I think that this is true for us both. I am not against a narrative game of Warhammer at all. I've already pointed out in previous posts that I do play narrative games. Perhaps this is part of my issue with Warhammer - it's never struck me as a particularly narrative game when compared to other games, so it's as though it tries to sit in both camps and doesn't succeed at either.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.
Like you, I want to see more balance in the game, but don't necessarily need it to be Checkers. I feel that the balance in Fantasy is quite adequate, actually. And that's in spite of two friends leaving the game over balance issues, and the fact that the guys I play Historicals with (the majority of which are older gentlemen who are not Warhammer players) derisively call the game "MoneyHammer" because the guy who spends more on the better regiments has the advantage.
Meh, I still have Windows XP as my primary operating system, even though my computer keeps popping up and telling me that Microsoft has stopped supporting it. That doesn't make it right to hold on to XP though. There are better systems out there, and I should probably upgrade. I also like old cars, but that doesn't mean that I won't acknowledge that no matter how awesome a 1956 Aston Martin dbr1 is, a 2012 Hyundai 'Grandma' is safer and more practical.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".
I don't think that they owe me more than what's on the tin though. The tin tells me that it's a game, and the setting is a pretty "beer'n'pretzels" one at that, so I think that I'm owed a fair chance at winning that game. Particularly because other systems seem to have quite a bit more balance and still feature great settings and stories.
(Back to that bad light thing: Warmachine can f*** right off, in my opinion. I like it, but it's getting a bit fanboyish in it's status as a rallying cry for jilted GW gamers).
Weird, because I always thought that it was the other way 'round. I know that games like the Kriegspiele are much older than even most boardgames, but that doesn't mean that they formed the basis for RPGs. Especially when you consider that the Warhammer rules were developed as an extension of the Mass Battles rules developed for 2nd edition(?) 'Dungeons and Dragons'. The company that we all know and love as Games-Workshop got it's start by importing TSR (D&D before Wizards) games into the UK.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.
Still, the vast majority of gamers these days see D&D as a more cooperative experience. I admit that I run some particularly nasty campaigns and am out for TPKs on the regular, but that's due in part to playing L5R where that's a bit more common, and also because my players actually enjoy it. However, earlier in this thread one person was complaining about a DM who played D&D in an adversarial manner of "I win if you all die".
I understand. The idea of "just playing for fun" and blah blah. However, it's not fun to lose all the time. In the historicals, where winning and losing is often a foregone conclusion, we try to rotate who plays the battle's winners and losers unless there are "volunteer losers". We do have a guy who routinely plays the underdog by choice.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".
However, I think that at the end of the day, everyone would agree that it's much more enjoyable to win a well fought game than to lose one. So when the balance in the game makes it harder to do this, I think it's fair to say that we're suffering. And this is true of both sides - if I show up to a game with my Warriors of Chaos and my opponent is some poor lout who picked Beastmen as his go-to and then wrote a crap list (intentionally or otherwise) I'm not going to have much fun taking the "walk on win". And in those cases, I actually do try to give them the benefit of a more enjoyable game by handicapping myself. Tabling an opponent is fun, but not in every game, and not if your opponent isn't an exceptionally good sport.
Variables I understand. Asymetrical play however, can't be an argument - "you can't fix stupid". If a player is better, he should be more likely to win, obviously. That's not an issue with balance, it's an issue with skill.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.
We could probably blow the word count to pieces over what level of balance and number of variables are acceptable, and it's all in theory anyways. I think that we both agree that 40k could use more balance, and that to a degree that amount of variables is perhaps becoming excessive, but that neither of us (and nobody) should expect a perfect 50/50 balance from their game. Tiddlywinks, this is not.
You can't please everyone, but when the major grievance with your game (aside from the cost to play) is that the balance is noticeably off, then I think it deserves being addressed. If everyone was complaining that they really didn't like the 'Run' rules, that would be one thing. But when people consider the balance to be one of the biggest reasons to not play your game, that needs fixing.
Again, I already play games where winning or losing is a foregone conclusion, backed up by the evidence of mass graves in a field somewhere and the continue existence of some nation or other. And I don't mind losing or being wholly annihilated in those games. Hell, I've refought the battle of Balaclava and people were cuing up to play the Light Brigade.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".
However, these games (and Warhammer) do not have such obvious outcomes unless the players have either set it up intentionally, or there is a question of balance. I don't mind playing a "grinder" mission where I try to see how many turns my army can hold out against an onslaught of rotating regiments - that's a narrative game. I do mind, however, playing a game where as soon as I see my opponent's list I know that there's little point in even deploying the forces because my next two hours is going to be spent removing models while getting smashed by a superior force.
I will play against skilled opponents as a learning experience, even when I know that I am unlikely to win.
I will play historical refights or narrative missions where the destruction of my army is guaranteed.
But I will not play a game that was assumed to be an even, fair matchup and then get destroyed as a result of "cheese".
Judging by some of your posts, I feel as though you don't have much experience with pick-up play. Perhaps you have a large group of gaming friends, or the few opponents that you do have are "enough".:: 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?
:: 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.
I live in a fairly rural area - the people here are pretty "*******". There are two separate dirt track racing ovals that are closer to me than my local gaming store. There is an actual NASCAR track closer to me than the nearest Games-Workshop hobby center. The FLGS is a central hub for gaming in my region, I drive for 30-45 minutes to get there, and meet with people who live that far or farther away than that in the same direction. They do "Warhammer Wednesdays" and that's when everyone meets up to find a game. Otherwise, I have to play against the same 4 people every time I want a game.
When I go to the FLGS, the understanding is that Fantasy is played at 2500pts. That is the only mutual agreement however. Sure, I know some of the people who play there and can set up a game the week before and say things like "hey, lets play 3k and do a 'Last Stand' scenario", but there are plenty of times that I make that drive just hoping that there will be someone there for me to play, whether I know them or not.
When you drive that distance and find someone to play against, it's a bit more difficult to decline a game. You might be declining your only chance to play a game that night. If they're the type to exploit the balance issues, the only game you play that night might be a walk-on loss. They might not own, or may not have brought models to change their list.
When I play games with my friends around the house, we have no problem with the balance. We houserule everything, or have standing "gentlemen's agreements" regarding what you can take. Groups like that are definitely important. But then, if your group is willing to "fix" the rules themselves, then what's stopping you from just creating a whole house game, or using an older set of rules and codecies? My whole group plays OnePage40k, Kill Team, or 4th edition, and it's the only way that we use our 40k models.
That's why GW catering to the guys who play in the comfort of their own living rooms seems odd to me, from a business standpoint. GW is pretty snobbish about using only GW models, and not using proxies, or unit fillers, and everyone is expected to buy the next edition of every set of rulebooks. But when you're playing at home, there's nothing stopping you. At home, I can use my Nippon army in almost every game that I play - it's a nonGW book, it's nonGW models, etc. But when I go to play a pickup game, I don't usually take my Nippon because few people agree to play against an unofficial army. If I were playing in a GW store, I couldn't even take half of my armies because they all include non-GW models.
No, I'm making a "GW doesn't care about you playing the game, just buying it" argument. And I don't think that's particularly off base here, even if it renders all these deep discussions utterly worthless in the grand scheme.Are you making a "think of the children!" argument?
Agreed. And that's why we can probably go on forever kicking the wordcount through the roof, or just agree that we are both on slightly opposite sides of the center on this argument. We both want more balance, yes, but it doesn't bother you quite as much. It bothers me a little more, but I'm not going to walk away from Warhammer (walked away from 40k though) because of it. And I think that ultimately this is true of everyone on the web right now - we'd all like to see 40k be a bit more playable, the only thing that we can't agree on is how much we should be willing to sacrifice to see that happen.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.