Saturday, September 24, 2011

Change Is Coming...

A.Mikhailov. Bitter bread
Can you feel it? There's a palpable sense of dread befalling 40K these days. A sort of unconscious collective understanding that 40K and it's creator, Games Workshop, cannot continue in their current form. That the game/company is, in some sense, doomed. That it's players are just biding their time until the hammer finally falls sometime in the next 2 years. After which our little competitive community might well die on the vine.

For me at least, it seems like GW will limp along producing sub-par codices and over-priced models until 6th Edition 40K comes out next year. Then we'll all collectively gasp either in horror or in love at the new rules. After that we'll get hit with the reality of what it will cost each of us to rebuild our armies and stay in the game. Because GW will want it's edition-change cash grab. It's part of their STC. Global recession or not.

So where does that leave us competitive gamers? If the rumors are to be believed, then 40K is headed the way of Warhammer Fantasy. Where GW attempted to 'fix' the system and add 'fun' by introducing bucket loads of randomness. But too much randomness screws over players with actual skill. Which is why the Indianapolis Fantasy Battle community, after an initial surge of interest, is all but dead right now. Because it's impossible to really get good at playing Candyland. Past a certain point, it just doesn't matter.

I don't want to see 40K die the same death. Not after all the work we've all done to improve the competitive 40K scene here in Indy and elsewhere. Deep down, I still have a lot of love for this crazy game. I just wish it was better written and supported. That it played a bit faster. That it reflected the fluff better. That it was written with the needs of the competitive community in mind. That it wasn't tied to a particularly greedy corporation that uses it to suck money from our wallets while giving us as little as possible in return.

And that maybe, just maybe, 40K as a game might survive the poor leadership of idiots like Tom Kirby. Who only see our loyalty as a path to the golden parachute they'll use to jump out of GW before our hobby crashes and burns.

So I've decided to strike out and make a difference by starting this blog. What I want to do is create a community-focused 40K-like rule set. One that's independent of GW's control. Not a mod, not a tweak here or there. A completely new set of rules.  A re-think. As different from the 40K we know now as Warpath or Flames of War are. Yet at the same time, more familiar, more natural, more RIGHT than 5th Edition itself is. Because we'll design the armies in tandem with the core rules. Instead of trying to jump through the hoops created by decade-old army books we'll test and update everything at once.

In short, what I want to do is boil 40K down to it's barest essence, the absolute foundation of what makes this game fun. Then I want to add in new, better thought out rules and mechanics that will make the game easier, faster, fluffier, more balanced, more competitive, and more fun overall to play. While being original enough in execution to call our very own. An independent IP. One which won't be warped and distorted to help prop up a dying retail business. One which is fluff-independent and which can potentially incorporate a faction from Warpath, Malifaux, or Infinity as easily as any of 40K's races.

I'm going to need some help though. I can't do this alone. I'm going to need folks to bounce ideas off of, help write rules, and ruthlessly test everything created here. I can get the ball rolling, but without a community of fellow designers, this project won't get very far.

Who's with me?


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