This is a combination of a few factors in the last few days. Having talked to the dear-40K-departed Charlie, having a look at an article on Elite 40K and also a discussion with Gareth, another gaming buddy, at Hampton Games Club.
He’s turned his back us #warhammer40000 @proximityNZ “The rules are pants on head retardedly shit.”
Charlie was a devastating force in the Warhammer 40000 scene. In the past he has swept all competition before him both here in Australia and in New Zealand. So I was kind of shocked when he withdrew from competitive Warhammer 40000 and move to Warmachine/Hordes. His response above is measured and well thought out and benefitting of his experience.
Talking to another gaming buddy, Gareth, at one of my too infrequent visits to Hampton Games Club, he described Warhammer 40000 seventh edition as a “Fischer Price” game for the purposes of competition. In Australia we are getting more acceptance of the Community Comp movement and it may even take off overseas following exposure on the Bell of Lost Souls website.
Community Comp provides appropriate motivation to players for them to lower the power level of armies generally to a level about where we were at the end of 5th edition. With a stable, moderately powered meta game, even the worst units in the 40k universe become viable units to play with. With all units being viable, we get an opportunity to satisfy our creative urges without feeling like we will never get to play with those units. In addition newer players are more likely to enjoy their games in the competitive arena and come back for more next time.
It’s beyond perceived power creep now: it is out and out cheese-war! With the additions of Lords of War, Dataslates and everything in between there is ridiculous scope to go nuts with your army. And this nerfs the competitive scene entirely.
Read as written, there is nothing to stop me taking three squads of Retributors with Heavy Flamers, three squads of Dominions with Meltaguns, six Drop pods from an allied Fleash Tearer force from Exterminatus and burning the living shit out of everything you put on the table. Dump in another allied force of Sisters going heavy on the Exorcists and Immolator spam and it’s got the makings of a BAD day for my opponent.
In fact, having thought about it, this brings shame upon all of my brother Sisters players and may in fact decrease the sum total of human knowledge by its very existence. I’D punch me in the face before I put that down on the table. Or held it in Reserve to Deep Strike right up your End Zone. On Elite 40K, I may have slightly provoked this and a follow on link here.
Of course, we all know that
a ) Games Workshop used to run tournaments
b ) Games Workshop now don’t consider Warhammer 40000 a competitive game. It’s all about forging the narrative. It even says so in the rules.
However, as a game with a “winner” and a “loser”, there is a natural inclination to have a tournament scene, playing games to determine an ultimate winner and gaining all the accords and merits that such a victory entails.
To bring it on home (and possibly stop me ranting for days on end), my opinion is that the competitive scene is pretty hard up IF we just play vanilla Warhammer 40000. Oh sure, we all say that we build balanced lists, but there is ass-hattery in hidden corners waiting to curb stomp the baby seal in the room (usually me).
The Community Comp movement is a necessary evil. In small groups, it’s not needed as the group should be self-moderating and the cheese level is easily set. As tournament grow in numbers the random factor increases and it’s harder to set and enforce the expectation, even if you write it in really big letters in the player’s pack.
I think it’s a shame that Warhammer 40000 isn’t more geared towards competitive play. I’ve met and made some good friends at tournaments over the years. Games Workshop is delivering some AMAZING miniatures and don’t look like slowing down.
Currently, it has all the balance of an elephant with an inner ear problem walking a tight rope.
So, casual gaming it will be for the near future, tournament gaming is on the down turn. Completely apart from having to be a grown up and minimising gaming time.
How is your local tournament scene going? What measures are in place to control the uncontrolled?
(I totally want to drop the Sisters of Battle Hate Bomb on someone.)