40K: We Want A Clear, Concise Rule Set…Yeah, Right!

Multiple question marks on paper

Do you really think the rules to a game this complex will ever NOT be ambiguous?  Let’s think of ways to minimize the conundrums and get on with playing!

Think about it for a moment.  You have a rulebook approximately 200 pages long; the size of many short novels.  The fact that a group of people could write a set of coherent rules that actually allow us to play one of our favorite games at all it amazing to me.  We commiserate, podcast, write, and just plain whine about this rule set.  Ever think of the effort needed to coordinate the multiple aspects of this game?  Movement, Psychic, Shooting, Assault.  Each phase has to deal with both the actions and interactions of literally hundred of different unit types.  Now let’s throw in over 80 USRs, that have to successfully interact across all current codices, detachments and formations.  Seriously…it is a minor miracle to me that this bloody thing works at all!

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OK, now that we have that out of the way, let’s get down to business.  So much of conversation in the community centers about the ambiguity of rules.  Librarius Conclave, Coordinated Firepower, Tank Shock, to name a few.  There are, most certainly, dozens of additional examples.  Almost every podcast I listen to now takes time to answer questions and provide some measure of resolution for both newer and more experienced players.   What is the cause of so much uncertainty?  One could argue to length and complexity of the rule set itself.  I often hear folks comment that the folks who actually wrote the rules never had to play with them.  Moreover, they ask if the folks who wrote the rules actually read the rules they wrote.  Both of these types of comment are thoughtless and shallow.  Of course the staff at GDub not only read the rules they wrote, but play tested them as well.  Frankly, I would challenge anyone who makes these comments to do as well with as complex a gaming system.  This DOES NOT mean that issues will not arise due to the volume of words used in the writing of the rule set and the inherent ambiguity of the English language itself.  Inclusive or exclusive rule set?  Row, roe…no, know…sew, so…on and on it goes.

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If you think this is a GW problem alone, then I challenge you to check the Q & A that goes on in both the Infinity and Warmachine communities.  I have played Infinity since May of this year.  The rulebook is about the same length; roughly 200 pages.  No ambiguity?  No way!  The Corvus Belli forum, e.g., are loaded with rules questions.  The same goes for Warmachine.  Folks that I played with asked for answer to rules questions constantly.  Again, let’s admit that the miniatures games we play and their rule sets are complex.  These are not board games.  They are not even the war games from Avalon Hill and SPI that many of use grew up with.

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OK Dan.  So you come out swinging.  What do expect from us, the readers?  To just roll over and not expect things to improve?  Not at all, dear reader.  I expect both GW and the community to deal with the plethora of rules questions, and come up with solutions that will make 40K even more playable and enjoyable.  First, the community.  Honestly,  I think many rules questions are being addressed at many levels within the community itself.  As mentioned earlier, most podcast these days are very proactive at soliciting rules questions.  Granted, as they all admit, there interpretations are theirs and theirs alone, to be trumped by TOs and local metas.  It is, however, helpful to have others who have some modicum of credibility filling a gaping void left by the absence of the game creators themselves.  There is also the ITC.  Although they have their share of detractors (most of whom disagree with their rulings), I commend Reece and Frankie over at Frontline Gaming for making a yeoman’s effort to create a FAQ and set of Rules Interpretations that are definitive and are used by MANY in our hobby.  ITC is recognized by many TOs and local metas, and the leadership they have provided is commendable.  Speaking of local, this is certainly the most common source of answers for our rules questions.  We play with friends, issues arise, and over a beer or some other tasty adult beverage, things are resolved; although not always to our personal satisfaction.

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As for GW, they have totally screwed the pooch on this issue.  A 40K FAQ, such that it is, has died a slow and painful death, not having been updated for a long time.  This seems so similar to the way GW handled the tournament scene; a slow and stealthy withdrawal, leaving the survivors to fend for themselves.  Which, by the way, we have done quite well.  That said, it is inexcusable that a company like GW has not been a proactive partner, providing definitive resolution to the deluge of rules questions.  A suggestion would be to follow Corvus Belli’s lead.  They now have a full time individual on the CB forum who’s only job is to provide a “living” FAQ/Q&A.  He gets a list of questions, and answers it.  That simple.  More questions roll in, those get answered.  The rule set stays current, and ambiguous rules issues get resolved in a timely manner.  GW, get off your butts and keep the FAQ current!  You really can’t hire someone to be the rules wonk and help us out with this?!

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In a time when new, quality products are rolling out, be it miniatures, codices, campaigns or formations, we are in need of guidance and clarity from the folks who occupy the Ivory Tower in Nottingham.  We are doing a pretty decent job with this ourselves, but leadership from the Front Office would be greatly appreciated!  Game on my friends!

points 3

Where do you go to get your rules questions answered?

 

  • Crevab

    Dang son, if you think it’s a minor miracle that 40k works, then the world must be full of magic to you.

    • Ryan

      You get it

    • jeff white

      “That said, it is inexcusable that a company like GW has not been a proactive partner, providing definitive resolution to the deluge of rules questions”

    • jeff white

      and that said, this was the best comment i have read all day…

  • If I run into a rules thing I discuss it with my opponent. If its too hard to come to an accord we 4+ it. Problem solved.

    • Matt

      Sounds nice until you run into THAT guy who argues a point in his favor just for 50% chance to get it his way.

      • happy_inquisitor

        Yeah but That Guy will also refuse to move their model back to 1″ away from yours, will move their models always a bit more than 6″ and knows that being a jerk on every single possible rule means that eventually they will get an unfair advantage somewhere. There is literally nothing the rules authors can do about this sort of person.

        • Matt

          Yes, but at least clearly written rules help me to stay out of arguments with said guy.

          • happy_inquisitor

            Is the 1″ distance rule unclear?

            Honestly I had someone jerk me around on that one once. In anything other than a tournament I would just pack up my models and leave at that point.

          • Matt

            No it is not. But RAW vs RAI is a valid argument. Neither side trypically has bad intentions. It’s on the maker to make it clearer.

          • happy_inquisitor

            Ah, I thought we were discussing That Guy. In which case any presumption of good intentions is a mistake.

            If both people have good intentions I’ve never had a problem.

          • ChubToad

            I would disagree. RAI denotes intention and that is simply a personal opinion, and that is as subjective as wishing all women run naked on the street on a hot day.

          • Matt

            We are humans and this is communication. Pure objectivity is never possible; intent has to considered. Actually it’s pure RAW that causes most of the issues as GW can’t be bothered to write a clear rule set: they actually even give us a mechanism to sort things out if we find the rules ambiguous. There are plenty of examples where it isn’t clear what the rules say and many more where it causes a lot of issues to follow the rules as strictly written. Point is neither a RAI or RAW make this go away. And I would argue that a strict RAW reading typically is an arrogant dismissal of any view other than their own of how a rule should be read. If it really were that clear, we wouldn’t have this many replies whenever the topic comes up.

          • ChubToad

            I don’t know if going RAW is arrogant, I’m a RAW person too but never try to be that way when rules discussion goes. But intention is a very personal thing, and that adds too much noise to an already complicated issue. Rules in the end are not suggestions on how to do things, they are an actual definition on how to do things. If we go by interpretation, even the rules of transit and other rules can be interpreted as we see fit, and thus endless discussions can be the norm.
            Moreover, regarding RAI, most players add the personal touch to their definition of the rules. They interpret the rule using their own personal whishes. Even when considering RAI, one has to be objective. And as you said, and I agree with, pure objectivity is never possible. Much more so when personal opinions are involved. So I prefer to avoid RAI.

          • Valourousheart

            I disagree, I think people put more of their opinion into RAW than they do RAI.

            From my experience the RAI is usually pretty clear, but players just don’t like that direction. RAW on the other hand gets really deep with semantics and actual and imagined punctuation placement.

            But I admit that it doesn’t help when everyone had to look up what penultimate meant.

            The clearest example of rules as intended is the chaos SM codex. GW clearly intended us to use chaos space marines as part of our chaos space marine army. But since we don’t like that intention, so we dismiss it.

            And then we make up some RAW mixed with FLUFF pargument to justify why we don’t have chaos space marines in our chaos space marine army.

          • Chaos_Unbound

            Actually from what Ive run into the RAW guys are usually the guys out for blood. Most people will agree to common sense or fun. While the RAW guys wont give an inch unless it is clearly allowed or denied in the wording. There is a reason RAW got the nickname “Rules Lawyers”.

          • Charon

            The other way does also exist. While it is clear that RAW only models that are part of an Iron Hands detachment AND have the Iron hands chapter tactics benefit from chapter tactics: Iron hands, I ran into more than one player that still claim all their vehicles (despite not having a chapter tactics trait) do benefit from IWND.

          • Chris. K Cook

            Not playing him ever again also helps.

        • sleeplessknight

          Rules be damned. I say, as long as the models aren’t touching and my opponent believes it’s far enough away. It should be fine.

          I want my opponent to have fun and if he needs to fudge an extra 1/4 inch to get his models into assault or bend a rule so his massive unit doesn’t deep strike mishap by another quarter inch then so be it as long as he allows me the same. The game is about the experience and having a cool story to tell afterwards and not who wins or loses.

          • happy_inquisitor

            Well obviously if you can sort it out amicably then do. My experience is that if its That Guy then they just got an unfair advantage and will now push even harder for more unfair advantages. Anti-fun will follow.

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            Then never play him again.

          • Chris. K Cook

            Yeah me and my friends always read it as if you are within 1″ you have been drawn into combat.
            I was corrected at a tourny and now play it properly.

            That said it was only like 12mm or less and it was my Chaos Warriors vs his Dwarf Gunline and he just wanted another round of shooting.
            Cost him sportsmanship points.

          • jeff white

            nah, that is fuzzy-ness that makes a game that is basically a medium-grained stop-action simulation more like playing with trucks in a sandbox… i was almost always bored with sandboxes. more structure=less in control of the player=more difficult, more third-man dynamics, better “balance” (essentially, the fulcrum becomes wider),

        • Xodis

          lol had a kid playing Tyranids do that. He swore he was only going the maximum distance allowed and no further. It didn’t help that his reserves off the table had already crossed the middle of the board. It was only like 2 rounds in and even if he rolled maximum distance with fleet he was like 4 inches too far. Made for a good laugh at his expense and he was quiet for the rest of the game.

          • Chris. K Cook

            Front to back measuring?

          • Xodis

            Possibly, after he got caught he was very careful not to make that same mistake for the rest of the time we games together lol.

        • jeff white

          yes, i played with that same guy about a million times, he was one of my best friends in the hobby, and he played orks, then became a lawyer…

      • I don’t play with “that guy” unless its a tournament or something. And in the case of a tournament the rules are usually laid out before hand (Nova, ITC, etc.) and barring that, there are TO’s for a reason, time to make em do their job! 😉
        Valid point tho.

      • Red_Five_Standing_By

        Yeah but you never have to play THAT guy again after he acts like a total tool.

  • Razerfree

    The thing is you can never expect the amount of support Infinity and Warmachine get for 40K because unlike their respective creators, GW takes a dump on the tournament scene and correction of rules in general, and has been doing so for years.

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      GW doesn’t want to endorse tournaments. They’re done with them. They are fully a narrative game now. This is why they haven’t been releasing FAQs.

      • Chris. K Cook

        I wouldn’t want to have anything with the horrible folks that inhabit the hardcore tourny scene either.

      • V10_Rob

        Why even bother with the charade of releasing rulebooks, then?

        Make the models, write the fluff, contract a third party to write the rules.

      • SwervinNinja

        Dungeons and Dragons has FAQs, pretty sure they aren’t a tournament game.

      • Chaos_Unbound

        Yes, but even narrative games need clarifications for fudge ups. Hell you even get FAQs for BOARD GAMES.

  • JN7

    One space after a period!!!!!

    • Matt

      Calmn down man! #firstworldproblems

      • euansmith

        “Calmn”? #firstwordproblems 😀

    • Pete McGwire

      TWO.

      • euansmith

        Yep, accord to the internet, “The “two spaces after period” rule was established during the days of typesetters, when additional space was needed to show the difference between the spacing between words (which was smaller) and the spacing between sentences (which was larger).”

        • Kreoss4u

          However, this is not necessary now with computers because the software automatically adjusts the kerning for an appropriate look. All major style (Chicago, MLA, etc.) manuals say one space.

  • Crablezworth

    flame bait

    • ChubToad

      And it works!

  • vyrago

    40k is a hobby, not a game. It barely works as a game.

    • ChubToad

      But it works in the end.

  • Charon

    I do understand that in a complex game with lots of phases, special rules and armies there will be contradictions. No questions asked, this is a fact. The possibilities are near endless you can’t possibly cover all of them ever.
    But seriously… it can’t be to hard to write a rule that is consistent in itself when there is not even any interaction with other rules.
    And the other one: IF a bad interaction between two rules is identified, FIX IT.
    Anyone remembers how video game patches were delivered by floppy disc in game magazines or per slug mail? The internet changed that up quite a bit.
    Same goes for rules. You have the possibility to distribute FAQ and Errata online and even correct codices and rulebooks AFTER you sold them by creating a new version to download.
    FAQ and Errata are the are minimum of customer interaction. And not even this is done.

    • Matt

      Here! Here! Well said Charon, well said indeed.

    • Not to mention they for some time hid the FAQ on the black library website.. where nobody in their right mind would’ve looked for them.

    • Tesq

      this—>FIX IT …DO YOUR READ GW fix it.

      Anyway these are all a bounches of excuses, there are always the same problem sabout “how rule stack”
      Repetable cover or rules that boost something, they all are similar issues and once they arise you learn to no make anymore mess rule.

      We are human we should learn from mistake not repeat them.
      IF some of you still think that incorrect rules happens for chance you are *** really. GW deliberately leave holes in the rule system to allow player to use “unconventional”/Op combo to make fell them/ their army strong.

      • daonemdt

        Can i get an example of said rule(s)?

    • Simon Chatterley

      I like the Malifaux approach where special rules do and will override core rules but the rule is nearly always clear and concise. Just do what the rule tells you.

      • Charon

        This is rarely the issue. Problems arise if 2 special rules try to override each other or a rule does prevent a model from acting at all.

        • Muninwing

          or other issues.

          in 5th, the SM got an upgrade to their Storm Shields — they went from being 4++ to 3++.

          … but other codexes that hadn’t been updated had rules stating that the same gear for the same cost was 4++.

          option 1: the concept “storm shield” has one stat

          option 2: SM got better gear than non-codex astartes, deal with it

          option 3: the plan is to update the gear, but until the alternative groups got their next updates, they have to deal with the rule

          GW could have either FAQed it to say “play as written, sorry” or “nope — everyone gets the better version, this is a rule update.”

          instead they stated, in a page of babble “you should play to have fun, and something simple like this shouldn’t get in the way… so if you can agree, play it as you want… but if you can’t then technically the rule is still 4++”

          so not only do they not bother to actually update the FAQs at an appropriate rate, but they also don’t bother to use the FAQs to do what they could.

          if they wanted a balanced game, they’d have one.

          if they wanted to do well by their consumers, they have the ability, means, and opportunity.

          if they wanted to.

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      agreed. So we spend money to buy rules for a game and they don’t work. Its like buying a car and finding that the brake doesn’t work. In any other field of life this would be judged defective goods and you’d be able to ask for your money back. Has anyone ever tried this with GW?

      Perhaps next time a codex comes out with an unclear or broken rule in it someone should organise a mass return of opened and read (and thus unsaleable) codexes to GW.

      Only when it hits their pocket does GW do anything.

      • Azrell

        You still pay for GW rules?

  • Gridloc

    Love when BoLS has articles that do nothing more than spawn comments and arguments. It works i keep coming back and those ads keeps popping up. On that, the game is quite large, it is possible and probably super expensive right now to fix all their issues. But it feels like the same thing politicians say about climate change, that its too big so screw it…

  • Shawn

    Excellent artical. I am hoping that they soon take the atitude about ruls for AoS and do the same for 40k, that iś clarify rules and adjust the game accordingly based on player feedback.

    • Chris. K Cook

      Did you even read the article?

      • Shawn

        Yes I did. The article is about clear concise rules which I want 100%. And, creating a living document for 40k will go a long way of fixing and streamlining the rules.

    • Muninwing

      no. just no.

      we do not need a simplified, 4-page ruleset that strips the lasting interest out of the game.

      it happened once. it worked for some, drove others away. it may or may not have been a terrible idea, depending on whether you compare to the sales figures of the unfixed/botched 8th ed, or what they would have been had they released a more functional 9th.

      the Calth boxset has simplified rules. it’s a board game, not a tactical tabletop wargame. let it be, but don’t mess with the adult version.

      • KreskinsESP

        Say what you will about the rules themselves, but GW totally did the right thing with how they’ve been releasing/updating the AoS ruleset. If there’s any takeaway from Age of Sigmar, it’s that GW is at least willing to modernize and catch up with the competition as far as rules availability goes.

        • Muninwing

          i’ll give you half of that.

          rules availability is a good thing. but GW could offer a higher quality product in all ways (not just in the models) and they’d do just fine, instead of having to change their entire model to fit what other companies do.

          i play 40k because i like the scope, i like the rules (for the most part), and i like the background.

          i played WHF for the same reason. i didn’t play WM/H because i didn’t like their fluff, their approach, their mechanics, or their scale/scope.

          so if you make WHF more like WM/H to pander to the players who leave, you aren’t making the game better, you’re ignoring the real reason why people are drifting in the first place. and you are losing the people who want the larger, force-based rank-and-file players who don’t want an individual/skirmish style.

          you might snipe a couple WM/H players, but you lose me and people like me. you might get people who want the “new mode” but you lose the traditionalists. and it’s not necessarily a good trade to make.

          • Shawn

            A reasonable argument Muninwing. I think that GW considers the old players numbering smaller than the potential for new games and that is why they did what they did and create their own IP in the process. I think also, they believed WFB to be too generic and needed something new, a product that they could protect legally. AoS does that for them.

          • Muninwing

            what i think is funny is that the potential new players is bigger… but retention of them is lower. and the pool of new players reduces if there’s not people to play with… or a thriving positive community… or a rich and vibrant world… or any number of other things that they could have concentrated on.

            so they might have been right theoretically, but then they self-limited and corroded the very resource they wanted to lay hands on.

      • Shawn

        You misinterpreted what I wrote. Sorry if I wasn’t clear. I don’t mean to completely AoS-ify and reboot 40k, but simply turn it into a living rule set going forward. In other words, GW takes character feed back periodically and changes, updates, or clarifies the rules either through a FAQ, White Dwarf, or an official update book. That would go a long way in clarifying the rules. And that is all I really want. However, after saying that, I am not horribly “traumatized” by AoS like so many others. Sometimes, just sometimes too many rules slows the game down : Warhammer 40k. Is there any other tabletop game out there that has a main rule book, plus a rule book for each and every faction and sub-faction?

  • nurglitch

    As a technical writer I can unequivocally state that it’s a pretty simple matter to write a clear and concise set of rules. Given the specs for the Warhammer 40,000 rules I can also understand why they’re not written as a manual.

    • Shawn

      As a creative writer nurglitch, I can also say the same: It’s a pretty simple mater to write a clear and concise rule set. It is my firm belief that GW likes to be wordy so that they can take up as much space as possible for printing. The bigger the volume, the bigger the profit margin I think.

      • X078

        Don’t you think GW would have added tons of rules examples if they wanted to be wordy and take up space?

        • Razerfree

          They do add tons of rules examples… Almost the entire first part of the rulebook is full of pictures and explanations on how space marines and orks interact with eachother in different situations.

        • Shawn

          Examples; no, writing the actual rule; yes. And if they were all clear, then there would be no ambiguity. They could write half the rules that they do with half the space. A lot of it is unnecessary clutter to say the same thing, just as was mentioned in a previous post, there are too many rules that do the same thing.

    • happy_inquisitor

      As a technical reviewer of documents I find very few of the rules to be actually ambiguous. There is a huge difference between something being ambiguous and people disagreeing about it.
      Generally if there is disagreement I just slow down and read carefully clause by clause and work out what it really says and this works.
      The problem is the internet, where everybody has an opinion and nobody ever has to admit to any sort of mistake. So they stand fast to whatever they said after an initial light skim of the rule and no matter what anyone says the most they will ever then concede is that it is “ambiguous” which has almost become the internet safe-word for people preferring to be wrong forever rather than stop and think and listen to what anyone else is saying. Oh well.

      • X078

        So true.

      • Charon

        The problem is a difference between RAW and RAI in most places and this is where arguments come from.
        So, by your careful clause by clause read: How does an Adeptus Sororitas Exorcist fire its main weapon?
        Because if you follow the rules clause by clause, it can only fire up in the air never hitting anything. Do you really think this is intentional and should be played as such?

        • happy_inquisitor

          I don’t play them, don’t have the codex and its never come up in a game as an issue.

          Should I worry about it?

        • ChubToad

          But therein lies the question. Intended by who? It’s no possible to say Intended by the Designers, because there is no way in the world to know what they actually intended. It’s just a personal interpretetation of the rule.
          Unless the designers actually say what they wanted to do with the rule, RAI is just a personal interpretation of every person reading the rule.

          • Charon

            You can pretty much say 100% sure that it is not intended that a vehicle may not fire its only weapon all game long. Then you get to cases that are not as clear cut but you are still on the safe side assuming RAI. Dark Angels for example where you may pick up multiple HQ units but there is only one you may legally pick and it is unique. And then you get to stuff that is just plain stupid to play as written (try to assault a unit in the 2nd level of a building with no staircases when they are so spread that you cant place a model. It practically becomes immune to CC) and last but not least you have stuff that is really up to interpretation where both sides have a point (Tau combined shooting for example)

          • ChubToad

            Agreed, but in the case of the vehicle not firing, it’s not an interpretation. It’s actually a flaw in the rule. But the point still stands. even with this bad ruling, one can only guess on what the intention of the rule really was. In a bizzare turn of events, perhaps the designers wanted said vehicle to never shoot. You will never know for sure.
            The thing is, that by intention one tends to include personal feelings and wishes into the equation, and this makes the RAI intertpreation not suitable for discussion, since personal opinions and wishes are not debatable. This is why the Tau issue was never settled in the discussions on forums.
            RAW will always leave aside personal feelings/opinions and only focuses on the objective stuff (written rules).

          • Charon

            The rule works with all other vehicles just fine. So we do not assume it is the intent of this rule to not let certain vehicles fire at all so we create exceptions in the spirit of the rule (RAI). And while RAI is not suitable for discussion it comes into play when RAW is contradicting. There are quite a few rules out there than can be read either way altough both parties claim their version is RAW.
            I could throw in “Splinter Racks” (vehicle upgrade) where it states RAW that all Splinter weapons are twin linked (not those embarked on the vehicle but ALL) which is RAW but most certainly not RAI.

      • Matt

        Go get a tyranid codex. Read the pyrovore entry. Read it again and remove your opinion of what makes sense. It’s very clear. It also breaks the game. THAT is what is wrong with 40K. No one will play it the way it is written because it clearly wasn’t meant to be played that way. FAQs went a long way.

        • happy_inquisitor

          The Tau Sunshark bomber can’t drop a bomb. There are a few rules that we all think are mistakes. This is genuinely where we need FAQ. On the whole the community is quite good at doing this where GW is currently just assuming we will apply common sense.

          What is not the case is that any rule that anyone disagrees about is therefore ambiguous. Most of those claimed to be ambiguous are on inspection not so. It is just that nobody thinks they should ever concede any point on the internet – or even listen properly to what people are saying who are not just echoing their own opinion.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            there is a flyer in IA13 that can’t drop one of its bombs too as the bomb can only be snap fired and its a blast weapon!

            Likewise in the Vraks book there is a whole unit entry (Chaos Spawn) that can’t ever be taken as they may only be selected using a rule given to the Warlord and none of the warlords in that book can get the rule.

          • Chris. K Cook

            Cut and paste error.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            well its the usual lack of proofreading. In both the recent Chaos IA books there are weapons described whose profiles aren’t in the book too and all sorts of minor errors. Its sloppy lack of attention to detail. The content is good but the finish isn’t there. Frustrating when the books are £45 and the FAQs generally arrive about 2/3rds of the way through the lifetime of the book, if at all.

          • ChubToad

            Yeah, even FW is liable to be affected by proofreading.

          • Shiwan8

            Oh, if everyone used common sense there would not be any rule debates.

          • Muninwing

            … but common sense is not so common.

            and some arguments seem sensical to you, but i might have sense behind my stance.

            things like gargantuan creatures firing weapons. superheavies can fire all, so why not gargantuans? but there’s a way of phrasing to state this, and one to imply it, and one to confuse whether they get to shoot more than a MC. they went with the third. in fact, the sense of the issue is opposite of how the sentence parses.

            or thunder hammers and thunderwolves. let’s debate what “add” means.

            people get outraged — “you’re just being dumb, i bet you play/hate this army and just want an advantage!” but sometimes it just comes down to parsing the sentence without baggage.

            all the interested parties operating in good faith are using what they consider common sense. some have more than others. some understand more than others. and sometimes it’s that a rule really is a 50/50 read for clarity.

          • ChubToad

            That also works for every aspect of life.

          • Shiwan8

            Can’t think of an exception to that.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            I’m not sure thats true, sometimes these things are genuinely ambiguous. If you use common sense then you can get on with the game in a friendly way, but it doesn’t sort the rule out or take away that slight feeling that the game might have gone differently if the rule had been better explained.

          • Shiwan8

            Well, you know, when there are 2 or more possibilities you eliminate all but one. Starting from the dumbest and ending with the least stupid option. This is how common sense is used in situations like these and it eliminated the debate just like that.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            but what if both options are equally likely?

          • Shiwan8

            That situation excists only in theory.

      • nurglitch

        Yup. It’s good enough, and more interesting for casual reading.

      • ChubToad

        Amen brother.

      • Azrell

        rly… explain how a void shield generator works. your unit of 3 SMs just took 3 his from an autocannon, use only the rule provided by GW. ok go. and good luck.

    • euansmith

      I used to play Wargames’ Research Groups Ancients games which featured a lot of incredibly precise rules that often read like a legal document.

      • ChubToad

        Try DBMM, rules so thight that it reads like a declaration of independance. So boring and technical you actually learn the game by playing and not reading that damn book in the first place.

        • euansmith

          DBMM is from the same line as the old Ancient’s rules. They do love their sub-sub-sub-clauses 😀 Even the simple games, DBM and “Hordes of the Things”, were pretty dry to read, though fun to play.

          • Commissar Molotov

            …Star Fleet Battles.

            *shudders*

  • Vengeful_Deity

    It has always bothered me how there are so many USRs that do essentially the same thing.

    Twin Linked
    Hatred
    Preferred Enemy
    Master Crafted

    Fearless
    Stubborn
    They Shall Know No Fear

    Shred
    Monster Hunter
    Tank Hunter

    It would be very simple to condense a lot of these rules into just one.

    Shred (Vehicles)
    Shred (Close Combat)
    Shred (Monsterous Creatures)
    Accurate (Shooting)
    Accurate (Close Combat)
    Accurate (Orks)

    • Charon

      none of the first paragraph does the same thing, none of the second one either.

      • Vengeful_Deity

        I said “essentially” not “exactly”. The “essence” of Twin-linked, Hatred, etc. Is to give re-rolls given a set of circumstances. My point is that it has bothered me that we have a different named rule for every exception and special condition.

        You could more easily have a single USR that represents “Shooting Attack Re-rolls” and specify the condition in brackets.

        Re-roll Hits (On roll of 1)
        Re-roll Hits (One die only)

        But hey, it’ll never happen. It is just a critique of the way they write rules. They seem like they start by picking a badass name for a rule first and then let that dictate what it will do.

        • Charon

          Note even essentialy.
          Prefered enemy rerolls hits and wounds of 1 in melee and shooting. Master crafted only allows to reroll a single hit roll.
          So no. If you now factor in statlines the difference in damage output varies A LOT.
          If you allow a model with 8 attacks and a Mastercrafted weapon to suddenly reroll ALL his hit dice you changed his damage output significantly.

          Yes, there are a few that could be rolled into one but these you listed are not among them.

          • Vengeful_Deity

            Dude. I just said. It is a critique of the way they write the rules. I didn’t say those specific rules do the same things. I didn’t say those rules are used in the same way.

            It is pretty clear I was just grouping them into vague buckets and categories. I understand they have their own minutia, but I’m not really suggesting this as a a fix for the system.

            I’m only saying, if they were to re-do the system from scratch with the goal of reducing complexity and contradictions, they could make a lot of headway by consolidating similar rules so that there are fewer things to be contradictory
            .

          • Charon

            If the consolidate rules that are similar (which your examples are not) you take away quite a bit of the unique feel of armies. We had this in 3rd edition and it was horribly bland. Im actually quite pleased that they added more complexity again. However this does not work without support. Not even the “easy” 3rd edition did work without errata and FAQ.

          • Muninwing

            1st edition Exalted.

            10-sided die, contested rolls system (i roll my action pool, each die 7+=1 success, 10=2… then you roll yours, and i subtract yours from mine. hwo many i have left after is how well i succeeded)

            each group had their own special abilities (charms). usually the first in the tree were helpers/betterers, and later ones had stronger or longer effects.

            the main heroes had die adders (spend 1 resource to add one extra die to the roll, and potentiall get more successes). as main heroes, they had greater capacity for drastic success but no guarantees (all the extra dice could still fail)

            their dark mirrors had success-subtractors (spend 2 resource, remove one success from your opponent’s side of the contested roll… functionally/statistically about the same as the main heroes). they might not succeed as big, but they meet less resistance, and their opposition does worse…

            the ones that dealt with fate had success-adders (spend two resource, add one success to the roll). they have less opportunity to break statistics and do exceptionally, but they have a tight range to be more perfect at what they do.

            functionally, each is slightly different, and each performs better at certain specific situations. mostly, they come out to be the same in the long run. but each one being different makes the game a little more complicated, and each one makes the type feel more flavorful.

          • dodicula

            and there you have the reason gw is the way it is. GW is the company that many of its customers deserve

        • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

          I think there are places where radical simplification would work. Movement rules that vary with unit type could mostly be replaced with an M characteristic.

          AP values and T values unnecessarily duplicate whole parts of the rules adding complexity whilst reducing flexibility (why can’t a Dreadnought get an armour save?). Likewise MC and Walkers.

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      You would need A few different permutations.

      Re-Roll Hits
      Re-Roll Wounds

      Re-Roll 1’s on To-Hit
      Re-Roll 1’s on To-Wound

      Re-Roll One To-Hit Die
      Re-Roll One To-Wound Die

      Shred: Re-Roll all missed rolls to-wound
      Accurate: Re-Roll all missed rolls to-hit
      Stabilized: Re-Roll all 1’s to Hit
      Shrapnel: Re-Roll 1’s to Wound
      Lucky: Re-Roll One To Hit Die
      Penetrating: Re-Roll One To Wound Die

    • Shiwan8

      Yeah…nope. Not even close.

  • X078

    Interesting article, however i disagree with the rules being ambiguous, i find them quite clear. That said GW could start doing battle reports and such in the WD and show the rules applied in games to help out those who need it.

    • Shawn

      Not a bad idea X078, but I think it would be more comprehensive just to do a FAQ. I think the ambiguity comes from being too wordy and competitive players looking for an advantage when they see one.

      • X078

        Sure they could have a FAQ as a “living document” updated after each WD release, that would be very nice. And I would find a reason to buy the WD magazine again.

        • Shawn

          Agreed. That would be a great idea.

          • Patrick Boyle

            It’s sad that what basically every other game company does as a matter of course already would be considered a great idea if GW started doing it more regularly.

          • X078

            Hard to improve upon perfection right 🙂
            Jokes aside this is an area that would be a low hanging fruit for them.

    • Shiwan8

      2 questions:

      1) How many grenades a unit can use in melee.
      A) 1 per unit
      B) 1 per model

      2) If a tervigon spawns gaunts, are those gaunts obsec?
      A) Yes
      B) No

      Not trying to start an argument, just want to know how ambiguous the rules really are in your opinion.

      • Andrew Thomas

        I’ll bite.
        1. A, as writ in the first section of the BRB Grenades section, and 2. A, but only insofar as the detachment benefits grant Objective Secured to Troops choices.

        • Shiwan8

          That’s the RAW. In 2nd I don’t think that is intentional though.

          • Andrew Thomas

            It is a bit dodgy, summoned lesser daemons and termigants getting Objective Secured, I’ll give you that.

          • Shiwan8

            Technically I do not think it’s so, just because for a unit to be obsec through CAD it has to be a part of that detachment. Just my opinion though, it’s not like I could prove that I’m right in this case.

      • X078

        1: 1 per unit per phase
        2: Yes, if detachment grants obsec.

        • Shiwan8

          You got your RAW right. I disagree with the intended euling on 2nd question but that is the raw.

  • Painjunky

    Other companies have proven a game can be complex, balanced, with clearly written (and supported) rules.
    GW can’t even be bothered answering FAQ and it pisses off their customers… simple really.

    • Razerfree

      There’s no money to be made on free online FAQs. That’s why GW can’t be bothered to make them.

      • Red_Five_Standing_By

        No, they don’t want to encourage or support competitive players any more.

        • Shiwan8

          How about the support for non-competitive players?

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            They want to support you by making cool campaigns and awesome models. Rules are always secondary.

          • Shiwan8

            So, it’s a double fail on their part.

        • Drpx

          Papa GW say competitive players are bad folk.

          • Shiwan8

            Evil, at least.

          • V10_Rob

            I can’t help but wonder if it’s not a reflection of our modern aversion to winners and losers, where everyone gets a participation trophy, and nobody gets graded, because someone’s self-esteem might get a boo-boo.

          • Shiwan8

            That might be it.

          • Crablezworth

            Yup

      • Azrell

        they just put out a game with free rules… guess there was no money in that ether? or maybe supporting your product is just part of the business model for every other company ever.

        • Razerfree

          I’d like to see you asking money for 4 pages of rules… you’d make a fool out of yourself. Besides, they we’re pretty much forced by the current market to make those rules free because everyone else has been doing the same. Kings of War and Warmachine just to name a few. And we’re talking about FAQs for 40K. 40K has a big expensive rulebook. AoS doesn’t and can be corrected on-the-fly.

  • Locke

    They just need to condense everything in the base game, reduce the amount of special rules per army and create a robust system for choosing balanced armies.

    • Drpx

      Saw how that turned out.

      • Shiwan8

        😀

  • Shiwan8

    Fanboy. The game is horrible rules wise. It’s not a huge effort to make it work, but that effort is needed and the company refuses to do that.

  • Curse of Yig

    They just need one employee at GW to be the official rules question guy. Many role playing games have this. Put a question on an official forum and the guy answers it. Putting out 1 FAQ a year that doesn’t address most of the gray areas just blows my mind.

    • Shiwan8

      The problem with that is that they clearly do not know how the rules work themselves. One can not teach something without the knowledge of how to do it.

  • Cosmic_Seth

    Remember, GW has stated by various means that the customers who ‘play’ their game is in the minority, and those who care about the rules enough to ask a question is a minority within a minority. They have made it clear that it is not worth their money to hire even a single person to resolve these issues. Their number one customers are those who buys the models on looks and impulse buyers. Thats why they got rid of bunkers and switch to one man stores.

    • Shiwan8

      The irony is, their main customer base still is the gamer community. 😀

  • Terminus

    “Of course the staff at GDub not only read the rules they wrote, but play tested them as well.”

    Books are written in isolation to maintain absolute secrecy except for sanctioned “leaks”. No one playtests anything.

    As for reading it, of course they read what they wrote, but of course the authors they know what they meant. Most of them not being professional technical writers, as opposed to apparently half of the readers of this forum, the rest of us can’t say the same about the clarity of their work. the problem is further exacerbated by the fact the GW has not seen fit to allow these authors to clarify what it is that they meant. Therefore, I declare the premise of this article to be faulty and the content no more than a collection of apologist drivel.

    • TheNickelEye

      Is this true about the isolation of projects? If true and verified that is beyond shocking to me from a business standpoint. Branding is all about cohesion and consistentcy of product, if you willingly separate the different product creation teams from each other you are guaranteeing an inconsistent and muddled outcome! This cult of secrets they create is just bizarre. I was hardcore into GW for 20 plus years, but it was very freeing a couple years ago when I finally stepped away.

      • Terminus

        I’ve heard this from a regional manager and a former member of the design team. I’m not calling anyone out, so make your own conclusion regarding the veracity of the accusation. Or just look at their daily practices and wild inconsistencies in end products.

  • Thatroubleshootah

    i think that this game has too many rules. i also think they need to come up with an alternative to IGO UGO. bolt action’s ruleset is a lot more maneagable and smaller. also more fun.

    • Muninwing

      fun is relative.

      the “too many rules” depends on your tolerance and desire for complexity. i, for instance, see no issue with the volume of rules

      there are some alternatives to the player turns as is, but they do not always work. sometimes due to meddling (malifaux has alternating activation, but also units that activate other units, turning system into advantage), sometimes due to encumbrance (it becomes too hard to remember in larger games, whereas one player turn doing all units is pretty easy).

      i do think that every so often, rules need to be pared back from where they have grown too wild… but not as drastically as changing everything about the game.

  • Anyone who thinks the rules of a highly-complex game cannot be written without ambiguity doesn’t play Magic. Or poker, for that matter.

    • Shiwan8

      Poker is not highly complex.

      • Fine, bad example. My point stands. Refute or stuff it.

        • Shiwan8

          Not disagreeing with your point, just with the claim about poker.

    • Muninwing

      magic has conflicts…and infinite combos… and all sorts of other unintended effects.

      they just fix them. unlike GW.

      • Yes, and they do so by keeping up to date a massively exhaustive comp rules document written to be a unambiguous as possible. It doesn’t read like a legal document so much as it reads like code, in my opinion.

        • Muninwing

          GW is capable of doing the same.

          but they are a model company, so why invest time in a game?

          • You know, I’m beginning to wonder if we’re going to see that philosophy change now that Rountree’s influence is starting to be felt. We can hope, I suppose, though at this point the damage is done and I’m no longer sure I’ll care if it does.

          • Muninwing

            i’m an optimist.

            Kirby might have been a prancing buffoon, and i have a secret theory that he and Ward were buddies (and that Ward used that to bully whoever was supposed to be the responsible leader of the design team into carte blanche), but he stated at the start of 6th that he intended to implement a change in how we saw the game.

            step one for that was updated and current rules

            step two was a change in rule releases.

            now that we’ve got more codexes released in and fir this edition than ever, we saw the new Damocles Gulf release style. is this step two?

            reasonably, step three should be regularly updated FAQs, both to fix confusing or broken rules, and as an avenue to balance not-working rules or points costs. but they may never hit that.

            i don’t know how independent form Kirby’s ideas that Rountree is. i’ve gotten the impression that he’s a “stay the course” kind of guy who has no interest in anything he’d deem “risky.” in my head, i imagine him as the pinnacle of a “space accountant.”

            maybe as he comes into his own, he’ll change. we shall see…

  • dodicula

    funny these problems dont happen much in malifaux or kow

    • Shiwan8

      That’s just awesome. Sadly neither has 40k units of fluff so they are pretty much meaningless as games.

      • dodicula

        lol i hope people like you play 40k forever

        • Shiwan8

          Oh, I’m not saying that I “need” 40k. What I “need” is a deeply fluffy environment with a cool narrative and enough diversity to last. As far as I know only 40k is like that. None of the other now popular systems that I know of have any of that. Some other systems have better rules, sure, but then again if that was the most important thing then miniatures would not even exist.

          TL;DR; Your preferred game is shallow.

          • dodicula

            you don’t care for malifauxs fluff? i actually prefer it to 40k maybe just the lure of the new for me. Boltaction has pretty good fluff too very realistic 🙂

          • Shiwan8

            Malifaux not so much. Historicals just do not interest me. I dabled with the ambush alley games for a bit, planned to use them in 40k, but that backfired.

            As far as I know there really is no alternative to 40k.

          • Syrenjester

            Yeah I have to agree, 40k just can’t be beaten with the depth of lore. Even though I stupidly sold all my models I always love reading the lore which is a lot more accessible than any of the top games at the moment.

          • Shiwan8

            True that.

          • Muninwing

            boltaction does not have fluff. it has history books.

            Malifaux has fluff, and some is good and some is reminiscent of someone’s D&D game. more true (and more literal) with WM/H.

            WWX has both, in both a good and not so good way.

            40k… it’s in a universe all on its own.

  • Shiwan8

    Sorry about a double reply post for the same article, but since I now have time to actually analyze this I will.

    [correction]
    So, as I made clear previously, it’s not impossible or even that hard to make the rules work. It is not hard to make them clear either. Granted, at times the community in general just refuses to use the actual rule and claims it’s something that it’s not (case: most people use 6th edition grenade rules even though in 7th they are significantly different).
    Often though, it’s about the laziness of the designer that creates problems. For example KDK summoning can work in various ways depending on who you ask. It states that the daemon arrives by DS. Now, people take this as arriving by DS reserves as per rule book and thus go with those restrictions, but it’s not coming from reserves and unconventional DS has not been defined so they might not work like normal DS and they could even assault during the turn they arrive. Either way, the interpretation is 100% correct and there is no objective way to rule out either of those. To say that this confusion could not be avoided is just…stupidity.

    Ok, so we have 200 pages of rules and of those 50+ pages are useless. “Everything moves 6″ unless otherwise stated in the unit type. If you move through terrain at some point of your movement (p. this or that) you roll 2d6 and pick the one die you want, that’s the total of how many inches your unit can move. Movement can be horizontal, vertical or both depending on the terrain.” There, movement done. No confusion and it’s a lot shorter than what GW did.
    I could do this for the whole game, but I think the idea is there for everyone to see so I will not bother. Other phases have slightly more moving parts but are seriously not that complex. There really should not be room for interpretations.

    About the playtesting, it’s easy to argue that there has been none. Let’s see, few examples. Jump packs can move over any obstacle freely, but if there’s a 13″ tall building they can not reach the roof…even though they can move over it. Then there’s the case monstrous creatures. These were ok in 6th, but now a flying MC needs few minutes to land and gather itself before it can assault. Then there is the monsters VS. armor that just makes no sense. I mean, it’s harder to pop a landraider than to kill a marine, but there is only one monster in the whole game that can duke it out with a dreadnought. You can scout and shoot, but not scout and punch, same with infiltration. We have units with the exact same name, role and faction not to mention model, but for example BA dreadnought is just worse than regular marine one even though BA should be the more assaulty one. Oh yeah, heldrakes are teh suk in CSM codex, due to FAQ that nerfed it to uselessness, but apparently the same FAQ does not hit the daemonkin drake since it’s not mentioned in there. There are exactly 2 things that are important in a game and they are good rules and good balance. So, no play testing at all…at least as far as the evidence goes. I’m willing to bet that most reasonably intelligent people who play this game could correct the mistakes it has in it, easily. I know I can, I proved it there with the movement rules, and I do not see myself as exceptionally intelligent person.

    Let’s not kid ourselves. ITC and ETC are indeed recognized, but are still just a bunch of house rules among some things that should not need clarification anyway. I mean, there’s a ruling that movement can not end so that a model is inside a wall in ETC. One can not end movement in a way that defies laws of physics and yet this has to be told to someone, seriously? No, ITC is not better than that either.

    Forget FAQ. Do it like FW does with HH. After that there is very little need for FAQs.

    [/correction]

    • Muninwing

      FAQ-correcting once balance issues were found would allow for a running fix of problems.

      • Shiwan8

        True, but they refuse to do that.

        • Muninwing

          i really do not understand why… it would be simple, it would be a good use of resources, it would encourage more players…

          it’s a win-win for everyone.

          i worked retail long enough to know that for every one unsatisfied customer, they talk to three friends whose opinions are swayed too…

          imagine all the people who quit WHF angrily at the invention of AoS. the negative experience they had was the kind of big no-no that anyone in the customer service industry knows to avoid.

          in contrast… imagine walking into a store for some magic cards, or because you’re bored, or because someone you’re with stopped next door. you look and see happy gamers, having fun, playing a game with cool pieces. you ask what it is and they enthusiastically tell you how awesome their armies are and how fun the game is. you are more likely to try it.

          think of how grudgingly many of us give kudos to GW. how many of us have gripes over mistakes old or new. think of how often someone just decides to quit because the game isn’t fun anymore when it’s so brokenly unbalanced.

          now think of one step further.

          you want to play? here’s ways to play.

          – here’s a book to help create various forms of narrative campaigns. from example/precreated types to organizational tools, here’s a way to keep it all organized and how to keep track of scoring.

          – here’s another book all about unbalanced games, how to set them up so that disadvantages are weighted against objectives.

          – while we’re at it, here’s some ways of playing low-points games, character-driven games (with optional chaos-3.5-reminiscent character creation rules), subterranean/intership games, boarding actions, missions in extreme environments, urban warfare, and the like.

          imagine if with every box set you bought, you got a licensed copy of a listbuilder that you could use to keep tract of your army (like battlescribe or amybuilder) that synced with any digital codices you had, bringing the entry or rule up with a click.

          these are not surprises in other fields. synergy between products is a goal in many industries. look at various games for inspiration in alternate play-modes. in any other industry but this one, these innovations would not have been ignored, but would have been supported and added for depth and variance.

          instead we got cities of death and planetstrike, which were so optional nobody ever opted for them. and then escalation and stronghold defense, which were immediately eaten by the new rules (second-most-useless product ever, only beaten by the Wargear book that was out-of-date a month after printing).

          one member on staff to handle PR and relations — writing FAQs, attending large events, heading up a network of allied gaming clubs (who register, hold x events per year, and in return get y support per event each year, creating a network of players and a method of disseminating information or product as needed), and connecting with the design team to make sure that products are having the desired effect.

        • Muninwing

          i got wordy. sorry.

          tl;dr: they’re dumb for not taking the opportunity.

          • Shiwan8

            Agreed.

  • TweetleBeetle

    The rules are only unclear to people who can’t read, or who decided ahead of time that they were going to complain about everything GW prints, and thus make everything harder than it really is.

    • Shiwan8

      Can a KDK summoned daemon assault on that same turn?

    • Muninwing

      how many weapons can a GC shoot in one turn?

  • Rob

    You are wrong from the very beginning complex games can be much clearer but it requires effort which gw is never going to give you. For good game design in a complex mechanic see privateer pres, infinity both have very complex rules and interactions. Keep buying the crap and the universe we all love will continue towards the AoS pit of despair.

  • Syrenjester

    GW’s mistake was supporting the tournament scene in the first place. The reason I say this is it doesn’t push the narrative play they were wanting their game to be. I actually commend them though on trying to shift it around now so that it is the game they envisioned. They are willing to lose their competitive players to bring a game they wanted. I say hats off to GW and I hope it works out.

    So many companies try to please the forum complaints, which usually doesn’t reflect the mass. GW is maybe one of the companies that has listened to market research.

    • Chris. K Cook

      Losing some of the sociopaths in the hardcore tournament scene might help attract new players.

      • Azrell

        Dropping some of the elitists in the narrative community couldn’t hurt ether 😛

        • Chris. K Cook

          Because we spend all day screaming at everyone that they aren’t playing the game right?

    • Muninwing

      “it doesn’t push the narrative play they were wanting their game to be”

      that’s silly.

      where is the “here’s how to run a narrative campaign” book?

      where’s the ” here’s how to create interesting games with imbalanced sides” product?

      besides… they are a company, not an artist. they respond to the market, or they sell less. if part of that market abuts the idea of tournament play, why can’t they partially support it in order to build a community and enrich the experience for everyone?

      some of the designers (not all of them…) have gone on record talking about how the tournament scene isn’t for them, and they like narrative games. but not only is that irrelevant, it’s silly — not everyone likes what you like, or plays as you play. why drastically cut down your player/consumer base?

      when GW sponsored tournaments, they also were sponsoring community. and those gaming communities staying healthy and in existence are what bring in new players, they are what keep the hobby end going, they run the narrative campaigns, and they host events.

      i feel like Jervis’s “who needs balance?” article that is sometimes cited as “what the game is supposed to be” is not only utter rubbish, it’s reflective of a sad, limited perspective. sure, i don’t like tournament WAAC either (i’m one of the least externally competitive people you’ll meet), but i like having more opponents… and i like when there are enough players active in an area to run a campaign. and i like knowing how well or poorly i am playing based on objectives and results.

      GW’s last CEO went on record stating that they do no market research, and he was proud of that fact. and now that they are publically traded, do not pretend that they are upholding an artistic vision — they are doing what they believe will sell well. besides the “they” who had said artistic vision have all left and joined up with other games.

      if they are (net) losing players, they are failing as a company. if they are doing so due to arbitrary decisions, they are unnecessarily failing.

    • Azrell

      GWs mistake was letting Relic make the DOW games. They brought more players into the game than GW could ever hope to reach in the US, but most want tournaments and match style pick up games not a chose your own adventure with models.

  • NagaBaboon

    The rules have a feeling of being written a long time ago by someone, and since then little flaws in the rules have been discovered, but rather than thinking of a way to properly reshape the rules with this info in mind they just stuck a patch on it and hoped it’d fix things….

    Oh no wait…..

  • Alessandro Azzone

    WOW comparing Infinity’s ruleset to 40k is not just unfair is proper misleading. Infinity’s ruleset is consistent and it is ALL included in a set of 2 or 3 books. All the factions are released at the same time and 95% use the same rules (e.g. a sptifire is a spitfire with the same rule in every faction ). Corvus Belli provides timely FAQ that are available on the forum (gosh who would image someone could do that) and also there is a navigable wiki for EVERY rule, weapon, skill, equipment that you can verify from your phone for a quick check. I have played 40k for 20 years and frankly sometimes the rules RAW dont make sense, this rarely or never happens with Infinity. Most of the time you can figure out how it works with common sense. May be you should play a bit more infinity rather than using it for this continuous apology of GW poor practises.

    • Me

      A wiki would be awesome!

  • Muninwing

    firstoff… the rulebook is full of extra (non-example) pictures. they’ve slimmed it down to a smaller format before, and could again.

    second… a large portion of the rules use comparable mechanics… learn it once and you cut a huge chunk out of those rules.

    third… for people who want a game with complications and nuance, in order to give a rich tactical experience, you need the rules to me more comprehensive and less slimmed-down.

    there are two ways to make sure this works. the real issue is that GW does neither, not that one or the other does not work.
    – they could write it the best they could, then fix conflicts with regular FAQs
    or
    – they could playtest, balance, and data-analyze the aspects of the game in order to assess real value, then incorporate that data into rules and points values, in order to make a quality product.

  • KreskinsESP

    Redo main rules along with all the army rules at the same time, as one cohesive ruleset, make the basic rules available for free online, make the print versions the fancy ones with the fluff and hobby sections, and once or twice a year do line-wide tweaks to keep things as close to balanced as is possible with all the new releases. This lets GW go all-out with the “we’re a company that makes models for collectors and also rules that let you play with them I guess” thing they’re all about now and put out new models whenever they’d like instead of waiting for a new codex to release them with, it keeps the tournament players happy by at least making an effort towards balance and restricting “new codex=best codex, we gotta sell new plastic” power creep and lowers the barriers of entry for new players, which is always a good thing.

    They’ll never do this, of course. It makes too much sense.

  • ChubToad

    Aside from the fact that the rules disputes can be fixed by a major FAQ release, I think 7th is a very good rules set.

    • Muninwing

      actually THAT the majority of rules could be fixed easily by a simple FAQ is what makes it a good ruleset.

      or means that it could be a good ruleset if GW cared to make it so.

  • Sam Twibill
    • euansmith

      Excellent sets of rules.

  • JN7

    One space after a period!!!

    Does that really make you so sad you’ll remove it again? I’ll even make it relevant. The only people that still use two spaces are old. Not only are your common practices out of date, so are your ideas about gaming.

    • Sam Twibill

      “The only people that still use two spaces are old” and academics, you uncultured swine.

      • JN7

        Maybe old academics. All of the recent scientific and/or research papers I’ve read have been a single space. Swine.

        • Sam Twibill

          Old academics are academics.
          Trolling this hard/10

        • Muninwing

          i’m not that old… but i’m pretty firm on the two spaces rule.

          i even know where it came from, and why it really should be one. but i don’t like change. and my phone puts a period if i hit space twice. so done.

    • Me

      “Old” is subjective unless you define it. How do you define “old”?

      I do not think I am that old, but I use two spaces because I was taught by someone who was. Your grade suffered if you used one space. I know that the style guides say to use one space, but old habits die hard. The good news is that a lot of modern apps can be set up to auto correct it. The bad news is that Disqus is apparently not one of them.

      • euansmith

        I tend to avoid the whole question by using run on sentences, utilising multiple, nested sub-clauses; and ending with… a… lacuna… or three…

  • Richard Mitchell

    I think the difference is not that rule ambiguity isn’t present in Warmachine. I think the difference is that PP has a forum, sponsored by PP, with Infernals, who make official rulings on rule disputes people can refer too, and they regular update FAQs and digital cards and rules. They spend a lot of time and money to investing in the community and their competitive scene.

    There are many amazing players who play 40k and AoS. I will say it again “There are many amazing players who play 40k and AoS”. I have never seen so many people invest so much time in fixing rules with comps, developing alternative competitive scenarios, and rulesets with so little support from a company that makes 10s of millions of dollars of the community. Heck even locally the group did a charity tournament totally unsupported and recognized by GW. Now compare this to Foodmachine…

    • Muninwing

      GW used to be like that.

      i actually wonder if they would still be in existence today had they not had the foresight to establish good community before all the troubles they have had over the last few years/editions.

      and… “good community relations” is also why allowing rumors of WHF 9th to propagate (then killing 9 entirely and releasing an unrelated game as a supposed successor) was a really bad idea…