Fluff Vs. Balance.
I like the background to 40K because (to be honest) I like the whole ‘we’re all fucking doomed lets kill shit anyway’ vibe.
The background moves the whole idea that I’m basically playing with toy soldiers and turns it into a grander more enjoyable experience that sets the imagination working. It’s an environment where I can get up one day, invent myself a Space Marine Chapter from scratch complete with it’s own squad markings and history and play a game with it using the established rules without anybody batting an eyelid. Even those annoying twats the ‘Fluff Nazi’s’ don’t complain too much as long as you haven’t picked the wrong founding, put their home-world in a sector that’s been specifically stated as eaten by Tyranids in a 20 year old edition of White Dwarf or some other unforgivable faux par…..
I also like writing balanced lists that are capable of kicking peoples teeth down their throats regardless of the army they’re using.
I’m of the opinion that these two things are not mutually exclusive but can live in harmony……Unfortunately they occasionally get in each others way through no fault of my own.
Well even if you didn’t ask I’m going to tell you anyway.
Codex writers that’s who!!!
I understand that Grey Knights are established as Daemonhunters and therefore should have appropriate special rules but having an army that can auto-win against one codex in particular is a tad irritating. Grey Knights can effectively control where Daemons arrive, shoot them to pieces before they get to move anywhere, negate any initiative advantage they might have, and are pretty much guaranteed to hit and wound with almost every significant attack.
Of course against everything else they’re very well balanced…..
Which is of course the irritating bit. From a ‘cinematic’ point of view I could easily arrange a game where the Grey Knights have half the points of the Daemons they’re attempting to destroy and it might be amusing over a few beers and would probably make Jervis happy as a pig in shit but in a tournament environment no such compromise is going to be possible.
So am I backtracking from my position that all recent codices are balanced and there’s nothing ‘broken’ any-more?
Well not really.
It just strikes me as lazy designing and laziness irritates me.
90% of the ‘Screw Daemons’ rules have no significant effect on other armies so aren’t in there for reasons of overall game balance. The ‘Screw Daemons’ aspect is neatly covered in pretty much every background section in the whole book so doesn’t really need to be crowbarred into every special rule as well. It’s not like the Daemon codex doesn’t have issues of it’s own already.
Tyranids have similar issues where background and rules ignore each other completely. Let’s take ‘Shadow in the Warp’ for an example. Tyranid fleets create a psychic disturbance so great that it disrupts psychic abilities for light years in every direction and has such a disruptive effect on the warp that it’s capable of blocking out psychic calls for assistance completely. Unless of course your 2 foot away from the creature actually generating the disruption but are fortunate enough to be hiding in a cardboard box…..
|No Tyranid can harm my brain as long as I’m in here.|
(or a Rhino, Razorback, Chimera, etc)…..
That’s not the only example from that particular codex though. Tyranid Primes that are specifically designed to improve warrior units they’re with can’t actually join one in a Mycetic spore or be created with Wings so it can fly along with…..say…..just for example…..a unit of Warriors with bloody wings…..
I could go on but I’m sure you all get the point.
You at the back with your hand-up?
You DON’T get the point?
Okay then, here it is.
Those people who enjoy the story and theme should be able to have all those cinematic images put in their heads by the writer of the background so he can fully immerse himself in the character of his (or hers) army. Those of us who play competitively should have a set of rules that doesn’t make a certain army choice obsolete for us because we can’t risk a bad match-up or two destroying our chances of victory in a tournament environment.
I’m only asking for 2 things that Games Workshop are meant to be good at to work in harmony with one another.
That’s not too much to ask is it?
Any comments, input or other background/rules incompatibilities are (as usual) most welcome.