Basically, despite being fun, there are a few issues with Warhammer’s multiplayer (specifically quick battles) that prevents it from reaching its full potential. While there have been suggestions and discussion on each of these points in the past, the main purpose of this post is more to list out the top 3 priority issues and briefly present suggestions for each. Without further ado, the priority issues in Warhammer Multiplayer:
1) Draw kiting and line camping. Both of these forms of abuse have existed and proliferated throughout the whole history of Warhammer (and total war multiplayer in general, from what I understand). They arise from one simple fact: the only way to win is to wipe the entire opposing force (either by breaking them or killing them) but you don’t lose unless such happens to you. As such, one of the easiest ways to ensure that you never lose a match is to either set up in a corner with a durable build and force your enemy in, or else have a highly mobile army that cannot be caught and killed by your enemy. So long as the only way to win is to wipe out the entire opposing force, both of these tactics will continue to persist in one way or another. Even tournaments struggle with this, with attacking rules being either problematic (i.e. being forced to attack summons that you could otherwise wait out) or subject to the admin’s discretion (which is undesirable for a competitive environment due to being inconsistent between admins).
Solution: Add an alternative win condition that forces engagement and adjust maps for such. The most prominent suggestions for this have been a CP system of some kind, which already exists within game and, if properly implemented, should have almost no impact on the meta. Alongside such would have to be adjustments to multiplayer maps (notably expanding their size so that artillery could not threaten the CP from the corner/edge of the map) but doing such would solve both these issues. Even if it's not the CP system, some form of alternative win condition is necessary to fix these issues.
2) Nets, summons, AoE damage, and the like. Long story short, some spells and ability types are absolutely busted if used within the army more than once: the classic examples are bringing 3 copies of raise dead (or for that matter almost any summon spell), bring 2+ units with AoE damage effects (bonus points if those effects are different and thus stack with each other), and bringing multiple ranged nets (especially if said abilities are not WoM reliant). They are currently not limited save incidentally through unit caps, leading to abusive builds based around such. However, I don't think the way tournaments deal with this issue is correct: at least in terms of spells, most tournament rules deal with the above by limiting all spells to just being brought once (alongside other rules limiting specific types of abilities). Doing such is not only unnecessary (many spells are not oppressive even if brought in 3 copies, i.e. most buff spells) but also neuters perfectly non-abusive and viable tactics (i.e. having a back-up caster in case your primary caster gets killed).
Solution: Either nerf the offending classes of abilities/spells, or else cap those abilities/spells according to their power. Such spells and abilities should either be adjusted (nerfed) insofar as they can be taken up to 3 times without being abusive (i.e. nets turned into very strong slows, draining effects deal less damage, less charges on summons, etc), or else create new distinctions for the offending types of spells/abilities for the purpose of placing caps on those ability/spell types, according to the power of such.
3) Unit type balance. Up until this point, I’m certain most people will have agreed with what I constitute as priority issues, but I expect that such will change with this. Basically, as it has been pointed out many times on these forums, some types of units are inherently more powerful than others. Notably, SEM’s are, overall, far superior to every other unit type due to never loosing effectiveness due to damage taken, having the highest mass of any unit in the game, generally having fear and terror, benefiting the most from healing, etc. Flying or fast SEM’s are also capable of both dodging most incoming fire and cycle charging a potentially unlimited number of infantry: this has not only led to such units having the harshest caps placed on them, but tournament rule-sets further limit their ability to cycle charge if there are only singe entities left on the field. On the other end of the spectrum, melee infantry is the worst unit type in the game: whereas most other unit types can be a win condition without further rules (i.e. an archer/gun line can be a win condition, one or more SEM’s can be win conditions, cavalry can be a win condition, etc.), melee infantry cannot outside of the dwarf matchup: they’re countered by pretty much every other unit type (ranged can concave-fire to get around shields, cav and SEM’s can cycle charge them, flying units can attack from behind) and thus only serve 4 purposes: being a roadblock, enabling another unit type, swarming ranged infantry, or killing other melee infantry. I will not continue on this, as it has been discussed multiple times before, but suffice it to say that the balance between unit types is lopsided, leading to certain types being dominant while other types never reach their full potential.
Solution: Lower the turn speed, acceleration, and mass of most single entities (enough so that dodging and cycle charging are noticeably less effective but still viable). In addition, lower the health of single entities and damage on abilities/spells designed to harm single entities moderately (proportional to each other). At the same time, increase the reload time and decrease the accuracy of most ranged units marginally. Give all infantry and cavalry the ability to toggle between tight and loose formations and adjust loose formation however necessary insofar as to ensure it is disadvantageous to be in melee in such. Finally, give elite melee infantry a slight mass increase and change charge defense so that it always applies to frontal attacks if the unit is in tight formation (i.e. the only way to get around charge defense is to attack from a flank/behind or to attack while the unit is in loose formation/transitioning between formations).
Why all of this to fix the problem? Simply put, fixing single entities would in turn make ranged units more powerful (as SEM’s are currently one of the most effective tools to defeat a gun line). Without adjustments to ranged units, they would become the new dominant unit type and the problem of unit type imbalance would persist (as it is, a gun/archer line can defend itself with minimal assistance against small numbers of cav/elite infantry given proper set up and play). Thus, ranged units need to be adjusted down, as they are currently very strong just overshadowed by how powerful SE are. Allowing all infantry and cav units to enter loose formations helps mitigate ranged effectiveness, hence why the direct nerfs are marginal. The changes to elite infantry will help them against shock cav and SEM’s, two of their strongest counters (ranged being the third, but is already addressed), and changing charge defense will allow a screening unit to reposition without getting charged for free, so long as the player is paying attention. Together, these changes should make the balance between the unit type much more even.
These three issues are currently all that’s holding back the multiplayer from reaching its full potential as a legitimately competitive game in its own right (i.e. without additional rules outside of those in QB). Admittedly, there are further adjustments that could be made that would improve it further (such as better matchmaking) but fixing these fundamental issues will address the worst of the problems plaguing multiplayer currently.
Also, -2 or -3 WoM and +10 seconds duration on Command the Unliving Overcast. Please CA.