"Holy Confusion, Batman! Writing Rule Packs has never been so hard!"
I have been in spirited, and very interesting discussions with other club leaders about what to make of all of this interesting, exciting, crazy new information we are getting bombarded with and GW's (apparent) complete disregard for balance (or even spell checking...or you know, making sure the Inquisition release even had the right title!).
So what to make of it all? I, obviously, enjoy organising 40K. It is what I enjoy most about the game, honestly! The social aspect of going to events and gaming with, and playing with other hobby enthusiasts is just the best.
So what to do? I love organized play, as do many, many thousands of gamers. However, presenting a cogent, tested format for tournaments, casual play, etc. in the face of this barrage of new material is an interesting quandary.
But what is game breaking? Even that is hard to define as two of the most commonly derided lists I hear about are the Seerstar and Screamster (both of which revolve around the notorious 2+ reroll save). Most gamers I would bet would say these are cheesy, or broken. However you talk to top level others and they will tell you they aren't that hard to deal with, some may even say they think they are bad!
Are they both right? Both wrong? It all depends on perspective. For the player with the knowledge of how to deal with something, that thing may be no big deal. For the player that doesn't, it kills the fun of the game.
Where does that leave us? Well, as I see it, we have a few options if we want to continue to have fun gaming together as friends, rivals and fellow enthusiasts.
- Let it ride and see where GW takes us! The game has had broken, crazy stuff before and we have all survived. Perhaps this is just another storm to weather? Perhaps it will, at some point, all make sense.
- Look at running two types of events at each event in respect to tournaments. A "Gladiator" style event with a higher points limit, no restrictions on any official material, less games and a no-holds barred style format along with a more traditional tournament format with restrictions on supplements to create a more predictable, stable tournament environment with less points, more rounds.
- Introducing a "Ban List" style concept such as we see in games like Magic. This could take many forms and is essentially a form of targeted comp with the intent to prevent the most abusive units (at least as perceived by those determining the ban list) to hopefully prevent "unfun" combos. This would be a constantly evolving list, adjusted with each new release. As much as I dislike comp due to it's subjectivity, a very focused list of no go units/items/etc. is something to consider.
- Attempt to "fix" universally abused rules. Some proposals have been to eliminate allies, limit allies, restrict the type or number of allies. Another suggestion was to target specific rules that impact all armies, such as the proposed change of making any 2+ save with a reroll downgrade to a 3+ save of the same type with a reroll. The intent being to prevent any army from having a potentially "invincible" unit to, again, make the game more fun for more people.
- Try to use missions, terrain, and deployment to encourage army diversity and to potentially penalize "abusive" lists.
What do you guys think?
Each idea has its merits and its flaws. Ultimately, those of us that labor at creating these events want them to be fun. We want them to grow and be something to look forward to every year! We want to evoke that excitement and fun that makes us all love the hobby of miniatures wargaming and our reactions to changes and proposals such as those above are geared in that direction.