Saturday, 23 January 2010

Do you know the rules?

I have a confession to make, I don't know the rules for 40k, do you?

Well, that isn't strictly true, I actually know loads of rules for 40k. They might not be the right ones, but I do know loads of them from numerous different editions and they've all sort of amalgamated in to one set of rules and so I suffer from MES, Multiple Edition Syndrome. As some of you are aware, this year I'm really trying to get some games in and I'm planning on going to the UKGT at the end of the year but over the past couple of weeks, I've had a couple of situations that have made realise that I really need to get my head in the rulebook and read it properly.

First off, I've started getting off my backside and getting down to the club to get some games in. Now, at the club, we've got a relatively new player Draz (who's actually a FTW blogger too - check this blog, give him some encouragement and tell him not to feel so bad when I hand him his arse on a plate - lol). Now Draz is quite different from all the other players at the club in that he's only played 5ed, and so the rules are clean and fresh in his mind, whereas the rest of us suffer fom multiple edition syndrome, and so I've found myself, and man of nearly two decades of gaming under his belt asking 'the new guy' for rule clarifications.

Secondly, I got into a brief discussion online regarding firing multiple plasma weapons and the allocation of get's hot wounds. Halfway through, I decided that I'd recheck the rule book and low and behold, there it was, perfectly clear in black and white. Now I've read that section numerous times and never really taken in the rule, perhaps it was selective reading, I don't know, but I do know is that it's not on if I want to go to the GT.

And finally, I played a game against Dunc and his new nasty nids at the club last night. We played CnC with a spearhead deployment. Dunc had his objective buried in cover surrounded by as sea of little nids and nid nasties, whereas my objective was right in the corner with no terrain with 18 inches of it on the far right of my long table edge. The plan was simple, I reserved everything and then deployed a large distraction force on the far left of the table to draw his nids away from the objectives and then bring a unit in from reserves to claim my objective whilst using my valk with the command squad to contest his and that's exactly how it happened - perfectly. At the end of the game, my valk sat on top of his objective surrounded by nid units and a vanquisher sat on top of mine. It was at that point that Dunc pointed out that tanks can't claim objectives and so it was a draw. If I'd just deployed one of the vet squads on the objective instead of part of the distraction force, the game would have mine. Not remembering that fact cost me the game - gutted!

So, that's when I came to the realisation that I really do need to get my head in the rulebook at learn the smegging rules, or I'm going to look at (insert insulting name here) at the GT at the end of the year.

So, am I the only one who suffers from multiple edition syndrome? Do you know the rules? Are you sure?


Unknown said...

Where I live in the States ther arnt any gaming clubs or many players who go to the local hobby store. There is just me and my bud to play so we often will come to a new game against eachother with rules out of the 5th ed. That is new to us. But yes, I often will start remembering rules from 3rd or 4th and go to find it in the BRB only to find the current rule is different.

Soundwave said...

With regards to the Gets Hot rule I just roll each guy seperately. Whereabouts is the rule for doing multiple plasma? I looked in the Gets Hot section but couldn't find it.

I always think I know more rules than I actually do :P

Col. Corbane said...

@Lach - it doesn't matter where you are or who you play with mate, MES can strike any old gamer ;-)

@Soundwave - It's the bit that says that the "firing model" suffers a wound on a 1. I've always rolled them separately anyway but the guy I was chatting with was saying that he rolled them all together and them applied all the get's hot wounds for multiple guys firing plasma on one guy so he didn't risk losing more than one model.

davetaylor said...

Good article! I too suffer from MES, but I've lowered my expectations ; )

Best of luck with tidying up your knowledge in your run for the GT. I hope to make it over for one, one of these days.

Col. Corbane said...

See everyone, even the famous suffer from MES!

@Dave - Thanks mate, I hope you make it over sometime, I'd love to have a chance to kill that Pact force of yours ;-)

Perhaps you could get WI to punt up the airfare - lol

Blitzspear said...

I'm trying hard to forget any rules i've learnt before i read the new ones but as i'll be learning them along with my son hopefully they will stick, plus it's been a decade since i played.

Col. Corbane said...

Blitz, I hope you manage to clean up your MES infection before teaching your son. It would be such a shame for one so young to be infected with MES on his first edition.

Normally the young have a natural immunity, but mixing with older gamers can drastically increase their chances of getting MES. Go carefully mate. ;-)

Good luck with playing with your son mate, I can't wait until mine is old enough and hopefully he'll be interested when he is.

The Dark Templar said...

I knew the 4th Ed rules inside out and back to front and came a complete cropper when 5th Ed turned up.

I've always found the best way to learn rules is to play games rather than just read the rulebook – questions always come up mid-game that involve a quick scan through the relevant rules section. Also, post-game I find I will re-read a section that caused issue and discover something I didn't know.

For what it's worth I've played I don't know how many tournament games where my opponent didn't know the rules (or tried to blag something) so knowing the sneaky stuff or potential loop holes does help.

Flekkzo said...

Not remembering all the rules and nothing but the current rules is something we all face. I've never play anything but fifth but it is still hard to remember the rules. I've got a few musings about it in my own case.

The rules are written with a beginner in mind. I don't like that one bit! I will only be a beginner for a while, then it will only be a hindrance for me. The sectioning of the rules become odd and it is hard to find what you want and easy to miss things as the rules are spread out like crazy.

Less talk more rules. The rules are written as a story, an often confusing story. It might be that I am an engineer (software) but I prefer things sectioned up. One description and then the rule. I rather have a table with what the weapons do (power, force, rending, etc) than a bunch of text.

Unclear rules. Even the clearer ones gets misinterpreted. This can only mean that the rules need to be written better. There are other games out there that present their rules far better. GW needs to shape up.

So, I don't think that it is just old ghosts of memories that haunt you my dear fellow, it's the rules themselves as well.

Oh, and I don't see how you could put a wound on someone else if your plasma blows up. It blows up! Can't use it…

Da Masta Cheef said...

Usually when we have multiple guys firing plasma guns & a few ones pop up, we just consider it a '1 for everybody' Sergeant's with plasma pistols are usually rolled separately as they often have power weapons & what not, and don't want to inadvertently die due to one of the guys behind him rolling a snake eyes.

As for 'MES' lol, I've never heard it referred to as such, but yes, it is somewhat of an epidemic. Whenever it finally gets cured, GW releases a new edition, just the nature of the beast I suppose.

Col. Corbane said...

@DT - Yeah, I've found that playing the game challenges me to learn the rules far more, much like my last example.

@Flek - In truth mate, you've got to give GW some slack, 40k is a hell of a complicated game. I wouldn't want to have to sort the rulebook into a logical order like a tech manual, it'd be a nightmare job and the game was designed to be fun and played co-operatively, 40k was born out of roleplay which is a co-operative for fun game. That's the curse of a logical mind in an illogical world my friend.

@DMC - You're unlikely to have heard of MES mate, I only made it up this morning - lol.

Flekkzo said...

@Corbana I'm the last one that wants it to be a tech manual, they are aweful:) All I am saying is that they should write the book the way it most often is used, as something that is next to the game and will be referenced. I should be able to go one place, read, and understand.

I do think that a good technical writer could do wonders at GW. And if you ever looked at what Privateer Press are producing you know that one can do better. In fact, I've been thinking of distilling down the GW rules to reference form. For quick access:)

That said, I've found through the years that people work differently. So all I can offer is my perspective. But that is the cool thing here, so can anyone else. Don't tell me I am wrong, tell me of your perspective. I am both curious and interested.

About plasma. Are we talking about giving the wound to any of the guys with a plasma weapon and the same gear? I would be fine with that (but not stacking two on one model feels wrong as it is the plasma guy that gets it directly) but not spreading it to others to save a better weapon.

Wound allocation is something I hope change in the future…

Dverning said...

Oh man, I know what you're talking about there. I used to have MES all the time. When I was playing casually it wasn't really a big deal to constantly reference the rulebook, but became a problem when I started playing more on the tournament scene and especially when I was running tournaments. The worst are those rules that have only changed by a word or two...

So around 3rd I started two new habits:
1. When a new rulebook or codex releases, I sit down and read the entire rules section and take notes. It's easy to gloss over or forget changes when you're just reading. Taking notes at the same time forces that extra bit of comprehension. This also makes a handy "cheat sheet" when you head to the table for practice games.
2. Every time I sit down to paint, I read a single rule or subsection. Then while I paint I analyze exactly what was said (or left unsaid) and how it was said.

There are several other things I do to combat MES such as taking notes of the most commonly made errors or questions during a game, surfing forums and sites for rules minutiae, and teaching new people the game... but the above two habits are probably the most useful.

Cheers and great article!

Boarding Mission said...

I fixed this for me by playing against other people who dont know the rules and when we come to something we don't know, we just go with the intuitive answer and keep playing.

Wienas said...

Teaching new players the game is a great way to check your knowledge. There's nothing like being called out by the guy that's only played the game twice :)

I also like to play a lot of small point games (400-500 points). You can usually get 2-3 games in an evening, use different units with some wacky missions, and this will bring up lots of situations that will test your knowledge of the rules as well.

Dark Apostle Drazilek said...

Take 2.

I find out of the rules I know they seem to be slightly more obscure, for instance when you first played Dunc and his nids and I knew a fair few of their seperate rules regardless of not playing them or playing against them.

MES seems to be in everyones life at some extent. Poker was a perfect example. Lol.

I also think an issue we may come up against at the club is lack of 40k enthusiasm, and thus a lack of army variety, especially on the competitive side. At some point I want to start doing GTs so compeition would be nice.

... once I have slaughtered your army... what else is there? Lol.


Col. Corbane said...

OK Guys, forgive my typing and the logic engine might be a bit broken this morning, it was poker night last night and I'm running on 4 hours sleep :-0

@Flek - Soz mate, but I can't discuss plasma now, I'll do a blog about it later mate. I get what you mean about perspectives, and they do vary a lot. FTW Ron's got some good reference sheets, they might be worth a look.

@Dvern - Consider those habits nicked. Excellent ideas mate.

@Ron - That's the joy of casual gaming but I think I'll get lynched If I try to come up with my own rules at the UKGT mate ;-)

@Wienas - I like the idea of small games mate, might give that a go at the club, thanks for the idea.

@Draz - Let me get this right, you sit next to me from 7.30pm to 3am playing poker, go home and reply to my blog? Didn't you have work this morning?

You're bang on about the club, they're really not a competitive bunch, with the exception of John and so I've had the same problem where both of me and my opponent haven't known the rules correctly and my opponent hasn't even felt it necessary to challenge me rules wise, so it's not the best environment to learn the rules.

Also mate, you've got to finish getting your army before you can slaughter me, hopefully that money you won last night will help. I'm so glad 40k doesn't use a deck of cards like malifaux you ******** ******* ******* jack fairy!