Review: Liam B on ZWEIHÄNDER at DriveThruRPG

From Liam B:

I loved Warhammer growing up. 20-25 years ago I spent a long time travelling up and down the Reik River trying desperately to save the Empire and failing as much as I succeeded. I was an Initiate that became a Cleric then a Witch Hunter. I pursued Chaos with vengeful abandon, in cities, in ruins, and in the countryside. I fought Rat-Things in the darkness while in the glittering palaces above, the nobility gorged themselves. All the while their peasants huddled in the darkness, terrified.

The game was great, the system simple. The presence of darkness and decay, of the rot within were new to me, and interesting. The career system was exceptional, and felt realistic. No more levels and exponential hit points for me. How does a Warrior get 10x the number of Hit Points anyway? Does his flesh become tougher? His flesh like iron? It made no sense!

I was not alone either. There was a whole crowd of commited gamers producing fan content for this great world. From the French titles, to Warpstone and Strike to Stun, amongst others. The article on Roadwardens in Warpstone alone was a great piece, showing in miniature the corruption at the heart of the system that so represents WFRP.

I left gaming for a while, and slowly migrated back 10 years ago. There was a new edition of Warhammer, it was a bit more…in line with GW’s flagship product. The Orcs were orcier, the Empire backstory was simple and tied back into the miniatures. Another Chaos incursion, more models, simpler magic. The Colleges of Magic were kind of cool….and that’s about it. Something had been wounded in that reprint.

Then came 3rd Ed. I was shocked. A board game? This is where you’ve gone? I wept a little inside at what had become of my misspent youth. I was not alone. The forums were on fire with similar sentiments;

“What Happened to the great Dark Fantasy/Grim Campaign orientated system we loved?”

The thing that had been wounded in 2nd Edition had bled out between editions.

It was dead. Warpstone stopped its print run, horrified that the game they had loved so much had become nothing more than a vehicle to flog overpriced minis to 14 year old’s.

But, the truth was, it wasn’t. It may have been mishandled by the licensees at the request of the Dark Empire that is GW in hopes that it would help sell more figures, but the community survived. People like Daniel Fox decided to do something about it.

They saw what had happened and began to hatch their dark plans…

I packed this project as soon as I saw it, thrilled to see something that harkened back to those older, (in this case) better times. A Dark Fantasy game of Grim happenings, excellent system for character progression and an IMPROVED yet still simple system at the core. Imagine you went back to your youth with the same passion, but with the skill and experience you have now, and ran your games again. That’s what’s happened here. This is a better system, with more flexibility and improvements throughout. Magic? Better. Combat and Rules? Improved. Layout and Design? Huge Step Up.

You have a chance to turn back the clock, and play like you used too…

Buy this book.

warhamer fantasy roleplay 4th edition grimandperilous.com zweihander grim & perilous