Thursday, April 1, 2010

Is it us?

Why are people so bad with the rules for 40K? It seems like a day does not go by where some blog publishes a post with an incorrect rule in it. Sometimes these mistakes are just little parts of battle report recaps or tactica but sometimes they are the whole basis for the post. Anytime I see this I try to leave a comment so that these things do not keep propagating through the player base. Sometimes people come back and tell me that I am wrong. Often when they do this they are correct or the rule is one of the great gray areas that haunt the system where they are just vague or make no sense.

Do you still encounter players who claim that if you charge into an ongoing combat the opponents models cannot attack the new chargers? I remember that happening to me during a small tournament not long after 5th edition so I discussed it with my opponent about it even though I was the one doing the charging. I swear that this is something that people saw in rumors and propagated since the actually rule is not crystal clear. Of course if you applied the logic that gets to that point to the rule properly you would end up with charging unit not being able to attack in close combat since they were also not engaged at the beginning of the assault.

You look at the Adepticon FAQ which is longer than the basic rulebook. It does include all the codices but still GW should being doing a better job of writing clear rules. You look at a site like warseer and see 15,000 topics and 220,000 thousand posts in the rules area. Sure many of these repeat every few months but come can we not read the rules or are they just overly complicated and not clear.

Can you look at the rules for the hive guard Impaler cannon and say for certain whether those rules are limiting covers saves the target can get or just trying to say how to treat cover for direct fire weapons that do not require LOS.

I look at the competition Blood Bowl rulebook which is like 40 pages with a 1 page FAQ. It is pretty clear because people have put in over 2 years of unpaid fulltime work into getting it into a clear, concise, and compact. The biggest problem with that rule set is that both the Block actions and Blitz actions have a Block in them and if their was an addition name for hitting people things could be clearer since many skills do not work for both block parts of blitz or block actions.


  1. Yeah, the rules are pretty terrible. GW even admits that with their "4+ it!" rule. If you want a war game with actual rules, try Privateer Press.

  2. GW's claim not to write rules for tournament play really doesn't excuse the sometimes ambiguous and sloppy wording in the rules. If they were tighter on wording, playtested more, there would be no need for massive FAQs like the INAT one.

  3. I think you could get the rules much cleaner by setting up a proper naming/catagorization convention for the special rules but that cannot happen without a total rewrite of all the codexes. GW follows the rule of cool and since pretty much every unit has to special rules.

  4. I am guilty of this. And, as you've said you point it out. Sometimes it is me remembering older editions of the game, sometimes it is me simply not reading a rule to it's completion.

    Some things I try and do to alleviate this before a tournament it to re-read all of the applicable BRB rules for my army and all of the special rules for ANY model I am including in the army I am taking.

    It helps, and for some reason I routinely get asked rules questions at tourneys (though I rarely Organize them since it's an hour drive to the shop)

    Nobody is infallible though.

    Nice post.

  5. I try not to be a jerk when I do leave a comment and I like it when the original poster replies and or edits the original post to correct any errors since not everyone reads all the comments on a post.

  6. I spent 30 min on Wednesday trying to explain wound allocation to someone who plays 40k weekly. They just could not wrap their brain around the multi wound model allocation and why you double up instead of spread dice around when all the models are the same. He was trying to do the Nob Biker cheese but just gave all the models the same Power Klaw. It doesn't help that some of the GW rules are split in different areas of the BRB.

    I am not a rules lawyer by any stretch but I do think the rules are very important to understand and follow. Keep posting your corrections in your usual friendly manner and if you reach even one person it will be worth it.

  7. I messed up wound allocation badly one time I can remember where I essentially allocated all the wounds to individual models. But it was an Apoc game and the first day 5th ed. was released so it did not matter to much.