Wednesday, 28 July 2010

8th Edition - A Pathfinder For Communism

I realise that it is difficult for tournament players to understand that Warhammer exists outside of Rankings HQ, or indeed that they are rather a minor element in the hobby, but if we are to believe Jervis Johnson and his Standard Bearer column that is indeed the case.

If further proof were needed - and indeed you had the time and inclination - you might care to tot up the number of players on the Ranking HQ website, and divide that by the sales figures revealed in GW's latest trading results. Unless we are to believe that tournament players are spending - let's guess - £40k (do you see what I did there?) a quarter on the hobby - then we can only assume that Mr Johnson is correct (and why won't he be with his salary in excess of 4000 boxes of Greatswords).

Which is not to say that tournament play is not important, or indeed that the old addage, 'empty vessels make most sound', hold water.

However what shouldn't be ignored is that tournament players are a community like any other, they have a hierachy, friendship bonds, and they are susceptable to group think - just like any other group with a common interest.

I say all this as a prelude, because I notice Dan Heelen - new convert to 8th edition and WAAC player - on his podcast Heelenhammer happened to mention a thread that has been running for a few days on the Warhammer forum about comping 8th edition.

Not to be specific about this. The thread is not a discussion about comping all tournaments everywhere and forever. It is about comping one tournament, that the OP is running and asking for opinions A) about his comp - which is basically to tone down the magic and reaign in stuff like the Hydra - and B) if people have any suggestions about what he should comp further.

Mr Heelan, being 'all about the hobby' - and pretty much a group thinker (like any convert) got this completely ars.... no wait there are potentially Americans reading this... back to front, and started banging on about how it was too early to comp 8th (group think).

Leaving aside the specifics of the various arguments - that you can read here - an offshoot of this discusson was a suggestion that the tournament organisers should write the lists - which in turn started a thread that you can read here.

If you lay aside your MacCarthyite electrodes for a moment, this is a suggestion that does have some merit. And funnily enough responders generally agree with this sentiment - obviously there are issues with it, such as people might be left with figures they never get to use (which happens now if you happen to buy stuff that is sub optimal or not min max), who will decide the balance of the armies (like anyone does now), it undermines people's right to play what they want (which is perhaps the weakest argument of all, because non comp does that already - exclusing whole army books). And this approach has one massive advantage over all comp systems. If it turns out that one army is winning everything - no matter who is playing it - you don't have to wait for a new army book, you just have to tweek the list/lists - which would be more effective than comp because there is no way around a set list in a way there is around comp.

What people have yet to grasp - and it is something they need to grasp before the same old same old becomes the norm again - is that 8th edition offers an opportunty for something new. Just as there is a place for 'Ard Boyz - however distasteful that might be (I'm thinking specifically about not having to paint your figures) - there is surely enough space in the hobby for alternative tournaments, and alternative tournament systems.

Yeah I know I'm pis.... ooops Americans might potentially read this.... spi.... ooops Americans might potentially read this.... I'm wishlisting, but it doesn't mean that it can't or won't happen.

After all there is a vast resevoir of gamers who are not involved in tournaments - for any number of reasons - but they might go for campaign weekends, or structured scenario gaming or indeed anything other than the soulless search for ways to bump up your plastic pen.... oooops Americans might read this.... member.


1 comment:

  1. From what I have heard general 50% of a GW stores sale come from only the top 10-15% of the customers. While I doubt that very many people are spending 40K a year on GW stuff there are plenty of people spending thousands.