Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Fickle Tide

I don't have an outline in my head for this post. It is going to be a stream of consciousness rant about the online 40k community.

There has been buzz about Necron for the last 4 years at least. During this time and especially in the last year, the new of a new metal-zombie release was greeted with enthusiasm and excitement. there was wild speculation and rumormongering. Folks talked about how cool the new army would be and how hard they were going to be to beat.

Then the codex is released and all that changes for some reason.

The tone in the articles (and here I am primarily thinking of the flaccid BOLS) change from that of exuberance to ennui and disappointment. The immediate response is to declare seemingly overpowered units as "broken" (I really dislike that word) and seemingly bland units as worthless. This is before many of them have even played a game.

It seems to me that these people are their own victims. Almost nothing can live up to the hype and expectations that were generated. The sad part is, the same people that write about their disappointment in the finished product, were the same raising the expectations.

I am annoyed by this but mostly it makes me sad. Can't people be happy that this army is getting an update after over a decade. It seems that people should be happy for what they get rather than complaining that it did not meet their unreasonable expectations.

As a bit of a sidebar, there is another annoying trend with new codices and that is the intentional "breaking" by list building. Net lists bug me. Mostly it is the idiotic names they give them (e.g. Razorspan, DoA, Nidzilla, etc). The names are used from site to site with no clear definition of what they mean. Nidzilla might mean "all monstrous creatures" to one person but "at least three Carnifexes" to another and yet they both use the same word. It's poor communication at best and idiocy at worst.

Some people like netlists and they have their reasons. I don't and my reasons are simple. A good general can beat an evenly matches opponent. A great one can pull off a victory when outnumbered and outgunned. assuming that there is a "best possible army" in every codex, the general that wins with that army is not the equal of the general that can win with an inferior list.

Of course actual generals want the best men and equipment they can find and more often than not but they do the best with what they are given. A hero overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to achieve victory while a bully uses overwhelming force against an inferior opponent.

I am not saying that we should seek to handicap ourselves on the table top but I play this game to have fun and not to win all the time. I expect an entertaining game against a challenging and skilled opponent. I would rather play against someone with a beautifully painted army full of life,  background and fluff than a grey or primed army that was taken because it is the "best." At that point you may as well not even buy the minis and play with scraps of paper.

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