Wednesday, March 18, 2015

You Don’t Know Better

I know I’m going to catch flak for this, but before we get into my plans for a new army (coming soon, i promise), we need to discuss one thing: Warhammer 40,000 itself.

Now, as an Imperial Knight player, I am more than accustomed to hearing “oh Knights are so OP!” and “spamming super-heavies is ridiculous!” from my opponents. And this is where I know most players are going to hate me, because to all the naysayers and rabble-rousers, I say this: Quit Your Bitching.

Warhammer 40,000 is in its 7th Edition now, the game has experienced a steady power creep for nigh on twenty years now, steadily increasing in the size of armies, doing away with 0-1 Force Organization choices, and yes, now even allowing super-heavies and gargantuan creatures into the normal game. Shit gets real with the latest edition, fortifications are doable, unbound army lists make for some serious spam-worthy choices, and yes, super-heavy vehicles are troublesome. But the key thing to remember is: YOU DON’T MAKE THIS GAME.

Everybody cries foul on Games Workshop left and right, and sure, many of their decisions seem questionable, their business tactics sometimes immoral or highly profit-driven, but we still play the game, and that says something. We may joke that the models are “plastic crack” and that the hobby is addictive, and yeah, in many ways it is, but at the heart of it, we still play because we love the models, we love the story, and we love the lifestyle that comes with the Warhammer hobby.

As a 17-year veteran of Warhammer 40,000, I do at times agree with GW’s detractors- they are sometimes right. That said, however, game design is an incredibly complex process, and requires frequent trial and error- else the very first edition of Rogue Trader would be the end-all, be-all of the game, and we wouldn’t have grown and evolved with frequent updates and new editions over the past decades. The problem that people forget to address is that players need to adapt their game, too.

Why do I bring this up? I play in a Warhammer 40,000 League at Guardian Games up here in Portland, Oregon. The meta is fairly competitive, with regular occurrence of SM biker armies, Five-Flyrant Tyranids, and yes even Imperial Knights. While some of these lists are a lot less “fun” to play against, it is nonetheless 100% legal to play them. While my Knights get curb-stomped by flying circus lists, I respect that my weakness towards flyers is an aspect of my army, and that I have not yet invested in anti-air elements to compensate for it. Where most players would scream cheese, I accept that my shortsightedness as a player, i.e., my skill at playing the game, determines whether I would win or lose.

My most recent opponent played an Astra Militarum list, consisting of many, many Chimeras and Tauroxes (Tauroxen?), with a Leman Russ and a Leman Russ Eradicator, Primaris Psyker, and multiple Heavy Weapons teams with Autocannons. In fact...the vast majority of his heavy firepower came from autocannons. My Knights weathered the vast majority of fire every turn, I only lost my Seneschal mid-game, while I swept up one of his flanks killing squad after squad (and transport after transport). By the bottom of turn 4, my opponent quit, claimed he was quitting 40k altogether, and packed up.

I’ll be honest, this makes me feel a little bad, to give a player that hard of a time. But, before you jump down my throat for spamming Imperial Knights (accompanied by an Officio Assassinorum Execution Force and a squad of Tempestus Scions led by a Lord Commissar), know that my opponent was a regular to the league, he’s played often and he should know by now that the meta at Guardian Games is competitive. I’ve lost more games than I’ve won there, so it’s not like I’m dominating other opponents left and right with my Knight list. A smart player who knows that Knights and other big hitters are frequently used would bring lascannon teams, more Leman Russ tanks, or even a Baneblade to combat them. And even in this competitive meta I hear players decrying super-heavy users and spam lists.

GET OVER IT. ‘nuff said. Warhammer 40,000 is constantly growing and evolving, super-heavies and unbound lists and flying circus armies are legal and simply a part of the game, accept it and move on, and try to better yourself as a player rather than ceaselessly bitching about how “GW has no idea what they’re doing” or “the only way people win is by using spam/cheese lists!”

=][= -----Rant Ended By Order of the Inquisition----- =][=

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Come One, Come All...

...And welcome to my newest blog, By the Brass Balls of Khorne! You might find yourself wondering why such a title was chosen. Well, Khorne is my favorite among the Ruinous Powers. 8 is my lucky number, red is awesome on the tabletop, and rage is the emotion that holds sway in the 41st Millennium. Now, on to more pressing matters. What is this blog for? Why, Warhammer 40,000, of course!

Warhammer 40,000 is this author’s game of choice. You may recognize my name from Myomer Dreams, if you’re a Battletech fan, of course, and indeed that has been my most recent project. However, with numerous...setbacks...along the course of that project, I have turned my attention back to my first love: Games Workshop.

Now you may think that’s a one-sided, abusive relationship filled with ruthless wallet-beatings and cries of outrage and despair. Well...I can’t say that’s not true. Nevertheless, time and again i find myself drawn to the grim-dark far future of the 41st Millennium, and I truly love the rich fiction and memorable characters- and of course the acting out of such on the tabletop. No hobby can beat it.

I started this hobby in 1998, back when 2nd Edition was coming to an end. Tyranids were my first army, and to this day I still love their fiction, their miniatures, and the pervasive sense of impending doom that they grant the game’s setting. I’ve played them every edition since then, and though their current rules leave much to be desired, I still enjoy the game with them. My second army was Imperial Guard- short lived, to be sure, as I swiftly grew bored of them in 3rd edition, and instead turned my attention to my third army: Tau, when they first came out. Armies have come and gone, of course, and I’ve tried multiple different forces throughout the years. My most recent army, starting in February 2014, is Imperial Knights, though their options are limited to say the least.

And on the horizon, upon seeing the latest pre-order this morning....will be Khorne Daemons. By the Brass Balls of Khorne, I will lay waste to my enemies upon a thousand worlds of the Imperium of Man. Blood shall be spilt upon the sands, and their skulls shall anoint my throne....