Thursday, July 12, 2012

6th Edition

So, 6th edition came out roughly two weeks ago; I probably could be more disappointed in it, but I am not sure how.  I am not being sarcastic.

I remember back in the 90's when I first started playing 40k.  It was second edition, I was a teenager, and I was getting my ass KICKED at 40k.  Despite this, I still enjoyed the game, the rules in second edition were very complex, very convoluted, and generally different from any other game I had played. (Which at this point in my life was RIFTS, Shadowrun, AD&D, Magic: The Gathering, and possibly others that I cannot recall)
Third edition came out in the late 90's.  I embraced it.  For those of you unfamiliar it was a complete revamp of the entire rules and codex system.  Every codex was invalidated, overnight.  I played a lot of games in 3rd edition, I started winning tournaments (local tournaments, not anything national or spectacular).  The internet provided a medium to reach out to other gamers that enjoyed 40k.  I met many others and began to travel to play 40k. (nothing out of my time zone)
Fourth came, for most of it I was in college I backed off and played casually for most of it.  I began to slip back into competition.

Then Fifth edition came.
Fifth edition came out at a perfect time in my life, I was relatively free of any major life expectations.  I graduated college, I had a job.  I was reminded why I had stuck by 40k for all these years.  I play 40k as a competitive game.  I find joy in competing.  I took my hobby to another level.  I played often, against good opponents.  I began to seriously travel to play 40k. (we are talking thousands of dollars last year alone, in travel)  I have met and befriended around 30 people that when I go to a big 40k convention, I expect to see. 

I play 40k competitively.  I understand that the designers of the game did not intend for it to be played that way.  To this I say, "It is my game, I can play it how I damn well please".  I love this game.

So, 6th edition.  I will break it down.  Lots of second edition 40k and 8th edition fantasy rules lazily mashed together with fliers thrown in.  This book is not worth the $70+ price tag.  When reading it, I noticed something that I had not seen before from any other rules set. (By this point in my life, I have played a LOT of different games)
The writer(s) f this book felt the need to interject their feelings on HOW I should play their game.  If you have a copy, I suggest looking under the "forging a narrative" boxes.  So, a narrative game bereft of competition, where it doesn't matter who wins and loses?  Fine, nothing wrong with that.  And I mean that.  I play a game like that, D&D 3.5 edition. (A game where it is literally impossible to win and impossible to lose, because there are no opposing players.)

Games Workshop the past couple of years has made some strange moves.  They gradually replaced all of their hobby staff with salesmen.  Once upon a time I could go into a GW store and get actual, relevant, tactical advice.  I cold get painting advice.  I could get conversion or terrain making advice.  I could order bits (pieces of any model that GW made).
Now when I walk into a GW store, I get salesmen, who do not know shit about the product they are selling.
GW got rid of their national tournament circuits. One was "Ard Boyz", which I was glad to see go.  The other was "Throne of Skulls", which (despite GWs last presentation) was a TON of fun.

The message I am receiving here is that competitive, tournament level, players are not welcome in this hobby.

Well Chaps, message fucking received.

Without heavy edits, this edition is unplayable as a competitive game (in my opinion, others opinions may differ)
Although I will challenge you guys to find a tournament that uses the ENTIRE 6th edition rules set.  I can list five right now that won't.

So, a couple questions, that you, the casual reader may have. (Notice I have not even talked about the 6th edition rules themselves, as I consider them shitty and irrelevant)

Q: Are you ragequitting?
A: No.  I would really like to thought.  I will admit there is a big part of me that wants nothing more than to Ebay his collection in a profanity-ridden tirade.

Q: Why not?
A: Because of all the people I have met while enjoying something that I loved.  I value those relationships because those people and I have common ground.  If I Ragequit, I never see them again.  I would list all of  them here, individually, but it would seem more like name-dropping.

Q: So, you mentioned that you are fine with 40k being a narrative non-competitive game, will you be playing it?
A: For the most part, no.  I will do a game here and there, I may even play in some narrative events.  (It is the same to me as 8th edition fantasy)  I already play a narrative game, it is called D&D, and it is orders of magnitude better than any game GW makes.  But it is not a game I can play competitively, due to the nature of the game (outlined previous).

Q: You said you were "disappointed" you sound more rage-y, which is it?
A: I am disappointed that for $70+ dollars all we could get is this shoddy copy-paste job from 5th edition (Some paragraphs are fucking verbatim!), 8th edition fantasy ("well if we call 'impact hits' 'hammerstrike', or something else fucking stupid, no one will notice".  "We should also port over the lores of magic so we can sell cards!! Moar BEERPRETZELS!!"), and Planetstrike/Apocalypse ("We need allies and flyers so the greybeards stop bitching about their rogue-trader models being unusable")
[Authors note: See, all of that and no profanity! ]

Q: Will you be looking for another competitive game to play?
A: Yep.  The search begins.  It will not be Warmahordes.

If anyone has any more questions, I will be glad to field them.

-Michael E. Somerville