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Made in de
Terrifying Doombull






Nuremberg

I found a bunch of PDF WD online from the fat bloke era and had loads of fun re-reading the old battle reports. The huge one they did for the third war for armageddon is a classic of the genre, and Gathering of Might with the huge empire and orc armies was a thing of glory. But I used to look forward to all of them as a kid, because that was the main way to see pictures of cool armies on inspiring terrain. With the internet, I'm saturated with that sort of content to the point that a battle report is only ever a click away, and somehow that devalues them for me.

   
Made in it
Gargantuan Gargant




Italy

One of my favorite things about those battle reports on WD was the free use of conversions and scratch built models.

Now GW would never do such things, but back in 3rd edition a codex like the ork one had basically half options with no official model or bitz. The battlewagon was the most common scratch built model you could find in batreps on WD, but among other things I also remember scratch built killa kanz and deff dreads, despite those units had official models and even shiny new ones.


 
   
Made in gb
Witch Hunter in the Shadows





Cyel wrote:
I can't imagine it in 40k, you either have enough dice to kill opponent's models or you don't. Math & luck will kill you no matter your ingenuity and skill.
I didn't notice that so much in late 4th/early 5th, perhaps due to a lot of the local group being either new or out of practice. The worst player took guard and they'd lose almost every game, but they'd take good lists and if you mirror matched, list swapped, or pair with them the faction would win just fine.

The slower pace of the game and FoC helped, I think that was an era where it was harder to shoot yourself in the foot - fewer options did ultimately lead to a smaller gap between the poor choices and the wombo combos and the special/heavy weapons were pretty clear cut in most books.

It didn't last and it was far from perfect, but it was rare to ever be completely out of a game. Then against perhaps that's due to 5th editions weird objectives and the way that everything was ultimately determined on the last turn.
   
Made in pl
Regular Dakkanaut




I agree. Older editions seem to have had more decision points where you could do things badly, which differentiated good players from bad ones. Still, once I discovered WM&H there was no going back to thinking GW games are demanding and reward skill in any significant measure.
   
Made in us
Owns Whole Set of Skullz Techpriests






Gathering the Informations.

Jarms48 wrote:
A.T. wrote:
Not even close to a fair fight between 3.5 and 5e mechanised units though. A 3e armoured fist squad with a single meltagun cost the same as a 5e scoring veteran squad with three guns - that's a 4:1 firepower advantage before things like orders, demolitions, and the chimera fire port changes.


I still think the perfect Guard book would have been 5th edition, with the 3.5 edition doctrines. Just tweak the costs of some of the weaker ones, for example Warrior Weapons which should have been free.

5E book removed lasguns from Sergeants and Officers, thus it is flawed.

Realistically speaking, GW's offerings past the 3.5E book have been consistently tainted by the view that Guard is always supposed to be like the Russian army at Stalingrad. Commissars everywhere, men constantly running away, yadda yadda yadda.
I genuinely didn't even think about it until now, but the covers are a great example of this progression.

3.5E book:
Spoiler:

5E book:
Spoiler:


The Now book:
Spoiler:

We went from 0 Commissars and a focus on Guardsmen to a Commissar slowly sneaking up in the command staff and then BAM! Codex: Commissar.

Forge World has done a much, much, much better job portraying Guard regiments in a light that actually makes the army feel closer to its lore.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/10/20 13:56:23


 
   
Made in gb
Witch Hunter in the Shadows





 Kanluwen wrote:
...and then BAM! Codex: Commissar.
That was just a style change for the 6th and 7th edition covers - codex warlock, codex bloodletter, codex magos, codex random tactical marine, etc.

Commissars in squads and as independent characters existed in 3.5 (you could even take a unit of commissars) and they had this weird hierarchical unit allocation structure in a sidebar on page 40 that was just needlessly convoluted compared to having them as a unit option.

The same thing happened with the 3e Eldar warlocks being added to the 4e guardian units rather than needing to be individually reallocated from a farseer bodyguard unit. Though I guess there was some nostalgia for it at GW as they brought it back with 5e wolf guard and necron crypteks/lords.

   
Made in gb
Lit By the Flames of Prospero






The biggest problem for Guard (and every other thing about 40k) is that the memes take precedence over the actual background.
In stories featuring Guard and in the Codex it's never a case of "The Commissar executes every single member of a Platoon because they keep running away" because as soon as the Commissar gets trigger happy, the Commissar finds the rest of the squad pointing their guns at them and the Commissar gets a little friendly blue on blue.
The Codex having a Commissar on the front was likely because:
A - You can make it look fancy to catch someone's eye. It's the same with all the other 6/7/8th books where it's a Marine Captain, Dark Eldar Archon or Tyranid Prime because they are eye catching designs compared to Guardsman or Guardians.
B - Commissars are a consistent model for every Guard army. Each Regiment looks different but the Commissars stay the same. Black longcoat, tall hat, fancy sword/gun.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/10/20 14:59:24


 
   
Made in us
Owns Whole Set of Skullz Techpriests






Gathering the Informations.

A.T. wrote:
 Kanluwen wrote:
...and then BAM! Codex: Commissar.
That was just a style change for the 6th and 7th edition covers - codex warlock, codex bloodletter, codex magos, codex random tactical marine, etc.

It's a warlock and his accompanying Guardian squad.
Bloodletter and bloodletter squad.
etc


Commissars in squads and as independent characters existed in 3.5 (you could even take a unit of commissars) and they had this weird hierarchical unit allocation structure in a sidebar on page 40 that was just needlessly convoluted compared to having them as a unit option.

Independent Commissars was a doctrine...and although you got your unit of 3 Commissars, you couldn't take the HQ versions and they cost +10 points more.

The "Advisors" rule wasn't that complex. Your Command HQ got Advisors first, then your Platoon HQ, then leftovers could be assigned to individual squads.

The same thing happened with the 3e Eldar warlocks being added to the 4e guardian units rather than needing to be individually reallocated from a farseer bodyguard unit. Though I guess there was some nostalgia for it at GW as they brought it back with 5e wolf guard and necron crypteks/lords.

Maybe, but they also went and shoved Commissars into all the Guard starter stuff that wasn't a big ol' box.
SC: Astra Militarum was a perfect example of this. It would have been the same, for them, to include the Cadian Command Squad rather than the Commissar.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Gert wrote:
The biggest problem for Guard (and every other thing about 40k) is that the memes take precedence over the actual background.
In stories featuring Guard and in the Codex it's never a case of "The Commissar executes every single member of a Platoon because they keep running away" because as soon as the Commissar gets trigger happy, the Commissar finds the rest of the squad pointing their guns at them and the Commissar gets a little friendly blue on blue.

Oh no, even the stories are starting to get that way. Justin Hill's otherwise fantastic Cadian books had a Commissar doing the whole "we're gonna leave everyone behind if they're not here exactly on time" schtick, and also executing a sergeant twice awarded the Ward of Cadia for "losing her lasgun" since she left it behind evacuating an injured superior officer from the field.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/10/20 15:01:41


 
   
Made in ca
Longtime Dakkanaut





 Blackie wrote:
One of my favorite things about those battle reports on WD was the free use of conversions and scratch built models.

Now GW would never do such things, but back in 3rd edition a codex like the ork one had basically half options with no official model or bitz. The battlewagon was the most common scratch built model you could find in batreps on WD, but among other things I also remember scratch built killa kanz and deff dreads, despite those units had official models and even shiny new ones.


There are still conversions in White Dwarf, though I'm not sure how often they feature in batreps.

I copied a Death Watch Aggressor conversion I saw in WD earlier this year (I think). There was an excellent showcase of Slaanesh conversions a little while back- I think that was this year too, but I could be wrong- it's been a While since I did a Dwarf dive. I think the most recent Tale of Four Gamers features some really simple conversions in the sisters army.

I'm not sure if they were featured more prominently in the past, or whether we just remember conversions more than we remember other types of features. I think it's possible- especially since the range was smaller then- in the Rogue Trader/ 2nd ed era, it was hard to make a full army without converting, just because there weren't anywhere near the shear variety of models there are now.

For me, the height of conversion in WD is the Blanchitsu series, which I'm sure finished sometime during 8th. I'd like to see WD bring it back. I certainly prefer it to another in an endless sea of Index Astartes Marines. Marines, Marines!

Featuring one conversion per month to represent a unit from a Flashpoint would be a really easy, thematic addition that fits with the current design philosophy of WD. WH+ character conversions are another possibility.
   
Made in gb
Lit By the Flames of Prospero






 Kanluwen wrote:

It's a warlock and his accompanying Guardian squad.
Bloodletter and bloodletter squad.
etc

Actually, that's not true.
This is the 7th Ed Eldar book.
Spoiler:

The 6th Ed CSM book.
Spoiler:

And the 8th Ed Death Guard book.
Spoiler:

All of them have stuff in the background but it is faded and not as clear as the single image in the foreground.

 Kanluwen wrote:
Oh no, even the stories are starting to get that way. Justin Hill's otherwise fantastic Cadian books had a Commissar doing the whole "we're gonna leave everyone behind if they're not here exactly on time" schtick, and also executing a sergeant twice awarded the Ward of Cadia for "losing her lasgun" since she left it behind evacuating an injured superior officer from the field.

One new story does it.
None of the Mordians in Gate of Bones are executed for silly reasons, nor are any of the Guard forces in Apocalypse or in recent Ghosts novels even in the Regiments that aren't the Tanith.
The vast majority of Guard stories have the Commissars execute very few soldiers but because of memes, people think that it's true.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/10/20 15:12:02


 
   
Made in us
Owns Whole Set of Skullz Techpriests






Gathering the Informations.

Just a fyi, that's the 6E Eldar book...

Spoiler:

That's the 7E book.
   
Made in gb
Lit By the Flames of Prospero






The point stands all the same though doesn't it? Who is the focus of that cover, the Warlock or the Guardians? It's the same as the DG book, the other stuff is there but it isn't in focus.
   
Made in us
Owns Whole Set of Skullz Techpriests






Gathering the Informations.

 Gert wrote:

 Kanluwen wrote:
Oh no, even the stories are starting to get that way. Justin Hill's otherwise fantastic Cadian books had a Commissar doing the whole "we're gonna leave everyone behind if they're not here exactly on time" schtick, and also executing a sergeant twice awarded the Ward of Cadia for "losing her lasgun" since she left it behind evacuating an injured superior officer from the field.

One new story does it.
None of the Mordians in Gate of Bones are executed for silly reasons, nor are any of the Guard forces in Apocalypse or in recent Ghosts novels even in the Regiments that aren't the Tanith.
The vast majority of Guard stories have the Commissars execute very few soldiers but because of memes, people think that it's true.

I'm not going to go through every single recent short story to say exactly what does or doesn't happen. But yes, there's definitely a few examples of Commissars going triggerhappy and nobody saying boo.

Abnett gets to do whatever he wants at this point, so using his stories as an example is a bit disingenuous. Mordians are also one of those "shiny git" regiments that always get portrayed as doing nothing wrong, ever, so Commissar involvement would detract from that.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Gert wrote:
The point stands all the same though doesn't it? Who is the focus of that cover, the Warlock or the Guardians? It's the same as the DG book, the other stuff is there but it isn't in focus.

Again, you seem to have missed the point of what I said.

There's an element of "this is what the army is about" from those other codex covers. Warlocks being a part of a Guardian Squad is actually a thing...Commissars running around with Baneblades wasn't it.

Especially because Baneblades and the like weren't even in the codex at the time!

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/10/20 15:18:05


 
   
Made in gb
Witch Hunter in the Shadows





 Kanluwen wrote:
It's a warlock and his accompanying Guardian squad.
Bloodletter and bloodletter squad.
And commissar with guard squad?


 Kanluwen wrote:
The "Advisors" rule wasn't that complex. Your Command HQ got Advisors first, then your Platoon HQ, then leftovers could be assigned to individual squads.
It combined a number of things that GW had been clearing out of all books at that point - page hopping sidebars, non-independent attached character units, the old 'bodyguard' unit rules.
It really just looks like a tidy up with no other intention behind it to me.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/10/20 16:22:49


 
   
Made in us
Owns Whole Set of Skullz Techpriests






Gathering the Informations.

A.T. wrote:
 Kanluwen wrote:
It's a warlock and his accompanying Guardian squad.
Bloodletter and bloodletter squad.
And commissar with guard squad?

Commissar, a role literally known for not being a commander, in a command role.

I get what you're saying. I really do. But it's a marked shift in portrayal, and it's just weird. It would be like if the cover of the Aeldari codex was a Harlequin.

 Kanluwen wrote:
The "Advisors" rule wasn't that complex. Your Command HQ got Advisors first, then your Platoon HQ, then leftovers could be assigned to individual squads.
It combined a number of things that GW had been clearing out of all books at that point - page hopping sidebars, non-independent attached character units, the old 'bodyguard' unit rules.
It really just looks like a tidy up with no other intention behind it to me.

"Page hopping sidebars"?

Commissars were page 41. The Advisor rules were page 40. They were literally on the opposite page, next to the Sanctioned Psykers(another Advisor unit).

All that 5E book did was remove Commissars from the Elite slot, add the Lord Commissar in HQ, and put "Commissar" as a unit upgrade for Infantry Squads and Platoon Command Squads.

note:
This same book had Penal Legion Squads, Conscripts, Psyker Battle Squads, and Ogryn Squads...none of which had the option for a Commissar as a unit upgrade. It was literally just on the two units I mentioned. Four of the most iconic "accompanied by a Commissar" units...without the option to take them aside from dumping the Lord Commissar or Yarrick in them, while two of the less iconic units have it in their unit text.
The Company Command Squad had Master of Ordnance, Astropath, Officer of the Fleet and "up to two bodyguards" as Regimental Advisors. There were also the "HQ choices but not" in the form of the Techpriest Enginseer and the Ministorum Priest.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/10/20 16:37:28


 
   
Made in gb
Witch Hunter in the Shadows





 Kanluwen wrote:
Commissar, a role literally known for not being a commander, in a command role.
I get what you're saying. I really do. But it's a marked shift in portrayal, and it's just weird. It would be like if the cover of the Aeldari codex was a Harlequin.
I mean... other covers included a bloodletter and tactical marine.

And IIRC the commissar was an HQ in every edition before and after (including the 3e rulebook codex). At the end of the day they could have picked a different guy to put on the front but a command squad doesn't fit with the 'one character' cover style and IIRC they weren't using named characters either so it was really him or a heroic looking grunt. They must have felt the commissar was more eyecatching.


All that 5E book did was remove Commissars from the Elite slot, add the Lord Commissar in HQ, and put "Commissar" as a unit upgrade for Infantry Squads and Platoon Command Squads.
Certainly as an editing choice I might have been tempted to keep the commissars format the same as the priest rather than bulking out the guard unit entries if I had been writing the book.

In earlier editions you had characters temporarily shedding their character status when joining specific units, or models who were not characters joining units like characters while still not being characters. It was all a bit fuzzy and didn't sit well with 5th editions killpoint system either. I can see why GW may not have wanted to go back down that route with the 5e commissars.
   
Made in us
Owns Whole Set of Skullz Techpriests






Gathering the Informations.

3.5E book was, from my understanding as it's when I got into the game, functionally the same as the 3E book.
Commissars were 0-5 HQ choices that did not count towards your HQ restrictions and utilized the Advisors rule.

They made a choice with that Commissar art. It came after the Militarum Tempestus book, which had a Scion on the cover.
Spoiler:


They literally had this for the inside of the cover:
Spoiler:


And you think that Mr. Shoutissar is a more eye-catching image?

Real talk though, this is the definitively iconic image of the Guard:
Spoiler:

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/10/20 17:25:39


 
   
Made in gb
Witch Hunter in the Shadows





 Kanluwen wrote:
3.5E book was, from my understanding as it's when I got into the game, functionally the same as the 3E book.
Pretty much.
They were HQs in 2nd edition and in the 3rd edition rulebook, and from 5th edition onwards. The 3e codex/revision was the odd one out in that sense, unless you took Yarrick anyway.
   
Made in us
Owns Whole Set of Skullz Techpriests






Gathering the Informations.

But they're not HQs from 5E onwards...?

Like I said: they're upgrades to Infantry and Platoon Command Squads only in the 5E book while Lord Commissars are the HQ choice.

6E saw them with the following:
You may include one Commissar for every Company Command Squad or Platoon Command Squad. They do not take up a Force Organization slot, and do not qualify as a mandatory HQ selection. Before the battle, immediately after determining Warlord Traits, each Commissar must be assigned to a different unit from the following list, which they then cannot leave: Company Command Squad, Platoon Command Squad, Infantry Squad, Special Weapons Squad, Heavy Weapons Squad, Conscripts, Veterans, Ogryns, Bullgryns, Militarum Tempestus Command Squad, Militarum Tempestus Scions. Only one Commissar can join each unit in this manner.


It's why the only way that the SC: AM(tell me that's not an unfortunate acronym...) worked was with the formation or playing pretend with the Commissar as a Lord Commissar.

Apologies all for this trip down the rabbithole. I never really messed around with Commissars in lists before, but boy howdy I didn't realize just how weirdly tied to the art they seemed to be.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/10/20 18:25:02


 
   
Made in gb
Witch Hunter in the Shadows





 Kanluwen wrote:
But they're not HQs from 5E onwards...?
Ah I see. I hadn't considered any difference between a lord commissar and any other commissar, i'd always thought of it like any other slot differentiation - inquisitors and inquisitor lords, necron lords and overlords, etc.
   
Made in au
Owns Whole Set of Skullz Techpriests






Versteckt in den Schatten deines Geistes.

You're really stretching with the "Codex Commissar" thing, especially with the cover art comparison nonsense.

A.T. wrote:
 Kanluwen wrote:
But they're not HQs from 5E onwards...?
Ah I see. I hadn't considered any difference between a lord commissar and any other commissar, i'd always thought of it like any other slot differentiation - inquisitors and inquisitor lords, necron lords and overlords, etc.
It's called "cherry picking".

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/10/20 22:27:46


Industrial Insanity - My Terrain Blog
"GW really needs to understand 'Less is more' when it comes to AoS." - Wha-Mu-077

 
   
Made in us
Owns Whole Set of Skullz Techpriests






Gathering the Informations.

A.T. wrote:
 Kanluwen wrote:
But they're not HQs from 5E onwards...?
Ah I see. I hadn't considered any difference between a lord commissar and any other commissar, i'd always thought of it like any other slot differentiation - inquisitors and inquisitor lords, necron lords and overlords, etc.

I guess lorewise there might not be a huge difference, but gamewise there is. One(Lord Commissar) has been an HQ since 5E, the other(Vanilla Commissar) has had a weird progression of being a unit upgrade to Infantry and Platoon Command Squads in 5E, a slotless non-mandatory choice in 6/7E(which needed a unique formation to make it function as part of the Start Collecting set it was bundled into), and now is an Elite choice.
   
Made in it
Gargantuan Gargant




Italy

Covers for ork codexes experienced the same path throught the years. There were just two boyz pictured in the 3rd edition book, then a bunch of boyz lead by a nob in 4th, a lone warboss in 7th, the very same guy in 8th, then a proper bunch of orks in 9th with boyz and walkers, still lead by a warboss.

General trend for 9th edition codexes is to picture a character leading an assault, with less important dudes in the background. I bet AM codex will be like that as well, not just "codex commissar" anymore.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/10/21 07:32:22



 
   
Made in gb
Lit By the Flames of Prospero






With regards to the SC box, the whole point was you used what you got in the box to start playing the game. You got the rules for what was in there plus the formation and you're good to go.
The Commissar was in there because it was the only plastic single model Character for Guard and each SC box was a Character, Troop and a Something Else.
   
Made in ie
Ship's Officer





 Blackie wrote:
Covers for ork codexes experienced the same path throught the years. There were just two boyz pictured in the 3rd edition book, then a bunch of boyz lead by a nob in 4th, a lone warboss in 7th, the very same guy in 8th, then a proper bunch of orks in 9th with boyz and walkers, still lead by a warboss.

General trend for 9th edition codexes is to picture a character leading an assault, with less important dudes in the background. I bet AM codex will be like that as well, not just "codex commissar" anymore.


I'm curious to see if the 9th Ed nids codex will still have that tyranid warrior getting shot to death on it. If anything summed up Nids for the last 10 years it was that.


 
   
Made in gb
Witch Hunter in the Shadows





Cyel wrote:
I agree. Older editions seem to have had more decision points where you could do things badly, which differentiated good players from bad ones. Still, once I discovered WM&H there was no going back to thinking GW games are demanding and reward skill in any significant measure.
I've not played either warmachine or hordes, how would you compare the entry curve to oldhammer?

While it's not the case with the current edition i'd say it was a relatively low bar for new players to cross at the start of 5th (i.e. these things score points, these things hurt tanks, it will take me this many turns to get from A to B, etc). Even with it's charts and other quirks.


 Kanluwen wrote:
...the other(Vanilla Commissar) has had a weird progression of being a unit upgrade to Infantry
HQ(2nd release), HQ(2nd codex), HQ(3rd release), Unit attach with option for elite(3rd codex), Split upgrade and HQ(5th), Split upgrade and HQ(7th). Split elite and HQ(8th onwards).
A whole page of posts arguing on whether or not the commissar was over-represented in 5th edition is more 'Peak internet' than peak 40k though.


 Sim-Life wrote:
I'm curious to see if the 9th Ed nids codex will still have that tyranid warrior getting shot to death on it.
Could be worse, the 5th edition Sisters codex had an Ogre on the cover :p

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/10/21 09:30:54


 
   
Made in it
Gargantuan Gargant




Italy

 Sim-Life wrote:
 Blackie wrote:
Covers for ork codexes experienced the same path throught the years. There were just two boyz pictured in the 3rd edition book, then a bunch of boyz lead by a nob in 4th, a lone warboss in 7th, the very same guy in 8th, then a proper bunch of orks in 9th with boyz and walkers, still lead by a warboss.

General trend for 9th edition codexes is to picture a character leading an assault, with less important dudes in the background. I bet AM codex will be like that as well, not just "codex commissar" anymore.


I'm curious to see if the 9th Ed nids codex will still have that tyranid warrior getting shot to death on it. If anything summed up Nids for the last 10 years it was that.


We'ere in the age of diversity and inclusion. No more poor bugs treated as the imperium's punching bag! Tyranids Lives Matter .


 
   
 
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