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A musing on the nature of playing with toys...
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Old 09 May 2007, 10:08   #1 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default A musing on the nature of playing with toys...

I just had to listen to a debate between my little brother, a relative newcomer, and my big brother, a ruthless competitor. The debate was over what they would and would not allow in a campaign they have been devising. I spent most of the afternoon shaking my head in resigned melancholy as they bickered back and forth.

See, the whole thing was about whether or not special vehicles from forgeworld should be allowed in the armies. The one stance is that "well sure, why not?" and the other is sort of "but it's not Codex rules, it's just experimental rules, and some people can't afford forgeworld and are at a disadvantage". Both are valid points. How very very silly.

My personal take on it is that if you aren't going to use strictly official GW rules and restrictions, then you may as well build a tank out of LEGO blocks and use little green plastic army men as proxy to represent your chaos lords and so forth. I always go strictly by my guard codex, but this is not due to some stickly rules-lawyer-ish mentality, it's really because by staying pure, I don't run the risk of getting into silly arguements like this one. No one can argue with the almighty Codex.

It seems to me that there are two distinct ways of playing this game. There's the mathematical number crunching attempts at perfecting the ideal efficient army and tactics, an approach that many players find challenging and intricate and rewarding for meticulousness's sake. On the other side is what for lack of a better term I will call 'Fluffhammer', where it's just nice to goof around modeling, daydreaming up ideas, and watching little toys unfold a story on a table. I prefer choice B here, though I can respect choice A.

However lets not fool ourselves, I notice a lot that the winner is often a tactical genius with a flawless plan in his mind and the loser is just plagued by bad rolls in his mind. Not exactly convincing. I don't think you get any 'sportsmanship' points at a tournament by challenging your 'sportsmanship' points score for instance. And if we truly were tactical genius, we would be playing chess. It really comes down to rolling dice, hoping for lucky breaks, and shoveling toys around.

Personally, I love getting my butt whooped at this game, watching my opponent skip around with glee at how much of a strategic mastermind he is. One does not try to win when playing tackle football against a toddler either. And chances are I could beat you at chess, but it isn't as amusing.

It makes for good stories, funny scenarios, and entertainment for all involved. Its not that I go out of my way to lose, I just don't try very hard to win either. (Well, there was that army I had with the master-crafted-lasgun veteran guy. Not the most effective use of points, but it was honestly quite a nicely painted gun.) I like being able to say "I'm 32 years old and I play with toys" with pride and dignity. I like watching my hapless underdog guardsmen get eaten, char-broiled, shot to bits, torn limb from limb, - and occasionally, against all odds, get lucky and accomplish something heroic.

The competative nature of all "me vs. you" games often makes us lose sight of the fact that we are supposed to be enjoying ourselves and having fun, not pulling our hair out in frustration and bickering with each other over the interpretation of some rule or other. My friend Doc said it best when he said, upon winning his first ever game "I think this should be played as a gentleman's game, its easier that way" - a gentleman's game meaning that you always give your opponent the benefit of the doubt, and concede whenever there is a discrepancy. It did make for much more fast-paced games whenever we played. We had quite a few really close games over the course of an afternoon when we agreed to this stance. Nobody wants to sit around for a half an hour while their opponent micro-measures millimeters and looks up every rule and counter rule to accomplish something as simple as running up to a squad and bashing at them with an axe or something. But I have seen it happen.

Soo.... if you want to play, play... If you want to nitpick, play chess where there are no grey areas.

(as a side note, I want to propose making LEGO blocks just as valid as Forgeworld - but I'm scared to bring it up around my brothers and just get them bickering again)

Have fun with your toys guys...

-cent
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Old 09 May 2007, 22:25   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: A musing on the nature of playing with toys...

I agree with you full-heartedly. Not everyone can play warhammer.

It is indeed a gentlemen's game. Here, you get to see your opponent in the face. In many games, such as WorldofWarcraft, people cuss and swear at each other for small things, and are unafraid of repercussions because they are hidden behind a 3-d character, masking their true selves.

Warhammer is not just a game, its a social thing. If you play nicely, for example, giving your opponent the benefit of the doubt, allowing him to reroll if the dice lands awkwardly, chances are he'd play with you again.

Which goes to another of your points, powergaming. Alot of kids do that, their lists are min-maxed out, fully out to demolish the opposition. Now that is fine and dandy in a computer game, but remember, here, you are facing another person, taking up his 2 hours blasting his army to bits and pieces with no room for even a counter is pretty sad. If you can't feel the other guy's sorrow, you don't deserve to play warhammer.

I hate wiping out my opponents. I'd rather lose then win actually, because I don't feel good if i win my opponent too convincingly, especially if it was because of dice. Another thing, I can't stand it when people gloat too much over an easy win. "Dude! Did you see your tank go boom? Haha, guess even your mech tau cant stand up against my 2 billion lascannons eh. Hahah!" or "Hahaha, did you see how my 3 whirlwinds blast your IGuardsmen to bits! Awesome." Talk about tailoring.
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Old 09 May 2007, 23:21   #3 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: A musing on the nature of playing with toys...

Honestly, I see no reason not to bring FW as long as there is mutual consent between players. Most FW stuff is overpriced and underpowered anyway (with the exception of a few things)
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Old 09 May 2007, 23:30   #4 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: A musing on the nature of playing with toys...

I have won two games since December. I am in it all for the atmosphere and the fun of meeting new people and just..honestly..Having fun. I love Laughing and taunting my foes about silly things and just being goofy. I don't mind forge world, they have some pretty good stuff..and as long as it is for character it's a very cool addition to an army.
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Old 10 May 2007, 04:23   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: A musing on the nature of playing with toys...

Whenever I win its by the skin of my teeth. Something will always go drastically wrong for me (*cough* destroyedraiderfullofIncubi *cough*) and somehow something will go drastically right (Haemonculus leading grotesques in a massacre of Orks) then victory or loss is pretty much a coin toss. I love it!

Admittedly though a friend of mine is a bit of a powergamer with Eldar (3 heavys and an avatar in 1000pts? come on!) but I'm slowly introducing him to new playstyles. Hopefully soon he'll be having a ball being blown to smithereens too ;D
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Old 10 May 2007, 04:40   #6 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: A musing on the nature of playing with toys...

I personally wouldn't mind if my opponent was using a avg forge world model I just would be to pleased if they dropped a super heavy out of the blue without my consent before hand.


Hooray For proxy Lego armored companies! :P
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Old 10 May 2007, 04:49   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: A musing on the nature of playing with toys...

Some forgeworld models are simply different representation of normal units...by no means are most of them overpowered, in fact, Ive found the vast majority of them to be overpointed for what they do. In a battle that I care about winning, it's codex legal.

I strongly dispute your assumption that the game is mostly about luck. For example, some armies are strong against certain other ones...and the same is true for players. I know plenty of people I simply don't lose to, as well as players that I rarely win against. Strategy is far more important to this game than a little luck with dice.

If someone showed up with a green army man representing a chaos lord, Id just chuckle and let him play it. Don't sweat the small stuff.
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Old 10 May 2007, 06:10   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: A musing on the nature of playing with toys...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Centurion
as a side note, I want to propose making LEGO blocks just as valid as Forgeworld
Tee hee hee, ;D.

http://www.ozbricks.com/portblock/yar/035.htm
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Old 10 May 2007, 07:39   #9 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: A musing on the nature of playing with toys...

Quote:
I strongly dispute your assumption that the game is mostly about luck. For example, some armies are strong against certain other ones...and the same is true for players. I know plenty of people I simply don't lose to, as well as players that I rarely win against. Strategy is far more important to this game than a little luck with dice.
I agree. It takes a lot more skill for a Tau player to defeat a Necron player than vice versa (at least with non-tailored armies), etc - this is just ONE of many examples.

Quote:
Nobody wants to sit around for a half an hour while their opponent micro-measures millimeters and looks up every rule and counter rule to accomplish something as simple as running up to a squad and bashing at them with an axe or something. But I have seen it happen.
Ähm, sorry, but I DO want my opponent to move not more than 6" (or 12", or whatever) - not even a quarterinch more. All those quarterinches add up, and especially CC-heavy armies can get quite the benefit from it (ie its cheating). Sure, 40K is a gentlemans game, but THAT means that I won`t deliberately violate any rules, either - and I can trust my opponent to do the same. Sure, denying someone the chance to assault if the unit is 6 and one quarter inch away might look bad - but nobody gives ME extra range for my shooting, either (although this is open to discussion; in friendly games against someone who isn`t an ass, I am willing to allow the assault).
Being a gentleman has more to do with knowing the rules, not making fun of the opponent, not cheating, being forgiving of mistakes, etc.
Sure, I don`t want my opponent to look up everything in the rulebook. But I don`t want him do "wing some rules" on the fly. It is common courtesy to be familiar with the rules you`ll be using during a game. Sure, beginners can be excused, but persons playing 2+ years could be expected to at least field legal armies, and KNOW what they`re doing.

Demanding courtesy from other players when it comes to rules is all too often an excuse to faciliate his/her own victory by many players. So I play by the book. I can be a gentleman in the "social interaction" area.
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Old 10 May 2007, 13:30   #10 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: A musing on the nature of playing with toys...

You have a good point about the measurements. IF it REALLY matters (for instance while assualting) then by all means, both players should want to precision measure. But, as you said all those quarter inch moves definitely add up, but so does knocking over a tau battlesuit accidentally, and having to roughly estimate the exact placement it left.

There's nothing we can do about accidents. I have seen throughout my years and years of playing this game, some people use a technique we called 'front to back' measuring, where they move a figure starting with the front of its base, measuring the distance they can move, and then placing the back of the base at the other end - gaining 1 base size to the move every time. It is petty, it is deliberate, but it happens. I like to take it on an honor system that people don't pull off little cheat moves like that because I try hard not to and really don't want to sit on watch for every single figure they move.

Another instance of accidental cheating is with 'guess range' weapons. I know for a fact that if I hold out my hand and make a perfect L shape with my thumb and index finger, I will have a precise 6" distance between fingertip and tumb-tip, allowing me to reference the range before I guess. I guess if your shoes are a foot long you could do this too just by staring at your feet for a second. Just because we can do these little cheap tricks doesn't mean that we should because they spoil the spirit of the game.
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