Despite the fact that my collecting and gaming roots are planted firmly in the 1980's, I still continue to buy White Dwarf to this day, and I occasionally find a nugget of Old Skool. One such nugget appeared in January's White Dwarf in the pontifications of Jervis Johnson. Jervis has a regular column in White Dwarf on gaming, collecting and "The Hobby" at large. In this month's column Jervis tackles the subject of random tables, and makes some interesting observations on the old Realm of Chaos random tables. Here's what he has to say (the juicy stuff comes in paragraph 3):
Now, I have to give a disclaimer at this point which is to say that I haven't played an edition of Warhammer later than 3rd edition, and so my ability to comment on what it's like to play anything later is extremely limited. I know that a number of you who read this blog have not only experienced later editions of Warhammer but were also playing with the Realm of Chaos books, and so I would be interested to read what you think of Jervis's views, in particular:
- Did you, as Jervis suggests, use the RoC tables with little restraint and allowed them to dictate the composition of your warbands and how they should look and be armed? Or did you "take a dim view of this" and just use them as a guide?
- Jervis is of the opinion that players also took a dim view of "being required to convert models in order to be able to play a game." Did you, dear reader, really have such an attitude? Did you abandon plans for a game simply because the prospect of being "required" to convert models proved too much?
- Here comes the best bit: because of the aforementioned points, Jervis states that "those large random tables fell into disfavour, being replaced by the army lists and points values we see today." OK, firstly, army lists and points values were already prevalent at the time the RoC books were published, and secondly, how on earth would that suggested change make things more flexible for the player?!
Now don't get me wrong, I have much respect for Jervis and his contributions to gaming. But what do you think? Is this an accurate reflection of RoC or on this occasion is Jervis talking out of his chaos portal?
Jervis does make some intriguing marks towards the end of his article. The article basically revolves around some random equipment tables he has invented for his campaigns, and he leaves us with this tantalising nugget:
I wonder if this will remain in-house, or will something wider develop from it?