Saturday, July 12, 2014
7th Edition? The End of the World or the New Dawn?
So I grabbed 7th when it came out thanks to being in a port call at the time. Since then, I have had ample time to absorb the rules and ... thanks to the magic of shameless nerds, I have even gotten some games in as well. I have purposely hung back due to the ridiculous gnashing of teeth on the internet and just waited to form my own opinion. I will say up front that I am a competitive player (as defined by popular internet terms) so if you don't care for that style, then this article might not be for you.
Right out of the gate it seems that internet personalities, TOs, average players, people who don't even play anymore and random commenters all think they know the way 7th edition "needs" to be ran. There is only one way to do it and it is there and it certainly isn't what is in the rulebook.
How did this happen? I blame December 2013. 6th edition was already an edition filled with hot button issues and there was already a fair share of issues constantly churning on forums and Facebook and the blogs. Suddenly gasoline was thrown on the fire with Stronghold Assault, Lords of War and Formations. There were no real precedents for any of this and suddenly madmen were in the digital streets with their signs calling for everything to be legal, others that it should all be banned, including Allies and the community seemed polarized with major TO type personalities left trying to see what their customers would like, which obviously is important to them.
What could be done? What would be legal? Would GW step out and give us the definitive answer? ... Well, they actually did and they didn't. They gave us 7th edition, which encompasses the things mentioned above as well as new rules for army construction.
But what is legal? Surely because rules exist, then it all MUST be legal! Right? Not at all. What GW did is give you terms for individual parts of army construction and layers of rules that are pretty clearly labelled.
Unbound is well, unbound.
Battle Forged on the other hand gives us some layers to work with. To me it really doesn't seem that hard either.
You have the standard Combined Arms Detachment (which includes a Lord of War and fortifications), which is basically the standard FOC (or as we see in the ork book, the codex FOC in some cases), then you have allied detachment, which is the same as it was in 6th. Then you have formations, which are separate detachments.
So what's the big deal? Well, people will point to the idea that you can take multiple CADs and just spam out heavies or fast attack ect ... You have people who think Lords of War are too busted ect.
Well, they have actually made this very easy. Much as you would in casual play, there just needs to be a discussion. With proper labels on things, this is even easier because you can just say things like 2x CADs or 1 CAD plus 1 Allied Det OR 1 CAD minus the LOW and 1 allied det + Formation ...
That is an easy way to explain it to people and let me say that as somebody with some 7th under my belt, it works just fine. In fact, a lot of the fine tuning has actually made me a fan of some of the stuff I hated before.
Formations? I have now played with and against formations and feel like they are a great addition to the game and they contribute to tactical flexibility and honestly, are a breath of fresh air. There was a time when I said "hell no" to formations, but in 7th, they are fine by me.
Lords of War? I have now played with and against many of them and playtested trying to kill them with my take all comers. More often than not, the LoW is a liability to the owning player. I think they add just one more layer of planning to the list construction aspect of the game and also give us the ability to play with big toys. I have come a long way on this considering that two months ago, I was violently opposed to LoWs on the field.
Super Strongholds? Again, the rules take care of these. They just aren't going to take care of enough business to waste a ton of points on in the case of the giant ones and I feel again that they fit in just fine..
CADS and the question of multiple CADS ... look double force org was a hot topic before and it still will be simply because it allows some stupidity to enter the game. Again, I will say that I don't think it is going to be mega game breaker. I also don't think you will see it at events. 1 CAD with allies (and/ or formations) as an option seems fine for most people anyway.
Again, you the player have the vote at the end. If you are playing a pick-up game, you and your opponent have a framework to create your social contract. Your TOs have a framework for reference when deciding what kind of tourney they will present ... and you don't have to play in a tourney if you don't want to.
Ultimately, I personally would prefer to play games that are more open now and see if 2 CAD ect are too much for the scene. I think in the end what people will find is that "Everything goes" 40k in 7th really isn't bad and honestly is a lot of fun. If we all do this and then discover that 2 CAD is a little crazy for tourneys or LoWs are just too much for a particular scene, well then we can make informed changes rather than arbitrary decisions.
I encourage players and TOs to try new things (I have seen plenty of local tourney talk in North Carolina and it seems there is plenty of experimentation going on). Break out of your comfort zone in this new edition and you will find things you really like and what you do not. I thought that I would HATE this edition, but after playing and reading and applying common sense, I have found that this combines some of my favorite elements of the game and the hobby and I look forward to more play.
For those of you still with me, what are your feeling after actually playing the game? Have you found things that you discovered you like/ don't like? Have your initial opinions been changed?
I will be talking about my experiences as time goes on and hopefully, we can start a productive conversation on the blog concerning our little man dolls.