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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
In Denmark there has and probably always will been a lot of debates about army selection systems and restrictions for tournaments. Through the years I been against these constructions, both because I found them stupid and they prevented them from playing the army I would like to field.

But the couple of months something has changed and I haven’t figured out why. So here are some thoughts of why I have changed.

When I started playing 5th edition I ended up playing with a lot if competitive people which of course let to me being competitive. When in Rome, do as the Romans. And I got quite good and I did a lot of speculating when it came to army lists and tactics. And I really liked the army I played (nurgle themed CSM), both because I liked the concept and probably because it was quite competitive. But do to my bad painting skill at the moment the army was put on the shelf and later sold, and then I started building other armies. It ended up with me building a Ork battlewagon brigade for a tournament in the Netherlands (Battle of the clubs) and afterwards I played it once. I used a great time preparing speculating about the list and the missions, and played some practice matches too. I build up a lot of excitement about the army, but it ended up being about winning instead of having fun. So now I’m changed.

Besides that I started in a new gaming club. They are and have always been known for their extreme army selection system and their high thoughts about fluff, hobbism and “the good game”. This time, I got the ideas first hand instead of read on forums and stuff like that. And it ended up in me starting the Imperial Fist army I always wanted. Not competitive, just with the stuff I like, and I started thinking about my army list being interesting instead of hard hitting. I love my army and I use to many ours painting the yellow on my marines, and still I like playing it because my opponents make armies to have fun and they are legal with in the gaming clubs restrictions and army selection system. I wouldn’t use the army in a competitive setting and I get kind of annoyed seeing my opponent fielding far more competitive lists when we are just playing to have fun. The word cookie cutter ending up being a four letter word.

So here is my questions…
- What are your thoughts about restrictions and army building selections systems? Do you use them?

- Do they improve the game or do they make it into something else?

- What makes you love your army and what motivates your army building?

- Do I seem motivated by gamism or hobbism? And are one better than the other?

Hope someone will take up this debate!

Just thoughts of a guy suffering from insomnia
 

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Great thread and I totally agree. Warhammer games should be done with the thought of having fun. Not the thought of crushing my opponent just to win.
I think just the fact that you brought up this thread makes you believe more in hobbyism and the fact that people should do it because they want to play with friends.
I play my Blood Angels because I love their background and am reading all of James Swallow's books on them right now. I have never played them because I wanted to kick the crap out of people, I wanted to play them because they became more a part of me rather than just an army, I have customized them how I think they would look best, not what way would make them win the most in tournys.

Rant over lol... Great Thread!
 

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What I think of restrictions? Depends heavily on what they are. At our LGS we're pretty relaxed about such things so the only thing we actually restrict in any sense of the word are abusive special characters (Vulkan springs to mind. Even though we haven't seen much to him really.), but we have yet to actually outright ban anything.

Imo, banning something should also only be the last resort. One that shouldn't even come up in a game such as this. After all, if you only want to play to win I suggest you play something else. Something where the games only last a couple of minutes, that way you can have so many more of the shallow victories you love so much.

Generally I see find that a few tweaks can bring some balance to an unstable system, but going too far and bureaucracy strangles the system. Like it has happened with Fantasy. At least here in Denmark the so called "restrictions" have totally gone haywire with people swinging the banhammer left and right. Hell, the last one I looked at had banned, no kidding, "all flying monsters with strenght 6 or above". WTF? And a friend of mine actually suggested we should play with that system (which contained tons of other weirdo rules), but he was nice enough to let me use my dragon because he knows that I love it.
That pissed me off. I'm only allowed to use the model I have paid a lot of money for, spent a lot of time painting and really love as my army's centerpiece because you are so good and gracious to allow me to? Screw that and screw all the players who makes people come up with this crappe! Glad our LGS store doesn't have to adjust to this shit.

Anyways, now that my somewhat uninformative rant is over, i'd like to say that restrictions shouldn't ever have to be needed anywhere outside of tournies. If you can't play for fun why bother playing?

As such, the gaming experience is vey important to me. First and foremost I like my armies based on how they play. Then comes the fluff and the overall look and feel of the army (aka the models and such). The army doesn't have to inspire me in any particular way, neither do I have to be able to identify with the forces it represents. All I want it to is to look and feel good with minimal effort and be a blast to play.

Guess what that makes me. That's right, a gamer.

Btw Kaizer, where do you play?
 

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I just hate the notion of each army having a "master list" as a recipe for winning. I find it detracting and down right unfair. I want to play to play, not to win - though winning is obviously a bonus.
 

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So here is my questions…
- What are your thoughts about restrictions and army building selections systems? Do you use them?
No, because they're fail.

- Do they improve the game or do they make it into something else?
All they do is change the game and not necessarily for the better. For example, let's say that for whatever reason next year's Ard Boyz rules that armies are only allowed to take 1 Heavy Support choice instead of the usual 3. Sure, it might fix the supposedly broken Imperial Guard "problem" that everyone bitches about, but all it'd do in the end is create a brand new "best" army - probably one like Orks who don't usually use a ton of Heavy Support.

- What makes you love your army and what motivates your army building?
I love my army because I love the Blood Angel Codex, I love my army's colour scheme and its fluff. For me, the main motivator to collecting new units for my army is for new opportunities on the tabletop - I love trying out new units and combinations.
 

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I usually get motivated by things not related to 40k like i have always wanted a viking army theme for my guard.
restrictions i think would be bad because it would just bring more problems than it would fix.
although winning is awesome as long as its a good game i dont really mind losing....too much lol
 

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Grand Lord Munchkin
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- What are your thoughts about restrictions and army building selections systems? Do you use them?

Just makes new and exciting cluster fuckes. IOW if you change something to lessen the impact an army has it will just make another army will just take its place.

- Do they improve the game or do they make it into something else?

See the previous answer

- What makes you love your army and what motivates your army building?

Its fun to play and I usually build me lists to win. Don't see any other reason to build a list.
 

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I build lists to suit the models I have (it's wysiwyg).

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. )

Given that I also only own models I like the look of, and this is not dependent upon their effectiveness on the table, my lists tend to be on the suck side. I win the odd game, and draw more than I win (close games that come down to last turn).

For the most part, the tourney scene here is still that 40k is a beer and pretzels social game (but you still get tools in the pub, so a tourney is no different).
 

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- What are your thoughts about restrictions and army building selections systems? Do you use them?
I think this only leads to handicapping a list...every Unit in a Codex has a valid use in the game, whether it is powerful or not. It's not the lists that suck the fun out of a game it's the dickhead playing said list that does that.

That said, my Group play a lot of Narrative and Campaign - based lists where certain unit selection usually applies. This is where the 'power lists' concept isn't abused, and it's more about the storyline and what objectives need to be met.

- Do they improve the game or do they make it into something else?
In standard games I would say no, and what are people's motives for suggesting restrictions anyway..could be construed as 'sore losers' for one.

- What makes you love your army and what motivates your army building?
My main reasons are because I'm a collector first and foremost, especially with my IG. I love tanks and have 40+ Russ/Chimera chassis. I also play Death Wing/ Daemon Hunters/ SM's, all are about 3/3K, while IG is at 12K and climbing. I build them to this limit because I want to be able to field a variety of different Units and not just stick to the same few.

The background is also very important, and I have a 100 page Word Document containing every piece of info etc I come across.

- Do I seem motivated by gamism or hobbism? And are one better than the other?
Neither is the better one, each person has different motivations. Me, I'm both a Gamer and a Hobbyist, and I will powergame against a fellow powergamer, or just play friendly games if that's what's going on...they're both fun.
 

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- 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?:grin:

- 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.
 

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Personally... if your not playing the game to have fun, I don't see the point in why your playing. Heck... Its a game and a hobby. Not a 'you must win or your dead' real life situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I’m agreeing with you KatieD, they fail, and they ruin the gaming experience for some do to the fact that they can’t play the way they want. But yet peoples armies change when new codices comes out, so why not try fixing some of the weird stuff and make people be creative and fun when they build armies instead of building the strongest army?

And it’s here I think these restrictions fail. Because if you want to win and you learn how to build a competitive list without restrictions, you simply start looking at the army selection system and try to find ways of how you can abuse it. It simply makes the cheesy into another one, and there by simply fixes that the strongest list aren’t called dual lash, but simply something else. But how do we make sure the game stays fun. How do we explain people that they should make a fun army with a decent power level instead of him bring his cheese to the table every time?
And these general thought of telling people to play differently to me seems unfair. They aren’t playing the game wrong, it’s not fair that I’m aloud to bring the units I like and love to play, and he isn’t. How would you secure a balance gaming experience against someone at your club which aren’t really a friend of yours?

I like the idea that HOBO is taking about, these narrative and campaign based restrictions is in my eyes a good way to make the game even more balance and really interesting. But its main weakness seems to be that you can’t just take a quick and fun game without using time to fit it into the campaign or the story. Do you use like a game master or something?

To me it’s quite important that my opponent and I are both fielding our armies to have a fun experience and a good time. But sometimes you end up dragging yourself through the game against the douchbag who are just focus on winning at any cost. How do you make these people cheer up and have fun instead of being annoying? How do we break the ice?

And just to be specific, I played competitive armies for years, and still I always joke around and have fun while I play instead of using every part of my brain to find the best way to win at any cost. Has it earn me tournament prices or titles? No. Have I had a great time? Hell YAH!

Fighting on in the name of having fun;)
 

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Grand Lord Munchkin
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Personally... if your not playing the game to have fun, I don't see the point in why your playing. Heck... Its a game and a hobby. Not a 'you must win or your dead' real life situation.
Here is a thought, might be tough so just stay with me here, winning.... Is fun. Just a thought so I might be wrong here... But I doubt it. Lol
 

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- What are your thoughts about restrictions and army building selections systems? Do you use them?
I haven't seen any except "no special characters" - which I think is dumb...

- Do they improve the game or do they make it into something else?
Just makes another list the "best"

- What makes you love your army and what motivates your army building?
My main armies are Wolves, Guard and Tau (though my Tau have been on the shelf since Jan/Feb - I need more Tau stuff) I run pretty competitive lists and I like the fluff and the tactical stuff pretty evenly. I choose armies based on what I want to paint.... and when I build a list I look to get the most out of my boys/fish... For the wolves, I really dig the space Viking thing... I drove a tank in the Marines, so I have a special place in my heart for the Guard. And I think the tau have really cool looking transports and I dig the way my tau came out...

- Do I seem motivated by gamism or hobbism? And are one better than the other?

Honestly, I don't see a difference... I really like the hobby aspect - which for me involves painting, reading background, etc... I also like the game aspect - which is all about throwing dice and doing tactical stuff... I like the combination of the two... I don't like playing against the grey horde I like having nice terrain. I think you should not be a douche. I think you should know the rules. I think you should be able to look your opponent in the eye after every game and feel good about it.

Tzeen Qhayshek said, "I just hate the notion of each army having a "master list" as a recipe for winning. I find it detracting and down right unfair. I want to play to play, not to win - though winning is obviously a bonus."
They don't... There are a lot of ways you can run guard to be effective, you can run space wolves a lot of different ways to be effective too. Tau are pretty much locked into a mono-build. But there really isn't a "master list" out there... What we DO find is that 4th Ed codices have some limitations when compared to 5th ed codices and there are certain builds that are just more competitive.

GrizBe said, "It's a game and a hobby. Not a 'you must win or your dead' real life situation.
I totally agree... But lets compare this to other sports systems. I played Rugby in college and we'd beat the hell out of each other on the field. Afterwards we'd all go have beers. Playing hard and competitive is fun. The only time it gets un-fun for me is when people are being unfriendly during the game. But you can be friendly and competitive at the same time. So is your problem the style of competitive play or people being jerks while playing?

Kaizer said "I always joke around and have fun while I play instead of using every part of my brain to find the best way to win at any cost"
So do I, or at least I try too... But for example, I had a guy get mad at me cause I had a unit in B2B with an immobilized vehicle during his assault phase. He was upset because I got to hit it again since he didn't shoot me off it, assault me off it, etc... Is it MY fault I know some rules and he doesn't... Is this what you mean by using every part of my brain to win at all cost? If so, then I would say it's YOUR RESPONSIBILITY AS A PLAYER TO KNOW THE RULES AND NOT GET BENT OUT OF SHAPE WHEN YOU'RE WRONG. (btw that wasn't directed at you... just a general shout) I think you have a responsibility to be a good sportsman at all times. I think if you slow play somebody you should be beaten with a sock full of quarters. Ie, regardless of what game we're playing, we should compete, play hard and have fun.

I play the game to have fun. I don't play just to "crush" my opponent. Playing against a weak list NOT FUN FOR A COMPETITIVE PLAYER. It's just not challenging when you know you've got the win on turn 1 and it won't be due to good generalship on your part but because your opponent is stupid and made bad choices in their list.

One of the things I've not been able to figure out is what a fluffy list looks like... Is it the models you have? Is it taking bad choices (whirlwinds, swooping hawks, vespids, rough riders) I haven't seen anything from GW that would spell out what a fluffy list is (unless you want to run a company) I play space wolves and guard primarily, so if somebody would post up a fluffy list and why it's fluffy I'd appreciate it. I mostly just think fluffy=stupid choices so I'd like to be illuminated.
 

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...if somebody would post up a fluffy list and why it's fluffy I'd appreciate it. I mostly just think fluffy=stupid choices so I'd like to be illuminated.
Just an overview of a fluffy Thousand Sons army-list for no particular points value:

HQ
Sorcerer Lord (with or without Terminator armour)
- Mark of Tzeentch
- 2x Any Psychic Power (probably Warptime and one other)​

Troops
N x Thousand Sons Squads
Aspiring Sorcerer
- Any Psychic Power (probably Bolt of Change or Doombolt)
- Melta Bombs
8 Rubric Marines​

Elites
None

Fast Attack
None

Heavy Support
Three of:
Defiler
Vindicator
Predator
Land Raider​

This would be fluffy because it is solely Thousand Sons, Sorcerers, and TS vehicles; it therefore reflects all Thousand Sons being either Sorcerers or Rubric Marines. The lack of a DP as HQ reflects the TS hatred (and lack) of mutation (which is pretty much a given on the road to Daemonhood). It also lack close combat punch which fits with the TS belief in standing off rather than charging forwards.

Is it less easy to compete? Very much so.

Is it stupid? Not if your goal is to be unassailably true to canon.
 

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Grand Lord Munchkin
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Yes but its not fun having such an overpowered list that your opponant is a pushover.
I think it is fun but it makes my opponent feels like shit and I don't like being an ass hole which mean it isn't fun. I suppose your right, I want my opponent to have fun while I am killing him.
 

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Yes but its not fun having such an overpowered list that your opponant is a pushover.
Frankly, that's the problem of the "opponant" rather than the problem of the person with the good list. It's really not that difficult to build a list that won't get automatically curb stomped by any other list especially given the vast amount of information available on forums such as this and the ever increasing number of blogs dedicated to gaming. People spend endless hours painting figures and reading fluff - I don't see doing a little research in to finding out what makes a good list as a death sentence.
 

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Thats kind of the problem though.. the mindset of 'Oh, if my list isn't competative, I can't have fun.'

Pretty much its a vicious circle of 'I can't have a stupid list or I'll get stomped' - 'I can't play the army I want to play as it'll get stomped' - 'I won't have fun if I loose, which means I need a strong list' and so on...

Then your trying to push that on other players who may not be as experienced, or care if 'X unit is better then Y for z reasons', or they don't want you use certain models as it costs too much for their budget or because they don't like the look of them or want to paint them.

Seriously... what is the problem with the players these days? Don't get me wrong... I'm not one of these 'Oh, we don't keep score as it upsets people if they loose' idiots. But the thing is, its a hobby and a game. Everyone should have fun doing it. Okay, some people may have fun trying to make the toughest list they can... but really, whats the point of that at the end of the day? If your undefeatable, no-ones going to want to play you and you will get accused of being a jerk, even if your not.

Maybe I'm just being over-nostalgic, but when I started playing, everyone had lists like the fluffy one Dave posted... and whats wrong with that? Everyone had fun, sometimes you won, sometimes you lost and the army you had fit with the general theme rather then all being a generalised mech force that you had to have to get anywhere.

Wheres the soul gone out of the game?
 

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Okay, some people may have fun trying to make the toughest list they can... but really, whats the point of that at the end of the day? If your undefeatable, no-ones going to want to play you and you will get accused of being a jerk, even if your not.
The point is to play against other people doing the same thing, to match wits with your opponent and hopefully have a close game. I can't think of anyone that would be happy if they won every game they ever played. The whole idea is to constantly improve as a gamer and you learn a lot more by losing than you do winning in the vast majority of cases.
 
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