40K Op-Ed: Is 8th Edition the End of Rules Abusers?

Today we talk about Rules Abusers.  Has 40K 8th edition with its simpler rules finally killed them off?

SaltyJohn here, head judge for the Las Vegas Open, and TFG Radio personality here to talk to you about Rules Abusers. From the beginning of time, humans have played games. From that first game there have always been rules. Some games rules are so simplistic that breaking, or bending them, is practically impossible. Other games’ rules are so complex that bending them to your will almost seems like part of the game. Now that 8th edition seems to be entering the realm of simpler rules, have we turned a corner with Warhammer 40k?

If you are interested in the history of games I suggest the series Crash Course Games from Crash Course on YouTube.

The arrival of 8th edition last year heralded a new era of simplified 40k. It was lauded by many in the various 40k communities for the small set of core rules and expanded rules through Indexes, and the various types of play, like Matched Play. Some people, of course, didn’t like it because “change” but overall the new system was a refreshing update to what felt at times was a stagnated game system, even between similar editions.

Another boon of this new edition, was that it came with a new and improved Games Workshop, in several ways. With a rebooted, vigorous, and often times humorous online presence; combined with a renewed commitment to timely FAQs and Errata to problematic rules and interactions, we entered into a new era of tighter and clearer rules where not only the RAW (Rules as Written) but RAI (Rules as Intended) are clearer than ever. Personally my favorite part is the sassy comments the GW Warhammer 40k page makes back at people who make silly counter intuitive, and counter common sense, arguments. Which brings me to my point. Is 8th edition the end of the Rules Abuser class of player?

Warhammer 40k has a long, and storied, history of players who abuse the rules. Rules abuse is different than a Rules Lawyer by the way. A Rules Lawyer is generally a person who argues the RAW of rules simply for fun, usually online, and to show loopholes in the rules but not with the explicit intention of bringing these loopholes to the table top and exploiting them. For the Rules Lawyer the rules, and the game, are mostly an intellectual exercise and if they play the game they leave those arguments at home. The Rules Abuser is the opposite kind of player. The Rules Abuser class of 40k player is the one who comes to the table armed to the teeth with RAW arguments to win the game his way. They can be simple, or they can edge into the realm of terrifyingly abusive to the game and degrading to the social interactions of the game itself. These players usually make a list that hinges around their ability to make a RAW argument about something specific to win their games through “gotcha” type moments with their opponents. Needless to say these players are often seen as less than admirable, and can sometimes even be players who are actively avoided and may even have earned bans from local stores and events as a result. It isn’t the arguing itself that’s the issue with Rules Abusers. It is the intent behind what they’re doing that causes problems between them and their opponents/judges/TOs. Sadly many of the players who fit this class don’t recognize what it is that earns them bad reputations. There are some notable examples from our 40k history of these individuals and arguments but rather than go through a smorgasbord of players past indiscretions let’s discus instead the ways 8th edition may finally bring about the demise of these less than savory characters in our beloved community.

8th edition is generally a simpler game. The core rules for the game went from over 40 pages of rules in previous editions to just 8 pages of core rules, plus a few pages for the specific styles of play like Matched Play. Even things like Universal Special Rules have been significantly pared down, made truly universal in some cases, and in other cases eliminated completely. The lack of massive numbers of formations and their accompanying rules bloat and odd interactions we found in 7th, are gone. The way psychic powers work and how influential they could be on the game is paired down nicely as well, and they’re generally worded in a way that makes a lot more sense. All of this goes a long way to bringing the Rules Abusers into check more often. Aside from a simpler, and therefore harder to abuse, rule set making it difficult on the Rules Abuser the rapid fire FAQs/Errata from Games Workshop and the complete nature in which they address proven abuses also curbs the Abuser.

Two notable examples of this are the changes that came to Smite and Conscripts. By listening to the community at large, in particular the competitive community, GW has it’s ears to the ground on what is problematic in their rules and they’ve adjusted quickly. I would like to kindly remind anyone who would argue that GW isn’t addressing the issues in a timely manner because a few months went by between Conscripts/Smite being a known problem and a fix coming down from on high, that it wasn’t uncommon for GW to take over a year, if ever, to fix problems with the game that were far more game breaking than Conscripts or Smite. By consistently changing the game through FAQ and Errata, and doing so quickly, GW has set the important precedent that they will fix blatantly broken parts of the game. This is important to our conversation as the Rules Abuser will often build entire lists centered around abusing a specific loop hole, or broken unit/rule, and by consistently putting an end to this the Rules Abuser has a harder time abusing their rules consistently. It also means that buying, building, and painting an entire army based on an abusive idea is going to make the Rules Abuser’s life quite expensive, and thus discourages this type of list building. You can sometimes identify a Rules Abuser by looking at their reaction to changes made via FAQs, the more irrationally angry they get at the too fast pace of FAQs and Errata, according to them at least, the more likely you are to have a Rules Abuser on your hands.

Besides the benefit of finding out about rules abuses more easily; the GW presence on social media, and the inclusion of outside play testers, gives us important insight into the way GW thinks when writing the rules. Giving us a basis for RAI, or Rules as Intended. More importantly though the responses from GW to the community gives us a pretty firm leg to stand on when calling out Rules Abusers on their BS arguments. The highly sarcastic tone with which the Warhammer 40,000 community page takes when responding to some of the rules questions they get show the contempt with which they hold the abusive RAW arguments that often come up. In the past TOs, Judges, and other players would often be forced to capitulate to a ridiculous RAW argument made by a Rules Abuser and then address it later in an independent FAQ.

Today it’s much easier to laugh, call it BS, and tell the player “No, you can’t do that.” The tighter rules, and consistent FAQs, have put such a damper on the Rules Abuser’s ability to write lists specifically to abuse a loop hole etc that many of them have turned to modelling to continue their abusive ways. Some gems from this new tactic below:

  • Can I use an imperial knight without a base? If not please provide rules to support your argument.
  • Can I deploy a fortification on it’s side?
  • Can I deploy one fortification on top of another?
  • Please show me where it says I have to model my marines standing up on their base instead of lying down.

The list goes on and on. Most people respond with things GW has said in the past like “base the model came with etc.” today those rules aren’t there and instead the community at large is much more comfortable applying common sense, where in the past it hadn’t done so before. The reason for this sort of renaissance in rules interpretations and rulings is based in large part on the three points I made above. Simpler rules, timely FAQs, and a firm understanding of GWs intentions and feelings toward RAW based rules abuse. 8th edition is an empowering edition for those who have done battle against the Rules Abuser class of player for multiple editions. Hopefully through tighter rules writing, FAQs, and yearly Chapter Approved we might see an end to the Rules Abuser as someone who shows up; or at least see them as a more commonly derided figure in the 40k competitive, and broader 40k, communities.

~As always I’d love to read your comments, I think.

Pictured: internet comments


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  • Heinz Fiction

    A ruleset needs to be much tighter than 40k to prevent abuse completely but at least GW acknowledges the problem exists…

    • Bradley Macduff

      there will always be a problem, really the only way is to as a community start ejecting guys like that on a local level. but i suppose their like drug dealers, nobody wants to remove them out of fear i guess?? they dont want to be seen as some kind of crusader for change??

  • David

    So its irrational to get annoyed at spending hundreds of pounds and hours of time painting an army for a tournament only to have it made invalid r weak the week before? I haven’t been caught by any of it but I get why it would be annoying.

    The whole tone of this article is rude. Instead of abuser try the phrase “player playing by the rules as written”

    • Jared McWilliams

      No FAQ for 8th has rendered any unit useless.

      • Sir Postalot

        Na there have been quite a few nerfs in the faq’s that made units over costed and thus useless in an army that doesn’t want to be too point inefficient. One example is inq henchmen. Sure they where a bit odd but removing 2/3’s of their wounds and not changing their point cost (for both their base models and all their weapons), or their bs/ws4+ made them too expensive. The less obscure example might be conscripts.

      • a passing gaunt

        Well the conscript nerf means they’re the same cost as basic guardsmen which are superior in most ways.
        While the smite nerf was very hard on GKs who already use a heavily nerfed version of smite.

    • el_tigre

      I think if you’ve spent hundreds of pounds and hours forging a list around something that can be so specifically and spectacularly nerfed as to ruin that entire list you probably have too much money AND time AND little regard for your fellow gamer. Probably.

      • Sir Postalot

        Na, you could also just be playing a less mainstream list. Obscure builds dont have to be WAAC monstrosities.They can also be really fluffy weird things but they do have a high risk of becoming FAQ collateral damage.

    • LankTank

      Yeah but to be fair, we all know when there is a case of “wow I have found an unbeatable loophole that requires repeat use of the same unit” that there was a chance this is going to be quashed. Even better atm GW is addressing these loopholes about 2 weeks after codex.

      • euansmith

        Shame they are doing it before releasing the Codices. 😉

    • James Regan

      This argument is why they issued an FAQ schedule- you’ve not been caught by an unexpected re-balancing of an over-efficient unit a week before your tournament. You’ve been caught by your own hope that they wouldn’t spot that unit was broken, like in the ‘good old days’ when GW issued FAQ’s a year afterwards, and didn’t care if the game stayed broken because the competitive scene was a single throne of skulls tournament once a year in the building next to their head office in Lenton, as far as they cared

    • Agent of Change

      The point isn’t you shouldn’t be annoyed.

      IF you spend a lot of money on an army, spend the time to paint it and a FAQ makes your list invalid because your list relied of some half-assed edge case then feel free to be annoyed. But also Be advised most of us will be getting a nice dose of schadenfreude watching that annoyance.

      The point is rules abuse has long been a problem in a complex system like 40k and usually justified by saying that the “player is legitimately building a list and playing by the rules as written” when challenged on it. the article points out (bluntly) that if you get burned on this maybe it should be evidence you should adjust your thinking.

      Once is a mistake, twice is on you.

  • ZeeLobby

    Well. When you remove 3/4 of them it helps. Clearly there’s still been abuse. GW has never been a tight ruleset writer though. At least they’re FAQing fast. Depends if we ever reach a place where the FAQs can catch up. Every book seems to open some new abuse.

    • Warrior24_7

      Is it abuse if it’s in the rules? Besides, the more you Nerf one thing, you make something else stronger somewhere else.

      • ZeeLobby

        Abuse only exists when rules are poorly written. It’s obvious when clearly a rule is intended to be implemented one way on the table, but players find a way to ignore/avoid it. There is clearly a difference, though sometimes people falsely identify it.

        I am confused what nerfs have to do with this discussion though. Balance is a whole other issue GW has. Their FAQs/errata still spend a lot of time fixing and explaining poorly written rules.

        • Valourousheart

          I disagree. The players that I would define as abusive, have the tendency to employ questionable combinations in every game system they play.

          They also tend to cycle through armies faster, generally selling off whole armies almost immediately after the FAQ is released.

          Which leads outside observers to the opinion that they knew they were taking advantage of an exploit, and are unwilling to play without access to an exploit.

          • ZeeLobby

            Right. But it’s easier to find those abuses when the rules are poorly written. “Only exists” was a bad choice of words, but it’s definitely more prevalent. I agree with the rest of what you said as well.

          • JoBane

            I couldn’t agree more!

        • LankTank

          I also disagree. Some players misinterpret, some players quick skim, some players deliberately contort. How many times have we seen rules clear as day try and be twisted. The only reason we are more aware of abuse in 40k is that it’s the biggest game of its kind with the largest active forums discussing interpretations of rules

          • ZeeLobby

            Again, there’s clearly a difference between abusing a ruleset and not reading it. Having attended large events of many systems, it’s much more prevalent in 40K then anywhere else. Just look at the size of the FAQ compared to other systems, the majority of entries to simply head off or fix these gaps.

        • Warrior24_7

          What’s abuse to you? If look at the tournament scene, all you see are exploits. These are the things that you call abuse and it’s perfectly legal.

          • ZeeLobby

            Spamming good units and good combos are not exploits. Abuse is using combos whose interaction was clearly not intended. I mean you have heard of RAW vs RAI right?

          • Warrior24_7

            Oooooohhh… So you mean they are abusing the “spirit
            of the rules”?!! The spirit of the rules and fluff aren’t rules!!! So we’re back to this again, I don’t care what acronym you use, that is what you mean. How do you know that action or combo was not intended? You don’t! These are called exploits, they are legal, “written”, rules. Nothing was done illegally so the argument is over. If it was illegal, then it’s “cheating”.

            There is only one of two ways to go about this, you’re either playing by the rules, or you’re cheating! The player is allowed to do it whether you like it or not! Rules “allow” you to do something. Now if you want to “change” the rule that is something entirely different. You now want GW to “nerf” this to stop it, it’s unbalancing the game, so you whine until it’s changed. Rinse and repeat.

          • ZeeLobby

            Well we’ll just have to agree to disagree. For you there’s cheating and not cheating. For me there’s cheating, not cheating, and abusing loopholes. AKA abusing the rules, AKA what this whole discussion is about. Just because you choose to not accept it’s existence doesn’t mean that I have to, and that’s fine.

            When a rules written poorly, but everyone can abuse it, I tend to care less. But when an army gets a unit that can uniquely abuse a rule, I consider it a much more poorly written game.

          • Warrior24_7

            And you made my point… It’s about an “army” or “unit” that “you” want GW to nerf so you don’t have to face it. As long as we are “allowed” to combine armies, ally, and create character death stars, then this will be an ongoing issue. You’ll never stop it. Something will buff something else and there you go.

            Custodes are a prime example. The army isn’t officially released yet and people are already coming up with ways to add ability and beef up the army and making up house rules. “Oh, my Custodes army only has 2 CPs, let’s ALL agree to get 9 CPs everybody!” Yaaaay!!

            I have no problem with any of it, it’s part of the game. The thing is, armies like this are really one dimensional and you just have to find a way to beat them, and nobody wants to do that anymore. Yes, we must agree to disagree here.

          • ZeeLobby

            Lol. I believe you have be confused with someone else. I don’t want any unit nerfed unless it needs it. But if rules are unclear and then abused, I’d rather have them written clearly. GW has always struggled finding and dealing with the complex interactions that occur in their game. I just want them to do better.

            I have this feeling you started in 8th. Eldar in 6th and 7th wasn’t some army you could just “figure out”. For half of the factions it was just an unfair game. That’s not good game design.

          • Warrior24_7

            Nope, I’m not confused at all. As far as I’m concerned, anyone who is crying about something being nerfed should go back to the red and green army men. There are a few different poses, they all have a rile, make them move 6″, shoot 8″, throw some terrain on the table and have at it.

            GW has to walk a fine line with fairness, balance, and gamer freedom. The freedom to create a unique army by mixing, matching, and combining abilities of your units and characters is good for the game. As long as there are different stat lines and abilities, there will be this issue, there is no way around it.

            Stupid rules like charging reinforcement pts to the Chaos player for changing an enemy model into a chaos spawn is ridiculous. The player is actually being penalized for using a mechanic in the game, when the “intent” was for that to happen! Complain about “that”.

          • Bootneck

            GW had to make the ruling generically the same else further down the line maybe not on this unit but perhaps another it could create a loop hole which someone would abuse. People can’t shout for balance, errata etc etc then not likely all the rules when suddenly they effect something which is personal to them.

            The funny thing with all the whines on these boards is most stem from the same source. People bending the rules, purposely trying to break them or playing house rules.

            Its fairly black or white for me, wrong or right. No problems.

          • Warrior24_7

            The chaos spawn rule is dumb. If the spawn attacked the nearest model friend or foe, that’s one thing, the spawn would be basically neutral. But you “charge” the chaos player reinforcement pts for creating the spawn by using a spell that was generated randomly and the added pts were NOT part of that spell is BS! That was “put in” in an errata!

            How many pts is the Necron player charged for every dead Necron that gets back up? Exactly!! So saying “if”, “maybe”, is not an answer. But I agree with everything else that you said. But if one is to complain about a rule, “that” is a prime example. A chaos spawn is not going to tilt the balance of the game.

          • ZeeLobby

            Lol. I didn’t say to Nerf anything. Are you even reading the right comments? I just want them to expand their 4 pages of rules to 8 and cover the gaps.

          • Warrior24_7

            Really? “I don’t want any unit nerfed unless it needs it.”- ZeeLobby

            You’re not being clear. What gaps do you see?

          • ZeeLobby

            So if Guilliman cost 10 pts you wouldn’t think he might need a nerfing? I never said anything specific, because I don’t know of anything specifically that needs a nerf. But you clearly saw the word nerf and went all rabid dog about it, lol.

            If you can’t see gaps or issues in the current rules more power to you, but people bring them up here, and at events, all the time. I’m not going to list a bunch if you believe it’s something that doesn’t happen, there’s just no point. You’ve clearly shown in your responses that this isn’t a discussion with you, you just want to tell me what is right and wrong, haha.

          • Warrior24_7

            I play Chaos as well as a few other armies. I usually pay more for the exact same weapons then my loyal space marine counterparts, nor do I have the variety. I also play Tau who don’t have a psychic phase and are the worst in CC. That represents 2 phases out of the turn were I’m flat out non competitive! My DE are the biggest glass cannons in the game! But, I’ve NEVER said nerf anything or complained about anything, and I’ve won the vast majority of my games.

            My issues are with the gamers themselves taking liberties that they don’t deserve, or flat out cheating! Shady sht like sneakily moving a model back or forward with their finger to avoid or get a charge, not measuring and shooting or charging from a long distance away, trying to take cover save while not in cover, 360 degree LOS, not modifying leadership, trying to go back in time to correct a mistake in my turn, etc. See, I can name things.

            If Guilliman cost 10pts I would say raise his pts, you say nerf. I can care less about the rulebook honestly. It’s the shady stuff that you gotta watch from fellow players. 8th has its issues, but it’s not horrible.

          • Ryan Miller

            Exploits are considered cheating by most game manufacturers, btw. I know people who have been banned from many MMOs and even MTG for exploiting rule oversights.

          • Warrior24_7

            Banned huh? Well that’s very unfortunate to ban a player for exploiting a “rule oversight”. I play video games as well and if the player manipulated something within the game to cause it, than damn right he should be banned. But, if he is using an uber character or discovered a killer combination and is beating everybody than no, it’s not the player’s fault? Cheating is not following the rules. An exploit is within the rules, so the player didn’t cheat. Using a character in 40k to buff another unit that is not his own is an exploit that has been around since characters were allowed to join units.

            Look, I’m a power player. I’m trying to table you. So I don’t care about your army, what’s in it, what characters you’re using or how powerful they are. If you want to bring Guilliman fine, I’m going to kill him, just follow the rules. Why is that so hard?

      • euansmith

        “That which does not nerf us, makes us stronger.” Friedrich Nietzsche

  • Sir Postalot

    The game and especially the pic up games have become more enjoyable to to the rules invoking less rule lawyering. I love not having to look up any rules during the game. However rule abuse is still alive and kicking in some the more competitive scenes and in other players who like to rule lawyer. There isn’t as much wiggle room but those who like to abuse it have found : P
    8th however has a new sort of rule abuse, intended rule abuse such as -2 or even -3 to hit or the out of line of sight closest model character tricks. They are intended, but they also blatantly go against the designers notes on idea of this edition of every unit being able to hurt every unit.

    • Matthew Pomeroy

      my experience has been seeing a lot more rules lawyering and arguments than before.

      • Valourousheart

        What are the arguments generally about? I’m curious if there is a common theme. Or the same players.

        • Matthew Pomeroy

          where to start, just about every damn step of the game. I was very very unimpressed with the quality of rules writing. measuring, cover, rend, mortal wounds, it was a more painful thing to watch than AoS. a lot based around who can shoot who and fight who. there are very few GW players overall where I am but it seems like not one can get through a game without at least a couple arguments about rules. codex, index, faq ad nauseaum

          • LankTank

            How about start as an example lest you come across as just another “blurrgh everything about 8th is bad for the same reasons all editions ever have been! RARRRGHLE”

          • Matthew Pomeroy

            Generally the more I see of 8th, the more I hate it. Its bad, really bad, glad some of you like it. But I have been playing with these guys for almost 10 years and never heard them have these arguments until this piss poor edition of rules. too much vague or simply ignored. there is such a thing as “over simplified” and GW definately has done this, it is a minimal effort product adn it shows.

          • Michael Goldsberry

            care to give one or two CONCRETE examples?

          • Matthew Pomeroy

            I think todays watching 2 players argue for 20 minutes over being able to shoot from a predators antenna through a window since it could see a searchlight on a leman russ is my new “favorite”. usually i would ignore someone like you, but this was a worthy classic to share. poor rules writing to even have that as an argument, let alone the no cover since the searchlight could be seen.

          • LankTank

            If that is one of your friends, you have the worst friends because that is BLATANT rule abuse. I am guessing that person was equally a tool in the last editions.
            Personally I am not a fan of the cover / LOS mechanic, especially for vehicles, but it’s not hard to understand.
            Furthermore an antennae is not the model and LOS cannot be drawn from it

          • Matthew Pomeroy

            played with him a few times in 6th and 7th and never had issues with him, I dont know him as a “friend” but the GW staffer was no help in that either, he seemed to be leaning on he could draw LOS from it. the whole thing ended with a dice roll for who was right, but not until 20 minutes were wasted in a store the size of a broom closet with only 2 tables for playing available.

        • Sir Postalot

          There is a faction of the local tournament players who will claim that you can prevent a flyer from pivoting by moving theirs within 1″ and thus auto destroying those who can’t hover. Other common arguments are things that have been faq’ed such as keyword denyers and hull measuring on based models.

          • Viper666.Qc

            Lol RAW, this is actually true… what a bunch of sh** 😛

          • Bigalmoney666

            FWIW, units with FLY ignore enemy models as if they are not there.

          • Sir Postalot

            I believe that, you believe that, the rules written like that, and I played it like that. But it didn’t make their arguments less passionate.

          • LankTank

            The flyer could still move, but he cannot end his turn within 1″ so this would not destroy the flyer?
            What is the argument for 9″ charges?
            Lastly if your model is based all measurements come from the base. Again if someone puts a venomthrope on a Trygon base that is blatant attempt to cheat, and that same person would have still had a field day in all previous additions

          • Valourousheart

            I’ve heard the flyer argument before. But as I proved to a couple of players at my shop, just by pushing the models around the table, in theory you can destroy a flyer with ground troop placement, because you still have to place the base on the table. However in practical application it is almost in possible without an extremely large hoard army and an oblivious opponent.

            As for hull measuring on based models, I would take that on a case by case basis and also consider the situation at hand. I believe you can’t simply abandon your own judgment when playing a game. You also have to be willing to listen to your opponent and be willing to accept that you might be wrong. The only reason that arguments would go on for 20 minutes is because the players are not willing to accept any interpretation other than their own.

            Some examples that come to mind are…

            1) the Replusor Tank comes with a base that is smaller than the tank… the hull of the tank sticks out over an inch from the front edge of the base. Should all charges to the front of a repulsor tank fail because you can’t get within 1 inch of the base?

            2) An Imperial Knight stands about 6-8 inches tall. Should shots that are in range to shoot the HEAD but are out of range to shoot the FEET be able to shoot or not?

          • Sir Postalot

            Lol, guys I am not here to argue rules. For those who do both the charges and the measuring is made clear in the faq ; )

    • LankTank

      Yes! I mean I didn’t even buy a rulebook XD

  • Kabal1te

    Rule abuse still exists in 8th ed. It still very much does. Mostly it is people trying to shove old ed rules and assumptions into 8th in ways that benefit them that people don’t stop to question because they remember the rule working “something like that” last edition anyway. There is also the people that use old ed rules by mistake because this edition is so bloody different. At least this edition you don’t have to spend hours pouring through rules and special rules and crossreferences to find the answers to rule questions and disputes. There are also a lot less screwball rule interactions to have to look into or question bit well there are a lot less rules. That said with all the FAQs and everything it is getting muddy. The most recent demon FAQ brings into question some of the previous FAQs and commentary about how keywords work and the difference between regular keywords and faction keywords.

    The short version is there is always going to be someone that tries to bend break or purposefully misinterpret a rule for their benefit. It doesn’t matter if you have a system with 4 rules or a system with 4000.

    • marxlives

      The argument can be made that when most games are decided by an initiative roll and are over in 1-2 turns, there isn’t a big opportunity for rule abusers to exist because the alpha strike and math hammer is abusive.

      • Kabal1te

        I haven’t been in any tournaments or leagues since 8th dropped. Inn the casual games I have played so far I have yet to see so crippling an alpha strike that the game was over turn 1 or 2. I have however seen reroll abuse and saves that don’t math and invul saves by models that shouldn’t have them and other such things. It is no where near as bad as 7th was from my personal experience, but it still happens.

        • marxlives

          That is true, I like the option of a pretty well balanced (since perfect is not achievable) tournament rule set because I enjoy competitive play, more specifically losing at competitive play in spectacular fashion. My daddy always said “Son it doesn’t matter if you win or lose, as long as you look good doing it”. But there is something to be said about casual play and just going bonkers with rules and scenarios.

      • LankTank

        Still haven’t had a single game end before 3rd turn. in fact the more I play, and the more experienced my opponents get, the more likely we go 5 turns min.
        It was only the first 2 games that were short due to inexperience but proper players know how to use screening units, gun lines, scout moves etc to prevent alpha strike. Additionally I have decent terrain

  • Warrior24_7

    C’mon really? Tournaments change rules and nobody says a thing. People do what they want in these games. Players use house rules to the extent many do not know the actual rules in some cases. This is why I don’t do it. Playing by the rules means what? Somebody missed a charge by 2″, how about 1 1/2″, and gets mad because you won’t give it to him? Or doesn’t measure at all and just pushes his models in for the charge and it looks too far away? You complain and he gets mad? Doesn’t measure distance and just shoots your unit and you “know” he’s way off? Wants to “go back in time” because he forgot to do something, and you said no? Takes a natural save when it should’ve been modified? Was near cover but not in it, and wants to claim a cover save? Wants to re-roll a re-roll, I could go on, but I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings.

  • Talos2

    You have to rebase old models to fit with currently base sizes now? Really? 8th ed rules may be shorter in terms of rule book, but a lot of that just got moved to the individual unit entries, and there’s less diagrams and explanation now. I don’t think 8th is much simpler, I’ve yet to think it’s better either

  • Apocryphus

    I’m going to get attacked for this, I’m sure, but, it’s not “abuse” if the rule is being followed as written and it creates an npe, that’s bad game design and rule writing. Recent cases, such as the Denizens of the Warp debaucle, are the result of poor rules clarification. You can accuse someone of bending a rule, saying that’s not RAI, but if they are playing it RAW, there’s no way of truly knowing what the intention is if it isn’t crystal clear. The recent FAQ to Chaos states that the Daemon strats are for Daemon Faction only, but no where in the book does it state that. You can’t blame players for trying to play to the strengths of their rules and certainly shouldn’t accuse them of “abuse” because GW writes vague rules. In practice, I always play RAW, regardless of how exploitative it might feel, because as far as I know, it’s intentional.

    • Kabal1te

      I don’t think anyone should be blamed for playing RAW in a competitive environment. The rule is written and if nothing says anything different go with it. Every edge helps. There is a certain point in casual games where you start bending too many rules your way with RAW vs RAI arguments though that you start to kill the enjoyment of the game for your opponent. The biggest thing i see that causes people to complain about the “rule abusers” is those people that can’t switch mindset between must win competitive and casual play.

      • Apocryphus

        I think being unable to differentiate between competative and casual mindsets is always a problem. Generally if a rule or interaction seems especially egregious I will discuss it with my opponent, regardless of who it benefits. But anyway, yeah, you’re absolutely right, and it’s more about abusing your opponent at that point than the rules.

    • Orkimedes

      It’s not as hard to discern RAI as it used to be. In the Denizens example, there was little precedent for using stratagems across codexes, other than the Death Guard/CSM situation, which I suspect will eventually be tightened up as well. None of the other codexes (including the numerous Imperium ones) can use strats across books. To the extent that there are common or similar strats (such as with the variety of ‘common’ space marines strats) they even went to the trouble to print them separately in the DA and BA books with their own chapter specific faction keywords. In the Eldar case, as well, they gave each Eldar faction their own separate (in wording, anyway) version of Webway in Chapter Approved. If they wanted strats to be used across books they would have just made the Webway strat in Craftworlds say “Aeldari” instead of “Asuryani”.

      The closest precedent for the Chaos Daemons/CSM parallel was Genestealer Cults and Tyranids, which they tightened up immediately in the first Nid FAQ.

      Additionally, numerous insiders were saying the Daemon strats were going to be faction keyword specific before the pre-order was even out, so it should not have been surprising, nor does it look like a reactionary move post release.

      In 8th, if it feels abusive, it probably is. That doesn’t mean tourney players can’t exploit temporary gaps in RAW, but there’s no reason to complain when they get closed up.

      • Apocryphus

        I agree that RAI is much easier to parse in 8th, but ideally RAI shouldn’t even need to be a concept, rules should never be up for individual player interpretation, but I also know that’s not easy to pull off.

        Strats not working across codexes is easier to understand when specific keywords like, as you said, Asuryani, Druchari, etc. are used. The primary issue came from the use of Daemon, which does exist across multiple codexes. Admittedly, I thought Tyranid strats could work for GC until GW said otherwise as well, because RAW, they technically should. I’m glad they’re tightening things up, and so far none of these faq’s have affected how I play, but I hope these instances of unintended rules interpretation will give us some tighter rules writing in future codexes.

  • Clayton Comrie

    Heh. I wanted a few marines crouched and prone with ghillie suits . but I’m a lazy modeller so not soing that

    • Drpx

      I kind of wonder why nobody tries that since we still have True Line of Sight.

      • Apocryphus

        Now THAT is rules abuse.

      • People did this in 3rd edition too with low crawling wraith lords.

  • Drpx

    Short answer: no.

  • Arcangelo Daniaux

    Are you serious ? From what I’ve seen in tournament and at my gaming club, 8th is even woth that 6th and 7th when it come to rule abuse…

  • Nilok

    Whenever someone tries to argue that you need to show rules that they can’t do something, you can always retort to have them show you where it says you can’t move their models around during your shooting phase (as a less extreme example).

    Those kind of players have no idea what a permissive vs restrictive rule set is and should learn how to play simpler games first, like checkers.

  • Viper666.Qc

    BRB Ruleset is simpler because they crammed all the extra rules in the datasheets…. just for example….it need more bookkeeping now than before since we need to constantly check in what degraded stats stage our big units are…

    • Sir Postalot

      Just make cards for those 5 units in your army or include the stats in your army list like in the old days : )

  • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

    8th is just as complex they just shifted the complexity to the Codex special rules and unit rules. So far we’ve seen one gimmick list after another. Yes they (mostly) get errattad but with poor playtesting another comes along with each new release.

    8th has no more solved this issue than it has produced balance.

    • marlowc

      Dead right. In the past, most of the complexity was in the main rulebook, which everyone had. Now the complexity is in the codexes, which is a pain, cos it means you have to own all your opponents’ codexes as well as yours. And keep up with a constant stream of damn FAQs!

      • Bootneck

        I disagree you always had to own your opponents codex’s in 6th, 7th etc anyway – if you wanted to remain competitive and in the know.

        Yes the main rule book had many pages of USRs but that doesn’t tell you what stats, equipment configurations and army wide rules anyone had.

        What 8th means is you actually need to refer to the rule book less often and only need to look at the datasheet of the unit(s) in front of you.

        I have all my datasheets printed out into crib sheets so I rarely have to refer to that book either, maybe two A4 pages laminated and covers all my units in a 2k list – simples.

  • euansmith


    But, on the other hand, this is Op-Ed, so thank you for expressing your opinion.

  • It is impossible to do away with rules abusers. Part and parcel of tournament play is your ability to bend rules in your favor and argue against rules not in your favor. That will never change no matter what edition you have in front of you.

  • Marc Berry

    Better clearer rules for line of sight needs to be addressed as well as better rules for scenery / cover. Simpler isn’t always better.

  • Jared Jeanquart

    So, I’m a bit annoyed that Malefic Lords got upped to 80 points AND smite is being nerfed with the successive +1. 50 or 60, sure, but 80?

    • Bootneck

      Don’t forget the FW books are actually index books and not FULL 8th edition books – as such they have only been written to bridge the gap between 7th and 8th.

      Tbh many of the FW units suffer from their typical schizoid rules, no real balance, some under-powered others overpowered, over-costed, under-costed.

      I’m not saying your right or wrong as I have seen many good units go bad – its just what actually is.

  • Fraser1191

    if i played against someone that had all their guys laying on their bases and they told me it was to decrease line of sight. I’d walk away laughing

  • David Clift

    I’m still upset abut the faq to Lictors and their Pheromone Trail ability but with a little juggling about with other units and ability’s ironically you can still get the same effects.