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View Full Version : Sergeants, Lightning Claws, RAI, RAW, and Being Reasonable



Kerstan
11-05-2013, 21:05
(all of the below are from e-mails, Facebook posts, and messages that flowed between myself and some folks in my gaming circle)

Me to the Local TOs: A buddy of mine recently brought up a point to me. He was worried that my TH/SS Termies with Cyclone Missile Launchers wouldn’t be legal in 6th Edition. THAT issue has been resolved. Now, I am worried that Deathwing Sergeants are stuck with swords (and not Lightning Claws) because of some other poorly thought out wording. Here is how it all unfolded:
---------------------------------------------------------------


My Buddy: You might want to re-read the Deathwing cyclone + hammer/shield thing. The hammer/shield states "any terminator may give up all weapons for ..." Don’t know if that means all his guns, including any heavy weapon choice he may have made


Me: It means all of the weapons he normally comes equipped with... the Cyclone is bought after that. Claws or THSS with a Cyclone have always been legal... you can see an example (a picture) of this on page 65 of the old codex...


My Buddy: Roger, old codex i agree whole heartedly... might want to double check/clarify with the new codex tho.


Me: I would vigorously argue this case if some rules lawyer tried to BS their way through this in 6th... the wording isn't the best but it's ambiguous enough that someone might try to get it ruled that way. GW works hard these days not to invalidate models that we have from previous editions...


My Buddy: Fair enough, i just wanted to make sure you saw it.


Me: OK. Has this come up in any discussions or forums or was it something you noticed? i.e.: is there already an ongoing meta-discussion about this rule?


My Buddy: I tend to stay off of forums, this is just how i read the rule.


Me: Do YOU think it is ambiguous and poorly written or do you think it is outlawing a classic combo on purpose? Do you see the side I present?
What is your take, good sir?


My Buddy: Yes i do, the fact we are discussing it leans toward a poorly writen rule. I see your side, and don’t disagree, as far as GW making models from an old codex obsolete/non-useable: Pariahs.


i read it as the "trade all weapons" I can see the wording under the heavy weapon saying "take a cyclone"


Me: The were pretty clear that Pariahs just changed names and got a new/better model... I think it was in White Dwarf...


My Buddy: the Pariahs were totally revamped, and the model became "useless" the weapon/wargear changed and the Lychgard was born.


Me: The Pariahs are still useful as one version of the Lychguard. I just read the rules over again and I think it is a non issue. It comes down to the words "replace" and "take"... the codex lists different ways Termies can replace their initial weapons load out. ANY five man squad can "take" a Cyclone. Even a squad made entirely of THSS could take one Cyclone with them.


-------... days later...------------


My Buddy: they fixed our question...


Page 99 – Deathwing Terminator Squad, Options
Change the second bullet point to:
“• Any model can replace his storm bolter and power fist
with:
- a pair of lightning claws ……………………………….free
- a thunder hammer and storm shield ………….5 pts


Me: I saw that. I was gonna send you a note tonight. I really like how on the stick GW is these days!


My Buddy: yeah, prompt FAQs is nice


--------.... then I saw THIS on the interwebz:-----------


Some Guy on the Interwebz: I'm annoyed by the Dark Angels FAQ, they've changed the deathwing terminator squad weapon option from "Any model may replace all his weapons with" to "Any model may replace his power fist and storm bolter with"; this means the sergeant is now stuck with a storm bolter and power sword, he can't choose any options at all now! I don't understand why they would change this is my sergeant is the only model in one of my squads that has lightning claws...


Me to GW via E-Mail: Dear GW, I really appreciate how quickly you all have been updating FAQs and staying on top of errata. Well done! Keep up the good work!
Deathwing Sergeants have always been able to be kitted out with Lightning Claws (4th, 5th, and 6th Edition). The most recent DA FAQ seems to be worded in a way that precludes this load out anymore. It now says:“• Any model can replace his storm bolter and powerfist with:
- a pair of lightning claws ……………………………….free
- a thunder hammer and storm shield ………….5 pts


See the problem? The stormbolter and powerfist may be replaced. That leaves out the Sergeant and his power-sword.


My take on this is this: you guys put out this clarification because some rules-lawyers were saying that if a Terminator took the TH/SS combo they couldn't take a whirlwind launcher. You wanted to clear up that issue and did so nicely. However, the new wording seems to disallow Sergeants from the classic weapons they've long had access to.


I'm sure this is an oversight. Please confirm to me that it is. Please let me know that you were just trying to clear up the other issue, not trying to limit what Sergeants could take. Thanks! Cheers! Kerstan


------------------------------------------
Me to Local TOs: I think this needs to be sorted out locally before we get to the GT... before someone says to a Dark Angels player, “Ah, ah, ah! Your Sergeant can’t be kitted like that (with Lightning Claws of a TH/SS combo). Look at the FAQ!

GW made a mistake. They are human. They fixed one poorly worded rule and mistakenly eliminated a popular, classic model. Let’s recognize this for what it is: human failure, not a desire to change the nature of DA Deathwing squads. The intent is just as important as the actual wording. Last point: look at the Assault Terminator box. The Sergeant is equipped with Lightning Claws. TOs, your thoughts, gentlemen? Cheers. Cope


----------------------------------------
First TO: That's why I don't go to any GW related boards anymore. What possible reason could there by why the highest ranking model in the squad could not get claws and his subordinates could? This is not an issue, and lord help the guy who comes up to me and complains because his DW opponent's sgt has a lightning claw.


Another TO: Sergeants can upgrade. The end.


First TO: They fixed it because the same ******s that are making this argument were making similarly asinine arguments earlier. Some people seem to find personal validation in making rules issues were none need exist.


Third TO: My opinion is it's a mistake, sergeant can take it too. My advice is don't play with ******s.


Me: Yep. If anyone gives me a hard time about my Lightning Claw Sergeants I'll say, "I'm sorry. Clearly we are looking for different things from gaming. I've got to move along now."


Third TO: Now, if GW releases a new Deathwing Sgt model in the near future, we have an entirely different issue to discuss


Another Buddy of Mine: In the words of Lil Wayne - "****** em, ****** em, even if they celibate."

Scaryscarymushroom
11-05-2013, 21:21
So the moral of the story is "only play RAI, never RAW?"

I am all for liberal interpretation of the rules, but it still leads to honest misunderstandings.

Generally my approach is: if their logic is sound, I agree with the substance of a rules lawyer's argument. There's nothing unreasonable about the conclusion that the sergeant cannot exchange a weapon he doesn't have for another weapon.

BUT! I follow this up with: **** the RAW, I do what I want! For no other reason than I play games to have fun. And if the rules prevent me from having fun, I read it however I want, read in new rules, or ignore the rule altogether. So basically I say, "You're right, rules lawyer, you're right and no one cares. If you try to push it, I'll just stop playing with you."

Kerstan
11-05-2013, 21:35
I do what I want! For no other reason than I play games to have fun. And if the rules prevent me from having fun, I read it however I want, read in new rules, or ignore the rule altogether. So basically I say, "You're right, rules lawyer, you're right and no one cares. If you try to push it, I'll just stop playing with you."

Exactly! So in my meta we realize that a mistake has been made and we are just rolling right past it! :)

MagicHat
11-05-2013, 21:45
I am in the camp that thinks it is just thoughtless wording, but it is absolutely clear what the rules says here.
Switching weapons are as rules legal as putting a heavy weapon on the sergeant.

Some humility should be taken in these cases.
For example, when I pointed out that rending were not AP2 versus vehicles, my opponent conceded to it, despite RAW obviously being wrong and Rai will be put into the FAQ. Turns out RAW were correct.



First TO: That's why I don't go to any GW related boards anymore. What possible reason could there by why the highest ranking model in the squad could not get claws and his subordinates could? This is not an issue, and lord help the guy who comes up to me and complains because his DW opponent's sgt has a lightning claw.


Considering that the Sergeant starts out with an inferior weapon to the rest of the squad...

Kerstan
11-05-2013, 21:55
I am in the camp that thinks it is just thoughtless wording, but it is absolutely clear what the rules says here...
Sure. We all agree that the RAW are clear... and in my local meta the people that run the events have decided they don't care. Clearly, this is a human error. This will all go away eventually. Until then folks around here (in sponsored events and other big events) will get to carry on without the above mistake ruining their fun. :)

MagicHat
11-05-2013, 22:04
Clearly, this is a human error. This will all go away eventually.

And that is were we disagree. Apothecaries could once be fielded with the same gear as the rest of the command squad, now they can't. Maybe they intend to have sergeants with power swords?
Evidence suggests that it is a mistake, but that is not a given truth.

Kerstan
11-05-2013, 22:15
Evidence suggests that it is a mistake, but that is not a given truth. Right. And that is where our reason and reasonableness come into play. We choose not to blindly follow the rules lawyers and say, "We understand that there is such a thing as 'intent of the law' as well as 'letter of the law.'"

I feel lucky. I play in a meta where such a point-of-view is common. What is it like where you live and play? Cheers!

Wishing
11-05-2013, 22:39
Right. And that is where our reason and reasonableness come into play. We choose not to blindly follow the rules lawyers and say, "We understand that there is such a thing as 'intent of the law' as well as 'letter of the law.'"

And this works just fine as long as everyone agrees what the intent is, which is why you had to check with your local group as you posted above. If your group had instead replied with "I actually disagree with you, I think the underlying intent is..." and then given you a variety of different interpretations of what each person feels that the intent might have been, then you obviously wouldn't feel so lucky. :)

RAW comes into play when there is disagreement on what the intent is. When there is no disagreement, then house rules are vastly superior to the RAW, because they allow you to play the way your group feel is right, not whatever mistaken rules that GW have printed.

Kerstan
11-05-2013, 22:44
Wishing, I don't disagree with you. I feel lucky to play in a meta dominated by veteran gamers who can think thing through in nuanced ways....

MagicHat
11-05-2013, 22:45
Right. And that is where our reason and reasonableness come into play. We choose not to blindly follow the rules lawyers and say, "We understand that there is such a thing as 'intent of the law' as well as 'letter of the law.'"

I feel lucky. I play in a meta where such a point-of-view is common. What is it like where you live and play? Cheers!

Hope is the first step on the road to disappointment.
It is all gloom and doom at the local club as fatalists spread their dark message of death as anarchists make claims that blasts totally allocates wounds as barrage. (I seriously don't know how long people kept making that mistake, and it all originated from one person telling everyone the rule wrong)

Seriously though, I can't make a broad statement on the groups RAW/RAI. Usually we accept RAW (sometimes to points even I find ridiculous, like Typhus Zombies), but we can also laugh at the RAW for things like Invulnerable saves for vehicles and go play RAI.
However, in those situations we have precedent, the RAW is muddy or the RAI is blindingly obvious.
I can't say in this case that any of these holds true.
Course, I haven't been in the club for a month now, so I don't know how the FAQ have sunk in. I imagine it will be RAW reading though.

Scaryscarymushroom
11-05-2013, 23:17
All that said about RAI v. RAW, I've seen people lambasted as trolls for making really genius arguments based on loopholes. In the days of Daemonhunters and Witch Hunters, one creative poster insisted that it was perfectly legal to use two assassins by choosing 'unlocking' HQs from each codex and the allies rules as written in each codex; although he'd never actually do it.

Those codices were a mess. I think that RAW, in games that were Witch Hunters v. Witch Hunters, each army got a faith point for every one of their opponent's faithful units, because of broadly written rules. Also, some items that granted leadership bonuses to any Battle Sister squad within 6" regardless of whether they were friend or foe.

My favorite RAW argument ever made: In each of these books, inquisitors and their retinue could take a land raider as a dedicated transport. Inquisitor Lords were an 0-1 HQ that must take a retinue of 3-12 models. Inquisitors were Elites that may take a retinue of 0-6 models. An inquisitor could choose whether or not to take a retinue, and if he did take a retinue, it could include 0 models (as they could take a retinue of 0-6 models). According to some, a squad of 0 was permitted by the rules in this narrow instance. If an inquisitor takes a retinue, he loses his status as an independent character until the retinue is removed from play. By definition, a retinue of 0 models cannot be removed from play. So, these inquisitors are never independent characters, cannot join squads and may be targeted without restriction. But only if the inquisitor elected to take a retinue of 0 models rather than no retinue at all.

Also, an inquisitor could only take a land raider if he had a retinue. A dedicated transport in the Daemonhuters codex can only transport the squad in was bought for, but the Witch Hunters codex has no such restriction. This means that, if Daemonhunters players wanted to field land raiders with Lascannons, they could field up to four, and use the allies rules to field a Witch Hunters Inquisitor Lord with a fifth Land Raider. This fifth Land Raider, being from the Witch Hunters Book, could transport any unit, not just the one it was bought for. But each one needed to be accompanied by an Inquisitor and their retinue (although the retinue could include 0 models).

The overall effect is that a Witch Hunters player could field up to five land Raiders, one of which can only transport an Inquisitor Lord and his Retinue; a Daemonhunters player could field five Land Raiders, four of which could only transport the squads they were bought for. In either case, three land raiders can transport lone inquisitors, but if the inquisitor alone were taken, they would not be independent characters as the Land Raider may only be taken by an inquisitor and retinue. On the other hand, they could take a 6 point familiar. If the familiar ever died, the inquisitor would become an independent character, and you'd still have your land raider.

In addition, Daemonhunters players could field three land raider crusaders as heavy support choices as well, and these could transport any squad. Witch Hunters players could take one, but only if they also took GK as allied troops because GK needed to be part of the force to allow for the Crusader to be fielded at all.

Also, each book prohibited the use of Space Marines in armies that included SoB or GK, but permitted their use in inquisition only armies. However, provided you took the core 1HQ 2Troops from the Witch Hunters or Daemonhunters book, you could use the allies rules from the other book to take both Space Marines and SoB/GK. The rules provided that a Daemonhunters army could not include GK and SM, but the restrictions were silent as to Daemonhunters including SoB and SM. Likewise, Witch Hunters could not include SoB and SM, but were silent as to including GK and SM.

Dark, dark times.

Kerstan
11-05-2013, 23:22
Wow! That is the craziest rules lawyering crap I've ever heard of!

Charistoph
12-05-2013, 02:32
I applaud your foresight in taking it to your TOs before the game, OP. More people need to do that with RAI than whine here about it.

Sandlemad
12-05-2013, 08:29
I think you're lucky that in this case the stakes are so low. Having a sergeant take a pair of lightning claws over a power sword is pretty far from a game-changer compared to some other examples. Sounds like it all worked out well.

Stacius
12-05-2013, 09:29
Yeah, easily easily a mistake. When looked at, why would GW not want you to purchase the assault term box? And the original wording is any model? In other circumstances its any tactical marine. We never would enforce that, and if I was playing in a tourney and it came up I would just laugh and say "don't be silly, Billy."

marv335
12-05-2013, 12:33
The problem with RAI in this case is that for the last 5 editions, and in pretty much every marine-centric published codex, the powersword has been a badge of rank for a Sgt.
If you want to use RAI, it could be argued that a sgt should have a PS.

Lord Damocles
12-05-2013, 12:39
Every depiction in the current Dark Angel Codex (models and illustrations) also shows Deathwing Sergeants exclusively with Power Swords.

Kerstan
12-05-2013, 13:39
Every depiction in the current Dark Angel Codex (models and illustrations) also shows Deathwing Sergeants exclusively with Power Swords.

Fair enough. I'll counter with the fact that the BOX that the Assault Termies come in depicts the Sergeant with claws. I'm telling the tale of how it went down where I live. Damocles & Marv, I assume y'all are playing it differently where you live. Around here we feel (and most importantly the three guys at three different locations that run the local events feel) that this is a human error and we are dealing with it accordingly. I dig that.

170713

Kerstan
12-05-2013, 13:45
The problem with RAI in this case is that for the last 5 editions, and in pretty much every marine-centric published codex, the powersword has been a badge of rank for a Sgt.
If you want to use RAI, it could be argued that a sgt should have a PS.

That's not true. The Assault Termie Sergeant in the Space Marine codex does not use a powersword as a badge of rank. I don't believe that he has for a while (at least not in IVth, Vth, or VIth Editions). Cheers!

Caitsidhe
12-05-2013, 14:22
Largely I'm in the camp of who cares? :) I am in Kerstan's META (play him regularly) and I fully support the call made by the local TOs. My reasons are different. I don't care much about RAI or RAW because the former is a bunch of subjective claptrap and nobody KNOWS what the RAI are in fact. The latter is generally badly written dribble which Games Workshop charges us for without bothering to do more than a spellcheck. :)

I support locals TOs getting together and making ruling on things which are vague or clear as long as everyone coming to the event has fair access and knowledge of the same. If my TOs decided tomorrow to change the Helldrake (something I use) back to a one hundred an eighty degree arc or even forty five degrees I would privately grumble but would be fine with it as long as I had fair notice before an event. It is, after all, their event. It isn't my right to play in it. I ask to play.

RAI and RAW ceased to have any meaning whatsoever the moment Games Workshop said they were getting out of the Tournament business and that is all a matter for local TOs.

Bobthemime
12-05-2013, 14:26
Largely I'm in the camp of who cares? :) I am in Kerstan's META (play him regularly) and I fully support the call made by the local TOs. My reasons are different. I don't care much about RAI or RAW because the former is a bunch of subjective claptrap and nobody KNOWS what the RAI are in fact. The latter is generally badly written dribble which Games Workshop charges us for without bothering to do more than a spellcheck. :)

I support locals TOs getting together and making ruling on things which are vague or clear as long as everyone coming to the event has fair access and knowledge of the same. If my TOs decided tomorrow to change the Helldrake (something I use) back to a one hundred an eighty degree arc or even forty five degrees I would privately grumble but would be fine with it as long as I had fair notice before an event. It is, after all, their event. It isn't my right to play in it. I ask to play.

RAI and RAW ceased to have any meaning whatsoever the moment Games Workshop said they were getting out of the Tournament business and that is all a matter for local TOs.

i do like the last snippet there.. as they say they getting out, but in last year there have been more tournies in WHW than before..

another thing you can add to the list of **** ups gw puts out

Wishing
12-05-2013, 21:35
RAI and RAW ceased to have any meaning whatsoever the moment Games Workshop said they were getting out of the Tournament business and that is all a matter for local TOs.

I dunno - I think that it must still matter for the local TOs. As you say, people who go to a tournament should be able to know in advance what rules will be used in the event. If the event is meant to use what we, for lack of a better term, can call "the published, official 40k rules", then players attending are not unreasonable in expected that the normal rules will be followed. If the TO then makes up lots of rules on the fly during the tournament, because they choose to "read as intended" using their own interpretations, then even though it's their prerogative to do so, it's understandable if the players who attended the event might feel like they didn't really get what was advertised.

Get what I mean? It's totally cool if GW says "Our rules are just meant for beer and pretzels, they are intentionally ambiguous and incomplete and you are meant to make it up as you go along." I don't have a problem with that personally, it's definitely in the spirit of GW, but I wouldn't envy any TO who had to officiate an event using a ruleset like that. The answer is obviously "don't run tournaments then", but I don't really think that's what most people want.

The point being that TOs playing by their own house rules is great, because it gives them the power to play the game the way they want. But it has a downside, that being that it can be difficult to very accurately communicate in advance all the details of all the house rules being used - basically the onus of responsibility for solid rules is shifted from GW and onto the TOs.

Axeman1n
12-05-2013, 22:07
Still waiting for my Ogryn conversion to become legal again. I cut off all of their Ripper guns and replaced them with HUGE "Ogryn Close Combat Weapons" in order to make them more killy.

Kerstan
12-05-2013, 22:36
Get what I mean? It's totally cool if GW says "Our rules are just meant for beer and pretzels, they are intentionally ambiguous and incomplete and you are meant to make it up as you go along." I don't have a problem with that personally, it's definitely in the spirit of GW, but I wouldn't envy any TO who had to officiate an event using a ruleset like that...

Well said! GW goes out of their way to make it clear that narrative games are the way to go. The ruleset is not particularly tight and breaks easily when pushed on too hard by loophole-exploiting gamers and the ultra-competitive set. I admire any TO who has the balls to take on such a task. When I want a great, well-balanced tournament game I play Warmachine. When I'm feeling more relaxed and easy-going I play 40K. Cheers. Cope

daveNYC
13-05-2013, 11:19
Without something like a common set of rules, you run the risk of having the 40k player base being broken up into smaller groups based on what their local group believes the rules to be. GW's rules would have to get a heck of a lot more sloppy then they already are, but you can imagine what it would be like if someone wanted to bring a DA list to a tournament someplace, but needed to get a list of the rules being used in order to see if he could kit out his sargent with lightning claws.

Chapters Unwritten
13-05-2013, 11:51
I disagree that it is an error.

I think it is a deliberate move to make you have to buy new sergeants. For which there is a convenient new kit available...

Obvious GW is obvious.

I'm all for saying to hell with that for the interim, however. But when the next FAQ comes out and it quietly doesn't mention this, making it clear that it is the intent, you're going to have to accept it is what was meant.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2

Wishing
13-05-2013, 22:26
Without something like a common set of rules, you run the risk of having the 40k player base being broken up into smaller groups based on what their local group believes the rules to be. GW's rules would have to get a heck of a lot more sloppy then they already are, but you can imagine what it would be like if someone wanted to bring a DA list to a tournament someplace, but needed to get a list of the rules being used in order to see if he could kit out his sargent with lightning claws.

This is "the great tournament question", as I see it. The underlying arguments involved being "GW games aren't suitable for tournaments, so people should stop running them" vs. "people (including GW themselves) run tournaments constantly, because the fans love them and it gets people playing". It's a question that will keep haunting GW's games as long as they remain beer-and-pretzel games that people choose to play competitively.

Tae
13-05-2013, 22:29
Those codices were a mess. I think that RAW, in games that were Witch Hunters v. Witch Hunters, each army got a faith point for every one of their opponent's faithful units, because of broadly written rules. Also, some items that granted leadership bonuses to any Battle Sister squad within 6" regardless of whether they were friend or foe.

Interesting to note that towards the end of 7th Ed for WFB the Daemons FAQ specifically stated that a magic banner that made all daemons within 12" stubborn affected all daemons - even enemy ones.

Amusing as around the same time the 40k FAQ added one final question which said you clfnt use opponents items (e.g. Teleport homers, chaos icons etc.)

Nice to see GW helping the arguments by being consistent :rolleyes:

Kerstan
13-05-2013, 22:36
"I play Games Workshop's games because of the super-tight, tournament-ready rulesets!" said no one ever.

Freman Bloodglaive
14-05-2013, 00:17
That thunder hammer clarification was a clarification that was completely unneeded. Most people read from top to bottom, so first, you replace your weapons with the thunder hammer and storm shield, and then you add the cyclone launcher.

It's the same way in which a Veteran becomes a Company Champion, and then can't buy any equipment for a Veteran because he isn't one any more.