Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Death of Competitive 40k?

'All I know is that first you've got to get mad. You've got to say, 'I'm a HUMAN BEING, God damn it! My life has VALUE!' So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, 'I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!' I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell - 'I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!' Things have got to change. But first, you've gotta get mad!... You've got to say, 'I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!' Then we'll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it: "I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!"  

The above quote is what Howard Beale would say if he knew the madness that was gripping the 40k world.  It would appear that Games Workshop has finally decided that the rule set that they developed for Warhammer 40k doesn't matter as much as selling the models that go along with it.  What started with the complete domination of the tournament scene by Demons, Tau, and Eldar (or Taudar) has quickly devolved into rapid digital only releases and additional allied detachment rules that were written solely to sell slow selling models.  Perhaps making competitive play an impossible feat is the intent of Games Workshop.  They have always stood by the claim that 40k is a game that is meant for a beer and pretzels type atmosphere.  This aggressive 'phasing out' of any semblance of balanced armies certainly seems intentional.  With the forthcoming release of Escalation and Stronghold Assault bringing fortification and super heavies into regular games of 40k the line between a competitive skirmish game with a tight rule set and a game of Apocalypse where an 'anything goes' type atmosphere is getting increasingly blurry.

I know that personally 40k has been getting less fun to play.  I say this because I would primarily classify myself as a tournament player.  It's not that I do not enjoy the occasional themed game or quick pick up match against a pal it's just that I'm a competitive person by nature and I enjoy crushing my enemies, driving them before me, and listening to the lamentation of their women.  Is that so wrong?  I honestly feel that in the current 40k climate the only way that I can remain competitive is to either take a Tau army or start building Screamers as fast as my fat hands will let me.  I recently played Reece from Frontline Gaming with my Adepticon 2014 list.  He brought the Taudar army that is being raffled off at the Las Vegas Open in March.  It is basically the epitome of what is wrong with 40k at the moment.  The feeling of not being able to do anything while removing models from the table made me question why I was planning on attending Adepticon in the first place.  Unless I spend the money to build an army that can hang with something like Taudar or Screamer Star or Flying Circus, etc the money I am spending to fly all the way to Chicago could be better spent on chimichangas and Diet Coke.  Yes, I will get to see friends and have chance to interact with the wargaming community at large and that is always fun but deep down the reason I am going to the convention is to try and be the best 40k player in attendance.  I'm not going to sugar coat that shit.  

The only way to save 40k from being relegated to mini Apocalypse games played in your friend's garage is for the tournament organizers to get together and come up with a way to  keep Games Workshop's crazy in check.  I personally feel limiting players to one FOC and one ally will keep everything on the level.  Will they be able to come together and agree on standard tournament rules or will they implode under the weight of their own egos?  Only time will tell.  

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