So it appears I have woken up at silly O'clock this morning, much earlier than necessary to make my way to heartfaux, so I thought I'd chuck out a blog post as I am likely going to be too tired to manage it tonight when I get back.
Yesterday I listened to the Fools Daily episode '40K Grumble' and I thought I'd pitch my two cents into the debate. The topic of the conversation was the rumored new 'take whatever you feel like' rules for Warhammer 40 000. I am not going to go into the fact that apocalypse pretty much allows this anyway, but focus more on the arguments that 'the older gamers' in the form of everyone but Ben on the podcast made.
I am not an old gamer, but I have always been found of the little FAQ's found at the back of the specialist games books by Jervis saying that, basically, he just wanted to inspire cool scenarios and battles and not necessarily want games always to have even sides. I love the idea of doing inspiring scenarios with integral stories and climatic confrontations, where the little man has no chance but slugs away anyway. It feels like this is the sort of spirit that the rulebook is trying to bring to the fore.
I am however, completely with Ben though, I don't need a rulebook to tell me to ignore the rules.
In order for the grand encounters, previously mentioned, to work you have to have a specific attitude. You can't get to attached to a specific side and want them to win, you have to not really care about the result, you have to put the effort in to work a suitable scenario. People who will do this have enough initiative not to need a rulebook to do it. Anyone who just follows a rulebook telling them they can take whatever they feel like without a second thought is not going to get the same experience.
It also leads to the background getting further twisted out of shaped, as strange and stupid alliances are made as people just throw whatever figures they have on the table. As previously stated in another blog post, I love creating a narrative in my game and there is no better way to ruin a good story than saying, 'these guys are mates 'cos I had them in my box.'
The 'Oldies' had the retort that, back in the day, they didn't have all this competitive malarky and all this official nonsense and people muddled through. That's splendid, but by your own admission, it's not like that today. People have been spoiled and mindsets have changed. If I could trust my local gaming group, and don't get me wrong many of the guys at Worhamma are a fine bunch of lads, to play with spirit and for fun then it would be great, but I'm afraid the muddle through mentality has gone and some people will play to the limit of the rules. You must make a rules set to match players, not players to match rules.
Finally, and this is something I pointed out on a Facebook group I'm in, it subtracts from one of the main benefits of Games Workshop wargaming in my opinion. One of the reasons I played Games Workshop before was because I confident that I could go to almost any gaming club across the country, and internationally to, with my armies and get a game. A universal rules set played by everyone is a major advantage when I actually want to use my figures. When each club has a set of house rules as long as your arm, my armies may no longer match their exacting demands. That last thing that made Games Workshop rules sets interesting to me then crumbles away.
So apparently I needed a grumble to, but I thought I'd help out the outnumbered Ben in his argument. Tomorrow's post is likely going to be a report on Heartfaux, which I am really excited about. Catch you tomorrow.