Wednesday, December 18, 2013

So, is it 40K version 6.5 now?

So, here we are…  Looking for all the world like the mid-point for 6th Edition.  Mind, I have no idea how far we really are into the current edition’s life span, but it really is feeling very much like we are at or about “version 6.5”.  The major rule updates coming out in Escalation and Stronghold Assault really ARE game changers.  On one hand, it has the potential to make the game silly/stupid with a Titan backed up with minimal “other” to make a legal army.  Is it bad?  On some levels, yes…  The local game store does not in general sell those things being Armorcast/Forgeworld or DIY/Home Made stuff…  CAN be amazing, beautiful models and has the potential to pull more people into the game…  Or it can look like crap, drive people away and deny sales to the FLGS… 

 I have to admit I am still on the fence about it.  On one hand it does seem like it will have a leveling effect IFF it serves as either an answer or a deterrent to some of the completely legal but horribly abusive lists.  I do not think you will find many people arguing that the “Screamer Star” or the “Jetseer Council” are NOT abusive lists.  They take things to an extreme, and while technically legal have the effect of simply killing all enjoyment of the game.  The same effect that the Grey Knights had on the previous edition I think.  The 4+ giant Monstrous Creature lists including, but by no means limited to the Tau silliness, Eldar mixed or the Flying Circuses of the Tyranids/Chaos.  Simply NOT fun to play against with a “normal” army anymore.  So, where does that leave us?  Everyone HAS to bring the same very small subset of “broken” lists or be relegated to just losing?  In the bigger events, the prize support, etc. makes this a game with money on the table in my opinion.  When there is money on the table, “friendly play” simply does not exist…  Eventually.  Sure, you will occasionally run across the equivalent of the gun toting Amish vigilante, but the reality is that the ones playing the most broken and obnoxious (to those of us who are just there to play a few games) lists are the odds on favorites to win it all.

I know that a group of the larger TOs out there are working to create something in a “Tournament 40K” rule set for lack of a better term.  Mike Brandt over at the “Whiskey & 40K” blog details that here (http://whiskey40k.blogspot.com/2013/12/better-mission-design-more-proactive.html) …  Will it work?  I don’t know.  I DO wish them luck and hope that it does.  As of right now I have less than zero interest in going to a major event with any army I would like to play.  There are only 2 times I very nearly lost my temper playing a game, once was when I played uber-competitive 40K back in 3rd Edition.  Would have been very late 2001 or early 2002.  I was just out of the Army a few years, just married, etc., and playing in a RTT up in Joliet.  Wound up playing my Fleshtearers against his IG.  His Tallern IG painted up as Al Qaeda with “Bin Laden” themed and pictured banners…  Kid said he did it just to piss off his opponents…  Worked for me, don’t think I ever played a more brutally effective and vicious game in my life.  See, when I get pissed off, I get far more dangerous.  I was methodical, and to be honest, the BA were horribly broken in that edition, so the kid never really had a chance as I could easily Assault  his army on turn one, and with the Sweeping Assault rules, just keep going.  It was over by the bottom of turn 2, with him being completely wiped from the table.  Got chipmunked on my “Sportsmanship” score, but whatever.  Good thing an old friend of mine was there (Dennis Smith) and was friends with the TOs or it would have really screwed up my score.  So, “Best General” it was, not overall winner…  And that was the last big event I went to. 

I guess I saw where it would go in time.  And let’s be honest, from about the mid-point of 5th Edition to now it seems that as a competitive game it just does not work.  The ideas about 2 different “Victory Conditions” and giving each player a choice is neat, but….  Well, I’ll wait and see I think.  The old Mob quote to the effect of “Every law they pass just creates more businesses for us” comes to mind.  Seems that we are all acknowledging that there are truly broken things, and to fix them we will introduce more rules and more potential for breaking things further.  NOT the intention of course, and like I said I really do hope that it works out and becomes a fun game again on that level.  This is probably the most frustrating thing about it all…  Forgeworld as part of GW actually I think HAS balanced the “Lords of War” stuff in the Heresy rules…  A single line of “no more than 25% of your points may be spent on this slot”.  And that’s it.  The things with the most potential to break 40K are all too expensive to be 25% of any list size we use in the games we play.  Yeah, doesn't help with what I consider the broken stuff but it combined with say “One Force Org Chart, allies and Detachments must adhere” and the silliness with the Taudar or 3+ Broadsides, etc. all goes away.  Does it hurt game balance?  I don’t know.  But why bother with the FOC or frankly ANY rule if it will not be equally applied for all parties?  Night Fighting is one that irks me now that it is in every mission I think.  Some armies simply ignore it (DE/Tau for the most part), some (Necrons) can cause it to only affect their enemies and for a longer time in the game…  Others still have lost their traditional keen senses that would allow them to deal with the night fight (Wolves)…  With the Wolves, I just feel there is simply no point bringing them to a 40K game unless I do something completely silly like a Bran Redmaw army or the like…  Depend on Behind Enemy Lines and Outflank to get my Wolves in close…  I have tried it before and it was mostly effective, but even still, NO defense against a flier, not much long ranged firepower, dependent on a “Hero Hammer” style of play to be effective.  I always liked how effective my basic Grey Hunters were, now in this edition…  Eh, they are just expensive casualties like the Guard.  But lacking all of the IG advantages. 

J  Guess that is why I started looking at the Legion stuff to be honest…  “This Battle is lost….  But there is time for another”…  The repaint project on my ancient ACTUALLY pre Heresy Wolves continues…  And I am building “Siege Breachers” out of some other Marines I have around to test that…  Needing the full 20 for the real sized Squads would be too expensive otherwise…  Mind, the FW resin are BRILLIANT minis and I’d love to have them…  But things like the broken furnace and other real life issues keep me from spending that kind of money on the game…