GW Grognard: Assume the Worst

Hey everyone! Adam, from TFG Radio, here to help those that need to make those “tough” choices in life!

I’m going to have to chew a lot of gum

It gets really busy for us this time of year. As we approach the last stretch leading up to the Las Vegas Open, there are a lot of things going on behind the scenes. Whether its scenery that needs to be build, making sure that the people who are supposed to be helping will actually be helping, or just making sure that the other hundreds of things that need to be taken care of are being done, just adds to the normal stuff we have to do. A lot of people are doing a lot of things. One of things we judges do is that we start fielding questions in regards to acceptable models, and some of the questions that may come up. Unfortunately we cannot get to all the issues that are mailed to us after a certain point(we aren’t there yet). We are glad to answer these questions but what do you do in the mean time? If there are different interpretations of a rule, or set of rules, how do you determine which one is right? Well, the easiest answer, until you get an official one, is for you to use the one that benefits you the least.

I know, it seems like the opposite of what you want. We’re told we should try to be as competitive as possible, within the boundaries of being a gentleman/lady, and yet here I am telling you to not try to bend every conceivable loophole in the game. Trust me when I say I am telling you this for a reason. All too often, we readily jump at a chance to use an exploit, or more specifically poor wording, in order to gain an advantage in the game. In most cases, you don’t even know if your interpretation is close to being the right one. You discuss with your friends, and other players, how they read the rule, and they may agree or disagree with you. If you can’t find a solid reasoning for a rule, either way, it then comes down to how you, personally, want to play the rule. You want to go with the rule that least benefits you because it will help you in the long run. Eventually, the rule in question will be answered, either by Games Workshop, or your local Tournament Organizer. There is no guarantee that the ruling will go in your favor. By already playing the rule in a way that hurts you, you will already be  in a position to take advantage of the situation when the ruling becomes known to the wider audience. This faster learning curve can sometimes be the edge between wining and losing a game.

The other benefit of using the least beneficial rule is that you don’t look like “That Guy”. If you use the interpretation that most benefits you, people will begin to paint you in a certain light. They may not say it to your face, but word will get around about you using exploits to wins games and/or tournaments. Although this may seem a bit harsh, and even unfair, it is the reality of playing in a niche part of a niche hobby. many people travel nowadays and, thanks to the internet and Facebook, word does travel. You really don’t want to give anyone a reason to talk about you in a negative, if at all possible*. So take the high road and bite the bullet. In most cases , with Games Workshop anyway, the most tame interpretation of a rule is usually the correct call.

That’s all for this week, I hope you enjoyed the read. Let me know your thoughts, and rules “interpretions” that you had to deal with, in the comments section. Don’t forget to visit our Facebook, Twitch, and Patreon pages to stay up to date on what we’re up to and when episodes drop!

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*There are plenty of other reasons people will talk about you


About Adam

Adam, aka Latin Gandalf, has been gaming since the early eighties and has played 40K since Rogue Trader (among a number of other games). He listens to more podcasts than any healthy person should and is currently the host for TFG Radio. He also is judges for LVO and head judges other major 40K Grand Tournaments.

12 Responses to “GW Grognard: Assume the Worst”

  1. Avatar
    Chad January 12, 2019 5:07 am #

    And yet… people are still taking “extra” out of faction artifacts using a stratagem that clearly states that it is an extra specific item.

    You can’t have something be extra if you don’t have one to start with. And since they are named in the stratagem, then the army doesn’t have the original.

    This is a perfect example of someone with a big name in this game deciding to cheat and others either getting steamrolled into it, or just bending to their will. Simple understanding of English is enough in this case to prove this wrong. More proof that GW doesn’t want this is the fact that there is no FAQ for it.

    • Avatar
      AllHail January 12, 2019 6:12 am #

      Simple understanding of English is enough in this case to prove you wrong, from Merriam-Webster, the definition of extra:

      “more than is due, usual, or necessary”

      Normally you have 0 relics from a faction that is not your warlord’s, nothing in the English language or the rules says you need a relic to gain an extra one.

      • Avatar
        Chad January 12, 2019 7:18 am #

        Yes, because language is built up of individual definitions without context. Let’s use it in a sentance.

        I’m I’ll packed for my camping trip. I’ve got all my gear in the car and an extra shovel.

        How many shovels do I have? At least two. Anyone who thinks the extra one is the only one is not an English speaker.

        “I’ve got all the groceries you asked me to pick up, but I bought an extra apple.”

        Once again. That person is stating they already have apples. They now have one more to add to their existing apples.

        “I’ve got all the groceries you asked me to pick up, and I bought an apple.”

        That is how it would be stated if that were the only or first apple. Stop ignoring language rules and context so you can cheat.

        If the “extra” item were not named as the faction item your understanding would make sense. It is however, so it doesn’t work the way you want it to.

        • Avatar
          Ujayim January 12, 2019 8:02 am #

          It’s in the context of assuming you have a relic already, which the game provides to you.

          It’s not like saying “I got all the groceries and an extra apple.”

          Its like saying “I got one apple and an extra apple”, because we’re operating off the notion that you already have one, since the game provides one to you, for free, as part of the rules.

          If literally everyone but you plays it this way, it’s less likely that you’re correct and more likely that you’re being some weird bizzaro world TFG.

          • Avatar
            Chad January 12, 2019 11:11 am

            First, just because the majority of people are doing something doesn’t mean it is correct, or even that they agree with it. See American politics if you need examples.

            Second, you already missed the point. It expressly says another “extra Guard Magic Relic” so your example of apples to apples does not apply because the original relic is not a Guard Relic. You should be comparing oranges to apples.

            As to your point Puppy, they miss things often. FW is the same company and half their units make no sense. Even the 2018 Chapter Approved missed things that were readily apparent to the common player. See Tactical Marines.

            Soup is an issue and while relics aren’t the driving factor it is one more reason they have advantages. Not only is the rule either improperly read or improperly written, but the correct interpretation would be better for game balance. This would be good for the game, do you not agree?

        • Avatar
          Fagerlund January 14, 2019 2:45 am #

          Well, I’m no English native speaker, but stating that you bring “an extra shovel” I would interpret as “I bring at least one”… because depending on context it could be that YOU are bringing the one shovel we need and I’m just bringing an extra just in case… and the same applies to the apples.

          If the context is that you’re alone, then sure “extra” could mean “at least two”. But this is not always the case like you want to claim. And this also corresponds to using a single detatchment or multiple detatchments in 40K.

          Not that it matters anyway, because GW has already stated that it’s okay to use it the way people are using it.

    • Avatar
      abusepuppy January 12, 2019 9:01 am #

      >more proof that GW doesn’t want this is the fact that there is no FAQ for it

      You don’t think the fact that they have completely failed to address the issue over the course of… what, nearly two years at this point? Maybe that might be some indication that it functions exactly the way everyone thinks it does and has been using it that entire time, as opposed to the version you have convinced yourself of?

      If everyone were playing it in opposition to the way GW thinks it should be, they probably would’ve said something by now. It’s not as though the matter of cross-faction stratagems has completely escaped their notice, or that using the stratagems to gain access to those items out of faction is a rare or unusual thing for players to do.

    • Avatar
      WestRider January 12, 2019 1:00 pm #

      Or, just maybe, people are doing it because GW said they could:
      “Q: If my army is led by a Chaos Space Marines Warlord, and
      I have a Detachment of Death Guard, can I use the Gifts of
      Decay Death Guard Stratagem to include a Relic on a Death
      Guard Character?
      A: Yes. The only requirement to have access to
      Stratagems is that you have a Detachment of the
      appropriate Faction. If you have a Death Guard
      Detachment, you have access to their Stratagems.”

      • Avatar
        Ujayim January 12, 2019 3:10 pm #


  2. Avatar
    Chad January 12, 2019 5:23 am #

    Pure factions struggle against soups in 8th. Giving soups an unfair advantage by allowing them to cherry pick the best relics from several books is one more reason top players generally run soups.

    Fix this and the game becomes more balanced and is played as designed.

    No reason we should have to get shot by Cawl’s Wrath while Kurov’s Aquila adds points back. I hope some TO’s wisen up to this and fix it. Kinda sad ITC hasn’t yet.

    • Avatar
      abusepuppy January 12, 2019 9:02 am #

      Trust me, the ability to take relics from other factions isn’t what is driving players to play soup armies.

  3. Avatar
    JimV January 14, 2019 8:58 am #

    It’s not sad that ITC is playing by the rules. What’s sad is how much you are whining about it. The relics are working exactly as intended. If you want to play your own version of warhammer with your own house rules with your friends where you limit what can happen. Fill your boots

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