Friday, 19 August 2016

Tom's Adventures in Facebookland - Part 1

There are 3 terrible places where you can find people saying dumb things about 40k. Obviously you can find these people everywhere but these are probably the most notorious:

1) Online 40k Forums
2) The Bell of Lost Souls Comments section (in fact a lot of the article are trash can worthy as well)
3) Any 40k related non ETC Facebook group.

Here is an interaction I had today. I recently joined an Eldar group as motivation to paint stuff, and I came home from a movie night with friends to a monstrously long comments section on debating Warp Spiders wound Artillery.

Tom Leighton: Guys this really isn't complicated. It's not down to player discretion, it's down to actually reading rules. FAQ > Codex > Main Rulebook is how it's always been and how it continues to be, whether or not the main rulebook says 'always wound against toughness' is irrelevant if the individual entry for the weapon in the Codex says initiative. End of story. Pick up your Warp Spiders, find the initiative of the Guardian Crew, and move on.

Random: for 95% of my games its down to that or a TO the other 5% is my mates having a laugh and using the thing that makes sense if it was IRL are you saying that us having fun is wrong? but its FAQ Where advanced rules apply to a specific model, they always override any contradicting basic rules then Codex>main rulebook

Tom Leighton: Uhm, what? xD. Ok, going to address a few points from that.
1) 'are you saying that us having fun is wrong?'. Did I write that in my comment? No. Then probably not :P.

2) 'where advanced rules apply to a specific model, they always override'. Define, 'advanced rules'. Explain how toughness of an artillery piece is a so called 'advanced rule' and the way you wound with a death spinner isn't, and lastly but most importantly, can you find me any rules reference currently in use anywhere to back up the assertion that 'this rule is complex so screw what your Codex says'.

Even for a British guy I'm horrendously sarcastic.

Random: Citation as requested the artillery type is an advanced rule and as such in some cases can over rule codex (none come to mind as im English and its 00:03 and not sure where you are from been British but if its scotland n ireland or walesyoull appreciate the time)
page 468-469 of the digital version

Basic rules apply to all the models in the game, unless stated otherwise. They include the rules for movement, shooting and close combat as well as the rules for morale. These are all the rules you’ll need for infantry models. Advanced rules apply to specific types of models, whether because they have a
special kind of weapon (such as a boltgun), unusual skills (such as the ability to regenerate), because they are different to their fellows (such as a unit leader or a heroic character), or because they are not normal infantry models (a bike, a swarm or even a tank). The advanced rules that apply to a unit are indicated in its Army List Entry.

and on your rules reference currently in use anywhere to back up the assertion that 'this rule is complex so screw what your Codex says'. part did you read the post before jumping in my post before yours ran through all this with the conclusion of .... well ill let you re read and ill wait here for my apology

Tom Leighton: Thank you for the citation random, it makes this much easier 'Advanced rules apply to specific types of models, whether they have a special weapon (such as a boltgun).' and 'because they are not normal infantry models'. That second one is probably the one most closely relating to the artillery, but any of them make my point.
By this definition, there is no denying that the toughness value of an Artillery piece is an advanced rule. However, by the first quotation that I made, the statlines and special rules of any and all weapons are also advanced rules. Therefore we have 2 seperate advanced rules competing against each other, therefore we refer to Codex > Main Rulebook. Therefore wound against each other.

Hence, it really is that simple.

That said, I find it actually hilarious that you are asking for an apology for me not actually reading what you wrote, when what you wrote actively failed to address any of the points that I made in my post, even going so far as to accuse me of being anti fun for pointing out the method of the rules. So you can stuff your apology quite frankly.

I literally lifted quotes from what you wrote and addressed them individually, and yet you accuse me of not reading your post. Alright mate.

Random: so you agree with my original statement,
apology accepted

i'm glad you now realise you only go to the codex rule if it specifically over rides the rule book not just assuming that it automatically does

Tom Leighton: Yeah I did, hence why I was a little bit surprised :P. However not as surprised as I was to click back onto Facebook and find dozens of comments on a very basic rule ^^.

Random: lol i know why i went into full sarcasm mode with you because even tho you were correct no need to talk to people like that its better for advanced players like yourself to help people if they only play with their friends then its fine to play it as it affects the gun in anyway they find enjoyable but point out if they play outside that group most people will do it this way because of then point it out in the rulebook

Tom Leighton: I'm sorry mate, you seem like your heart is in the right place but I cannot take that seriously. Of course people are welcome to play the game however they enjoy it, to suggest anything else is ridiculous. The conclusion that Warp Spiders wound against initiative had already been asserted on multiple occasions, and yet no-one heeded it. I took a different approach and broke the whole thing down, in my own sarcastic way. I even made this very clear that I was being sarcastic, and therefore my tone was not to be taken seriously, but at the same time i had to be firm with it, because it was clearly the only way to get through. I am a little bit perturbed that you are now trying to lecture me on behavior after trying to acknowledge an apology that i explicitly did not give. After all, my sarcasm was noted and noticeable (i literally wrote that I was being sarcastic) to avoid upsetting or offending anyone, yours was not.
Also, I never assumed automatically that the Codex overrides the rulebook. What I perceive to know is not always the same as what I actually know, it's merely a rhetorical device to lead those interested to that conclusion. I've been playing far too long and at too high a level not to know that xD

I'm an ETC player now. Why. The Fuck. Do I still have clowns. Trying to debate rules with me, and then personally attack me?

Friday, 12 August 2016

Forge World and its Relationship with Domestic Tournament Play

So the ETC’s over for another year, the dust has settled, drama has been unleashed, and many tired
and sweaty gamers have returned to a few weeks of not thinking about 40k. Because I’m crazy
however, I am already preparing for next year. A new Wraithknight’s torso sits atop my desk (I’m
striving for nice paint jobs this year, after the abomination I was using previously), a new list in the
works to try out at a tournament at the end of the month, and a slew of tournament packs on my
desktop to pick through at a later date.

One such rules pack is that for the 2016/2017 GT. The GT has somewhat been a bogie event for me,
despite attending 3 finales now, I have never actually qualified top 50% from a heat before
(FeelsBadMan, I know I suck). This year however it’s looking a little better for me. A new look
committee has moved one of the Heats to Bristol, so I now do not have to endure either a hotel or
my parents’ house in order to compete. The biggest change however, is that the GT is now moving
to an ETC format.

I personally really like this change, not only for my own selfish reasons, but for the benefit of the UK
tournament circuit as a whole. It has however kicked up a few issues regarding the exclusion of
Forge World, which a number of people are upset about. I am personally very much in the ‘against
Forge World’ camp, and the aim of this post is to explain why I believe this. The comments section is
open for discussion below and I will be paying attention to it.

Why ETC Format?

The primary reason for the exclusion of Forge World from this event is very simple, the ETC excludes Forge World, and the GT is attempting to mirror it. The question then can be broken down into 1) why does the ETC exclude Forge World? And 2) why does the GT want to mirror the ETC?

I’m going to start with point 2 first, as it is easy to break down. The 6 nations of the UK, Ireland and
Belgium, send a combined total of 48 playing members to the ETC every year, add on coaches and
mercenaries and you come to a number that easily exceeds the 50 margin. Then count the number
of players harbouring ETC ambitions, the number of players interested in the England squad for
example will figure in the dozens. So for just 1 of those 6 teams, you have dozens of people who will
want to play ETC format events.

Therefore, ETC events in the UK are incredibly popular.
Caledonian Uprising 2016, the single largest 40k event to be held in the UK this year, was an ETC
event. It held side events such as the highlander but the single largest was the standard, which was
pure ETC (no Forge World). In addition, many of the players that were in the highlander and other
such events were only there because tickets for the standard had already sold out, and many
expressed their desire to have instead played in the standard to me personally.This change therefore is a good choice from a ticket sales perspective, as ETC format is the most
popular in the country.

In addition, the ETC is arguably the biggest prize available to British players, and therefore it is held
with a degree of prestige. The GT too was once considered one of the most important events in the
Country; however with recent changes to the points and the allowance of Forge World, it removed
itself from the ETC style which people are so eager to prepare for. Therefore, Caledonian Uprising
became the toughest tournament to win in the Country, simply due to the number of top players
that it attracted. The switch back to an ETC format is an attempt to move back to this status of ‘main
domestic event’.

There are multiple other reasons too, such as nurturing players for the biggest stage, but the reason
for the use of the ETC format is not the issue that I want to address here. Therefore I am going to
move on, if you have any questions regarding the format selection let me know in the comments
below and I will elaborate on this further.

1) What is Manageable? - Organisation

It is not disputable that there are a lot of rules in this game, we have a large number of army books,
supplements, and digital additions. The ETC already has an independent FAQ of approximately 50
pages, which a variety of different rules questions relating to these books alone. Forge World’s rules
are undoubtedly horribly written, and thus the amount of effort that it would require to incorporate
all of these within the ETC FAQ would be unfathomable.

To explain why I am going to give you a brief rundown on how the ETC makes rulings for its FAQ.
They are all done by committee. So for each individual question, you have to gather together all
relevant parties (gathering 40k players is like herding cats), make the case for and against each
ruling, and then come to a democratic conclusion. Now consider the amount of Forge World rules
that are available, now consider that GW don’t even release any of their own FAQs for Forge World,
now read a Forge World book and tell me how well they are written (in terms of the rules in them
interacting with the rest of the game) and you begin to see that Forge World’s position in a serious
international event is untenable.

2) What is Manageable? – Players

As already mentioned, there are already an incredible number of resources for players to trawl
through, and thus the inclusion of Forge World makes this problem worse, especially when you have
to refer to a massive FAQ every other page. ETC players will often spend the best part of a year
honing their lists to a point where they are happy, even with current allowed resources. Adding
further piles of expensive books to this list not only adds to that time, as players try out different
combinations, but also force them to invest even more practice time after lists are released, learning
what various different things do.

The point I am getting at with this is that the line has to be drawn somewhere, and the line between
what is Forge World, and what is not Forge World, seems a logical place to do it. The moment that
you cross this boundary you are opening the gateway to pick and choose which Forge World you
allow, thus forcing the same situation that you would have had with the Forge World FAQs earlier.
With a simple yes/no answer of course, but the process remains the same.
So there you have a good reason to not use Forge World. However wherever you have people who
would like to use Forge World, you have reasons why they would like to. I’ve come across a few of
these recently, however only one really elaborated on why he believed that Forge World should be
in play.

1) Game Balance – Eldar

Eldar is running rampant over the domestic circuit, it’s not really debatable. The argument that was
made here was that allowing Forge World would create a level playing field where everyone would
have access to more options, and stronger ones at that.
In reality, this doesn’t work. The GT last year allowed access to Forge World, and guess which faction dominated? Eldar won again, and we got to see the fun that is a Warp Spider Wraithknight, and

Warp Hunters. It does not provide a level playing field at all, as Eldar get the same boost as everyone

What it does do however is elevate the game into a ‘Dota 2’ style of balance. If something is too
strong, just buff everything else around it to level the playing field right? Assuming that this was
something that we could do, it would be damaging to the tournament circuit in the long run. In a
MOBA, it is absolutely fine. In a term based game, it reduces it down to who has choice of turn. Of
course, this is only a very primitive view of how this works, but it does take a large amount of skill
out of the game. It is not a Forge World only problem, and it has been a grievance of mine for a
while now, but it does accelerate the issue.