*
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
March 05, 2021, 04:14:25 AM

Login with username, password and session length

Donate

We Appreciate Your Support

Members
Stats
  • Total Posts: 1483740
  • Total Topics: 103681
  • Online Today: 368
  • Online Ever: 1675
  • (December 28, 2020, 04:48:59 PM)
Users Online

Recent

Author Topic: Warhammer Historicals.. How Good Were They?  (Read 1165 times)

Offline Jack Hooligan

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 600
    • Wyrd Stones and Tackle Zones
Warhammer Historicals.. How Good Were They?
« on: January 20, 2021, 10:10:18 PM »
I was pretty much mainly just gaming GW's Specialist Games when their Warhammer Historical imprint was publishing titles. However, I did have a few of the Legends of the Old West books, that I thought were pretty cool. I think their Ancients version of Warmaster was well received, as were some of their books based on WFB. I recall a Transylvania armies book even. What about Legends of the High Seas or the Gladiator game? Didn't they also do a Trafalgar title like Man O War? I dunno.

Anyway, educate me. Where these books good? Which were the best? Do they still hold up?
Blog: Wyrd Stones and Tackle Zones
Gaslands and Zona Alfa Log: Roswell ‘98
Blood Bowl Log: Blitzmania

Offline lethallee61

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 236
Re: Warhammer Historicals.. How Good Were They?
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2021, 03:23:24 AM »
My mates regularly play games using “The Great War” and it’s sequel. Another mate plays huge games using the “Waterloo” rules and all cannot rate the books highly enough. I’ve had the Old West and Ancient Battle myself and found them to be great to play.

Seeing the prices asked on eBay for any of these books should give you a good idea of their popularity. I cannot understand why they aren’t re-printed - it would be a very simple task to make even more money for the GW juggernaut.
Enjoying the game is ALWAYS more important than winning the game.

Offline Elbows

  • Galactic Brain
  • Posts: 8455
Re: Warhammer Historicals.. How Good Were They?
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2021, 05:08:47 AM »
My opinion is just based on the handful of books I owned.  The rules were often completely "okay".  Many of the games were heavily based around Warhammer-based frameworks.

The nice part was the quality of the books; the pictures, the background, etc. were pretty top notch.

I think it was a sad statement though by Games Workshop as a whole that they were officially ceasing producing any kind of game that didn't solely rely on their specific models. 



2021 Painted Miniatures: 08
(2020: 207, 2019: 123, 2018: 98, 2017: 226, 2016: 233, 2015: 32, 2014: 116)

https://myminiaturemischief.blogspot.com/

Offline fred

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 2736
    • Miniature Gaming
Re: Warhammer Historicals.. How Good Were They?
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2021, 08:30:24 AM »
My opinion is just based on the handful of books I owned.  The rules were often completely "okay".  Many of the games were heavily based around Warhammer-based frameworks.



Very much this, if you like the Warhammer style of game, then WH historicals will suit you. But if you were already playing GW specialist games then it is likely you prefer other mechanisms and styles of games.

Offline SJWi

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 431
Re: Warhammer Historicals.. How Good Were They?
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2021, 09:54:50 AM »
I have never played much GW stuff so will give a hopefully dispassionate view. Games such as Waterloo and Trafalgar never seemed to take off. No idea why. Were they “not very good” or poorly marketed? I know no-one who bought or played either. Warhammer Great War seemed a bit of a hit but personally I find gaming WW1 difficult in 28mm. I don’t see anyone playing it at my club today. That said I have no idea what most club members are playing. Warhammer Ancient Battles (WAB) was a big hit and I see it still played regularly. Some of my mates still like it but it wasn’t my “cup of tea” ....too many dice! In smaller scale Warmaster seemed to be well regarded but never seemed to take off. I still have WAB and all the army books sitting on a shelf unused....

Offline v_lazy_dragon

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1452
Re: Warhammer Historicals.. How Good Were They?
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2021, 10:15:33 AM »
The books I had (a few WAB and LOTOW) were gorgeous to look at, and in the WAB Arthurian book's case, made a handy primer for the period to boot. The WAB rules were basically Warhammer - easy to pick up if you are familiar with WHFB, but not as elegant as some others on the market.

LOTOW was a nice system (based off the LOTR SBG, which I always felt was the best of the GW stable by a long way), fun to play... although we found that melee was significantly more deadly than firing, so it ended up with all our Cowpoke ignoring their shootin' irons and trying to stick the other folks in melee. Fine, but not quite the right feel! I didn't get to use the campaign rules, but ala Necromunda & Mordhiem it was well detailed, with the potential for the 'key' characters in a gang to progress and acquire more 'stuff' as well as hiring some fun mercenary characters along the way. I think that was a key reason for the popularity, along with hitting a characterful mix between history and hollywood. I have heard LOTHS is the same system, but with the stetson swapped for a tricorn. Lots of pirate ranges suddenly brought out suitable figures to match the character types, so that probably means something
« Last Edit: January 21, 2021, 10:34:16 AM by v_lazy_dragon »
Xander
Army painters thread: leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=56540.msg671536#new
WinterApoc thread: leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=50815.0

Offline OSHIROmodels

  • Supporting Adventurer
  • Elder God
  • *
  • Posts: 24000
  • Custom terrain a speciality.
    • Oshiro modelterrain
Re: Warhammer Historicals.. How Good Were They?
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2021, 10:19:37 AM »
I really enjoyed playing WAB (coming from a WFB background). Wasn't too keen on LotHS though, it didn't feel complete as a ruleset to me as it seemed there were some things missing.

Offline robh

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 2857
  • Spanish offworld colonies
Re: Warhammer Historicals.. How Good Were They?
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2021, 11:21:43 AM »
Trafalgar was awful, you may as well push tonka toy boats around in a puddle to get the same degree of "realism" for how Napoleonic Naval warfare actually worked.

The WAB series and the ECW rules were, as pointed out, Warhammer with a historical veneer, know and like the one and you will like the others. The Individual expansion books are great source material, even if you don't have any interest in the rules themselves.  The Vlad book is probably the best single volume colour reference to the armies of the era available.

The real jewel in the Warhammer Historical line was Warwick Kinrade's "Kampfgruppe Normandy". An excellent set of rules, beautifully presented and an absolute mine of information on the armies and campaign.  It was also very simple to expand to other campaigns and theatres. The success of the stepchild "Battlegroup xxx" series re-write continues it's legacy and is equally good (if rather expensive).

Offline SJWi

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 431
Re: Warhammer Historicals.. How Good Were They?
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2021, 02:40:36 PM »
By the way I am told that Rob Broom’s “War and Conquest” is actually very similar to WAB. Indeed someone said “it’s what WAB v2” should have been . I have never played it so can’t comment any more definitively!

Offline McMordain

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 401
Re: Warhammer Historicals.. How Good Were They?
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2021, 04:46:59 PM »
I played a lot of LotOW, mostly campaigns (also a lot of LotR Battle Companies, which is essentially the same game). It was a lot of fun, but as v_lazy_dragon wrote, melee was op if you could get in range. Also there are some problems with balancing the bands in a long campaign. All of them ended when one band had a couple of good games, with good after battle rolls, and they became almost invincible (A sheriff with a buffalo gun+scope+Rifleman skill still haunts me...  lol ) Plus if someone had bad luck it was hard to recover...
The LotR/LotOW rules are still my favorite out of everything I played/read.

Bear Pirates Go To Hell!

Offline Will Bailie

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1139
    • Will's toy soldier blog
Re: Warhammer Historicals.. How Good Were They?
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2021, 05:15:50 PM »
Warhammer Ancient Battles (WAB) was what brought me into historical wargaming, so I have a great fondness for WHW in general.  WHW was pretty much the result of a group of enthusiasts within the larger GW organisation, producing historical versions of the GW fantasy (WFB, Warmaster, LotR SBG) and sci-fi (40k) games.  The books all had fantastic production values, especially compared to many of the historical wargames being produced at the time. 

While WAB started out as WFB with the magic removed (and the effects of heroes dialled back), it was embraced by a community of enthusiasts who looked for ways to depict specific historical armies, and this resulted in a whole library of period-specific supplements that were well researched and beautifully produced.  I particularly admired the Age of Arthur and Shieldwall supplements, and was impressed by the contributions by authors like Jeff Jonas and AE Curtis (RIP).

Following the success of WAB, WHW converted other games to historical settings.  I was a big fan of Lord of the Rings SBG, but, like other posters, I didn't feel that Legends of the Old West played all that well.  Besides the way that it encourages close combat, the campaign system allowed posses to become very powerful quite quickly, so a new player couldn't easily go up against a veteran. 

I had fun with Great War, which was based on 40k.  I was never a 40k player, but it seemed to me that since the armies on both sides were just normal humans, the fairly detailed profiles were almost identical for all armies!  But it gave a good game.

When GW decided to pull the plug on WHW, they released several games that they had in development.  I didn't try all of them - I passed on Trafalgar, for example.  I think there was a gladiator game as well.  I bought a copy of Waterloo at a deep discount.  It was very pretty to look at, a bit doorstopper of a book with glossy pages and loads of photos beautifully painted miniatures, but the rules needed more development and play testing.  Another victim of the sudden closure of WHW was the next generation of WAB.

Since WHW is long gone, and the books are all out of print, and also there's now a great selection of new games being produced and supported by so many excellent designers, I'm not sure that WHW has much to offer besides nostalgia.  But it was certainly great for the time that it was available, and I was among those sad to see the company so suddenly closed.

Offline Ragnar

  • Supporting Adventurer
  • Mastermind
  • *
  • Posts: 1159
Re: Warhammer Historicals.. How Good Were They?
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2021, 08:11:39 PM »
I played WB a lot back in the day, Late Romans vs Germanics, loved it.  I recently played a game from Age of Arthur, supposedly using WAB 2 (but I think I slipped back into WAB 1  lol).

As a side note, I never understood the dislike for WAB 2.  In fact I can't really tell the difference, except for the combat resolution part.
Gods, monsters and men,
Will die together in the end.

Offline Cubs

  • Galactic Brain
  • Posts: 4210
  • "I simply cannot survive without beauty ..."
Re: Warhammer Historicals.. How Good Were They?
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2021, 09:22:35 PM »
I love the WAB stuff, because it combined the best of both the historical and fantasy games ... or so I thought at the time. Now I look back on it and realise the combat system and stats profiles were much more suited to the fantasy quasi-roleplay style of gaming, with different races, each bringing a different flavour. There was no real command and control element, combat had at least one unnecessary stage (maybe two) and realism was sacrificed in the name of fun. But hey, you won't find me complaining, because fun it was and the books were great. Something about them drew you in and got you planning army lists straight away.

Hardly anyone plays it now, but Clash of Empires was one game that sought to emulate the flavour of WAB whilst ironing out some of the clunkier aspects that had people complaining. I never actually played the game (although I did get a credit in some of the books because some of my models were included!) so I can't comment on how it actually worked.
'Sir John ejaculated explosively, sitting up in his chair.' ... 'The Black Gang'.

Paul Cubbin Miniature Painter

Offline Warren Abox

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 342
    • War In A Box - The Blog!
Re: Warhammer Historicals.. How Good Were They?
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2021, 12:48:15 AM »
Played in an excellent "Cortez Takes Tenochtitlan" game at a SpartaCon one year.  Great fun.  The rules worked really well for a convention game.   Easy to teach, easy to learn, and easy to add homebrew rules for scenarios.  Not sure how well they would work for repeated play.

Offline racm32

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 809
    • Wyndehurst Productions
Re: Warhammer Historicals.. How Good Were They?
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2021, 10:00:02 AM »
I bought the War Hammer Ancients and Shield Wall books just a couple years ago specifically to introduce War Hammer Fantasy players to Historical games. There are rules sets that are better for given historical period but these are great segways for people familure with the fantasy games.
Instagram: Wyndehurst_Productions
Blog: http://wyndehurstproductions.blogspot.co.uk/

 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
46 Replies
11446 Views
Last post June 21, 2010, 06:45:09 AM
by marko.oja
18 Replies
2257 Views
Last post April 10, 2012, 01:20:37 AM
by jackwrench
8 Replies
2745 Views
Last post August 10, 2012, 05:22:24 AM
by Blackwolf
2 Replies
1066 Views
Last post November 24, 2014, 02:58:30 PM
by vexillia
3 Replies
891 Views
Last post January 24, 2017, 06:11:43 PM
by nic-e