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wyvirn
05-05-2011, 00:11
I have a dislike for current codexes, for many reasons already mentioned on this site. But I think I've put my finger on another reason: the rule section of the books are not fully thought (or spelled) out.
For example, using terms that aren't defined in game terms, like 'character' in the Deathleaper's profile. Or the author overlooks finer points of existing rules, like the dreadknight's DCCW only working on walkers.
Is anyone else noticing this, or have they been around for years and am I becoming more critical of it because of the time spent here? :evilgrin:

*edit* by recent, I mean post 5th. Like if I examined a random 4th or 3rd ed codex, would I find these mistakes?

Gensuke626
05-05-2011, 00:17
There have been issues like that for a while now. I think the grey knights codex just did a better job of pointing them out compared to most codexes.

Nurgling Chieftain
05-05-2011, 00:21
The Grey Knights codex is unusually bad, particularly compared to the Dark Eldar codex which preceded it; compare Nemesis Falchions to Scissorhand, for example. Overall it's actually a lot better than it was in, say, 3rd edition, frankly.

Okuto
05-05-2011, 01:03
rules are ok, fluff has been getting sloppy lately

Mewy
05-05-2011, 01:13
I think the problem with fluff is just consistency, each codex's history is blatantly written like propaganda to the extent that no army ever loses fights.

Rules I think people have a problem with them interfering with core book mechanics. The problem is they need to do this or in my honest opinion codexes are frikkin boring. Hopefully 5th-6th will add a bunch more core mechanics to allow for more creative rule flexibility when writing further books just like 4th-5th edition did

wyvirn
05-05-2011, 01:14
Technically, the fluff can't be sloppy because of the way GW handles cannon. The fluff can be described as going against previous fluff, or even Saturday morning cartoon-like, but that's been talked to death in other threads. What I'm wondering about is the rules that beg for an FAQ when a proof-reader would have pointed it out. Like how a creature in synapse is supposed to rally?

chromedog
05-05-2011, 01:34
I expect that issues with the NDK stem from it having its unit type changed somewhere along the way, and sloppy editing.

(The book has the feel of AT LEAST two different writers doing the rules - let alone background fluff - which accounts for the disjointed nature of it. The document properties of the leaked version also suggest this.)

Lord Inquisitor
05-05-2011, 02:56
I think so.

I think we can attribute this to three things:

1) Inexperienced authors. 5th was heralded by a new guard of games designers. With the exception of Phil Kelly (whose books are a little more watertight, e.g. Dark Eldar), we have a whole new set of designers. (Although Mat Ward really ought to know by now, he's hardly "inexperienced" now).

2) Too many special rules. The more special rules you put in, the more chance that you'll screw up the wording or that it'll have a conflict with another special rule.

3) Focus on "exciting" rules over clean rules. The books include many weapons, items and abilities that could be more simple and less likely to induce a rules glitch, but instead are more complicated and give more of a fine detail simulation.

If you compare Chaos Daemons (less than one page of FAQs), with it's experienced author, extremely limited unique special rules and clean writing to the 5th ed codecies, I think they're sloppier.

big squig
05-05-2011, 03:51
VERY sloppy.

Pretty much every codex since space marines has been an utter mess of needless junk and messy mechanics. Seriously, the Ork codex is the pinnacle of codex design. Easy to read, super simple, endless variety, strong and balanced, focuses on USRs.

Reflex
05-05-2011, 05:42
I agree. There is obviously a set standard and gw arnt meeting it. You can't have every nook and cranny fleshed out, there will always be a few things. But it seems there is alot of things not being thought out and alot of it can be simply fixed with one or two sentences. I think there are plenty of examples from mat ward codices, but even the pain tokens were a bit of a problem for some. Jotww was another, the mess with some of the things with the gk dex.

Things like crucible of maladiction are acceptable and should be FAQ'ed immediately, simply because it's one piece of wargear from a codex, not a major rule from the brb.

My 2 cents..

lanrak
05-05-2011, 09:05
Hi all.
I have to agree with big squig on this.
And even the best example of codex writing ,(Codex Orks,) still had typing and copy paste errors.

Compared to other games systems GW plc rules and army list books are very poorly written, from the point of clarity brevity and wit.

I get the impression the GW studio staff have given up on trying to write well defined rules.And appear to be totaly fixated on making the latest codex look and sound awsome.Even if it has negative affects on gameplay.
(Probably due to the pressure from corperate managment ?)

40k appears to be following the ' selling toy soldiers to kidies ' directive far to literaly IMO.


TTFN

Carlosophy
05-05-2011, 09:48
I have a dislike for current codexes, for many reasons already mentioned on this site. But I think I've put my finger on another reason: the rule section of the books are not fully thought (or spelled) out.
For example, using terms that aren't defined in game terms, like 'character' in the Deathleaper's profile. Or the author overlooks finer points of existing rules, like the dreadknight's DCCW only working on walkers.
Is anyone else noticing this, or have they been around for years and am I becoming more critical of it because of the time spent here? :evilgrin:

*edit* by recent, I mean post 5th. Like if I examined a random 4th or 3rd ed codex, would I find these mistakes?

I would argue that it isn't the writers that are sloppy, but the players are becoming more and more pedantic over the way things are written.

40k is meant to be used as a sandbox for players ideas; Andy Chamber's original vision for 40k was for it to be a galaxy-sized sandpit to encourage and exercise the imaginations of its players. In recent years the rise of the internet has led to the rules being straightjacketed into becoming a chess board for tournaments.

If you play 40k in its intended form, that is a way for friends to get together, write their own campaigns, create their own ideas and have fun for a few hours over a few cokes/beers (depending on age :) ) then the way codices are written is irrelevant because you just house-rule over the parts you might disagree with and come to amicable terms.

If you take 40k as a rigid set of immutable, untouchable rules that have to be obeyed to the letter, exactly as worded and only design armies to crush opponents, stress over whether a unit is 'viable' as opposed to it just looking cool on the battlefield you will come undone.

Rules should not have to be spelt out word for word, they should be open to common sense, something it appears a lot of gamers have lost over the years.

Tarax
05-05-2011, 10:01
I would argue that it isn't the writers that are sloppy, but the players are becoming more and more pedantic over the way things are written.

Players have become more competitive and want concise and clear written rules. Maybe they have become more educated and see the different nuances in the text that GW doesn't see.


40k is meant to be used as a sandbox for players ideas; Andy Chamber's original vision for 40k was for it to be a galaxy-sized sandpit to encourage and exercise the imaginations of its players. In recent years the rise of the internet has led to the rules being straightjacketed into becoming a chess board for tournaments.

I disagree that it has become 'straightjacketed'. The game has become more mature.


If you play 40k in its intended form, that is a way for friends to get together, write their own campaigns, create their own ideas and have fun for a few hours over a few cokes/beers (depending on age :) ) then the way codices are written is irrelevant because you just house-rule over the parts you might disagree with and come to amicable terms.

That was then. Now the game is directed towards young people, who do not grasp the 'fun'-part of the game. They need clear rules or you will get a fight. Like above, the game has matured.


If you take 40k as a rigid set of immutable, untouchable rules that have to be obeyed to the letter, exactly as worded and only design armies to crush opponents, stress over whether a unit is 'viable' as opposed to it just looking cool on the battlefield you will come undone.

See above.


Rules should not have to be spelt out word for word, they should be open to common sense, something it appears a lot of gamers have lost over the years.

Rules should be spelt out word for word. The game has matured, become more competitive, more directed at youngsters. It's not all the fault of the players, GW also changed its targets.

Carlosophy
05-05-2011, 11:36
Players have become more competitive and want concise and clear written rules. Maybe they have become more educated and see the different nuances in the text that GW doesn't see.



I disagree that it has become 'straightjacketed'. The game has become more mature.



That was then. Now the game is directed towards young people, who do not grasp the 'fun'-part of the game. They need clear rules or you will get a fight. Like above, the game has matured.



See above.



Rules should be spelt out word for word. The game has matured, become more competitive, more directed at youngsters. It's not all the fault of the players, GW also changed its targets.

40k isn't any more mature than it ever has been. If anything the dawn of 6th edition/Apoc/flyers has given us a complete U-turn back to 2nd edition and Herohammer.

GW may have changed its core market but it still encourages fun and creativity; why else would Planetstrike, BM and Apocalypse exist? No, the fault lies squarely with veteran players for not showing them the correct way to play the game.

RandomThoughts
05-05-2011, 12:37
I would argue that it isn't the writers that are sloppy, but the players are becoming more and more pedantic over the way things are written.

40k is meant to be used as a sandbox for players ideas; Andy Chamber's original vision for 40k was for it to be a galaxy-sized sandpit to encourage and exercise the imaginations of its players. In recent years the rise of the internet has led to the rules being straightjacketed into becoming a chess board for tournaments.

If you play 40k in its intended form, that is a way for friends to get together, write their own campaigns, create their own ideas and have fun for a few hours over a few cokes/beers (depending on age ) then the way codices are written is irrelevant because you just house-rule over the parts you might disagree with and come to amicable terms.

If you take 40k as a rigid set of immutable, untouchable rules that have to be obeyed to the letter, exactly as worded and only design armies to crush opponents, stress over whether a unit is 'viable' as opposed to it just looking cool on the battlefield you will come undone.

Rules should not have to be spelt out word for word, they should be open to common sense, something it appears a lot of gamers have lost over the years.

I disagree. I use this approach towards roleplaying, which in our circles resolves around story and living out the world(s), but when I play a game designed for two (or more) players to play against each other, I want balanced gameplay and well defined rules.

Don't get me wrong, I used to write tons of house rules, but one thing I learned was that a) most of them tend to give benefits to certain armies or builds and b) you and your opponent have to keep track of all the changes you made, and you can never assume your opponent knows your house-rules, or will even agree to them.

Personally, I believe that the Warmachine apporach to clearly written rules and well defined units benefits not only the tournament crowd you seem to hate, but also the casual gamers that want to have a chance on winning even when they select fluffy units.

As things are with 40K right now, I feel good about fielding about a third of the Eldar Codex, tops. And these are not exactly the moments I would field for fluff or aestetic reasons... :-(

Last time I played 40K, I made the conscious decision to field Reapers, simply because I liked the models. It would have been a lot easier if Reapers were actually good...

Like I said, I'm 100% on board with using the game to tell your own stories about your own military campains, I want that. However, I don't think the rules as are support this. I don't want to have to make choice between fluffy and competitive when I choose a unit.

Lord Damocles
05-05-2011, 12:41
For example, using terms that aren't defined in game terms, like 'character' in the Deathleaper's profile.
Not defined, as in actually defined - Rulebook, pg.47?

Lord Inquisitor
05-05-2011, 13:25
I would argue that it isn't the writers that are sloppy, but the players are becoming more and more pedantic over the way things are written.

40k is meant to be used as a sandbox for players ideas; Andy Chamber's original vision for 40k was for it to be a galaxy-sized sandpit to encourage and exercise the imaginations of its players. In recent years the rise of the internet has led to the rules being straightjacketed into becoming a chess board for tournaments.

If you play 40k in its intended form,

There are so many things wrong with this:

1) Good rules are bad for the imagination.
What? Why? How does a technically well-written book curb the imagination? This is like saying you shouldn't proofread a work of literature and correct the spelling errors, particularly those that make the meaning of the words unclear, because it spoils the author's vision. No, all types of gaming are enhanced by clear and functional rules.

2) The players are at fault for being pedantic.
I don't think it's unreasonable to expect a professional design team for the biggest wargaming company in the world to actually proofread their stuff. I picked up the GK codex, looking for a way to make my Daemonhunters army work. Looking at Corteaz's entry, I immediately wondered whether these are true Troops and whether you can have an unlimited amount or if they count for the compulsory choices. This is quite a big deal as it affects my whole army design - and I spotted it the very first time I opened the book.

3) Tournament gamers are playing the game wrong.
Rogue Trader was originally intended to have a GM. The game has evolved since then. There is a great deal of arrogance suggesting that casual gaming is the 'right' way. I personally have seen more heated rules arguments in 'casual' games than in tournaments anyway. In any case, there's absolutely no reason the game can't cater for both camps. Both sides benefit from clear and concise rule - you can play a campaign with a tight and well-balanced system but you can't play pick-up or tournament-style games with a sloppily-written system.

Carlosophy
05-05-2011, 16:05
There are so many things wrong with this:

1) Good rules are bad for the imagination.
What? Why? How does a technically well-written book curb the imagination? This is like saying you shouldn't proofread a work of literature and correct the spelling errors, particularly those that make the meaning of the words unclear, because it spoils the author's vision. No, all types of gaming are enhanced by clear and functional rules.

2) The players are at fault for being pedantic.
I don't think it's unreasonable to expect a professional design team for the biggest wargaming company in the world to actually proofread their stuff. I picked up the GK codex, looking for a way to make my Daemonhunters army work. Looking at Corteaz's entry, I immediately wondered whether these are true Troops and whether you can have an unlimited amount or if they count for the compulsory choices. This is quite a big deal as it affects my whole army design - and I spotted it the very first time I opened the book.

3) Tournament gamers are playing the game wrong.
Rogue Trader was originally intended to have a GM. The game has evolved since then. There is a great deal of arrogance suggesting that casual gaming is the 'right' way. I personally have seen more heated rules arguments in 'casual' games than in tournaments anyway. In any case, there's absolutely no reason the game can't cater for both camps. Both sides benefit from clear and concise rule - you can play a campaign with a tight and well-balanced system but you can't play pick-up or tournament-style games with a sloppily-written system.

I don't think tournaments are a bad idea, but they should be the exception rather than the norm so that players dont turn up with their razor-sharp cookie cutter list of viability but rather the cool-looking friendly fluffy list they use in friendly games with friends. The tournament scene doesnt have to be so cut-throat. Points used to be awarded for fluffiness, modelling ability and sportsmanship as well as victories. This ensured the best all-round hobbyist won, not the most powerful player.

Raibaru
05-05-2011, 16:27
Part of the problem is the recycle time. I haven't played too many games that go through an entire edition of rules as quickly as GW does. And with each edition, they must release a new set of codex. And then those codex are painfully slow being released.

Add to that the issue of one codex introducing a special rule specifically designed to invalidate a special rule in another codex and things get out of control very quickly.

Especially when we take Space Marines into consideration where each codex aren't divergent enough from the main book to warrant existing in the first place. The few things in each book that make them 'unique' are often times considered to be something this hobby didn't need in the first place. Prime examples being Thunderwolf Cavalry and the Dreadknight.

1 or 2 special characters per chapter is more than enough to throw in some variety to make each chapter feel unique with just FOC shifts. Then just release a seperate background book and call it a day.

Lord Inquisitor
05-05-2011, 16:34
I don't think tournaments are a bad idea, but they should be the exception rather than the norm so that players dont turn up with their razor-sharp cookie cutter list of viability but rather the cool-looking friendly fluffy list they use in friendly games with friends. The tournament scene doesnt have to be so cut-throat. Points used to be awarded for fluffiness, modelling ability and sportsmanship as well as victories. This ensured the best all-round hobbyist won, not the most powerful player.

I disagree, the "tournament" style format is the default. If you're assigning points values to units you're providing at least the impression that the game is balanced. Even in "friendly" games or pick-up games at a club, the format is generally the "tournament style" mirrored objectives with a set points value, often the default tournament standard points value too - and it's been that way since 3rd, so let's not get too misty-eyed about it.

Epic Armageddon sets this out well, it has three types of gaming. These are "tournament games", "scenarios" and "campaigns". The default 40K games falls firmly in the "tournament game" category. I'd like to see 40K spend more time on the other two types of games - WFB has a good bit more in the rulebook on this subject although it's glossed over in favour of the standard scenarios.

As for the tournament scene being "cut throat", I've not seen it. Don't mistake bringing a hard list with being "cut throat". A gentleman's agreement that both players are going to avoid the most effective lists or most powerful options is fine - but be aware that this is what it is. There's been this perception since GW started that taking the most powerful options is out of order somehow, perpetuated in no small part by the designers themselves. Which is to say the lists are just not balanced enough. Setting up a game where two players compete in direct antagonistic opposition - even in its most beer-and-pretzels format, it's still competitive at its core - and expecting each player to build an effective army, yet tutting if people bring an army that's TOO effective is just silly. There's a line in the sand there and everyone differs on where that line is. There's a lot less antagonism when you just rub out that line and both players just bring whatever they want and try to clobber the other guy's army. Serious tournament players don't generally complain about cheese at all and I think there's something to be said for that.

Most grand tournaments (with the notable exception of Ard Boyz) do still award the best overall to battle+paint+sports(+comp, if applicable). I don't know what it's like in your area but as far as I can tell it's still the best "all rounder" that walks away with the big prize.

In any case, I can't see why poorly written rules are to be lauded or excused, whether you play in tournaments or not. In some cases tournaments actually deal with these issues better, getting organised and producing their own FAQs (e.g. INATFAQ) or complex rebalancing of the game (WPS comp) or just banning those annoying overpowered things (e.g. Teclis).

Vaktathi
05-05-2011, 19:55
5E has a weird issue. You have a core ruleset written as the parting shot of a designer who championed the mantra of "simplicity and streamlining".

Then, 5 of the 7 fifth edition army books are written by people who never wrote a 40k army book before 5th edition and who are throwing in more special rules and new things (often out of nowhere) since 2nd Edition. The only author of 5E books that had written stuff before, has been known as a guy who almost always writes top tier army books.

So there's a strange disconnect in the rules here between the philosophy of the core rules and of the army books.

There is a lot of sloppiness with the rules, but in all honesty, previous editions have been just as bad.

The big thing with 5E is the random new stuff hamfisted in (Thunderwolf Cavalry, Vendettas, Stormravens, Bloodtalons, etc) and the awful, atrocious fluff of many (though not all) of the new army books that reads like bad internet fan fiction.

Voss
05-05-2011, 20:02
I would argue that it isn't the writers that are sloppy, but the players are becoming more and more pedantic over the way things are written.
Bah. Pedantic wargamers goes back decades. If anything, kids these days don't have any standards anymore.


40k is meant to be used as a sandbox for players ideas; Andy Chambers originial vision...
Right. Fact checking time. Chambers wasn't behind the 'original vision' of anything. Good old Orky Andy came later.

I think Vaktathi sums it up best, however. The problem doesn't lie in the myth of tournament versus casual. The problem is the disconnect between the game designers, and between the core rules and everything else.

And Lord Inquisitor is certainly correct- poorly written rules are inexcusable at this stage of the game. This system has been kicking around in various incarnations for decades, there is no reason to introduce new holes to patched rug.

big squig
06-05-2011, 16:40
5E has a weird issue. You have a core ruleset written as the parting shot of a designer who championed the mantra of "simplicity and streamlining".

Then, 5 of the 7 fifth edition army books are written by people who never wrote a 40k army book before 5th edition and who are throwing in more special rules and new things (often out of nowhere) since 2nd Edition. The only author of 5E books that had written stuff before, has been known as a guy who almost always writes top tier army books.

So there's a strange disconnect in the rules here between the philosophy of the core rules and of the army books.

There is a lot of sloppiness with the rules, but in all honesty, previous editions have been just as bad.

The big thing with 5E is the random new stuff hamfisted in (Thunderwolf Cavalry, Vendettas, Stormravens, Bloodtalons, etc) and the awful, atrocious fluff of many (though not all) of the new army books that reads like bad internet fan fiction.

Don't forget the tyranid that poops more tyranids.:rolleyes:

wyvirn
06-05-2011, 17:09
As opposed to the board edge that pooped tyranids? :D

althathir
06-05-2011, 17:23
Yeah pooping nids is almost grandfathered in at this point :) nothing silly about it.

I really am happy with 5th which means I'm probably gonna hate sixth the base rules are simple, and the armies add complication, but on topic, the codex rules have always been sloppy and faqs have always been slow and irrational

Seville
06-05-2011, 18:09
I would argue that it isn't the writers that are sloppy, but the players are becoming more and more pedantic over the way things are written.

40k is meant to be used as a sandbox for players ideas; Andy Chamber's original vision for 40k was for it to be a galaxy-sized sandpit to encourage and exercise the imaginations of its players. In recent years the rise of the internet has led to the rules being straightjacketed into becoming a chess board for tournaments.

If you play 40k in its intended form, that is a way for friends to get together, write their own campaigns, create their own ideas and have fun for a few hours over a few cokes/beers (depending on age :) ) then the way codices are written is irrelevant because you just house-rule over the parts you might disagree with and come to amicable terms.

If you take 40k as a rigid set of immutable, untouchable rules that have to be obeyed to the letter, exactly as worded and only design armies to crush opponents, stress over whether a unit is 'viable' as opposed to it just looking cool on the battlefield you will come undone.

Rules should not have to be spelt out word for word, they should be open to common sense, something it appears a lot of gamers have lost over the years.

You are exactly right. Great post.

Skalfgrimm
06-05-2011, 18:31
5E has a weird issue. You have a core ruleset written as the parting shot of a designer who championed the mantra of "simplicity and streamlining".
Who then went on and wrote Kings of War, a complete wargame with only 9 pages of rules. Thatīs some serious streamlining right there. (Go check it out, itīs awesome).

Itīs hard to find a clearer contrast between design philosophies than when comparing Cavatore with Ward.

Lord Inquisitor
06-05-2011, 19:32
You are exactly right. Great post.

Heh, some serious editage right there... ;)

Thing is, I just don't agree that 40K is the sandbox narrative wargame that it once was. Trying to claim that it is still what it was in rogue trader and everyone else just doesn't "get it" or is "too serious" about it seems to deny exactly what 40K has become.

Take Inquisitor as an example, sticking to GW games. That was a narrative wargame! I loved that game, shame it isn't played more. That's the sort of game where the object is to tell a cool story, it has a GM to arbitrate, open-ended mechanics and (shock!) no points values. To a lesser extent, Necromunda is narrative wargaming too.

I personally love narrative wargaming. I love Inquisitor, I like Necromunda. I also love competitive wargaming. You can make a game of Inquisitor or Necromunda pretty competitive if you want, you can bet a final showdown at the end of a campaign will be bitterly fought. You can add narrative elements to 40K or WFB and that's cool too. But 40K is not designed as a narrative wargame. Strict points values, mirrored objectives and no GM mean the players are in direct competition with no arbitrator to adjudicate. The rules have to be clear. It isn't designed like Inquisitor and the narrative is not first.

If the designers intend for it to be a narrative wargame, they're doing a shoddy job of that too.

ReveredChaplainDrake
06-05-2011, 19:40
I would argue that it isn't the writers that are sloppy, but the players are becoming more and more pedantic over the way things are written.

40k is meant to be used as a sandbox for players ideas; Andy Chamber's original vision for 40k was for it to be a galaxy-sized sandpit to encourage and exercise the imaginations of its players. In recent years the rise of the internet has led to the rules being straightjacketed into becoming a chess board for tournaments.

If you play 40k in its intended form, that is a way for friends to get together, write their own campaigns, create their own ideas and have fun for a few hours over a few cokes/beers (depending on age :) ) then the way codices are written is irrelevant because you just house-rule over the parts you might disagree with and come to amicable terms.

If you take 40k as a rigid set of immutable, untouchable rules that have to be obeyed to the letter, exactly as worded and only design armies to crush opponents, stress over whether a unit is 'viable' as opposed to it just looking cool on the battlefield you will come undone.

Rules should not have to be spelt out word for word, they should be open to common sense, something it appears a lot of gamers have lost over the years.
I think Carlosophy is being a bit too idealistic in his assumptions of the gaming community. We entrust GW to lay these things out in balanced, simplistic formats because they lay down the international law on their game. Ideally, people of radically different cultures and languages could actually play a game against one another and still understand what's going on because the rules are consistent no matter where you go. They weren't designed for players to mod them around as they see fit. As has been shown with CSM 3.5 and the traited Space Marines, when players have the options to mod stuff around, it's virtually impossible to tell "fluffy" from "abuse of rules". In severe cases, you get problems like this:

"A naked Carnifex costs as much as a Tactical Squad! :wtf: Who would use something so stupid when the Trygon is better? I know, I'll house rule it to be 6 wounds instead of 4, that way they're competitive for their cost. Now to find someone who will let me play a house ruled Tyranid list..."

And that's just with a codex that everybody agrees was marinated in weak sauce during its development. Imagine trying that with a more competent codex, like Blood Angels. "Don't you think Mephiston is a bit too big of a character to go without an Invulnerable Save? How does a 3++ sound?" Okay, that's a bit of an extreme caricature, but the point stands: whether you agree with it or not, buffing a Carnifex and buffing Mephiston are the same thing: blatant power advantages contrary to the developers' intent.

By submitting to codex rulings with points values, we also entrust GW to make Carnifexes, Mephiston, and all units equally viable for their cost, barring differences in personal tactical theory that vary from player to player. (As a personal example, it's not GW's fault that I think Wyches suck. Rather, I don't think using elite fragile infantry as a tarpit is all that wise, no matter how effective they are at it.) Instead, they turned their rules writing into an exercise of one-upsmanship amongst themselves, rather than turning their efforts to playtesting or even simple proofreading. Threads like this are just our attempt at calling them on it. Meanwhile, I need to interview every potential opponent I face for how they read the rules for charging into assaults, and if playing my CSM, how they read Warptime's "re-roll the dice" before I can even write my list.

Seville
06-05-2011, 19:43
Heh, some serious editage right there... ;)

Thing is, I just don't agree that 40K is the sandbox narrative wargame that it once was. Trying to claim that it is still what it was in rogue trader and everyone else just doesn't "get it" or is "too serious" about it seems to deny exactly what 40K has become.

Take Inquisitor as an example, sticking to GW games. That was a narrative wargame! I loved that game, shame it isn't played more. That's the sort of game where the object is to tell a cool story, it has a GM to arbitrate, open-ended mechanics and (shock!) no points values. To a lesser extent, Necromunda is narrative wargaming too.

I personally love narrative wargaming. I love Inquisitor, I like Necromunda. I also love competitive wargaming. You can make a game of Inquisitor or Necromunda pretty competitive if you want, you can bet a final showdown at the end of a campaign will be bitterly fought. You can add narrative elements to 40K or WFB and that's cool too. But 40K is not designed as a narrative wargame. Strict points values, mirrored objectives and no GM mean the players are in direct competition with no arbitrator to adjudicate. The rules have to be clear. It isn't designed like Inquisitor and the narrative is not first.

If the designers intend for it to be a narrative wargame, they're doing a shoddy job of that too.

Yes, I decided that wasn't the nicest way I could have made my point, so decided to just scrap the post entirely.

I get your point. I really do.

But, I think the very crux of the problem is that 40k is still essentially a narrative wargame. At the very least, that's where its roots are. It's not like Warmachine, which was designed as an exercise in competitive gaming right from the get-go. 40k was always essentially a table-top RPG. By trying to appease tournament players without bothering to fundamentally change this ancient, unwieldy rule set, they're really trying to slam a square peg into a round hole. It just doesn't work.

So, what I am trying to say is, I think that everyone who wishes GW games were some kind of awesome competitive exercise are totally missing the point. 40k is, at its heart, essentially a scaled up version of Necromunda, and I don't think GW can ever be relied upon to make a tight, balanced ruleset. So, if you're looking for Magic: The Gathering on a tabletop, my advice would be to look elsewhere and take GW games for what they are - dumb, poorly written, imbalanced games where stuff explodes and everyone has a good time anyway.

Oh, and yes - you are right, it has become a shoddy narrative game at this point because GW is trying to appease tourney and competitive players... they're trying to do both, and it just doesn't work. That's essentially what I meant when I said (in my deleted post) that "tournament players have ruined the game".

hlaine larkin
06-05-2011, 19:56
Blame Matt ward /thread

DeeKay
06-05-2011, 21:13
Felt like throwing my thoughts into this post.


I think the very crux of the problem is that 40k is still essentially a narrative wargame. At the very least, that's where its roots are. It's not like Warmachine, which was designed as an exercise in competitive gaming right from the get-go. 40k was always essentially a table-top RPG. By trying to appease tournament players without bothering to fundamentally change this ancient, unwieldy rule set, they're really trying to slam a square peg into a round hole. It just doesn't work.

How? As has been mentioned before, why should tight rules exclude the fluff? GW already have a pretty bad record of mauling their fluff so that's not much of an arguement. As for the arguement of fluffy vs competitive, in an ideal world, fluffy lists would be the most competitive anyway. The unit selections would reward taking unit A with unit B more than taking it with unit C for example. Again, I see no reason in this day and age why fluff and competition are seen as mutually exclusive concepts.


So, what I am trying to say is, I think that everyone who wishes GW games were some kind of awesome competitive exercise are totally missing the point. 40k is, at its heart, essentially a scaled up version of Necromunda, and I don't think GW can ever be relied upon to make a tight, balanced ruleset. So, if you're looking for Magic: The Gathering on a tabletop, my advice would be to look elsewhere and take GW games for what they are - dumb, poorly written, imbalanced games where stuff explodes and everyone has a good time anyway.

As it stands, I agree with your point here. 40K simply isn't clear enough to be considered tournament friendly. Having said that, LotR SBG (not WotR) is perhaps the best rules set GW has ever put out there. Fluff-wise, characters are hard enough to do as they do in the books and films, and the rules are clear enough to avoid too much confusion. Why they haven't learned from this I don't know.


Oh, and yes - you are right, it has become a shoddy narrative game at this point because GW is trying to appease tourney and competitive players... they're trying to do both, and it just doesn't work. That's essentially what I meant when I said (in my deleted post) that "tournament players have ruined the game".

See my above response. I say it can work, but if it did then GW probably wouldn't make so much money from new editions, and the surge of people buying new models/units to replace older units that have been made redundant.

With regards,
Dan.

Grimtuff
06-05-2011, 21:35
Who then went on and wrote Kings of War, a complete wargame with only 9 pages of rules. Thatīs some serious streamlining right there. (Go check it out, itīs awesome).

Itīs hard to find a clearer contrast between design philosophies than when comparing Cavatore with Ward.

He meant Andy Chambers.... ;)

The core mechanics of modern 40k have been around since 3rd edition, which Chambers wrote.

Vaktathi
06-05-2011, 22:26
Well, primarily I was referring to Cavatore actually, but Chambers' also sorta fits in a larger picture (especially going from 2nd to 3rd, though didn't he also do 2nd?), and does bring up another interesting point.

Chambers obviously had a vision for 40k of some sort, that progressed from what obviously was an unsatisfactory reboot with 3E to an overcompensating 4E, that never got a chance to be realized before he left, with 5E ending up in many ways being a side-grade instead of a progression of Chambers' 3E ruleset as he had left by that point.

Cavatore's thing for the last couple years of 4E had been "streamlining", they took armies and rules down to their basest levels and kept variation and diversity to a minimum, thinking it should be players imagininations, modelling and painting that do the variaion. This was done most explicitely in the CSM book, but also in the 5E rules. Then, just after 5E is released, Cavatore leaves and a whole slew of books come out that swing the complete opposite direction in terms of design philisophy by guys that had never written anything for 40k before that. We've got special rules to counter other special rules that bypass core game mechanics, *basic* troops with often 3, 4 or even 5 special rules (BA Tac squad has ATSKNF, Combat Squads, and Red Thirst which then leads to Furious Charge and Fearless), and special abilities on even the most mundane of units, going even so far as to wantonly rename stuff just to differentiate it where none is required (blood fists...)

Now, I'm not saying *all* of that is bad or unwarranted either way, personally I like a lot of it, but it also seems to in many ways be a runaway train to many. It does show a clear disconnect between the what Andy Chambers had envisioned, where Cavatore wanted it to go once he had his say, and what the guys in charge are doing now.

This game has lacked a clear strategic focus in terms of rules design & philosophy, and is highly noticeable at this point in the games life. It remains, for the most part, fun and entertaining, despite the frustration and cynicism it often brings upon us. But it's very clear that the design studio either doesn't really have a defined strategic plan, or changes it so often as to make it meaningless (especially coupled with the geological pace of updates to armies that aren't Codex: Space Marines) and the metagame situation of the last few years has borne that out. Though, to be fair, I think that balance is better now than it has been in previous times.

Grimtuff
06-05-2011, 22:59
Cavatore's thing for the last couple years of 4E had been "streamlining", they took armies and rules down to their basest levels and kept variation and diversity to a minimum, thinking it should be players imagininations, modelling and painting that do the variaion. This was done most explicitely in the CSM book, but also in the 5E rules. Then, just after 5E is released, Cavatore leaves and a whole slew of books come out that swing the complete opposite direction in terms of design philisophy by guys that had never written anything for 40k before that.


The same thing happened with 6th ed WHFB. Tuomas Pirenen wrote the rules then parted ways with GW. IIRC Gav Thorpe actually stated somewhere that they had no idea in some places what he intended with the ruleset.

Vaktathi
06-05-2011, 23:03
The same thing happened with 6th ed WHFB. Tuomas Pirenen wrote the rules then parted ways with GW. IIRC Gav Thorpe actually stated somewhere that they had no idea in some places what he intended with the ruleset.

Which would also explain the situation with WHFB right now, where 7E was written by Cavatore and 8E by Ward, so we've got 3 radically different design philisophies in 3 different editions with 3 different authors.

self biased
07-05-2011, 14:19
there's another problem that's not being discussed, as well. there's a certain weight of expectation on the player base that travels from edition to edition, a sense of entitlement. There was someone, somewhere (i forget the specifics) that was arguing that Furious Charge was wholly inappropriate for a particular unit, but some other iteration of the rule that gave an additional attack was much better suited for the particular army. Gamers, it seems, are a rather excessively imaginative lot at times.

I've seen endless whining on topics that range from the perfectly valid to the maddeningly irrational. I've seen a Beil Tan player let loose some amazing invective because the change in codex invalidated his army that used 60 Striking Scorpions. I've seen an Iron Warriors player complain about not being able to take four basilisks and how unfluffy (which was a hangable offence in this player's eyes) it is for his army to not have this and more. I've seen players confuse fluff for rules and vice versa, though it doesn't help that GW often doesn't separate the two when it comes to wargear. I've seen the game paradigm pendulum swing in ways that that would have made M.C. Escher reach wearily for a bottle of rotgut and go have a lie down.

The biggest problem on GW's part is that when they release an edition, they have it set in their mind that the rules will behave the same way in the wild as it does in the studio which is demonstrably not the case: the third edition eldar avatar had a 5+ invulnerable save, which the dev team pretty clearly thought was good, but the math doesn't support it. I have to tip my hat to Privateer Press in the way they handle their rules. they either say "yes, that's how that works, deal with it." or "you're playing that how? no, that's not what we want, and we're re-writing the rule to be clearer."

The fact that some of the fanbase believes in the infallibility of the design studio only exacerbates things. The fact that the studio seems to share this belief as well makes things even worse still, despite the fact that the studio appears to be just as insular as your average troglodyte's basement. which is cool and perfectly valid, don't get me wrong, but if anyone wants to use the word 'professional' to describe what they do, in my eyes then they should be held to some sort of 'professional' standard of grammar and clarity.

igwarlord
07-05-2011, 18:29
Whats all this crap about fluffy vs competetive
my IG has had the same idea behind it since 3rd and NOW people have the nerve to call me unsporting since i don't have ogryns (hate the models new and old) or some other niche unit
why am i TOO competive to play what i like
my list is all artillery and tanks
i like tanks
why should i play something else just cause these people want to whine that i ruin the flavor of the game
that i don't use the fluffy stuff

the problem with 40k is they try to remain in that old idea of point values being determined by brain power
they should just make a list saving that a 5+ save is 3 pts a 4+ is 5pts and make the models off that then the costs would work and be fair across the board (although i can see a ***** like ward giving devestators furious charge or something)

carldooley
08-05-2011, 12:53
the GK Codex definitely has this feel. there is the Castellan Crowe\Garran issue, that will almost certainly end up in the FAQ, but the greatest issue seems to be the Librarian. Anyone look at the codex? a lot of the powers are assault or heavy, almost all are imports from other marine codecii, but they seem to overlook the fact that the librarian has terminator armor and no way to get out of it.

Easy E
09-05-2011, 13:43
I would argue that it isn't the writers that are sloppy, but the players are becoming more and more pedantic over the way things are written.

I agree with this.

However, every codex has always had these issues. It is easier to share these "loopholes" to a wider audience then ever before. This also adds legitmacy to the argument that the "loophole" should be interpretted a certain way over another way.

Therefore, everything looks sloppier now, than it did before mass communication was sooooo incredibly simple. If 1 person finds an error, suddenly every internet player inthe world knows it.

Lord Inquisitor
09-05-2011, 14:38
There's probably some truth to that. Still, I'm unconvinced. Just reading through the Grey Knights book, I personally found many unclear rules, poorly worded items, fluff oddities, inconsistencies and typos. Silly stuff, like the fact that the daemonsword can make you psyker mastery 2 ... but the only character that can take one is an Ordo Malleus inquisitor, who can only have a maximum of 1 psychic power anyway, so it's pretty much useless (edit: actually, it allows for the use of hammerhand and the force sword ability, but still). There are spelling errors, the whole henchmen-as-troops thing immediately raised a question, etc. These are all things I've noticed personally and on a casual read-through of the book.

Other things, like Crowe lacking IC status*, I do confess I'd never have noticed in a month of Sundays if someone hadn't pointed it out online, but I think it's pretty objective to say the GK book has a lot more errors or unclear rules than, say, the Chaos Daemons book. This may be sloppy writing or just a design philosophy of excess rules rather than streamlining (or, likely, both) but the net effect is a much more "glitchy" product.

*Not even sure if this is an error, but it seems bizarre to give him an ability that benefits any squad he joins and then disallow him from joining squads.

CelestialDragonKing
09-05-2011, 14:48
A lot of this argument is why I stopped playing 40k. I love the fluff and the look but just can't bring myself to play. I'm even painting 5 striking scorpions for some reason! Maybe for the love of the models and painting but god knows when I'm actually going to use them in a game. From what I hear there are much better rules out there that are free on the web but trying to get someone to play them is probably going to be difficult at best. I've have started playing other games but they just don't have the fluff GW has that I like. Sometimes better figures though.

MalusCalibur
09-05-2011, 15:17
I'd certainly have to agree with the suggestion that 40k is the mess that it is because of the vast disconnect between the core rules and the codex books. Even if the codex writers were a great deal more competent than they are, they would still have trouble following the design philosophy of the core rules when the person who wrote them is very noticeably absent.
I don't think the problem has anything really to do with the age old 'fluff vs competitive' argument, since as has been repeatedly stated, clear and concise rules and narrative-based games are not mutually exclusive by any means, and indeed there is no reason to excuse poorly written or thought out rules just because we're 'not supposed to take 40k seriously'.
All the while there are points values (and as far as I know there always have been in 40k) there is a level of expectancy as far as balance and competition goes, and you can't just ignore the idea of competitive games because of the games' RPG roots that are no longer part of it (I'm not saying thats explicitly a good or bad thing, but it is definetely true).
I do understand some people's approach to 'hardcore' tournaments and how they seem to have drained a lot of the fun and flavour from the game in order to bring it down to base mechanics and optimisation , but you will get these kinds of players in any game that has a competitive element (indeed a lot of computer games are similar in this way), and you cannot exclude them because of it. And you certainly cannot decry their desire for better rules as 'not playing properly' - after all, better rules would benefit everyone.

Personally, though? I gave up playing 40k a long time ago. I'm looking forward to the Mantic sci-fi game instead.

Bassik
09-05-2011, 16:01
I remember 8-10 years ago people complained about the same thing. It's just a GW thing, let it go, be happy with your little plastic men and play!

Seville
09-05-2011, 16:14
I remember 8-10 years ago people complained about the same thing. It's just a GW thing, let it go, be happy with your little plastic men and play!

People have been complaining about this for longer than that! :)

I can remember going to a gaming convention 15 years ago and watching a bunch of grown men playing 40k acting like children packing up their toys and going home over a rules dispute. I didn't play 40k at the time, and I thought "wow, I will never play that game" :)

Agriss
09-05-2011, 18:31
However, every codex has always had these issues. It is easier to share these "loopholes" to a wider audience then ever before. This also adds legitmacy to the argument that the "loophole" should be interpretted a certain way over another way.

Therefore, everything looks sloppier now, than it did before mass communication was sooooo incredibly simple. If 1 person finds an error, suddenly every internet player inthe world knows it.

This is exactly what i mean. sometimes i find my lists just become competetive by posting them on this site. everyone tels me my codex (CSM) has only 1 trick. i belive them, and start to take DP's because they work well. but i run them with MOS and Lash, because its fun. And MON and Nurgle's Rot because i see my DP spinning around with his blade, hitting all within 6".

Forums, of every kind, force a person into a Cheesy/Non Cheesy mindset. i am in that mindset now. i cannot hear one word of the GK rules, because they truly are broken and wrong. Rules are becoming more and more broken as every new codex comes out, just to paint a young fanbase. they dont really have the money to buy your products GW, SO WHY PLAY TO THEIR NEEDS! Wolves was ok, and long fangs had some lovely fluff, but the BA just got more stuff that was broken. And then there was GK. Everyone plays it so they can win. Where has the narrative play gone. i miss the games where i didnt argue about rules and had a good time, where did they go?

I Love the core rules. I hate, however, the codexes that are simply becoming so wrong and broken that the player will not find a decent game. These armies are draining my enthusiasm for the hobby overall. No one converts any more. no one plays with their heart any more.

WHY DO CODEXES BECOME BROKEN? IT MAKES ME SO ANGRY!
WHY CAN'T GAMES WORKSHOP KEEP THE FUNDAMENTALS OF A BOOK WITHOUT ADDING NEW STUFF? THIS STARTED AT THE SM CODEX. THUNDERFIRE CANNON? WHEN? WHERE? SO MUCH FOR PLOT ADVANCEMENT NOT EXISTING! AAARRRGH! NOBODY REVITALISES THE HEART OF THE GAME! HAVING FUN!

sorry. i just want a good game with some narrative and some competition. :cries:

big squig
09-05-2011, 18:36
I just have the feeling that if codex: space marines, guard, tyranids, BA, wolves, dark eldar, and grey knights felt more like codex: orks, eldar, deamons, and chaos we wouldn't be having most of these problems.

I've been playing 40k since the early days of 2nd ed and this is the first time I have ever felt like not playing.

Agriss
09-05-2011, 18:44
Me too mate. I feel so upset. I can no longer play a game. Got one this wednesday. I dont want to play. Its just not the same as it was. Its GK

Why? *Breaks down on the floor, bursting out in tears*

Thats it. I am getting a Beer. And i dont want a kebab, merely a tasty campaign. Lol

Feeling Better now.

PS: I HATE HOW EVERYONE GIVES COMPETETIVE ADVICE. WHAT IF I WANT NORMAL ADVICE?

Commotionpotion
09-05-2011, 21:08
I can't actually remember very many rules disputes from my playing 2ed. In my experience, the rules 'looked' more complex, but were in fact pretty simple once you'd mastered them.

The reason for this was simple; although everyone remembers 2ed for huge array of number-based solutions, there were actually very few 'special rules' (very few army-specific and even fewer unit specific) at least until the 2ed Nid Codex (or the book that broke 2ed).

I still maintain that 2ed was the best edition to play, provided that a) you didn't want to do tournaments and b) you took care not to take Psykers and Strategy Cards to excess.

Grimbad
09-05-2011, 21:24
I can't actually remember very many rules disputes from my playing 2ed. In my experience, the rules 'looked' more complex, but were in fact pretty simple once you'd mastered them.

The reason for this was simple; although everyone remembers 2ed for huge array of number-based solutions, there were actually very few 'special rules' (very few army-specific and even fewer unit specific) at least until the 2ed Nid Codex (or the book that broke 2ed).

I still maintain that 2ed was the best edition to play, provided that a) you didn't want to do tournaments and b) you took care not to take Psykers and Strategy Cards to excess.

I just started playing 2E, and that's pretty much what I'm finding. The rules are intuitive if sometimes clunky, and target priority combined with variable movement allows a lot more in terms of large tactics than 'run forwards, shoot, charge or get charged, die'. The level of detail allows for smaller tactics as well, with model facing often making a huge difference. Any rules dispute is easily resolved by going with what makes sense for the narrative.

I rather like the psyker system. The card game is a little odd, but I find it gives an excellent impression of a mental conflict over the battlefield. To use a term increasingly popular in describing video games, the whole edition has a more visceral feel to it.

Commotionpotion
09-05-2011, 21:51
I rather like the psyker system. The card game is a little odd, but I find it gives an excellent impression of a mental conflict over the battlefield. To use a term increasingly popular in describing video games, the whole edition has a more visceral feel to it.

The main thing that made the psychics nasty was some of the powers were fearsomely nasty (Inquisitorial deck Vortex is a case in point) and high level psykers were often tough to nail.

2ed is designed for more skirmish level encounters, which is probably why you feel it is more visceral. You'll probably find that 'Herohammer' is actually far less prevalent than in 5ed, mostly because many units can fire and manoeuvre with much greater effect, and rules like Hidden and Overwatch can make even powerful characters and units think twice before crossing a stretch of open ground.

I won't deny that it's clunky in places, but I contend that often what people interpret as clunkiness is actually the game trying its best to be even handed and challenging (the difficult terrain and close combat rules come to mind). I remember very few one-sided engagements in 2ed - even a squad of Guardsmen might prevail over a powerful character if there were enough of them.

The game did contain its fair share of howlers (mostly Eldar and Tyranid stuff that screwed over the enemy without a real chance of countering it, and Ork rules that screwed THEMSELVES over), but it was much more engaging to play. It could have been adapted for larger games fairly easily, but instead they tore it down and gave the world 3ed :eyebrows:.

Grimbad
09-05-2011, 22:13
The main thing that made the psychics nasty was some of the powers were fearsomely nasty (Inquisitorial deck Vortex is a case in point) and high level psykers were often tough to nail.

2ed is designed for more skirmish level encounters, which is probably why you feel it is more visceral. You'll probably find that 'Herohammer' is actually far less prevalent than in 5ed, mostly because many units can fire and manoeuvre with much greater effect, and rules like Hidden and Overwatch can make even powerful characters and units think twice before crossing a stretch of open ground.

I won't deny that it's clunky in places, but I contend that often what people interpret as clunkiness is actually the game trying its best to be even handed and challenging (the difficult terrain and close combat rules come to mind). I remember very few one-sided engagements in 2ed - even a squad of Guardsmen might prevail over a powerful character if there were enough of them.


All very true. Herohammer... seems incredibly hard to pull off. Between the multiple-damage weapons and the several options to destroy or disable them in close combat, non-psyker heroes are always at risk.
And for psykers, the Imperium at least always has the Culexus. Oh god the terror.

Frankly
09-05-2011, 22:36
The Grey Knights codex is unusually bad, particularly compared to the Dark Eldar codex which preceded it; compare Nemesis Falchions to Scissorhand, for example. Overall it's actually a lot better than it was in, say, 3rd edition, frankly.

The Dark eldar Codex is amazing and the GK codex of just strange in some parts. Its like chalk and cheese.

Commotionpotion
10-05-2011, 08:18
All very true. Herohammer... seems incredibly hard to pull off. Between the multiple-damage weapons and the several options to destroy or disable them in close combat, non-psyker heroes are always at risk.
And for psykers, the Imperium at least always has the Culexus. Oh god the terror.

Yes, a character's radius of action is actually much more limited, and their capacity to massacre whole squads at a time is much less pronounced...if only because the last guy generally has a powerglove and massive close combat bonuses :). I actually like 2ed's close combat rules a lot - they're much less difficult than people think they are, and they give close combat an edge-of-the-seat feeling that the modern editions don't really have - even one normal guy can make a difference.

Rules disputes, when they occurred, tended to be a simple matter of numerical modifiers, which were far easier to solve in a spirit of compromise ('is that model in soft (-1 to hit) or hard (-2) cover?') or had a definitive numerical solution ('the target is more than X inches away - that puts it at long range, which is -1 to hit). You weren't half as reliant on trying to define vaguely worded rules because there weren't as many of them, and those there were I recall had far greater clarity.

2ed could fairly easily have been streamlined for larger scale games - it was quite anal with weapon statlines, and special close combat weapons were probably far too prevalent in certain forces. And certain forces really needed their jets cooled - Eldar and Nids spring immediately to mind. But even after all these years...I miss it.

self biased
10-05-2011, 12:51
with all respect to those getting nostalgic: y'all might want to clean your glasses, because they appear to have collected some rose tint on them. My own experiences were a little bit different. close combat was always something we dreaded because the pace of the game slowed down to a crawl when it happened, especially when multiple combatants were involved.

as a space marine player whose two regular opponnents were Nids and Eldar, i really resented pretty much being required to take a level 4 psyker every game.

AFnord
10-05-2011, 16:37
they should just make a list saving that a 5+ save is 3 pts a 4+ is 5pts and make the models off that then the costs would work and be fair across the board (although i can see a ***** like ward giving devestators furious charge or something)
There were rules for how to make your own units from scratch in the RT rulebook, and it resulted in a real mess of poor balance. There were rules for designing tanks & monsters in 3rd edition, and that also resulted in a mess of poor balance (usually they were overpriced, but we did find a few odd things that really should not have been allowed).
In battletech you have a whole book detailing how to design units. These take into account things like synergy between equipment and the impact of piloting stats compared to the mechs cost in itself, durability vs damage output and so on, and these rules, even though they have been similar since the game first started (26 years ago) are still not very well balanced, and they result in a lot of oddities that can break the game.

Game testing and using your mind to figure out the exact point value for a unit is very important. When you start using a rule system for designing individual models, you will still get optimal & sub-optimal designs. You also need to be able to figure out how valuable a unit is in the army as a whole. Certain units have a near universal appeal, other units only really work together with certain other unit types.

Commotionpotion
10-05-2011, 17:45
with all respect to those getting nostalgic: y'all might want to clean your glasses, because they appear to have collected some rose tint on them. My own experiences were a little bit different. close combat was always something we dreaded because the pace of the game slowed down to a crawl when it happened, especially when multiple combatants were involved.

as a space marine player whose two regular opponnents were Nids and Eldar, i really resented pretty much being required to take a level 4 psyker every game.

Nostalgia doesn't automatically = wrong. And please don't 'y'all'...I know it likely isn't your intention, but it comes across as patronising to me.

I'm not saying it was perfect, but my experience was that there were far fewer 'WTF?' moments in the average game and it was somewhat harder to 'game the rules'. CC was in most cases merely a case of maths, rather than trying to interpret hazy rules. More to the point, I remember it actually holding my interest, as opposed to the dice fatigue I suffer with the modern game.

Your second point merely underlines something I had already noted was a drawback of the edition.

But at the end of the day, are we not just comparing anecdotes? Your experience of any game also depends a hell of a lot on your fellow players.

lanrak
10-05-2011, 17:57
Hi all.
Just a quick word on game balance.

It is made up of 2 factors.

1) Ingame effects , defined usualy by comparative point values calculated DIRECTLY from in game effect.
(In game worth.)

2) Synergistic effects on army composition.
(Tactical worth to that particualar army.)

And errors creep in when the two get confused...

Shooty units are TACTICALY worth more in assault armies, and so are RARER.
(EG ELITE or 0 to 1 chioces.)

They are not worth more POINTS...:eek:

If this was the case then allies and mercinaries would need seperate PV for each army they could be taken in...:rolleyes:.

An acurate and provable method to calcualte in game worth makes it easier to spot the synergistic anomalies when they occur.

Also PV should be calulated at the level of interaction.
So a game based on unit interaction should be ALLOCATED PV at the unit level.
(NOT the model -equipment level and then balanced out at the army level like GW do!)

But if you look at GW plcs mission statment 'selling toy soldiers to kiddies.'
This explains MOST of why the codexes are the way they are...

TTFN

carldooley
10-05-2011, 18:13
It is made up of 2 factors.

1) Ingame effects , defined usualy by comparative point values calculated DIRECTLY from in game effect.
(In game worth.)

2) Synergistic effects on army composition.
(Tactical worth to that particualar army.)

:eek: GASP!!! you mean that models with an AOE (like Librarians, Kantor, or Straken) should have scaling points values?

tell us something we don't already know.:skull:

Lord Inquisitor
10-05-2011, 18:14
Seems to me there's less "sloppiness" in WFB at the moment. I just read through the TK book, written by Cruddace, and while there's certainly a lot that could be streamlined, there seems less unnecessary faff than, say, Tyranids. Now, WFB has always allowed for more complication in rules than 40K with a more complicated core base and traditionally more complicated army rules, but the Tomb Kings were a lot less of a headache to read than Tyranids or Grey Knights. Only 8 magic items, most mainline units have a simple set of core and army special rules. I'm ... impressed. Cruddace has shown a lot more maturity in terms of game design and balance with the TK book than he has before.

big squig
10-05-2011, 18:27
Seems to me there's less "sloppiness" in WFB at the moment. I just read through the TK book, written by Cruddace, and while there's certainly a lot that could be streamlined, there seems less unnecessary faff than, say, Tyranids. Now, WFB has always allowed for more complication in rules than 40K with a more complicated core base and traditionally more complicated army rules, but the Tomb Kings were a lot less of a headache to read than Tyranids or Grey Knights. Only 8 magic items, most mainline units have a simple set of core and army special rules. I'm ... impressed. Cruddace has shown a lot more maturity in terms of game design and balance with the TK book than he has before.

It honestly shocks me that CRUDdace wrote the tomb king book. If only he could show such restraint with his 40k books...

SabrX
10-05-2011, 19:32
The new 40k codex rules are sloppy. The writers include them without realizing the implications of min-max armies. GK Corteaz spam-a-lot henchmen going beyond the FoC limit (with the compulsory 2 GK troop units), BA spam-a-lot Land Raiders each at 35 point reduction with the cost of a cheap 5 man Assault Marine squad, Lazor-back spam, SW Missile Spam, mass-FNP BA Marines thanks to Sanguinary Priest's 6" bubble, field 5 Tervigons and generate endless tide of 3D6 Termagants all scoring and fearless within synapse, mass-IG AV12, and this:

http://yesthetruthhurts.com/2009/09/critique-leafblower-bols-and-getting-it/ (substitute all the obsolete DH units with WH units).

The counter-argument is avoid player who do min-max, but that's subjective and certainly does not apply to competitive games. No, the real problem is the codex writers who allowed these imbalance builds in the first place!

Thank god GW's high prices is a deterrent to the majority of players building min-max list, but that's off topic.

self biased
11-05-2011, 12:17
Nostalgia doesn't automatically = wrong. And please don't 'y'all'...I know it likely isn't your intention, but it comes across as patronising to me.

I'm not saying it was perfect, but my experience was that there were far fewer 'WTF?' moments in the average game and it was somewhat harder to 'game the rules'. CC was in most cases merely a case of maths, rather than trying to interpret hazy rules. More to the point, I remember it actually holding my interest, as opposed to the dice fatigue I suffer with the modern game.

Your second point merely underlines something I had already noted was a drawback of the edition.

But at the end of the day, are we not just comparing anecdotes? Your experience of any game also depends a hell of a lot on your fellow players.

you can take the Texan out of of Texas... well. you can see where i'm going with this.

Though we all tend to do it, viewing things through the lens of nostalgia often makes things seem far better now than what they actually were. While the rules for close combat weren't overly difficult, the were rather byzantine and did involve a lot of math, which i'm not complaining about. Second edition was a squad-based skirmish game, and the rules were largely appropriate for that scale. My complaint is just how long the game took to play at even a thousand points. Spending twenty minutes to figure out what direction each individual model runs in a squad that was set on fire is not my idea of fun, but your mileage may vary.

archondan
11-05-2011, 14:04
you can take the Texan out of of Texas... well. you can see where i'm going with this.

Though we all tend to do it, viewing things through the lens of nostalgia often makes things seem far better now than what they actually were. While the rules for close combat weren't overly difficult, the were rather byzantine and did involve a lot of math, which i'm not complaining about. Second edition was a squad-based skirmish game, and the rules were largely appropriate for that scale. My complaint is just how long the game took to play at even a thousand points. Spending twenty minutes to figure out what direction each individual model runs in a squad that was set on fire is not my idea of fun, but your mileage may vary.

You down play "nostalgia" but at the same time exaggerate. Once both players knew the rules a 1500-2000 point game took about just as long as they do now. 2nd Ed did have it's problems, Eldar a very powerful army and Space Marines were typically the underdog but thats more of a army balance issue that exists in every edition.

I agree with the comments about at disconnect between developers and the rules. At least in 2ed there was a feeling of coherency between the armies and the rules. Now core rules get updated more than certain armies. GW needs to really focus on putting out a solid core rules set that will allow them to complete army updates.

But GW is more focused on "buy the greatest, shiniest, newest Space marines now!", "Dominate the table!", the fluff is bad and the special rules are bad. The game is a mess of contradictions and it gets worse as people rotate through the development department.

I was pretty excited when I heard JJ was taking head of development but honestly he as done little to improve the game. He did a wonderful job while in Specialist Games.

Lexington
11-05-2011, 14:24
I was pretty excited when I heard JJ was taking head of development but honestly he as done little to improve the game.
As far as I can tell, the entirety of Jervis' employment at GW anymore consists of writing 'Standard Bearer' articles. He headed design for the very nice, hopeful period of late 4th Edition, but that didn't go over well with the fans. If anything, it seems Mat Ward is now the nominal head of the Design Studio for some reason.

CelestialDragonKing
11-05-2011, 17:36
One thing I want to point out is that RT was supposed to have a Game Master who checked to make sure armies were balanced. You could make what ever you wanted but someone was there to make it okay. Inquisitor was a bit like that. It had no point system. Each player was supposed to take what they wanted within reason and discuss it before the game. Sometimes you were supposed to even know who was the winner before hand! It was how it happened that made it interesting.

Badger[Fr]
11-05-2011, 21:46
The more special rules you add, the more sloppy things may get, although on an unit per unit basis, I doubt the rules were that well written back in 4th Edition, and I'm quite sure they were even worse in 3rd.


As far as I can tell, the entirety of Jervis' employment at GW anymore consists of writing 'Standard Bearer' articles. He headed design for the very nice, hopeful period of late 4th Edition, but that didn't go over well with the fans. If anything, it seems Mat Ward is now the nominal head of the Design Studio for some reason.
JJ designed the brilliant Epic: Armageddon game (the best GW game so far, rulewise), but it was years ago. His latest 40k books were downright pathetic.


The new 40k codex rules are sloppy. The writers include them without realizing the implications of min-max armies. GK Corteaz spam-a-lot henchmen going beyond the FoC limit (with the compulsory 2 GK troop units), BA spam-a-lot Land Raiders each at 35 point reduction with the cost of a cheap 5 man Assault Marine squad, Lazor-back spam, SW Missile Spam, mass-FNP BA Marines thanks to Sanguinary Priest's 6" bubble, field 5 Tervigons and generate endless tide of 3D6 Termagants all scoring and fearless within synapse, mass-IG AV12, and this:
This is hardly new, and it was even worse back in 3rd / 4th Edition. I doubt Jervis intended min-maxed Space marines gunlines with Las/Plas squad and tank-hunting, infiltrating Devastators, yet that was how the Traits rules were abused. Hell, don't you even remember the widespread FoC abuse? I doubt the designers intended Eldar armies with two 3-man Jetbike squads as Troops.

All things considered, I'd rather have the unavoidable drawbacks of the wealth of new units 5th Edition brought than the gimmicky and boring USRs of the worst 4th Edition books (that is, DA, BA, CSM, and Daemons).

Lexington
12-05-2011, 02:22
;5502532']JJ designed the brilliant Epic: Armageddon game (the best GW game so far, rulewise), but it was years ago. His latest 40k books were downright pathetic.
Mmm, disliked, maybe, but "pathetic" is definitely up for debate. Personally, I was thrilled to see the streamlined, 2nd-Ed-ish Codexes of late 4th Edition (if not always the specific execution, ie. Codex: Chaos Space Marines). If the game had kept up that philosophy, I think we'd have a much more interesting, flexible, and maybe even narrative game environment than the one we have today, which is more like watching someone try to weld a sports car body around a Studebaker.

Agreed, though - Epic: Armageddon's loads of fun. The fact that it's been all but abandoned at this point is tragic. :(

Grimbad
12-05-2011, 02:33
with all respect to those getting nostalgic: y'all might want to clean your glasses, because they appear to have collected some rose tint on them. My own experiences were a little bit different. close combat was always something we dreaded because the pace of the game slowed down to a crawl when it happened, especially when multiple combatants were involved.


You may have missed the part where I said I was only starting to play second edition. My last game was less than two weeks ago, and the system seemed preferable to the current one.
Though I did get massacred.

chamelion 6
12-05-2011, 07:19
As far as I can tell, the entirety of Jervis' employment at GW anymore consists of writing 'Standard Bearer' articles. He headed design for the very nice, hopeful period of late 4th Edition, but that didn't go over well with the fans. If anything, it seems Mat Ward is now the nominal head of the Design Studio for some reason.

Probably because the stuff GW is putting out now is generally (certain forms excluded) well recieved. The reality is, guys, most of the people out there don't really care who wrote the last codex... There is a rift between the "casual gamer" and the "competative gamer" that is real. The idea that "well written" rules serve us all I don't deny, but MY idea of "well written" is completely opposed to what most people that use the term mean. In other words, there is a reason people have not flocked to games like "Warmachine" in spite of the constant mantra that they represent "well written" rules and represent what a "well balanced game should be." There is a reason 40k and WFB continue to dominate the market in spite of other "better written" rules.


I don't care that much of the fluff is over the top, that's part of the appeal. I couldn't care less that there are often balance issues. I don't want overly restrictive, concise, rules... I want variety, I want over the top, I want the suprises that often crop up and I want a certain vagunes in the rules that allow players to bring a level of their own interpretation into the game. THAT is the appeal of WFB and 40k. It's like a nearly blank canvas with only the vaguest hint of an image penciled in; as compared to a color by numbers kind of canvas...

5th edition and the new codecies are exactly what I want. There is plenty of variety of units and ideas... Balance and fluff I can do myself. What I can't provide are new and varied units to populate the universe.

Fantasy and science fiction are about letting your imagination run wild and 40k and WFB provide enough of a framework to make it work and keep the flow in a common direction. Games like Warmachine don't do that... I find them stuffy and bland.

If I want hardcore "well written" rules there are several of historical games out there that I also enjoy, and that is the genre that I want that kind of mindset in the rules.

Bottom line is I like the current trend in GW games, the current codecies, and the current direction... So do the friends I play with. We just don't seem to have all the issues so many people around here have...

Easy E
12-05-2011, 13:27
One thing I want to point out is that RT was supposed to have a Game Master who checked to make sure armies were balanced.

Sometimes you were supposed to even know who was the winner before hand! It was how it happened that made it interesting.

Which is why RT was the best and most balanced version of 40K EVAR!

Col_Festus
12-05-2011, 15:35
This has been something that has irked me for awhile. I love the history and back ground of 40k. It's something I grew up with. I've been painting and playing the game for 15 years and I loved it. Up until last year...

When Warmachine MKII was released and I saw what such a team could assemble and put together on such a small budget (compared to GW). We played the game for 6 - 7 months 8 - 12 games a week pretty hardcore. This included tournaments, friendly games, pick up games, whatever. The things that jumped out at me were 2 fold. First off a wargames that focuses on a tight rule set, and pick up games as their main audience will succeed. It's extremely refreshing to simply set up terrain according to the rules, make your army according to the rules, and play a game with no arguments, no cloudiness or fogginess. In those 7 months of play I would say 2 rules issues came up that we couldn't figure out by taking about 5 minutes to read the wording in the main rulebook. Those that did we wrote on their forums and a game designer answered the question in usually less than a month (usually it was a week). There is a reason Privateer Press has exploded since the MKII launch, and their miniatures are so hard to get right now because the demand is staggering. They have found the equation. Now imagine if GW did this. Redesigned the rules from the ground up, at the same time, with rules in mind. Then did wave releases each few months to support armies and have an active forum to discuss problems, and come up with resolutions from the game designers themselves. Do you think 40k and WHFB would flourish? Absolutely.

Games Workshop has always been about their miniatures first and foremost. They are a company trying to sell miniatures. Period. They have stated numerous times their interests do not extend to a balanced game, nor a tight ruleset. The problem with this is that the landscape of wargaming is changing. It's not changing because players are becoming more pedantic, or stupid/angry/nerdragy. It's because other companies are releases rulesets that are balanced and fun. The players are paying TOP DOLLAR for games workshop products. There is no excuse why their rules should not match. When they consistently have price hikes that do not line up with inflation rates, poorly written rules that require FAQs to play, and totally throw out their build design every edition its extremely insane. It's like if Audi or Lexus decided to build a new car from scratch every time time they updated their models. It just doesn't make any sense.

The problem I'm seeing most is that when Games Workshop focuses on gaming group you need a gaming group already in place for those rules to work well. If you do not initially have a solid foundation to build on, most gaming groups never get off the ground. I work 9 - 5 everyday, I don't really feel like driving over to my local store and working another 4 hours a day making rules, finding out if everyone is ok with them, and making sure everything is on the same page when they play. Gaming groups mature, grow old, die and what have you. People move away, lose interest in the game, or have real life intercede. When you cannot successfully replace those losses with new players due to cost, new rules, and new games coming out that are flat out better (in environments like this) eventually you just lose your gaming group. This has happened to me twice now between 40k and WHFB. I was the last person in my group to try out Warmachine for example. I kept trying to find 40k games and kept having to sit out every veterans night instead of actually playing and enjoying myself.

Since I took the plunge into Warmachine we have been able to pick up numerous new players and our gaming group has almost quadrupled in size. We regularly have 20+ players when we had 4 - 5 players coming in to throw some dice and talk about things. I've recently starting to dip my toes back into the GW pool and it's so frustrating because their rules simply scream of laziness. Their codex design philosophy is daft to say the least combined with they way they update rules, and attempt to cram new releases down your throat. Don't get me wrong, I love 40k, I really do. It's just the reality of the situation where I live, and I've heard this echoed numerous places. Design a game for tourny players and you will have a ruleset that is amazing for pick up games, and gaming groups a like. In the long run this only helps the community grow. A community that is not focus on rules has time to focus on other things.. like fluff, campaigns, events, painting, etc.

TL : DR - GW needs to really take a look at what other game companies are doing to help drive their success. Their design model, and rules writing is out dated and poor for a company claiming to have the best products on the market, and demanding top dollar for them.

GrogDaTyrant
12-05-2011, 16:09
Mmm, disliked, maybe, but "pathetic" is definitely up for debate. Personally, I was thrilled to see the streamlined, 2nd-Ed-ish Codexes of late 4th Edition (if not always the specific execution, ie. Codex: Chaos Space Marines). If the game had kept up that philosophy, I think we'd have a much more interesting, flexible, and maybe even narrative game environment than the one we have today, which is more like watching someone try to weld a sports car body around a Studebaker.

Agreed, though - Epic: Armageddon's loads of fun. The fact that it's been all but abandoned at this point is tragic. :(

I couldn't agree with you more, Lemington. When the 4e slimming down first began, I had hopes for it. I was miffed when I saw the Ork codex, but ultimately just accepted it as everything else also got the '1-book to rule them all' treatment, in their various states of quality. 5th ed's kitchen sink philosophy was a complete let-down to me.

Oh, and chalk me up for another vote towards Epic:A being one of the best games GW has made. JJ did a good job with it. I just wish I knew people in my region who play Epic.

Lord Inquisitor
12-05-2011, 16:37
Mmm, disliked, maybe, but "pathetic" is definitely up for debate. Personally, I was thrilled to see the streamlined, 2nd-Ed-ish Codexes of late 4th Edition (if not always the specific execution, ie. Codex: Chaos Space Marines). If the game had kept up that philosophy, I think we'd have a much more interesting, flexible, and maybe even narrative game environment than the one we have today, which is more like watching someone try to weld a sports car body around a Studebaker.

Agreed, though - Epic: Armageddon's loads of fun. The fact that it's been all but abandoned at this point is tragic. :(

Another +1 from me. At the waning days of 4th I was pretty stoked about 40K. It just needed the core rules being tidied up and maybe overwatch in some form and it was shaping up to be a great game. 5th came out and with the exception of lacking a "gotcha" response system (i.e. overwatch or some variation), it wasn't a terrible core system. Then the first codex came out and threw everything out the window!

And +1 on the Epic love too. That just shows what a ground-up redesign of a game with a minimalist design philosophy can do. Amazing game. It also shows that JJ really knows game design - I had huge hopes for 5th ed 40K as he was writing it ... but somehow all the cool stuff in Epic didn't make it over.

I love 40k, I really do. It's just the reality of the situation where I live, and I've heard this echoed numerous places. Design a game for tourny players and you will have a ruleset that is amazing for pick up games, and gaming groups a like. In the long run this only helps the community grow. A community that is not focus on rules has time to focus on other things.. like fluff, campaigns, events, painting, etc.

TL : DR - GW needs to really take a look at what other game companies are doing to help drive their success. Their design model, and rules writing is out dated and poor for a company claiming to have the best products on the market, and demanding top dollar for them.
Totally agree. I really want to like 40K. I grew up playing 40K. I love the models and the background that hasn't been mangled beyond recognition by recent books. I've picked up the GK book and I'm tempted to drag out my old daemonhunters army and see what I can put together - elements are actually cool, this book finally gives me a tournament-legal option to include an Inquisitorial gun-cutter. The rules just really put me off - not only do I have to sift through and memorise the mess of rules in the codex, but everyone else has the same morass of special rules too. I don't find the 5e more "fun" for friendly games than the 4e rules, it's just tiring trying to keep up.

CelestialDragonKing
12-05-2011, 17:23
This has been something that has irked me for awhile. I love the history and back ground of 40k. It's something I grew up with. I've been painting and playing the game for 15 years and I loved it. Up until last year...

When Warmachine MKII was released and I saw what such a team could assemble and put together on such a small budget (compared to GW). We played the game for 6 - 7 months 8 - 12 games a week pretty hardcore. This included tournaments, friendly games, pick up games, whatever. The things that jumped out at me were 2 fold. First off a wargames that focuses on a tight rule set, and pick up games as their main audience will succeed. It's extremely refreshing to simply set up terrain according to the rules, make your army according to the rules, and play a game with no arguments, no cloudiness or fogginess. In those 7 months of play I would say 2 rules issues came up that we couldn't figure out by taking about 5 minutes to read the wording in the main rulebook. Those that did we wrote on their forums and a game designer answered the question in usually less than a month (usually it was a week). There is a reason Privateer Press has exploded since the MKII launch, and their miniatures are so hard to get right now because the demand is staggering. They have found the equation. Now imagine if GW did this. Redesigned the rules from the ground up, at the same time, with rules in mind. Then did wave releases each few months to support armies and have an active forum to discuss problems, and come up with resolutions from the game designers themselves. Do you think 40k and WHFB would flourish? Absolutely.

Games Workshop has always been about their miniatures first and foremost. They are a company trying to sell miniatures. Period. They have stated numerous times their interests do not extend to a balanced game, nor a tight ruleset. The problem with this is that the landscape of wargaming is changing. It's not changing because players are becoming more pedantic, or stupid/angry/nerdragy. It's because other companies are releases rulesets that are balanced and fun. The players are paying TOP DOLLAR for games workshop products. There is no excuse why their rules should not match. When they consistently have price hikes that do not line up with inflation rates, poorly written rules that require FAQs to play, and totally throw out their build design every edition its extremely insane. It's like if Audi or Lexus decided to build a new car from scratch every time time they updated their models. It just doesn't make any sense.

The problem I'm seeing most is that when Games Workshop focuses on gaming group you need a gaming group already in place for those rules to work well. If you do not initially have a solid foundation to build on, most gaming groups never get off the ground. I work 9 - 5 everyday, I don't really feel like driving over to my local store and working another 4 hours a day making rules, finding out if everyone is ok with them, and making sure everything is on the same page when they play. Gaming groups mature, grow old, die and what have you. People move away, lose interest in the game, or have real life intercede. When you cannot successfully replace those losses with new players due to cost, new rules, and new games coming out that are flat out better (in environments like this) eventually you just lose your gaming group. This has happened to me twice now between 40k and WHFB. I was the last person in my group to try out Warmachine for example. I kept trying to find 40k games and kept having to sit out every veterans night instead of actually playing and enjoying myself.

Since I took the plunge into Warmachine we have been able to pick up numerous new players and our gaming group has almost quadrupled in size. We regularly have 20+ players when we had 4 - 5 players coming in to throw some dice and talk about things. I've recently starting to dip my toes back into the GW pool and it's so frustrating because their rules simply scream of laziness. Their codex design philosophy is daft to say the least combined with they way they update rules, and attempt to cram new releases down your throat. Don't get me wrong, I love 40k, I really do. It's just the reality of the situation where I live, and I've heard this echoed numerous places. Design a game for tourny players and you will have a ruleset that is amazing for pick up games, and gaming groups a like. In the long run this only helps the community grow. A community that is not focus on rules has time to focus on other things.. like fluff, campaigns, events, painting, etc.

TL : DR - GW needs to really take a look at what other game companies are doing to help drive their success. Their design model, and rules writing is out dated and poor for a company claiming to have the best products on the market, and demanding top dollar for them.

I agree with you on many points. I feel the same way with Infinity. The rules are just so well done and balanced and the figures are amazing! While I love the fluff and figures for 40k I just can't bring myself to play. Also in my area it's just too many kids playing and I just find them irritating. Also, I must say the jump down your throat sales pitch in every store i've been to makes be not want to go in them either.

chamelion 6
12-05-2011, 17:38
This has been something that has irked me for awhile. I love the history and back ground of 40k. It's something I grew up with. I've been painting and playing the game for 15 years and I loved it. Up until last year... And I'm going in the exact opposite direction... 4th wasn't a bad game, but 5th has come alive and is, IMO, the best edition yet, and that includes the codecies.



When Warmachine MKII was released and I saw what such a team could assemble and put together on such a small budget (compared to GW). We played the game for 6 - 7 months 8 - 12 games a week pretty hardcore. This included tournaments, friendly games, pick up games, whatever. The things that jumped out at me were 2 fold. First off a wargames that focuses on a tight rule set, and pick up games as their main audience will succeed. It's extremely refreshing to simply set up terrain according to the rules, make your army according to the rules, and play a game with no arguments, no cloudiness or fogginess. In those 7 months of play I would say 2 rules issues came up that we couldn't figure out by taking about 5 minutes to read the wording in the main rulebook. Those that did we wrote on their forums and a game designer answered the question in usually less than a month (usually it was a week). There is a reason Privateer Press has exploded since the MKII launch, and their miniatures are so hard to get right now because the demand is staggering. They have found the equation. Now imagine if GW did this. Redesigned the rules from the ground up, at the same time, with rules in mind. Then did wave releases each few months to support armies and have an active forum to discuss problems, and come up with resolutions from the game designers themselves. Do you think 40k and WHFB would flourish? Absolutely.
I'm not going to bash Warmachine, I personally find it dull and unimaginative, but there is no doubt there is a market for it and other games like it. The issue I take is with the idea that the niche it fills is the only market and that anything else is sub par. Privateer Press did a wonderfult job identifying a target audience and catering to that audience. But what about the rest of us? If I wantede a game like Warmachine, I'd play Warmachine. That's not what I'm looking for. 40k isn't Warmachine, isn't trying to be, and for me that's the beauty of it. 40k targets a different group, and has been successful at doing what it does. They are still the game representing the genre, the name brand, if you will.



Games Workshop has always been about their miniatures first and foremost. They are a company trying to sell miniatures. Period. They have stated numerous times their interests do not extend to a balanced game, nor a tight ruleset. The problem with this is that the landscape of wargaming is changing. It's not changing because players are becoming more pedantic, or stupid/angry/nerdragy. It's because other companies are releases rulesets that are balanced and fun. The players are paying TOP DOLLAR for games workshop products. There is no excuse why their rules should not match. When they consistently have price hikes that do not line up with inflation rates, poorly written rules that require FAQs to play, and totally throw out their build design every edition its extremely insane. It's like if Audi or Lexus decided to build a new car from scratch every time time they updated their models. It just doesn't make any sense.
I agree that GW is about their minis first, and they make no bones about it. And the market for GW's brand of game is still going strong. It's a mistake to assume that just because a set of rules doesn't comform to a set of ideals held by one faction the rules are subpar. There is no one "right" way to do a set of rules. Most people don't have the kinds of problems with the rules I read about here... They buy their stuff and play the game. Disputes over rules follow certain kinds of gamers, it's been that way as long as I can remember and will probably always be that way. Other gamers are quite content to adapt and work around wordings and interpretations. They feel comfortable adapting a set of rules to their tastes.




The problem I'm seeing most is that when Games Workshop focuses on gaming group you need a gaming group already in place for those rules to work well. If you do not initially have a solid foundation to build on, most gaming groups never get off the ground. I work 9 - 5 everyday, I don't really feel like driving over to my local store and working another 4 hours a day making rules, finding out if everyone is ok with them, and making sure everything is on the same page when they play. Gaming groups mature, grow old, die and what have you. People move away, lose interest in the game, or have real life intercede. When you cannot successfully replace those losses with new players due to cost, new rules, and new games coming out that are flat out better (in environments like this) eventually you just lose your gaming group. This has happened to me twice now between 40k and WHFB. I was the last person in my group to try out Warmachine for example. I kept trying to find 40k games and kept having to sit out every veterans night instead of actually playing and enjoying myself.
Like everything else gaming groups appeal to some and not to others. I play with a group of about 4 or 5 depending on the rules in question. I tried the pickup game / tourny thing for awhile and was miserable. Too many personality issues, too much BS, it simply wasn't worth all the grief. I like the guys I game with and the egos and BS stay pretty much in check. That leaves a lot of room for theme, interpretation and finding unique approaches to scenairos, rather than playing the same old thing over and over.



Since I took the plunge into Warmachine we have been able to pick up numerous new players and our gaming group has almost quadrupled in size. We regularly have 20+ players when we had 4 - 5 players coming in to throw some dice and talk about things. I've recently starting to dip my toes back into the GW pool and it's so frustrating because their rules simply scream of laziness. Their codex design philosophy is daft to say the least combined with they way they update rules, and attempt to cram new releases down your throat. Don't get me wrong, I love 40k, I really do. It's just the reality of the situation where I live, and I've heard this echoed numerous places. Design a game for tourny players and you will have a ruleset that is amazing for pick up games, and gaming groups a like. In the long run this only helps the community grow. A community that is not focus on rules has time to focus on other things.. like fluff, campaigns, events, painting, etc.
That's great but if it works then why turn every other rule set into it's clone? Do we really need another Warmachine? Seriously, here's the deal. Warmachine was released in 2003. It's not a new game, it's now a well established game with a well established reputation and following. If it was going to put GW out on the curb it would have done it by now. Especially with GW trying to price itself out of business. Yet the mass migration to Warmachine never materialized. The reason is that just as GW doesn't appeal to some, it does appeal to others. If all these other games really were offfering a superior product, they would be more dominate than they are.



TL : DR - GW needs to really take a look at what other game companies are doing to help drive their success. Their design model, and rules writing is out dated and poor for a company claiming to have the best products on the market, and demanding top dollar for them.

Every company claims they have the best products... Me personally, I prefer GW's games and approach.

Col_Festus
12-05-2011, 17:53
I think you have mistaken what I was trying to say. I myself am not a tourney player, nor do I enjoy it. What I do enjoy is a solid ruleset that isn't confusing/polluted with complicated rules that could be easily fixed. If you design a game to be water tight it benefits ALL player types. When that happens you're community grows. Privateer as a company clearly listens to it's player base and tries to cater towards them. If something is wrong they fix it. Plain and simple. Because of this they have a 2-3 week back order on items because their player base is exploding. GW explained their failings as a company due to the market and the economy. When a company in the same market is exploding and another one is failing it's usually a sign that somethings up. Like I said I love 40k, the back ground, and gaming groups. I also like a fresh game that feels alive and growing. I will agree with you that 5th is the best edition of the rules yet, and that's arguably because of the core rules being a very solid foundation. Only with the release of new books does it get murky and boggled down. Now imagine for a minute that games workshop launched 6th with a stream lined list and PDF rules. Rewrote the codecs to be fluff suppliments/stories written by authors like Dan Abmett. Then every so often (2-3 months) they would release new models for every army based around a central campaign that players had a say in. The game would grow exponentially, no question about it. Tourney players would get their solid ruleset, pick up games would boom, and fluff bunnies like me would feel like they are contributing to the world they grew up loving.

GrogDaTyrant
12-05-2011, 18:35
Now imagine for a minute that games workshop launched 6th with a stream lined list and PDF rules. Rewrote the codecs to be fluff suppliments/stories written by authors like Dan Abmett. Then every so often (2-3 months) they would release new models for every army based around a central campaign that players had a say in. The game would grow exponentially, no question about it. Tourney players would get their solid ruleset, pick up games would boom, and fluff bunnies like me would feel like they are contributing to the world they grew up loving.

Sounds like a tremendous event that would actually get me excited to play 40k again.

Hell just having a broader focus for the release schedule that ensured that no matter what I played, I'd see *something* done for them, would be great.

Multra
12-05-2011, 19:03
Sounds like a tremendous event that would actually get me excited to play 40k again.

Hell just having a broader focus for the release schedule that ensured that no matter what I played, I'd see *something* done for them, would be great.

So you want to play Warmachine then :D

H.LaFever
12-05-2011, 19:14
I would argue that it isn't the writers that are sloppy, but the players are becoming more and more pedantic over the way things are written.

40k is meant to be used as a sandbox for players ideas; Andy Chamber's original vision for 40k was for it to be a galaxy-sized sandpit to encourage and exercise the imaginations of its players. In recent years the rise of the internet has led to the rules being straightjacketed into becoming a chess board for tournaments.

If you play 40k in its intended form, that is a way for friends to get together, write their own campaigns, create their own ideas and have fun for a few hours over a few cokes/beers (depending on age :) ) then the way codices are written is irrelevant because you just house-rule over the parts you might disagree with and come to amicable terms.

If you take 40k as a rigid set of immutable, untouchable rules that have to be obeyed to the letter, exactly as worded and only design armies to crush opponents, stress over whether a unit is 'viable' as opposed to it just looking cool on the battlefield you will come undone.

Rules should not have to be spelt out word for word, they should be open to common sense, something it appears a lot of gamers have lost over the years.

this was the best response, as far as Im concerned, no more need be said on this topic, well posted carlosophy!

Col_Festus
12-05-2011, 19:31
I mean I think it would be pretty cool to adopt a similar way of doing things that forgeworld does, but on a broader scope. Maybe instead of doing 1 - 2 codexs a year, they release a fluff piece in the form of a Black Library Novel or Battle of such and such and detail new units for each faction that was used in the conflict, their history, and back story. Doing 2 a year would avoid the weird feeling of trying to cram all the factions into 1 release and being able to make the battles a bit more believable.

So for example take planet strike. Instead of releasing experimental rules, they could have detailed a massive planet fall invasion of say Forces of Disorder descending on an Imperial World. You would see new units in the form of the dreadclaw, maybe some new types of daemons, for Imperials you might see some new types of anti-aircraft tanks (release the hydra), Planetary defense force units (new Imperial unit). Then detail the battles that happened, units that were involved, even the history of new special characters can be written. You could also use this approach and go back in time, similiar to what FW did with the Babdad war. If GW did this 1 - 3 times a year (similar to their current codex release schedule) they could introduce new units for every army, expand the universe or flesh out historical battles and events. No new special rules, FOCs, or wonky things that change the core rules. Just more additions to armies that let veterans, and new players alike enjoy things for their favorite armies.

You could use this same thing for all Marine chapters. Detail certain marine chapters in certain fights, they all still fall under one codex, but most have access to the same equipment and structure. So in my example earlier, maybe the Dark Angels, and Flesh Tearers were called to help the planet in distress. Along with the main book you release several upgrade plastic sprues that give you cool icons, and miniatures for Blood Angels/Flesh Tearers and Dark angels. Everyone gets a little something each year, there isn't a huge focus on one part of the game, but instead the universe as a whole gets attention.

chamelion 6
12-05-2011, 22:46
I think you have mistaken what I was trying to say. I myself am not a tourney player, nor do I enjoy it. What I do enjoy is a solid ruleset that isn't confusing/polluted with complicated rules that could be easily fixed. If you design a game to be water tight it benefits ALL player types. When that happens you're community grows. Privateer as a company clearly listens to it's player base and tries to cater towards them. If something is wrong they fix it. Plain and simple. Because of this they have a 2-3 week back order on items because their player base is exploding. GW explained their failings as a company due to the market and the economy. When a company in the same market is exploding and another one is failing it's usually a sign that somethings up. Like I said I love 40k, the back ground, and gaming groups. I also like a fresh game that feels alive and growing. I will agree with you that 5th is the best edition of the rules yet, and that's arguably because of the core rules being a very solid foundation. Only with the release of new books does it get murky and boggled down. Now imagine for a minute that games workshop launched 6th with a stream lined list and PDF rules. Rewrote the codecs to be fluff suppliments/stories written by authors like Dan Abmett. Then every so often (2-3 months) they would release new models for every army based around a central campaign that players had a say in. The game would grow exponentially, no question about it. Tourney players would get their solid ruleset, pick up games would boom, and fluff bunnies like me would feel like they are contributing to the world they grew up loving.

I get where you're coming from. Don't get me wron, I'm not trying to counter what you've said because it's a view held by a large number of gamers, I'm just not one of them.

For me the best part of 5th is the codecies, for the most part, not the core rules. The variety variety of units and the special rules that go with them. What I like about the game is exactly what most of you detest. Vagueness in the rules allow for interpretation, and that allows for people to insert their own vision of what the game should be like, how things should flow. It allows for people like me and my friends to constantly adapt the game to our vision of what the far future is like while still providing consistancy between the individuals. Watertight, clearly defined rules don't allow for that.

Again, what you want in a set of rules is completely contrary to what I'm looking for. What you see as poorly written I see as open ended. What you find as broken I see as opportunity. You see GW as out of touch, I see GW catering to a faction that many people, especially here, just don't get.

40k, as has been mentioned, started with a gamemaster to provide continuity and balance, and while the game no longer has one it still pays omage to those role playing roots. It may not be the underlying philosophy but it's still an unstated guidline that permiates every edition, some more than others. It's an attitude GW has fully re-embraced lately and is clearly a driving factor in WFB...

It's this group that GW is targeting, at least for the moment. Those of us that don't want every word clearly defined. GW is responsive to it's target, but it's a different target than Warmachine. As it stands, any move to make 40k more like Warmachine or similar games would kill what appeals to many of us.

As for the financials, you really can't compare GW to a company like Privateer Press. They have a shared market to some extent, but it'sa market GW created. But GW is involved in so much more than PP. They have a retail consideration, world wide distributing to keep ther retail stores floating, liscensing, and a plethora of other things going on that a company like PP doesn't have to deal with. The fact that PP is smaller allows them to be more dynamic and react to trends. Add to that that GW is the name brand and that makes them the entry to people "shopping" for a game. So a lot of people start with GW to test the waters then migrate to more specialized games like Warmachine as they become more aware of what they want out of the game. That's a natural flow and not really a sign that the GW system is broken. Remember it's only a portion of people that move, not everyone and not a majority. The fact is that Warmachine has had over 8 years to over take GW as the name brand and that's not happened. They're not the up and coming pup any more, they've established their niche. As for the demand and being out of stock, there's no denying they're popular and are the premire game for the target they serve, but their production capability is not the same as GWs... If thy had access to those kinds of resources, I dou't they'd have shortages.

I'm not saying GW is better, or more people like them, all I'm saying is GW does cater to a specific audience. You don't see them much on the forums or in the LGS much becaus most of them have their own regular groups and more often meet a someone's garage on some given night of the week. They drink a lot of beer, talk a lot of trash and push a lot of minis around and they're pretty much invisible to the folks that frequent the forums. But they're out there...

Lord Inquisitor
12-05-2011, 23:10
I just don't get how "sloppy" rules are more "open ended". You say it's a good thing that different players can have different interpretations how a specific rule works. I just don't see it. At worst it causes friction between even the best natured players when it comes down to a game-critical moment and both players are running on the assumption that their interpretation. At best it just wastes time as this is hammered out as a house rule.

This isn't making the game system your own. I'm all for house rules, tinkering with the system and it's cool if you have a gaming circle who are willing to work together to do this. But playing with the mechanics, making up new units or rules or terrain or whatever is one thing - just having to make house rules just to make the damn system work as written is not the same thing! I just can't accept that badly written rules are a good thing! I'm perfectly able to make up my own rules or tinker with the existing rules to suit a campaign - I don't need to be forced to make up house rules because the design team make a shoddy product!

I've mentioned it before, Inquisitor is a great, open-ended system. No points values, all about the story, etc. I have several pages of house rules for Inquisitor somewhere on my hard drive - I even wrote an article for Dark Magenta on Space Marines with rules for each of their organs, so on and soforth. This game knew what it was and was specifically designed as the sort of sandbox system you want.

I don't think 40K is presented as a sandbox system. Points values, force organisation chart, standard missions all allow primarily two players who have never met before to sit down and play. Not necessarily in an uber-competitive setting, but still, it is meant to be balanced.

As others have said, there are several reasons why GW should look to tightening their rules:
1) You can do all of that sandbox fun create your own house rules stuff with a system that's balanced for competitive play too.
2) There's no reason the system can't cater for both the competitive AND the fluff crowd. The newbies AND the vets. Without compromising the attraction to either. There's a big piece of their customer base they're driving away needlessly!
3) Warmahordes haven't driven GW out of buisness - but they're gaining ground and certainly have eaten a big chunk of GW's buisness away. With wargaming, you can be forced into playing what everyone else is playing just to get some kind of gaming in. I play 40K still - would I rather play Epic? Yeah, but noone plays it. So I play 40K because it's better than nothing. I know quite a few players like this. If Warmahordes gains that "critical mass" that it's gaining new players just because the majority of players at clubs and stores are playing it, that could be very bad for GW.
4) Like it or not, 40K (and WFB) has a huge competitive following all over the world. GW gives out mixed messages, all this points values and FOC and so on makes the game out to be super-balanced... but then they tell you that playing competitively is bad and wrong and not what it was designed for.

chamelion 6
12-05-2011, 23:49
I just don't get how "sloppy" rules are more "open ended". You say it's a good thing that different players can have different interpretations how a specific rule works. I just don't see it. At worst it causes friction between even the best natured players when it comes down to a game-critical moment and both players are running on the assumption that their interpretation. At best it just wastes time as this is hammered out as a house rule.

This isn't making the game system your own. I'm all for house rules, tinkering with the system and it's cool if you have a gaming circle who are willing to work together to do this. But playing with the mechanics, making up new units or rules or terrain or whatever is one thing - just having to make house rules just to make the damn system work as written is not the same thing! I just can't accept that badly written rules are a good thing! I'm perfectly able to make up my own rules or tinker with the existing rules to suit a campaign - I don't need to be forced to make up house rules because the design team make a shoddy product!

I've mentioned it before, Inquisitor is a great, open-ended system. No points values, all about the story, etc. I have several pages of house rules for Inquisitor somewhere on my hard drive - I even wrote an article for Dark Magenta on Space Marines with rules for each of their organs, so on and soforth. This game knew what it was and was specifically designed as the sort of sandbox system you want.

I don't think 40K is presented as a sandbox system. Points values, force organisation chart, standard missions all allow primarily two players who have never met before to sit down and play. Not necessarily in an uber-competitive setting, but still, it is meant to be balanced.

As others have said, there are several reasons why GW should look to tightening their rules:
1) You can do all of that sandbox fun create your own house rules stuff with a system that's balanced for competitive play too.
2) There's no reason the system can't cater for both the competitive AND the fluff crowd. The newbies AND the vets. Without compromising the attraction to either. There's a big piece of their customer base they're driving away needlessly!
3) Warmahordes haven't driven GW out of buisness - but they're gaining ground and certainly have eaten a big chunk of GW's buisness away. With wargaming, you can be forced into playing what everyone else is playing just to get some kind of gaming in. I play 40K still - would I rather play Epic? Yeah, but noone plays it. So I play 40K because it's better than nothing. I know quite a few players like this. If Warmahordes gains that "critical mass" that it's gaining new players just because the majority of players at clubs and stores are playing it, that could be very bad for GW.
4) Like it or not, 40K (and WFB) has a huge competitive following all over the world. GW gives out mixed messages, all this points values and FOC and so on makes the game out to be super-balanced... but then they tell you that playing competitively is bad and wrong and not what it was designed for.

The problem here is that we don't agree on what "properly written" means. I disagree that GW's rules are poorly designed. (Although they do need better proofreaders...) I can honestly say that I've never really experienced any of the problems with GW's rules that you see. We have no long running miscommunications, no game stopping debates, none of that... The only time I experienced anything like that was playing historical games with well written established rule sets where some gamers insisted on arguing every historic detail to death and when trying to play pick up games and tourneys... And I saw the problem in both situations as the personality of the gamers, not the rules. For some people any discrepency, no matter how small or sleight, is an opportunity to bring a game to a full stop.

You see the rule as sloppy, not me, I see them as open and allowing for various interpretations. There doesn't have to be a single "correct" way to interpret something and that open endedness invites variety, which is what I like about 40k. All that needs to happen is for the players to agree on an interpretation that suits them. And ironicly we don't have any house rules... There really doesn't seem to be a need for them at the moment. Asd for the point values, we use them to establish a certain balance but we're far from fixated on them. Nobody is really bent out of shape if someone is over the agreed point value for a given game. It's all taken in stride. What's important to us is the game itself, the scenario and that it brings something memorable. That the next game isn't just a rehash of the last 20.

I've never played Inquisitor, but 40k 5th and WFB 8th are already exactly the game I want. I'm not trying to turn it into that kind of game, it already is that kind of game. My point here is a response to the endless "Why doesn't GW see the error of their ways?" posts. The answer is because ther is a market for the games as they exist. The reason Ward "gets away with what he does" is because there is a sizeable faction out there that, for what ever reason, likes the current trends.

No it doesn't appeal to everyone, and that's the success of PP and Warmachine. They found a nich that GW doesen't cater to well and they've developed their rules to that target audience. They are THE alternative to 40k and their devout following proves they are well written rules. They're successful for a reason, but it's a mistake to assume that what made them successful appeals to everyone.

Warmachine and 40k are simply different. They appeal to different tastes. Making one more like the other is only going to alienate the devotees. If the appeal of Warmachine-like rules was universal, GW would already be in the second tier... Yes changing 40k to be more like Warmachine would draw more people over from that crowd, but it would be at the expense of the crowd that loves the game as it is. That happened with WFB in the 6th to 7th editions. Those rules drew in a huge new following but did so at the expense of another devoted following. GW is coming full circle. The started as a set of rules gear towards groups of people getting together in their living rooms and garages and playing the game as it suited them. The rules encouraged invention and imagination, and they've come back around to embrase that idea fully.

No single set of rules is ever going to appeal to both of us... It's not about which set of rules is better, it's about which you prefer. Both of us have something we like, there is no need to cater to one faction at the expense of the other.

Col_Festus
13-05-2011, 01:25
3) Warmahordes haven't driven GW out of buisness - but they're gaining ground and certainly have eaten a big chunk of GW's buisness away. With wargaming, you can be forced into playing what everyone else is playing just to get some kind of gaming in. I play 40K still - would I rather play Epic? Yeah, but noone plays it. So I play 40K because it's better than nothing. I know quite a few players like this. If Warmahordes gains that "critical mass" that it's gaining new players just because the majority of players at clubs and stores are playing it, that could be very bad for GW.

This is exactly what happened at our store. It started with 2 people that came in playing Warmachine because they were part of the MKII field test. Our gaming group was attracted that the company was actually listening to the player base and were intrigued. A few people simply bought 50$ battle boxes and had a blast. The rest is history. Soon it was hard to find games of 40k. So I myself caved and found that it was quite amazing. So now my entire store is Warmachine oriented. Everyone that moves to the areas looking for 40k and fantasy games can't find pick up games, and eventually stops coming into the store (which sucks because we lose potential players) or they buy a battle box and are hooked instantly. Once again I'm not saying Warmachine is a better game. It IS a different game. What I am saying is it promotes community and socializing like no other war game I've encountered. It is absolutely staggering at the rate in which it is growing. I've stated it before but do a quick search on the warstore, or maelstrom games. TONS of stuff is on back order awaiting restock from the supplier. The entire alliance east coast warehouse has a 3 - 6 week backorder on things. That speaks volumes to me. The player base is getting tired of the constant change in editions, needing to spend hundreds of dollars to revamp armies for new codex releases, or new editions. Before there wasn't another choice. There are new kids on the block that are taking those customers now. Now this may not be happening every where of course. But I certainly see it first hand here, and know a few other places around the country that it's happening personally. Also the stocking issues seems to point out that it's not an isolated incident.

chamelion 6
13-05-2011, 02:00
This is exactly what happened at our store. It started with 2 people that came in playing Warmachine because they were part of the MKII field test. Our gaming group was attracted that the company was actually listening to the player base and were intrigued. A few people simply bought 50$ battle boxes and had a blast. The rest is history. Soon it was hard to find games of 40k. So I myself caved and found that it was quite amazing. So now my entire store is Warmachine oriented. Everyone that moves to the areas looking for 40k and fantasy games can't find pick up games, and eventually stops coming into the store (which sucks because we lose potential players) or they buy a battle box and are hooked instantly. Once again I'm not saying Warmachine is a better game. It IS a different game. What I am saying is it promotes community and socializing like no other war game I've encountered. It is absolutely staggering at the rate in which it is growing. I've stated it before but do a quick search on the warstore, or maelstrom games. TONS of stuff is on back order awaiting restock from the supplier. The entire alliance east coast warehouse has a 3 - 6 week backorder on things. That speaks volumes to me. The player base is getting tired of the constant change in editions, needing to spend hundreds of dollars to revamp armies for new codex releases, or new editions. Before there wasn't another choice. There are new kids on the block that are taking those customers now. Now this may not be happening every where of course. But I certainly see it first hand here, and know a few other places around the country that it's happening personally. Also the stocking issues seems to point out that it's not an isolated incident.

I can see that... For pick up games and tourneys I would agree that Warmachine is the better game. I think it was written with those kinds of games in mind, where as with 40k and WFB those were always secondary considerations. GW games, as they currently exist, don't lend themselves to that atmosphere.

For me, gaming is a very different kind of social event. I game with a handful of old friends and it's as much an excuse to get out of the house once a month or so and blow off steam. It's refreshing to have a hobby that places no real demands on you and you can get a bit sloppy without somebody getting hurt. If we hit a bump in the rules it rarely takes more than a couple of minutes to come to an agreement and we sort out the actual rule later. We're all more interested in geeping the flow of the game than debating rules.

But I understand that atmosphere only exists in a consistant gaming group.

Lexington
13-05-2011, 03:09
As it stands, any move to make 40k more like Warmachine or similar games would kill what appeals to many of us.
...dude, you're going to be really, really sad when someone shows you 5th Edition.

Col_Festus
13-05-2011, 03:18
...dude, you're going to be really, really sad when someone shows you 5th Edition.

I find it very interesting that a lot of Warmachine/Hordes mechanics have made it into many of the new codexs. Mainly buffs and debuffs using psykic powers or other synergetic effects (Pain tokens, GK powers, Nid pyskic Powers, Blood Angel Sang priests). This was something relatively new thats being introduced on a mass scale. It helps add tactics to the game and makes units more able to respond to certain situations instead of being kitted out to handle 1 situation throughout the game.

I have a feeling necrons will be the epitome of this and will really focus around debuffs to the enemy (scarabs, AOE wargear) while simultaniously buffing their own troops (rez orbs, tomb spiders). I hope GW continues in this direction as it adds a lot of flavor to the army and lets units fill a variety of roles based off how you equip support elements.

Lord Inquisitor
13-05-2011, 04:16
The problem here is that we don't agree on what "properly written" means. I disagree that GW's rules are poorly designed. (Although they do need better proofreaders...) I can honestly say that I've never really experienced any of the problems with GW's rules that you see. We have no long running miscommunications, no game stopping debates, none of that... The only time I experienced anything like that was playing historical games with well written established rule sets where some gamers insisted on arguing every historic detail to death and when trying to play pick up games and tourneys... And I saw the problem in both situations as the personality of the gamers, not the rules. For some people any discrepency, no matter how small or sleight, is an opportunity to bring a game to a full stop.
Eh, it isn't just the fact that the rules cause debates or interruptions in the game play (although they do). Sure, they can usually be resolved quickly with a bit of goodwill. Others though are a real pain when playing pick-up games. Do henchmen count towards the FOC or not? Makes quite a bit of difference and when it comes to whether or not your army is legal or not, the interpretation makes a world of difference. When it comes to building a very expensive army, converting all my units, painting them all up, no, I'm not really satisfied on relying on my opponent's goodwill that they'll go with my interpretation as to whether my army is legal or not, much less if I'm making a tournament-suitable army.

But it's really not that that puts me off 40K. The sloppiness of the rules are the subject of this thread, but the 5e codecies are ... overbloated. Pointless extra crap that really slows the game down. Scout bikers that excrete minefields. Were minefields really necessary? Does it exemplefy the lightning attack of the space marines? Or is it a bloody stupid unnecessary extra rule apparently just for the sake of extra rules because if I were a Marine commander coordinating a strike on enemy positions consisting of highly mobile infantry, bikes, drop pods and teleporters I probably wouldn't be seeding the area with minefields.

There's just so much unnecessary stuff in the codex rules that just kind of gets in the way of the game. Tactics in 40k seem to have devolved into 40% remembering your own special rules, 30% remembering the other guy's special rules, 20% stacking special rules favourably and 10% actual battlefield maneuver.

The 5e codecies read like fan-made codexes to me - there's some good ideas no doubt in there and even some really cool units and rules, but they've stuck everything idea they had and a whole bunch of old stuff from rogue trader purely for nostalgia value despite the fact that anything that didn't make it into 2nd or 3rd edition probably wasn't a very good idea. I tried to read through the Tyranid codex before a tournament and I felt like I was swatting for an exam.

Meh, I know some people really like this sort of bloated rules-loaded game style. I just feel the game has been lost somewhere in there.


You see the rule as sloppy, not me, I see them as open and allowing for various interpretations. There doesn't have to be a single "correct" way to interpret something and that open endedness invites variety, which is what I like about 40k. All that needs to happen is for the players to agree on an interpretation that suits them.
I... just can't see this. We may need to agree to disagree on this front but this just doesn't make sense to me. This isn't open-endedness, it's just vagueness. When both players approach a game and each approach a rule in different ways there isn't "open endedness" there's just conflict over how to play a given situation. Open-endedness is provided for by giving you a framework to build your games on - build your scenarios, custom units and terrain! This is good! But I don't see what play value there is when the rules don't cover something. They don't define what is a daemon adequately for grey knight wargear - are possessed considered daemons? This isn't open-endedness, there's no scope for a cool scenario or fun gameplay, it's just an undefined rule. Sure, we can define it ourselve, it isn't a major issue, it's just ... sloppy.


I've never played Inquisitor, but 40k 5th and WFB 8th are already exactly the game I want. I'm not trying to turn it into that kind of game, it already is that kind of game. My point here is a response to the endless "Why doesn't GW see the error of their ways?" posts. The answer is because ther is a market for the games as they exist. The reason Ward "gets away with what he does" is because there is a sizeable faction out there that, for what ever reason, likes the current trends.
Or don't know how much better it could be. :p Okay, even if I accept that 40K is meant to be a narrative wargame. It kind of sucks at that. You can't tell a really good story with the game. You can do some cool scenarios but it lacks... narrative. Inquisitor (I know you've not tried it) does this so much better. It's designed to be a narrative wargame from the get-go. Or Necromunda (to a slightly lesser extent). No points values, no claims of "balance". 100% scenario driven games (even if it's just a turf war). Like it or not, 40K is built as a competitive game between two players - the rules need to be clear and without ambiguity for a smooth game.

Incidentally, I would thoroughly recommend you try Inquisitor. It sounds like it is a game that is absolutely made for you and your group. You can try it out with 40K models - just use a scale of 1yard=1cm. If you like playing 40K as a narrative wargame, you'll love Inquisitor. Plus rules are free. ;)


No single set of rules is ever going to appeal to both of us... It's not about which set of rules is better, it's about which you prefer. Both of us have something we like, there is no need to cater to one faction at the expense of the other.
Firstly, GW is trying to appeal to both. If they really were aiming it as a narrative wargame, it just wouldn't have points values or at least they'd be given as a guideline and not so finely scaled. GW run tournaments too so they're obviously happy to court the tournament players too, even if they go to great lenths to explain it isn't designed for them and playing competitively is bad, etc. I still think with some more editing to crop out some of the stupid stuff that really doesn't benefit anyone - crappy fluff, units that go against the theme of the army (thunderfire cannons :rolleyes:), so on and so forth, they could make a game that appeals much more to both. I flat out refuse to believe that you can't play fun, narrative games with a ruleset that doesn't have stupid loopholes or rules conflicts in it. You could take the existing rules and have a technical editor whose job is to weed out rules issues. This wouldn't change the "fun" stuff, just make it a much more polished product. Everyone wins.

Gir
13-05-2011, 05:15
Incidentally, I would thoroughly recommend you try Inquisitor. It sounds like it is a game that is absolutely made for you and your group. You can try it out with 40K models - just use a scale of 1yard=1cm. If you like playing 40K as a narrative wargame, you'll love Inquisitor. Plus rules are free. ;)[/COLOR]

HIs group is exactly the same as mine, and I 100% agree with every point his made. So on your point about inquisitor, I used to play with my group (along with mordhiem and Necromunder). The problem I found is the complexity and detail of the rules can REALLY slow the game down. You also need lots of terrain, and because the game is a different scale, a lot of 40k terrain just won't do. Finally, it's very easy to get a horrendously unbalanced game, as there is no real guidelines for making warbands, so it's hard to gauge how good your warband is. 40k points aren't perfect, but they are a pretty solid guideline.

big squig
13-05-2011, 06:27
HIs group is exactly the same as mine, and I 100% agree with every point his made. So on your point about inquisitor, I used to play with my group (along with mordhiem and Necromunder). The problem I found is the complexity and detail of the rules can REALLY slow the game down. You also need lots of terrain, and because the game is a different scale, a lot of 40k terrain just won't do. Finally, it's very easy to get a horrendously unbalanced game, as there is no real guidelines for making warbands, so it's hard to gauge how good your warband is. 40k points aren't perfect, but they are a pretty solid guideline.

INQ is not supposed to be balanced, it's supposed to tell a story. The GM should really be the one making the warbands.

Lord-Caerolion
13-05-2011, 08:12
You see the rule as sloppy, not me, I see them as open and allowing for various interpretations. There doesn't have to be a single "correct" way to interpret something and that open endedness invites variety, which is what I like about 40k.

So what would you define as sloppy rules then? The whole point is that when you want to try to design something even slightly towards competetive play, there has to be a single rules-set. Multiple interpretations means that you can't make it properly competetive, as, for example, should we price Coteaz for making henchmen "true" Troops, or "invisible" Troops? As it stands, this is a rule that requires fixing and clarification. You've stated that they need better proofreaders, but they wouldn't need them if the rules weren't sloppy.

I know you've got a good group, and can come to agreements fairly readily, but rules shouldn't be designed with that in mind. Writers shouldn't assume that the players can do their job for them, they should properly do the rules themselves.
To continue the above example, if Ward wrote Coteaz as he is now, and simply went "well, it isn't clear, but stuff it, the players can come to an agreement" then that's sloppy. He should be going "oh, the rules I'm being payed to write are unspecific in this part, I'd better fix that, and do my job."

Zenithfleet
13-05-2011, 11:35
As someone who hasn't played 40K since early 4th edition due to the sheer exhaustion of trying to keep up with the GW Doomwheel of Perpetual Edition Revision, I have a quick question:

Has anyone played much 5th edition using only 4th ed codexes (or earlier)? Surely it must have happened for a while, before the 5th ed codexes were released. What was the game like? Did the design philosophy between core rules and codexes feel like a better fit?

Lord Inquisitor
13-05-2011, 13:39
HIs group is exactly the same as mine, and I 100% agree with every point his made. So on your point about inquisitor, I used to play with my group (along with mordhiem and Necromunder). The problem I found is the complexity and detail of the rules can REALLY slow the game down. You also need lots of terrain, and because the game is a different scale, a lot of 40k terrain just won't do. Finally, it's very easy to get a horrendously unbalanced game, as there is no real guidelines for making warbands, so it's hard to gauge how good your warband is. 40k points aren't perfect, but they are a pretty solid guideline.
Yeah, there's a knack to keeping the game flowing without getting bogged down. But if your players know the rules and the GM knows what he's doing then you can make it a fast and furious game. And it isn't too hard to at least keep the game fun, if not balanced - the GM can keep things from being a one-sided turkey-shoot with objectives, NPCs, events, etc. But that's kind of the point - if you want balance, Inquisitor really isn't the ideal game for you. It can't be played competitively.


Has anyone played much 5th edition using only 4th ed codexes (or earlier)? Surely it must have happened for a while, before the 5th ed codexes were released. What was the game like? Did the design philosophy between core rules and codexes feel like a better fit?
Yeah, I think 40K was at its best in that short period with 5e rules and 4e books. Solid core and reasonably tight armybooks. There were still flaws in the codecies and 5ed wasn't exactly perfect, but it was 40K at its most tactical. It had the usual issues of playing an game with books designed for an earlier edition (or two!), but overall it was much less buggy than now.

Col_Festus
13-05-2011, 13:42
As someone who hasn't played 40K since early 4th edition due to the sheer exhaustion of trying to keep up with the GW Doomwheel of Perpetual Edition Revision, I have a quick question:

Has anyone played much 5th edition using only 4th ed codexes (or earlier)? Surely it must have happened for a while, before the 5th ed codexes were released. What was the game like? Did the design philosophy between core rules and codexes feel like a better fit?

Well the biggest problem 4th Ed codexes will run into is the point drop in models, point increase in transports and an array of special rules that don't exist. 5th edition is by far the best edition rules wise of 40k. The problem is the introduction of a variety of special rules that arent flat across the board. It's very hard to point units according to other books. In fact GW doesn't try and do this, they point it off internal balance. (apparently)

self biased
13-05-2011, 15:08
this was the best response, as far as Im concerned, no more need be said on this topic, well posted carlosophy!

I think it speaks positively about the player base that people are interested in finding potential problems with how things are worded and working out the kinks so to speak before it becomes a problem. I'm having a hard time coming to terms how people thinking about confusing rules is a bad thing. As I said in another post somewhere, at least Warmahordes is actively trying to make its rules clearer, which is something I can respect. I don't think I'll ever end up playing the game because I'm not particularly fond of the setting or most of the models I've seen. I am certainly not trying to knock the system or game, just saying it's not quite my cup of tea.

Personally, I view the game as something where I can pack my army up and walk into any 40k group on this planet or neighboring ones and play a game with a minimal amount of bickering about rules. I enjoy participating in campaigns with strange and unusual homebrewed rules, and I enjoy playing in tournament settings. But it frustrates me that there was an allegedly "unassaultable formation" in 4e, and people insist that it's a feature, not a bug. The same goes for the Ravenwing landspeeder that's bought as troops: because of a reminder in the codex it got bumped up to being a scoring unit. I'm okay that consensus is what it is, but it's just vexing to not have the issue mentioned in some kind of official capacity.

edit: Kudos to Lord Inquisitor for presenting his arguments so keenly.

FlashGordon
13-05-2011, 16:32
I have a dislike for current codexes, for many reasons already mentioned on this site. But I think I've put my finger on another reason: the rule section of the books are not fully thought (or spelled) out.
For example, using terms that aren't defined in game terms, like 'character' in the Deathleaper's profile. Or the author overlooks finer points of existing rules, like the dreadknight's DCCW only working on walkers.
Is anyone else noticing this, or have they been around for years and am I becoming more critical of it because of the time spent here? :evilgrin:

*edit* by recent, I mean post 5th. Like if I examined a random 4th or 3rd ed codex, would I find these mistakes?

Well at least all new unit entries are fair and balanced.

chamelion 6
13-05-2011, 17:30
Eh, it isn't just the fact that the rules cause debates or interruptions in the game play (although they do). Sure, they can usually be resolved quickly with a bit of goodwill. Others though are a real pain when playing pick-up games. Do henchmen count towards the FOC or not? Makes quite a bit of difference and when it comes to whether or not your army is legal or not, the interpretation makes a world of difference. When it comes to building a very expensive army, converting all my units, painting them all up, no, I'm not really satisfied on relying on my opponent's goodwill that they'll go with my interpretation as to whether my army is legal or not, much less if I'm making a tournament-suitable army.
I'll conceed that 40k isn't the best set of rules for pickup games or tourneys. But those kinds of questions don't take alot of effort for a few people that game together consistently to settle... And the answer can correctly be different from group to group. It only matters that everyone in the group is comfortable with the interpretation, not really what anybody outside the group thinks. What feels right to us may not be what feels right to the guys on the other side of town, but we're gaming and having a good time, so who really cares? So is that really sloppy or we just free to play it the way we like it?




But it's really not that that puts me off 40K. The sloppiness of the rules are the subject of this thread, but the 5e codecies are ... overbloated. Pointless extra crap that really slows the game down. Scout bikers that excrete minefields. Were minefields really necessary? Does it exemplefy the lightning attack of the space marines? Or is it a bloody stupid unnecessary extra rule apparently just for the sake of extra rules because if I were a Marine commander coordinating a strike on enemy positions consisting of highly mobile infantry, bikes, drop pods and teleporters I probably wouldn't be seeding the area with minefields.
It only really slows the game down if you use the rule. If sombody is using minefields then they must think it adds some benefit to the game. Again, it's all about taste. Give me all the special, colorful rules you can come up with, then, as a group, we'll decide which we like to use and which we don't. As a gaming group it's easy to weed out things the group doesn't really like, but it's really hard to add to the special rules and abilities of an army. That's the problem with the minimalist approach to writing rules, they limit the options available for people that want to create their own version of reality. If I have only 3 options I see fewer variations, if I have 20 I'll likely seldome see 2 players with the same variation on the theme. But 20 options becomes hard to balance within the rules and so that falls mor on the players to work out.



There's just so much unnecessary stuff in the codex rules that just kind of gets in the way of the game. Tactics in 40k seem to have devolved into 40% remembering your own special rules, 30% remembering the other guy's special rules, 20% stacking special rules favourably and 10% actual battlefield maneuver.
That's only a problem in pickup games and tourneys. When you play with the same few people consistently you get to know them and their tastes and approaches in army construction. When you have a limited pool of players playing a minimalist set of "balanced well written rules" the game get's kinda stale after awhile because army design is pretty limited in the name of balance. Rules like GW give players much more of a free hand to experiment and come up with new and unique approaches. It's up to the group to to decide whether something is within the spirit of how they see the game. So this is exactly what I'm talking about, what you see as broken I see as a positive. What you call bloated, I see as variety.



The 5e codecies read like fan-made codexes to me - there's some good ideas no doubt in there and even some really cool units and rules, but they've stuck everything idea they had and a whole bunch of old stuff from rogue trader purely for nostalgia value despite the fact that anything that didn't make it into 2nd or 3rd edition probably wasn't a very good idea. I tried to read through the Tyranid codex before a tournament and I felt like I was swatting for an exam.
Again, 40k isn't really the best set of rules for that kind of game. But in the hands of a group like mine they come alive with possibilities...



Meh, I know some people really like this sort of bloated rules-loaded game style. I just feel the game has been lost somewhere in there.It's really about letting the players decide what makes a good game and not some arbritrary decisions built into the rule set by the designers. In a gaming group there really doesn't need to be a clearly defined vision of what a rule means because the players will provide that as it fits their vision of what the game is about. And it's specifically that aspect of the rules that makes a game like 40k attractive to us.




I... just can't see this. We may need to agree to disagree on this front but this just doesn't make sense to me. This isn't open-endedness, it's just vagueness. When both players approach a game and each approach a rule in different ways there isn't "open endedness" there's just conflict over how to play a given situation. Open-endedness is provided for by giving you a framework to build your games on - build your scenarios, custom units and terrain! This is good! But I don't see what play value there is when the rules don't cover something. They don't define what is a daemon adequately for grey knight wargear - are possessed considered daemons? This isn't open-endedness, there's no scope for a cool scenario or fun gameplay, it's just an undefined rule. Sure, we can define it ourselve, it isn't a major issue, it's just ... sloppy.
But how a group of gamers define a rule is going to color the vision of the game and the atmosphere surrounding it. And how you visualize the fluff affects how you interpret the rule. That adds flavor... It creates a situation where the game as played is as much a reflection of the players as the designers.



Or don't know how much better it could be. :p Okay, even if I accept that 40K is meant to be a narrative wargame. It kind of sucks at that. You can't tell a really good story with the game. You can do some cool scenarios but it lacks... narrative. Inquisitor (I know you've not tried it) does this so much better. It's designed to be a narrative wargame from the get-go. Or Necromunda (to a slightly lesser extent). No points values, no claims of "balance". 100% scenario driven games (even if it's just a turf war). Like it or not, 40K is built as a competitive game between two players - the rules need to be clear and without ambiguity for a smooth game.
Narritive is only part of it, variety and the ability for players to put their own twist on a given army is really the thing though. When you have the same people gaing on a fairly regular basis the narrative really kind of takes on it's own life, the personality of certain players & certain armies drives the game for the most part and scenarios start to suggest themselves. It's really a very different kind of gaming experience than pickup games. It's something that grows naturally over time.

Point values themselves really don't have as much to do with balance as they do with size and time. When we talk about a 1000pt game or a 1500pt game we relate that to a certain size army and a game that can be played with in a certain amount of time. Points are only a small part of balance. The scenario and play skill with a given army factor more heavilly.



Incidentally, I would thoroughly recommend you try Inquisitor. It sounds like it is a game that is absolutely made for you and your group. You can try it out with 40K models - just use a scale of 1yard=1cm. If you like playing 40K as a narrative wargame, you'll love Inquisitor. Plus rules are free. ;)
I may bring it up to some of my friends 8 )



Firstly, GW is trying to appeal to both. If they really were aiming it as a narrative wargame, it just wouldn't have points values or at least they'd be given as a guideline and not so finely scaled. GW run tournaments too so they're obviously happy to court the tournament players too, even if they go to great lenths to explain it isn't designed for them and playing competitively is bad, etc. I still think with some more editing to crop out some of the stupid stuff that really doesn't benefit anyone - crappy fluff, units that go against the theme of the army (thunderfire cannons :rolleyes:), so on and so forth, they could make a game that appeals much more to both. I flat out refuse to believe that you can't play fun, narrative games with a ruleset that doesn't have stupid loopholes or rules conflicts in it. You could take the existing rules and have a technical editor whose job is to weed out rules issues. This wouldn't change the "fun" stuff, just make it a much more polished product. Everyone wins.

I think GW is simply trying to make it's games accessable to the broadest group of players possible, but they always maintained that tournements and competative play is not the primary goal in the design of the rules. People jusr try to read that into it and then clain the company is inconsistant.

Could I have fun with something like Warmachine, possibly, but not like I enjoy 40k. Warmachine is too limited in it's scope and to narrowly defined to really spark the creative element for me. It's a game and would never really be much more than pushing a few minis around to kill some time. And that's on a part of what a good fantasy / sci-fi game is about to me.

WildWeasel
13-05-2011, 17:56
I play Star Fleet Battles. If you ever want a game with hard codified, precisely defined and detailed rules for everything. As in nearly a dozen pages (full of small-font text) on just how tractor beams work. For a while, once a month a group of us would get together at one fellow's house to play. Thing is, this was explicitly him coming up with totally bizarre scenarios with unique rules and one-off setups and what not. And we all had a blast.

Well defined rules are not a bar to creativity and house ruling. People that want to tinker with rules for the fun of it can still do so. And people that prefer to not do so just to be able to play out of the box are happy too.

chamelion 6
13-05-2011, 22:12
I play Star Fleet Battles. If you ever want a game with hard codified, precisely defined and detailed rules for everything. As in nearly a dozen pages (full of small-font text) on just how tractor beams work. For a while, once a month a group of us would get together at one fellow's house to play. Thing is, this was explicitly him coming up with totally bizarre scenarios with unique rules and one-off setups and what not. And we all had a blast.

Well defined rules are not a bar to creativity and house ruling. People that want to tinker with rules for the fun of it can still do so. And people that prefer to not do so just to be able to play out of the box are happy too.

We played Star Fleet Battles for years and it was never a simple, clearly defined, or well balanced game. It may have changed since then, but at 12 pages of rules for tractor beams it doesn't sound like it. There were myriad SSD sheets and variations of variations and complexity layered. That created endless variety and different groups constantly picked through the rules for those bits they prefered or gave them an advantage. I still have my old SFB rules here somewhere and the book is over 3 inches thick... That's 3 inches of pure rules, no fluff, and that's not including a single SSD sheet.

But it's not the clearly defined rules that kill the joy as it is the lack of variety in the game as it get's streamlined and balanced. I'd rather have a pile of special rules, a multitude of of different units in each codex, and sort out the balance and confusion myself.

WildWeasel
13-05-2011, 23:37
I never said simple :) It is a large and complex game, which makes it difficult to internalize and master. But that's beside the point. Despite all that complexity and codification, people still mess with the rules for the sake of doing so. Not to make the game work on a fundamental level.

I like variety and special rules and such too. While more such does make a game harder to balance, it is still doable and, since we are paying for game rules, it is reasonable to expect rules that work out of the box. And its not even balance stuff as things like the mess of issues with the Dread Knight from them being lazy and assigning it wargear that was not designed with the intention of being used on an MC.

Or another way, using Coteaz as an example:

Good: Bob has collected a whole lot of Inquisition troops and agents. The (hypothetical well-designed) GK codex makes it clear that Coteaz allows henchmen warbands as Troops, and they use up FOC slots. Your group decides to allow Bob to take them in other slots, since it would be awesome to see him field them all.

Bad: The current GK codex, where it is unclear wether the warbands use up FOC slots or not, and if they count towards mandatory. Basically, you need to come up with a house rule before you can even design a Coteaz henchmen army.

And this isn't a case of weird interactions of large and complex rules. It's two simple things that GW has had to field questions about before: supernumerary units unlocked by taking a certain unit, and units whose FOC position is changed. They KNOW these have been problematic in the past, and thus should make sure the wording on them is airtight around.

But they didn't, and that is a textbook example of sloppy design. It doesn't "give freedom" to make the game your own. The BRB explicitly says that. Not that you even need that. Gamers have, for as long as there have been games, merrily messed around and tinkered with them. What it does do is create headaches and problems for people that just want to use the game out of the box.

Really, how hard is
"You may take one Henchmen Warband for each Inquisitor in your army. This unit is an Elite, but doesn't use an Elite slot." With the entry boxed out like any other supernumerary unit. And "An army with Coteaz may take Henchmen Warbands as Troops, with no limit based on the number of Inquisitors, but they do use Troop slots."

Viola.

chamelion 6
14-05-2011, 00:50
I never said simple :) It is a large and complex game, which makes it difficult to internalize and master. But that's beside the point. Despite all that complexity and codification, people still mess with the rules for the sake of doing so. Not to make the game work on a fundamental level.

I like variety and special rules and such too. While more such does make a game harder to balance, it is still doable and, since we are paying for game rules, it is reasonable to expect rules that work out of the box. And its not even balance stuff as things like the mess of issues with the Dread Knight from them being lazy and assigning it wargear that was not designed with the intention of being used on an MC.

Or another way, using Coteaz as an example:

Good: Bob has collected a whole lot of Inquisition troops and agents. The (hypothetical well-designed) GK codex makes it clear that Coteaz allows henchmen warbands as Troops, and they use up FOC slots. Your group decides to allow Bob to take them in other slots, since it would be awesome to see him field them all.

Bad: The current GK codex, where it is unclear wether the warbands use up FOC slots or not, and if they count towards mandatory. Basically, you need to come up with a house rule before you can even design a Coteaz henchmen army.

And this isn't a case of weird interactions of large and complex rules. It's two simple things that GW has had to field questions about before: supernumerary units unlocked by taking a certain unit, and units whose FOC position is changed. They KNOW these have been problematic in the past, and thus should make sure the wording on them is airtight around.

But they didn't, and that is a textbook example of sloppy design. It doesn't "give freedom" to make the game your own. The BRB explicitly says that. Not that you even need that. Gamers have, for as long as there have been games, merrily messed around and tinkered with them. What it does do is create headaches and problems for people that just want to use the game out of the box.

Really, how hard is
"You may take one Henchmen Warband for each Inquisitor in your army. This unit is an Elite, but doesn't use an Elite slot." With the entry boxed out like any other supernumerary unit. And "An army with Coteaz may take Henchmen Warbands as Troops, with no limit based on the number of Inquisitors, but they do use Troop slots."

Viola.

I get where you're coming from, but then really, solving those problems in the kind of groupt isn't any big deal either.

"Dude, do you think they mean this or this?"
"This..."

Ok, sometimes the discussion is more involved, but really, we've never had something that took more than 10 or twenty minutes over a beer or a burger to sort out. It's not a house rule, so much as our interpretation of the existing rule. It's how we understand what they triedd to say. Other groups may not agree and we may be unique in our interpretation, but who really cares? And how we decide to interpret those little discrepencies shapes the direction the game takes as we play it.

As for SFB, the more I think about it, SFB was really what most people here don't want. It was a simple game at it's most basic... But every suppliment added more and more special rules. I don't think any of us ever really understood more that 25% of what was really in the game or ever really played it as designed. The complexity was so far beyond us. It was great fun though... I remember the biggest argument was agreeing on exactly what time frame to play. Somebody was always wanting some supership that just beyond what ever star date we chose to play... :)

hlaine larkin
14-05-2011, 00:56
I must be honest, although it pains me to do so, i have to use a sports analogy.
The idea that 'rules should be ambiguous so people can discuss them' reminds me of the football adage that 'diving is just part of the game' or 'bad decisions make the game', i think anything which i being competetive should have a set of a rules which are clear, i know this is an unattainable goal, but it would be nice to see a move towards that. At the end of the day,if GW want to run a tournament and my army has an ambiguous rule- which after discussion comes down to 'lets roll a d6, 1/2/3 4/5/6 to make up our mind just doesn;t cut it.

chamelion 6
14-05-2011, 01:06
I must be honest, although it pains me to do so, i have to use a sports analogy.
The idea that 'rules should be ambiguous so people can discuss them' reminds me of the football adage that 'diving is just part of the game' or 'bad decisions make the game', i think anything which i being competetive should have a set of a rules which are clear, i know this is an unattainable goal, but it would be nice to see a move towards that. At the end of the day,if GW want to run a tournament and my army has an ambiguous rule- which after discussion comes down to 'lets roll a d6, 1/2/3 4/5/6 to make up our mind just doesn;t cut it.

GW has said over and over and time and again that their rules are not designed as tournament rules. They grew from an attitude that was closely associated with RPGs and and never fully abandoned that association.

And I never said the rules should be vague so people can discuss them. That completely misses the point. The rules are a starting point so people can build their own vision of the future. 40k provides a fertile environment, and Warmachine doesn't.

The problem with the sports analogy is it only works if you see the game as essentially a competition. I don't. If I wanted that kind of game, I'd play Warmachine. ;)

Lord-Caerolion
14-05-2011, 02:35
But any game can be changed with house-ruling. It doesn't matter how strict a rules-set may be, the designers aren't going to kick down your door and beat you if you make some changes to their strict rules.
It's far better to have tighter rules, which can be house-ruled by those who wish it, than leave flimsier rules, meaning everyone has to houserule, and often come up with different decisions. Case in point, there have been 3 threads locked already on B&C regarding the Nemesis Falchions and whether they give +1 or +2 attacks. If Ward had clearly spelled out what he meant, that wouldn't happen. Sadly, it seems any discussion regarding them is doomed to devolve into endless name-calling, until an FAQ is released.

That isn't good games design because you can argue it either way. It's bad games design because one item has two different ways of being interpreted, both with solid arguments behind them. This shouldn't be the case.

chamelion 6
14-05-2011, 03:23
But any game can be changed with house-ruling. It doesn't matter how strict a rules-set may be, the designers aren't going to kick down your door and beat you if you make some changes to their strict rules.
It's far better to have tighter rules, which can be house-ruled by those who wish it, than leave flimsier rules, meaning everyone has to houserule, and often come up with different decisions. Case in point, there have been 3 threads locked already on B&C regarding the Nemesis Falchions and whether they give +1 or +2 attacks. If Ward had clearly spelled out what he meant, that wouldn't happen. Sadly, it seems any discussion regarding them is doomed to devolve into endless name-calling, until an FAQ is released.

That isn't good games design because you can argue it either way. It's bad games design because one item has two different ways of being interpreted, both with solid arguments behind them. This shouldn't be the case.

I can house rule limitations on existing rules and gear, but I cant create new rules and gear. It's far easier to bring balance and harmony than create variety. The only real way to achieve any meaningful balance to a game like this is to limit and control the possibilities. Given the choice I'd really just have the designers develop a ton of special rules and options and let me and my group decide what we like and what works for us.

That people can't have a sane discussion over a modifier in a Sci-fi game is a reflection on them, not the designer. Like I said, my past experience is is the arguments are more an issue with personalities than game design. Some people look for controversy even where it's trivial or non existant. There has yet to be any issue with 40k, the rulebook, or any of the codecies that took us more than a short discussion or two to resolve.

People that want to break things are going to break them, people that wanna play the game are gonna get on with it and play the game. It really is that simple. Like I said, if I was interested in pickup game and tourneys I'd agree with you completely and I'd probably be playing Warmachine, but that's not what I'm looking for and Warmachine is really too limited to really do what I like. So I play 40k. I prefer it over Warmachine for all the reasons it isn't Warmachine.

I'm not trying to change anybody's mind here and convince them my way of playing the game is better, I'm just saying there are other valid ways to appreciate the game and point out the concept that if a designer caters to the competetive / pickup game crowd we'd all get what we want. That's simply not true. I and a lot of other people like 40k and WFB 8th just the way they are, we see no need for change, we don't have the kinds of problems that keep being pointed out here.

Lord Inquisitor
14-05-2011, 05:12
I can house rule limitations on existing rules and gear, but I cant create new rules and gear. It's far easier to bring balance and harmony than create variety. The only real way to achieve any meaningful balance to a game like this is to limit and control the possibilities. Given the choice I'd really just have the designers develop a ton of special rules and options and let me and my group decide what we like and what works for us.
Wait, wait, wait. Why can't you create rules and gear? Who is holding you to using the rules in the rulebook? Indeed certainly the latest edition of WFB encourages you to make up new units (and includes an example). 40k too to some degree.

40k lacks that sandbox feel. You feel that you need to stick to units in the books, even forgeworld units often carry a stigma. Yet in Inquisitor (sorry, again I know) I've made up rules from enslavers to grynx to terminator armour.

One example of an actual "sandbox" supplement for 40k was apocalypse. I found it a great supplement for 40k - it was simple really, it didn't really add anything much to the game but it was a splash of cold water that said "Hey! You don't need to use the FOC! You don't need even points values! You can make up your own datasheets for cool units!" I found it very fun cause it shook me out of my usual normal game of just following the books. And you can't play apocalypse competitively and people who tried to just didn't get it and didn't enjoy it. Apocalypse was a shorthand for exactly the sort of gaming experience you've been championing.

But the point of this is to illustrate that "normal" games, whether in a competitive setting or not revolve around a set of restrictions we take for granted. Equal point values. Points values at all. FOC to prevent people from abusing repeated seletions of the same units. Mirrored objectives. Etc. Two people from different countries can meet and play with a common set of rules. It may not be designed for uber-competitive tournament play, but it also isn't designed for a sandbox free-for-all ... that's what Apocalypse was for.

I can appreciate that you prefer a codex full of options. I disagree, I prefer a good game - I feel that a solid core is best to start with and you can add the bells and whistles afterwards in the right setting. But if you want to make the game your own, that's cool - but the suggestion that shoddy rules are somehow a good thing boggles the mind. I would ask yourself not why we don't see why you want to use the gaps in the game to personalize your gaming experience, but why do you feel that you need to use the holes in the game system to make the game your own. Surely it would be so much more satisfying to actually make your own units and rules?

Deadnight
14-05-2011, 11:38
Im just going to quote paddyalexander. he summed it up for me in another subforum here.

I've always read it as "we couldn't be arsed to write a solid ruleset", even when I was going trough my fanboy phase. The statement implies that you need loose, vauge, badly worded rules to have fun. That somebody rocking up to play a game of WH/40k with the intention of actualy defeating their opponent is playing the game wrong. And playing those games It certainly felt like it. Two people could read the same paragraph of the same rule/army book & come away with two completely different inturpretations of that paragraph. Almost every game of 40k I played, across 3 editions of the game, my opponent or I would end up having to reach for the rule book to clarify a rule & usualy have to dice it.

In games like Warmachine/Hoardes, Infinity, Kings of War & Malifaux crap like that doesn't fly simply because in a well writen ruleset there is no difference between "rules as writen" & "rules as intended". That kind of BS only happens in rulesets produced by one company in my experience.
Here's an important fact I found when moving to non-GW games systems. With a well writen, clear & toroughly playtested rules system fun games are competitive & competitive games are fun. I rarely find myself reaching for a rulebook & never arguing over rules.


im sorry, but "this is how i think it should work", and "on a 4+" just do not cut it. they do not add to the experience, or make the game better, more fluid, or somehow add to my vision of the 40kiverse. clear consise rules only add to the experience by defining the exact perameters of the game world. vague and sloppy do not cut it in sport, neithr should they cut it in a hobby.


Personally, im very much in the camp that 40k as a rules set is at the bottom of the pile. Honestly though, its not the vagueness of the rules that gets me. Its the underlying mechanisms of the game that annoy me. 40k is a prehistoric fossil. it uses a napoleonic style mechanicsms, with a tacked-on page regarding armour. there are so many superfluous and bloated rules mechanisms that are not necessary. here's a few examples.
4 dice rolls. roll to hit, roll to wound, armour saves, (almost obligatory) FNP.
Infinity, ST/BE, Warmahordes have 2. the latter occassionally has a third roll (tough) WHy are 4 rolls necessary? breaking it down, all you need is 2.
Another example. why do i use str to punch through vehicle armour but AP to go through infanty armour? Why 2 sets of resilience stats? No other game system really has it.
there are too many stats. too many ammendums and additions, too many things that essentially cover the same idea and special rules are needed to tack on to make fundamentally flawed core mechanics work. (Again, how many movement types do we have? a standard m stat would allow more variety whilst cutting down on unnessessary rules for example) Its just bloated excess that does not add to the experience. less really is more.

Honestly though, what gets me the most is the sloppy design attitude of GW. With PPs warmachine, mark 1 was a flawed beast. it was a great game. but there were huge issues with it. And then following a massive world wide field test, and a from-the-ground-up shake up of the game, we got mk2 (which they gave to us free after the playtest too btw). In every way, shape and form, mk2 is a superior game to mk1. its just "better". i have honestly yet to see a thread anywhere on the interwebz lamenting the death or mk1 warmachine, how it was better than mk2 and how things were better "back in the day". How many times per day does "second ed 40k was better" pop up here? PP were interested in improving the game, improving the system, and building the rules so that everything could get a look in on the tabletop. by and large they succeeded (zherkova still sucks though) and made a brilliant, brilliant job of it.
Now take GW. What i've realised from playing through 3 editions of the game is that in the inevitable shake up between editions, they're more interested in changing their game, than improving it. that is the core thing. GW want a broken game. it suits their business policy. but seriously, there is as much complaining regarding fifth, and an extremely stale meta as there was in the days of third, with screening, and rhino rush.
the vendetta was underpriced deliberately so people would all go out and buy lots of expensive plastic. what worked well (and sold well) in previous editions is nerfed (carnifex nidzilla lists used to be great. now, all of a sudden, carnifexes suck) so that people will go out and buy the overpriced stuff that is needed. I know a lot of people that have been burned badly by this. i have friends who have had multiple armies either invalidated or nerfed to hell and back because GW decided they wanted to sell something else this edition instead. its something to say for warmachine that the starter casters (eg kroess, butcher, haley, caine, denny) are still regarded as excellent game winning choices even with every new shiny having since been added to it.