Hello, fellow Warhammer 40k fans! SaltyJohn from TFG Radio, and one of the Las Vegas Open Head Judges, here to bring you my weekly article on the ITC. This week let’s look at outrage in the world of 40k.
There hasn’t been much in the way of change to the ITC Rankings the past few weeks. With So Cal Open the last of the “Super Majors” we’re likely to see this season I thought I would focus on something, that while not new, has increased perceptibly in the 40k community recently. Outrage. Outrage, over well, everything? Anything? Before that though a quick look at the top 10 as it stands now and the top 5 teams.
The past few weeks have had some larger than normal outrage moments within our community. While I am all for a good meme fight over our plastic army men it has seemed to become a bit much lately. I don’t know exactly what it is, it could be Iron Hands or the fact the season is firmly in it’s doldrums. Regardless there’s been quite a bit of it. Before discussing a bit more about it let’s see a few of the memes from the past few weeks.
So there are a plethora of options to look at from the 40 outrage machine. Space Marines and Iron Hands, in general, seem to trigger many people in the community. The FLG ruling about fly rule models and “if it fits it sits” for So Cal Open and beyond. Rules bloat in general, and the September FAQ being anticipated for the whole month yet again and then having little in it the people wanted. Several events had various degrees of problems ranging from problems with unapproved conversions to the run of the mill rules problems. The internet outrage machine in the 40k community has seemed to take these issues and really run away with them though.
If you know me well then you might think it’s strange that someone who makes so many memes about the more outrageous aspects of 40k and the community to think we may be going a bit too far. However, I make fun of most sides of these outrages. I also generally don’t meme if I am going to discuss something seriously. So let’s discuss a bit of this seriously for a moment. When discussing the new Space Marines and Iron Hands we should try to keep a bit of perspective. I think it’s best to remember that the first LVO of 8th was absolutely dominated by Aeldari/Ynnari, especially the top 8. We survived, thrived even, and still, it took a few tries by GW to get Ynnari/Aeldari to where it was balanced. We survived Castellans with Astramilitarum CP batteries. We survived flyer spam, so far. Perhaps this can be weathered too.
Knee-jerk overreactions seem to be a time-honored tradition for us in the miniatures gaming world, but really, it’s a time-honored tradition of gamers in general. Take a look at updates to video games that are played competitively. Overwatch, Starcraft 2, League of Legends, Apex Legends, PUBG, you name it and pay attention to it, and you’ll find the knee-jerk outrage machine at work. Perhaps what it really is our instinctual human resistance to change. People freak out about change all the time. Anyone remember the silly outrage when Instagram changed its app icon? I remember. I remember wondering how an icon changing could trigger so much outrage. But there it was, all over the internet. Perhaps this is part of the human grieving process. We don’t get to decide what is or is not important to others. As a member of this community, you will have no doubt run into the attitude that “your plastic army men hobby just isn’t important in reality so get over it”. That certainly feels unfair to us, even if intellectually we can understand that the person saying it is right to a certain extent. It’s a complex issue, but understanding where people are coming from with their outrage can help us to better address, but not kowtow to, their rage.
Rules bloat is a harder issue, in my opinion, to figure out and get past the outrage over. It may even be the most legitimate of the issues people have with 8th edition this far. The edition that was lauded as simpler and better as a result of its simplicity now has 34, or so, codices and 100s of pages of FAQ and Errata to sift through when you have an issue. As someone who compiles all the relevant FAQs and Errata each year for LVO prints them out, and organizes them in a binder with tabs for reference I can state that it’s a lot of information. It’s an issue I can’t actually see an easy solution for.
One of the things the outrage is definitely overblown for is the ruling about vehicles with the Fly keyword and how they interact with ruins for So Cal Open, and probably beyond. The ruling, while it may create the feels bad for a few players, is good for the game overall. What would really be beneficial, and one thing 8th has lacked so far, are some real clear terrain rules. I know, I just finished talking about how the rules bloat in 8th is getting out of control and here I am advocating for new terrain rules! What I would like to see is all the current rules, FAQs, Errata etc to be consolidated. If that was done and they added in some clearer terrain rules I would be quite happy. I would bet the 40k outrage machine that’s been in overdrive lately might even shift down a few gears too!
Ok, serious conversation over. One more meme for the road!
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