Having our cake and eating it too.

For what it is worth, there seems to be a lot of grumbling about the rapid fire output of codex books.  Weren't we just griping not long ago about how long it took them to get out updates?

And how about the Dataslates?  Aren't these what we really wanted? The ability to play what we want? When you look at it, these are the ultimate balancing factor.  Now GW is giving us permission to pretty much play whatever we want.

But in reality, wouldn't that be how it works out any way? When I imagine warfare in the 41st millennium I don't see a sea of blue armor clad Ultramarines standing alone against a sea of Yellow Iyanden.  I see The Ultramarines with multiple allies going up against Iyanden and their allies.

  Maybe the Ultramarines are getting psychic assistance from Ulthwe in the form of a Seer Council and Wraithknight because Eldrad forsaw some horrible deed performed by this particular faction of Iyanden and he knows that if he fails to stop them even more Eldar lives will be lost... Maybe they also enlisted the help of their Tau buddies, but all the Tau could spare was some fire support in the form of a Riptide and 6 Broadsides because helping the Ultras preserves that border of their Empire against the Tyranids, and that is certainly for the greater good.

Maybe the Iyanden have banded with the Dark Eldar because they believe the Ultramarines have defiled an ancient Eldar temple that both of them claim ownership over. Maybe the Flesh Tearers got pissed at Calgar and sent in a dispatch of assault marines to make a point.  They are not necessarily helping the Xenos, but it is certainly within their nature to launch a strike out of pride and anger. Maybe they thought Calgar was withholding some sort of Sanguine Relic!  While we are at it, Farsight sent in a Riptide and Broadsides of his own on the side of the Iyanden to try to brake the Tau stranglehold on his Enclave.

Looking at the botched intel surrounding some of our own recent wars, it is not too far a stretch to imagine armies blasting away at each other over misinformation, and it is also not too far a stretch to imagine multiple allied forces working together out of convenience and mutually beneficial goals, not necessarily common ideology.

With this in mind, that is what the Dataslates bring to the table!  Let us ignore the fact that they are money grabs intended to promote the sales of the newest and most expensive models. (Wraithknight, Wraithguard, Marine Flyers, Broadsides and Riptides)  Lets us instead focus on the fact that we can keep our beloved Blood Angels, but actually play the other models we love. I can use my sweet Mephiston conversion and lovingly painted assault marines, alongside my Ulthwe seer council and with the fire support of the Tau dataslate and an attack wing of flyers from The Ultramarines!  Blood Angels don't have access to the Storm Talon.

And did I say that this is balancing?  It is the great equalizer!  No longer are our weaker armies shelved in favor of the newest most powerful books.  Now we can literally have our cake and eat it too!

What it comes down to is that we already accept 6th edition as a broken sort of game. We already accept that while it is indeed fun to play, it is not all that good a game in the competitive tournament sort of sense. Why are we so aghast to see dataslates and new a new codex every couple months?

So why try to force the round peg into the square hole?  Let us embrace the game for what it now is... A quite literally balanced game system where no one is over penalized for playing an army they like because they can easily make up for that armies weaknesses by any of the multitude of other options available to them.

Bring on those Dataslates. Lets hope those unpaid GW interns keep pumping them out!

Bring on Forgeworld!  Open up the GTs to all 40k approved Forgeworld units. There is no place for Superheavies in a standard game of 40k, but how bout those Elysian armies?  I would absolutely love to encounter one in a tournament.

Bring on those new game changing codex books every three months.  Give me my Blood Angels now not later!

Let us take a step back from the number crunching meta fest that 40k has become. Let us instead take this moment of time to embrace the hobby for what it is meant to be.  A fun, and creative HOBBY, where people build and paint models and then play a game with them... rather than a finite rules system that we have taken it as our right to rape and abuse (along with each other).

I am looking forward to encountering some creative combinations of dataslates and armies. I hope the TOs embrace the change and instead of placing restrictions upon what can be played that only reward the small but vocal minority, open up the game to what 40k has become, the first truly balanced system in it's history.




Ordo Bob said...

The complaints aren't about the "fun factor" of being able to bring different toys to the table, or "fluff factor" to justify the bringing of different allied combitions...the complaints are about throwing competitive balance out the window. If people were taking the different fun combinations of allies and models for "fun and fluff" reasons, that would be fine...it would indicate the game were balanced to the point that many different combinations would work competitively. Instead we see the same tiny few allies and combinations being used because they are the most powerful for their points. As silly as it sounds, as they release more and more stuff, the game is becoming more and more polar and stagnated, with us seeing less and less balance as the few "most powerful" builds plod along, and you go to tournaments fighting nothing but Daemon Princes, Screamers, Seer Councils, Wave Serpents, Broadsides, Wraithknights, Tau Commanders, and Riptides. And the token Marine Bikers. :)

Jawaballs said...

That element of the game always existed. At my first 40k GT in Baltimore, something like 11 of the top 12 armies were virtually the same Genestealer list. I think a Dark Eldar army slipped in there. Nothing has changed except the best combinations.

I think we are going to see a revolution in tournament play. I am all for guys being able to bring the most broken list they can imagine. But I think we are going to start seeing more tournaments running multiple events. Let those guys beat each other's faces in. I will be more than happy playing off in a goofy "best painted" invitational against other hobby oriented players. I think we will see the vast majority of players sharing that interest, agreeing to gentleman comp rules, and actually enjoying themselves in a tournament where the focus is primarily on soft scores, and a small minority of meta gamers arguing it out in the back room with their munchin crunched armies.

Natfka said...

I really like the idea of multiple events at an event. I think that would be an excellent way to go. Have a let loose, bring the your worst type of event that is a simple win loss type of thing, and then a bigger overall comp event. I think this format would be very popular.

I am very much in agreement though that the new options and speed of releases has balanced out what two people can bring up against each other. Armies still out in 5th edition can easily take formations, allies, fortifications etc and really still compete on the table.

I would really like to see both of the latest expansions allowed in a bring it on hard core tournament, with forgeworld 40k stamped units as well.

We will always, and always have had, the latest and greatest combo units, and death stars. That will not ever change.

breng77 said...

The issue with the Multiple events Idea is that it is great for say NOVA, or larger events (even a 64 player event could go down to 2x 32 player events.) but for guy running a 32-50 player GT splitting makes little sense. It also assumes that half the players want each event (again less of a problem with 200 players than 64) if I run a 64 player event and 50 players want restriction and 14 want beat face....why am I running the beat face event.

I think what we are going to need to do is use a FOC style comp (I've been playing around with Percentile (fantasy like) system that limits how you can spend points. Right now the issue with things like the Tau data slate is not that everyone that can take it will (because they probably will) its that some guy will show up with 20 Broadsides...and blow people off the table in a turn...

My proposition was something like

Troops must be >= 25% of your points
All other slots must be <=25%
Dedicated transports must be <=25%
you get 5-10% flex points that can be spent on Elites/Fast/Heavies/ Fortifications
Units from formations would count against the respective slot (so in the Tau one Broadsides would count as heavies against your overall tally of 25%)

If you want lords of war we can cap that at 25% as well (with no flex) which means at lower point games it won't really be viable.

This curbs a lot of the more broken combos, lets people take their fun stuff

You can take Your Uthwe Farseer and Mephiston and the Tau formation...but it will be somewhat limmed (your seer council has only about 100 points for warlocks.)

Because unless you institute something even if you split events...gentlemans comp won't work because what I think is "not over powered and broken" is not going to be the same as what you do.

Gonewild said...

I appreciate your positive outlook on the whole mess that is currently sixth edition. I read your blog, and am familiar with the challenges you have personally shared with your readers in regards to this iteration of the game rules. Seeing as how I took the plunge on my first army because of your bat-reps, my pain has been very similar to yours. At the end of the day, I lament 40K because I believe that a game can be concisely written, competitive, and still remain fun for all sorts of gamers- casual and hardcore. Instead 6th Edition seems to spite competitive gaming for competitive gaming's sake. In my opinion it is almost as if the game is being purposely stretched to it's limits to see how far players (investors) are willing to go to continue to support the game. The lack of FAQs and updates to some of the more questionable rules released is only one more example (to me) of GW spiting concise rules and competitive play. That is unfortunate as it has turned me off of the game (I haven't played in over a year). I don't have the desire that I once did, and it is directly related to the direction that the Company has decided to take with the 40K game.

John Stiening said...

I would love to see super heavies and fortifications in tournaments. While we are at it, I'd like to see participant placed terrain as well. I think we could start seeing some really interesting games. I don't want to see weird army combos though. I will accept it, but I prefer it when the force I am playing makes sense story-wise. The nice thing here is that the NOVA Open already has a tournament like this. The Narrative event. The problem I have is that I would like to be able to use the army I am painting for the NOVA Open at other events, like the Battle for Salvation. That is the real crux of the problem for me.

Tim said...

40k right now is awesome for collaborative play. There is so much to choose from, from evocative terrain to varied forces of allies. Some people believe that 40k is in the worst state it's been for tournament play since 2nd edition. It's because there are certain number of builds that can only be beat by a certain number of other builds - the end result is a limited number of builds at tournaments that favor folks who are willing to dish out huge sums of money for those models. Strolling the aisles at Nova you already could see it. Tau, eldar, nightsythes, demons, rinse, repeat.

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