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Made in gb
Perfect Shot Black Templar Predator Pilot






A simple question; across all editions of the game and all codexes, what parts of the ruleset and game mechanics have GW done right and why? What stands out to you as something you remember as good, not merely passable?

Black Templars Kantor's Fists Cortez's Fists Calgar's Ultramarines Cassius' Ultramarines Dark Angels Marines Malevolent Astartes Coalition Ordo Malleus Ordo Hereticus Ordo Xenos Vostroyan Firstborn Meres Regiment and Rubble Rats Ork Hunters Steel Legion Ork Tribe Eldar Tau Jungle Cadre Sons of the Jackal

 
   
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Using Object Source Lighting





Portland

-Lots of the fluff has been pretty good.
-I like customizing models, it was nice when they encouraged that for a long time.
-There have been any number of instances of good individual mechanics to represent models/fighting styles.
-I enjoyed any number of older editions as light-weight fun as long as one didn't take things overly seriously.
-I feel like more recently they finally got many weapons working about like they should (vs., say, lots of things priced inefficiency and with such limited use that they were never a serious option).


My painted armies (40k, WM/H, Malifaux, Infinity...) 
   
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Gore-Soaked Lunatic Witchhunter







Scalability. Most wargames function at a very narrow range of points values (Infinity really only works from about 200-400pts, for instance), Warhammer usually manages to at least sort of function from 500pts to 5,000+pts. This is getting a lot worse with the introduction of Warmachine-style support stacks where your unit needs a whole bunch of other units behind it to use support abilities and auras to make it function, which means the game doesn't work at small points where you don't have your support stack and doesn't work at large points levels because 1/turn stratagems and unique character auras don't scale with the game.

Modularity. Most wargames don't give you a lot of options, Warhammer lets you build your units/characters to do what you want them to. This is getting a lot worse as they delete options.

Extensibility. Most wargames work in a fairly narrow range of tournament-balanced scenarios and are difficult to make rules for or balance narrative scenarios for, Warhammer's straightforward narrative-based design lets you pull bits of the rules out and stick other bits in to produce something like 4e Cities of Death or 30k Zone Mortalis that uses the same armies and rules but plays differently. This is getting a lot worse as stratagems and character auras become more important to the game.

Modern GW seems determined to take everything they did well and throw it out in favor of trying and failing to copy Warmachine.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/11/12 22:53:09


Balanced Game: Noun. A game in which all options and choices are worth using.
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Made in gb
Horrific Hive Tyrant





Loads of individual ideas are pretty great in a vacuum to be honest. The issue they have is in bringing it all together in a satisfying way.

In fairness though, this game has a lot more moving parts than basically any other comparable game. I dont think true balance is even possible in this kind of game. But that said, they could still do a lot better, there a lot of thing that are just so obviously broken that make it to print.
   
Made in gb
Executing Exarch






They used to have data sheets with lots of options, and corresponding points on said data sheets...

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Eldar- 4436 pts


AngryAngel80 wrote:
I don't know, when I see awesome rules, I'm like " Baby, your rules looking so fine. Maybe I gotta add you to my first strike battalion eh ? "
 
   
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 Stux wrote:
...In fairness though, this game has a lot more moving parts than basically any other comparable game. I dont think true balance is even possible in this kind of game. But that said, they could still do a lot better, there a lot of thing that are just so obviously broken that make it to print.


I don't think that's true. Warmachine and Infinity both have as many or more moving parts (not necessarily as many units/rules, but everything in the game does a lot more), and have managed to produce saner, better-balanced, and less convoluted games simply by working out a design space such that they know how all their moving parts fit together. GW builds their rulebook without paying attention to what exists in the game, then builds every army book without any consideration for the context in which it exists.

Balanced Game: Noun. A game in which all options and choices are worth using.
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Right behind you.

Infinity's balance is absolutely nowhere near "better" or "less convoluted".

There is a reason why Infinity is considered a "lifestyle game".
   
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Gore-Soaked Lunatic Witchhunter







 Kanluwen wrote:
Infinity's balance is absolutely nowhere near "better" or "less convoluted".

There is a reason why Infinity is considered a "lifestyle game".


Infinity minis aren't ~70% unplayable trap options, and when the design team writes rules for Infinity they do so understanding the rest of the game, so they don't break their own game through carelessness every release.

Balanced Game: Noun. A game in which all options and choices are worth using.
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Made in us
Missionary On A Mission





Hanford, CA, AKA The Eye of Terror

Despite all of the people who want to hate on GW I often try to find a silver lining. Before you ask I try not to be an apologist but its more me trying to see the good in things. So what do they do well?

EVERYTHING

Despite the many stupid decisions, bonehead moves, dead end editions (damn you 7th!) and other bad moves GW has made a game that has ultimately made me happy. That says a lot that I have consistently played something for over 23 years at the tender age of 35. I have always had a fun hobby of painting, building, collecting and playing ready to go. I can look at my models and be proud (or cringe) and its been a source of joy for me. I love the novels and I have read over a 100 of them. Everything they do, even when its dumb, has ultimately added to my life. In years past I have gone through some very very dark parts of my life and one constant that was always there was my 40k hobby. It sustained me, distracted me, and let my imagination fly when the rest of my world, my life, and my very identity crumbled. No matter what happened I knew that Space Marines were still out there fighting Tyranids, Commissars killed their own men, and Erebus was just the worst.

So yeah, GW has done all kinds of things great, and I am glad and ultimately still exist because of it.

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Made in ca
Regular Dakkanaut





I'm going to repeat what I posted in the undervalued thread:

The Open Hostility Mission Pack. They include some excellent attacker-defender scenarios with unequal forces but I suspect many people would never even consider trying them, convinced that only the matched play scenarios are valid.

So far I think one of the best ways to play 40k is datasheets only, maybe each player has a relic or a warlord trait and then some command points (p254) to spend on core stratagems like rerolls. Play the open hostility missions and have an awesome time.

To add to that:

The best thing you can do with a 40k core rulebook is to play through all the game content in there in order. Try it all.
   
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The one thing 40K does better than any other wargame is create a spectacle on a tabletop - a cool-looking battlefield with good-looking models charging forth into battle with massive guns and ludicrous swords. Two properly painted armies on a proper battlefield looks awesome, and no other game does that so well. The game also has utterly ridiculous centerpiece opportunities for painters to really go ballistic on a model, leading to the game, at its best, being an utter aesthetic treat.

Contrast CB Infinity, which I have played a little. While the aesthetic of its individual models and its mechanical feel are both quite impressive, at some point during my second game I stepped 6 feet back from the table covered in stacked city terrain and saw... no-one. Because everyone who was still alive was, as you would expect, using proper cover and hiding behind crates and buildings. By comparison to 40K, a correctly played game of Infinity is Monty Python's How Not To Be Seen sketch by way of Ghost in the Shell.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/11/13 00:00:39


 
   
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Right behind you.

 AnomanderRake wrote:
 Kanluwen wrote:
Infinity's balance is absolutely nowhere near "better" or "less convoluted".

There is a reason why Infinity is considered a "lifestyle game".


Infinity minis aren't ~70% unplayable trap options

Sure sure sure, that's why fireteams totally have the most flexibility and don't come down to:
3x Cheerleaders
1x Wildcard
1x HI/Specialist
and when the design team writes rules for Infinity they do so understanding the rest of the game, so they don't break their own game through carelessness every release.

Have you ever actually paid any attention to Infinity outside of on here? They absolutely do not "understand the rest of the game". There's a reason why ITS was referred to as "Paid Beta".
   
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 Kanluwen wrote:
 AnomanderRake wrote:
 Kanluwen wrote:
Infinity's balance is absolutely nowhere near "better" or "less convoluted".

There is a reason why Infinity is considered a "lifestyle game".


Infinity minis aren't ~70% unplayable trap options

Sure sure sure, that's why fireteams totally have the most flexibility and don't come down to:
3x Cheerleaders
1x Wildcard
1x HI/Specialist
and when the design team writes rules for Infinity they do so understanding the rest of the game, so they don't break their own game through carelessness every release.

Have you ever actually paid any attention to Infinity outside of on here? They absolutely do not "understand the rest of the game". There's a reason why ITS was referred to as "Paid Beta".


You and I have clearly had very different experiences of Infinity, but this is a bit out of scope for the "what has GW done well?" thread.

Balanced Game: Noun. A game in which all options and choices are worth using.
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Right behind you.

You chose to bring that line of discussion up, I'd be interested to see some evidence of it.

Because from N2 to N4(sidenote: I've given up as of N4. The key issues are never going to get solved and CB has zero interest in doing so)?
They've very much relied upon the 'living rulebook' nature of things and while they don't publish sweeping erratas or FAQs for every faction release, they absolutely do not seem to understand why certain Sectorials aren't common in tournament play(which is the metric they've stated they use to gauge popularity). They never seem to have grasped that while they don't have the same general kind of "this new book is full of OP stuff!", they are absolutely 100% prone to powercreep when they do their dump of new skills that never get backdated to other factions.
   
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Villanous Scum






GW dont make Infinity, the topic is what has GW done right. Stay on topic please.

On parle toujours mal quand on n'a rien à dire. 
   
Made in gb
Executing Exarch






I think tackling fixing (for the most part) the most egregious, and facepalm errors and stuff in a timely manner is something they are very good at.

Yes - I am aware they should get it right first time as its the core tenant of most if not all modern business. But at the same time I can see how stuff can be missed. Even TTT's play testers have admitted they simply missed some things and were scratching their heads how they missed something obvious and those guys really care about 40k. So.. You gotta cut soem slack.

Fixing problems and admitting to mistakes is better than not at all. So they do have that going for them.

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Eldar- 4436 pts


AngryAngel80 wrote:
I don't know, when I see awesome rules, I'm like " Baby, your rules looking so fine. Maybe I gotta add you to my first strike battalion eh ? "
 
   
Made in gb
Chalice-Wielding Sanguinary High Priest





Stevenage, UK

I could list all kinds of specific things over the years, but I'll trim it down to what I consider either the biggest-impacting, or causing what I consider the most goodwill.

More recently? Bringing back Sisters and Genestealer Cults, as well as making AdMech, Custodes and Knights all playable. All of these were things players had suggested as wants, and they delivered.
A renewed focus on specialist games as well - these had lost support for a while, but now we have Necromunda and Blood Bowl still being updated, Kill Team got a sizeable refresh, Epic has sort of reappeared in the guise of Aeronautica and Titanicus - and entirely new specialist games appeared too (Warcry, Blackstone Fortress and Underworlds).

Going a bit further back - I'm a big fan of steps taken to simplify 40k, so I'll call out two stages there.
The jump from 2nd to 3rd edition refined the ruleset greatly and wiped away some of the... shall we say, more eclectic parts of the lore. Granted, it did render some models obsolete at the time, but overall I think it was handled about as well as it could have been, for a game whose rules had become sprawling and time-consuming to follow through.
Then in 5th edition, the introduction of USRs went a great deal towards making games quicker to play and easier to understand opposing armies. I still mourn the loss of USRs - we have something approaching it, as rules we term FNP, Fight First, Deep Strike and so on are fairly consistent across factions - but I do wish there wasn't this insistence on giving every version of the same rule a unique name.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/11/13 01:35:29


"Hard pressed on my right. My centre is yielding. Impossible to manoeuvre. Situation excellent. I am attacking." - General Ferdinand Foch  
   
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Dakka Veteran





So I can't talk about things that have been consistently good across all editions- I think that's a pretty tough job, because there's a fair amount of variety across all editions.

9th:

- Crusade; including Crusade content in dexes, the Crusade mission pack, etc
- strats that scale! I only have the DW supplement, but there's a strat that gets more uses depending on the size of the game
- unique content for subfactions- lots of tourney types are gonna disagree with me on this, but I love the fact that now all factions get to feel like they have snowflakes, not just marines
- missions for all sizes of game

8th:

- multiplatform integration allowing legacy units like Rogue Traders and Zoats to return not only in minigames but also in 40k
- reviving long dead/ previously marginalized factions- GSC and Sisters, looking at you!
- personally I like strats, but I do absolutely understand and respect the opinions of those who don't
   
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Making Stuff






Under the couch

I'll preface by saying that GW's habit of constantly rewriting the game instead of just refining it has been a source of so much frustration over the years, to the extent that I gave up on following the current rules in 8th edition, once I got tired of having to keep relearning the core rules.

However, there has certainly been some high points along the way.

- Moving to the 3rd-ed and onwards, unit-based melee rules from 2nd edition's model-by-model method was absolutely a good move. 2nd ed's system worked great in Necromunda, where models were in units of 1, but in a squad-based game it was just clunky and time consuming.

- Moving vehicles to the same statline as infantry. While there's an argument for having vehicles use different rules, it's an argument that went out the window as 40K turned from a skirmish game to one with a hundred or more models on the board at a time. Hull points were a good step towards redressing the odd way vehicles were treated by the rules, but were badly implemented and should have been accompanied by a saving throw. The current statline (minus the messy degrading nonsense) is, I feel, is a better idea.

- Most of 5th edition.

While most of my attention these days is on 2nd edition, this is easily my favourite of the post-Herohammer editions. It's the version of the game that worked the most smoothly and with a fewest arguments at the table, despite certainly not being without its fair share of issues.

If I had to build my perfect large-battle 40K ruleset from the existing versions, it would be 5th edition with some slight modifications to casualty removal and the vehicles-rolled-into-infantry-statline change.

 
   
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Regular Dakkanaut





Anyway, as far as what GW's doing right, the quality of the miniatures is high, and they've really fleshed out their range in the last five years or so by bringing back Harlequins and GSC, and putting AdMech on the table. Their universe needs breadth and they're doing that.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2020/11/13 18:44:37


 
   
Made in ie
Regular Dakkanaut






Their models have consistently improved over the years and are by and large gorgeous. I constantly have to stop myself from starting a new army simply for the joy of painting the models.

I know the question was on rules, but as an aside, the "hobby" part has been fantastic all along.

For rules the IG 8th edition codex was great. It felt like it was done by someone who really understood IG. There were of course one or two dud units, but for the most part it was the best internally balanced book we've ever had. There were so many different yet viable ways to play, where in the past IG we're just a gun line.

From the IG perspective For The Greater Good added a load more character to the army and again felt like it was written by someone who understands the army. The tank aces are a fantastic addition which add a lot of fun to a game for both players so long as you don't power game them.

That might be what I think GW do best. The individual character and fairly unique play of every army. There's a lot of flavour and an army that works for everyone.

Although most seem to hate the "bloat" I love it. Getting more and more subfraction rules just adds more character to the game for me. All the SM supplements were something I'd always wanted.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/11/13 08:32:28


   
Made in ch
Warped Arch Heretic of Chaos





Lore, initially.

Customizable forces.

Conceptually integrated rules and fluff in some cases extremely well: 3.5 Chaos, the adaptable tyranid dex, IA 13.

Well, i guess, the Grimdark, even though it started as satire, well grimdark satire of humanities lowest points of governance and societal development, it still did grimdark... Sometimes it did drop into Grimderp though

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 Daedalus81 wrote:

In the 41st millennium there is only overpriced hamberders.

 
   
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Grisly Ghost Ark Driver





Intial lore, concept and aesthetics.
List writing prior to 8th was fun and engaging due to the options available.
Game was fun before the internet became more widespread.

I actually don't think GW has done much wrong with the game, rather its the culture around it that has changed. As soon as a book comes out people hone in on the most OP stuff and within days EVERYONE knows exactly what the most overpowered stuff is. In response to this GW started cutting back options and trying to balance stuff. Sure maybe 25 years ago there was broken stuff but it was more obfuscated behind the fact that not every group had access to someone explaining via mathhammer exactly why a lascannon was marginally better than an autocannon or something or that the optimal number of gaunts per unit is 17 because its more cost efficient and anyone who DID do that was rightly called out for it.



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Waaagh! Ork Warboss on Warbike






Almost all of the "cutting back options" was due to the chapter house fallout, not because of game rules or even player behavior.

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Last Remaining Whole C'Tan






*waves arms expansively*

This. All of this.

GW did not invent war gaming. But they near enough reinvented what it could be. The actual games mechanics are just a relatively small part of the wider whole, on account one can engage with 40k without ever rolling a single die.

There’s background, TTRRPGs, kit bashing, scratch building, collecting, painting. All inherent yet optional parts of the wider hobby. GW made that accessible. And in some ways, standardised (being the big fish, they’re inherently the benchmark that all others will be measured against)

Fed up of Scalpers? But still want your Exclusives?Why not join us?

Please note that when I refer to Rogue Trader background, it’s not a Nerd Flex. I just really enjoy it, and like to compare it. You be the judge of which you prefer. 
   
Made in pl
Longtime Dakkanaut




 Banzaimash wrote:
A simple question; across all editions of the game and all codexes, what parts of the ruleset and game mechanics have GW done right and why? What stands out to you as something you remember as good, not merely passable?


killed Inari in 8th, nerfed tau in 9th. People that play specific AoS armies feel very good about what GW has done with them. I don't think eldar players ever hated a new codex they got.

There terrain rules in 9th are much better then they were in 8th.

Some of the 2ed and 3ed wave primaris units, and the fix to 1st wave units seemed to have been viewed as a good change by people that play marines, and because it was at the same hated by people who don't play primaris it was clearly good too.

If you have to kill, then kill in the best manner. If you slaughter, then slaughter in the best manner. Let one of you sharpen his knife so his animal feels no pain. 
   
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Longtime Dakkanaut




Gw did not invent wargaming, but they're a big reason for so many people's exposure to it.

It's a broad church behemoth where everyone can find something for them - big games wee games, casual, competitive and so on.

Great lore.

Amazing models.

Modularity.

Hands off approach.

Most of their decisions the past three or four years have been decisions I've agreed with. Oh, and I love primaris.. they're what I wish marines were twenty years ago.

On the other topic of other companies and better balance, when it came to wmh, let's put it this way - I never saw anyone leave the Haleys or deneghras at home in favour of the likes of pStryker. On MK2, talk to khador players about our signature men o war and playing jack heavy. The balance was, at best 'good enough, at least some of the tine'. It's a game very prone to match up issues and with clear stables of 'better' and 'worse' options and with auto choice builds. Infinity won't be much better.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/11/13 12:15:19


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Norn Queen






Recently? They've been good at padding their wallets after realising just how much they can milk their fanbase with crappy releases.

Other than that, nothing really.

The fluff between 3rd and 6th edition was pretty good though.

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Newcastle

Chapter Approved. Before that, your units were either good or bad until the next codex came out. Broken stuff was broken for longer. Now, nerfs and buffs can happen much sooner, so you can build and paint a bad unit, knowing there's a least a possibility it might get better soon, and the overpowered stuff doesn't have to be OP for the whole edition.

More appropriate (usually bigger) base sizes. Infantry just looks so much better on 32mm bases

Movements stats. Some things should move 7, 8 or 10 inches a turn, not just 6 and 12.

Allowing more variety in army composition. The old force organistion chart was quite limiting if you wanted to create something unique. I still believe troops should be incentivised further but I prefer the options now to 3rd edition.

Getting rid of the old armour rules. Armour values, facings etc.

Vehicles moving and shooting heavy weapons without a BS modifier seems a good change too. Static units are boring.

Hydra Dominatus 
   
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I like how flexible these games are, whether played with VERY different points values, varying number of players, home made scenarios, campaigns. GW leave so much more room for creativity than other wargames I play.

   
 
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