Wednesday, February 23, 2005


I've got a megabattle coming up on Sunday. 8 players bringing 2000 pts each, 8000 pts per side, Chaos versus Imperials. I have a love-hate relationship with megabattles. I like the excitement and anticipation, the plotting and scheming. But I've never had a great experience in actually playing the game.

Don't get me wrong. I've had enjoyable experiences at times. And even when it wasn't enjoyable it was a fun event. But the problem is that when you start getting to 4K pts per side and more you start to see imbalances show up. Codices designed for 2000 pts and one org chart don't scale upwards like you would think. Sometimes an opponent might find his portion of the army facing 5 or 6 versions of a unit where he would normally expect 1 or 2.

Another problem is slowness. The game moves at exactly the speed of the slowest person halved. Finishing megabattles is an accomplishment in itself. The sheer confusion for shooting and close combat is so extreme that despite having 4 people you still have to do everything one at a time.

Lastly, we have the dreaded feeling of being the losers. If one side is totally getting smucked by the other side, the whole day can feel like a big waste. Fortunately, pitched battles are the norm in megabattles due to the size of the armies involved.

We are wise this time though, and have taken precautions to avoid some of these issues. For one thing, we are dividing the deployment zone so that each player has his own area and faces off against one opponent. Secondly, we are starting with half of each army in reserve so that the game doesn't get bogged down too early. Hopefully when the last reserve force arrives in turn 3 some of the initial jitters have worn off and the game is flowing smoothly. Plus, we are all experienced players so no slowness from newbies!

All in all, I'm looking forward to this match. May the chaos gods smile upon us.


  1. Gotta say.... I always DETESTED megabattles and avoided them at all costs.

  2. I agree with what you say about mega battles, Bill. I think that mega battles are kind of like a huge steak with all the trimmings; once in a while you sit down and tie one on and it's awesome. Do it more than once in a while and you feel pretty sluggish and uninterested.

    Of course some people can eat steak all the time, so maybe that's not a good example.