View Full Version : Playing Devil's Advocate: A (sort of) Defence of Mat Ward

Lord of Nonsensical Crap
27-03-2011, 17:42
Right, before I start, I think we all know why Mat Ward has gained the unsavoury reputation that he currently has:

-He's responsible for the powergamery nightmare that was Daemons of Chaos in Warhammer Fantasy
-He's equally responsible for doing a pretty poor job with Orcs and Goblins the first time around
-He's responsible for Special Character Mania with Codex: Space Marines, and for about Blood Angels that goes too far (re: fast tank spam, Mephiston, etc)
-And perhaps above all, he's disliked for writing some pretty damn bad fluff where Space Marines are concerned (I'm just waiting for him to one day write of Marneus Calgar and Draigo doing a bro-fist and shattering a whole planet in the process)

But for all of the railing against him from his (numerous) detractors, both on this site and others, I've noticed something about his various works that can be viewed positively:

-A lot of his armies (that aren't Daemons of Chaos) are quite fun. Space Marines, Vulkan aside (or arguably even with Vulkan) are a very balanced army, and while Blood Angels have some pretty over-the-top characters and annoying army builds (re: fast tank spam), the book also lends itself well to some very thematic and fun lists (re: jumpers, Descent of Angels, etc), so in that regard I consider Codex: Blood Angels as having plenty of redeeming qualities. And, call me crazy, but I have yet to see a single thing about the Grey Knights that can be labelled as "broken" (you may feel free to correct me on this one, though)

-WHFB 8th Edition is the most fun edition of Warhammer Fantasy I've played to date. While I'm not keen on the Watchtower scenario or unit-killer spells like Purple Sun (who is?), as a whole I find the current edition to be very enjoyable.

Are these factors enough to mitigate his failings? Of that, I can honestly say that I don't know. Positive qualities aside, he still does seem to want to push the metagame further with each new codex he writes. In that regard, though, I wonder how much of that is his own decision, and how much is acting on the decisions of his higher-ups in GW.

In short, I present the question: is Mat Ward really that bad? Or are the various threads railing against him completely justified?

(Mods, in advance, I'm sorry if this triggers a flame war)

27-03-2011, 17:52
Well I dont know about all the rules, but his fluff writing alone is worth an atomic wedgie.

27-03-2011, 17:52
(Mods, in advance, I'm sorry if this triggers a flame war)

I think you've done an admirable job of trying to defend him, however, the hate here is such that the thread is quickly going to devolve into another "I hate Mat Ward" thread... :(

Remember, this is Warseer, where nothing is ever good enough.

27-03-2011, 17:54
I've seen nothing wrong with his work. Some fluff may be over the top, but so what? The codex is supposed to get you pumped about your army, so who cares.

edit: I haven't read the new Grey Knights codex though.

27-03-2011, 18:03
I think for the most part we can agree his rules are more or less decent with a couple of things here and there (he seems to have been pulled up for his increased transport capacity in vehicles as this hasnt been continued in other dexs). Its just his truly god awful take on the fluff such as his "everybody wishes they were an ultramarine" and this whole spiritual liege garbage, Im sure the Imperial Fists venerate the chapter master of another chapter above the Emperor or even their own primarch :rolleyes:

Its not entirely his fault though, somebody above him would have to sign off on his work before it was published so either this did not happen (which is shocking as no writer can just write whatever he wants and it will be published no questions asked) or if this is the stuff they decided was ok to published you can only imagine the stuff they knocked back.

He has shown that if he likes the faction he will ramp it up but if he doesnt care about them then he will just phone it in (see WHFB daemons and orcs) although this is also true of some other writers in the past and present.

When writing a codex or any kind of ruleset we must step back from our own personal bias in order to make it decent for everybody, you might not like a particular faction but by writing a substandard rule set you will antagonise the people who do actually like that faction. Why should they blow their cash on a piece of crap rule set the writer obviously didnt care about enough to make it halfway decent? Also if you like the faction (the same kind of "like" that means you need to take a cold shower if you think about them in Wards case) then for the love of god dont go writing in a fashion that would make the most fanatical fanboy cringe with embarrassment. By all means like your army, write fan fiction for them if you want, make them so unbelievable uberly awesome that they sweep legions of their enemies before them with their unstoppable might, just dont go writing that kind of stuff for the paying public or you will antagonise them as well. Ward seems to be unable to step back from his own personal bias and find that happy medium.


His rules are decent enough, its just his fluff writing ability (or lack thereof) thats the problem.

27-03-2011, 18:20
I've already closed one of these. They're rehashing the same arguments. Let's leave it alone for a few months. Thread closed.