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Is Warhammer 40k Too Complex?
Big Yes - I can't wrap my head around it any more
Yes - But I deal with it anyway
Yes - But I enjoy the complexity
Unsure/Just want to vote
No - It's not really all that complex
Big No - This is the easiest edition I've ever played

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Made in it
Gargantuan Gargant




Italy

Big no, it's not complex at all, it's really the easiest edition I've ever played, along with 8th maybe. And in my opinion that's a positive thing.

However it is actually over complicated by the sheer amount of datasheets and rules bloat. Most of the codexes could easily have a third of those without losing anything. Not a big deal, there's no reason to keep in mind all the rules and the possible combinations of every factions. Still, when half+ the rules/datasheets are constantly ignored it means that GW could have done a better job.


 
   
Made in de
Longtime Dakkanaut





No, it's not complex.

The game became too simple for my tastes when they deleted modifiers to hit rolls. This happened in 3rd. Tells you what they think of their customers:
Morons which shouldn't be burdened with minor additions and subtraction to a roll.
And they tried to sell us that change with "speeding up play". As if you couldn't do basic math in a heartbeat.
   
Made in gb
Decrepit Dakkanaut




UK

As others have said its not the actual rules which are complex, but more how GW presents them

The fragmented nature of multiple expansion books and such, even if each one is only adding a warscroll worth of rules, makes it harder to see the big picture when you're flipping between multiple reference points to build an army.

FAQ/Errata are fine, but the more documents you have to update the more of them you end up wtih so instead of one per codex and one for the core rules, you also end up with more additions as well for the sub books and such.


Another thing is how GW presents information within the books. There was a time that everything for a unit was on the page for it; points, weapon profiles everything. Even if it meant the same weapon got its profile repeated multiple times.

These days GW presents the codex more like an update sheet, one reference for many things, which means each model has fragmented information in different places. It might be easier for GW to update in the back, but it makes it harder when you have ot flip around the book more. It's not as bad as it was - there was a time every unit had two profile pages in the book not to mention points and weapon and upgrade profiles elswhere.


Most things are simple - its just the way GW presents the information that makes it complex to take in






Finally we've the issue of how GW writes rules. They establish core rules, then a codex which changes some of those core rules, then another codex whcih also changes them. Then you play the two together and it can be complicated working out who has priority and what overrides take place and when. Sometimes these are a simple case of sorting out the order of how things happen, which is sort of there in the rules but not often spelled or presented clearly.



Finally there's complexity through edition change. Old players remember bits of previous editions and get confused because a rule that used to work one way now works another way; or a rule that used to be called one thing is now called something else. This can lead to confusion because you're miss remembering how something works. Especially if how it used to work was "better" and how it works now is "worse".



In the end GW doesn't help the rules help themselves; fragmented presentation; loose writing and edition changes make the game feel far more complicated than it really is.

A Blog in Miniature

The Swarm Arises

Do you ever notice, sometimes, there's an extra post? 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





I think the previous poster who referred to 40k as unwieldy has it right.

I don't think complex or complicated are quite the right description, but unwieldy and inelegant for sure.

I would prefer to see 40k with a solid, elegant core rules system which provides a framework for the game. Special rules etc should work within this framework. At present there are too many exceptions to rules or special rules that could be represented by fully utilizing the core rules (such as stat blocks rather than special rules), and there are far too many auras, buffs, strategems, exceptions etc in my view.
   
Made in ca
Legendary Master of the Chapter





 H.B.M.C. wrote:
I think you're right Deadknight. Neither word is sufficient.

BattleTech is an intensely complex game with rulebooks out the wazoo, but it's far easier to play it than 40k. At the same time, 40k isn't really complicated in that it isn't difficult to play.

There's just so much of it though.

So... unwieldy then.


agreed 100%. I laugh when people complain that 40k is too complicated (hell during the days of 6th/7th edition when people said 40k was too complex and needed to...... well basicly be turned to 8th edition) I laughed because yeah I got into table top through battletech and the game is MUCH more complex, but at the same time it's also more elegantly designed so it runs fairly smooth. (there's a reason the game has barely changed in 30 years)
IMHO 40k suffers from not being complex eneugh so in an attempt to add some depth etc. they just layer things on. I mean at the end of the day every stratagum etc in the book can be summed up as "+1 or -1 to a roll (or otherwise modify things), re-roll something, deal mortal wounds etc)

I mean the movement modifers to battletech add a whole new dimension to the tactics.

I enjoy 40k, don't get me wrong, but 40k is not a complex game, and IMHO the lack of complexity makes it suffer.


Opinions are not facts please don't confuse the two 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




NE Ohio, USA

 Strg Alt wrote:
No, it's not complex.

The game became too simple for my tastes when they deleted modifiers to hit rolls. This happened in 3rd. Tells you what they think of their customers:
Morons which shouldn't be burdened with minor additions and subtraction to a roll.
And they tried to sell us that change with "speeding up play". As if you couldn't do basic math in a heartbeat.


And here in 8e+, with the elimination of vehicle facings/fire arcs the morons get a pass on telling Left/Right/Front/Back apart.

   
Made in us
Krazed Killa Kan






The decade leading up to 8th was a mixture of simplistic core gameplay with some tactical depth and niche mechanics that added to the complexity of the game. It became quite bloated with a ton of rules within rules going on which make it difficult for some to get into the game and made referencing rules annoying without a good memory or a cheat sheet. There where a lot of little things that could change the outcome of a battle beyond just which way the dice happen to go, even if they where often times clunky in execution.

After 8th all the bits of depth went away while the core game became even more simplistic. Still ended up with a lot of rules bloat between memorizing all the stratagems and the layering of bonuses on top of bonuses. 8th was a barren wasteland of meaningful complexity or strategy while 9th seems to have added a bit more to the basically non existent terrain rules (seriously how the zog did GW look at 8th's terrain rules and think "this is fit for purpose") as well as adding a bit more depth than "shoot all the things" but it still pales in comparison to what could be done in past editions.

"Hold my shoota, I'm goin in"
Armies (7th edition points)
7000+ Points Death Skullz
4000 Points
+ + 3000 Points "The Fiery Heart of the Emperor"
3500 Points "Void Kraken" Space Marines
3000 Points "Bard's Booze Cruise" 
   
Made in gb
Regular Dakkanaut




Coming from other games, the depth and solidness of 40K rules is laughable. Its like being asked to draw a picture using crayons when you have previously used technical drawing tools, CAD etc. However, even with crayons you can still draw a picture.

The rules are good enough to get a fun beer and pretzels game out with like minded individuals. And that where GW is aiming their rule sets anyway so.... mission accomplished?

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/08/04 12:41:14


 
   
Made in gb
Ship's Officer





Bristol (UK)

I find this many layers of bloat terrible for a 'beer and pretzels' game.
Beer and pretzels mean I don't want to care enough, or invest enough, to be able to learn this many army rules. If I need a spreadsheet or a printout to remember the majority of my rules (despite playing fairly regularly still), that's way too much to be taking casually.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/08/04 12:49:48


 
   
Made in ca
Longtime Dakkanaut





I voted yes but I like it.

Playing for synergy- ie. using a strat for unit in overlapping auras that synergizes with a subfaction trait to swing a game through a critical story event is just awesome to me.

As others have pointed out, base rules are fairly simple- it's the layering of buffs/ debuffs from multiple sources that adds complexity to the simple rules.

I also like the way rules are done in layers- it gives a dedicated group of players looking to create stories a lot of tools because you can strip away certain categories of rules more easily. It's easier, for example, to say "This is a pariah Nexus game, so Beyond the Veil abilities are on but Charadon abilities are off" than it is to go through a list of USRs to figure out which specific ones should/ should not be available to create a particular story effect in game.

Theatres of War are another nice layer that can be added, changed or stripped to reflect not only the geography in a battle, but also when in the sequence of a prolonged campaign a particular battle occurs.

   
Made in ca
Oberleutnant




Hogtown

The core rules mechanics are quite elegant (movement, psychic powers, shooting, fighting, wounding, resolving etc).

The problem is that it's a game of overwhelming exception. Knowledge of those original mechanics are far less important than rote memorization of modifier and mechanic skipping effects and powers.

I played consistently from 5th to the first day of 8th. Coming back now is pretty damn daunting. Which is unfortunate because I like the general streamlining of the core mechanics. It's everything else on top that makes the game difficult to wrap your head around.

 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




Annandale, VA

 kirotheavenger wrote:
I find this many layers of bloat terrible for a 'beer and pretzels' game.
Beer and pretzels mean I don't want to care enough, or invest enough, to be able to learn this many army rules. If I need a spreadsheet or a printout to remember the majority of my rules (despite playing fairly regularly still), that's way too much to be taking casually.


Pretty much this. I think OnePageRules Grimdark Future is currently doing a better 40K than 40K is.

I like complexity, but I really don't like complexity from bloat.
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut





To those people who say it’s not complicated - how much time do you have to put into the hobby

When I was a teenager I used to read and re read codexes and rule books and was pretty well immersed.

Now I have a demanding job and a baby I don’t have time to read the literature over and over again.
   
Made in us
Dakka Veteran





Complex definition - composed of many interconnected parts.

GW has purposely removed depth from the game added layers and layers of complexity to try and hide the shallow nature of the new design ethos.
   
Made in us
Shadowy Grot Kommittee Memba






 catbarf wrote:
 kirotheavenger wrote:
I find this many layers of bloat terrible for a 'beer and pretzels' game.
Beer and pretzels mean I don't want to care enough, or invest enough, to be able to learn this many army rules. If I need a spreadsheet or a printout to remember the majority of my rules (despite playing fairly regularly still), that's way too much to be taking casually.


Pretty much this. I think OnePageRules Grimdark Future is currently doing a better 40K than 40K is.

I like complexity, but I really don't like complexity from bloat.


if only it wasn't somehow deadlier AND more imbalanced, lol.

Can someone pretty please make a ruleset we can use with 40k minis that doesn't have the durability of every model be basically equivalent of butter under an industrial blowtorch? For some reason someone looked at all these minis wearing super high-tech space armor and thought "you know what will really convey the fantasy of this setting is EVERYTHING DYING THE SECOND SOMETHING LOOKS AT THEM FUNNY"

"I can't believe all these tryhard WAACs out there just care about winning all the time when it's supposed to be a game for fun!!!!!!! Also here's my 27 page essay on why marines are OP and Orkz should get a bunch of OP rules so I can win more games

-the_scotsman"

-ERJAK 
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Halifax

It's weird how little happens on the board given all the work needed to work out what happens on the board.

   
Made in us
Dakka Veteran





 Nurglitch wrote:
It's weird how little happens on the board given all the work neede Complex definition, composed of many interconnected partsed to work out what happens on the board.


This is the result of purposely removing depth and adding complexity.
   
Made in au
Owns Whole Set of Skullz Techpriests






Versteckt in den Schatten deines Geistes.

 Nurglitch wrote:
It's weird how little happens on the board given all the work needed to work out what happens on the board.
There's no time for stuff on the board. I've got to work out how many different sources of re-rolls and +1's I've got for every unit every turn.

Industrial Insanity - My Terrain Blog
"GW really needs to understand 'Less is more' when it comes to AoS." - Wha-Mu-077

 
   
Made in us
Powerful Pegasus Knight





Warhammer 40k is a game about rules. It's about constructing your army, understanding your special rules and the meta. Positional play on the battlefield is not the focus in any way shape or form. The more they get you thinking about your army's construction, the more you're going to worry about having the right models and units.


I hope Xenos Rampant is good.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/08/04 14:20:43


 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




Annandale, VA

 the_scotsman wrote:
if only it wasn't somehow deadlier AND more imbalanced, lol.

Can someone pretty please make a ruleset we can use with 40k minis that doesn't have the durability of every model be basically equivalent of butter under an industrial blowtorch? For some reason someone looked at all these minis wearing super high-tech space armor and thought "you know what will really convey the fantasy of this setting is EVERYTHING DYING THE SECOND SOMETHING LOOKS AT THEM FUNNY"


That's peculiar. My experience with Grimdark Future has been that it's less lethal than 40K. I mean, there's no roll to wound, but defense stats are generally pretty high, most troops are only rolling one die on attacks, and most importantly the layers of interconnected buffs are gone. Just running the numbers for a really basic matchup, Marines vs Guardsmen:

Ten Intercessors in 40K, rapid-firing in Tactical doctrine, kill 8.89 Guardsmen. Ten Guardsmen rapid-firing FRFSRF kill 1.11 Intercessors.

Ten Battle Brothers in GDF kill 4.44 Infantry. Ten Infantry kill 0.56 Battle Brothers.

If it's Marine-on-Marine, it's 2.22 kills in 40K versus 1.11 in GDF.

I'd also like to see a system where raw lethality is reduced in favor of playing up things like suppression, pinning, and flanking/fixing, but I definitely have not felt that GDF is /worse/ than 40K in that regard. At least it resolves a lot faster.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/08/04 14:24:16


 
   
Made in gb
Ship's Officer





Bristol (UK)

I heard GDF did a fairly major rebalance recently? I think one of the main things is that most 2+ defence got nerfed to 3+?
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




Annandale, VA

 kirotheavenger wrote:
I heard GDF did a fairly major rebalance recently? I think one of the main things is that most 2+ defence got nerfed to 3+?


If a blanket nerf did happen, it seems Marines were exempt.

hey wait a minute I've seen this one before-
   
Made in gb
Ship's Officer





Bristol (UK)

Oh maybe not then, they were who I heard the new most applied to.

Are Primaris still like 3x as lethal as Firstborn?

I read all about the game like a year ago but my local group weren't interested so I've mostly fallen out of the loop.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/08/04 14:34:31


 
   
Made in us
Shadowy Grot Kommittee Memba






 catbarf wrote:
 the_scotsman wrote:
if only it wasn't somehow deadlier AND more imbalanced, lol.

Can someone pretty please make a ruleset we can use with 40k minis that doesn't have the durability of every model be basically equivalent of butter under an industrial blowtorch? For some reason someone looked at all these minis wearing super high-tech space armor and thought "you know what will really convey the fantasy of this setting is EVERYTHING DYING THE SECOND SOMETHING LOOKS AT THEM FUNNY"


That's peculiar. My experience with Grimdark Future has been that it's less lethal than 40K. I mean, there's no roll to wound, but defense stats are generally pretty high, most troops are only rolling one die on attacks, and most importantly the layers of interconnected buffs are gone. Just running the numbers for a really basic matchup, Marines vs Guardsmen:

Ten Intercessors in 40K, rapid-firing in Tactical doctrine, kill 8.89 Guardsmen. Ten Guardsmen rapid-firing FRFSRF kill 1.11 Intercessors.

Ten Battle Brothers in GDF kill 4.44 Infantry. Ten Infantry kill 0.56 Battle Brothers.

If it's Marine-on-Marine, it's 2.22 kills in 40K versus 1.11 in GDF.

I'd also like to see a system where raw lethality is reduced in favor of playing up things like suppression, pinning, and flanking/fixing, but I definitely have not felt that GDF is /worse/ than 40K in that regard. At least it resolves a lot faster.


You're comparing Intercessors to Battle-Brothers, the non-primaris marine equivalent in GDF. 10 "Prime Brothers" in GDF shooting their auto bolt guns get 3 shots each, hit on 3s, save on 5s, kill 12 GEQ. You're also handing the 40k guardsmen a FRFSRF order, while not giving an order to the GDF infantry - but admittedly, and amazingly, it does seem that GDF actually makes the gulf between elite and light infantry even more of a joke than in 40k, so yeah 10 guardsmen with orders in gdf do only manage to kill like 1/2 of one prime brother despite costing nearly equivalent points to a squad of 5 primes.

Primaris in GDF are essentially Movie Marines, lol. unless youre interested in marine fanwank you're better off sticking to 40k, doctrine crap and all.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/08/04 14:37:59


"I can't believe all these tryhard WAACs out there just care about winning all the time when it's supposed to be a game for fun!!!!!!! Also here's my 27 page essay on why marines are OP and Orkz should get a bunch of OP rules so I can win more games

-the_scotsman"

-ERJAK 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




Annandale, VA

kirotheavenger wrote:Are Primaris still like 3x as lethal as Firstborn?

the_scotsman wrote:You're comparing Intercessors to Battle-Brothers, the non-primaris marine equivalent in GDF.


Oh yeah that's my bad. Didn't realize they were a separate army list. My buddies and I have been using the regular Battle Brothers list so that would explain it.

Edit: Though I don't know if there's been rebalancing over time or what; it looks like right now a squad of 5 Primes costs a bit more than 20 Infantry.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/08/04 14:43:25


 
   
Made in us
Insect-Infested Nurgle Chaos Lord






Sunno wrote:
Coming from other games, the depth and solidness of 40K rules is laughable. Its like being asked to draw a picture using crayons when you have previously used technical drawing tools, CAD etc. However, even with crayons you can still draw a picture.

The rules are good enough to get a fun beer and pretzels game out with like minded individuals. And that where GW is aiming their rule sets anyway so.... mission accomplished?



GW is aiming 9th at tournament players. Because for years they have tried to jam their proverbial square pegs in the round hole that was 40k and now they have got their way. 40k was never, ever geared towards tournament play for decades and now this is the end result of that, so.... yeah.



A GW fan walks into a bar, buys the same drink as yesterday but pays more.

""Unite" is a human word, ... join me or die."

If you break apart my or anyone else's posts line by line I will not read them. 
   
Made in us
Powerful Pegasus Knight





 Grimtuff wrote:
Sunno wrote:
Coming from other games, the depth and solidness of 40K rules is laughable. Its like being asked to draw a picture using crayons when you have previously used technical drawing tools, CAD etc. However, even with crayons you can still draw a picture.

The rules are good enough to get a fun beer and pretzels game out with like minded individuals. And that where GW is aiming their rule sets anyway so.... mission accomplished?



GW is aiming 9th at tournament players. Because for years they have tried to jam their proverbial square pegs in the round hole that was 40k and now they have got their way. 40k was never, ever geared towards tournament play for decades and now this is the end result of that, so.... yeah.
It's not even really that Tournament play is the problem. It's that the game necessitates you try your hardest to break the game in order to be as powerful as possible. The game rewards players for breaking the game, and then they design a system entirely around doing just that. It's about finding all those ways to win without actually playing. Finding what is good is essentially the game itself.

You can't really change your chances of victory on the battlefield. You do so with mechanics already baked into your army design. It's not like there are positional modifiers like flanking or side or rear armor values.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/08/04 15:24:26


 
   
Made in us
Quick-fingered Warlord Moderatus




This is a really interesting question. Like many in the thread, I think the core rules are pretty simple. But it's a matter of the codexes mucking that up a bit and adding exception after exception. That's the paradigm they set up. Some games, what makes a unit powerful is how well it takes advantage of the available rules. I find these systems to be a bit cleaner. In 40k, what makes a unit strong is how well it can IGNORE the rules. This creates all manner of book keeping, clunk, and moments of complication where too many exceptions to the rule compound at the same time.

I don't think it's complex per se. Anyone who played war games in the late 80's/early 90's where you had to do basic algebra to calculate firing solutions will likely agree that 40k is comparatively simple. It's just kind of clunky and byzantine at times.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/08/04 15:24:57


Edit: I just googled ablutions and apparently it does not including dropping a duece. I should have looked it up early sorry for any confusion. - Baldsmug

Psiensis on the "good old days":
"Kids these days...
... I invented the 6th Ed meta back in 3rd ed.
Wait, what were we talking about again? Did I ever tell you about the time I gave you five bees for a quarter? That's what you'd say in those days, "give me five bees for a quarter", is what you'd say in those days. And you'd go down to the D&D shop, with an onion in your belt, 'cause that was the style of the time. So there I was in the D&D shop..." 
   
Made in us
Insect-Infested Nurgle Chaos Lord






 Sledgehammer wrote:
 Grimtuff wrote:
Sunno wrote:
Coming from other games, the depth and solidness of 40K rules is laughable. Its like being asked to draw a picture using crayons when you have previously used technical drawing tools, CAD etc. However, even with crayons you can still draw a picture.

The rules are good enough to get a fun beer and pretzels game out with like minded individuals. And that where GW is aiming their rule sets anyway so.... mission accomplished?



GW is aiming 9th at tournament players. Because for years they have tried to jam their proverbial square pegs in the round hole that was 40k and now they have got their way. 40k was never, ever geared towards tournament play for decades and now this is the end result of that, so.... yeah.
It's not even really that Tournament play is the problem. It's that the game necessitates you try your hardest to break the game in order to be as powerful as possible. The game rewards players for breaking the game, and then they design a system entirely around doing just that. It's about finding all those ways to win without actually playing. Finding what is good is essentially the game itself.


IOW they tried to copy WMH and failed hard.

40k was never about that in the past. It is literally the reason for PP's existence.



A GW fan walks into a bar, buys the same drink as yesterday but pays more.

""Unite" is a human word, ... join me or die."

If you break apart my or anyone else's posts line by line I will not read them. 
   
Made in us
Dakka Veteran





 Sledgehammer wrote:
 Grimtuff wrote:
Sunno wrote:
Coming from other games, the depth and solidness of 40K rules is laughable. Its like being asked to draw a picture using crayons when you have previously used technical drawing tools, CAD etc. However, even with crayons you can still draw a picture.

The rules are good enough to get a fun beer and pretzels game out with like minded individuals. And that where GW is aiming their rule sets anyway so.... mission accomplished?



GW is aiming 9th at tournament players. Because for years they have tried to jam their proverbial square pegs in the round hole that was 40k and now they have got their way. 40k was never, ever geared towards tournament play for decades and now this is the end result of that, so.... yeah.
It's not even really that Tournament play is the problem. It's that the game necessitates you try your hardest to break the game in order to be as powerful as possible. The game rewards players for breaking the game, and then they design a system entirely around doing just that. It's about finding all those ways to win without actually playing. Finding what is good is essentially the game itself.

You can't really change your chances of victory on the battlefield. You do so with mechanics already baked into your army design. It's not like there are positional modifiers like flanking or side or rear armor values.


This is the deck building game business model. With record profits, it seems to be paying off well for GW.
   
 
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