Thursday, April 5, 2012

WAAC Attack!

The recent talk of GW removing tournament support and cancelling it's tournaments over the last week or so has got me thinking...  Why do I play 40k when GW seems to not care about the style of play I want to engage in?

GW doesn't care about WAAC people!
No emo...

Given that the company that makes my chosen wargame doesn't support my style of play, I am forced to evaluate what it is that I want from this hobby.

  • Clear, well written rules. The kind of rules that lets a player consult the rulebook and find a clear answer without 20 page diatribes on how this or that does or does not count as a psyker. This is the biggest offender imo. I work in Quality Assurance and it seems ridiculous to me that they don't have at least the basic amount of playtesting. Or if they do, then they are either not very good or the initial product is so full of holes that it's impossible to fill them all.
  • Interesting, engaging fluff and models.  The little boy inside me still wants to push around cool little dudes that look awesome and blow up the other guys cool looking dudes. Regardless of my affinity for 'official' type matches, I still like to see an awesome paint job and to read about the special characters bad ass exploits! What's cooler than reading about Mephiston going hand to hand with bad ass monster and then seeing it go down in game? Or The mystery Of Ahra? Or any number of cool stories that they put in the codexes!
  • A well supported tournament circuit. I like to move up through the ranks and prove myself against better players. That's the reason I play any game! Does playing my best game and knowing all the rules make me a WAAC player or TFG?  Maybe, but what does that make the person who doesn't know how the rules work and just put together the guys that look cool?  A N00b? A Tard? A Derp? Why do they have to be all derogatory terms? Can't they just be called beginners and I can be called competitive? We were all beginners once. No one was born knowing the rules to these games... Whoa, tangent! But really, A well supported and organized tournament circuit is the lifeblood of making the community grow in my opinion.
  • Speaking of which, A thriving community! Only solitaire can be played solo and that's the worst table top game ever! The minis are terrible! But seriously, I would most likely have never played the games I do without my friends being interested in them. And I wouldn't have half the friends I do without the games I play! Games (and especially tournament games since you are forced to play people you don't know) have a built in networking component which forces social interaction. 
While Warhammer 40k has some of these things, the company itself is not making any effort into supporting them. So, what to do? Get a haircut and get a real job?

For now, the only answer I see is to look into other systems. If I can find the things I'm looking for, then I will be a happy camper. Currently, my FLGS has a booming WarmaHordes scene where they are drawing well over 30 people to the tournaments. I have played it a couple times and it didn't really seem like the game for me, but maybe I need to give it another chance.  The only worry about going to another game system is "Will it be just another FotM that wargamers are bandwagoning to???"

This place is cool, right? Guys???


  1. RE: "Maybe, but what does that make the person who doesn't know how the rules work and just put together the guys that look cool? A N00b? A Tard? A Derp? Why do they have to be all derogatory terms? Can't they just be called beginners and I can be called competitive?"

    Perhaps this is just semantics, but "beginner" can only be given as a title if they are actually on the path to learn the rules and play better. There are plenty of people out there who only collect and paint models for the fun of it. If gaming is not their thing then they shouldn't be attending tournaments. They are not likely to have a good time and provide more false anecdotal evidence that "tournaments are bad full of WAAC players" etc.

    As for official support from the mothership GW, I can see that it makes sense that a company should support events that support its products.

    In the absence of that, can we enjoy the hobby without it? Kind of off topic but kind of related; there was a time (probably still exists) that lots of gamers were complaining about how the White Dwarf and GW stores cater to new players and there is no support for veteran players. My reaction has always been, how much support do we veteran players need? Just play games and have fun. Find good opponents and throw down. Write scenarios and campaigns to your heart's content. Why do any of us need for GW to keep spoon feeding us?

    Another side track, if GW went belly up today and was out of business by the end of the weekend, a lot would change, and a lot wouldn't. No one's armies or rulebooks would crumble into dust. There are plenty of products (games) out there that are out of print etc. that get played to this day because the players keep it alive. Certainly it would be different but we could keep playing 40k indefinitely.

    Back on track, your four points are Rules, Models, Tournament and Community. Ignoring issues with IP and lawsuits, perhaps someone could tidy up 5th edition ruleset in the manner you suggested. Could be easier when 6th edition drops and 5th edition is left behind? Upside is a cleaner way to play 40k, downside is fragmentation when only you are playing Homebrew40k and the rest of the world isn't. But if it was popular and adopted by the larger world?

    As for models. Besides scale and style differences there seems to be more and more miniature makers out there these days.

    Tournament scene: As I wrote in another thread, since GW seems to be dumping the tournament baton into the player's hands we need to run with it. Any one of us can't put together a world event but can only start where we are, put together a good event and grow it from there. Ala Mike and NOVA. A good template for a good event and spreading to other parts of the world.

    Community: Same advice I think. Build where you are or move. In my town there isn't much of a community. About a half dozen regulars. The local hobby store that sells GW product sees a lot more purchasers but we don't know where they are because they never participate in our "open game night" or occasional "tournaments" Obviously moving to find a better 40k community is really not an option if you're married with a family.

    I have access to a good tournament community about an hour from me, but the comp restrictions are annoying. I suppose I shouldn't let it. If I've decided that I'm going to play different players with different armies and know that I have little to no chance to make top three in a 100-player event, then what do I care if I score well with comp? At that point there's no point in my playing by those "rules". I'll take a legal army from my legal codex and have fun.

    Sorry to ramble...

    1. As far as rambling goes, I totally appreciate your feedback! I totally appreciate the lengthy and intelligent response!

      On to your points, the name calling is just a personal beef of mine. I don't like the implication that being a "rules lawyer" or a "WAAC player" is a bad thing. I play games competitively. I follow the rules laid out and play hard to win. Is that bad? I paid for these minis and the rules to play this game. I will play by them and do my best to win.

      If GW went belly up, I doubt the majority of major events would continue. Local events would continue for a while, but I think they would falter and wane after a year or so.

      As far as the rules go, I don't think that playing by a player made ruleset is for me. It would always feel awkward I think. And it would have to be continually evolved so no two places would be playing the same game.

      Then to the rest of your points, The community here for 40k is fairly strong both competition and player wise. I didn't mean to imply otherwise. However, there is a large amount of bandwagon jumping to warmachine with a lot of the 40k players. Only a couple are playing either exclusively.

      Comp is another matter entirely. We (Soldado and I) recently played a team event where comp was 40% of the overall total. We tabled all three of out opponents and came in 4th. Just out of prizes. All of our games were fine, but because Soldados soft scores weren't up to par, we lost. I feel you there. Have no doubt!


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