Tuesday, 6 May 2014

7th Edition

7th Edition

I’m afraid my enthusiasm for playing 40k is at an all time low.

Readers of my ramblings will know I’m not a huge fan of 6th Ed. I keep hearing people say things like “6th Edition is the best rules set ever” or “I’m having more fun with 6th edition than I’ve ever had”, and it makes me wonder if they’re playing the same game.

Some friends and I were at a tournament the other weekend. The fact there are no list building agonies or tournament reports posted is perhaps indicative of how enthusiastic I am about 40k at the moment ( for the record I took a Farsight Bomb with Severin Loth for guaranteed gate, went 3-0-2, won best painted, but hated playing that stupidly broken list in every game I played – never again – Rawrgyle your were right mate, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should!!). However, the point of mentioning it was that we all drove there together and had time to chat in the car on the way there and back. The somewhat sad conclusion we reached is that we all preferred 5th edition to 6th.

There are so many things I dislike about 6th ed, and the way it works – to list a few, wound allocation which allows “tanks” at the front of units to absorb fire, look out sir which slows everything down, challenges which just seem pointless, random psychic powers, battle brothers which allow USR stacking to create death stars (e.g. Farsight Bomb with Tigger to give them gate) random terrain (seriously, who ever uses that rule!), stupidly over powered units (Helldrakes, Wave Serpents), confusingly thrown together rules and supplements – and all the other stuff that just slows the game down and adds complexity with no real benefit in terms of game play.

We’re forging a narrative, I hear you say – well that’s all well and good but it’s not why I play. I read the fluff and I’ve read some of the Black Library books, but to be honest I find it all a bit childish and over blown.  I just don’t make the connection between the fluff and the table top that some do. I’ve never built an army because of a cool story or fluff driven theme. I build armies because the play style appeals (e.g. Tau, SM Bikes, Podding Marines) or because I like the colour scheme and/or the design aesthetic, or the models are cool (my new Minotaurs army). The fluff is interesting and all, and it gives the game context, but it’s the gaming and the modelling/painting I enjoy.

Sadly narrative gaming is the new way it would appear. Neil on the 11th Company, made a good point on their latest episode. His thesis is that, at its core, 40k is a role playing game you happen to play on the table top with miniatures. I suspect he’s right, but I’ve always been of the view that the only acceptable place for role playing is the Bedroom!

So the conclusion we reached in our drives to and from the tournament was that we’ll all try a new game – I’m going to try Dropzone Commander, and my friends are going to try Bolt Action. We'll probably still play 40k, but with little enthusiasm I suspect.

And yet – I feel like a battered spouse in an abusive relationship – I’m ao invested in the game (financially and emotionally!), that I want to give GW one more chance ....  maybe 7th will be the answer ….. maybe.




  1. That's an interesting viewpoint. I'm a "narrative gamer" and have hated many of the 6th Edition changes and the leaked 7th Edition ideas as well...from a narrative perspective! We dislike many of the same things (USR stacking, OP units, and mishmashed supplements), and do so from opposite ends of the spectrum.
    I think that speaks volumes about the direction GWs rules are going...everyone hates many of the core rules, no matter their play style.

    As an aside, I ran into a variation of your Farsight Bomb recently. Take Farsight, a Buffmander, Tigurius, and a bunch of Centurions with Grav Cannons. Tiggy gets you Gate, which never scatters due to Tau wargear, and then every shot from the grav weapons is twin-linked from more Tau wargear! 2+ armor saves out the backside, and the ability to play pass-the-wounds from 3+ save ICs to 2 save 2-wound Centurions.
    Talk about unfun to play against...

  2. That is sad, isn't it - nobody's happy!

    Mind you, it might just be that 7th is setting up Battle Forged as a stream lined tournament version, and unbounded as apocalypse lite for the narrative gamers.....!

    1. the the feeling I'm getting. and if it's true thats good news.

  3. I think the roleplaying comment is a good one and close to the truth. wargaming and roleplaying are pretty closely linked, with RPGs spawning wargames and wargames spawning RPGs. ultimatly I think 40k isn't something that shoud be taken as a "serious wargame" but rather as sort of fun. GW has often used the term "forging the narritive" one much mocked, but I think it's worth considering that it gives us a view of how GW sees the game (and presumably wants us to see it) namely that 40k is a game all about telling stories on a board, over a couple cans of beer

  4. welcome to the same place i was in a year ago. i spent 7 or 8 months not gaming at all, and then picked up x-wing and haven't looked back. it is amazing what having a balanced game does for the community. i went to a tournament last weekend with 32 attendees, and am going to another next weekend with 50 people, so the game is thriving here. i recommend you give it a go, considering the start-up costs are so low.

  5. Malifaux is now what I do. We've got a great player base in the northeast. Tight ruleset, nice models, great competitive scene and a cheap entry cost. You can spend £60 (including rules) and go to a tournament!

    I should be going to an event in Edinburgh on 8th June. Pop along and see what it's all about.

  6. Variety is the spice of life. As Atreides said, X-wing is an excellent game and worth looking into if you haven't already. I had a mini-break from 40K recently whilst playing a lot of X-wing and I've come back to 40K with renewed enthusiasm.

    I think the generally negative attitude on the internet has a lot to answer for. Every new announcement brings more cries of pain from the community. I think it's mostly overreaction though. Give 7th a chance. Perhaps I'm naive but I'm hoping it'll set a few things straight.