You Are Not a Realist

What follows is a curmudgeonly and slightly pompous editorial. I hope you like it. –An editorial by Loopy.

What is realism? It is a concept which promotes the forming of opinions and making of decisions based on facts and educated evaluations. I can get behind that. We live in a world where, all too often, decisions are made by those who take too much stock in their own personal beliefs rather than on evidence. Realism can help us get to the core cause of any problem and quickly develop a solution. Granted, while developing the solution itself can be easy, gathering the facts to come to that conclusion can be time-consuming and following through with the solution is fraught with road blocks. As much as we make fun of politicians, it’s probably on my top 5 list of jobs I would not want to do.

What is cynicism? Cynicism is a festering boil on any healthy community, including (and possibly especially) our 40k community. Cynicism is a belief that people are, in general, motivated by their own personal gain rather than the good of the community at large. A cynic will not accept evidence to the contrary and will likely not even seek it out for fear of such evidence breaking their well-honed world view. Making things worse, cynicism is often coupled with fatalism which can, in its own right, be a destructive philosophy.

There are those in our community who are self-described realists. I’m here to explain that many of them are not. They are cynics disguising themselves as realists in order to foster their own sense of arrogant self-importance. If they were realists, they would work to the betterment of the community rather than trying to tear it down.

Self-Preservation and the Community

I could go on and on about human behavior, but I’m not a sociologist or psychologist. There are a few interesting observations that I have as a human who’s lived on Earth for 36 years and one of these is that human nature does have an element of self-preservation. Of course it does. The supreme dominance of our species on this planet is fairly decent evidence of this fact. Having said that, part of that element of self-preservation has a lot to do with our ability to get along with one another, protect each other from danger, and trust each other with our lives. Trust is at the heart of the fine line between realism and cynicism.

How can you trust an oligarchical construct such as a corporation to act in any way other than its own best interest? Well, you can’t. You have to accept that it will work in the interest of its own self-preservation. While that may be at odds with the key conceit of this article, it is the inevitability of self-preservation as a basic need which abhors the belief that pure greed is the core motivation of Games Workshop.

You can expect a company to act in its own best interest in the same way that you can expect any animal, humans included, to do so, however this is in the context of one’s place in society, whether they be an individual or a corporation. A community benefits from diversity in skill and experience. Anyone not working towards the general health of the community can be seen as a drag on its resources and is subject to the judgement of the rest of the community members. It doesn’t matter if you’re the biggest person in the tribe or not. For example, in a society of intelligent beings, if you’re a giant bully who is a drag on morale, there’s nothing stopping the smallest and most abused among a community’s lower class from bludgeoning you to death with a rock while you sleep.

So, a community is bred, over time, to accept the machinations of society and get along. It’s in your best interest as much as it is for others. It is in Games Workshop’s best interest to have the health of the community which supports it in mind when developing its products. Without the community, they’re just filling their warehouses with plastic models.

This is a two-way street. For our community, based on the healthy intellectual property of Warhammer 40,000 to survive, the property itself has to not only survive, but thrive. If GW closed shop tomorrow, could we still play the game the way we wanted to? Sure we could, but people don’t generally like curating a dead corpse and new players, generally speaking, don’t want to start playing dead systems. The preservation of any community relies on a steady influx of new blood and that’s hard to do without a flagship to light the way.

Price of Admission

New blood can be hard to attract in a hobby this expensive, but the hallmark of GW games is the quality of its miniatures. In a throw-away world, it’s heartening to see that trading quality for other considerations is non-negotiable for GW. Other companies whose miniatures feature a comparable quality to that which GW offers also boast a comparable price. I don’t want to name names, but other companies have competitively-priced offerings, but the quality of their miniatures doesn’t really compare. Those companies are doing well, of course; there is a market for cheaper minis. The success of foreign online realtors selling cheap knock-offs is a clear indication that a market exists.

That market has failed to understand that the health of GW is symbiotic with the health of the community that plays their games. That miniatures are expensive is a fact. Getting young people in the game is hard. That’s why we’ve seen great boxed sets come out with the new edition. These boxed sets are a reasonable way to start building your army. Remember, you don’t have to start playing at 2000 points.

I’m not saying that adding variety to your army with unique, third-party models is morally wrong, though you do usually get what you pay for when it comes to the line of plastics. When it comes to buying third party knock-offs of existing plastic kits, however, I just can’t understand why anyone would do it just to save a few bucks. It only hurts the company which, in turn, hurts the community and that is cutting off your nose to spite your face no matter how you look at it.

We must help curate our own community. Do you have a niece, nephew, sister, or brother who’d like to get in the game? Buy them some models. They’ll pick up the responsibility with their own income as they get older. We’re grown-ass adults. Invest in growing the community and save another young person from the banality of pixel addiction

Illuminati

Some say that Games Workshop doesn’t care about balance because they don’t care about the competitive scene. This is a comment which, I believe, is pulled directly out of peoples’ asses. Saying developers don’t even care about the game they produce shows a deep misunderstanding of the culture at Games Workshop. Fortunately, the cure for ignorance is knowledge, and knowledge is free.

The rules are built with fun in mind. The rule of cool is the name of the game at Games Workshop. They are concerned about game balance, but not at all costs. When they write rules, they don’t do so with the assumption that someone’s going to try and interpret them like a computer code and try to get a sum out of them. They expect us to read the rules and get the gist of it. If you have to lay a rules argument out like a mathematical proof to prove yourself right, then you’re probably interpreting the rule wrong.

People love seeing patterns in things. That’s why conspiracy theories are so poplar in our society. It’s a part of human nature to recognize and react to patterns, so that’s totally understandable. However, the conceit that units that were bad in a previous version of a codex will be good and and units that were good will be bad has no bearing on reality. For each example of a unit that changed how “good” it was in a version change, I can give you one that didn’t.

Assuming there’s some magical warehouse somewhere packed to the gills with a model kit that needs to be “cleared out” is a bit presumptuous. A kit is a kit. In a perfect world, I’d guess GW would prefer their kits be purchased evenly, so that runs aren’t created on one kit or another. The fact is that sometimes units are imbalanced and there’s no actual pattern to it; nobody is perfect.

GW is building their game with more agility these days. It’s almost impossible to offer the staggering level of customization we enjoy with 40k with perfect game balance. Impossible. There will always be some way to game a unit which may seem perfectly reasonable when you take one with a certain load-out, but be completely insane when you take several with a different load-out or with a particular ally.

As an answer to this, the Datasheet model allows the designers to add balance to certain army builds on a whim. Each set of rules is compartmentalized in single-page, highly portable, and highly consumable bites. Formations allow the developers to maintain the flavor and single-unit points balance while providing a bonus to groups of different models taken together in a traditionally non-optimal way.

The new Space Marines and Eldar Codexes are a prime example of this modern philosophy. We’re seeing Datasheets with cool rules no matter how you want to play the game or what you want to focus on. This makes us want to diversify our forces and if we’re diversifying our forces, then we’re likely to be spending money, which is good for the company and good for the community.

Curating the Experience

What if someone still thinks all of this is terrible and bad for the game? What if they have measured Games Workshop’s offerings and still found them wanting?They aren’t quite a terrible cynic yet. They can still choose to accept the reality of the situation and do something about it.

The system is not perfect. We have to curate our experience in the game as much as we have to curate our community and Games Workshop has told us this is necessary. You don’t like multiple detachments? Don’t use them. You don’t like Strength D? Change it. It’s not that hard.We’re grown-ass adults; change the rules. In this way, the system actually is perfect because it can be whatever we want it to be.

The game is so full of options and diversity, and it is so immensely compartmentalized now, that we really do have the tools to play it however we want by adjusting one aspect of the game or another. They haven’t offered edict on how the game should be played in one way or another for the incontrovertible reason being that the experience should fit the needs of any stripe of hobbyist or gamer.

Games Workshop isn’t here to dictate how we should play our games. They give us the tools. We create the purpose and the atmosphere. One might call that lazy, but since we’re adults capable of rational thought, perhaps that philosophy isn’t so bad. Unfortunately, it does assume that, in many cases, someone will take the reins of their community and, along with a certain measure of group parity, make these decisions.

Curating the Community

Curating a community as unwieldy as the conglomerate of 40k players can be a harrowing experience. GW got out of that business and probably for good reason. It is unfortunate that their public presence has diminished to almost nothing. The costs and difficulties of maneuvering so many satellite communities and so many players must have been rather monumental. If individual groups are capable of supporting themselves independently, then that’s a more efficient methodology. The problem is that someone has to take the initiative.

Are you unhappy with your current 40k group, or lack thereof? Do you wish more people would play the game the way you want to? You won’t achieve your desires by sitting around and waiting for someone to do it for you. It takes a lot of hard work.

Make sure everyone gets to play. As a curator, one of your main jobs is making sure everyone gets a game. I haven’t always been as good at this as I wish I were, and it’s so important. If people end up sitting around instead of playing, they could feel left out give up entirely. Having said that, it’s not fair to you if you end up playing the same difficult personality time and again.

Jump on the grenade. When new players enter the fold, do not let them play against your more established players with difficult personalities. You need to identify the people in your community who are patient teachers and try to steer new players towards them. This goes along with making sure everyone gets to play; you may need to wait until there are full pairings before you get to play yourself.

Events: People enjoy special events. It doesn’t have to be competitive (but it can be!); it just has to be fun. Try game-day events first. These are fun things like leagues and campaigns which can be run in parallel with tournament prep and general play on your regular 40k nights. These events help build a community by attracting new players to your group, hopefully through word of mouth or social media by the store owner and/or community organizer. Events also help build interpersonal relationships between players who may not normally play each other, but must do so in the context of the event. As popularity grows, you can start to plan special game days, such as tournaments or charity events.

Get the Word Out. Your players have Facebook. So do their friends. And their friends. Use social media to connect with the greater gaming community. Use your venue’s social media accounts to promote your club. Promote your club with media such as podcasts, regional 40k pages, and forums.

FAQ. Establishing a written, living FAQ that every player agrees on, whether the ITC or otherwise, is a great way to keep arguments to a minimum. Most groups have an unofficial, verbal FAQ anyways. Getting it on paper is a great way to keep your game nights running smoothly.

Deal with difficult personalities without disdain.  Again, this has been hard for me personally, but it’s important. People can grow and change. Simply feeling superior towards people with odd personalities and not treating them as members of the community isn’t just bad for the group, but it’s also bad for your personal reputation. Try to shape them into good community members. Explain to them when their attitude is off-putting. If you can’t handle this part of the job, then you may want to pass it on to someone else who’s willing to pick it up. You may ask why you should have to do this kind of thing in your leisure time, after all, you don’t have time to be a parent in the 40k group as well as your personal life. Well, it is a fact of life. Some people just act differently and need to be treated differently. It is part of curating the community. Turning people away because of their idiosyncrasies is a good way to lose players fast.

Well, Actually…

The fact of the matter is that reality and cynicism are two sides of the same coin. Which side turns up depends entirely on how you deal with it. A realist will find the challenges of a situation and react to them in a constructive way, overcoming those challenges and learning from their mistakes as they do. A cynic will stagnate in a miasma of their own hubris.

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About adam Fasoldt

Loopy (Adam) has only been playing 40k since 2010, but is an active member of the community. He is a host of the Masters of the Forge podcast and also a moderator of the Independent Characters forums. He also belongs to gaming clubs at Grimfoe Games in East Greenbush, NY and Dirty Goblin Games in Queensbury, NY.

38 Responses to “You Are Not a Realist”

  1. wellspokenman July 1, 2015 10:42 am #

    “Cynicism is a festering boil on any healthy community, including (and possibly especially) our 40k community.”

    I am a cynic. I believe that people will, generally, do whatever they beleive is their own best interest. That reward they are seeking may well be spiritual or even tied to a belief system, but they do what they do because they are incentivized in some way to do so. This is founding principle of economics. You are confusing negativity with cynicism. Tabletop wargaming boasts the most negative, sometimes abusive, and usually unfriendly community I’ve ever seen on the internet. I am a cynic, but I treat people like people, even on the internet. I do it because it feels good and it makes me happy. I feel it is in my best interest to act that way.

    • Loopy July 1, 2015 11:40 am #

      I think we’re splitting hairs here a bit. I kind of read that viewpoint more as Objectivism. Then again, what is Objectivism without several heaping tablespoons of Cynicism? LOL. Labels aside, my point is that the game and the community is what you make of it. The type A personalities in game groups destroy those groups, not Games Workshop. It’s our job to take personal responsibility for our own experience and curate it ourselves.

    • Clayton July 1, 2015 1:00 pm #

      I think the difference between the online community and the in person community one is likely to get a game in with to be very large. Id recommend you consider that in your assessment and find out if it holds true for you as well.

  2. Davis Centis July 1, 2015 11:00 am #

    The wellspokenman is correct about cynicism, but I think your points are still very valid.

    Personally, I believe that a Living Rulebook would be in the best interest of the community, something akin to the Magic: The Gathering comprehensive rules. Not something for the average Joe Space Marine player to read, but something that can be referenced at a moment’s notice. However, having made a Comprehensive 7th edition 40k Rulebook myself, I can say that people tend to scoff at the idea, mostly because there’s inevitably some rule within that they don’t agree with, where the “gist” of the rule and their interpretation of the rule, clash.

    That’s the problem with just getting the “gist” of the rules in the first place. It works fine in a 1v1 casual style, and even town-wide communities often work just fine, but inevitably there will be whole communities that play a different game because their casual consensus differs from the consensus of others. For anyone who enjoys travelling and playing, that becomes an issue. For anyone looking to set up large tournaments, that is an issue.

    • Loopy July 1, 2015 11:34 am #

      Yeah. It’s unfortunate. I’ve been hearing calls for a community FAQ and/or Tournament format and I’m like “Hellloooooo!” LOL. And it’s not like they’ve never heard of the ITC. I’m not sure what’s up with that. I’m hoping not factiony stuff because that’s not cool.

      • rexscarlet July 2, 2015 9:30 am #

        Exactly this,
        Frontline has it, but all the other websites are vying for power against each other, why?
        Solving does not generate controversy, which generates clicks, which equals advertising revenue.

  3. John July 1, 2015 11:20 am #

    Basically the gist of this article is GW should not be blamed for putting out a poor quality product with respect to the rules they are pushing. Basically they can and should just do whatever and us plebians in the community should “fix” it.

    If GM makes a crap car, I look to other alternatives in the market to fill my transporation needs. Same with gaming, GW has been putting out garbage IMO in the last two years so my gaming dollars have been going elsewhere. Why fix something that is broken when I can go out into the marketplace and buy something that functions and operates. People only rage at GW because they are not even getting a full year out of their codex rules etc before needing to buy a new book, digital rules, models or whatever. If I buy codex Imperial Knights I would like to beleive that I won’t need to buy an all new $50.00 Codex Imperial Knights in less than 10 months.

    Sure we can all play some other game with our space marine models, but I think most of the community would like GW to have some responsibility in putting out a game that is at least play tested and proof read. Oh we are just giving you options take whatever or do whatever in your game….I don’t need a set of rules to just do whatever or take whatever…you see that is why there are rules…Ordo ab Chao….

    Do whatever take whatever is the pure antithesis of having a set of rules. The whole reasons points have been assigend to units over the years is so that the players are coming to a game with what should in theory be armies of comparable size and/or strength. I think we can all agree with the new Fantasy release that GW is pretty much going away from that philosophy.

    BTW with GW product being so amazing… prepare for when the Age of Smegmar comes to 40K and good luck fixing that mess. 7th murdered our local 40K community and from talking with the local fantasy players they are all going over to Mantic in July. I have palyed GW games since the 90s and the Fury of Dracula and Blood Bowl are two of my favorite games of all time, so I refuse to believe that GW is incapable of creating fun games with enjoyable rules. They are basically a toy company now and that is the primary focus. Also I have talked to enough of you guys at frontline over the years on the phone and in email I know how you really feel about GW.

    • Loopy July 1, 2015 11:29 am #

      Every community is different. Our community is thriving now in 7th more than ever. Sometimes we use Maelstrom as-is and have fun games at the club (sometimes with custom rules for campaign play) and sometimes we adopt the ITC format for competitive play. These are all viable and fun ways to play the game.

      • John July 1, 2015 11:35 am #

        I am not saying they aren’t for your community, I am just saying other areas reacted differently and our regualr group of 20+ showing up on Sunday nights died completely. I just wanted to bring up the counter positiion that some gamers beleive the company has some responsibility with regards to the product it is putting out…and I don’t think this is all that crazy because there have been certain conventions with regards to gaming….namely army construction with points…that GW seems more than willing to just dump. If you guys want to play do whatever take whatever then you don’t really need rules or a rule book for that is really my primary point. The rules are there for people who want some structure and commonality of experience to the game.

        • Loopy July 1, 2015 11:46 am #

          I think reviling Age of Sigmar for…. anything is more than a tad premature.

          • John July 6, 2015 5:38 am
            #

            Oh man it’s July 6th and what a massive flop Age of Sigmar is going to be…classic just classic…..fanbois like you trolled so hard by the company you claim to love so much. Enjoy it and I can’t wait for them to do this to 40K…you know its coming GW is a big ball of stupid all wound up and ready to roll.

        • Loopy July 1, 2015 11:48 am #

          And I think implying that the developers don’t take responsibility for their games is kind of off-base and very insulting. Just because it’s not the kind of game you’d like to play doesn’t mean it’s generally bad.

          • John July 1, 2015 11:54 am
            #

            Do you find this insulting because you are a game designer? If people are not upset with GW then why did you write this article…I am confused….I thought you wanted to call cynics to account? Cynics love GW and their business model?

          • John July 1, 2015 11:59 am
            #

            I really don’t see how it is insulting for me to say that I don’t like a game or business model. That is my opinion and I am posting it on a public forum for conversation and discussion.

          • Loopy July 1, 2015 12:10 pm
            #

            It’s insulting to the game designers. They work hard to make fun rules for us to play with. It’s easy to imagine why GW backed out of social media so completely.

          • John July 1, 2015 12:28 pm
            #

            Did you listen to the last year of the 11th Company? Neil constantly made his complaints known about the state of the game and the rules the designers were putting out. I don’t feel like he was insulting them because he did not like the quality of what they were putting out. In fact, he let his opinion be known because he wanted things to change in what he hoped would be a positive direction. I would agree with what you are saying if this was 2013, but the last two years of GW has given the community a legitimate set of complaints. Again that is my opinion.

          • DaRoyalKing July 1, 2015 12:54 pm
            #

            I have to agree with John. The current rule set for 40k is just awful and judging from what I see for Age of Sigma it seems GW has turned its back on a balanced rule set and have moved to strictly being a miniature company. I understand have the mentality to do “what you want” with a rule set but having a solid rule set to work on it makes the experience better for everyone.

            I remember the good old days when you would walk into any hobby store and the only question you would have to ask is “how many points”. Now you have to ask a million questions just to play a single game of 40k (Such as how many detachments, LOW allowed, what Formations, what fortification are legal, Unbound legal, etc). Top this will endless unanswered rules questions and extremely fast release schedule it becomes very frustrating for tournament players. Especially since every store and tournament has their own variation of the rule set.

            Playing the game for many years you sort of form this bubble that GW is this awesome company. Until recently I thought the same thing. It wasn’t until I moved away from the game because my local club fell apart with the release of 7th that I notice how amazing other companies are compared to GW. This made me more frustrating at them. I can’t believe how involved Wizard of the Coast or Privateer press is with its community. They address questions, release FAQs, test changes at major events, support events, the list is endless. Coming from playing 40k for years I was shocked. When compared to other companies from a design standpoint you have to ask yourself what are they thinking at GW headquarters. Because they could have this amazing game if they would only listen to its customers.

          • Loopy July 1, 2015 1:09 pm
            #

            I’ve never missed an episode of 11th Company. Sometimes I agree with them, sometimes I don’t. I’m not sure what that has to do with the conversation. I don’t believe Neil’s opinions are sacrosanct and I think he’d be the first to tell you that. Again, I have to put it down to experience. Every group’s experience is different. I have seen groups thrive and I have seen them crumble. Every time, it has been due to leadership or lack thereof. The game is huge and dynamic and that is not due to ignorance or stupidity; it is on purpose. If the core of the ruleset must be flawlessly competitive, for someone, then this is clearly not the game for them. Move on. Don’t poison the well. The only reason one would have to do that is out of vindictiveness. Warhammer 40,000 is a huge game with lots of moving parts and that’s one of the exciting and interesting things about it. If it requires a little work to make it competitive, then so be it. I don’t see that as a flaw, but an inevitability of the scope of the game.

          • Bill July 1, 2015 1:22 pm
            #

            Dude, you are the one saying anyone criticizing the rules is somehow attacking the designers. What a joke. I spend my money on this game I can criticize till blue in the face! For the record I agree with Neil current game is poor inferior quality. Loopy, denile isn’t just a river in Egypt.

          • John July 6, 2015 5:39 am
            #

            All I have to say to all of this Loopy is Age of Sigmar..you lose lolz

    • rexscarlet July 2, 2015 9:58 am #

      Exactly this!
      We do not need rules or miniatures to play 40k, we can pew-pew with post it notes and pennies.
      .
      Organized play; standards and guidelines are the only thing saving 40k.
      .
      A group is easy to get on the same page, an entire community is another story…

  4. Axis of Entropy July 1, 2015 11:38 am #

    what the hell is all this

  5. Bahkara July 1, 2015 12:25 pm #

    I agree with loopy. No matter the game system your actions determines the survival of a group, not how good the rules are. That may factor in to the decisions of the group. I’ve been playing GW since space marines were T3 so I have been through all the editions. It’s the back round and cinematic scope thay keeps me in the game.

    In my gaming area I have seen an upsurge in people playing 7th ed. along with a lot of interest in AoS.

  6. Ghost Valley July 1, 2015 2:10 pm #

    This was an interesting read, Loopy. Lots to think about.

    I recall recently listening to a podcast with Andy Chambers and he verified the rule of cool was in play when he was with the company and still there now based on his knowledge of the people still there.

    I’ve been playing 40k for 15 years and am having a blast. The ITC FAQ is the tool we use when building for and playing competitive games and I hope it grows in acceptance.

    I would love to see GW FAQ and correct issues more, but agree with the notion that the designers care about the rules…they are just coming from a different place.

    PS
    Loved the Yarrick review on your podcast

    • Loopy July 1, 2015 6:43 pm #

      Thanks, Ghost. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want GW to address their own rules issues. Hell, I’d do the work pro bono. Hehe. But yeah, both Andy and Gav have said on multiple occasions that the rule of cool surpasses all and the best way to avoid cheese is to not engage in it.

  7. fluger July 1, 2015 3:57 pm #

    What I find interesting is how circular this whole thing is. If you played in 2nd edition or Rogue Trader, the idea that you needed some after-market additions to the game in order to play it aren’t some new concept.

    Admittedly, the game EXPLODED in popularity with 3rd edition and emphasis on streamlining and simplicity. But with 7th, they’ve turned back the clock and now we have a more sandbox game that really requires gamers to determine what kind of game they want to play.

    Same was true with 5th edition Fantasy. There were MOUNTAINS of unused magic items and special characters because they were so unbalanced.

    Maybe it’s the old-timer in me, but I really don’t get the kerfuffle. Perhaps it’s because the community is bigger with the internet now that we need bigger rule umbrellas like the ITC. I dunno.

    • Bill July 1, 2015 5:53 pm #

      Interesting take on it but we started at the end of second and played it straight out of the book (dark millinieum too). We even allowed vortex and virus grenades. Third was a major change for us and a lot of the players in my circle didn’t care for the transition to bigger and bigger armies. Second edition was more about hero hammer and the godlike special characters. 1st edition dungeons and dragons was the only game I can recall that literally no one in my area played straight out of the book. I see what both sides are arguing about above, but making excuses for sloppy rules writing seems like a stretch. Perhaps I need to come work for the author’s company, since he would be the most forgiving boss ever.

      • fluger July 2, 2015 8:39 am #

        I meant more from a tournament worthy game standpoint. If you were just playing with your friends, no problem, but the game was so wildly unbalanced that if you wanted organized play among strangers, you had to create a bunch of artifices. As well, the internet community backing 40k/Fantasy wasn’t as robust back then, so I wasn’t aware of the Meta in say, the Bay Area in 1997. Maybe deep striking wolf guard was tearing it up there, but I wouldn’t know because my orks were getting wiped out by virus grenades.

        • Bill July 2, 2015 9:11 pm #

          You actually played tourneys in second edition days? I played in literally the only two that were in my area. The tourney explosion came after third.

    • fluger July 2, 2015 8:41 am #

      GW games have more often than not required some kind of community after-market stuff to make them playable. The apex of GW games as tournament games was when GW was actively growing and promoting their GT circuit. 6th and 7th Fantasy editions were very tight compared to other Fantasy editions and 4th and 5th of 40k were as well.

      I seriously LOVE the more sandbox style of 7th, but it’s not a tournament rule set.

  8. Painjunky July 2, 2015 12:41 am #

    Other companies have proven games can be both very cool AND well balanced.

    I believe that within GW the left hand doesn’t know (or care) what the right hand is doing.

  9. NHK July 2, 2015 1:01 am #

    You are not a realist either. Actually, noone is, since noone is in the position to decide what is “fact” and what isn’t.
    So instead of misusing the contemporary meaning of the word “cynism” to isolate and osctracize a certain percentage of the community by imposing on them the responsibility for being the sole source of all the problems of the community as a whole, why not take a simple look to the original meaning and historical background of your catchphrase? It may help to recover a more unbiased view lost in the process of fostering resentment:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cynicism_%28philosophy%29

  10. ZeroWolf July 2, 2015 6:24 am #

    This article really brought out the Internet Warriors.

    It’s starting to smell like BoLS in here.

  11. Cypher623 July 2, 2015 9:23 am #

    “The rules are built with fun in mind. The rule of cool is the name of the game at Games Workshop. They are concerned about game balance, but not at all costs. When they write rules, they don’t do so with the assumption that someone’s going to try and interpret them like a computer code and try to get a sum out of them. They expect us to read the rules and get the gist of it. If you have to lay a rules argument out like a mathematical proof to prove yourself right, then you’re probably interpreting the rule wrong.”

    Given GW’s absolute silence towards its gaming community how can you presume to know what they are thinking? I appreciate your taking the time and effort to put this article together, I know that is difficult, but concocting theories about why GW does what it does or what it “thinks” is just sophistry.

    No disrespect. intended, but suggesting that GW is “cool” should only be done in the following context. “GW has, for the past ten years, treated its customers with cool disdain.” That I would buy.

  12. rexscarlet July 2, 2015 9:51 am #

    None of this makes any difference.
    (I really wish it was broken up into several posts, so we could respond to each section)
    .
    Opponents and personality type are the most important.
    .
    Opponents/players, or lack there of, make the game. Which is influenced by rules and popularity of the game genre;
    .
    If the rules are crap less opponents.
    If the Genre is crap, less opponents.
    If the rules are great, abundant opponents.
    If the Genre is popular, abundant opponents.
    Etc.
    .
    Now lets take the four common personalities; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_temperaments
    .
    Which personalities do we see most playing non video games?
    40K? Historical? Fantasy? Board games? Card Games? Etc.?
    .
    Now what “Job” do those personality types hold?
    What can they afford to pay for a hobby? Car? Food? Clothing?
    .
    Opponents and personality, no matter if the game genre is popular or not, and no matter if the rules suck or not.

  13. TinBane July 2, 2015 4:04 pm #

    It’s an interesting article.
    But at the end of the day, acting like there are no problems, doesn’t mean they will ever be addressed.

    GW is a company that boasts about not doing consumer research. They still believe that their core product is models. This comes from their own lips, in nearly every financial report. They have an aggravating lack of understanding of gamers.

    Which is what makes Forge World so interesting. Undoubtedly still part of GW, but FW seems to have a better focus on delivering rules.

    Now, it’s not all doom and gloom. GW hired James Hewitt from Mantic six months ago, quite possibly in relation to AoS actually. But he’s not the kind of guy who will sit back and let GW make mistakes. I expect he’ll either be out, or we’ll be seeing some changes to how GW interacts with their customers and treats their rulesets, in the near future.

    It’s also not that people hate the game designers, it’s that they have too few, and they are spread too thin, and are too beholden to the marketing team. This isn’t me being “realistic” this is information that comes from ex-game designers in GW.

    Now, the problem is that their core demographic is nerds. And if there’s one thing that nerds are characterised as online, it’s a massive feeling of entitlement. Now absolutely, as a community it would probably be better to tone it down. But I think it’s still important, newer GW staff while not “online” publicly, do access the internet, and do look at forums, facebook groups, and listen to podcasts etc. We saw a quick turn-around from 6th to 7th, and a lot of issues were addressed in the change. They are becoming more responsive, rather than less, which means we should be more selective and precise in our criticism. General angst isn’t helpful, but a complete lack of criticism, that won’t help either.

    Also, let’s all do a GW demo of AoS, before we talk too much about it.

  14. Bill July 3, 2015 7:05 pm #

    Too soon to spike the football on age of SMEGMAr being terribad and the culmination of take and do whatever? Posters above were too funny.

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