Thursday, February 13, 2014

Why is the time machine stuck in reverse

Before   and   After

Imagine a ruleset that allows you to do almost anything.  Now imagine having to stuff hundreds of people into a version of it they will all like...

So Much Choice
Imagine yourself in the position of a tournament organizer. There are a lot of decisions that will impact your event. Will you allow the following:

• Double force organization
• Allies
• Escalation
• Stronghold Assault
• Data slates
• Formations
• Forge World

It's a tough job but somebody has to do it. You can split your format into two or even more separate events - one is purely competitive and the other is to forge a narrative. I run my own grand tournament each year (BeakyCon in Florida) - I am pro all the above except for Escalation and Stronghold Assault. I want to run a competitive event that is fair to the largest majority possible. By simply limiting every particular unit (e.g., Sternguard) to no more than three total units (except for troops) a lot of the current meta deathstars are automatically eliminated.

To me Escalation and Stronghold Assault are not ready for prime time in a truly competitive environment and MVB of NOVA gave an excellent explanation as to why - if you're traveling to a major event then you're making a significant investment in time and money. As such they are presently more suited to forging a narrative. I have played in some large scale 30k events across the country... Those that were well run were much more fun than any purely competitive event I ever attended. You have a concentration of hobbyists dedicated to their armies that understand their background and have some of the most awesome looking armies you'll ever see. If you have ever seen a Space Marine jet bike command squad maybe you'll understand what I mean.

A Flavor For Everyone
You really don't know what to expect from one big tournament to another with all these choices. It is hard to meta game now unless you run Eldar or Tau... They got so much love from GW. I'm not complaining or hating on the xenos though. Each edition tends to focus on either Imperial armies or xenos. Look at the work of Phil Kelly as an example - Orks and eldar (4th edition), Space Wolves (5th edition) and Eldar again (6th edition).

Last year I referred to the final month as Black December - it is when the sh*t literally hit the fan (Escalation, Stronghold Assault & Dataslates arrived) and has allowed tournament organizers to more openly enforce their own bias upon the game. Think about it for a moment... Couldn't the game be better and more enjoyable if you could play more points and have more time? To me a huge event is kind of meaningless if a meta army <i>always</i> wins. The hilarious part is when people act surprised—apparently not all nerfs are equal.

This is when GW dropped the proverbial ball. It was too much at one time. They tried to push too much. Most of us love the game for the hobby... It's really true. I have no desire to fight a Revenant Titan in a regular game. There were some good things though and they shouldn't be swept under the rug. Black December was a crazy time with some stating Tyranids would get a Lord of War in their codex... Right ! I hope that there will be a lot of altruism in the hands of the major TOs going forward rather than pushing personal agendas. It could be mostly win-win for everyone.

Has anyone noticed a lot of the major events for 2014 have already banned Be'lakor and Cypher? Are they really all that bad? Why all the hate towards Chaos? They are both nothing more than expensive special characters. Sure they are both power houses but they are not cheap... You pay for what you get. To be completely honest I do not remember one video batrep with either unit. Are they really all that bad compared to what Tau and Eldar have?

At the end of the day I'd love to see events with more time per game and more points with more player options. We are quickly approaching the half way mark for sixth edition. Things will keep changing - but no matter what there will be a gameplay style for you. Just ask for it.

How many 40K gameplay styles would you like to see at events - and what would you most be interested in?

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