The Castle Assault players pack is here. So what are the rules?
Well, whilst it’s easy to think that the rules for the tournament would all be contained in the Warhammer Fantasy Rulebook, it has long been apparent to those that organise and compete in tournaments of this nature that there are a few things that need to have a bit of an adjustment, compared to playing in a friendly “garage” type environment. This allows us to truly find who the best general is and not who has best exploited the available rules and army books.
Through much trial and error and the input of many experienced players, the following adjustments have been devised to help “even out” some of the inconsistencies between army books (some of which are up to 8 years old). Some of the changes are controversial and others well accepted. The organisers of Castle Assault try to keep the rules as close as possible to those in the Rulebook, but also use these changes unapologetically. The tournament scene in Australia benefits from having differences between the tournaments – the ability to take Special Characters or not, the scenarios used and the level of small, heavy or no Composition scoring all make for varied playing environments that encourage more thinking when designing army lists.
So, Castle Assault 2013 – What are the rules changes?
– The magic phase will be capped at a maximum of 12 Power Dice to be used, no matter how many are Channelled or generated through other means (Lore attributes, Magic Items etc).
This rule is designed to limit some of the army builds where a large number of dice can be generated for just a couple of armies or Lore’s. Whilst 8th edition has seemingly become much fairer with the replacement of some army books, there are some that can create really dominating magic phases. If everyone knows that 12 is the maximum that they can spend, the effects of Death magic and Dark Elves with Sacrificial Dagger, for example, aren’t as overbearing as they could possibly become if manipulated.
– Other than Winds of Magic and Channeling , an army may only generate an additional 2 Dispel Dice per magic phase. Items which allow you to steal power dice do not count towards the limit. (Dwarf armies are able to generate a maximum of 4 DD pre magic phase).
If we are limiting the number of Power Dice that armies use, it only makes sense to not allow runaway amounts of Dispel Dice to be generated. We also don’t want to “nerf” magic items which players have paid for. The Dwarf army has no magic, so gets some special dispensation, but doesn’t allow them to spam multiple Runelords and Runesmiths to generate numerous extra dice.
– Wood Elf Lists can use the following boost – Spellweavers can access the lore of Heavens, as well as the usual Athel Loren, Life and Beasts Lore’s. Spellsingers can access Beasts, as well as the usual Athel Loren Lore.
The Wood Elf army book is now 8 years old and really has become problematic against many of the new books. Not only are the options probably not very well costed in the current GW algorithms, the Wood Elves now face the problem of numerous Monsters and Monstrous Infantry that didn’t exist when the book was written. They are limited in Magic Lore Choices, yet their level 4 is 30 points more expensive than its closest counterpart, the High Elf Arch Mage. On top of this, they now face the Banner of the World Dragon in many High Elf Lists (which are seemingly the second most common Army at tournaments) which means that their most effective combat units, Forest Sprites, are now virtually ineffective against units carrying it. If it encourages a few players to take Wood Elves, I don’t think it is a bad thing because they are an attractive looking and fun army.
– Units that are fleeing at the end of the game will give the opponent 50 % of the unit cost (including banners, upgrades and characters within it) in Victory Points.
This rule I am not so sure is necessary anymore, but it is a middle ground between the two arguments that say either 1) play the tournament like the rulebook that gives nothing for fleeing units and 2) those that argue that fleeing units should give up their points. There is a potential to simply opt to flee if charged in the last turn, instead of completing an otherwise necessary combat, in order to preserve points. That could be really frustrating for the opposing player and we’d like to see fair dealings in this area.
What has changed from previous years?
We dropped the previous change that said that characters in units targeted by spells that hit every individual in the unit would allow a Look Out Sir roll. This change was brought into effect early in 8th Edition to stop character assassinations using spells like Dwellers Below, Gateway and the Thirteenth Spell, for example. It has since become apparent that these spells are a good counter for Deathstars (large expensive units, with Characters within, that take a lot of damage to kill) and since Infernal Gateway has changed and the Lore of Life is no longer as prevalent as it was early on, we consider this rule no longer necessary. Look Out Sir is still used for spells which use a template.
Whatever your thoughts on the above rules, we are happy to stand by them as they are known to everyone before the tournament and hopefully take a slight edge off some of the extremes that are possible for some players’ armies, that aren’t options for others.
Any comments on the above are welcome and may well be considered for Castle Assault 2014.