Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Flames of War's Loss is 40k's Gain

I feel sorry for long time Flames of War players.

When I got back into wargaming I did start a Flames of War British 8th Army army. I collected a few infantry companies, an artillery battery, and some Matilda tanks but when I worked out how much it was going to cost to get the rest of the stuff I needed, and the price of the books (I come from a gaming generation in which a rule book that costs more than a fiver is an extravagance) I knocked it on the head. Oh, and I was a bit annoyed when they stopped guests looking at the gallery on the forums and the forums in general - true I was doing it largely because I wanted to look at points costs, and I could have continued to do so by registering, but I would rather not be marketed at by a company that I already felt was ripping me off.

Regular readers will know that I am not a fan of the game. My reasons are mainly to do with the way the game fetishises Nazism, but that is by-the-by. If people want to play the game, and they enjoy it, then good luck to them.

Which brings me to why I feel sorry for long time Flames of War players.

If the interwebz is to be believed, those disgruntled with 40k are piling into Flames of War in much the same way as disgruntled fantasy players are supposed to have piled into Warmachine. On the face of it this should be good news for Flames of War players, after all who doesn't want more people playing your favourite game?

Except that the people making the jump are at the nutty end of the 40k spectrum, in exactly the same way as Warmachine has cleansed WFB of the knuckledragging element.

Flames of War grognards can look forward to a future of netlisting, internut wisdom, bullying conformity, min maxing, rules exploits, tournaments, and angry Americans unaware that frankly no one gives a shit about 'their local area'... and all of it neatly bundled into that most weasel of words, 'community'.

Of course this is good news for 40k players - if you allow for the nutters who are akin to the angry ex who hangs around the interwebz slagging off their former love - because with a new edition pending, and the crazies out of the way they can enjoy their games again. After all 8th edition has a far more enjoyable general culture since the 'mass' rage quit, why shouldn't 40k get the same filip?

Oh and while I am on the subject. I did find myself shaking my head at a review of the latest Flames of War rule book. According to the reviewer it was a positive that the new book is longer than the last book. It's about 300 pages or so. No doubt there are lots of pictures, and text boxes with anti-historical factoids, but I really don't understand this trend for bloated rules.

Still, it does offer endless opportunities for us casual observers to have a laugh. My personal source of amusement are those discussions in which the converts claim that the fluff - i.e. the history - doesn't matter because the rules allow them to do whatever janky shenanigans they are using to win (AAC;)).


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