40K Op-Ed: Should GW Take Over Competitive Play?

GW can set down a competitive play structure globally, taking over organized play. Should they?

I’m sure you’re familiar with the one hundred and one regional flavors of 40K. No matter where you go for tourneys from your local store to the biggest events in the world – each will have it’s own flavor, rules, and local differences.


But now I want you to take a step back and think of these games:

  • X-Wing
  • Magic the Gathering
  • Everything else from FFG
  • D&D
  • Pathfinder
These games all have strictly controlled organized play structures with player metrics that are reported and tracked by the manufacturer.  It gives the manufacturer effectively complete control of the play, and allows for things like:

  • Unified apples to apples player stats.
  • Consistancy of rules and missions.
  • Firm control of player behavior via agreements required for entry.
  • Unified prize support.
  • Brand recognition and trust of the manufacturer.

These are things that cannot be matched by any third party single event or league. In certain parts of the world large scale sets of play leagues for 40K have formed, while in other areas large single 40K events with very distinct rules of play have established strong traditions. This type of diversity is not normally seen in the games where there is strong manufacturer controlled organized play – yet players seem enthusiastic and happy in those company controlled structures.

So my question for you is:

Should GW step in and take over organized play for their own games once and for all?

This would not mean an end to the diversity of events out there.  It would mean that events would be simply hosting GW sanctioned events – rather than their own inventions. If events wanted to keep their really unique offerings, those would fall outside the corporate structure and play in those events wouldn’t count towards the company controlled league stats.

I think it’s a tough choice.

On the one hand I would love to see a grand unified global league that players across the globe could compete in.  Imagine a global 40K league with the top few players from around the world competing the the finals – say in Warhammer World for example.  Imagine a GW website for tracking player stats globally with awesome drill-down stats.  It’s very heady stuff.

On the other hand – the community has built up a truly awesome and diverse set of local and regional events with the sweat and blood of tournament organizers and wildly supportive and dedicated attendees.  A global GW run league would lessen that diversity and lead to a pervasive sameness of events during each season. Inevitably some events would choose to host the GW league events and their unique voices would grow silent.

~Which would you choose – and why?


  • NagaBaboon

    No. If they wrote rule sets even half as tight as FFG or Wizards then maybe but they don’t and a little outside influence to help balance the game a bit probably isn’t a bad thing.

    • vlad78

      Can’t agree more.

    • ellobouk

      I can’t imagine what you mean at all 😉

      I mean, a GW judge ruled Relic of Lost Cadia could be used as many times as you want against a friend of mine at the weekend, no balance problems there at all failing to be addressed by them.

      • euansmith

        What?! Cadia is LOST?! Have they looked down the back of the Golden Throne?

    • ZeeLobby

      I’ve been wishing for so long that they’d simply hire outside or outsource their rules and faction writing. They do make amazing models. They should just focus on that.

      • euansmith

        I really like the way that North Star works with Osprey on their games; with North Star supplying some “official” minis and Osprey producing the rules.

      • NagaBaboon

        Yeah, you’d think that GW would have the money to put together a decent rules writing team but as that doesn’t seem to be the case I totally agree.

  • Karru

    Unfortunately it would be the end of 40k Competitive scene if this was the case. GW does not know how to nor want to write competitive rules, so it is better left to those that actually do.

  • Sure, let GW control competitive play. That way we can finally do away with points, sportsmanship and painting scores and army comp can come back! And lets not forget all their custom tournament missions and the pub quiz.

    • Most tournaments in the US already lack Sportsmanship and Painting scores… if anything bringing Comp in might actually help at this point, haha.

      • Yes, it would seem they do. If you’ve never played in an old GW RTT, those were at the time all part of the tournament. Which is how I think GW Should do if they were to take over competitive play.
        It wouldn’t be competitive play really but it would show how they think their games should be played in a public setting, well it would advertise their games as they want them to be seen. I doubt a lot of “competitive players” want a return to that.

        What it seems to me with these kinds of articles is that some players want a game written around a tournament and not a tournament written around a game.

        • euansmith

          It would be fitting if GW created a Organised Play environment that was strictly Narrative 😀 The Grand Prize would go to the Player Who Had The Most Fun.

          • Haha. I wouldn’t put it past them!

          • LankTank

            I see you rolled 2,000 dice. But Billy here rolled 2,002. So Billy wins as everyone knows at GW, rolling dice = only way to make game fun =)

          • briandavion

            funny thing is, if they did it right I’d be all over that, host a narriative mission series everynow and again, folks come in and play a mission and it hells a story etc.

  • orionburn III

    Obviously there are a lot of pros & cons to both, but I’d lean towards them staying out of it. I mean we have to be honest here – the reason for the diversity is because a lot of us feel that we need to tweak the rules to make it more balanced. I think a happy medium would be for GW to establish certain guidelines that need to be met, but not so strict that it curtails individual tournaments from doing their own thing. For example, my FLGS manager won’t allow Forge World models to be used in store tourneys. Why? Because he’s a baby and doesn’t get money from FW models, therefore he doesn’t want them in his store. It would be nice to have some simple guidelines that say “FW models must be allowed.” To your point there could be ways of tracking for gamesmanship that could be turned in along with scores.

    While the prospect of being invited to a final big showdown at Warhammer World would be awesome I think that would make the current competitive scene all the worse.

    • Rob brown

      Lots of people don’t like Forge World because some of the most broken rules were found in those books.

      • Blinghop

        Obviously there are the few notorious examples (looking at you model-less psyker of doom and giant tau suit of villainy), but when people lay down this blanket sentiment it just seems wrong to me. In my experience, the vast majority of FW units are usually overcosted for what they do and there are far more broken units that come from GW codex rules than there have ever been from FW. Admittedly, the times when FW is broken, it is very broken.

        I’m not saying this is you in particular since you did say “lots of people”, and that is true, but I just feel this sentiment from players is a knee jerk reaction without much actual thought behind it.

        • LankTank

          That is actually very correct on FW. Their rules are either ok or mind shatteringly overpowered. No in between

  • grimsmite

    The issue I have is around player stats. As soon as players start to be able to measure themselves against others then competitive play becomes all important and behaviour can deteriorate. If GW are determined to keep three different levels of play they will find it challenging to support a global competitive presence.

    • Infinity has stat tracking like this, and I’ve never seen or heard of anyone having poor sportsmanship over it. Maybe it’s more a reflection of the community, than an actual problem with tracking stats. For that matter, ITC does this already for 40k, so it’s not like it is something new.

      • ZeeLobby

        Def a mix of community + poor guidelines/rules. Spot on there.

      • grimsmite

        Well, I certainly do not want to be included in any ranking system. I assume I can opt out? If so the fact I can makes the entire system meaningless.

        • Your ITS pin is used to enter you into tournaments, you can’t play any official tournament without one, so there is no way to opt out if you want to play in an official event. If you really don’t care about your ranking, then what do you care if you have a ranking or not? The ranking is important though, since it is what determines how much other peoples rankings change (the system is all ELO based).

      • marxlives

        So does Warmachine and from what I have seen the sportsmanship in both is higher than what you see in a 40k tournament and this is because in official tournaments you do have behaviour standards.

    • If a group already feels competitive play is all important, I don’t see how statistic tracking makes them more that way. They already are that way.

      Other games have stat collection as well, I dno’t think it increases their powergaming. It rewards powergaming sure, but the current environment is already suited toward that anyway.

      • ZeeLobby

        Interestingly enough, I think what it sometimes does is help people realize their actual potential, haha. When people see that they’re in 11023th place, they may be more open to playing casually. After all, they’re not going to put in the 10 major events a year to break into the 1000s

  • Pl4gu3 B4st4rd

    WAAC players… WAAC players everywhere …

  • Drpx

    I,too, want to see who the best reaperspam player in the world is.

    • Monkeybrains

      It’s important to know which player within the community has the most disposable income to drop on the new spam army list, or to buy 15 boxes of the same mono pose miniature.

  • BeardMonk

    To be a game that has a formal competitive rule set, controlled by GW, GW would have to write much much tighter rule sets. If you need rules lawyer-ing or agreements between players in many game interactions, your rule set it not tight enough.

    • zeno666

      So very true

    • euansmith

      “No, no, no! You can only call witnesses for the prosecution when you are the active player! You can only rely on input from your Duly Appointed Defensive Rules-Lawyer when it isn’t your player turn!”

  • GW GTs should return yes. I loved them. I used to do one or two of them for many years.

    GW GTs should not be the only players in town though.

    Additionally the tournament community really needs to get a check on the horrific sportsmanship of its waac players through things like chess timers to curb intentional slow play.

    Especially now that you all are getting televised and going “pro”.

    • ZeeLobby

      Totally agree. I loved GW GTs. I think GW should actually implement separate leagues like PP does (Champions/Masters/etc.) And then simply bin competitive -> casual players based on those leagues. You could have some crazy take anything competitive leagues, and let all the WAACers go nutts, but then offer other “ways to play” where you do things like limited force org, enforce chess timers, etc.

      The problem with any of this is that it requires investment for no obvious gain in profits, which is why I don’t think we’ll ever see it. If GW didn’t operate on a “make profits this year” mentality then maybe. As I could see it really growing the game.

      • As much as I’m no longer a tournament player, I strongly feel that in today’s ultra competitive culture where players are strongly yearning for pro warhammer, that if GW offered a masters league and invested in global rankings, websites with stats, and a world championship, that regardless of the state of the game rules they would increase the number of players and what is sold exponentially. Particularly if the rule is that GW models are required.

        • ZeeLobby

          Yeah. I mean the thing is it’ll never peak in popularity until the game is actually balanced. I mean LoL, Dota, Overwatch, SC2, etc. All of these games are popular pro games because the end result is very much driven by skill rather than which faction/character you picked at the start screen, or what initial tactic you were planning to run. At least at the higher level. I would love if instead of inviting a bunch of random TOs for a weekend of wine and dine, they hired a video game designer/s to come in for a month and rebalance their system.

          All pipe dreams though.

    • euansmith

      If 40k is going pro, I want weigh-ins, smack talk, and preposterous storylines. And players should be docked CPs for breaking Kayfabe.

  • HeadHunter

    HA! Ha! Ha.
    GW can’t even write rules that are conducive to tournament play – all of the abusive play and ambiguity that’s justified by the rules? and you want to put them in charge of the tournaments, too?
    That’s a case of “the inmates running the asylum”.

  • af

    D&D? Pathfinder? Organized play, an RPG? What.

    • euansmith

      There is a structure offered so you can turn up at store offering organised play and drop in to a game. So it isn’t a competitive scene, but a way of managing expectations and regulating behaviour.

      • af

        Oooh, now I understand. And do people actually do that, play D&D with complete strangers instead of with their group of regulars? To me, RPGs, unlike wargames, are a personal affair, best played with close friends and definitely not about winning (or closely following any rulebook).

        I can’t imagine “organized play rules” beyond “be nice, be creative, remember to shower, and bring something to eat” 🙂

  • Rob brown

    People take the competitive game far too seriously for GW to get any good grace running it. It would be a poison chalice that would just give some people another excuse to complain.

    Magic the gathering and Xwing are far simpler games. Either because of far more limited options or because they don’t attempt to recreate actual events. The rules are simpler therefore the rules are tighter. If you want verisimilitude, flexibility and 300+ unit choices then don’t expect a tight rule set.

    Pathfinder and D&D may be as complicated as Warhammer but there aren’t winners and losers. There isn’t the competitive edge. So people don’t care so much, and there isn’t the same antagonism. Paizo release an adventure and local DMs run them. It still relies on volunteers though, they just provide the materials.

    GW can’t generate goodwill by running the comp scene and won’t make any more money doing it… so why on earth should they. Don’t touch it with a 10’ pole.

    • Karru

      You also seem to forget that both Wizards of the Coast and FFG actively try to keep their game balanced. It is difficult to take the game to ultra-broken levels when the problems that arrive are curbed out quickly.

      Meanwhile there is GW who uses very simple logic with their rules. Army not doing well? Lower the point costs all around. Army doing well? Lower some point costs and increase others a bit. Army doing so well that people complain about it being broken? Has it been long enough that a lot of people have bought into it already? Change it in the FAQ so that it can no longer be even used, so that they have to buy into new broken combo.

      GW finally found the best strategy to get more money out of their customers without being made the villains by a good chunk of their follower base. They act like they care about balance and rules, yet constantly release absolutely flawed and unbalanced rules that clearly did not get tested or were deliberate choices, then after a solid 3-4 months, during which a lot of competitive players buy into these broken combos, GW “fixes” the problem by removing it completely, not just nerfing it so that you can still do it, but it would be less effective, they just outright remove it as a viable option so now they have to buy a new army.

      They realised that there is a huge amount of money to be made in the tournament scene if they keep constantly shifting it. Since the casual crowd, aka the original crowd GW tried to cater to, don’t give a damn about these changes since it does not affect their buying habits, it is a win-win for GW. They get more out of tournament folk by constantly shifting the meta drastically while casual crowd brings in the usual amount of money.

      • Frank Krifka

        You seem to be clearly missing his point. His point is that the game companies you cite have far fewer variables to balance which make achieving a certain level of parity a lot easier. To some extent, achieving balance in 40k or any other system is like getting every leg of a table to sit evenly on the floor (i.e. for the table to be “balanced”). It’s a lot easier to do that when there are only 3-4 legs on the table.

        40k is like a table with 19 legs. With each leg having it’s own set of 13-14 smaller legs. good luck trying to get everything to come up level on what can only be described as the “uneven floor of player skill and expectations.”

        • Karru

          I am not missing his point. I was just stating certain facts. Sure, balancing 40k would be difficult, but the difference is that unlike the other companies, GW doesn’t even try or does not want to fix their game.

          There is a HUGE difference between actively balancing the game no matter how big or small the game is and just not doing anything to fix it. This is what my point to this argument was.

          “People take the competitive game far too seriously for GW to get any good grace running it. It would be a poison chalice that would just give some people another excuse to complain.”

          To me, it looks like he is saying the problem is the players, not GW, that the competitive side of things is bad, and if they took a hold of it, it would be a bad thing because players would just complain more “because GW did it”.

          You can’t go and say “Oh GW just can’t fix their game because it is too large and too in-depth to ever be able to be as close to being balanced as games like X-wing or Magic: The Gathering” because the fact of the matter is, GW doesn’t want to fix their game. The problem is 100% GW and not the players and the players have every right to complain until GW fixes their attitude and actually starts caring about balance.

          • Frank Krifka

            I would say you’re giving your opinion about the inner workings of a fairly complex machine, and attempting to present them as facts. I’m all for people expressing their opinion, but let’s not pretend that your heartsong of “they don’t even try!!” is the same thing as “stating facts”.

            What he’s saying is that players are demanding a level of balance that’s impossible to achieve in a game with the level of depth and complexity that is 40k. I see a more robust attempt to balance the game (more frequent FAQ’s and more frequent points adjustments) and he making the point that certain players will look ignore the complexities of balancing so many variables and look at those attempts at balance as being “unsatisfactory” while still complaining that GW is incapable of balance because they are either incompetent or don’t care.

            Which I might add is exactly what your doing. Right now. Your basically ignoring the premise of his argument and in doing so proving his point.

        • Karru

          I am not missing his point. I was just stating certain facts. Sure, balancing 40k would be difficult, but the difference is that unlike the other companies, GW doesn’t even try or does not want to fix their game.

          There is a HUGE difference between actively balancing the game no matter how big or small the game is and just not doing anything to fix it. This is what my point to this argument was.

          “People take the competitive game far too seriously for GW to get any good grace running it. It would be a poison chalice that would just give some people another excuse to complain.”

          To me, it looks like he is saying the problem is the players, not GW, that the competitive side of things is bad, and if they took a hold of it, it would be a bad thing because players would just complain more “because GW did it”.

          You can’t go and say “Oh GW just can’t fix their game because it is too large and too in-depth to ever be able to be as close to being balanced as games like X-wing or Magic: The Gathering” because the fact of the matter is, GW doesn’t want to fix their game. The problem is 100% GW and not the players and the players have every right to complain until GW fixes their attitude and actually starts caring about balance.

  • Rob brown

    I would like to see a tournament scoring modifier that takes into account things like entrants spamming the same units. If there are 15 factions you get 14 points for using the least used faction, 13 for the next-least-used etc etc right up to the most popular faction that gets 0 points. Reward ingenuity and thinking out of the box.

    • euansmith

      An alternative could be for GW to bring out a series of “Faction Specific Tournament Ready Battle Forces in a Box”. The box could contain the models and unit cards for a balanced, “smash-face”, power gaming, competitive list. They could even make them in coloured plastic for those people who don’t like spray cans.

      “New from Games Workshop: Power Gamer! The Net List in a Box! Ready to wage war!”

      • “New from Games Workshop: Power Gamer! The Net List in a Box! Ready to win at all costs!!”
        Fixed it for you. lol

        • euansmith

          I think that, if GW brought out an Army In A Box, even they could make it somewhat balanced and balance it against others in the series. 😉

  • Drew

    I don’t know if I think GW needs to take over the competitive scene, but I do believe that their intentions should be followed by those running tourneys. This is a big problem in Age of Sigmar- GW’s been very clear that square bases are 100% acceptable for AoS play (so that Fantasy players can continue to use their lifelong investment in their game and armies), but many tourneys such as the NoVA Open are disallowing them because square bases allow a few more models to get in range to make attacks in the combat phase as opposed to rounds. Be that as it may, GW’s intentions on this (that squares are OK) are clear- they’ve explicitly said as much. As a Fantasy player who’s made the jump to Age of Sigmar and enjoys the game, I’d like GW’s intent to be followed, even if they’re not actually running the event so that people like myself can continue to be fully part of the gaming scene as the company promised we would be able to.

    I’m not trying to open a “squares VS rounds” debate in this thread (and I understand, though I’m disappointed, that organizers can choose to do what they like at their events), but just pointing out that whether GW controls the events directly or not, I don’t love organizers going “wild west” and deciding which policies/intents to follow and which to ignore.

    • HeadHunter

      When people use the phrase “basing for advantage”, you should be allowed to stab them with a paint brush.

      • SYSTem050

        Why hold back use the x-acto knife. Then follow up with a round base.

        Why round you ask “cause it’s dull it will hurt more”

  • Xodis

    This is a joke right?
    Im seriously surprised there isn’t a 40K Tournament edition that’s made by actual game designers outside of GW by now.
    Love or hate GW, their skills are best used as a model designer. Their best rules (AoS) come from a complete lack of rules that they slowly added to without trying to get in the way of the basis of almost no rules and let the players sort it out. Thats great for a game designed to have fun, not a Tournament.

    In order for Tournaments to become this thing like BoLS keeps pushing 1 of 2 things needs to happen. GW has to become a completely different company, or someone else entirely has to take over the Rules and Balance portion.

    • ZeeLobby

      Number 2 please! The thing is I don’t want their models or even their fluff to suffer to refocus on rules. I’m fine with that. But then let someone else do them!

      I am also shocked that the community hasn’t just created their own ruleset at this point, but I think some people like to have the OP army with easy-win button. Getting them to adopt rules that make their army weaker is going to see things like this never work. Unless they blew it up and started from scratch (which you’re right, they really didn’t do this time).

  • Vachones

    Why would they want to? There is no such thing anymore as “ITC rules” or even an FAQ separate from what GW. There are no ITC restrictions anymore, nothing that deviates from the official rules. All the major tournament organizers are play testers anyways, so they don’t need to put anything out, they can just wait for GW to publish balance changes to the game. The only difference is the missions.

  • Nyyppä

    Yes, but only after they learn how their games actually work and play test them as much as is needed to iron out significant problems (broken good or bad faction rules etc.). For example rerolling morale is useless to almost everything out there and access to fearless massed infantry is pretty damn broken.

    • euansmith

      I’m reminded of a tale I heard of Alessio Cavatore taking on a youngster at a Bolt Action tournament. The opponent was spamming Japanese Conscripts and hilariously abusing the Banzai Charge rule. Apparently Cavatore was shocked that the rules he’d helped write could be, perfectly correctly, abused in this manner. I think that no set of rules survives contact with the customer. 😉

      • Nyyppä

        There’s that. Then there are just idiotic failures like the original comissars and their present time “fix”, WB legion rules, Guilliman and so on. These are all obviously either broken or so bad that they literally do nothing at all in the game.

  • Nosebleed

    No, GW shouldn’t pick up the mantle of spearheading organised play.

    FFG, WotC & PP picked up the mantle and their flagship games are seen as a game made for competition despite having fluffy/flavourful content for narrative plays. Heck, I’m sure someone here would disagree with me and say it is impossible to play a narrative-type game in one of those games because “it’s not made to be so”.

    If GW picks up the mantle, it will position themselves as forsaking the narrative elements to focus on competitive play whether they like it or not. Many GW “purist” stick to its games because of its narrative feel and I’m sure it would steer this group away.

    my 2 cents.

    • Its not impossible to play narrative games with xwing or warmachine. Its just that in my experience, finding players that play narrative games that also play xwing or warmachine is a super human challenge because the games attract the waac style of play.

      Warmachine and star wars both have deep worlds to explore, but finding the players that want to do that instead of powergame and use the games like a sport is challenging to the point of why bother.

      Playing them on a virtual tabletop would open the audience up to a global scale and those type of things could happen easier. I know locally both the FFG and PP crowd here are 110% competitive players who give no cares about narrative play.

      In fact I often hear from that crowd that tabletop games are not suited for narrative gaming at all and we should stick with RPGs for that.

      • ZeeLobby

        Eh, it can be just as hard to find a narrative 40K group (is here locally). I think both are possible for any game system. It helps that 40K has the largest playerbase so your just more likely to find similar minded people.

        This is a total strech, but maybe GW’s totally imbalanced and poorly managed game system is what draws people to it for narrative play? Or maybe that’s all thats left as other people move off it? Each generation deposits a fraction of their player base into the 40K narrative play bin as the rest moves on, especially since 40K is usually one of the first tabletop games people pick up. And those narrative players just have no incentive to leave, cause the rules are really a massive distant second in importance.

        • Only speaking from my experience, but I’ve done a yearly narrative for 40k and for fantasy for over twenty years now.

          I tried for five years to get one going for Warmachine and was told to **** off. I tried with xwing as well and was told to **** off.

          • ZeeLobby

            In my experience doing such things usually requires being the first in the door though. GW definitely has a stranglehold on most local gaming stores. It wasn’t til 7th chased 40K players away that we started an Infinity and X-Wing narrative group at our local store. I only played a couple times, but it’s still going strong.

            Getting players, especially narrative players, to leave a world they’ve already invested in is always a challenge. You either need to dedicate yourself to getting new players to join up, and spend years growing that base, or the old system has to have some kind of heart attack (see AoS), and you can grab defectors. We’ve also had the issue locally of some store owners pushing GW way harder than anything else, and talking smack about other games (luckily that store died it’s inevitable death, as people enjoy other games).

          • I tried the WM narrative thing back when WM was brand new. It just wasnt’ going to ever catch on because the guys flocking to WM were all powergamers not interested in narrative.

            I still think WM would make a great narrative platform even back in the Prime-1 days of the beginning.

            Its really all about the culture and the people around you. I am pretty sure somewhere some type of campaigns happened they are just very much not the norm.

            X Wing has all the background you need to run narrative games. The player base largely are all competitive tourney guys though. Thats why I dont play xwing.

            Armada has no presence in my city at all which is a shame. Also a good platform for narrative.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah. If you give a competitive player base a competitive bone, they’re gonna take it, haha.

          • euansmith

            A Campaign between Rebel Players and an Imperial GM could be a laugh.

          • euansmith

            “Getting players, especially narrative players, to leave a world they’ve already invested in is always a challenge.”


          • ZeeLobby
  • Billy Billstoner

    I think they need to clean up their rules before they think of doing anything! 8th edition is a dumpster fire of an edition!

  • Dragon2928

    So… if they did that, then wouldn’t competitive events just use the full ruleset as written? I’m not sure that is the best solution. Also, we could do that ourselves.

  • Doug Houseman

    No…In my time playing 40K GW has be in and out of competative play more than once.

    It took creating the ITC to jump start competitive play again after GW exited last time.

    I would rather ITC continue to do its thing and GW support ITC and major tournaments.

  • mac40k

    Much like some BoLS articles, I’ll just copy my comments from another article. 😉

    GW wants to sell more kits. Bottom line. Once you’ve reached the point where you’ve bought everything for your army that you are likely to ever buy, the only way they continue to make money off of you is to either periodically introduce new units which is the most expensive option for them, FAQ or otherwise adjust point costs and rules for models that aren’t selling as well as others where every change pleases some and pisses off others (and would still be needed even if they continued to release new kits for every faction), continue to slash the point costs of models such that you require more models on the table for the same amount of points (a trend started in 3rd, but there is a limit to how far you can push this using a 4×6′ table and is arguably a strong contributing factor to WFB’s demise), or allow players to include kits from other armies in your games with the direct goal of encouraging you to build on that small start into buying a full second army. They’ve opted for the latter. It’s not done to encourage cherry picking the best units from the entire product line as that leads to making the vast majority of their product line less attractive, which would only lead to more of option B as they constantly changed the rules to push sales of less profitable kits, something some see as nefarious and already occurring too frequently.

    GW tried to please everyone by coming up with the three tiers of play for 8th, but short of restricting allies to Open play where you can literally just bring whatever models you like, they have to include rules for how allies can be incorporated in play if they want to encourage additional sales. Now nearly everyone on this board is focused on Matched play and to hear them tell it, nobody plays the Open format and few even bother with Narrative play. Regardless of whether or not those claims are true, rules for Matched play are by and large the only ones being discussed here.

    These same people complain that GW has never been able to create a “balanced” game. With the number of factions in the game, GW will probably never be able to balance the game, even if they did away with allies completely in Matched play, which would contradict their goal of selling more models. To expect that this same company can therefore produce a set of rules that balances the nearly endless combinations that so-called soup lists make possible is staggeringly naive.

    And yes, I’m aware that (some) Xenos fans feel that they are more impacted, but GW has a rich setting IP that goes against the idea of all Xenos cooperating with others to the extent that Xenos soup lists (barring Aeldarii at the moment) aren’t possible. Short of throwing out the fluff entirely for Matched play, I’m not sure what GW can do about this. And one man’s fluff justification is just another man’s excuse for creating a broken OP list in many eyes.

    For people that enjoy playing competitively, especially in tournaments, you’ve already conceded that 40k isn’t the best game for engaging in this and probably never will be. The only recourse is to rely on tournament organizers to listen to their prospective attendees and craft their own house rules to address what the majority of them are saying. It’s not an exacting science and no one is going to be able to come up with the perfect solution that solves all the problems and pleases everybody. The best they can hope for is that more people have fun at their events than did not. However, thinking that anyone, let alone GW, will ever be able to craft a set of rules for 40k that magically fixes everything and results in the ultimate tournament experience while remaining true to the fluff is again, naive at best.