Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Next Step...

Warhammer 40,000 Sixth Edition is stuck on full auto as we are closing our third month on the table top and set to receive our first codex release of the new game. Now we have seen the Obviously Broken crowd come and go and the Naysayers are losing the fight faster than ever. Expert Hats are almost a rarity at this point, but some still insist that the game be fixed, tinkered, and modified at its core.

2nd Force Org Chart, Fortifications, The Eternal War Mission Set, Secondary Objectives, and Mysterious Terrain & Objectives are still under attack by some but they remain core vital concepts that cannot be ignored without severe consequence.

This really is the nitty gritty of the new 40k - The Eternal War Missions and The Secondary Objectives. A literal checklist of Feats you and your army must now be ready to regularly accomplish that may not have been attempted before. How daunting! Most if not all of these new core elements aren't all that new to all of us as almost all 5th edition 40k tournaments at all levels had already incorporated some aspect of these Victory Conditions and Mission Archetypes in some way. What is new and scary is that now these sometimes cruel elements are suppose to be a part of regular play. 

In addition to our "normal" tried and true Single Objectives, Multiple Objectives, and Killpoint archetypes  we now have three new core missions types to plan for on the tabletop:

Big Guns Never Tire brings us the concept of Additional Scoring Unit types.

The Scouring the concept of Weighted Objectives.

The Relic a Single non-contestable and moveable objective.

While this new Victory Format is easily described as Harsh - its the battlefield. These mission concepts alone can have sweeping impact to army design and listbuilding. Here we find more natural enemies of the Necron Flyer List just built into the basic game. These elements are not unbalanced they are just difficult and Obviously chosen and designed to be just that, very difficult, possibly entirely lopsided situations that you must be prepared for. Together and individually they offer and represent a vital portion of the game that should be played out, not thrown out.

Throwing them out only helps to create fakeness in the metagame. You wont be able to avoid them entirely anyways - as mentioned earlier: these mission concepts are not entirely alien and will find their way into your local tournaments and GTs in some form or another. Learn to Game The Mission!

Your Army will need to be Capable on the battlefield to be truly competitive at all levels of regular play now! That means being able to drop a checkmark into each box somehow. The Secondary Objectives are another vital part of the Victory Matrix that is being trashed as unbalanced. Your Army is unbalanced if these three measly bonus points make or break your game.

Just like The Eternal War Missions - Firstblood, Warlord, and Linebreaker can have sweeping impact to army building for Victory. Armies must now be able to both achieve these Feats regularly as well as deny them - and just like all other Victory Conditions in the game, if your Army is weak in these areas then you have to make up for it somehow, the very basics of murderous 40k tabletop Victory.

The game is not broken and unbalanced because your army doesnt perform as desired. With Forgeworld weaponry coming to the tabletop in almost any competitive event everywhere the options for listbuilding and victory are ever increasing. The checklist for 40k fitness  is right there in the new BrB for you to follow along as you build your force for Murder.

"Obviously Broken" and "unbalanced" are ridiculously ugly undefined things that should stop being thrown around as we grow up into this new age of grim darkness. There has always only been war - we all have big guns - Shoot them!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The BIG Picture

 Glorious 6th Edition is here in full force and its all the MURDER we could have dreamed it to be. Although the Naysayers hold and threaten large parts of the Galaxy, they are losing ground fast.

2nd Force Org Chart, Fortifications, The Eternal War Mission Set, Secondary Objectives, and Mysterious Terrain & Objectives are Vital Core portions of the game. Ignoring these sections and concepts vastly modifies the game on the tabletop and directly impacts "the metagame." The path to bizzaro 40k-land is paved with good intentions they say:

Apparently the chaotic upheaval is almost over and the stage is set. Now its time to settle in for WAR. Things like Terrain Placement will always be fresh but out of reach to the general competitive scene. 1500pts to 1999+1pts will be the common competitive list sizes. Mysterious Terrain and The Relic will be found under this rock or that one. Allies and Flyers are the new black.
The Fortress of Redemption is the Natural Enemy of the Necron Flyerwing. I think this business about it being unmanageable on the tabletop is nonsense. Remove a terrain piece, move some around, use terrain placement - all easy enough to implement on a small or large scale. Combined with certain powerful armybuilds the Fortress could easily force a shift in the current early 6e metagame. The main strength and benefit of the Fortress (and skyshield) IS its size and domination of the table/terrain.

Aegis Defense Lines have proven themselves to be of great value for basically the same reasons as the Fortress/Skyshield. They are super cheap and give any current army access to some Anti-Air weapons. They work well in the current "limited" competitive conditions where terrain placement is crazy talk and moving or replacing terrain is almost just as horrible a concept. Especially now in this early 6e time period we should be giving the same 'play-out' chance to the larger fortifications.

For mostly the same reasons as the fortifications, the 2nd Force Org chart at 2k and above is important! These types of list build rule restrictions impact the tabletop and metagame drastically.  Good and Bad Generals alike are able to ignore vast portions of the decision making matrix when building their list to be competitive or dominate on the competitive scene. 

At 2k this is the most important crossover army size. As the Allied Detachments, Fortifications and 2nd Force Org Chart all overlap to offer everyone and anyone ridiculous amounts of options. But they are just options at 2k as there are not enough points to get all the toys suddenly. Its a whole new age of 40k that is currently being written off and thrown out for the most part. Another natural enemy of the Obviously Broken and overpowered Flyers - pretty much completely ignored.

Now we have Flying things and more lasers and explosions then ever - the smell of ozone, napalm and death and the confusion of war is on us. This is How It Is Suppose To Be. Dodging and running for cover is what us small folk Should Be doing! We are even ignoring the vastness of options offered by the now legal and GW encouraged Apocalypse units. Even more shit should be blowing up that isent!

Fortifications and the 2nd Force Org Chart offer you options and affect how the flyer list has to be built to win the game reliably. Each of the Core Concepts under attack affect the game in drastic ways that are limiting your options and allowing the flyer list (and others) to use its strengths more dominantly. This is major mind-fuck-ville as the very reason these Core items are being banned and ignored is because They Might introduce options and builds that are too dominate!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Something Is Missing

Ah here we are - barely two months into the chaotic upheaval of the New Game that is 6th Edition Warhammer 40k.  Man o man has it not just been awesome? Here in Wolfbrothers territory we are having the time of our lives - the new game has turned out to be NEW in many more ways then most of us could have imagined. 

The old guard, the naysayers, the smartypants with their expert-hats-on continue to dodge the mustard and ketchup.... But with top competitive events playing out and madhouse GW FAQs hitting the fray they look more and more ridiculous. More people have eaten their hats in the last 75 days then I have experienced in the rest of my lifetime.

 Allies, Fortifications, 2nd Force Org Chart, Mysterious terrain and objectives, the Missions themselves, Secondary Objectives are still being proclaimed as broken, unmanageable, and over powered by the so-called Expert-hats. Obviously their extensive and expert knowledge of this Two Month old game has allowed them to wisely understand the intricate workings of these core concepts and modify the game accordingly.

One of my favorite ways to spend my internet and 40k time is to be entertained by the expert folks who lovingly explain how these parts of the game are Obviously Broken. They will also often drivel off into the topics of Obviously Broken Flyers, Deathstars, Footlists, and Listbuild combos.

I know you have heard all it too: Fortress of Redemption, Mysterious Objectives, and Firstblood are Obviously broken, so they are banned. On top of that, all types of space marine missile launchers NEED to have flakk missiles to deal with the Obviously Broken Flyer lists. Relic, The Scourging, and Big Gunz Never Tire are all lopsided and also Obviously Broken, so they wont be played. 2nd Force Org Chart can cause a meltdown on the spot cause it Obviously breaks the entire game in all ways. What is Mysterious Terrain anyways? its so unmanageable that we will just rip those pages right out of the rulebook. Warlord traits - its Obviously an unbalanaced and ridiculous game if one army can gain advantage over another - rewrite!

Ive ran plenty of Tournaments and understand that particularly the TOs of big events are in a tight spot to make all the "right decisions" to encourage the most folks to attend their event. I understand time and space management issues that can be particularly concerning in this time of chaotic upheaval - like Hammer and Anvil deployment and players placing terrain. Im not against reasonable accommodations. Most tournaments are not 6 rounds and I understand the custom missions or being selective about which are played at the competitive level events. Most of it is reasonable, realistic consequences of running a huge event of any sort.

  A lot of it is just plain Sillytalk. The ink has hardly dried on many of our rulebooks at this point in time. Drastic modifications to the game at this point drastically modify the game. Its that simple. The same guy bitching about Flyer domination is Absolutely Sure that Fortress of Redemption and Mysterious Objectives break the game and is playing without them. We are doing ourselves a huge disservice, specifically at the large competitive event level by crossing out huge intricate core portions of the game. 

Listbuilds at any competitive level start to fall into basic categories of opponent that you can expect to engage on the tabletop. Building your list accordingly, you have to make critical decisions at every stage of the army to include or not include basic and advanced tools of the trade so that you can be Victorious at most missions vs most armies/opponents. Each one of these core concepts that is thrown out immediately and directly impacts the scope of the game and victory conditions.

I am sure that most of the old guard and expert-hat folks making the decisions to throw out large and important parts of the game are doing so based on an obvious old guard agenda. Its not Obviously broken, its Obviously a threat they are not willing or fear to confront on the tabletop.

Allies, 2nd Force Org Chart, Fortifications, Terrain Placement, Mysterious Terrain and Objectives, Secondary Objectives, The Eternal War Missions are all necessary and important core parts of the game that are intricately linked. Playing without them is not playing 6th edition. I dont understand why you would play with Most of the new rules like nightfighting on turn 1 or 5 every game on a 4+, or being limited to half your army in reserve, or not being able to charge with units that arrived from reserve, or overwatch, or 2d6 charging, or countless other rules that are entirely different from the old 5th edition game of Warhammer 40k, but not these other parts that work and were designed to be played together as an entirely new game. 

Flyers, Deathstars, Footblobs are dominate and dominating, but Fortress of Redemption, 2nd FOC, Firstblood, and The Relic are unmanageable and break the game? Sillytalk.  In fact removing these core portions of the game have removed important listbuild archetypes that would be heavily impacting Flyers, Deathstars, Footblobs and anything else that the expert hats love to hate.

Learn To Swim.