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View Full Version : Whose rules are these anyway? (A TO vs GW thing)



MusingWarboss
05-06-2014, 22:54
So, I've been mulling on this one today on and off as I do other things and I thought I'd ask the wider community - as the whole "Competitive" thing come up so often. Usually in response to any change in the game or models. Now this relates to Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 but I suppose we could examine this against GWs competitors too.

Why are the opinions of tournament operators so important to you (or not)? How different are they as opposed the rules of large gaming clubs, or those of smaller groups of friends? After all even the TO's differ on what is permitted or "legal" so what's good for one may not be good for another. So why do people fret about what arbitrary decisions a group of people running a tournament have come up with - when they have absolutely no control over the game whatsover? GW don't really run that many events now do they? If any? So how is a TO's decision to keep/cull something more valid than a house rule at a local club? Which are you more likely to play at - the Tournament or the Club/Group of Friends?

You often see things posted like "is this tournament legal?" well, erm, how about checking with the tournament you're planning to enter??

Perhaps because I've been looking longingly at the Oldhammer movement more these days and with the flash release of 40k 7th and maybe because I'm being a moody old git warboss but it seems the answer to many of the questions that crop up could be solved in less than 2 minutes with a bit of chat between players.

Lets take that perennial favourite, "the models must be glued to the base they were supplied with". Seems simple enough. That's there to stop arguments but has ironically caused many and at last glance at Mantic's KoW reveals it has a similarly worded sentence even though it promotes multibasing. Now reading between the lines what GW is trying to say there is: Don't worry about the base, use what it came with (or not if it didn't).

But we have people wafting their wands of ire over this simple disclamer - it's not a hard and fast rule. Your old Terminators came on 25mm bases? ok, use them like that, you want to base them up on 40mm like the newer ones? ok, do that. But no. To some this is Heresy, you can never base up as they didn't come like that! Whaaaat! You've based down your DV DA Termies!! Buuuuuurrrrrnnnn!!

You can see the logic there. Modelling for advantage and all that, hence the simple rule - just use what it came with. Though it does lead to odd situations like the metal Ork Killa Kans which came with no base originally, then a 40mm, then a 60mm titan base (which is thinner) and finally a 60mm as we have all come to know. So if we were being literal with the rule, we could have three models on different bases! In one squad! So base up? Down? None at all? Who would know...

"What's that to do with Terminators MusingWarboss?", you may not be asking. Well, what if you have old and new and you want to add some old heavy weapons to the new, you could have 4 40mm bases and one 25mm guy with a heavy flamer. That won't be allowed. So do we base the old ones up (then they're not on the bases supplied)? The new ones down to match the old? And who the hell says you can't mix anyway - the damn BRB says... well; you get the gist.

So again we come to this odd standard, the Generic Tournament where only certain lists are permitted and certain models are valid. Why are these held in such a high regard over GWs actual written rules, in their rule book, for the game you're playing. And their numerous corrections?

"Because they're broken", "Poorly written", "Nerfed my stuff", "too vague", "overpowered", "its not like it was in the old days..."

I mean, why play these games at all if they're that crap? Why take the opinions of TO's over the original game manufacturer (BREAKING NEWS: They're both after your money but only one of them has any real say on the game system) but shun those of the gaming clubs who also offer corrections, alterations and outright bans? (how many posts have included "we're not gonna play unbound here!", "no Forgeworld allowed!", "no superheavies", "no flyers"?)

Strange (much like this post).

To misquote Sarah Conner from the Terminator films

"There is no game but what you make"

That's what GW has always done in their games, make them deliberately vague so you can do as you please in their worlds. You arbitrate yourselves. Don't like the rules at a club? Don't play there. Don't like that Tourney's rules? Don't go!!

Go on, discuss, rip this post to shreds etc. I'm genuinely interested in the answers.

Verm1s
05-06-2014, 23:46
Don't like the rules at a club? Don't play there. Don't like that Tourney's rules? Don't go!!

... And just sit in your room surrounded by your painstakingly modelled and painted minis like a billy no-mates.

I dunno. One of WFB/40K's big advantages is supposedly the ability to go anywhere and play pickup games with total strangers. I've seen a few posts where it seems to be the only plus about the games, the last resort at the end of the argument. But if the rules are so slack and open to wildly differing interpretations - and purposely so in the name of 'storytelling' and 'cinematic effect' or whatever - what good is it when every club, group or tourney spins off into it's own little culture or sect? Sounds like you'd constantly run into styles and players that nark you off as you run around on your little musha shugyo, and there's very little you can do to avoid it except walk away and not play.

Like I said elsewhere: bad rules. Bad games. And to answer your question:


I mean, why play these games at all if they're that crap?

I don't. ;) I've said before that I took advantage of circumstances to turn my local gaming club from WAB to Warlord Games. They still like the former for dark age battles, but I'm gathering resources to tamper with that, too. :evilgrin: So, don't like the rules at a club? Wheedle, persuade and hector 'til they see what good rules are.

Hellebore
05-06-2014, 23:57
You know what else you can arbitrate? An entirely made up game you didn't spend hundreds of dollars on. By your argument, there is NO POINT to buying GW's books, because all they do is give you half answers and tell you to figure that out for yourself. Woopty *********** do, I can tell you that for free.

GW sell a product. If that product is not fit for purpose then they need to fix it. Selling a game that tells you to make it up yourself is false advertising.

Cinema and storytelling are completely outside the rules, they are a creative layer you place over the top of the mechanics.

Having incomplete or badly written rules makes it HARDER to tell stories - your little story can't have two versions of the same event based on your disagreement over whether X rule means Y or Z...

You can STILL provide exactly the same facility for ignoring rules or making your own up with a balanced ruleset. The only difference is that you aren't REQUIRED TO.

A balanced, clearly written and good game has just as many opportunities for storytelling and cinema as a poorly developed one. It just also happens to do more than that.

Hellebore

Ultimate Life Form
06-06-2014, 00:02
I thought long and hard about your post. I found arguments to support both points of view. I have a personal opinion too, of course, but I have enough experience to not post it here. After long pondering of the facts I came to the conclusion that this


why play these games at all if they're that crap?

is probably the right answer.

The Black Shield
06-06-2014, 00:34
I don't really play. I just show up on game night and paint.

ForgottenLore
06-06-2014, 00:37
In general, tournament rulings get more credibility because TOs (in theory) have to strive to keep a larger number of people satisfied with how the game is played, and since they are frequently unknown to most people, serve as a defacto neutral arbiter. If a group of friends feels the need to make judgements on certain rules there is always a possibility of bias. It is also assumed (whether true or not) that TOs put a deal of work into it and so may do a better job. The rules you play with among your friends may not sit well with others if you look for a pick up game, but the rulings of the TOs of significant tournaments have a perceived authority (and convenience) because of neutrality, player base size, and level of work that went into them.

As for rules from large gaming clubs, they simply don't really exist in the States. Such things are starting to gain some traction (probably from the internet making the concept more widely known combined with it killing off more local stores). In an area where there was a large, active club I would expect that the club rules would have as much authority behind them as TO rules, but on the other hand, large, well run clubs probably run frequent tournaments and so the two become the same thing.

Commissar Vaughn
06-06-2014, 00:37
I too have pondered this thread and was finding it difficult to formulate a response: I think there is a telling reason why my closest gaming chums and I mostly play games like Hail Caeser and Black Powder, games designed to have that narrative layer woven in, where the rules are malleable becouse the players expect them to be. We still have tourneys...but we organise our own little ones and build narrative elements into them ( a recent FOW tourney was played over several months and had rules for attrition:units lost had to be bought back with victory points, if you'd earnt any with the result that by the end of the tourney many companies were looking pretty ragged!). I learnt to avoid any larger tourneys, though I think it was the players that put me off rather than the organisers...actually the organisers could be pretty bad as well.

I think at the end of the day (either end, doesnt matter) you get out what you put in. Sometimes somebody (only needs to be one of the group of players) needs to pull their finger out and MAKE the game work and work well: come up with the scenario, amend the rules as required, work out the forces based on what he knows the various players have available, FORCE the game and the rules and the willing players to adhere to his will.

You could even give him a fancy name like Umpire or Gamesmaster...or GOD...

It doesnt even have to be the same person each time: several people in my group take it in turns. One chap organised that FOW Tourney, worked out all the scenarios, the rules, the points, took it on himself to get it done, and organised 16 players to do it. It was Brilliant, everyone had fun. So much so that another chap did another one straight away for a different theatre. Last year one of our group decided we would put on a game for Gauntlet (Deeside Defenders annual show) , big english civil war game. He put a lot of effort in to organising it and us. It looked great, it attracted a lot of nice comments and it was a lot of fun. We are doing another one this year, only this time its Napoleonics and this ones my party...

And it can be as difficult or as complicated as you like, it just takes some effort to not sit there trying to work out the optimum army list so you can make some poor unsuspecting sod cry again.

And it starts with a few simple words.

"Hey, Ive got an idea..."

Bloodknight
06-06-2014, 00:48
You could even give him a fancy name like Umpire or Gamesmaster...or GOD...


Don't give them ideas or that will be in 8th edition and then you're stuck with always needing a 3rd guy who doesn't want to play a game himself.

MusingWarboss
06-06-2014, 00:52
... And just sit in your room surrounded by your painstakingly modelled and painted minis like a billy no-mates.

Which is pretty much the general publics view of the Hobby!! Well, it's always an option I suppose, after all according to GW themselves there's more collectors than players!

Another option would be to find like minded people. Surely not too hard, even at a club you find putting in restrictions you don't like, to ask "anyone else dislike this?" And maybe get the policy changed or just congregate somewhere else.


I dunno. One of WFB/40K's big advantages is supposedly the ability to go anywhere and play pickup games with total strangers. I've seen a few posts where it seems to be the only plus about the games, the last resort at the end of the argument. But if the rules are so slack and open to wildly differing interpretations - and purposely so in the name of 'storytelling' and 'cinematic effect' or whatever - what good is it when every club, group or tourney spins off into it's own little culture or sect? Sounds like you'd constantly run into styles and players that nark you off as you run around on your little musha shugyo, and there's very little you can do to avoid it except walk away and not play.

Yeah, that's what GW says. One look around any Internet forum though suggests quite a fragmented base of opinion on what's "legal" or whatever. The obvious answer would be, "whatever's in the BRB" but oddly, people seem to disagree on that and prefer the opinions of some other self appointed council.



I don't. ;) I've said before that I took advantage of circumstances to turn my local gaming club from WAB to Warlord Games. They still like the former for dark age battles, but I'm gathering resources to tamper with that, too. :evilgrin: So, don't like the rules at a club? Wheedle, persuade and hector 'til they see what good rules are.

Good to hear. Power to the people!!


You know what else you can arbitrate? An entirely made up game you didn't spend hundreds of dollars on. By your argument, there is NO POINT to buying GW's books, because all they do is give you half answers and tell you to figure that out for yourself. Woopty *********** do, I can tell you that for free.

Well! there is a point to buying rulebooks for any game. My point being, why are people so keen to dismiss the rules in the book they've just brought for the opinions of one group of people over another group of people or even just coming to their own conclusions.


GW sell a product. If that product is not fit for purpose then they need to fix it. Selling a game that tells you to make it up yourself is false advertising.

Cinema and storytelling are completely outside the rules, they are a creative layer you place over the top of the mechanics.

Having incomplete or badly written rules makes it HARDER to tell stories - your little story can't have two versions of the same event based on your disagreement over whether X rule means Y or Z...

You can STILL provide exactly the same facility for ignoring rules or making your own up with a balanced ruleset. The only difference is that you aren't REQUIRED TO.

A balanced, clearly written and good game has just as many opportunities for storytelling and cinema as a poorly developed one. It just also happens to do more than that.

Hellebore

GW do sell a product. If you use it as intended then, fine surely? Buying a big expensive electric drill and using it to hammer in nails doesn't make it fit for purpose it just means the user is using it incorrectly. Maybe a poor analogy but still, you buy a GW product, it even says in the beginning of most of them to dice off over disputes come up with your own stuff etc. Can you play a game of WFB/40k using the rulebook as is? Yes? Then it's fit for purpose I'm afraid.

I don't think storytelling is outside of the realms of possibility, take a look at the Oldhammer movement and their fun fluffy games. I think it's the pursuit of hard competitive edge in what is essentially a game designed for people to tit around with that's causing a lot of frustration and angst. It's like writing a thesis on the politics of the Teletubbies. Possible but ultimately not what the source material was intended for.

Perhaps the loss of the GM and it's RPG roots has robbed the game(s) of their original purpose and the constant revisions have just further butchered the corpse?

I do totally agree with you that the core rules shouldn't be so imprecise in their definitions, especially not after 8 and 7 revisions respectively!! Problem is I think people are confusing competitive edge with GWs propensity to alter things just to sell models. Nerf/Enhance, nah. It's done to make people buy stuff. More stuff.


I have a personal opinion too, of course, but I have enough experience to not post it here.
Quite sensible. Though a little boring. ;)

C'mon Warseer, who exactly IS the authority you're referring to when you say "is this competition legal"? Which tournament is held up as the one whose got the rules revisions right? Because my understanding (as in the ramble above) is that these events differ in what they accept.

Commissar Vaughn
06-06-2014, 00:57
Don't give them ideas or that will be in 8th edition and then you're stuck with always needing a 3rd guy who doesn't want to play a game himself.:D No reason why the GM cant also play...

MusingWarboss
06-06-2014, 01:02
:D No reason why the GM cant also play...

Of course, those would be the NPC models!!


In general, tournament rulings get more credibility because TOs (in theory) have to strive to keep a larger number of people satisfied with how the game is played, and since they are frequently unknown to most people, serve as a defacto neutral arbiter. If a group of friends feels the need to make judgements on certain rules there is always a possibility of bias. It is also assumed (whether true or not) that TOs put a deal of work into it and so may do a better job. The rules you play with among your friends may not sit well with others if you look for a pick up game, but the rulings of the TOs of significant tournaments have a perceived authority (and convenience) because of neutrality, player base size, and level of work that went into them.

As for rules from large gaming clubs, they simply don't really exist in the States. Such things are starting to gain some traction (probably from the internet making the concept more widely known combined with it killing off more local stores). In an area where there was a large, active club I would expect that the club rules would have as much authority behind them as TO rules, but on the other hand, large, well run clubs probably run frequent tournaments and so the two become the same thing.

This I understand. Makes perfect sense, except when it's applied to those who don't attend tournaments. Why would they be keen on adhering to rules that really they don't need to?

You see the latter bit about houseruling is true, you can't take that about with you, you can however suggest your own revisions to other people and see if they like them or not. But isn't the TO's revision just houseruling on a grand scale?? You may have to just bite the bullet and stick to other peoples house rules in their houses/clubs/tourneys. The base rules though shouldn't change and remain a constant so really you should be able to play anywhere even if it is through gritted teeth.

I thought the States had large clubs in the large stores?? Where did I get that from then? Ok, who's been lying to me... Own up... ;)

Commissar Vaughn
06-06-2014, 01:06
they seem to look after themselves tbh...

MusingWarboss
06-06-2014, 01:16
they seem to look after themselves tbh...

Your first post intrigues me. Wasn't Hail Caesar/Black Powder based on Warmaster? It sounds like what you're doing is what the Oldhammer guys are doing with earlier versions of Warhammer, 40k and other games of that era.

Perhaps the loss of not only the GM role in modern GW games has upskittled them but also that the core team of writers and thinkers from those days have long since departed, taking their ability to write games in that style with them.

Perhaps, what's really needed with the Warhammers is a complete and utter reboot again. More so than 3rd, just to really button down what sort of game they want it to be. At the moment its a confusing mess of Priestley ideas mashed up with Calvatore and infused with whatever crud the Codex/AB writers stuff in.

Ultimate Life Form
06-06-2014, 01:52
The mishmash nature of the game is what always prevented it from being consistent. It is (or was at one point) supposed to accomodate the following things: role playing, wargaming, pseudo-historical accuracy, fantasy elements, firendly gaming, competitive gaming (yes, there have been references to that), adult club culture, screaming teen culture, and, last but not least, working it into a successful business model. The only thing all iterations of Warhammer have in common is that it's about selling models. The problem now is that over the course of 30 years they have developed the game into a new direction while never really taking the focus off their initial ideas. Which lead to a product that is supposed to please everyone while in reality disappointing most, because it tries too many things at once and not really being good at anything. That this precarious situation doesn't lend itself to the uncompromizing standards of competitive tournament play should go without saying.

I have tried not to say it until now but I think the best way to proceed from here might be splitting the game into several separate versions that are each tailored to a specific target group's needs and requirements. The obvious drawback would be a schism of the player base but as things stand they're not really united and can't agree on anything anyway.

Commissar Vaughn
06-06-2014, 01:56
Your first post intrigues me. Wasn't Hail Caesar/Black Powder based on Warmaster? It sounds like what you're doing is what the Oldhammer guys are doing with earlier versions of Warhammer, 40k and other games of that era.
not sure if its a case of "based on" or "common ancestor" but broadly speaking you are right. This is the aspect of the game Oldhammer embraces. When it comes to Oldhammer Im in a quandry: I want to use my old warhammer figs (cos they give me filthy looks whenever I go near the cabinets!) but dont like the current rules and most of my group doesnt own anything past 6th ed fantasy or 5th ed 40k. The question we have is: if we back up and retrofit a warhammer which one do we pick (Id go for 3rd or 6th) or do we make a simple mod for Pike and Shotte/Hail Caeser? We are undecided, and have to many other games demanding attention...



Perhaps the loss of not only the GM role in modern GW games has upskittled them but also that the core team of writers and thinkers from those days have long since departed, taking their ability to write games in that style with them.

Perhaps, what's really needed with the Warhammers is a complete and utter reboot again. More so than 3rd, just to really button down what sort of game they want it to be. At the moment its a confusing mess of Priestley ideas mashed up with Calvatore and infused with whatever crud the Codex/AB writers stuff in.

I think you may have hit the nail on the head in the last bit.
My favourite WHFB was 6th ed, and my fav 40k was 3rd...and I mean the bit right at the beginning of each when all each army had was half a page in the back of the rulebook/ravening hordes...for a brief glorious instant NEWhammer and OLDhammer were one and the same! Then they started the endless cycle of rehashed codex's and armybooks. Suddenly you get powercreep, special rules everywhere and army wide identity crises depending on who wrote the bloody book. It starts of with good ideas like the Universal Special Rules, only the by the time a few a codex are written everyone has to have their own unique version , until nobody has the USR at all and there are so many variations on a theme its impossible to keep track of who does what...

As you said...crud....

Interestingly I think were about to see the Priestly/Cavatore thing in reverse, and I think it will be better. Warhammer et al started is a Priestly foundation with Cavatores additions and it started out ok and sorta got wierd...however look at Boltaction/Gates of Antares: BA was a bit of a mess as released but with interesting bits in it...RP is now refining it for GOA..and my money is on the result being pretty damn good. Time will tell I suppose...

Anyway I believe that a GM with even half a brain can make a mediocre game great..and doesnt have to sit on the sidelines to do it.

frozenwastes
06-06-2014, 03:22
When 2nd Edition came out, I played forever using the little black army list book that came in the core box. I don't think I bought a codex until the Tyranid one came out. I never did get around to buying any other codecies. No one really cared that I was using the blackdex rather than Codex: Ultramarines for my DIY Imperial Spite chapter.

When 3rd edition came around, Tournaments became a thing. They were everywhere. And every forum and email list was full of "offical" talk. Official rules. Official miniatures. Making sure you had your chapter approved book or White Dwarf article with you at all times during the event. It totally dominated the 40k discussion at the time.

The rules seemed to work though. It was also the time people were really excited about DIY Space Marine chapters and talk and photos about that on Bolter & Chainsword exploded with interest. It seems that the relatively solid rules with new army options coming out for space marines every month and things like the Eye of Terror campaign book seemed to invigorate the hobby and background side of things.

Now though, the rules seem like a joke and all the league and tournament organizers I talk to are trying to figure out what to do about 7th edition.

RandomThoughts
06-06-2014, 08:30
In general, tournament rulings get more credibility because TOs (in theory) have to strive to keep a larger number of people satisfied with how the game is played, and since they are frequently unknown to most people, serve as a defacto neutral arbiter. If a group of friends feels the need to make judgements on certain rules there is always a possibility of bias. It is also assumed (whether true or not) that TOs put a deal of work into it and so may do a better job. The rules you play with among your friends may not sit well with others if you look for a pick up game, but the rulings of the TOs of significant tournaments have a perceived authority (and convenience) because of neutrality, player base size, and level of work that went into them.

That's pretty much what I was going to answer as well. TOs are in a similar position to GW itself, they are above the game, they are perceived to care about the framework and the balance of the game and not about shifting the balance in favor of their own army, which was always brought up whenever someone suggested house rules in my old gaming group.


Yeah, that's what GW says. One look around any Internet forum though suggests quite a fragmented base of opinion on what's "legal" or whatever. The obvious answer would be, "whatever's in the BRB" but oddly, people seem to disagree on that and prefer the opinions of some other self appointed council.

Because at this point many people believe that the game is broken and that GW doesn't care about balanced, fun games anymore, Thus they turn towards the pillars of their community to do the job the "government" isn't doing.


This I understand. Makes perfect sense, except when it's applied to those who don't attend tournaments. Why would they be keen on adhering to rules that really they don't need to?

See above, the feeling that additional balancing is necessary to make the game work these days, whether you go to tournaments yourself or not.


I mean, why play these games at all if they're that crap?

Now, that's the real question isn't it? :)

Personally, all my 40K models are carefully stored in little boxes and my shelf is now full of Warmachine models for six different factions.

But I understand why others may cling to the game; financial and emotional investment, a great background, aversion to change, a gaming group still clinging to the game, etc.

Just in my case, I've had to shelf ~5000 points of Eldar models that I care enough to much to ever (?) sell them off; I've had to persuade some of my closer friends to even give Warmachine a chance, despite hearing endless complaints about the state of 40K form quite a few of them; I've lost one gaming mate entirely for whom tabletop gaming was based entirely on 40K fluff; in the end, I had to build a new gaming group, bring new people into the hobby that haven't played tabletop before to the point where I have the same level of authority I talked about before in my group as the TOs have in many circles - I'm the go-to guy if something doesn't work orseems unfair or broken, to either explain something someone else missed, explain possible counter-moves or intervene when certain models are unsuited for the level we currently play at (25 points, which is about the equivalent of 1000 points in 40K and not the level the game is ultimately balanced for).

Hope that makes any sense!
Regards
RT

Reinholt
06-06-2014, 13:40
For me, the bottom line is this: if you want me to pay a premium price for your product, you need to provide me with a premium product.

I find GW's rules to be unbalanced, poorly thought out, poorly written from a technical perspective (just look at the new psychic rules and no clear statements of when things apply to units vs. the individual psyker), and internally inconsistent.

If this was a garage product or something they were putting out for $20, this would be fine. At their price point, it is not. This is the core of my issue. The value for the money is not there.

Also, I've shelved my GW projects and I'm painting a bunch of guild models for Malifaux, so one can say I voted with my feet. Our entire gaming group shut down our 40k gaming and has moved on.

duffybear1988
06-06-2014, 13:42
When 2nd Edition came out, I played forever using the little black army list book that came in the core box. I don't think I bought a codex until the Tyranid one came out. I never did get around to buying any other codecies. No one really cared that I was using the blackdex rather than Codex: Ultramarines for my DIY Imperial Spite chapter.

When 3rd edition came around, Tournaments became a thing. They were everywhere. And every forum and email list was full of "offical" talk. Official rules. Official miniatures. Making sure you had your chapter approved book or White Dwarf article with you at all times during the event. It totally dominated the 40k discussion at the time.

The rules seemed to work though. It was also the time people were really excited about DIY Space Marine chapters and talk and photos about that on Bolter & Chainsword exploded with interest. It seems that the relatively solid rules with new army options coming out for space marines every month and things like the Eye of Terror campaign book seemed to invigorate the hobby and background side of things.

Now though, the rules seem like a joke and all the league and tournament organizers I talk to are trying to figure out what to do about 7th edition.

This.

I'm always baffled by the amount of people who claim GW never encouraged tournament and competitive play back in the old days. Surely those campaign books and all the GW events and articles on tournaments in WD were a clear indicator that they were supporting the tournament/competitive scene?

You see them going on about 40k going back to its roots and then wonder why it needs to go back to its roots in the first place if it has always been about pure narrative driven fun. Did they spend a decade in hibernation or something?

MusingWarboss
06-06-2014, 16:45
This.

I'm always baffled by the amount of people who claim GW never encouraged tournament and competitive play back in the old days. Surely those campaign books and all the GW events and articles on tournaments in WD were a clear indicator that they were supporting the tournament/competitive scene?

You see them going on about 40k going back to its roots and then wonder why it needs to go back to its roots in the first place if it has always been about pure narrative driven fun. Did they spend a decade in hibernation or something?

There were quite a lot of people, myself included, who ditched 40k at 3rd Edition as the changes were too severe from the game we had known and loved before. I don't know what the others are up to but I drifted back in with a few likeminded friends towards the last days of 5th. So in essence, yes we were in hibernation - or rather got on with other things. I've since done my research on the old stuff.

GW did run tournaments but they never seemed WAAC in fact some of them even advanced the storyline of 40k! So that's a case of narrative driven fun IN a tournament setting. I never remember a rash of those who wanted to WAAC anyway, not until about 1997-8 anyway at which time 40k 2nd was creaking under the weight of addons.

3rd whilst a shock back then was at least streamlined to work. But yet again it fell to the might of codex creep. Every edition since has suffered from this problem.

Perhaps we need to scrap the Codexes. That way the game and is armies can sit in harmony until the next edition - which if a two-year cycle is gonna be a thing now - would be the better option for all. (Except GW who can't bill you for an extra 20 books)

In regards to Reinholt, I do agree that their products are very expensive for the quality of rules provided. However the early stuff, which almost was garage level, was much better and cheaper. I'm sure one of the older guys at GW had a side swipe at the literacy level of those currently at GW by saying they were all 'awesome' and 'cool' almost every other word.

Problem is they don't seem to have any innovators at GW anymore, they just seem to have people who patch up what has gone before. No surprise psychic powers may be muddled, they probably just retyped it out of an earlier edition and did a bit of fudging.

Voss
06-06-2014, 19:42
Problem is they don't seem to have any innovators at GW anymore, they just seem to have people who patch up what has gone before. No surprise psychic powers may be muddled, they probably just retyped it out of an earlier edition and did a bit of fudging.

They did. Its a weird combo of the worst aspects of several editions of fantasy magic phases, particularly the 'other casters as power batteries,' and an even worse dispel mechanic, based on the 'praying for 6s' mechanic that the current design team seems to salivate over despite the fact that it is absolutely horrid from a game design and statistics perspective.

Gorbad Ironclaw
06-06-2014, 23:52
GW did run tournaments but they never seemed WAAC in fact some of them even advanced the storyline of 40k!

What period are we talking about here? Because I remember quite a long period where GW events, especially their GTs, was the WAAC events on the calender, and where various independent events would be more relaxed and varied and did lots of different stuff.

MusingWarboss
07-06-2014, 00:22
Early 90s. Though I wasn't a big follower of that scene and it was pre-internet everywhere days so information was limited, especially if you didn't go looking for it. They always seemed more W/LBHF* than WAAC.

In terms of storyline advancing stuff, I think that was later on, early 2000s. Wasn't even playing or anything then so this is what I've picked up upon since. Armageddon campaign was it? That may have been WAAC.

*Win/Lose But Have Fun.

Ozendorph
07-06-2014, 04:50
You know what else you can arbitrate? An entirely made up game you didn't spend hundreds of dollars on. By your argument, there is NO POINT to buying GW's books, because all they do is give you half answers and tell you to figure that out for yourself. Woopty *********** do, I can tell you that for free.

GW sell a product. If that product is not fit for purpose then they need to fix it. Selling a game that tells you to make it up yourself is false advertising.

Cinema and storytelling are completely outside the rules, they are a creative layer you place over the top of the mechanics.

Having incomplete or badly written rules makes it HARDER to tell stories - your little story can't have two versions of the same event based on your disagreement over whether X rule means Y or Z...

You can STILL provide exactly the same facility for ignoring rules or making your own up with a balanced ruleset. The only difference is that you aren't REQUIRED TO.

A balanced, clearly written and good game has just as many opportunities for storytelling and cinema as a poorly developed one. It just also happens to do more than that.

Hellebore

Man, you hit that right over the fence. Great post, +1 to the whole thing

Bloodknight
07-06-2014, 09:54
Because I remember quite a long period where GW events, especially their GTs, was the WAAC events on the calender,

Yeah, particularly the WFB versions while it was usually comped elsewhere.

MusingWarboss
07-06-2014, 18:29
So the one thing we can agree on is that no-one agrees on anything even if it's printed in the rulebook, as it's badly written and has to be corrected by 3rd parties whose alterations may or may not be of use or have any relevance to you or your gaming group, except when they do or the rule has been written well, then it's ok.

Glad we've got that cleared up. Anyone fancy a game of Talisman? ;)

Ultimate Life Form
08-06-2014, 01:07
So the one thing we can agree on is that no-one agrees on anything even if it's printed in the rulebook, as it's badly written and has to be corrected by 3rd parties whose alterations may or may not be of use or have any relevance to you or your gaming group, except when they do or the rule has been written well, then it's ok.


That pretty much sums it up.

ForgottenLore
08-06-2014, 09:53
So the one thing we can agree on is that no-one agrees on anything even if it's printed in the rulebook, as it's badly written and has to be corrected by 3rd parties whose alterations may or may not be of use or have any relevance to you or your gaming group, except when they do or the rule has been written well, then it's ok.

EXACTLY!!! Now you've got it.

Hellebore
09-06-2014, 23:32
Well! there is a point to buying rulebooks for any game. My point being, why are people so keen to dismiss the rules in the book they've just brought for the opinions of one group of people over another group of people or even just coming to their own conclusions.


I'm not sure that has much to do with the people so much as the rules. If there weren't gaping wholes through the game, then you'd find less need for individuals to wield disproportionately greater influence and alter the rules for their own tournaments.



GW do sell a product. If you use it as intended then, fine surely? Buying a big expensive electric drill and using it to hammer in nails doesn't make it fit for purpose it just means the user is using it incorrectly. Maybe a poor analogy but still, you buy a GW product, it even says in the beginning of most of them to dice off over disputes come up with your own stuff etc. Can you play a game of WFB/40k using the rulebook as is? Yes? Then it's fit for purpose I'm afraid.


Well I disagree with the underlying premise. GW don't say they're selling you advice on how to make **** up, they say they're selling you a wargame - 'the warhammer 40,000' game. So it's not fit for purpose. They wouldn't dare tell you their book is unncessary, in fact they go out of their way to tell you just how necessary owning all the books are.

If their book is nothing more than a set of suggestions, they should be advertising it as such.



I don't think storytelling is outside of the realms of possibility, take a look at the Oldhammer movement and their fun fluffy games. I think it's the pursuit of hard competitive edge in what is essentially a game designed for people to tit around with that's causing a lot of frustration and angst. It's like writing a thesis on the politics of the Teletubbies. Possible but ultimately not what the source material was intended for.

Perhaps the loss of the GM and it's RPG roots has robbed the game(s) of their original purpose and the constant revisions have just further butchered the corpse?

I do totally agree with you that the core rules shouldn't be so imprecise in their definitions, especially not after 8 and 7 revisions respectively!! Problem is I think people are confusing competitive edge with GWs propensity to alter things just to sell models. Nerf/Enhance, nah. It's done to make people buy stuff. More stuff.


There are plenty of wargames out there that ARE balanced though. It's not an impossible dream. In fact GW's rules are the outlier when it comes to wargames. They stand out as a bizarre anomaly of overpriced, badly written, horribly balanced pap in a sea of superior product. And there are SIMPLER games out there (as well as more complex ones) that are better balanced. So the only thing keeping people in the game is familiarity, popularity and background.


I'm simply saying that there is little support for the notion that the only way to produce cinema and force creativity is to deliberately avoid balancing the rules. You could perhaps argue that DETAIL in the rules aids this - hence oldhammer and 2nd ed. The more detailed the rules the more points you have to work from. But even in an abstract system like Kings of War you can create cinema and narrative. The abstraction just puts the control far more into the hands of the author.

A Detailed ruleset ala 2nd ed allows you to play connect the dots - you simply take all of the actions in the game and write narrative. There is plenty to write about. An abstract ruleset ala KoW however requires you to play 'fill the blanks'. Rather than simulating every swing of combat you've got to come up with creative ways to explain the combat.

The first is easier to do, the second is more satisfying (IMO).

Hellebore