Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The end of competitive 40K

The beginning of the end.

With the recent datasheets, Escalation, Strongholds, Titans, and crazy netlists, I think competitive 40K is finally going to die.  Events and TOs out there have already started making restrictions, rules and banlists to counteract GW's efforts at making the casual game that it was set out to be.  If you look at how the game is designed, how the army books are written, and how the current edition of rules (6th) promotes a cinematic form of gameplay, you will know this game was never meant to be played in a competitive setting.  You know what?  Good.  I hope 40K dies as a competitive game.

Frankly, I don't know what happened to 40K from 5th edition going into 6th.  Out of all the years I've played 40K, I've sat and watched power armies rise and fall like autumn leaves.  Poetic, I know, but shouldn't this be a clear sign that the books were not designed with balance in mind in the first place?  God knows I love game balance,  but GW is not a company who makes its money from eSports or tournament players, they make their money from their lore/model fans.  As much as GW loves free publicity and marketing provided by these external tournaments, they don't need it to run their business.

As a widely-labeled competitive player myself, I'm a bit ashamed to see what the meta has turned into.  I'm saying this as a player who's lived through the early days of Nidzilla, Mechdar and Lash Princes to seeing what the game has become now (Taudar, Cronair, Screamerstar).  For the older players out there, how are you still enjoying this kind of play?  I sincerely hope you're not and you've moved onto greater and better things.  For the newer players out there, I tell you this:  This is not how the game is supposed to be played.  It took me a long time to realize it myself, but once you get out of that repetitive circlejerk you'll find yourself having more fun with your hobby.

Truth be told:  With all these tournaments out there making up their own rules, it's only a matter of time before 40K turns into Warhammer ETC.  Before you know it, you won't be playing the same game you started the hobby with, and that's a sad, sad thing.  It divides the community, alienates newer players and kills the hobby for a lot of older players.  None of these are a good thing and best way to solve this is not get involved in any competitive circuits.


McNs said...

Totally agree. I like 40K and WFB as beer'n'pretzel games, but good god - even just walking into an LGS and looking for a pick-up game is going to involve a complicated series of questions about which supplements, data slates, etc etc etc are going to be allowed.

I like that there's more options now - supplemental codexes are great. But balance in general or heck, small amounts of playtesting have gone out the window. See also: D weapons, 2++ re-roll ward saves, 5 Riptide lists, etc.

But, oh well - If I want a good, balanced tournament game I've got Warmachine and FFG's offerings (Netrunner and X-Wing).

Randumbwon said...

Hero I have a lot of respect for you. That said, I just can't enjoy a game of 6th edition 40k, partly because the game takes for freaking ever from start to finish, but also because I. can't take the ruleset seriously. I have always been a "competitive" player, but I can still enjoy non competitive games, so long as they're fun, which with all of the new crap and shoddy rules, 40k has become more of a tax adjustment than a tabletop game.

Zëro said...

I read a lot recently about Standard Game and Competitive Game.
Really, I can figure out what is a competitive game: Bring the best list you can for a defined scenario.

But what is a Non-competitive or Standard or Casual Game?
I can see New Players play a non-competitive game, because they will be limited by what they own.
But most players, I know, focus only on 1 or 2 armies and collect as much models as they can, during years and years.
They accumulate thousands of points and with magnet can basically do whatever list they need on demand.
So, for them, what would be non-competitive?

I really do not see where the anti-competitive and the pro-competitive want to go?

For me, there is no such things as "non-competitive game", when I put my army on a table, I want to win, and I hope my opponent want to do so.
It's not fun to play against someone, that do not care about the scenario and just play for fun without any reasonable objectives.

For every game, we play, there is a set of "home" rules. Those can be Tournament restrictions, your own created scenario, or all the rules that GW wrote.
In this set of rules, you will bring the best list you can to win the game.

So, nor Tournament Restriction, neither new Rules will change anything to this game, as all game were already a contract between 2 players with a defined set of rules which define what could be their list and for what purpose.

rihker said...

Ok, i have played 40k since 2nd ed came out. for me, 40k used to be about generalship over list. List building was important, but any codex could build an army that a really good general could be competitive with. There was no one list that could just dominate everything. Yeah optimised lists would still beat poorly designed lists but i cannot ever recall looking at lists and feeling just so hopeless. 40k became a sour experience when it became clear to me how absolutely hopeless dark eldar were in the tourney scene. and the tourney scene is important as i dont get the chance to play a lot of games, so tournies fulfil my competitive needs. since mid 5th i have stuck with orks as i can still have fun with them, but even that is slipping. 6th ed is still a great game to play with a mate, where the games have gone for 6 hours! but in tournies it is so rushed and business like trying to fit in all the accounting. i will not rage quit 40k, as i do have a passion for painting, modelling and the mental stimulation for hard fought games with mates, but as far as i am concerned 40k is dead as a basis for a gaming competition.

Neil Gilstrap said...

I think my thoughts are we need to stop letting GW get away with this "we're beer an pretzels and that's why we don't spend anytime trying to work on our game rules" nonsense.

I don't know about you guys, but if I play CSM and my buddy is playing Tau, and we ahve been for years...

I'm not having fun having my CSM models get utterly and clearly outclassed, regardless of how fluffy or compy our lists look. "Oh look, Tau win again... yeah..."

I mean there better be a helluva lot more beer than pretzels involved if I'm supposed to having fun pulling my models off the table while my buddy rolls buckets of dice.

Grabula said...

The voice of sanity... you give me hope sir.

Sin Synn said...

Finally, other bloggers are posting about this!
I've been saying this for months, and I very much agree- competitive 40k is...pointless now.
And don't get it twisted, I used to love attending 40k tournaments, but now the game is just too messy for tight, 2 hour games.
I still have love for 40k, so I've just moved on to other systems for my competitive fix. I've attended many Flames of War events, and they're a LOT of fun. Good people and good times. FoW TO's just pick a point value, a time period (early, mid, late war) and some missions from the main rulebook, and that's it. You're good to go.
I'm currently learning to play Infinity, and that game is getting big enough around my way that I can attend tournaments as well. I just kinda need to get good at the game first.
I'm plotting on building a new 40k army. I can't seem to let go of the Grimdark, even after giving away my Tau and Tyranids. I'll be back, but when I come back it will strictly be for some theatrical, epic Grimdark silliness.
Random charge lengths- LOL! All my troopies tripped on their shoelaces!
Competitive? No.
Funny? Oh hell yeah!

Aventine said...

"I'm saying this as a player who's lived through the early days of
Nidzilla, Mechdar and Lash Princes to seeing what the game has become
now (Taudar, Cronair, Screamerstar). For the older players out there,
how are you still enjoying this kind of play? "

Same way I always have since 3rd ed. I don't see any real difference between the old 4th ed. power lists you have mentioned and the current ones. Same as back then, people play them, and you have to play a good game and have a little luck when you come up against them to win.

I don't think TOs making minor adjustments is a bad thing as long as they use a light hand (such as what LVO is doing vs. what Feast of Blades is doing). I also do not think the tournaments are going anywhere.

bonesaww666 said...

Honestly, my friends and I took a rather long hiatus from 40k but with the format of 6th I honestly have never had so much fun, I am collecting a mono-Khorne CSM army right now and am absolutely loving it!

Bring on the Super Double D's, buildings and every supplement you can throw at me! It's been a helluvalotta fun man!

Tau of War Tim said...

I think the major problem with 40k right now is that there are certain collections of models that people own that don't do well at all. This degrades the experience for the player because part of the fun of any game is feeling competent - feeling that even if you are losing, you are able to make accomplishments in the game. The old Tau were nice because you were able to win some games but not all of them with regularity. Those wins felt like real accomplishments. Nowadays there are armies that just fail miserably without producing a feeling of accomplishment for the player - beer m pretzel or tournament it doesn't matter, the basic feeling should be there. I don't know what GW expected with the recent codices - IMO they are all pretty crap - they are either overpowered or lackluster. Tau was an exceptional failure. I've played games were I really don't have to think much. I build a good list and just let the enemy come at me while I roll dice and blow him off the board. Then I just move to objectives when the board is clear. Doesn't feel much like an accomplishment.

There has been some chatter about re-designing missions and I think this is wise because you can re-build some of that feeling of accomplishment if you are scoring points during that game, even while your army is getting pummeled by Tau or Eldar. However, I'm not convinced this will accomplish much, because it doesn't do anything to address the issue of lop-sided armies who excel at nearly everything. I'm reserving judgement though and I hope you guys have some success with it. It is a promising avenue for building better tournaments.

henslaya said...

IMO all supplements are pretty weak but escalation got me goin then i found out about stronghold assault, ban these and tau and 40k will be reasonably competitive.

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