- What are your thoughts about restrictions and army building selections systems? Do you use them?
GW are not perfect; however, they have a team of people who design and revise whole systems as a job, so the system is more balanced than not. Whilst hitting on a better arrangement is possible, trying to fix an issue you think they missed without access to their design decisions, is likely to open up another issue and so on....
An examples of how it can all go wrong, even for professionals, is the furore over the Throne of Skulls attempt to balance things for different armies.
- Do they improve the game or do they make it into something else?
They change the game; depending on which army I am fielding I might find it better, worse or not 40K at all.
For instance, a ruling that only the first three armies including powered armour troops to apply may use them; everyone else has to use another army. As the fluff stresses how rare Space Marines are this makes the game more true to canon, so it must be as good decision, right?
- What makes you love your army and what motivates your army building?
The background. I have really enjoyed the GW concept of Chaos since Slaves to Darkness.
Back in the days of Rogue Trader I picked up whichever models I felt like painting or adding to an army, so I ran Space Marines, Eldar, Squats. Whilst being drawn back into 3rd Edition I used Space Marines for a while as I had lots of them; however they did not gel as I could win but they were boring.
So now I collect based on background, and try to put together a playable army that matches the background.
...gamism or hobbism? And are one better than the other?
They are different instances of the overall GW IP: you do not need to be able to paint, convert, or even know the background to win a game; you do not need to play games to be a hobbyist.
I feel that neither is inherently better; however, whichever the group you are interacting with identifies with is better for that interaction as someone who is motivated by primarily fluff and someone who is motivated by primarily by winning are using basic terms (such as, available options) differently so will have to keep translating their concepts.
Its fun to play and I usually build me lists to win. Don't see any other reason to build a list.
For me, part of the challenge of list building is to keep within my self-imposed restrictions without making a complete Gordon Brown of it.
I also don't field models that aren't painted (I came in via napoleonics where you just don't field unpainted armies. It just isn't done. )
Now that is an interesting dilemma for tournaments for which I have not seen a perfect answer; rewarding painting and fluffiness, or penalising lack thereof.
On the one hand, an ugly gun and a pretty gun both kill you the same amount and the dice gods do not actually punish Dual Lash Princes with Nurgle cheerleaders; on the other hand, some of the enjoyment of the game comes from it being played with painted figures with a history instead of counters.