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40K Counterpoint: It’s Not the Game – It’s the Players

4 Minute Read
Jun 12 2014

Is Warhammer 7th Edition Broken? Just Shut It And Play The Game (Or Not)

a guest editorial by Stormcaller

I will take the bold step and say that the new rule set is not broken…if anything is true, it is that an abuse of the rule set, as always occurs, is once again taking place. Saying that the car you intentionally run into a lamp post is broken is an apt analogy. Let’s talk about this from a different perspective…

Let’s Think Back…
Start by travelling back in history. Remember a couple/few editions ago when Marines had chapter traits that we could choose from? They were supposed to allow players to “forge a narrative” around their chapter. These traits, by many, ended up being used to buff an army out so that it could win games. Frankly, this type of “rulesmithing” has nothing to do with broken rules. It is marginal players compensating for a lack of tactical acumen and skill at the game. This is my first, albeit simple, example of the players abusing the rules, not the rules being broken.

If what you do with the rules in within boundaries of your codex and the published rule set, then simply stated, you are not breaking the rules. The rules, as printed, are being followed. My friend Dale loads a pack of Lootas into a Battle Wagon and rakes his opponents. It is fairly difficult to take out the Lootas before you are shot to pieces. Frustrating if he brings it when you play him, but not broken or illegal.

In 6th, Taudar was an example of broken players, not broken rules. Players chose to, within the structure of published rules, combine the best of two already solid armies. They ended up with lists that dominated many organized events and misc. tabletops. So many complained that the lists, and the rules that allowed them, were broken. Sorry, not buying it. The players who built those lists taking the rule set to its extreme limits perhaps abused the rule set. However, the rules themselves were solid, if not the perfect structure that some would like. Ironic how those same players now scream that the new “edition” is broken…sorry that someone took away your toys!

Community Self-Policing
Why are you surprised when people don’t want to play you when you abuse the rules? When you make lists that are so over the top? The first (and last) time I played someone with a Taudar list, I decided not to play that person, or someone with a list like his, again. He was not familiar with the rules, he was arrogant and whenever something happened he didn’t like (I actually caused him to remove models from the table), he threw a fit. Not the way I ever want to spend my time again. What I noticed most, though, was his arrogance. He thought he was a top tier player because he could win with the only list he ever took. It compensated for his lack of game experience and tactical acumen.

Is this related to all the ranting in the current version of our rules? Most certainly. All the fussing now about the Psychic rules and how some armies dominate the Psychic Phase. So what? If someone can pack 30 warp charges into a 2000 point list, good for them. Don’t see how they can do it, but they should go for it if they can. If I end up playing someone who does that, I will judge the player, not the rules. If he ends up being like the Taudar player described above, it will be the last time we throw down. However, if he is fair, knows the rules, and is generally fun to hang out with, I don’t care if he kicks my ass. I will try and figure out how to beat him and come back for more. I have a friend who is an Eldar player…a very good one. I have not beaten him in our three encounters. But the games have been close, and I enjoy spending an evening gaming with him. You better believe I will be back for more.
Giving the New Rules a Chance
Look, I am certainly disappointed in some of the changes. That does not mean that the rules are broken. It means I didn’t get everything I wanted, but I’m mature enough to deal with the changes and get on with playing the game. For those who are so outraged and ceaselessly rant; your right certainly. It just reminds me of a guy at D-Company’s Big Game a couple of years ago who made everyone around him miserable. He complained, literally for hours, about the special rules for the game and how broken they were (sound familiar?!). Funny thing how later that afternoon when the battle started going his way, he was strangely silent.

You are adults. If you dislike the game in its’ current form that much, vote with your money and time and find another game system that will meet your needs. While you’re at it, take your whiney friend with you. All of us will be happier.

So where do you place the blame: bad ruleset or bad players?

Stormcaller has been a 40K player since 2001, and is currently the proud owner of Hive Fleet Prometheus. He is an avid board gamer as well. He has a strong aversion to controversial issues…not!


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