Breaking the Law!

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Hey everyone, Reecius here to wax philosophical on breaking the law!…er, rules, in a game.

So what do I mean by that? Breaking the rules is bad, right? Well, as a wise man once said, we have a moral obligation to break unjust laws.

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Now, I would be more than a little hyperbolic to claim that the rules for any game are that meaningful, but, our favorite pastime does matter to us. How we choose to play it as a community impacts our leisure time and that is meaningful. So, we debate (endlessly, at times) what the best way to go about this is.

7th edition 40K has forced us to choose what rules we use when we play, even if that choice is all of them. However, now unlike ever before, we cannot simply show up to the table to play without some type of discussion as to what type of 40K each of us is expecting. That communication will facilitate a fun game for all parties which after all, is the point.

In order to achieve this end in an organized play format, those decisions have to be come to in advance so that everyone is on the same page. As everyone varies in their opinions as to what those decisions should be, conflict inevitably arises as folks feel that other points of view are being pressed upon them.

However, I challenge everyone to think about the commonly agreed upon rules not in how they impact yourself and your list. So often people argue against a potential change only thinking about their specific list and not the bigger picture. I challenge everyone to think about the rules not in the term of whether or not you can overcome any “net” list, or find a counter to any problem. You may be a very good player and able to overcome a tough list, but that doesn’t mean everyone else can. I challenge you all to think about the rules in terms of how they impact the community.

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I can say that since 6th ed dropped, we have been watching a steady stream of players leaving 40K for other games. Often 10+year veterans with a lot of time and energy invested into the game, leaving. It saddens me and seeing the enormous inequities in the rules at present mean that without some outside influence, we will continue to lose players to games that cater to those who want a fair, balanced rule set.

That is where 40K is, now. The gap between the skilled and unskilled player has always been there, for sure. But now, that gap is wider than ever before. You can builds lists now that make the power lists of editions past look like child’s play. In order to curb this, we have to agree how high we set the bar for power. Every competition has rules meant to create fair play, and our game is no different. However, our game was not written with unbridled competition in mind, it was written to create cinematic moments. We have to take it the rest of the way.

Imposing only those limitations deemed necessary will create a more level playing field that will encourage more people to come and enjoy themselves. No one wants to limit anyone else’s ability to create the army they want to play and have fun (trust me, we really, really don’t like telling people no), but there must be limits. If we go too far down the path of unbridled competition with a toolset never meant to be used in that way, we cut our own throats and our events will dwindle. Who cares if you have the ultimate list when you are the only one playing?

We don’t seek to punish success by imposing limitations or rules changes, we seek to encourage variety and tactical play. Taking an invincible army does not mean you are good at 40K. It might mean you are clever in list building (if you designed it), but a good player it does not make.

By imposing some well thought out limitations on rules that create imbalance, we level the playing field and make tournaments more accessible for more people. We also increase the variety of lists that we see at an event. The goal is to curb the truly crazy rules without stifling creativity too much. It isn’t easy to do but I am confident that the community can come to general agreements about what is fair and fun for as many people as possible.

What is your stance on imposing limitations on competitive play?

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About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

69 Responses to “Breaking the Law!”

  1. bigpig June 4, 2014 12:31 am #

    Very well written article. What you describe, to some degree, is for people to assess and improve their own emotional intelligence. Do it in game and improve not just everyone’s experiences with 40k, but would probably have benefits in your other relationships. I wish more people could see outside their little world and demonstrate just a bit of empathy. It would make life so much better. Of course, then I guess I would be out of a job 🙂

    It’s funny. I looked at the first comment on the BoLS post and guess what it said. “40k isn’t meant to be played competitively!” ….sigh….

    Keep up the good work brother!

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 4, 2014 4:38 pm #

      Thanks, and yeah, it is difficult at times to try to think from a new perspective but it is necessary.

  2. Joshua.Dearth June 4, 2014 1:11 am #

    Here Here! Very well written article Reece. I took a minute to peruse the comments over on BoLS, and all I can say is WOW! Just wow.

    Great article and I hope at least a few people can take away from it what it was meant to be.

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 4, 2014 4:44 pm #

      Thanks, dude. And yeah, a lot of people miss the point but oh well, got to keep trying =)

  3. The Voice June 4, 2014 1:11 am #

    All for it. I wouldnt mind getting in on it too. See if we can get it to hold traction in the Uk too.

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 4, 2014 4:44 pm #

      Definitely. What is the general consensus in the UK as to how to work with the 7th ed rules?

  4. Tom Stone June 4, 2014 1:53 am #

    I’m so pleased I quit 40K for DZC…..

    …..very well written and thought out post. Agree with everything you’ve said. I’ve quit 40K not because I’m against change, but because I’m fed up of juvenile tantrums and childish attitudes of other gamers. I want a hobby to be fun and friendly, not a heated debate where everyone thinks they’re right and everyone else is wrong. The smallest mistake gets the kind of hostility you’d expect from someone if you’d just raped their cat in front of their children (yikes – but it makes my point).

    It’s good to find a new game where everyone is enthusiastic, loves the rules and most importantly…..have fun.

    • Tomguycot June 4, 2014 4:48 am #

      Totally agree. I’m in the exact same situation. Been playing 40k since the 90s and finally somewhere around mid 6th edition said ‘enough’. Games are supposed to be fun and it is really hard to have fun when you and your opponent can’t agree on the basic rules of the game. This could either be in the form of arguing over the interpretation of a poorly written rule or a big picture argument over what parts of the “rules” to even allow in the first place (especially so now with some of the imbalances brought on by 7th edition).

      40k is not the only game system out there even if GW acts like it is. Right now I am getting my gaming fix through Magic and frankly GW could learn quite a few things from WotC. I’ve also played Magic since the 90s and I can count the number of legitimate rules conundrums I’ve encountered during those years on one hand. And despite GW’s stance on tight tournament gaming caliber rules, I have quite a lot of fun playing Magic both competitively and casually! There’s also something to be said for having established competitive (and casual!) formats so that I can just show up and play without some sort of gentleman’s agreement. Let’s also not forget the fact that a tournament, best 2 out of 3, round of magic can typically be completed in well less than 50 minutes. Not really something that 40k can accomplish at the points values for which the rules seem intended.

      Now that’s not to say wargaming and miniatures don’t have their place. I’m sure I’ll get the itch to paint little plastic men again and DzC is pretty high up on the list of things to try.

      On topic, I do think this is a good article and I agree with what’s said. If 40k is going to survive it is going to be because the community comes together and not because of GW. Good luck …I’ve still got some mothballed IG and I’d love to want to use them again.

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 4, 2014 4:45 pm #

      Yeah, you’re not alone. We’ve been bleeding players to Warmahordes, DzC and Infinity lately. In fact, two former hardcore 40K guys on our team are now playing Warmahordes int he shop as I type this and not planning on returning to 40K.

  5. Massive Dynamic June 4, 2014 2:08 am #

    Not sure how i feel about a Martin Luther King Jr. quote being used to explain the nuances of table top gaming…

    • trueknight June 4, 2014 5:10 am #

      Just shows the foresight that MLK Jr. had.

    • XinZ June 4, 2014 8:13 am #

      I understand where you’re coming from on this one. You are definitely not the first or the last person to feel this way, but what I’ve found is great leaders such as MLK really had a lot that they were able to teach us. Their lessons are not limited to social issues, but all aspects of life. As out of context as it may seem to you, it just goes to show MLK’s brilliance that he is able to influence so many people with so little said.

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 4, 2014 11:16 am #

      I meant nothing by it other than that it felt like an apt saying given our current situation. Plus, I admire MLK and like to give him props were I can.

    • bigpig June 4, 2014 1:07 pm #

      I don’t think that drawing wisdom from his statements minimizes their significance at the time he said them. I could see how an initial response might be to question, though. If anything, it shows respect by applying his philosophy to varied aspects of one’s life. And ultimately, Reece was saying MLK would put his drop pods here or take this type of army list. He was attempting to help players of all styles realize we need to come together, cohabitate peacefully, and work constructively to better the community as a whole. It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about race relations or mutual respect when interacting with each other, its all about treating one another the way we should be.

  6. benn grimm June 4, 2014 2:26 am #

    Good call, though looking at the comments on BOLS, looks like it totally went over most of the heads there. This edition is ridiculously divisive, continuing what 6th began, I’m even starting to see the knock on effect locally, and it is really off putting when you’re just looking for a quick game at the club, let alone debating what should/shouldn’t be allowed in fun, balanced competitive play.

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 4, 2014 11:17 am #

      Eh, the BoLS Trolls are what they are, I largely ignore them.

      But yeah, this edition really has stirred the pot more so than ever before. We’ll be fine, though, just have to ride out the shit storm.

  7. cavalier June 4, 2014 2:50 am #

    Totally agree with you Reece. So when you guys get down to work with your tourney FAQ/Errata I’m begging you….. allow assault of stationary transports or reserve! There are so many cool units just rotting on the vine.

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 4, 2014 4:46 pm #

      Thanks and yeah, I think you’re point there is valid.

  8. Bassface7 June 4, 2014 3:30 am #

    I definitely agree. I do look around at the moment, see people running beaststars, councils etc and think “Why are you even here?” they’re obviously not in it for fair, competitive, games. They aren’t there to challenge themselves, they’re just there to smash as much face as effortlessly as possible, and that makes me sad. If people like that want to ragequit because tournaments start adjusting rules to level the playing field then good, better for everyone involved.

    • Tom Stone June 4, 2014 3:44 am #

      AGREED!
      You can’t hear it, but I am applauding your comment.

    • AbusePuppy June 4, 2014 9:11 am #

      “Why are you even here?”

      To prove a point?

      Because they were running the list, or something very similar to it, before it was popular?

      Because they wanted to bring the strongest list they could?

      Criticizing and judging people based on the lists they bring may not be the worst aspect of Warhammer- I would reserve that for the rampant elitism, racism, sexism, and homophobia in the hobby- but it’s certainly on the list of awful things we do. Let people play what they want- if the list someone is bringing is bad for the game, that’s because the game is poorly designed, not because that person is a monster who hates fun.

      • CNitram June 4, 2014 10:42 am #

        Where in the hell are you encountering “rampant racism, sexism, and homophobia” in your W40k matches? Like is your FLGS posting a sign out front that says “straight, white males only”?

        Every gamer/person I’ve met in the Atlanta, GA area has been really friendly and easy-going.

        Save that political bullshit for BoLS…

        • AbusePuppy June 4, 2014 3:34 pm #

          Do you have any idea how many times I’ve heard the words “faggot,” “gay,” or “homo” used as slurs at game stores? It’s pretty depressingly common. Likewise gendered slurs are pretty common and if you think there are more than a handful of women anywhere in this game, you’re experiencing a very unique state of the game.

          The way we treat other gamers- including in the context of the game world and how it portrays minorities- is not “political bullshit,” it’s a signal to the rest of the world what kind of people we are. It tells them who is welcome in the hobby and who is not and how we treat people that don’t fall into the straight, white, male, middle class stereotype that pervades gaming culture still.

          Friendly is good, and lots of the folks I’ve met in wargaming culture are friendly and nice and I enjoy hanging out with them. At the same time, there is a very unfortunate tolerance for some less-pleasant aspects of things that is undeniably still there.

      • Leth June 4, 2014 11:50 pm #

        And that would make sense if they didnt know the effects it was going to have.

        If they come up with an idea and it is either not fun, or they dont enjoy it the first few times that is one thing.

        However at the point where you are bringing something with the knowledge that it is not going to be fun for other people to play against. You are making a conscious decision to do so at that point and get all the scorn that comes with it.

        • AbusePuppy June 5, 2014 12:26 pm #

          Fun is subjective. What is fun for you may not be fun for other people, and vice versa. Their goals, and their fun, may even be in conflict with yours in some situations, especially if the type of fun you have is at odds with one of the most common goals of the format you are playing (such as complaining about competitive play at a tournament.)

  9. Painjunky June 4, 2014 4:09 am #

    If 40k is going to survive in the long term TOs like yourself have to come up with limitations for competitive play.

    TOs have always done this in the past (usually with missions and objectives) but now it is needed more than ever before.

    If a set of limitations, that can be accepted by a significant number of TOs, cannot be agreed upon and implemented than the competitive game will fracture to the point where many players will just give up trying to keep up with which rules are in use in which areas or stores/clubs.

    This confusion will just be another barrier for new players and fed up vets will continue to abandon 40k for other more balanced games.

    P.S. Please don’t read the comments on BOLS… They are an embarrassment to our hobby.

    • Tomguycot June 4, 2014 4:52 am #

      It’s a bit like driving by a car wreck. It’s REALLY hard not to turn your head and check out the carnage, haha.

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 4, 2014 4:48 pm #

      Yeah, there is a lot to be said for simplicity. It’s getting harder to do that in 40K, though.

  10. Loopy June 4, 2014 4:42 am #

    I agree completely. I also don’t think this is anathema to GW’s philosophy either. They want everyone to play the game the way the player wants to and if that means changing the rules, then that’s fine. They’ve said this time and again and I think people forget that and they focus on this pointless goal of rules purity.

    Having said that, it’s important to test changes which will impact a large player base. It’s easy to star banning or changing things for the greater good only to find that your efforts to tone down power lists have also unfairly hindered older armies to the point where the bans may as well have not occurred.

    For example, last year the 0-2 limit at Da Boyz, while keeping things a little more interesting actually seemed to hinder older, weaker armies even MORE than the new armies.

    I won’t, however, go into my opinion on allies again because I’m sure we’re all sick of hearing about it. LOL

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 4, 2014 4:49 pm #

      Yeah, GW says change the rules and THEY change the rules when they play the game, lol, they would probably laugh at how seriously the rest of us take it.

  11. son of steel June 4, 2014 4:51 am #

    Everybody seems to agree with the general idea there should be limitations when playing 40 k in a tournament or competitive arena. However getting people to agree on exectly what these limitations should be is a totally different issue.

    The worlds leading TO’s should put their heads together and create a number of different “standard rulespacks” , a bit like magic TG has its types…

    My guess is if someone like Reece takes the lead many of the smaller events organisers and gamingclub league gurus will follow

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 4, 2014 5:19 pm #

      We’re working on it for sure, and hope to get this thing into a stable situation ASAP.

  12. Logan June 4, 2014 5:28 am #

    Great post, and I believe it leads to a comment that I mentioned before. In 6th with the 2++ fiasco, I mentioned making a league and a set rules that constantly evolve. I believe 7th coming out is a better reason to start this league. I agree that most of the rules for 7th are fantastic and balanced than 5th or 6th, but there is a lot of room for abuse. If all the TOs and Major Tournaments both West Coast and East Coast (and the folks in the middle 😀 ) have a standard on most of the rule, they can still add their personal touches to missions.

    I personally don’t agree Come the Apocalypse (CtA) allies should be allowed. What will be the point of bringing an army and just use ANY codex as an ally to fill the gaps. I get that Armies of the Imperium can bring any army they want to fill gaps, but look at things like Orks, CSM, Nids, other xenos. What’s the point of making a Nid list and bring Necrons to glance all the vehicles to death for your nids. It removes the challenge of list building and army tactic, and makes point of picking an army and sticking to it pointless. I’m aware that Nids will be affected the most by removing CtA Allies, but Nids ran solo in 6th, whats the difference now in 7th. Also, as long as formations are handled properly for Nids, they have a great chance to win games. Example is the Guardian Cup.

    • vonvilkee June 4, 2014 6:46 am #

      Formations are all the more reason to allow come the apocalypse allies. That deployment restriction is actually pretty major. Mostly I just really want to see genestealer cults on the table. I hear nids complaining all the time about allies this and that let them have their fun too.

      Like Reece said think about the other impact. Personally when I write a list I ask myself would I enjoy swapping lists with anyone I will end up playing and playing again right away? If I can honestly answer yes then I go for it, if I’m like wow you need a very specific tool kit to have a chance then I rework the specialisation. I’d much rather win on positioning and a little luck than my list building ability to break the golden rule.

      • Logan June 4, 2014 7:30 am #

        I agree with you on making lists that’s enjoyable for you and your opponent. The thing is I like the saying “Keeping the Honest people Honest.” I also think keeping the diveristy of armies intact.

        That being said, If you allow CtA allies for both formations, codex, and w/e GW decides to invent in the near future. It becomes difficult to keep people from abusing the rules just because it’s legal. I also think Cta will remove the diveristy of the different armies strengths and weakness for mostly the xenos armies (since the Imperium have friends everywhere). In 6th I found it a waste in point investment for Desperate Allies, since no one could score from that ally detachment. Now in 7th all allies can score no matter what status they are. Now because of that you can easily fill roles with any army and no restrictions (that 1″, 6″, 12″ restriction isn’t good enough).

        It’s common knowledge that Orks have issues with access to AP1 or AP2 wargear, and issues with range Medium to Heavy AT. In 6th my solution was to ally with Necrons and bring Overlord, Teleporting Cryptek and 20 warriors in one unit to handle my AT. Reason I chose that was because the ally chart was very limited for Orks in Allies of Convenience (AoC) and I believe Necrons worked better for my list. Now with 7th, I have a blank canvas and I can bring anything. If I wanted to I can bring a Knight or SM (WS) with mass grav, etc. What this does now is remove any challenges for the army you pick.

        I prefer to use underdog armies and/or lists. 5th WWP DE, 6th Footsloggin Orks, and now I’m working on Endless Swarm Nids with Swarmlord. I loved the challenge of working with the restriction of my codex and rules that involved my codex like allies. Now I have the option to ignore all my weakness of any list I want. Granted I will still choose to not abuse the rules, but I’m just 1 person out of the 1000s that play this game. Not everyone will have this restriction placed on themselves. My suggestion will make sure people follow the restrictions to prevent the abuse of rules.

  13. jmanj123 June 4, 2014 7:34 am #

    I agree with your comments Reece, but I think the biggest issue with these proposed changes/restrictions is that they need to come soon. I have played GW games pretty religiously for over 17 years now, and have been playing competitively in 5th and 6th as you know because me and a few of my friends have been attending your events. However, after sifting through the new rules on that first Friday, and playing a test game like everyone else where I put 30-40+ power dice on the field with demons vs quad farseer seerstar, I was like cool, so when are the changes coming? To be honest, I have played one game of 40k since the new rules because I do not see the point in playing anything as they are written; thus my play group is sitting in a limbo about 40k until we see what groups like yours will be applying.

    Further, I went out and purchased starting crews for Freebooters Fate and have my huge kickstarter order from Relic Knights coming soon, so I could be one of the many long term vets you are describing in your intro that may be done with 40k as I currently know it as I may find the more casual side of smaller scale games to be enjoyable over the shattered and fragmented game we are left with disguised as warhammer 40k.

    So, my point is that the known groups like yours, MVB and Nova, and the guys from Adepticon cannot release their proposed changes or fixes fast enough. I am not trying to put undue pressure on you guys, but based on what I am reading, have experienced, and seeing a lot of peoples uncertainty about this edition, the only way competitive gaming survives this edition is to see changes made by groups like yours and in a hurry. It seems already that you seem to be posting a few articles like this, but have not yet started putting decisions on paper yet. The longer you wait to make these changes, more players will leave the game and may not come back. My proposal is for you guys to get your ideas out there soon and make adjustments to your changes as you see fit through testing and discussion.

    • Logan June 4, 2014 7:39 am #

      I’m on your boat as well. I don’t want to play a game till I see what the BAO Ruleset will look like for 7th. Normally I set up my days 3-7 days before the game since I work in the military. The BAO Ruleset just made it easier to send it to my opponent and we can agree to just use that.

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 4, 2014 5:22 pm #

      I hear you and agree, we are working on getting some baseline agreements out for everyone ASAP. We think it will make the game stabilize and be more fun for everyone for all of the reasons you mentioned.

  14. Chuck June 4, 2014 7:38 am #

    I’m all in favor of rules limitations for competitive play, however I think that when they are imposed, they need to be as consistent and prompt as possible.

    Consistent because as someone who focuses on tournament play, if every single tournament has completely different rules that change the strong lists, then it really disincentivizes me from trying to attend a bunch of tournaments, if I’m going to need to design my list around completely different threats for each one. Unlike in 6th, where many tournaments had variations on allies / formations and even the 2+ reroll rule, none of those changes completely invalidated lists or greatly shifted what types of armies were powerful.

    Now in 7th, if one TO decides to completely neuter the psychic phase, while another places limitations on summoning, but not invisibility, and yet another just does something about denying but doesn’t stop massive amounts of powers, there is so much more room for completely different meta lists. For me personally, since I have a limited amount of time to spend playtesting and trying out new lists, if every tournament is going to be a completely different game from every other one, I’m not sure I’m willing to put the energy in to play in them.

    Similarly, for promptness, I prefer to know well in advance of a tournament what the rules are going to be, so I can have time to prepare and test. For instance, right now I don’t really have any desire to play 40k, because the base rules are so broken and I don’t really have any idea what TOs are going to do to curb that brokenness. If I just want a “Beer & Pretzels” game like GW seems to think 40k is supposed to be, there are so many other options that don’t take nearly as much time, money, nor do they cause nearly as many headaches.

    That’s just my stance, but as it stands I’m seriously considering dropping 40k, and I’ve been playing since 2nd edition.

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 4, 2014 5:26 pm #

      Thanks for the feedback, Chuck. And yeah, you said what we keep hearing over and over again. Folks are losing interest.

      We are working quickly to come to some consensus on what to do, so that is happening. We’re trying to avoid everyone doing their own thing for the reasons you listed, but, it is hard. All the TOs have different ideas and different views, groups and play-styles influencing their perspective.

      • Chuck June 5, 2014 2:26 pm #

        Oh yeah, I’m sure it’s incredibly difficult for you TOs, especially given that until now there hasn’t been any need, and thus no real push, to have any sort of unified rules consensus among all of the major tournaments.

        Nor is it in any way your fault that people are losing interest, the blame for that lies squarely on GW for pushing out a ruleset that basically requires a rewrite of large portions to be used in a competitive setting.

  15. Novastar June 4, 2014 7:47 am #

    Why not try a mono codex event? No allies, no data slates just a good ole fashion codex

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 4, 2014 5:23 pm #

      I think there would actually be a market for that.

  16. Nuln-Oil June 4, 2014 8:44 am #

    The exodus is only part of the problem. The other part of the problem is that new players are going to be less an less likely to get into this game. As of right now, just about everyone has a reason to buy daemon models, whether they want to or not. It’s already expensive enough to buy the rule book, templates, 500-1000 points worth of models (we are talking about new players), a codex, paint, and the like. Having to buy more models and codexes is going to push some peoples’ limits.

    • Leth June 4, 2014 11:52 pm #

      Not gonna lie, I see myself as a pretty competative gamer and I see ZERO reason to buy any daemons. The lore is completely over rated.

      • Reecius
        Reecius June 5, 2014 11:45 am #

        In our games so far, it’s been nutso. I think people aren’t really spamming it to the max with 40+ WC in their test games to really see it hit critical mass.

  17. 5th Horseman June 4, 2014 8:56 am #

    Reecius, excellent article as always. And I agree that to play this game in a competitive setting there are changes that need to be made. I have been attempting to spearhead a sit-down between my self and several TO’s in my area to create a general FAQ for our area. Our hope is to make a tighter rule set that rewards a competitive players tactical acumen while still creating fun and engaging games for everyone.

  18. Marius Xerxes June 4, 2014 9:19 am #

    10+ years ago I could afford to play 40k, a number of other games, and have a social life all at the same time.

    GW has hiked their prices so much that it’s either I choose them, or everything else. Combine that with increasingly poor game design, I can see why a lot of people are debating or go through with leaving the game behind.

    However, its extremely sad that GW more or less knows they can rely on various vocal TO’s worldwide to make their game “fun” for the semi-competitive and competitive crowd. It must be nice knowing that they can set sail to a complete piece of shit and watch as a unpaid, albeit enthusiastic, handful of individuals come running out to polish that turd for them.

  19. Infinite Freedom June 4, 2014 9:27 am #

    I play several non-GW games, but I always return to this one.

    I have to say that I honestly think everyone is jumping on the ban/nerf/alteration wagon far too quickly. The first codex of the new edition isn’t even out yet. For all we know, the coming codexes could fix it a bit.

    And yes, I am aware of what I just said.

  20. Jason Brown June 4, 2014 9:52 am #

    Having been a part of several groups trying to come up with rulesets and guidlines for some combative sparring, I can say that coming to a complete consensus is never really going to happen; not everyone will be happy and it will not be a perfect system.

    That being said, people will game a system, so yo need to make sure they game the system in a way that moves toward your goals as a whole.

    Keep in mind that I tend to play either a Shadow Council or Seer based list predominantly when I say the following.

    Stuff that is broken or gamed or makes for tactically boring game (IMO):

    2+ rerollable (duh), fixes the 4+ is pretty good. Now that powers come at a cost, I think this is a good fix. yes I can throw dice at it and get a couple off, but perils are far more common and I can have some pretty nasty side effects now. The real issuse with the jetseers is how fast and hard they are to kill.

    Tau buff stacking, take SMS for example twin linked, ignores cover no LOS….whats the point? Take away the LOS, its still powerful but you get the ability to move tactically. As it stands, all you have to do is roll dice as the tau player and that dose not foster good skill, only decent luck.

    Summoning, this can get out of hand. I think there are some good ideas out there to fix this: one unit summoned per turn is pretty viable. Also remove the immunity to perils for CD, make summoning just as tricky for them. There is little risk vs reward there.

    Back to buff stacking, one should not be able to hit up fortune, invis and protect all on the same unit. As with tau getting multiple enhancments, this just isnt fun. I have had a shadow council with Easy E and a some blades litterally walk up the field picking daisies whilst all hell is dropped on them. It did not take skill. ZGranted, this isnt as easy to pull of these days but its silly. So you can only get one of either invis or fortune, not both. You cant get protect and fortune. Grimore and the reroll….see where I am going? Makes for tactical buff balancing and decision making. But I think things like Viel of Tears, and the like are ok to stack with one or the other.

    The cards have been dealt with (uh pup not intended), and while a great idea, they suck as implamented. I think have 6 different objectives, that get rolled on at the start of each turn, would both be fun and make for a more engaging game. But make it things like 1) Kill an enemy unit 2) capture an objective not previously held 3) Kill a tank/mc 4) DOnt loose a unit this turn (reroll turn one) ….stuff like that, universal but adds some sideways paths to victory.

  21. Hotsauceman1 June 4, 2014 10:28 am #

    Y’know, even though I am worried, im sure TOs are going to do a good job fixing this. iin the en, 7th edition needs a few tweaks and we are good.
    Who knows, maybe GW will release an FAQ that will fix some problems

  22. Vendra June 4, 2014 12:50 pm #

    I do not think any limitations should be imposed at this time. I think that at least a year of tournaments should be played with rules as written till the community decides on any changes. Also how can you decide what is a broken rule and needs fixing. Maybe one person likes a rule and another does not. I really think people are jumping to conclusions way to soon. Believe me there are some things I would like to see changed, like my nids Shadows in the Warp but its not going to be and that’s life.

  23. fluger June 4, 2014 2:20 pm #

    I think the real problem is figuring out where to draw the line and the acrimony that will develop due to those debates.

    There was enough disagreement on various INAT rules rulings, I can’t imagine the backlash and typed verbal diarrhea that would sluice forth if a debate on a warp charge cap (18 or 20? 12?) were to ensue.

    Everyone can recognize that boundless 40k has potentials for abuse, but for almost every conceivable ultra-broken list I can think of a perfectly legitimate list that would get screwed out of becoming competitive. Case in point: Tzeentch Daemons. What if I wanted to run mono-god Tzeentch and planned on playing it as focusing on witchfire powers? I’d probably be generating a metric ton of warp charges, but would be using them to do damage instead of creating the most boring game imaginable (sidebar: I think that the recursive power of summoning daemons isn’t as powerful as we think it is, your bat rep not withstanding. Conjured units not being objective secured (since they fall outside of the detachment/foc) and the fact that the units aren’t doing any actual DAMAGE to the enemy means that it should be pretty manageable for a list like wave serpent spam for instance). If we put a cap on warp charges, mon-tzeentch is effectively off the table as a useful army (although they did fix the chariot, which was awesome in 6th if you could convince your opponent to play it as it was OBVIOUSLY intended).

    There’s also the wide chasm in opinions that can crop up between even like-minded people. In the beginnings of 5th I was basically shamed by my gaming group to stop bringing my Orks because they were seen as basically abusively good. At the same time, unbeknownst to me there was a vociferous bunch of internet folks claiming orks were essentially worthless and uncompetitive. Had we been putting arbitrary limitations on the game at that time, the folks in Seattle would’ve clamored for some ork nerfing and others would’ve said orks needed buffing!

    In any event, I think limitations are going to be needed, but I don’t relish the debates that will rage.

  24. redwulfe June 4, 2014 3:25 pm #

    I feel that if a game is truly unbalanced and well loved the rules should be houseruled to make the game enjoyable to all. The problem is the question of unbalanced. Is the game truly unbalanced or just perceived to be so? for example I will use summoning. is this truly broken and what makes it different that necron will be back rolls which brings back fallen crons to the game and is primarily army wide or tirvegon spawning. both of these are uncounterable. Is summoning unbalanced or is it only unbalanced when you spam warp charges? My beleif is that testing is needed to truly get to the bottom of what needs to change to bring it back into balance.

    My opinion is that the rules are unbalanced, but not by as much as some would claim and they always have been. The problem with houseruling is that when you do it, you may create more problems than what where fixed. Some houserules are even completely unneccesary as players. I will use summoning again to talk more about this. Daemons tend to get shot off the table when played by many lower tear players. to fix this they add allies and such but the player that just wants to play daemons only has a choice of get better at the game or play the stronger FMC lists. Summoning adds a choice but seems to be broken by the shear dominance of daemons psychic phase. If you ban summoning you may create an imbalance where the only way you can play competitive daemons is to ally or FMC. I don’t feel that this is the case but many players will feel this way. another way to try and houserule summoning is to change conjurations to where they can only add models to existing units if possible and can only create one unit per turn if not. this means that you still can summon but it will limit the amount you can in a turn to a more manageable fashion and makes it more akin to a way to replenish losses rather than create an unimaginable horde.

    For rules that may not be needed to change I look to warp charge caps. Is it necessary? Maybe? or it may fix itself in competitive play as time limits tend to focus lists in many games. I look at warmachine where in hardcore with timed turns you tend to not play heavy model count lists as you run out of time and most players do not wish to lose games to time. Of course it shouldn’t need to be said I am not proposing timed turns in 40k I am just using another game to illustrate how the format of the tourney can solve a potential unbalance in the game.

    Great article by the way.
    Red

  25. Julio Rodriguez June 4, 2014 5:35 pm #

    Im also waiting on the BAO mission packet to come out. I have no idea what army I want to run since I don’t know what will be allowed. We have less than 2 months and for me to choose a list, paint my army, playtest, time is running out.

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 4, 2014 6:21 pm #

      We’ll get that done, soon!

  26. Re dog June 4, 2014 6:46 pm #

    Good article and yes 7th has been super controversial for multiple reasons but we have been playing the game full rules in orlando and have been surprise to see balance and very close games… U guys did break the game in 48 hours but you can’t bring that kind of slow playing lists to a 2 hour per round event… All in all with LOW, powers the way they are and the crazy ally matrix games have been tight, fun and explosive… Fun fun fun and I m a competitive player. Even the unbound has not been game breaking. I sure someone will creat the ultimate cheese sooner than later but right now it’s been real interesting! See u ladies at ATC

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 5, 2014 1:48 pm #

      Yeah, you said it! And see you at the ATC, West Coast is winning it again, this year! Muahaha!

  27. Mike Bass June 4, 2014 8:08 pm #

    Ahem. So it seems as though there are a lot of mixed feelings on the way the game should be played in a competitive setting. Why not run two tournaments at the same time. One unbound crazy mess of whatever-the new rules-and a tournament that provides comp, rules mods, ect. This really seems to be the biggest argument amongst the competitive players in our area(the west coast). I for one would go to a tournament where I had this simple choice, where all players can feel comfortable playing whatever version of 40k suits them best.

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 5, 2014 8:49 am #

      That might not be a bad idea, Mike. The only problem there is logistics: space, staff, prizes, etc. for two events instead of just one.

  28. Jural June 4, 2014 11:49 pm #

    Long story short- I generally think it’s bad form for a tournament or league to significantly change the rules except 1) as is encouraged by the rules, or 2) As is necessary specifically for the format of an event (e.g. time limits in tournies.)

    But in the case of 7th Edition, I don’t see how you get around it. At the very least, the psychic phase being swamped with dice and the endless summoning of daemons are clearly bad ideas when taken to the extreme… which by the way is trivial to do.

    But what’s the answer? One can at least simply ban maelific powers (but they are fluffy and fun…), but how do you tell a daemon player who has an army of psykers he only has 12 dice to use? And how do you tell that Space Marine player to just stop fielding his single librarian?

    There are answers to these questions, but they aren’t obvious, they won’t be the same across tournaments, and some list is going to get screwed out of each one. until we get a 7th Edition FAQ or 8th Edition, these things will rip apart the community.

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 5, 2014 8:50 am #

      Yeah, I just wish GW would have been more explicit in their intent.

  29. BBF June 5, 2014 11:59 am #

    Reecius – you can whatever you want for your events but expecting one else to is a bit crazy.

    Love you bro. <3

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 5, 2014 12:53 pm #

      I am not expecting everyone to do anything other than what they want to, I am just advocating for some caution in 7th ed as it is a honey pot trap. We let it go too crazy and it may be fun for a little but but we end up bleeding players away to other games and then the tournament scene is no longer what it was.

  30. Jack June 5, 2014 12:23 pm #

    In tournaments you don’t need to ban summoning at all. The structure of a tournament (time limited) makes that list completely unworkable in a competitive sense, as you’d never be able to finish a game in a reasonable time. With no objective secured and having to deep strike in, the summoned units are delayed in doing anything reasonably effective for another turn. If a person bogs down the game so much in the psychic phase, they aren’t really doing anything effective to their opponent. Your battlereport highlighted how incredibly long these massive warpcharge spamming psychic phases take. From a competitive standpoint, why would someone even want to bring a list that will undoubtably make them run out of time before they can win?

    Nids can easily throw alot of cheap scoring bodies on the field through tervigon spam. Did it win all the major tournaments? nope. Did it spark a flood of competitive players painting up 400 termagants and dominating everyone? nope. A competitive player doesn’t want to slow the game to a crawl and eek out a draw at best. I think the reaction to malefic has been pretty strong in the “what if” department, however I don’t think it’s anywhere near the problem it’s being made out to be especially in tournaments due to the time issue.

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 5, 2014 12:52 pm #

      There is a very, very, very big difference between a Gant and a Greater Daemon. Or even between a Gant and a lesser Daemon or Seeker or Khorne Dog, or what have you.

      And yes, it does slow down the game a great deal which is unfair to the player that has to play against it and is likely to only get a few turns of the game done.

    • Redwulfe June 5, 2014 8:52 pm #

      I fully agree with this. The nature of tournaments makes spam summoning not really worth taking. As a daemons player I know I would not take a spam summoning list. I would probably take a psychic strong list though as I wish to have the dice on the opponents turn to DTW guide, fortune, and such. But summoning will maybe be one or two models just to replenish forces as they are lost to shooting akin to Necron will be back rolls. Mass summoning will net me a draw or game loss and make it nearly impossible to finish top tier. It may not be the popular opinion, but I really don’t see summoning being a huge issue in competitive timed games.

      • Reecius
        Reecius June 6, 2014 8:40 am #

        Sensible players won’t take it I think, but a lot of folks will and then you end up with both players getting shorted on time which is no fun.

      • Jural June 6, 2014 8:46 pm #

        I think I get what you are saying, but is there a cagey option which gets around it?

        I’m thinking heavy summoning until you get the advantage, then back off the gas pedal and ride the advantage to a win. It looks like most battle reports the players summon even after victory is secured. A smart tourney player could summon when necessary (to get the advantage or to turn a probable loss into a time related draw…) and maybe beat the clock.

        It wouldn’t work for everyone, but if 5-7 CD showed up to an event, one of them would probably have good enough dice, especially in a 3 match setting.

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