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I feel that the two philosophies aren't really at odds with one another. I honestly feel that some game companies use these concepts to justify poor game design and balance by fostering a community that is against 'trying to win too much.'

What were we supposed to do, exactly?

I found the Warmachine Mark I Philosophy very refreshing. Basically, they said "Game balance is our job- so go ahead and try to win in the best way you can." They then made a pretty well balanced game where choosing your faction isn't a tactical decision (ok, it took quite a bit of errata, but they got there).

I prefer this to games where my opponent looks over my force list and claims that certain elements of my army should be banned. I mean, really, why are they in the codex to begin with?
 

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Edit: But on a serious note, it's not cool that they try to shame people for wanting fair rules.
That's what I'm saying. I've encountered a number of terms for "someone who brings the best thing his army list has to offer."

A few examples:

Cheesy
Beardy
Cheat Ray
Munchkin
MinMaxing
Point F***ing

All of them are putting the responsibility for game onto the player, where it should be on the game designers. Games should continue to function and be fun when two players of equal caliber sit down and try their best to win.

I think it is irresponsible of GW to decide that it is the fault of the players that their game sometimes fails to work right.


Now, to be fair, I do sometimes find that deliberate imbalance can add to a game. I play Blood Bowl, and it is a lot of fun to pick one of the underdog teams and see what they can do. My Vampires are loads of fun.
 

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There's also Infinity, which is supposed to be getting a new 3rd edition. And unlike GW (arguably), when Corvus Belli does an update, it's actually to make improvements, not just make changes for the sake of making changes*.

And, my current love, there's also X-Wing. Perfect little game that is still fairly cheap to initially buy into (Rebels can do great with a couple starters and maybe 1 or two boosters), plus the game is well balanced, fast paced, and has an "instant play" factor since everything comes pre-painted.

No shortage of alternatives out there, if the Warhams aren't scratching your particular itch.


*Though I actually enjoy newer versions of 40k more than older versions, but this works as my sales pitch. ;)
Since this thread was started, I feel like GW have moved through some pretty bad times and back into some pretty good times.

But one thing I've noticed in my own habits and those of my friends is that we're all much more interested in board games than we used to be.

When Kickstarter hit, a lot of creators with backgrounds in tabletop wargaming started making board games (Studio McVey, Wyrd, Guillotine, Sodapop, Mantic, CMON, Awakened Realms, Kingdom Death, Modiphius, etc).

Where previously I would only be interested in a board game very occasionally, the number of board games that I wanted to play skyrocketed past the number that I could reasonably paint and play. There are tons of great choices, especially if I'm looking for a more narrative experience.


- Currently, my favorite rules set and miniatures in tabletop is Crisis Protocol (the Marvel skirmish game). That has a fantastic rule set that I'd enjoy even if I didn't care about super heroes.
 
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