On-topic, in the context of the Deathwatch Kill-Team which is what we were talking about, I'll apply it to your analogy. There's a guy at the racketball club. He has a ping pong paddle, and one of those football mascot giant fursuits. He has a really *weird* style, and it doesn't work. Like, at all. He then snipes at people for using proper, functional equipment, because fuck man that's so unoriginal, I bet they learned that style from someone rather than inventing it all by themselves! Everyone uses functional rackets, but he's okay with his ping pong paddle because it's just as good, it's just a specialist item and you need to know how to use it.
racketball with a ping pong paddle sounds like something that only 5 year olds would find enjoyable.
so i take it you are talking about children.
That, applied back into 40k, is the other side of the flavour-of-the-month scatter-bike-spam horror story that bad players like to throw around. Fluff gamers have a nightmare scenario - deploying opposite a guy who unpacks 6 scatpacks, 2 Wraithknights, Wraithguard in an allied Raider and an Aspect Host of Warp Spiders, and then argues every rule down to the wire, and gloats when he pastes you. Well, 'competitive' players (not even tournament players; just the ones who value the game like the fluff players value the fluff) have a nightmare too. You deploy opposite some manchild who deploys a fucking terrible list; it's got melee Carnifexes, it's got Tyranid Primes, it's got a Tyranid Warrior deathstar; the works. There's no plan in the list; it's just a bunch of models decked out in a weird paint scheme and dumped on the table. No idea of a game plan. He then fucks up rules throughout the game in between passive-aggressive, snide comments because you play Battle Company, and that's just an overpowered netlist, man.
actually very interesting example.
I'm not going to run the Deathwatch Kill Team, and I wouldn't advise anyone else to run it either. People running shit armies and being bad is just as great a problem as people being WAAC jerks.
ok, so now there is a bit of an issue.
and there has been some wider attention here recently.
jervis got hammered for saying it is just a game.
points and even rules are for people who can't think for themselves.
i mean, originally, this whole thing was an rpg,
models to suport rpgs
then massed up into squads and into plastic big models and now... new hotness rules power creeping for market share.
so, even from within gw the message is do one thing with one hand
and another thing with another.
i stopped listening.
also originally, the culture of the game was very rpg-y too
as it was with a circle of mates all quite familiar and regular.
this has changed in the tournament scene and with the usa influence
more often than not people drive a couple of hours and get a game with total strangers, just to practice to go to a tourney and compete against a bunch of other total strangers.
unless you are a member of one of these competitive circles,
then you likely don't know many people very well, anyways...
formally, we can view the difference between interactions within these two sorts of groups through the lens of game theory. in simple terms, one proceeds as competition under a cooperative umbrella, and the other as cooperation under a competitive umbrella. one cooperates by following the rules to the letter under the competitive understanding that it is my mission to - however possible - exploit and even 'break' said rules in order to win. the other group is motivated first under an umbrella of cooperation. then, understanding that the purpose of the exercise is to enrich lives, the group proceeds to compete in doing just that - becoming better painters, modelers, strategists, historians, tactitians, resource managers, even sportsmen.
on the one hand, under the competitive umbrella, we have an essentially one-off feedforward series of decisions within a relatively complex decision space that is made much simpler with intentionally 'broken' rules and spammed bullshit (who collects an army of 45 warp spiders and why? why? the models are simply not that cool.. in fact they are all the same.) in this context, 'breaking' the game by playing to the letter of the rules seems a viable strategy, and so the netlisted commission painted posieur emerges on the scene. on the other hand, we have a long-term interaction with multiple temporally recursive feedback loops.
under the cooperative umbrella, ironically, we hear the talk about "comp" scores... because living under a competitive umbrellas is living in a tent with lawyerly pricks and that gets boring, thin, as if the soul of the hobby were sucked dry.
And fuck those guys who want to play Imperial Guard, right? Because unless you want to be restricted to one option for Troops, you can start with 10 Guardsmen in month 2, burn your free choice to add another ten in month 5, bring a PCS in month 6, and burn your last free choice on a squad of Veterans to get a legal army. It's not going to be an army worth dick, because you get one Fast Attack and one Heavy Support and the rest of the options might as well be blank (you can't bring a Tank Commander, and we've established that you can't bring any real infantry presence so the Lord Commissar and CCS are worthless; Elites is a blank slot for Guard at the best of times; you get a Vendetta, the one thing you can realistically do that's not bad; and one Heavy Support, which is going to have to be a squadron of Russes or you're going to have a lot of spare points go up in smoke). You can bring a Warhound fairly easily, but your actual Guard element is going to be garbage.
Meanwhile, Eldar get a Farseer on Jetbike, 2 squads of 9 Windriders with Scatter Lasers, a squad of 10 Warp Spiders, 3 D-Cannon artillery, and a Wraithknight, with a bunch of points to spare.
Sure, you can wring your hands and say 'well the system won't break if people don't act like jerks', but if your system allows people to be jerks then it's a broken system. I absolutely wouldn't get involved in it unless it was purely within a cabal of people I knew well as hobbyists, because otherwise the probability is that it's going to be an uninteractive and laughably imbalanced farce.
your conclusion is a sound one.
by the way, i have a thread with my most recent collection.
i collected up an 1850 point list,
and i have a few units yet to add for some flexibility that aren't painted yet so not included
but this represents something that i would like to play,
and that surely is not competitive under the contemporary "meta" (competitive more than cooperative, as described above),
i think that it should score well in a tournament even with many lost matches...
well, i would have to improve the paint a bit,
and some display case may be necessary,
but i would hope to score well if the tourney were optimized for what i find rewarding about the hobby.
meta-level reasoning skills, cordiality, intellect, community mindedness (thinking about what your selections and movements will do to the others with whom you share decision space). modeling, pointing, fine motor skills, fairness, sportsmanship, friendship in the Socratic sense of the word, and so on...
after all, what is the purpose of racketball?
for most, it is health.
only an over-competitive even professional and paid fanatic (remember, the fanatics?) would damage their health to win.
when i played racketball, i liked to play against guys i could never beat - university football players and dudes who have been playing the game forever and who had the new great rackets and so on - but i never minded losing. i wasn't there to win the game by points, alone, i was there to become a better person, a better athlete, in better health, with a better mind...
40k, ideally, should leave us like that.
not broke, broken and breaking.
and as for this new box, i see that it can go one of two ways.
one, people will buy the box to build armies to the new hotness rules to exploit some further rules
and they will get all excited about how to counter and so on,
and others will say - hey man, look, i always wanted to collect up a cult army and you have mehreens right, so how bout we split it and then i can spend the rest of the money on a couple vehicles?
i can tell you who i want to spend my time with, already.