Saturday, July 10, 2010

Lost in Translation

I have always enjoyed War games.  From Axis and Allies to Battle tech and eventually to 40k.  I always played with friends and if we had any issues with rules we always decided amongst ourselves how to solve any issues. When it came to tournaments though there were always judges to keep everybody on the level and to ensure people interpreted the rules consistently and above all the same way.
With the release of the much anticipated Blood Angels and Tyranid FAQ as well as the uproar caused by the ommission of a page from the Daemon Hunters Codex PDF I really wonder about the state of things.

The rules give us the means to play a game. They are there to provide balance and a clear manner in which to build strategy.  You and another player can enjoy a nice contest of strategy and tactics.  In theory anyways
Apparently people are getting creative in their interpretation of the rules. From Fire prisms still being able to contribute their beam despite a weapon destroyed result to Zoanthropes in a brood only needing one psychic test and don't even get me started on how some people interpret Necron "we'll be back" rules. Power gamers, munchkins, Beardy Gits have always been around but some of this stuff is getting out of hand.  This, to me anyways, seems like it is violating the spirit of the game.  Granted the FAQs solve rules questions but GW seems to be pretty lazy and inconsistent as of late when it comes to interpreting the rules.
Gav Thorpe Actually posted on his blog about this topic.  He wondered why Americans are so obsessed with getting rule questions clarified and third party judging of the rules.  This to me was light shed on how the GW guys across the pond think.  They speak of tournaments and campaign weekends.  They talk about how they solve their own issues and they don't understand the need for arbitration.  Gav actually went on to defend himself as a games designer saying "it was his job to eliminate any obvious abuses".  Basically somebody was calling out the design team about the loopholes people find to abuse the rules and make broken lists, IE Lash Sorcerers and daemon princes and the Allies rules that allow Imp guard to do the mystics trick.  Apparently the designers were shocked people would do this, but Gav downplayed any shock that was expressed by the design team.   I don't think the designers or writers have been out of the studio in the trenches as of late.  The tournament circuit seems a lot harsher here than in the UK so I had to ask.  Gav have you been on the forums lately?
There are weird and scary ways people are building lists and interpreting the rules.  I think a big portion of these people have lost touch and have gotten so competitive they forget we play this for fun.  The tournament circuit is pretty harsh and is above and beyond the level of cheese you may find at your local hobby store.
I play with a great group of players and we are competitive and do well, most of the time, when we play in a tournament.  In fact we had some nice team games today which included a nice BBQ out in front of the store thanks to Farseer Rerolls and Samsquanch Monster.  Much fun was had by all and we had some fun playing. You can't get so set to win you throw out the spirit of the game.

Ok rant over.  SO what do you think?  Rather than me preach and ramble on chime in give your two cents.
While you do that I will write up some more tactics articles and start writing about my new Dark Eldar.

Until then...............................



  1. As one of the fellows across the pond, I have to say I have NEVER faced a double lash, leaf-blower, nob biker or any of these other rules. I have faced a few death stars, and with fantasy 8th ed I happily wave goodbye to those (for the time being at least)

    I do know "of" some people who play that way, but I tend not to play them. There are several gaming clubs in my city. Two of us are the play for fun type. The other has the hardcore power gamer types. I think the key difference I have noticed is this - the power gamer group reads belloflostsouls religiously, and is generally discussing the new tactics discovered and trialling the lists created. In our group, you'll generally get a "Have you seen what they've come up with on bols THIS time? Tsk" I have a friend who is adament that the influence of that blog is ruining the hobby, as he gets demoralised reading all the uber competitiveness out there. I try to remind him that it is mostly on the internet, and out of players we actually KNOW there are far more friendly gamers. But it is a growing trend.

    Admittedly, sometimes GW FAQs are a bit vague, which can be frustrating. When an issue comes up we tend to discuss it and come up with a house rule that reflects consensus opinion. I have never in life seen the nerd-rage that infects the forums, and makes them an unpleasant place to be.

    My advice my friend is to limit your internet time. Or at least the nerd-rage parts you see. I scour blogs on FTW for cool conversions and interesting ideas/discussions. But the minute I see someone throwing an uber list around I back away... slowly, carefully... but very much away :oP

  2. I think partly it's just an issue of populations. The U.S. has more people than Britain by a factor of four; it's no surprise that there are more gamers interested in competitive play and more jerks trying to abuse things. And the effect is multiplicitive: there is a threshold size for communities, and once they rise above that size they tend to be self-recruiting.

    At the same time, I think you're being unfair to some of the people who play differently than you. Just because one interpretation of the rules is "obvious" to some people doesn't mean others agree. Every group has their own playstyle- and every person, too- and not everyone agrees on how the rules are supposed to function. (The _point_ of a well-written ruleset would, of course, be to eliminate these ambiguities so that there is no need for different interpretations, but GW hasn't really managed this so far.)

    Most of the "loopholes" and "abusive lists" that the internet complains about are actually not all that impressive. Double-lash isn't hard to deal with if you know what you're doing. Mystics are only an issue for a small number of armies and even they have ways around them. Nob Bikerz suffer from a variety of flaws.

    Casual and competitive players need to stop having internet rage fights and b****ing about each other. Neither of them are wrong or bad and there's plenty of room for both in the hobby. If you don't like list optimization, don't do it. If keeping to the exactitudes of the fluff isn't your cup of tea, don't sweat it. And for gosh sake, stop complaining about how other people enjoy the game.

  3. "don't even get me started on how some people interpret Necron "we'll be back" rules."

    I see what you did there...

    Also, this is an inherent problem with any game that resolves combat, movement, and other things in phases, and just like card games, or even other tabletop games, the rules can be interpreted a variety of ways, and unfortunately when writing FAQs or making rulings personal bias is going to come into account.

    I mean, that and they have to sell models, so wording an FAQ for the advantage of any particular army could sometimes be a business strategy to sell a particular model. I mean, Fire Prisms as an example, don't you think that if they were already popular models before, increasing their effectiveness in an FAQ has to have SOME sort of effect on sales?


    Rules are for fools, its best to figure out the hard-to-figure-out rules between the players before the game.

    Or do what I do, play BAD armies.
    Then it wont matter! :D


    (DISCLAIMER: Meatban does not endorse, associate with, or find lulzy ANY who cheat or bend the rules with the Necron army. Meatban should be considered the most excellent at correctly understanding and interpreting the Necron 3rd edition codex, due to his Necronic awesomeness. If you find people cheating with Necrons, please beat them senseless. If you are having trouble thinking about what object might be best to beat them with, consider the tank choice that Necrons are limited to as possible weaponry, and deep-strike that SOB directly into their forehead.)

  4. Ginge thanks for the UK perspective. I have played some of the aforementioned list and as Abusepuppy has stated, and I agree, most of them are actually unimpressive and easy to deal with.

    I do limit my forum time but to get the word out about the blog it helps to post occasionally although the only posting I do is actually on the Heresy Online forums.

    I will admit I am bias, but opinions are. I try to give those with a different style of play or a different rules interpretation a fair shake, if they are willing to see my point of view and are willing to compromise. Really rules interpretations are up to those playing the immediate game and if you can't agree getting a third perspective does help.

    This is why I ask for opinions because its good to get a reality check and have a nice open discussion on a topic.

    AbusePuppy I will contain the rantings in the future. I meant it as a start to an open discussion but it turned into a rant.

    So far great opinions I glad I had a quick response.

  5. Good translation services are essential to successful business. Take your time and do some research on your chosen good translation service to ensure good business.this is good information side thanks