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Partisan Rimmo
01-05-2010, 16:41
Please forgive the provocative title. I'm asking this question with a totally undecided mind to try and appreciate better what's happening.


It appears now that with EVERY single codex released, within days the internet is filled with a slew of serious rules questions that are flat-out unexplained. These are not trivial issues by any stretch of the imagination, and the interpretation of them can easily decide the outcome of a game. And since GW take so long to FAQ, there's literally no way to deal with the problem. I'm talking things such as Doom Malanti against transports, the Blood Angels Demolisher cannon and Trygon deepstrike. It actually makes me hesitant to play the game in tournaments these days.

Similarly, I was very disappointed with the 5th ed. rules set. It's filled with bizarre design decisions (those horrible, HORRIBLE missions) and rules conventions that are massively open to contention (it's virtually impossible NOT to accidentally model for advantage now).

So I ask of you the following questions:

1) Are things getting worse? I never remember this problem with the old codexes, but is this just nostalgia or me not paying attention to such problems back in those days?

2) Is this indicative of GW's new style? They stated repeatedly at the release of 5th edition that the game was being moved away from 'tournament style'. It this just a lazy way to legitimize the new generation of codexes being riddled with errors? GW seem to have taken a policy of denying even having a responsibility to write clear and understandable rules. If you object, they get Jervis Johnson to shout 'spirit of the game!' at you.

3) HOW can some of this mistakes happen? Do GW even have a proof-reading department anymore? By this I mean, it does not take long at all for the internet to find all the loopholes and blank areas in the rules. Sometimes I can just read through a codex myself and instantly see all the things which they haven't defined properly. If the community as a whole can do such a quick and thorough job of picking apart each publication, the mistakes must be pretty blatant. And that is not even taking into account the diabolical typos that have to be used when playing. The Games Developers are PAID to write good codexes. It's their job. They should be better at it than any of us. How are the books often in such a poor state?


Is all this a new stage in GW's development, or am I just noticing it more and losing patience as I get older? Your thoughts please.

ashnaile
01-05-2010, 16:43
1. no
2. see #1
3. mistakes happen.

viking657
01-05-2010, 21:14
I disagree with you on points 1 and 2 and like ashnaile says mistakes happen.

However I think its more to do with the fact that the game has become alot more competitive (even in casual games) and theres alot more serious tournment players out there which leads to a book being picked clean within days.

The designers are living in an ever increasing bubble with regards to the gaming community. This is what leads to mistakes and poorly explained rules as they only ever try them out against the close circle of gamers they work with at GW HQ before releasing them onto the masses.
I'm sure everyone at GW HQ knew how Jaws worked during Wolf playtests unfortunately they didn't manage to explain it 100% clear 1st time round to the masses.
Anyone unhappy with the Wolves (probably because their mate started collecting them) quickly picked up the new dex and the main rule book and looked for a way to make the rule seem unclear, several cross references later and they are declaring the rule so unclear that you can't possibly play jaws though you may play jaws if you do it my way and unfortunately thats the attitute amongst a growing proportion of gamers these days.

Project2501
01-05-2010, 21:28
I honestly believe it's a simple case of more paytesters/ing and an actual neutral third party human being as an editor being called for.

As stated above and before, in the name of cost efficiency GW diminished the pool of playtesters/ing and appearently relies solely on word processing program spelling/gramar checking.


When I (the average schmuck) can read a codex, even though it has proper spelling/gramar, and see ambigous language running rampant (perfect example: how many codexes have just blast in the weapon descriptions with no reference to size?) I too wonder what's going on.

Panzeesmasha
01-05-2010, 21:45
(perfect example: how many codexes have just blast in the weapon descriptions with no reference to size?)

Yes that's indeed a common occurence... but that's because it is not a mistake. If it is 'blast' it is small template. The rules explain this. If it is 'ordnance' then it is the large template. The reason it occasionally says 'large blast' is for weapons that to all intents and purposes are 'blast weapons' that just happen to have a larger explosion radius. This is to distinguish them from ordnance weapons which function in a different way. Such weapons (e.g. Barbed strangler) are not ordnance weapons.. they are simply blast weapons with a larger blast.

Bunnahabhain
01-05-2010, 21:52
1 and 2, yes
3 Cost cutting.

The rules are getting worse, both in terms of the gameplay they create, and the language they use to create it. For every bad bit that gets fixed, they create a problem of much the same size, and waste the chance to do it properly.

Decent proof reading, both for spelling and grammar, and clear and balanced gameplay, and an independent reference to the studio, which would cost time and money.

I've heard from various of the people who used to help test codexs and army books that they gave up on it, due to being ignored. Even if there is pressure from the top to make sure the new models in a book are good, so they sell, that is no reason why not to write the rules clearly. That costs nothing, and can't hurt sales.....

Project2501
01-05-2010, 21:55
Yes that's indeed a common occurence... but that's because it is not a mistake. If it is 'blast' it is small template. The rules explain this. If it is 'ordnance' then it is the large template. The reason it occasionally says 'large blast' is for weapons that to all intents and purposes are 'blast weapons' that just happen to have a larger explosion radius. This is to distinguish them from ordnance weapons which function in a different way. Such weapons (e.g. Barbed strangler) are not ordnance weapons.. they are simply blast weapons with a larger blast.


I understand and agree with you. This was simply an 'off the top of my head example'. Maybe not the best possible example, BUT it took an entire paragragh for you to essentially say 'small blast'...

No trying to pick on you by the way :)


EDIT: It just occurred to me that I've always thought ordinance was a reference to whether a vehicle could move bofore firing that weapon or not (unless stated otherwise defiler/leman Russ) not for blast size. Not saying this is right or wrong, just how it's always been in my mind.

Tekomandor
01-05-2010, 23:29
Ordnance weapons also roll 2D6 and pick the highest when rolling for amror penatration

Olja
02-05-2010, 00:19
A new codex always seems very powerful when it is first released. But then players learn to deal with them. Some armies are more powerful than others, such as Blood Angels compared to Dark Angels.

I agree that the rules need to be written better. The gun on the Devil Dog is a good example. There seems to be a chronic problem at GW to proof read material.

CrownAxe
02-05-2010, 00:40
I agree that the rules need to be written better. The gun on the Devil Dog is a good example. There seems to be a chronic problem at GW to proof read material.
What's wrong with the gun of the Devil Dog?

Olja
02-05-2010, 00:48
What's wrong with the gun of the Devil Dog?

The melta gun effect. Do you measure it from where you aimed for or where it eventually scattered? I've gotten in arguments over this.

chromedog
02-05-2010, 01:06
A: Yes.

B: Common sense is also becoming more scarce.

6 of one, half-dozen of the other. Most of the newer players have no non-GW gaming experience and no idea of how to resolve conflicts. GW have also never been a company that made 'tight' rulesets. They are a miniatures company that make rules to sell miniatures. Not a games rules company that sells minis.

Lord_Squinty
02-05-2010, 01:22
Similarly, I was very disappointed with the 5th ed. rules set. It's filled with bizarre design decisions (those horrible, HORRIBLE missions)


You can't be serious...

These are the best missions to date in any rulebooks.

Objective missions to MAKE you take troops over (for example) 2 x min scout squads.

Killpoints to counter maxing out on min sized troops (see last edition Las/plas spam) for objectives.

It works great.

DeeKay
02-05-2010, 02:28
You can't be serious...

These are the best missions to date in any rulebooks.

Objective missions to MAKE you take troops over (for example) 2 x min scout squads.

Killpoints to counter maxing out on min sized troops (see last edition Las/plas spam) for objectives.

It works great.

Really? IMO the above statement is wrong. What was wrong with victory points? Expensive units being destroyed were valuable whereas now, choice targets are small, insignificant and cheap, the exact opposite of what it should be. How about, as a solution, the unit holding the objective adds its points value to the controlling player's victory points? Makes a little more sense that a large or specialist unit holding an area is worth more than a smaller one.

With regards,
Dan.

Bestaltan
02-05-2010, 02:39
I'm kind of torn over this issue. On the one hand, I like where the rules set has gone. A lot of the codeces have that over-the-top feel that I think makes anything Sci Fi fun (why fire one photon torpedo when you can launch an entire salvo). At the same time in the rules, however, there is still cause for having to take "little guy" troops, which were largely ignored past the obligated minimum 2 in previous editions.

But, as has been said, I think a lot of rules have been poorly written and poorly playtested. The poorly written rules could easily be overcome with quickly corrected FAQ's, but often are not (I mean really, how long does it take to correct whether the mawloc can deep strike under units or not?). However, not playtesting well when you're making money from those very same rules is just poor business.

Fithos
02-05-2010, 02:43
If it is 'ordnance' then it is the large template.

Is this always true, I thought that ordnance just meant for shooting after moving and 2d6. Ex. I thought that the IG hellstrike missiles were solid shot, not large blast. Have I been playing those wrong?

I agree that it really just needs to be more of a common sense issue. I mean, if it's just for fun then do what sounds fun, and if it's for a tourny, then asked the guy in charge. Either way it's a simple fix. Some of the rules are poorly worded, but that shouldn't stop people from having a good gaming experience.

Lord_Squinty
02-05-2010, 02:45
Really? IMO the above statement is wrong. What was wrong with victory points?

Wrong How? Objective missions dont make you take troops? Kill point missions dont make you take larger troop squads?

What was wrong with last edition most competative players spent a minimum on troops (depending on codex) and maxed out on Hvy Support/Elites/FA, or where they did take troops choices - took 5 man las/plas type squads.

The new rules make both of these options a poor choice.

It fits better with the 40k background - how many articles have you read where 2 x 5 man scout squads take to battle accompanied by calgar (or the like), 3 dreads , 3 preds and a few assault squads, with no tac marines at all? :shifty:

That was an all too common variant of many lists, which IMHO was a complete ^&*%%^$%^ of an army list. People were writing lists starting with Hvy support and HQ and ending with troops, now - its the other way round (generally). A much better scenario.

RampagingRavener
02-05-2010, 02:49
Is this always true, I thought that ordnance just meant for shooting after moving and 2d6. Ex. I thought that the IG hellstrike missiles were solid shot, not large blast. Have I been playing those wrong?

"Ordinance" does not automatically mean it uses a template; just that it gets the 2D6 penetration.

"Blast" means it uses the small template. "Large Blast" means it uses the large. I honestly don't see how that can be confusing or prone to mixing people up in the slightest.

As for the missions, the only stinker is Kill Points, which was a truly horrendous gameplay mechanic to introduce. Everything else about 40k's mission system, be it the actual setup of the table or the restriction to make only Troops scoring, is pretty good, though. As for the OP? After eight/nine years in the hobby, no I don't think the rules are getting worse, no I don't think it's indictive of anything, and GW just has a poor proof-reading department. Simple as that, as far as I'm concerned.

Lord_Squinty
02-05-2010, 03:00
RampagingRavener - Kill points is there to prevent 6 x 5 man troop squads being spammed to hold objectives.

You have to look at all the missions as a whole.

If it was purely KP, yes it would be bad, but its there for balancing reasons.

RampagingRavener
02-05-2010, 03:06
RampagingRavener - Kill points is there to prevent 6 x 5 man troop squads being spammed to hold objectives.

I know why Kill Points were introduced. But I still feel it was a clumsy, ham-handed mechanic that caused more problems than it solved. Recent codexes restricting the special weapons available to minimum-sized squads, lack of albative bodies to soak up shots for what special weapons and the squad leader they do have, and other incentives not to spam six tiny squads would have done the job well enough.

Hellebore
02-05-2010, 03:08
Especially when there are armies like guard that really can't avoid having tonnes of KPs on the table even WHEN they aren't trying to spam small squads. I hardly think having to mash all your platoons into mega units to avoid this is a good design feature.

Hellebore

Firmlog
02-05-2010, 03:39
I think the rules are getting worse, in a sense, at least the codex's.

They appear to me to be sloppy, and definately not as well written fluff wise compared to earlier matieral. They often glance over details and instead focus on broad sweeping battles and general information of how well they did, where as old fluff used to describe individual soldiers actions.

I think they are lacking a good proof reader, and lack playtesting. Though when a codex comes out there are screams of broken, shortly followed by oh, they are actually ok or balanced in winning to other armies. So they may be doing a good job playtesting, but often have poor descriptions of abilities.

One of the things I like most about 2nd was codex's didn't have a whole lot of special rules, the special rules were in the game rules, and everyone had access to them.

The Avari
02-05-2010, 07:46
I definitely agree that there are some problems with some of the rules lately however i think that compared with third edition and fourth edition the current set of rules is much easier to learn. Do i agree with every change that they made from 4th to 5th no but i still think that it was a step in the right direction to make the rules clearer. It is much easier now for new players to learn the game then it was back in 3rd the 3rd edition rule book was an absolute mess what was with all of those weird codex like portions in the book where everybody had lascannons it was like some kind of nightmare reality where every race had the exact same aresenal...(i know that historically there was a time when even space marines had shuriken catapults but i shudder at the thought) sorry my thoughts wandered for a bit there... I think the best solution to Firmlog's problem would be if Games Workshop was more responsive with Faqs and possibly rules adustments in White Dwarf therefore if errors are made or if something clearly isnt working in the game it can be patched up and the proper adjustments can be made...in a way it would be retroactive playtesting...maybe we should think of the Codex's and the Rulebook as living documents that can be amended when there are serious issues with them...



I hope that someone can salvage something from that long rant i just went on whew it is really late what am i still doing up??

Noserenda
02-05-2010, 11:21
5th Ed is excellent but I think the sloppy special rules laden Codexes are dragging the game down :shifty: It'll all go the way Warhammer has before we know it :cries:


But seriously, this "a special rule for every unit" approach just increases complexity exponentially, which given GWs lackluster testing and wording is never going to end well.

Urban Shaman Commando
02-05-2010, 11:48
5th Ed is excellent but I think the sloppy special rules laden Codexes are dragging the game down :shifty: It'll all go the way Warhammer has before we know it :cries:

But seriously, this "a special rule for every unit" approach just increases complexity exponentially, which given GWs lackluster testing and wording is never going to end well.

I kind of like the increased complexity and variety but I agree that it's getting kind of over the top. The Tyranid codex for example is rather convoluted and some of the special rules like 'fexes charge and Devourers morale test are so minor that I really wonder if they were even necessary...

Grand Warlord
02-05-2010, 13:26
Rulesetwise I think it's still really good (I may be biased this is my first actual edition playing since i start college 3 years ago) but I have to agree that the codexs are going a little crazy.

I can't want to see the next SM chapter of choice codex ... on the other hand I dred what they might do.

MasterDecoy
02-05-2010, 14:07
I kind of like the increased complexity and variety but I agree that it's getting kind of over the top. The Tyranid codex for example is rather convoluted and some of the special rules like 'fexes charge and Devourers morale test are so minor that I really wonder if they were even necessary...

reducing someones leadership by 1 is a massive difference in probability that they will fail it (generally at least 10 - 20%), Reducing it by 4 (like mephestion does) lowers the chance of passing by 50% or more. So I for one are actually glad they are starting to make LD matter again, unfortunatly they are going over the top as they useually do (-2 or -3 on most applications is a massive penalty, -4 means you will fail way more than you will pass)

As for the carnifex rule, I think they have the right idea, just going about it the wrong way. Reading the fluff part of the rules leads to a different expectation of what the rule would do, I personally probably would have had the fex do impact hits or somthing.

What they really need to do about most weapons and such is think of differences between weapons and units that are tactically different subtly, rather than just distinguish difference by changing points costs.

A recent discussion at my LGS ended with us trying to come up with several IG basic infatry weapons that resulted in tactically different units that each had a use in a different way, but wherent more powerful than each other.

For example:
Lasgun Rapidfire 24" S3 AP-
Shotgun Assault 2 12" S3 AP- Ignores cover
SMG Assault 3 12" S3 AP- Pinning
Longlas Heavy 1 S3 30" S3 AP6 (I am aware that snipers use long las rifles, but ordinary troopers arnt trained to use them properly, at least thats what my discussion partner insisted on, or change the snipers to using "Sniper rifles")
Autogun Assault 1 18" S3 AP6

Lasguns are standard issue, everything else is 1pt upgrade

and there we have 5 different guns that where none of them are really more powerful than the other and have a ton of tacitcal flexibility.

ClockworkCorsair
02-05-2010, 14:19
Should I be the one to point out the spelling/grammar errors in the third paragraph talking about the decreasing use of editing in GW products? lawl

Get off warseer.

No seriously, get off of warseer, BoLS, etc etc. It warps your mind and changes the mindset you use to look at the rules. Notice that the decline of the happyness with the game goes pretty well with the popularity of online forums? Try getting off of one for a month (or not reading anything all Doom saying and the world is ending). It makes a huge difference.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asch_conformity_experiments
Look through that and you'll see what I mean about it warps your mind.

That being said I agree with some of the first posters we thrash the books apart now and nit pick at things that we just ignored before. Also the clamor for new and better stuff every book means that GW has to create new rules. Those rules create problems that they didn't forsee. Absolutely shame on GW for not pumping out those FAQ/Errata's faster, especially as tourneys offer cash prizes.

Lamoron
02-05-2010, 14:41
Games Workshop always overcompensates, that's the real issue. I liked Victory Points and I don't like killpoints, but I love the fact that only Troops are scoring. The fact that only Troops can take/hold/whatever objectives would ensure that people would focus on Troops choices by itself, so there's no real need for killpoints.

What we have now, is boring armies for competative play, where deathstar units flourish, and "fun" units are basicly never brought. There are exceptions, and gamblers ofcourse, but the trend of the new codices is also to remove the ability to tailor your armies (No SM chapter traits, no IG doctrines etc.) which also grinds armies down to "yet another cookie cutter army".

Then when something is obviously not thought through, they just publish a counter for it in the next Codex to arrive, hoping that will eliminate it from tournament play, which is a circle of stupidity.

I will never return to the days of 2nd edition madness, but I really hate facing cookie-cutter specs, consisting of large squads of boring identical troops, with the same special and close combat weapons. Space Wolves and Blood Angels have a bit of the "right stuff", but suffer from the whole "naming every god damn thing wolf/blood something" which AGAIN is GW overcompensating.

Always and forever...

2099
02-05-2010, 15:00
I'm not going to say the rules are getting worse.
However, they seem to lack the imagination, that they once did.
Furious charge seems to be the answer for everything, to site a quick example.
Whats the point of all these to the army books?
If all they use the same 6 rule mechanics over and over again.

Alaric Stormblade
02-05-2010, 15:11
I really like the 5th ed rules. In my opinion it's the best edition we had so far (I played 3rd and 4th and know most of 2nd ed rules). I really like the new missions because (at least in my local store) it changed the gamplay from a kind of "last man standing" to missions, which i find much more interesting and battlemissions make an all new challenge.
For the codexes I'm not sure. I like the new layout, without armoury, and so on. I never had the feeling, that any of the new armies was overpowered. After reading the codexes and/or having a cupple of games I usually get the point how to defeat them.
What I think is going worse is the background, GW is changing some integral things in new codexes, but that doesn't belong here.
What we should never forget is, that after all GW is a company like any other, thus it has to sell their products. This would be much harder without a change over time.
Finally I would like to know how free the designers are in their work: May they write what they want to? Or are there some guidelines from mangement?
For testing I would suggest, that the time designers had for playtesting has shortened, so they just might have to publish some "unfinished" rules because management tells them to. What do you think?

Griffindale
02-05-2010, 15:14
Fluff and artwork is getting worse, much much worse.

Rules have improved somewhat imo. Armies that needed to be completely revamped have been successfully revamped (I'm looking at you tyranids). C: SM, SW, and BA are all very dynamic codeces that can field several different competitive and fluffy armies.

Now their rule editing does leave something to be desired though...

Dear GW,

Please hire someone to proofread your codeces for spelling errors who knows what they are doing. At the same time, train them in how to read for rules errors (leaving blast off of a vindicator box for example) and you'll be set.

Doppleskanger
02-05-2010, 16:35
Well I like the 5th ed rules a lot, apart from the missions. They lead to so many silly games, when you either draw or loose irrespective of how much carnage you've causes. KP are dumb, the lack of VP's in other missions is a problem, and even worse is the disparity between what can claim an objective and what can contest an objective.
I mean really, situations where you've killed most of your opponents forces and are looking in good shape yourself, but then wait, what's that appearing from some forgotten corner of the board? Why yes it's the charge of the 35pt, squad long since dead, transport coming to contest the small number of objectives and bring another game of 5th ed to an unsatisfying conclusion.

The codexes are ok, but really force a player into a set number of play styles, which annoys me because I like custom builds and can't do that too much anymore, but I can live with it. But they contain the occaisional dumb rule, JAWS, Dante's mask etc. This though is probably no worse than it's ever been.

Oh and for the love of jebus drop the standard cover save down to 5+ and increase the S of defensive weapons by one point!

Ventus
02-05-2010, 16:43
I would disagree that tyranids needed to be completely revamped or that they have been successfully revamped, regardless that there are some good units and rules in the codex.

bobafett012
02-05-2010, 17:00
However I think its more to do with the fact that the game has become alot more competitive (even in casual games) and theres alot more serious tournment players out there which leads to a book being picked clean within days.

The designers are living in an ever increasing bubble with regards to the gaming community. This is what leads to mistakes and poorly explained rules as they only ever try them out against the close circle of gamers they work with at GW HQ before releasing them onto the masses.
I'm sure everyone at GW HQ knew how Jaws worked during Wolf playtests unfortunately they didn't manage to explain it 100% clear 1st time round to the masses.
Anyone unhappy with the Wolves (probably because their mate started collecting them) quickly picked up the new dex and the main rule book and looked for a way to make the rule seem unclear, several cross references later and they are declaring the rule so unclear that you can't possibly play jaws though you may play jaws if you do it my way and unfortunately thats the attitute amongst a growing proportion of gamers these days.

I agree with this post, I believe this is the primary reason for alot of things going on these days. I liken it to what happened to world of warcraft. It strated out alot of fun, and there wasn't nearly as many hardcore players, now fast forward to today, everyone has full epic gear, min/max's everything, and blows through all the new content in 2 weeks, so blizz scrambles to toss new stuff out there to try and "wow" the players and keep them busy. This same thing seems to be going on in 40K.(i quit playing WoW a year and a half ago btw)

I have played since sometime in 2nd ED. and I personally love the 5th edition rules, they are easily the best rendition yet in my opinion. GW finall made doing missions a must, prior to 5th it seemed like every game devolved into a meat grinder. I really just wish there would have been more than 3 missions, at least 6 would have been good, 1 for each number on the dice and enough diversity, but the battle missions book is a great buy and adds a lot of fun to the game so its all good.

As far as the codex's go, there are somethings that seem rather strange in the rescent new books, as i said i attribute them to my first statement, but i do like the addition of new things to the armies, and keeping the game less vanilla and exciting. Unlike WoW i have no intentions of quitting 40k anytime soon and I personally am having alot of fun currently and I also am looking forward to new codex's for the DE, GK, and BT(and DA so i can play my DW again but thats prolly FAR into the future)

Partisan Rimmo
02-05-2010, 19:43
Thanks to everyone for the replies to my thread.

For the record, I hope I am wrong, and that all is right in the world. I don't like to be a man to see the negative in things.

Also, in retrospect, I was being unduly harsh when I said 'very' disappointed in 5th ed. It has lots of very nice touches. My issue with the missions is that since there is only arbitrary win or lose, and this can surprisingly often come down to a single dice roll, the issue of who wins can feel very random, but I can see how the missions were designed to work at least.

But let's try and keep this on-topic!

EDIT:

Should I be the one to point out the spelling/grammar errors in the third paragraph talking about the decreasing use of editing in GW products? lawl

Sir, I shall take you up on that! With the exception of starting a sentence with ". And..." which I allow myself to do on forums, I contend that my grammar may be bizarre but technically works.

The rest of your post is great though. You put forward a very convincing argument. :D