Librarium Online Forums banner
21 - 40 of 51 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,300 Posts
Discussion Starter · #21 ·
It's odd that when I used to play 40k 5 years ago, I had to make up house rules to spice it up a bit, but now I have to ban rules just to make it playable. That's how convoluted it has become. I don't bother with tournaments anymore. I think it's not fun anymore. It's only fun these days when you set a game up to be fun.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,300 Posts
Discussion Starter · #22 ·
I used to be a hyper-competitive person when playing any game. Prone to getting pissed when not going first out when losing. Not minding shoving it in my opponents' faces when winning. Yeah I used to be "that guy" we all love to hate. Here's the problem with that mindset. There's a point, after all your wins, that another win is just that, a win. How many tournaments do you have to win, how many prizes must you attain before it all becomes "been there, done that."? On top of that, if you are truly that good, how long can you win before people stop playing against you? Especially if you act like an @$$ on top of it? It may take some, even at your FLGS, but eventually people would rather not play than play against you. If that starts happening, it doesn't how awesome you are at list building or playing the game. This game requires two people to play and both must get done enjoyment out of the game otherwise one of those people playing will stop playing.

So my point here is that I no longer care about winning. It's not that I don't try, I most certainly do. I go into every game with the intent to win. I also go into every game with concern for my opponent. I don't just want to be good at the game but I also want to be liked by the people I play against. That way when I ask fir a game, I get a "Sure!". Not a "I'd rather take this fork and jam it into a light socket."
There us a very clear distinction between playing in a tournament that you payed to enter, and playing with friends. If you play your friends like you are playing a tournament then of course no one will want to play with you.
 

·
i am da Wahhchief
Joined
·
2,419 Posts
As much as i love psychology and philosophy, i'm trying to restrain myself not to go into this... oh no stop me!

The will to win is one of the factors that apply to every player, in a way. According to evolution theory, it's what keeps us from dieing out. But it's value is different in every mind. And it's only one of the factors that make us play and enjoy a game.

when you want to know if the will to win applies to the situation, you will have to know alot more about the player(s) and the situation, because i can see certain situations where trying to winthe game is close to non-existant.

Example:
Ever seen a game with a guy playing the new girl in town, (this game happens to have a large audience). That chick may be going through a game because she likes being the centre of attention. She's playing the game while she's going through the rush of alot of guys liking her being around. And the opponent, he's not really trying to win the game here, unless his name is Sheldon.
in a way everyone is trying to win something, but if winning the game is part of that, im not so sure.


i started Warhammer because i like miniatures and live in a fantasyworld myself. playing the actual game only came later even though i care little of competition.

if you care about winning the game you're in, or not, i think that changes alot through the years.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,300 Posts
Discussion Starter · #24 · (Edited)
I think a lot of us are reiterating a very similar thing. Well on a side note I for one am sick of people denying the existence of a universal desire to win, and especially of them pretentiously denying it in themselves lol.

Edit: But on a serious note, it's not cool that they try to shame people for wanting fair rules.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
928 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
There us a very clear distinction between playing in a tournament that you payed to enter, and playing with friends. If you play your friends like you are playing a tournament then of course no one will want to play with you.
I wasn't talking about playing in a tournament, I just used that as a happenstance. I stopped playing in tournaments two years ago. I only pay in my group of friends and occasionally my flgs.

No one is denying the will to win, it's just different degrees. Your will to win is much higher than mine, nothing wrong with that.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,300 Posts
Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Your will to win is much higher than mine, nothing wrong with that.
It's funny because it's not really that high. I've got more of a thing about equal opportunity. The fact I loved my tyranids so much in 4th edition really hurt to see what GW did to them. Not much equal opportunity there and it hurts that I have to twist the rules to play with them. It's like if the game were tennis and each team is a different racket and then the rulemakers decide that the tyranid racket is a badminton racket, maybe even a table tennis paddle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
460 Posts
It was a long shot but yes I was hoping to kill the hierophant. If I lost I knew it would make a great story, and it did so the situation was a win win no matter the outcome.
 

·
Double Clutching Weasel
Joined
·
3,279 Posts
This discussion came up in light of the ongoing developments in Warhammer 40k, and how its becoming more convoluted and unbalanced. I don't think that it is as much of an issue for friendly games because people use handicaps and house rules anyway to balance it (which makes it more fun because the odds of winning are better), but formal games suffer badly from following the rules and force people into playing it in a way that is less fun. I think that GW does not appreciate the fundamental reasons behind why people play, and the direction they are taking the game will see more people playing among friends and less people attending tournaments. Which really is a shame for the hobby. I think the only reason 7th is coming out so soon is because they realised this and are trying to fix it asap.
I feel like you're creating a very narrow and rigid definition of what it means to be "playing the game [of 40k]". It's a definition that strictly adheres to the first third of the BRB, but completely disregards the last third of the BRB. It's also a definition that only works with a very competitive-minded foundation.

I'll not necessarily disagree that "winning the game" isn't somewhere in there on the priority list of even among the most non-competitive, story oriented players. To return to my previous analogy: when I'm GM'ing a P&P RPG, I am technically trying to "beat the Players" by killing their PC's. Now, in actuality, I'm not really trying to win the conflict, because I'm more concerned about the Players' game experience than I am about actually winning. Yet, if I "throw the game" too blatantly, then the game experience will be lack-luster for my Players. So, I have to make the strongest attempt to "beat the Players", without crossing the line where they have no chance of success. 40k is no different, if you play it with a focus on "telling a story" or "forging a narrative", which are ways that GW constantly tell us the game is supposed to be played.

Now, this does fall apart in a "formal" setting (which is how you describe what I call "hyper-competitive" environments or "tournament-centric" environments). Yet the games designers have not only not created their game for such an environment, but constantly spoken for playing in an environment contrary to this "formal" setting. Is it a designer's fault if his square peg doesn't fit into my round hole... I should have probably phrased that differently. Because while the game falls apart in a hyper-competitive setting, it does quite well in a casual environment where people are more interested in telling stories or as a Miniatures-centric RPG style. 40k, as a game, fails as a tournament-style game. It has too many options, too many variables, the balance functionality is all over the place. Yet, as a Tabletop Miniature-styled RPG, it does quite well. All those things that make it a poor tournament-style game are positives for making your own customized characters and army lists. Character (army) background is a crucial part of the game, and forgoing that for mechanical optimization is the crux of the problems that we see.

Which is not to say that there's necessarily anything wrong with using the game as a tournament game. Another over-used analogy of mine is the Street Racing Honda Civic crowd. You can use a product against its intended use for your own personal enjoyment. But, it's "wrong" to blame the manufacturer for failing to perform at a function that it was never intended to follow.

Oh, and (sorry about rushing this, this is something that should have had more effort commited to it) there really isn't anything to indicate that the "hyper-competitive" crowd is a large segment of the "tabletop wargaming" demographic. I'm not arguing that they aren't a segment that can be picked up. But, as per my above analogy, the Street Racing Honda Civic crowd is also a market segment. Just because such a segment exists, doesn't necessarily mean that it's worth pursuing, especially if your signature product, your cash cow, would become unrecognizable in that pursuit.


There is no goal more desirable in terms of game structure. And enjoyment is the most desirable in terms of game experience

and is randomly generating a narrative for enjoyment a game? or is it just playing around? you can't have a tourny where the winner is the one who had the most interesting events transpire in their "game" and this goes back to what i said at the end of my last post. It may be fine for casual games but formal games.....
Now, I am not anti-balance. That would be a silly position to take. Balance is a nice thing to have in a game. I like me some balance. But it's not the only thing that a game has. Sometimes, there are other attributes that I want more out of a game. Which is why it is nice to have different games that provide those different experiences.

Yet, the game is meant to be played as just a method of "playing around". In part, using a Random Number Generator (dice) helps to remove some of the impact of player skill from determining the outcome of the game. This helps to "level the playing field". Sure, it does make for a poor way of determining the outcomes of Tournaments, but the game isn't designed for that purpose. You seem to acknowledge that the game can work well in casual environments, and I'd argue that it does well there because the game is actually intended for casual environments. Is the designer to blame if people are using their product inappropriately?

As an aside, not to make excuses, but work's got me a bit distracted tonight, so my apologies if my responses are a bit non-nonsensical at times.
 

·
Double Clutching Weasel
Joined
·
3,279 Posts
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.
Emphasis mine. I seem to hear this a lot on GW boards, but the concept is not just specific to the Warhammers games. The notion of "Good Sportsmanship" and "Fair Play" pervade any sort of game where there are two opposing participants. Even in many casual sports competitions (ie: Children's Little League, Church league softball, etc), there is a social contract that keeps people from "taking the game too seriously". If you've signed up for Community Softball, you have a general awareness that it's not kosher to charge Mrs Gimbel off home plate, even if it might mean that your team will win the trophy. If you do, there is a social backlash, because you are acting in an improper manner. Meaning: you are placing the game over the communal experience. Or, to put it another way: you are more concerned about winning than about others' enjoyment. In other games, outside of professional competitors, we tend to consider people that put "winning the game" above the "social experience" to be "poor sportsmen".

So, how is it that GW is responsible for our social behavior when we play their game, yet we (as social critters) have found a way to self-regulate when it comes to other games? We (as in, the internets) tend to blame GW for not forcing us to be "Good Sportsmen", and forcing constraint upon the player instead of building it into the game itself, when this is an aspect that we perform without complaint in many other aspects of our life.

So, should the rules be fair/balanced? But of course. In a perfect world, all competitions should be fair/balanced. But, and this is what I've brought up before, all things come at a price? 40k is as fair/balanced as it can be, giving the finite resources that GW has to throw at it. In order for it to be better fair/balanced, they would have to shuffle their resources from other departments/pursuits to do so.

So, how would you change the game to become fair/balanced? What sacrifice would you make for a more fair/balanced 40k?

Math, for all his inability to articulate points in a way that didn't come across as antagonistic, had a very clear understanding that, to reach his ideal vision of a balanced 40k, the selection of variables in the game would have to be cut drastically. Slash and burn drastically. He had a good understanding of what it would take to make a very well balanced game.

Yet, for a guy like me, that wants customization and personalization, and values those more than "perfect balance", would hate such changes. For that, I am happy with the game, because where GW hasn't produced a perfectly balanced game I, and those that I play with, can be "Good Sportsmen" and play in a manner most enjoyable for everybody.

tl;dr - It's not GW's job to stop people from being jerks, yo.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,300 Posts
Discussion Starter · #31 ·
I'll not necessarily disagree that "winning the game" isn't somewhere in there on the priority list of even among the most non-competitive, story oriented players.
That's the main point i want to promote, and that people who deny it have delusions of some kind of moral grandeur. And for some reason, these certain types (largely on other forums) like to take slightest hind of trying to win a game, and twist it to throw shaming accusations of being a competitive douchebag stereotype, and then reaffirm there own superior moral high stance for never thinking of the dirty act of playing to win, which they are in fact guilty of to some extent as everyone is (as small as it may be).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
...

tl;dr - It's not GW's job to stop people from being jerks, yo.
I did read the whole thing but to address this point.

Much of the contemporary player base expects this. It isnt the 90s anymore. Online games patch for balancing constantly. They moderate player behaviour heavily. Many table top games are also patching their games regularly now because they know they can't trust their entire player base. The expectation on GW to do these things is growing because we are getting these services from their other competitors. (be it direct competition in wargaming or general entertainment competitors like online games).
 

·
Double Clutching Weasel
Joined
·
3,279 Posts
I did read the whole thing but to address this point.

Much of the contemporary player base expects this. It isnt the 90s anymore. Online games patch for balancing constantly. They moderate player behaviour heavily. Many table top games are also patching their games regularly now because they know they can't trust their entire player base. The expectation on GW to do these things is growing because we are getting these services from their other competitors. (be it direct competition in wargaming or general entertainment competitors like online games).
You're not going to really get much pushback from me. While I stand by my original statement ("Good sportsmanship starts with us, the players"), I do think GW does need to take an active involvement in the life of their game, if only because the community interaction is good for them. GW did great when 6th was initially released, all the way up until the Space Marine release. Then, they seem to have dropped the ball somewhere.

So, yah, I agree with you. Releasing a few FAQs would provide a good return on effort on their part.


EDIT:
That's the main point i want to promote, and that people who deny it have delusions of some kind of moral grandeur. And for some reason, these certain types (largely on other forums) like to take slightest hind of trying to win a game, and twist it to throw shaming accusations of being a competitive douchebag stereotype, and then reaffirm there own superior moral high stance for never thinking of the dirty act of playing to win, which they are in fact guilty of to some extent as everyone is (as small as it may be).
Whoops, missed this post. I know, for myself, when I say "I don't play to win", it's really shorthand for "While when I play I'm trying on some level to still win, the act of winning isn't my highest priority. In some cases, I will even act in a detrimental manner to winning, if I feel that the action will provide a benefit that I feel has greater value, such as giving a good story to tell. Ultimately, maximizing my and my opponent's enjoyments will always supersede my desire to win."

But, you know, saying "I don't play to win" rolls off the tongue a bit better.

And that's just because I'm morally superior to all you all. Nyah nyah. :p





Joking aside, everybody enjoys the game in their own way. While I believe the game is ill-suited for competitive play by design, there is nothing wrong with enjoying it in that manner. It is poor form to tell others that they are having Badwrongfun. Basically, jerks come in all flavours.
 

·
Benevolent Dictator
Joined
·
9,222 Posts
Read and skimmed my way through this entire thread, and quoted bits that warrant responses or just a pat on the back:

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?
AMEN!
Exactly my point - the game companies use this "play for fun only" line as a cop out.


Let me throw out the old caveat that no game is balanced. I love me some X-Wing, I consider it to be a "Great Game TM", yet Fantasy Flight Games has been trying and failing to unseat the Tie Swarm power build for two, soon to be three, releases. Plus, you have other Over-Powered builds like "Han Shoots First", if not a couple others. I mean, this is a company that has TWO factions and 12 models total, everything shares the same movement functionality and upgrades and they can't even balance their game. If a company cannot balance a game with relatively few variables, how can we expect balance from a company with 14 factions and WAAAAAYYY more unit types?

Of course, this all goes back to the premise: is balancing the game a desirable goal?
You'll never get perfect balance - even chess and checkers have balance issues. 'Go' is one of the only games I am aware of that actually addresses Black/White advantage and gives the opposition a lead right from the start of the game to help offset it. But yes, I would say that every game should be as fair and balanced as possible.

To answer that last question: the main reason we want balance is to make competitive play more fair. That requires that your main desire (and that of your opponent) is to win, and so "balance" becomes crucial because you want "player choice" to be the deciding factor. But, if the function of the game changes, if the highest purpose is not "to win", then "balance" becomes less important. For example: if my highest goal is to "tell a good story", then I may or may not be concerned by "balance". In fact, "imbalance" might be a crucial part of my "tell a good story" goal. Afterall, "last stand" missions and "beating the odds" are, in part, what makes heroic stories so Heroic (with a capital Hero).

Or, to bring it back to my post above: GW might not provide the best toolset for a game where the highest goal is "to win" because the lack of balance is a detriment to competitive play. On the other hand, they do provide a spectacular toolset to provide a variety of play experiences (narrative stories) where sometimes the odds are even, and sometimes you have to fight to overcome the odds.
And here is my argument with that: why use a points system? Why even feign balance at all?
I play several games which are not Warhammer, some of which are not even remotely similar to a "pointed, balanced game". A good example of this would be the game 'Lost Battles'. I also play a Command and Colours, as well as "Long Road North", which is an American Civil War game. One of the interesting concepts of these games is the historical refight. In fact, 'Lost Battles' is built almost entirely around this, with anything resembling a point-buy system seeming secondary. If I want to refight the Battle of Gettysburg, I can use LRN rules and the historically accurate troop numbers and commands, and even the correct deployment of my fores. And I know that going into Gettysburg as the Confederacy is practically asking to lose.

The point is that Warhammer is not a story game. The story doesn't really exist. If it were a cooperative game, where the two players come together to forge a narrative and there is less emphasis on winning or losing, then who cares if a Titan vastly outclasses a plucky squad of Assault Marines? Give all the Assault Marines 'Nova Bombs',
"because Heroic (with a capital H)"
and send them into battle. It happens in one of the 'Soul Drinkers' novels.

GW needs to stop kidding itself that it's not a competitive game first. To do otherwise would be like sitting down with a game of Stratego and trying to refight The Battle of Waterloo. You just can't. There's no set precedent for what happens when a bunch of fictional superhuman genetically engineering magical Space Marines go into battle against a bunch of fictional, sentient Cockney fungi with an Aperger's like tendency for violence Orks. It's not like I can pick up Tolstoy and read about the great failure of Solar Lord Macharius's artillery at the key point in his conquest of the Eastern Fringe.

And if GW does want us to view their ruleset as a vehicle for "historical" narrative games, then they need to push that. Why do Space Marines not match the fluff if the balance doesn't matter? Because selling 10 'Movie Marines' for every 200 'Nids doesn't turn nearly the same profit as selling 100 Marines for every 200 Nids. Why do they push books filled with new rules, supplements packed with new units and charts, rather than Campaigns and information on more of those narrative games? Because the Rules sell to everyone - competitive or otherwise- while the Narrative games only sell to people who are "in to that kind of thing".
Did you know that 4th edition had rules packed right in the Core Rulebook regarding Skill Progression in Campaigns, for making your troops and characters into Veterans? Do you remember when 'Kill Team' was right there in the 5th edition rulebook? Notice that they don't do that anymore. And those were the "narrative games" that they wanted us all to play. I remember buying the Lustria Campaign guide, and I remember when Storm of Chaos was a thing, before they ever started in on 'Ard Boyz. They literally replaced a narrative, community game with a no-holds barred tournament format.

Additionally, I remember when "Chapter Approved" was around, and when Special Characters required an opponent's permission, when there were special lists in the backs of the books that you could take when your opponent said it was cool. You could always include Forgeworld's entire catalog of stuff, as long as your opponent agreed. And do you know what - that gave Forgeworld all kinds of free reign. People say that not allowing the supplements into the normal games meant that nobody used the supplements. IDIOTS! If you were playing with friends who enjoyed narrative gaming more than winning (like you claim you do, and you claim 40k is supposed to be played) then they should have been allowing this stuff from day1. The problem was that you were probably playing PickUp games, and the opponent wanted a fair shot. By putting the Forgeworld stuff into the mainstream game, two things have happened:
1) You have destroyed the balance of Pick Up Games, and ruined the balance (and possibly, by extension, fun) for the vast majority of gamers and more importantly, for new gamers who don't necessarily have a local friendly group.
2) You have forced Forgeworld to limit itself on what units it releases, so that they fit with the core game. Forgeworld used to sell a DKoK tank with a huge trench-digging apparatus on the back of it. That's all the tank did - dig trenches. I can't find the model anymore because I would wager they dropped production because it doesn't have any guns or transport capability and is therefore "useless" in regular gaming. So yes, you have the freedom to field whatever you want, but you are going to have fewer choices because Forgeworld has to limit itself to units which fit inside the 40k game style.

By making the Supplements/IA/DataSlates etc mainstream, they hurt the Pick-Up Game and Competitive portions of their community and did nothing for the true narrative "for funsies" guys who were already using those rules normally within their accepted circles. Good of the none at the detriment of the many.

So what does it all mean?
Easy. We're tackling this from the wrong angle. In short, GW is using the "play for fun kiddos," as an excuse to not balance the game. They are not balancing the game because the kids, the youngsters with the parents' pocketbooks and the huge disposable incomes, are going to keep playing those arms-races games where Johnny bought Space Marines so Tommy has to buy Grey Knights and then Johnny needs to add a few Imperial Knights and then Tommy has to change armies entirely because they just released the Adeptus Superleetus 9F0U0C0King-Thousand dataslate with three units and twenty eBook pages of pictures of the models which all hyperlink to the online store.

And then to add insult to injury and generally just piss on the 'Narrative' guys, they rewrite half the fluff so that the Superleetus are better than Space Marines and are investigating rumors that Marneus Calgar was actually just the assumed name of an Imperial bureaucrat named Watthed Marw. And rip off 'Pacific Rim' while they're at it because that movie had high numbers at the box office four summers ago and "is 'hip' with the kids now".
Because kids aren't wise enough yet, or jaded enough yet, to realize that winning isn't everything.
 

·
Double Clutching Weasel
Joined
·
3,279 Posts
Oh crap. Captain and K in the same thread. See that hole in the roof? I think the word count just flew through it.


And here is my argument with that: why use a points system? Why even feign balance at all?
Remind me to come back to this point some time. It's important, but I unfortunately don't have the focus or time to give it the credit it deserves within this post.


The point is that Warhammer is not a story game. The story doesn't really exist. If it were a cooperative game, where the two players come together to forge a narrative and there is less emphasis on winning or losing, then who cares if a Titan vastly outclasses a plucky squad of Assault Marines? Give all the Assault Marines 'Nova Bombs',
"because Heroic (with a capital H)"
and send them into battle. It happens in one of the 'Soul Drinkers' novels.

GW needs to stop kidding itself that it's not a competitive game first. To do otherwise would be like sitting down with a game of Stratego and trying to refight The Battle of Waterloo. You just can't. There's no set precedent for what happens when a bunch of fictional superhuman genetically engineering magical Space Marines go into battle against a bunch of fictional, sentient Cockney fungi with an Aperger's like tendency for violence Orks. It's not like I can pick up Tolstoy and read about the great failure of Solar Lord Macharius's artillery at the key point in his conquest of the Eastern Fringe.
Emphasis mine. I'm really at a loss how you can come to this conclusion, beyond it just being your personal preferred style of play. What about how GW is currently designing, marketing, and selling their game would convince you (or anybody) that their game is a competitive game? It's surely not the Battle Reports they include in their marketing magazine (from the few I have read). It's not from their interviews with their designers. What lead you to this conclusion?

To the rest of the quoted section: I haven't bought them, or even read through them, but I was pretty sure that there is a whole line of books that revolved around special battlefields (the Warzones?), along with Codex specific mission books (Altar of War?) for more personalized, fluffy missions. Wasn't there a book specifically sold as being for campaigns (Crusade of Fire?). Doesn't every supplement include these things? I know the Sisters of Battle Codex includes special Sisters of Battle missions, with Sisters of Battle oriented objectives. Isn't every Imperial Armour book pretty much a way to replicate the campaign that it overviews?

The whole success of the line is based on GW having created a sandbox for the players to bounce around in, finding their own little corner of the grimdark universe to battle around in. I'm just not grok'ing how you can come to a conclusion that 40k isn't pushing "story" as one of its key features.


Did you know that 4th edition had rules packed right in the Core Rulebook regarding Skill Progression in Campaigns, for making your troops and characters into Veterans? Do you remember when 'Kill Team' was right there in the 5th edition rulebook? Notice that they don't do that anymore. And those were the "narrative games" that they wanted us all to play. I remember buying the Lustria Campaign guide, and I remember when Storm of Chaos was a thing, before they ever started in on 'Ard Boyz. They literally replaced a narrative, community game with a no-holds barred tournament format.
I'm not sure if you own a 6th edition 40k rulebook, because I know you're primarily a fantasy player. But, if you do, I'd highly suggest reading the last third of the book. It gives suggested campaigns, and some alternate rules. It provides some story and an example playthrough of said campaign. On one page, it suggests using the Battleforce boxes as a beginner-style game, which is actually a very good idea if everybody involved is also playing with Battleforce boxes, since they all tend to be balanced-ish with their mish-mash of unit types.

Really, the BRB has a big old section on "how to play narrative games" and some examples of how to do so. You just have to keep reading past the Rules section.


By making the Supplements/IA/DataSlates etc mainstream, they hurt the Pick-Up Game and Competitive portions of their community and did nothing for the true narrative "for funsies" guys who were already using those rules normally within their accepted circles. Good of the none at the detriment of the many.
I won't argue that Tournament Organizers have a bit more work on their plate with all this new stuff introduced. I won't argue that Pick-Up Games require a little more talking out prior to getting started. But trying to claim that casual players haven't benefited from the plethora of available options (or toys) is just being ignorant of what it means to be a casual player.

For example: Knights are awesome, and being able to throw a Knight down on the table is equally awesome. Being able to have your Sisters of Battle be led by an Inquisitor once again, cool stuff. Same with having a Space Marine chapter being led by an Inquisitor. The return of Cypher? How can you hate that? How can these things be "good for none"?


So what does it all mean?
Easy. We're tackling this from the wrong angle. In short, GW is using the "play for fun kiddos," as an excuse to not balance the game. They are not balancing the game because the kids, the youngsters with the parents' pocketbooks and the huge disposable incomes, are going to keep playing those arms-races games where Johnny bought Space Marines so Tommy has to buy Grey Knights and then Johnny needs to add a few Imperial Knights and then Tommy has to change armies entirely because they just released the Adeptus Superleetus 9F0U0C0King-Thousand dataslate with three units and twenty eBook pages of pictures of the models which all hyperlink to the online store.

And then to add insult to injury and generally just piss on the 'Narrative' guys, they rewrite half the fluff so that the Superleetus are better than Space Marines and are investigating rumors that Marneus Calgar was actually just the assumed name of an Imperial bureaucrat named Watthed Marw. And rip off 'Pacific Rim' while they're at it because that movie had high numbers at the box office four summers ago and "is 'hip' with the kids now".
Because kids aren't wise enough yet, or jaded enough yet, to realize that winning isn't everything.
"When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things."

I think this is a rather absurd stance to take, considering we are all a bunch of grown men and women playing with toys.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,300 Posts
Discussion Starter · #36 ·
I resent the "they are just toys" argument. Its used dismissively far too often. They are an escape, an outlet for imagination and creativity. There is nothing trivial about it. Or am I just in too deep???
 

·
Benevolent Dictator
Joined
·
9,222 Posts
I resent the "they are just toys" argument. Its used dismissively far too often. They are an escape, an outlet for imagination and creativity. There is nothing trivial about it. Or am I just in too deep???
I think that we are still grown men playing with toys. My girlfriend tells me so all the time. However, I understand the point of contention. We are not grown men playing with the little green plastic army men, making machine-gun sounds and throwing them across the room when they get "blown up". We are playing a game, with defined rules, and a system to guide our imaginative playing. Also, we're investing hundreds of dollars into it. When I got renters insurance, I wanted to keep it as cheap as possible - only claimed enough to put clothes on our backs and a new roof over our heads. She wanted to claim a lot more, including the $2k worth of televisions we had, the hundreds of dollars of videogames. I told her that if we were going to claim luxuries, I wanted to claim my Warhammer collection. I totaled up everything that I owned, and it nearly outweighed the price of the televisions, gaming consoles, and games combined. It is not a cheap hobby. And because we spend so much on playing this game, we should be entitled to expect a little bit of accountability from it.
---

Now, I can't quote a quote, so all context here is being lost on my reponses to K. So I'll try to keep it a clear as I can.

Warhammer as a "Competitive" Game
I didn't mean this in the sense that Warhammer is only meant to be played at tournaments. I meant this in the very broad sense of game design. Warhammer is played between two factions who are both trying equally hard to "win" the game. With clearly defined conditions for winning, losing, and rules which attempt to keep the play fair and balanced.
Warhammer is Halo's "Team Death Match" rather than the "CoOp Campaign".

When I think of narrative games, I think of them as a more cooperative experience. In D&D, the players work together, and then the DM works with the players to tell a story. Nobody gets angry about how broken the Twin Striking Ranger/Barbarian hybrid is, because the players are all glad he's on their side, and the DM knows he's bound to lose anyways.
When I play as Napoleon during the battle of Waterloo I know that I'm probably going to lose. But I play anyways because together my friend and I can recreate a battle and explore all of the possibilities - if Napoleon wins then we learn where he could have turned the battle around, and if he loses horribly we learn how it could have gone even more horribly wrong.
Nobody necessarily cares if those games are fair, because winning and losing are typically foregone conclusions, or else all of the players are working together against an uncaring opponent (in Halo CoOp, the Covenant can't really complain that Master Chief and his enigmatic buddy are "Totally OP").

The Supplements Are Great for Casual Games
Nope. When I think of casual games, I think of Checkers, Apples to Apples, Catan, Bridge, Carcasonne, Dominoes, Life, Rummy, and Monopoly. Games where I can explain the rules within half an hour, have everything that I need to play in one box, and can therefore play with anyone who's interested in spending an evening gaming.
Warhammer isn't anywhere near that. The closest that you can get is taking your army, knowing your rules, knowing the game rules, and then finding another player with their army and knowing their rules plus the game rules and playing. All of the supplements hurt that. People are already complaining that you only know the game rules now if you're willing to buy all of the goofy supplements so that you know that
"Yes, it's okay for you to have a SuperHeavy slot in your Org Chart, and a Fortification, so that Aegis line and Baneblade are totally cool in your Space Marine/ImpKnight allies army"

Moreover, destroying the balance in the name of options is a problem. When I sit down to play Checkers, it's a coin-flip for who plays Black or White, and then I know that I'm still reasonably able to win even if I play the disadvantaged army. With Warhammer, you could show up to a game and not realize that your opponent is bringing all kinds of cheesy stuff to the table. It doesn't matter why - maybe he's truly a git, or maybe he just likes the way it all fits together. Either way, your only option now is to tell him to alter his list (which may not be possible if he didn't bring alternate models), to play him and get annihilated, or to refuse him a game.
Sure, if you've got friends who play and you can call them ahead of time and say that you want to play the game your way then you're lucky. Sure if you go to a tournament you should expect everyone to bring extremely powerful lists.
But if you just walk into a game, or you call up your friend and don't lay out any ground rules - you have no idea what you're getting in to, and it could be very un-enjoyable for everyone involved.

And the Supplements don't add options that could have been added directly. Cypher returned because he was originally included right in Codex: Dark Angels. Why could they not have done that again instead of charging for a DataSlate? The Sisters can be led by an Inquisitor again because they used to have Inquisitors as an HQ choice in their Codex. Why didn't they do that again? It's not like the Sisters "book" was on a premium for space?
And the advantage of direct-additions written into the core books is that you can balance them more easily. An Inquisitor in an Inquisitor army might not add much that the army can't do already, and therefore is only really worth 90pts, but when he's in a Sisters army, giving them special rules that they couldn't have any other way, then maybe he should cost 110pts or have slightly different rules? But nope, they just let you poach them from another book, balance be damned.

We're not children anymore
No. We've all known that GW seems to target their stuff at the younger demographic. Just because most of the forums are adults, or just because your local group is mostly adults, doesn't mean that when you look at a GW event or store you're not seeing a bunch of young kids. The young kids and/or newer players don't necessarily realize that the game is unbalanced. They don't know that Tyranids suck eggs and will probably never win against anyone when both lists are "maxed out". So the newbie buys Tyranids because bugs are cool, and starts playing games. He learns that he needs to buy supplements to figure out all of the extra rules, so he buys the Core Rules, his Army Codex, and the two major supplements. Then he starts playing and loses a few games. He decides that Gaunts are terrible and that his Lictors did really well, so he scraps the 30 Gaunts that he bought and buys two more Lictors. Plays a few more games, loses a few more times. At this point he might quit, leaving GW with $300, or he might keep trying to tweak his list. When he finally gets frustrated, and thinks that the game is unfair, GW swoops in, puts a comforting arm around his shoulder and says,
"It's okay - you just need more friends to play with, so that you can agree on how to play this magnificent game in a way that your Tyranids don't suck. It's not our fault, it's all those dirty powergamers that you've been playing with. Go find more people to spend money on our game, and then you can play how you want."

Or you know what GW? The kid could just tell you all to shove it and go back to playing World of Warcraft, confident that the next time the Rogue seems a little overpowered, Blizzard will just issue a patch to iron out the problem at no additional cost. Or he could go play a game like Warmachine, where they take their balance a bit more seriously.
--

Then Captain, don't play anymore!
I don't play 40k anymore, because 40k is the worst offender. Fantasy is actually not doing too terribly in the balance department. They gave us the same free reign with the supplements, but I have yet to see anybody actually use them. And even then, the supplements aren't typically that overpowered (except K'Daai, but everyone can have a K'Daai). When Fantasy gets to the point of 40k, you'd better believe that I'm going to start playing something else a lot more. Maybe WarmaHordes, or look into Kings of War. Or just keep all of my books and keep playing 8th edition with my group. Who knows.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,300 Posts
Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Then Captain, don't play anymore!
I don't play 40k anymore, because 40k is the worst offender. Fantasy is actually not doing too terribly in the balance department. They gave us the same free reign with the supplements, but I have yet to see anybody actually use them. And even then, the supplements aren't typically that overpowered (except K'Daai, but everyone can have a K'Daai). When Fantasy gets to the point of 40k, you'd better believe that I'm going to start playing something else a lot more. Maybe WarmaHordes, or look into Kings of War. Or just keep all of my books and keep playing 8th edition with my group. Who knows.
I'm already intending on doing this, so are a few of my friends. We are stocking up on 8th edition stuff so that we can just keep playing a game that's good indefinitely.
 

·
Double Clutching Weasel
Joined
·
3,279 Posts
I resent the "they are just toys" argument. Its used dismissively far too often. They are an escape, an outlet for imagination and creativity. There is nothing trivial about it. Or am I just in too deep???
Oh, not at all. Games are a very necessary component to our mental wellness as human beings. We need the stimulation and fun that games provide. The notion that we need to forgo that is simply an oppressive measure to maximize productivity from a lower class, having established itself in our community psyche from the Protestant Roots of my country. It's no surprise that such a quote comes from Corinthians.

What I was meaning to push back on, and sorry if I was confusing in my manner, was this notion that "fluff that I like is deep and mature" but "fluff that I don't like is puerile and pandering to the lowest common denominator". I mean, it's not as though GW writers are going to write the next great novel of our generation. They are all rather poor writers whose saving grace is they can crank out pulp fiction at a rapid pace. And yes, GW fluff has changed in tenor and perspective over the years, as you would expect as a growing art form that has mirrored the public psyche that it draws inspiration from.

Captain's rant, I felt, could simply be summarized by: "I like the fluff that existed when I first entered the hobby, but I don't like fluff of today." But that doesn't take into account that art is simply a reflection of the world and is constantly changing. And there is nothing wrong with not changing with the times. Our personalities do become more and more immutable as we age, a process that really starts setting in as we enter our 20's. All reasons why art of today, might not appeal to us. And that's perfectly normal. But to shake your cane, and tell the kids to get off your lawn, because the next generation is degrading in values with it's new-fangled rock and roll music and hoop skirts ... well, it's an absurd stance to take.

tl;dr - It's unreasonable to expect artists, that draw their inspiration from the world, to remain constant for 20 years. The world will change, and the art that is inspired by the world will change with it.
 

·
Double Clutching Weasel
Joined
·
3,279 Posts
Just so that I'm clear, because I can see how my posts might paint me in a different light, I do believe the 40k game could use some better balance. I wouldn't be against GW putting their "rapid expansion phase" on pause for a bit, in order to spend some time tightening up their ruleset. I'm not for the "cutting back on options" approach they took the last time they took a rebalancing focus back in 4th edition, but I think they could polish up the system a little without removing features.

I think a slight refocus on balance would do the game (and therefore the company) a bit of good. While I like all the stuff they've been throwing out, I do agree that the game has gotten "beyond their control" in many levels.

That said...


It is not a cheap hobby. And because we spend so much on playing this game, we should be entitled to expect a little bit of accountability from it.
Emphasis mine.

This might be a generational difference. Because, to me, much of your posts talk about what you feel GW owe you, above and beyond what is written on the tin, because of aspects such as either "being a long standing and loyal customer" or "spending so much money". I could go on why I feel that this is a "problem", but really it just comes across as me being all "back in my day we had broken, clunky systems and we liked it".

Warhammer as a "Competitive" Game
...
When I think of narrative games, I think of them as a more cooperative experience. In D&D, the players work together, and then the DM works with the players to tell a story. Nobody gets angry about how broken the Twin Striking Ranger/Barbarian hybrid is, because the players are all glad he's on their side, and the DM knows he's bound to lose anyways.
...
Oddly enough, this is a fairly recent (within the past 20 years-ish) philosophy in P&P RPGs. At their roots, RPGs were entirely adversarial, being that they are evolutionary offshoots of Tabletop Wargames. The idea that RPGs should take a more narrative bend, and become more of a cooperative story telling exercise, really didn't embed itself into the gaming community until the days where White Wolf entered the scene. Before that, it was all variations of raiding dungeons, killing orcs, and getting phat lewtz. Or, in some cases, raiding the Corp, killing the Nuclear Death Ninja, and stealing the credstick. Chummer.

In that way, there is nothing that really inhibits the Warham's from being approached in the same way, only a cultural slide in how the community approaches the game.

Otherwise, I feel like I've hit the concept of "competitive" pretty hard in previous posts.


The Supplements Are Great for Casual Games
Nope. When I think of casual games, I think of Checkers, Apples to Apples, Catan, Bridge, Carcasonne, Dominoes, Life, Rummy, and Monopoly. Games where I can explain the rules within half an hour, have everything that I need to play in one box, and can therefore play with anyone who's interested in spending an evening gaming.
Warhammer isn't anywhere near that. The closest that you can get is taking your army, knowing your rules, knowing the game rules, and then finding another player with their army and knowing their rules plus the game rules and playing. All of the supplements hurt that. People are already complaining that you only know the game rules now if you're willing to buy all of the goofy supplements so that you know that
I am not going to get into a semantic argument over the difference between a "casual game" and "playing the game casually". Simply put, "playing a game casually" is simply my catch-all for games whose primary focus of the players aren't "just to win". It would be the opposite of "competitive play". If you want to set different terms, by all means, dictate some. I'm not particularly enamoured by my terms to the point I can't use others.



Moreover, destroying the balance in the name of options is a problem.
That's a hyperbolic statement. More variables will make the game more difficult to balance. Asymmetrical play will also make the game more difficult to balance. Arguably, it can be said that any increase in either of those qualities (variables or asymmetry), is "destroying the balance". The discussion is more about: how much balance is enough balance.


With Warhammer, you could show up to a game and not realize that your opponent is bringing all kinds of cheesy stuff to the table. It doesn't matter why - maybe he's truly a git, or maybe he just likes the way it all fits together. Either way, your only option now is to tell him to alter his list (which may not be possible if he didn't bring alternate models), to play him and get annihilated, or to refuse him a game.
So my options are to play him, not play him, or alter lists? I'm not quite sure why this is a bad position to be in?

As a side tangent, since we're on the topic of of "philosophy of gaming": Is it worth playing a game where you know you will be annihilated?

You seem to imply that the answer is always "no".


But if you just walk into a game, or you call up your friend and don't lay out any ground rules - you have no idea what you're getting in to, and it could be very un-enjoyable for everyone involved.
I'm not sure why finding out some of these things ahead of time is so difficult. How do you know what point level you're playing at? Are we really having problems finding avenues of communication in this day of cellphones, text messaging, instant messages, Facebooking, and e-mailing? Hell man, buy a stamp and send your opponent a post card if you just want to be a Luddite.





We're not children anymore
No. We've all known that GW seems to target their stuff at the younger demographic. Just because most of the forums are adults, or just because your local group is mostly adults, doesn't mean that when you look at a GW event or store you're not seeing a bunch of young kids. The young kids and/or newer players don't necessarily realize that the game is unbalanced. They don't know that Tyranids suck eggs and will probably never win against anyone when both lists are "maxed out". So the newbie buys Tyranids because bugs are cool, and starts playing games. He learns that he needs to buy supplements to figure out all of the extra rules, so he buys the Core Rules, his Army Codex, and the two major supplements. Then he starts playing and loses a few games. He decides that Gaunts are terrible and that his Lictors did really well, so he scraps the 30 Gaunts that he bought and buys two more Lictors. Plays a few more games, loses a few more times. At this point he might quit, leaving GW with $300, or he might keep trying to tweak his list. When he finally gets frustrated, and thinks that the game is unfair, GW swoops in, puts a comforting arm around his shoulder and says,
"It's okay - you just need more friends to play with, so that you can agree on how to play this magnificent game in a way that your Tyranids don't suck. It's not our fault, it's all those dirty powergamers that you've been playing with. Go find more people to spend money on our game, and then you can play how you want."

Or you know what GW? The kid could just tell you all to shove it and go back to playing World of Warcraft, confident that the next time the Rogue seems a little overpowered, Blizzard will just issue a patch to iron out the problem at no additional cost. Or he could go play a game like Warmachine, where they take their balance a bit more seriously.
--
Are you making a "think of the children!" argument?

Then Captain, don't play anymore!
I don't play 40k anymore, because 40k is the worst offender. Fantasy is actually not doing too terribly in the balance department. They gave us the same free reign with the supplements, but I have yet to see anybody actually use them. And even then, the supplements aren't typically that overpowered (except K'Daai, but everyone can have a K'Daai). When Fantasy gets to the point of 40k, you'd better believe that I'm going to start playing something else a lot more. Maybe WarmaHordes, or look into Kings of War. Or just keep all of my books and keep playing 8th edition with my group. Who knows.
It's ultimately up to you to decide whether the faults of the game are going to be worth the enjoyment you gain from the game. All games, like all things in life, have faults. Some just have faults that particularly rankle us to the point that we cannot overlook them. It is up to you to make a personal decision on where you draw the line.

And there's nothing wrong with saying "I like [this] aspect of the game. I would like to see more of [this] implemented in the game." But these are personal values. Don't be surprised if someone else doesn't value the "competitive viability" of a game to the same level that you do. I know we feel that we're justified in our worldview. We follow that worldview because it seems the most "correct" to ourselves. But, like many things in life, it is possible that we can all each drastically different and conflicting conclusions, and all be right at the very same time.
 
21 - 40 of 51 Posts
Top