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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I already posted a short article on TWG about this but it's really something I'm just curious about what others have to say so I'm launching it here: do you think 40k needs a new ruleset for tournament use be it a "6.5 Ed" or a full reworking by the community?

Now there are no wrong answers, I'm just curious to hear what everyone has to say.
 

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I think yes, there should be a LOT of more balance in the form of monthly updates for too strong/to weak units (like the WS shield) to make tournaments more varied (other then Eldar WS spam, Tau and the odd demon player)
 

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Jac "Baneblade" O'Bite
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I think any sort of postive engagement with the community is a good thing and by positive I mean GW using the community as a resource and working with them rather than simply throwing stuff out into the world and only acting on 1% of what they receive back. Having a frequent forum for them to work with players and see how the community is making use of the rules they have set up would be a very good step.
 

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Critique for da CriticGod
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I'm not a tourney player so take this with a grain of salt, I also haven't read your TWG article yet.

I would say that instead of a new "version" GW should be doing more active management of the army lists ands rules.

With the electronic resources available now, it seems foolish not to more actively manage the state of the game. Considering how fast the internet can potentially change the meta-game it seems prudent to make changes as needed.

The difficult part would be properly disseminating these updates without it seeming like gouging. Perhaps players who own paper copies of the books could also receive a free or discounted digital copy, and the digital copy would be automatically updated to reflect the changes in the rules as the game evolves.
 

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I would say that instead of a new "version" GW should be doing more active management of the army lists ands rules.

With the electronic resources available now, it seems foolish not to more actively manage the state of the game. Considering how fast the internet can potentially change the meta-game it seems prudent to make changes as needed.

The difficult part would be properly disseminating these updates without it seeming like gouging. Perhaps players who own paper copies of the books could also receive a free or discounted digital copy, and the digital copy would be automatically updated to reflect the changes in the rules as the game evolves.
You can stick the updates (like an FAQ) on the site and in every White Dwarf.
 

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I don't see the point in 40k tournaments full-stop anymore. Hence why GW go on about 'spirit of the game' in the rulebook and 'creating a narrative': The game is so unbalanced now I think it is virtually impossible to create a fix for that for tournament play, it would require a massive re-writing of the rules for each unit.

I am starting to see just how horribly unbalanced 40k is the more I play and learn Malifaux 2nd Edition: There is a tournament going on right now and it's hugely enjoyable because it's so well balanced and thus nigh-on impossible for people to bring cheesey lists (maybe bar one or two exceptions, but even then it's nothing compared to Necron flyer spam, x8 heldrakes etc), the environment is just much nicer as a result and people are just infinitely more sporting and friendly. No netlist bullshit.

Don't get me wrong, I still love 40k - but I love it for what it is: Narrative based game that rewards homebrewing and is designed for beer and pretzels type gaming.
For example, a homebrewed 40k campaign can be incredibly fun; mix your own objectives in there for certain armies: Salamanders going around the board protecting/rescusing civilians and gaining VP for doing so, Black Templars getting VP for winning challanges, Dark Eldar getting VP for capturing slaves and so forth. I think this is how 6th ed 40k is supposed to be played.

That said, if you want to play it competitive, go nuts. I am just done with it because I think there is so much dependency on netlists now and the inbalance just means he who spams the most powerful units wins, and the creativity has been sucked out of it (you see less and less homebrewing these days compared to the 90's). No amount of FAq'ing will fix that, because GW do not care about balance, they also do not care about listening to feedback: Look at Wyrdgames in contrast: They released the beta rules for 2nd Edition for free and listened to the feedback from players and adjusted the rules in the run up to the 2nd edition release. I think the same happens with Dystopian Wars and Infinity and Warmachine. GW has alienated there fanbase to the point now people are giving up completely and exploring the competition. 40k isn't even 3rd most popular game in my hometown anymore, and Malifaux sold so quickly that they are having serious supply issues to meet demand. I think that trend will continue. Sad but true.
 

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Rattlehead
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The rules don't lend themselves to competition, true, but a big problem is the community themselves. People say omg netlists r op, but look at Mike Brandt's NOVA list. Space Wolves/Imperial Guard works well, no doubt about it, but it's a long shot from a netlist. Yet it was able to beat all the netlisters, which I must add were not being played by noobs to any extent.

Magic The Gathering, for all it's flaws, has a much better competitive community than Games Workshop, in my experience (they're shit at personal hygiene, shaving and basic etiquette, but they're better competitors than we are). The entire MtG metagame reacts and adapts constantly to compensate for each new release. We're still stuck on mech vs foot in 6th. MtG is also pretty bad at balance - 90% of material is never seen in a tournament, but somehow it still manages to be a much more competitive game. I reckon it's because of the fans.

Midnight
 

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i think the difference between magic and wh40k is that its far easier to adapt to things. you can play a couple games a DAY while most of us are stuck at 5 games a week if we are lucky at all.
large parts of the wh40k dont play very often because a game of wh40k just takes so damn long. also, magic has a realistic online version and a far bigger online community and TBH i live in the 3rd biggest city of my country and im, as far as i can tell, the only one who spends some time on forums.
 

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Critique for da CriticGod
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Oh, I'm certainly aware of the faqs. The problem with publishing in white dwarf is that iterative updates end up spread throughout a wide range of editions and it becomes awkward to manage.
 

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The rules don't lend themselves to competition, true, but a big problem is the community themselves. People say omg netlists r op, but look at Mike Brandt's NOVA list. Space Wolves/Imperial Guard works well, no doubt about it, but it's a long shot from a netlist. Yet it was able to beat all the netlisters, which I must add were not being played by noobs to any extent.

Magic The Gathering, for all it's flaws, has a much better competitive community than Games Workshop, in my experience (they're shit at personal hygiene, shaving and basic etiquette, but they're better competitors than we are). The entire MtG metagame reacts and adapts constantly to compensate for each new release. We're still stuck on mech vs foot in 6th. MtG is also pretty bad at balance - 90% of material is never seen in a tournament, but somehow it still manages to be a much more competitive game. I reckon it's because of the fans.

Midnight
Don't play MTG myself but yeah it's the same with Malifaux (and pretty much all the other popular alternative games now): The community is so much friendlier and there is no real difference between friendly games and competitive games, they feel exactly the same. With 40k it is completely different, it seems to attract dicks, to put it bluntly.

I think you touch on a very good point it is a lot to do with community, or perhaps the lack of a community in 40k. Perhaps there is a stronger community with the other games because most of the companies interact and listen to the fanbase? I think that in itself creates a stronger sense of community: The game is balanced enough that it isn't going to attract those WAAC players who everyone hates playing in 40k (they will argue every point with venom, bog the game down to the point it isn't remotely enjoyable, generally be rude and obnoxious to everyone...I find this incredibly sad to be honest). And competitive gaming is a joy as a result. Infact there is next to no distinction between fun vs competitive, which says it all really.

Again this is why I don't think any amount of rules tweaking will help.
 

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It's impossible to balance a game for tournament play when you have armies that are 10 years old with 20 years old models next to the new best thing now 20% shinier! and you're a public trade company that, by law, practically only exists to make as many short-term profits as possible.

Also consider another thing: you can buy new M:tG cards for pocket change and while you have no control over what you get, trading can get you that. In my experience M:tG ends up being way more expensive than wargaming if you really get into it, but since most of the money moves in small quantities with immediate effects on thing you can play on a daily basis with nearly everyone with little effort and cards don't need assembly, painting and proper logistics to move every time, well... It just works.

Miniature wargaming requires assembly, painting, dedication, investments for not just the miniatures themselves but also the modelling supplies, and cases to transport everything without it breaking into as many (or more) pieces than it was when unassembled. Investments are slower and heftier and getting past a certain point requires proper dedication.

I don't think any amount of rules tweaking will help, because GW is an ancient dinosaur still surviving because legacy, kind of like Paizo who's making money out of nothing but feverishly insane brand loyalty. When you need 2 to 10 years to "update" an army and it will take another 2 to 10 years for the next "update" no matter how it was received you've already lost, and we're talking about single armies, let alone the entire ruleset!

No, rules tweaking in any way or form that could be of use to get back in touch with the community is impossible with GW's current business model. It's too slow, too ancient, too out of touch with the actual gaming tables, no other company that makes wargaming rules has armies or options that are out of date with the game itself, and most offer everything rules-related up for free instead of putting a nearly 100€ game playing privilege tax before even buying the first mini.

That's not to say other games don't have problems, but at least there's a community to deal with them, and the gaming companies are never too far from that. In Warhammer, there's thousands of isolated forums and tiny local gaming communities but GW is nowhere to be seen and everything coming from them comes from above like they're from out of the world and asking things feels almost like we're bothering them.
 

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It's impossible to balance a game for tournament play when you have armies that are 10 years old with 20 years old models next to the new best thing now 20% shinier! and you're a public trade company that, by law, practically only exists to make as many short-term profits as possible.

How does this actually impact balance?

Also consider another thing: you can buy new M:tG cards for pocket change and while you have no control over what you get, trading can get you that. In my experience M:tG ends up being way more expensive than wargaming if you really get into it, but since most of the money moves in small quantities with immediate effects on thing you can play on a daily basis with nearly everyone with little effort and cards don't need assembly, painting and proper logistics to move every time, well... It just works.

same as above

Miniature wargaming requires assembly, painting, dedication, investments for not just the miniatures themselves but also the modelling supplies, and cases to transport everything without it breaking into as many (or more) pieces than it was when unassembled. Investments are slower and heftier and getting past a certain point requires proper dedication.

same as above

I don't think any amount of rules tweaking will help, because GW is an ancient dinosaur still surviving because legacy, kind of like Paizo who's making money out of nothing but feverishly insane brand loyalty. When you need 2 to 10 years to "update" an army and it will take another 2 to 10 years for the next "update" no matter how it was received you've already lost, and we're talking about single armies, let alone the entire ruleset!

ofcourse tweaking will help, and we are talking about more frequent updates then 2-10 years, that's what the entire topic is about

No, rules tweaking in any way or form that could be of use to get back in touch with the community is impossible with GW's current business model. It's too slow, too ancient, too out of touch with the actual gaming tables, no other company that makes wargaming rules has armies or options that are out of date with the game itself, and most offer everything rules-related up for free instead of putting a nearly 100€ game playing privilege tax before even buying the first mini.

how in god's name is it impossible with the current moddel? in their current model its REALLY easy to get updates (white dwarf, FAQ's and digidex)

That's not to say other games don't have problems, but at least there's a community to deal with them, and the gaming companies are never too far from that. In Warhammer, there's thousands of isolated forums and tiny local gaming communities but GW is nowhere to be seen and everything coming from them comes from above like they're from out of the world and asking things feels almost like we're bothering them.

That is easily fixed: GW should make their own forum which shouldve been donE a LOOOONG TIIIME ago
-1, i very heavily disagree.
 

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Magic The Gathering, for all it's flaws, has a much better competitive community than Games Workshop, in my experience (they're shit at personal hygiene, shaving and basic etiquette, but they're better competitors than we are). The entire MtG metagame reacts and adapts constantly to compensate for each new release. We're still stuck on mech vs foot in 6th. MtG is also pretty bad at balance - 90% of material is never seen in a tournament, but somehow it still manages to be a much more competitive game. I reckon it's because of the fans.

Midnight
I think you're on to something here. But another big factor is that the Game Designers actually watch the Pro-Tournaments, and work to fix things.

And let's not forget that Wizards of the Coast (the company that makes Magic: The Gathering) also supports Tournaments at all levels, be it the World Cup, or the lowly Friday Night Magic at the local club. There are something like 5 levels of Judges all of which you have to take extremely indepth Official tests to become, and at the higher levels you can even get paid by WotC to work bigger tournaments. Games Workshop does none of that.

The in my opinion the rules need some tweaking, but the real thing that needs to happen is Games Workshop needs to support it's game better. More Play Testing before release, For more Balanced books, more FAQs to help with stuff that doesn't get caught in play testing, and also be able to take more criticism (and learn from it).
 

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-1, i very heavily disagree.
I'm not even sure how to answer. You are aware not all armies are treated the same, are you? You are aware that Chaos marines will be stuck with Heldrake spam as their only viable tactic until no early than next edition, which is going to be in a few years, right? If you don't understand how this is a problem for balance, I'm not sure I should even bother trying.

And no, their current business model is terrible for early update cycles, because they have openly abandoned putting rules on WDs and updating armies by piecemeal. The capitula aprobabit are long gone history, you're getting digital updates at best now and look at Codex: Inquisition: since some units overlap with those of a Codex stuck into an older edition, they're forgoing using their digital, quick to update and easy to distribute format for actually updating rules so they don't invalidate the printed codex, which is going to be updated somewhere in 2014 at best.

Do I really have to go into detail as to why update cycles that take 2 to 10 years are bad for keeping in touch with the actual playerbase and following tournament trends?

Unless GW undertakes a huge restructuring and either goes all digital or goes back to using WD as a constant rules update platform (or both) this won't change. There's only so much you can do with tournament rules alone under this current business model.

Da Joka said:
And let's not forget that Wizards of the Coast (the company that makes Magic: The Gathering) also supports Tournaments at all levels, be it the World Cup, or the lowly Friday Night Magic at the local club. There are something like 5 levels of Judges all of which you have to take extremely indepth Official tests to become, and at the higher levels you can even get paid by WotC to work bigger tournaments. Games Workshop does none of that.
This, this, a thousand times this. GW feels like the cold bureaucrat that only cares for the paycheck you sign for him and wouldn't give a damn whether you live or die as long as money is fed. Sometimes it even feels like they don't care no matter how much money you throw in their face.

GW used to have more "table presence", and it's thanks to that if they still have a large wargaming community to their name, but as far removed as they are now it's only a matter of time before more and more playerbase is taken away from other companies. Most of the people I see in the tournaments I participate in are over 30, and the younger ones are often children or otherwise relatives of other players, and the vast majority of those I talked to have been around since 3rd edition or so, maybe on and off. Yes, it's personal anecdotal experience, but to me it's pretty important and I really do feel as if though GW is almost a nuisance that gets in the way of my gaming than the go-to guys for my fix.
 

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Sadly, GW do not and will not support the tournament scene or competitive play:
They all but admit throughout the rulebook that the game is unbalanced and not meant for competitive gaming. "Forging a Narrative", "Spirit of the Game" etc. The aim is to have fun. They are pretty clear on this.

It's an open admission that GW do not bother to playtest anything: We know they don't really bother because we can compare the game to other gaming systems which manage to do it, largely by engaging with their fanbase/consumers and listening to feedback.
GW is a very cold faceless organisation in comparison. You go into a GW store and it's just the same old questions that try to pass as a "conversation" about gaming, ultimately they lead to trying to sell you something. It is not an environment where you can display any criticism about 40k or GW, because that is essentially illegal, they will direct the conversation away from any criticism or negativity or outright ignore it and try desperately to change the conversation...
It's such a contrast to companies like Wyrdgames, Mantic or Corvus to name but a few. I mean, if you go on the Wyrdgames Malifaux forum right now and read through the feedback on the beta testing rules for some of the new henchmen: People are openly critiquing them and trying to iron out any balance issues. GW would never allow this in a million years: You can get banned for posting anything negative on local GW store facebook groups.
I honestly do not get why GW are so hypersensitive towards negative feedback and why they seem terrified to engage with the community. It amuses me how they seem to act like a bit of a dictatorship and censor any criticism.

This is all part of their business model of course, and you cannot deny they are making huge profits...But is it sustainable? A lot of people seem to be becoming more interested in alternative systems now, I know Wyrdgames are doing exceptionally well with the 2nd ed Malifaux release (to the point that they have supply problems due to the popularity on release), and it's not really hard to see why this is happening: Talking to people at my FLGS and online everyone feels the same way about GW: Soulless, unbalanced to the point you may as well not take the game seriously and look elsewhere for tournament gaming. Indeed, I used to think I didn't like competitive gaming, but I think now in retrospect I didn't like 40k competitive gaming, because the unbalanced nature just attracts a lot of douchebags/WAAC mentality and you just get the same lists and very little creativity...Not so, with other games.
That last point about stifled creativity probably makes me feel the most dejected: Even with people looking to build purely 'fun lists' online, you hear people saying to discount so many units from a codex out of hand because they are so abysmal.
That is a reflection of GWs policy on nerfing certain units and buffing others that need to sell: The Chaos Daemons WD update where they buffed Tzeentch Daemons through the roof, then nerfed them a few months later was probably the most cynical example of this.

GW is definitely a nuisance that gets in the way of our gaming :) That is why I am trying to embrace homebrew a lot more. Forget tournies, it's pointless under the current system.
 

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I'm not even sure how to answer. You are aware not all armies are treated the same, are you? You are aware that Chaos marines will be stuck with Heldrake spam as their only viable tactic until no early than next edition, which is going to be in a few years, right? If you don't understand how this is a problem for balance, I'm not sure I should even bother trying.

And no, their current business model is terrible for early update cycles, because they have openly abandoned putting rules on WDs and updating armies by piecemeal. The capitula aprobabit are long gone history, you're getting digital updates at best now and look at Codex: Inquisition: since some units overlap with those of a Codex stuck into an older edition, they're forgoing using their digital, quick to update and easy to distribute format for actually updating rules so they don't invalidate the printed codex, which is going to be updated somewhere in 2014 at best.

Do I really have to go into detail as to why update cycles that take 2 to 10 years are bad for keeping in touch with the actual playerbase and following tournament trends?

Unless GW undertakes a huge restructuring and either goes all digital or goes back to using WD as a constant rules update platform (or both) this won't change. There's only so much you can do with tournament rules alone under this current business model.
*facepalm*
i already answered ALL OF THIS
 

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None of those points answered him. Sorry. Try again.

Except maybe your point on GW opening a forum. But that wouldn't work under the current model, because GW do not want to engage with the community, because they want the image that they release perfect models under a perfect system, evidenced by the fact they practically censor every criticism in stores. They don't care about balance or feedback so do not want to engage with the fanbase, they just want to sell models and books above everything else. The game doesn't matter very much to them.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I've been busy so I'm a little behind on this topic, but I'll be replying to everyone as soon as I can.

But in reply something that caught my eye as I was skimming through just now: GW did have forums. Unfortunately they were a pretty toxic place. Not only were the mods not really up to the task to properly manage and grow the community, but a large part of the community were fairly toxic from what I hear and it's really for the best that it was shut down. It added nothing to the hobby and was probably hurting more than it was helping.
 
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