Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Frustration and Games-Workshop (FAQ)

Two inseparable things.
Games-workshop for those who don't know is the designer/builder/maker of all that is warhammer.
Just a short sum-up. The game has one major rulebook for general rules and stuff. But next to that each army has got it's own codex (set of rules for an army which is used next to the great rulebook).

These codexes get updated now and then (somewhere around once every 3-5 years). New models come out, new background stories. All in all it sounds quite cool. That some models get a bit abandoned because the style of play changes a bit..well I don't like it very much, but it happens. And if people know 'magic the gathering' (which I've never been into that much though) they know that that game system regularly abandoned cards. GW supposedly just abandones certain loopholes. Except for Squats (hehe I can say it out loud here...don't ask).

But on to the really awful part about GW.
These codexes are badly written. Somehow it looks like they take forever to be put together, but rules aren't clear. Wording is off, major sloppy type-o's, things contradict with other codexes. These things light up discussions (even hot debates) which lingers on fora all over the internet.
The major fora often make their own Frequently Asked Questions (faq) with answers derived from a more or less consensus on that forum. This is done within one or two months after the release of a codex because well..we got time on our hands.

Thing is, GW takes 1-2!!! years to put up faq's. So ok, you expect the troubles to be dealt with. Serious questions answered, debates cooled down, rules clarified. But somehow they forget to answer a whole bunch of questions which should be really important. And they COULD have known which ones if they kept their eye on their own (and the other major fora, there aren't that many). Yes there are many fora on the internet. Maybe thousands (on 40K). But for every army there are at least 1 or 2 major fora. E.G.: Marines: B&C, Nids: Warpshadow, etc.
After not answering burning questions, they even light up more questions and put oil on the fire of hot debates by making impopular (and often unnecessary) decisions in ruleclarification.

They changed rules for my army a year back in such a way that in their opinion certain models would be more popular again to get more varied armies. In the wording of their rules and statements in interviews all looked well. Of course, not everyone was happy about everything, but you can't avoid that (nor want it because some people are hard to satisfy).
But in the faq they made 'clarifications' which turn the tables back to the way it was for at least half of a certain rule *instant kill*. The models that were popular for a while because they had a decent survivability will get dropped out of armylists of tournament players. I don't say that I will persée (sp) drop things out of my list, but I might.
They've flip-flopped the rules so often that people are almost forced to keep changing their list, which is not such a bad thing on itself, but the way they do it kills variety in lists. THIS is what is such a blow to armies, and to the game itself.

If I participate in a tournament I don't want an all powerfull list. I don't want a list that consists of only a small part of the choices given in the codex because the rest is just not worth it for a possible competitive list. I want a list which looks like a decent army compilation, it should represent the codex. It should have it's weaknesses, but also it's strenghts without having to revert to a 'Cheesy' list which is boring as hell and which you will see a dozen times fielded with little variety.

In a next far shorter post I will continue raging on a bit but just pointwise.


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