Thursday, April 30, 2015

Whoa, GW, Whoa!!!

  Slow down, GW, slow down...

  I am one of those people that actually enjoyed the rapid release schedule of the codices since 6th edition.  I'm not happy with the potential damage it can do to my wallet, but I am happy that I have to wait only weeks at the most for a new book.  There were some reasons why:

  First, I thought this would actually balance the game a little.  If each book is getting next to NO playtesting time, universally, then we shouldn't see the power creep that we're all used to.  After all, Space Marines are the typical enemy in the studio's office- meaning they get TONS of playtest time, and armies like the Dark Eldar are little more than money-grabs and so get tested two or three times.  Which army is better?  Yeah, go Marines!
  That should be easier to deal with while GW is pumping out armies so fast that they can only play two or three games with any of the armies.  Of course, that assumes that the same team is working on all the codices and that there is a basic equation for points and every army has a 'foundation' rules set that is amended, not just created...  Those assumptions are all incorrect, but one can hope!

  Second, it finally acquiesces to the vocal minority of gamers out there that honestly believe that bitching is part of the hobby.  I HATE going into my LGS because of one individual- a Tyranid player, that bitches for years now that his army never gets any love and Marines got flyers before they got their more common flyers!  Yes, I've heard that every single time I've walked into that store until I stopped going last year.  I honestly don't care.  I have almost every army and have been buying stuff for this game when my army was the worst version in its own codex (remember when painting your Space Marines blue was a terrible idea?)!
  With every army getting a new book and a new 'big thing' every couple of years, these whiners have no reason to whine.  But of course, they just shift over to whining about how GW ruined the rules for Flying Monstrous Creatures and destroyed any chance that they'd buy a Flyrant or other 'nidzilla option.  So the gamers that whined that their army never got any love now complain that they don't get enough love.  They've never played Dark Angels...

  Finally, I thought the rapid release schedule would mean a resurgence of gaming as people would a)want the new stuff and b)not have time to 'cheeze' it out.  After a year of gaming in 4th edition, it turned out that 'spamming' was the way to go.  After a year of gaming in 5th edition, it became obvious that the 'parking lot' and 'meltaspam' were the keys.  After a year of gaming in 6th edition, THE NEW 7TH EDITION WAS RELEASED!  In 6th, we saw the return of MSU, the return of 'Death Star', and the return of the 'parking lot'.  In other words, the changes were based on the newest codex.
  This excited me because it should have created a less-but-more balanced world.  Dark Eldar should not be able to beat Marines, but Marines should not be able to beat Eldar, which should not be able to beat Orks, which should not be able to beat Chaos, which should not be able to beat Tau, which should not be able to beat Guard, and so on.  The Orks were the MSU-busters (something the Eldar were taking too much advantage of), while the Tau were Horde-busters.  There should never be a game like Chess that isn't called Chess, so the ability to pump out a codex that pares against the previous codex in only a few weeks is refreshing.

  But now I have to join the whining.  I wasn't upset when my new edition of the core rules was updated only a year later.  I wasn't upset when my beautiful Imperial Knights book was made inaccurate after only a couple of weeks.  I wasn't even upset when my Escalation and Stronghold Assault books were made obsolete within a couple of months.  But I am upset about Eldar.

  I'm upset because of everything I listed above.  I'm upset because Eldar were already considered to be the 'top' army since 5th edition (and way more so in 7th).  I'm upset because their codex was done after Chaos Marines (which have a couple of GREAT supplements), Dark Angels (GW loves picking on the guys wearing dresses), Daemons (but Daemon-kin rules!), and Tau (which are redonk in this edition!).  Orks Dark Eldar, Space Marines, Astra Militarum, and the other colours have been redone since.  And Eldar are still, as a codex, better than all of them.  Chaos Marines could use an update (although I think the codex is better than people give it credit for, and I'm a WB player, the worst choice in the whole book) while Dark Angels are just terrible.  Where's their love?

  So let me get this straight- I spend hundreds on books that are obsoleted almost immediately?  And then the armies are redone so quickly that I spend hundreds more a as a 'veteran' just to keep up?  And now I find out that the order of books being released is not logical or rational in any way!?  Eldar don't need the love but get it.  The rumours are also indicating that Space Marines get an update later this year (I'm hoping they mean Dark Angels or I'm gonna flip), and the Imperial Knights as well!  So now even my supplemental supplements (like the Imperial Knights codex) aren't safe!  And so I'm upset.

  Let's add a little salt to the wound- I have the codex for Assassins.  I love that book (all 6 pages of it) and can't wait to use it.  It's not available as hard-print, forcing me to depend on my computer for the rules.  But GW can't leave anything alone, so they've decided to release a board game with Assassins later this year (it looks cool too!).  The models are pretty good (certainly better than the 1992 models that have held well for decades), and the 40k rules are already leaking as GW plans on making this a 40k supplement as well.  The rules are the same as currently exist in the digital codex.  But somehow, someway, I know that that new expansion (be in a WD article or another supplemental supplement) will somehow obsolete my old rules and maybe even the models (or not, GW's not that bad, usually).  It's the principle at this point-

  Is GW just out to get my money or are they trying to upset me?  I already own enough models to start a mortgage on a house, and I already have all the rules since 3rd edition, what else is there?  I'm gonna need GW to slow their roll just a bit and add some sort of logic to their decision.  I know that GW is a 'miniatures company', not a 'game company' (which is true, even if the community seems to think their interpretation of it is far more accurate than the company itself), but I don't need miniatures- I need game pieces!  I can play almost any army in the game, but I'd like to know that I'm not throwing money away trying to do that.  I don't need any more Eldar codices (I have 5 or 6 so far, with the next one only days away).  There will come a point where I'm not going to buy another one ever again.  And that applies to everything else in the game (another $50 Knight codex may lead to a long drive and a loud office, just sayin'...).  If you want me to enjoy your product, GW, slow down.  Just... slow down.

  Let me know if I'm being crazy here or if you agree.  In the meantime, Happy Gaming!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

We finally got back to DnD!

  Hey, it's not like I set this group up at the beginning of the year or anything.  But between various job duties for my buddies and my own extenuating circumstances, it took months and months to get this going.  But we were able get together finally and play the first session.

  We're using 5th edition rules, because they're cool.  Admittedly, I need to reread and reread again everything because I'm still calling for skill checks that haven't existed since '98.  But I'm a role-playing DM, so the rules can work however I need.  More imporantly, I had to set up the area and make it comfortable for everyone.  

Ah, a DnD table with plenty of room, always a complaint...

My little area, complete with dice and NPC mins and the write-up and...  Still lots of room!
 Now these guys are about 'new' to my DMing.  One guy has never played a pencil-and-paper RPG, another hasn't played since 1980, and the third is new to 5th edition.  My fourth guy has been totally busy, so I had to adjust and write an adventure for these three.  It was awesome.

I changed their faces to protect the identities of those involved.  Plus, I found the paint program on my reader!!!
  The end of the session saw them all involved and waiting for the next step, and we had to close it down because it was late.  Luckily, I had written the end point for this session into the adventure already, and the session took a bit longer just because everyone was so 'new'.  

  Next session sees them delve into their first dungeon and truly begin the epic quest I have them on right now.  Maybe there'll be details to come, but we'll have to see.  Stay tuned!

  Have y'all been role-playing at all?  I'm only just getting back into it since 2006 myself and it's FUN!  Happy Gaming!