Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Why or Why Not Forgeworld?

So the "major" GT scene is split this year on the issue of Forgeworld. Events like NOVA, 11th Co, BFS, AdeptiCon are going without it for their GT's ... events like BAO, WGC, FOB are going with it.

The most important thing to lead off with is this:

There is no correct answer to this question.
There are valid and invalid reasons for holding each position, certainly, and that's mostly what I'll ponder about ... but there are no correct or incorrect answers to the simple question: Should FW be allowed in your GT.

No matter what you do, the internet punditocracy is going to have its own thoughts about whether you should or shouldn't.

With regard to NOVA, it was a fairly large internal discussion with a lot of back and forth ... here's what pushed us to having FW be in the Trios and Narrative, but not the GT or Invitational:

1. Evidence came out over the year from UK testers that was fairly definitive as to the subject of playtesting - FW isn't playtested, or even involved in the balancing/playtesting process (such as / whatever it is).
1a. The game is increasingly balanced for all levels of play, with each new updated codex ... lending more credence to NOT including (in the more competitive formats of the GT and Invitational) non-tested/balanced rules.

2. None of us could remember ever really playing pick-up games at local game stores, social game nights, or local GW's where anyone - especially casual players - was even routinely aware of FW, much less interested in playing with FW rules. The push to use them was coming almost exclusively [at least on our radar] from more tournament-savvy people (though not exclusively from competitive minded people).

3. MOST gamers, even those who advocated FW heavily, weren't even aware of the existence of half or more of the units they wanted to legalize. As a result, many of the arguments about balance fixated on Sabres, Boarding Flyers (w/e their name is, I always forget), etc., and they consistently wound up stammering when faced with units like Quad Guns, or the (can't remember his name) Shrouding/Disordered + Nullzone/Divination 160 point libby, etc.

4. Arguments about "balancing" flyer-heavy armies were rendered somewhat pointless by the broad lack of consistent tournament-wining success by flyer-heavy armies.

There were a number of arguments for and against exclusive of those, but those seemed to consistently crop up more commonly.

On a personal level, I don't care all that much ... the only thing that gets to me is the lack of open, blatant admission of desire on the part of those who are really pushing hard for FW. There are plenty of players who want to use their cool FW models ... but they've been pushing to legalize FW for years, long before 6th edition.

Truth: Fifth edition was very vehicle-heavy
Truth: FW doesn't have all that much that's dramatically or meaningfully better than stock standard codices in terms of anti-vehicle

Truth: Fifth edition didn't have allies, and MOST of the really powerful FW stuff is IG
Truth: Now that MOST of the armies in the game can ally with IG in some way, the more powerful FW units are now more broadly available

Truth: Sixth edition is more infantry-heavy, and more flyer-heavy.
Truth: Forgeworld units - especially IG (see above) - are quite exceptional at killing flyers and infantry (Especially mass infantry, see: quad gun) ...

None of these factors are considered on a regular basis by truly casual or majority gamers. They are considered by power gamers ... by meta-reacting gamers ... by people who want to bring the most powerful army possible to the table.

I'm often one of these guys ... and there's NOTHING WRONG with admitting that you want to use FW b/c it gives you powerful answers to big infantry formations, and to flyers.

That component of the argument didn't really impact any decision making on our part ... BUT I see a ton of people out there trying to come up with all kinds of oblique ways to argue for FW, when at the heart of it for a LOT of them it's simply that FW gives them a lot of potent options, and they want to use them.

It's always a hot button issue to discuss, but what really is the motivator?
One of our local more prominent competitive gamers wants to go to WGC this year. He really wants to take a bunch of sabres, vultures, and quad guns. I could almost swear he's more excited to go to WGC as a direct result of FW legality. BUT his reason is not b/c he thinks FW is cool ... but b/c he believes most poeple wont' be taking FW, and doing so himself gives him a huge natural advantage over them.

Food for thought and discussion ... acknowledging (and don't go at me on this one, please) that there's NOTHING wrong with legalizing FW at a tournament, and it's totally just a tourney-by-tourney decision ... what are the REAL reasons it's being pushed by so many more players this edition who are loud and vocal on the internet (many of whom are known competitors)? Is it being pushed so much more b/c suddenly GW has done something or made some big announcement that it's meant to be included in most types of games ...? OR is it that the shift in the meta of 6th edition + allies inclusion now aligns the powerful units OF forgeworld with a much larger # of players ... all of whom naturally have a conscious or subconsious inclination to try and get whatever boost up they can within a brand new gaming environment?

There's nothing wrong with any answer ... but there is something wrong with judging people for it ... so try to keep discussion focused on trying to figure out WHY people want it so much all of a sudden ... and not on whether you think they're smart or good or wrong or right as a result.


  1. I think there are several reasons why the Pro-FW push has grown in 6th.

    1.) You have the Pro-FW people who already have and like their cool models, and want to use them (a friend of mine plays Wraith Guard heavy eldar with things like a Wraith Seer when FW is allowed). These people were around in 5th and continue to be around in 6th.

    2.) 6th edition changes lent some steam to aruments of Pro FW folks. The addition of Flyers (and general lack of skyfire early in the edition) is something people could latch onto for FW inclusion. The same goes for Hull points, some of the unbalanced FW units in 5th were vehicles ignoring much parts of the vehicle damage rules. 6th brought them back into balance. Essentially the Pro-FW crew that existed now had more compelling arguments for FW.

    3.) The 40k Approved stamp was put into FW books toward the end of 5th, and led to people wanting to adopt these units as "legal". So the move toward FW was starting up in earnest at the end of 5th.

    4.) Edition Change, when the Meta has changed/is changing, it is easier to adopt additions to it. At the end of 5th people did not want to give up their power lists in a stable meta. Now with the meta not being set at the early days of 6th it was easier to think about the inclusion of those units.

    5.) The 6th ed meta and allies. Competitive players that used marines in 5th with success now see the ability to add IG FW units to buff their army.

    You are right though there is no "right" answer, the real right answer is whatever players enjoy.

  2. Good post!

    As a competitive player, I'm ok with events running FW, though I lean towards not allowing FW. Not going to cry one way or another. But I do think the current GW codex set is fairly balanced. Allies makes all the difference in the world.

    On a more Pepto-Bismol level, there is something more overwhelming with including FW. I don't know much about FW. And frankly, I don't want to have to go out and pick up the necessary books. GW is keeping me busy enough, which is awesome.

    Speaking of Pepto, I'm signed up for the Gladiator event at Adepticon (Assuming I don't make final 16 at Championships. Ha!) Talk about pure head spinning options! Totally crazy. Kinda cool. But also overwhelming for those of us who can't hardly help thinking through options.

  3. My honest highly competitive answer is:

    I dont know alot about FW and also dont want to have to buy dozens of books to see what works or me. Competitive players will find the edge eitger way. If I think I may be fighting a titan, I will adjust...or if there will be 3 sabres in every ig allied detachment I might drop my flyers. A la Bao.

    Who wants to play against units they have never seen? Who has the edge

  4. When you say Quad Gun in your article you mean Thudd Gun.

    The full forge world beast has yet to be released on a tournament. When someone lays out $800.00 worth of forge world and brings it to a tournament it will be interesting to see what people think of it then.

  5. Earth Shakers, Sabres, and Vultures would put Tau to shame in terms of potential fire power. It would be a good way to spend 800 dollars too Blackmoor ;) lol.

  6. Just to clarify, the FOB Invitational does not allow forgeworld.


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