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Friday, September 28, 2012

Limitations and Rants, ahoy!

I couldn't hold it in any longer and wanted to share the awesomeness of the latest White Dwarf; more specifically, Jervis Johnson's monthly article. I have long railed against any "composition scores" (ie, limitations), though I'm not the only one. I don't like not being able to use the fun and neat things I've built and painted. Therefore, I will never again (1st and only was long ago) go to a tournament with artificial limits (or "comp systems"), because for me, that automatically makes it unenjoyable before it even begins. I don't like being told what toys I can and can't play with. I'm an adult! I can make my own choices, thanks.

Anyway, I'd like to share what he writes on the subject, because it only vindicates the no-limits camp and shows how bad limitations affect the community. I'll try to just stick to the highlights.

"If you've been playing any of our games for a while, you'll have noticed that we've removed a lot of the limitations from our army lists. .../... A number of readers have asked me why."

"I guess the first thing to say is that our army lists are, of course, full of limitations of one form or another. So a points value is a limitation, as are the restriction on what troop types you can take. / Then there are specific unit limitations, like those I mentioned at the start of the column. Our modern Warhammer lists limit the number of Rare and Special units of the same type that you can include. We use these limits to do two things: to allow you to play an enjoyable game and, just as importantly, to make sure that a tabletop army is a reasonably close representation of the way the army would look in real life, or verisimilitude."

"However, we see such limitations as a necessary evil. Why? Well in a nutshell, because any limitations we impose stop you from adding the models you want to your collection. Let's face it, when all is said and done, ours is primarily a collecting hobby. Of course, we paint the miniatures we've collected and play games with them, but these are things that we do with our collection; the act of collecting the miniatures come first. This is why our games in their purest form boil down to 'my collection vs your collection'."

"We simply collected the models we like the look of and played games with them, and I have to say that's pretty much what I do to this day."

"When Games Workshop started out we were only dimly aware of the importance of such limitations and so we were rather profligate with the use of limitations in our army lists. Over time though, we learnt the error of our ways, and now we try to write army lists with as few limitations as possible. After all, we're hobbyists and collectors too, and we fell the pinch of artificial limitations on what models we can collect just as much as anyone else. Of course, our army lists will always need some limitation on what you can use, for the reason I explained above (enjoyment and verisimilitude, for example). We just try to make sure that they are as few as possible."

"Part of the reason I've gone on at such length about 'limiting limitations' is that quite a lot of the house rules I see players using add additional limitations to those found in our army lists. For example, a very common house rule is to limit the maximum size of a unit, or not allow players to use special characters. There's nothing wrong with this - longtime readers will know that one of the things I feel very strongly about is that the option to create house rules for our games is one of the things that makes them so enjoyable to play - but I do advise caution when applying similar house rules to your own games."

"All too often the only effect they have is to stop a player using some of the models in his collection, without having any real impact on the enjoyment or verisimilitude. Instead, I'd recommend trying a few games where you use house rules to take away limitations, rather than add more. For example, why not say that in your next game of Warhammer 40,000 you will ignore the Force Organization chart. I think you'll be surprised at how enjoyable and liberating such an exercise can be."

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Episode 5 - Dark Vengeance, IWFB #4 & Waste Wars IX

Episode 5 has arrived and it is jumbo sized.  This episode begins with Andrew and John chatting about all of the conventions Andrew attended in August.  Next, John reviews IWFB #4 at the Chicago Battle Bunker.  After John’s review, Andrew tags in Chuck, who joins the episode to discuss Waste Wars IX.  After discussing the tournament, Andrew and John tear into the new 40K box-set, Dark Vengeance and debate which model is the best out of the new set.  Finally, someone other than John has some rage to share on the show. 

Andrew's Email: Andrew@unstabledice.com
John's Email: Equinox@unstabledice.com
Nerd Rage: Nerdrage@unstabledice.com

The Waaagh Cast! on Facebook
Chuck's Blog
The Waaagh Cast Cup - Season 2
The Damsels of Dorkington on Facebook
The Damsels of Dorkington website
GENCON website

Rare Choice Games on Facebook
Rare Choice Games on YouTube

The venn diagram. Which of the four are you?

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