surges or exhausted surges and Elves are either 2surge or oneshot surges.

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One thing to think about is that if you are playing the same opponent you can get caught up in the same feedback loop.  So if you are both playing defensively, the action can feel lack luster.  

Don't forget to think about intiative as that should help dictate if you dial in that charge or they do.  Use the cheatsheet to know the options your opponent has(or just ask your opponent when their fastest move/attack is).  Getting the first strike is big in the game.  It let's you armor up for their return strike, weaken the threat or reroll of your target, trigger panics that could cancel their whole activation, etc.  So when you can hit first, that will keep the action going.

Missing a charge happens, that's part of experience, just laugh it off for now and know in the future you'll be driving right into them.  Also, metered March is a thing (for avoiding obstacles).

One more tip, if you use the range ruler to help guide, don't forget that because of the "hook" on the move templates things are shorter than they appear.

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1 hour ago, Click5 said:

There's also some interesting nuance with the movement templates and "snap to" aspect of collisions, that other games don't have.  For instance, the wider your unit the further forward a turn will take you.  I played a game the other day where I had a two or three wide unit of Reanimates just outside of range 1 of my opponent's unit, so there was a bit of mind games going on over who would do what.  He thought that my Reanimates couldn't reach him at initiative 5 since the charge would only be a 1 straight march, so he planned accordingly.  Instead I dialed in a turning charge at initiative at 5, and the outside corner of my unit collided with his pretty easily.

I think the idea of deploying your units all neat and lined up against the enemy they want to attack is a bit of a trap as well.  The Waiqar for example almost all have a wheel modifier.  This can let you deploy them facing different directions than might seem intuitive, and cover ground they wouldn't be able to otherwise in the opening turns.

My suggestion would be to play only, or at least practice deploying and a few opening moves, with the Careful Approach setup for awhile.  That deployment forces you to think a bit differently about movement compared to the others

 

Your turn attack... genius.

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17 minutes ago, Curlycross said:

Your turn attack... genius.

This is my go-to move with Reanimates.

Even if you aren't using it for extra range, you can often use a Bank Charge to hit a corner and square up into a flank.

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I played Daqan mostly until my elves came out.

 

my first 6 games or so I kept bumping my Oathsworn on terrain taking them out of the game for the most part.  And lost a lot.

now I feel pretty good moving.  Which is good cause movement is super important for elves.  I totally think more you play the better.

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i guess im the boring one.

i play daqan, if i were to switch it'd be to waiqar. Waiqar technically are more the playstyle i usually go for (ultimate shenanigan synergies), but golem aesthetics won me over. Uthuk would be a close second since im also an advocate for "Your hp is a resource, use it well" but that kinda falls on its face when your hp is your only resource lol. I feel the uthuk will be a quick-game faction, either utterly devastating you or getting devastated because their self-infliction didnt help enough and now theyre at a disadvantage.

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