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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 gb
Regular Dakkanaut





Super doctrines and equivalents are the worst thing that has happened to 40k in years. Add them on top of the aura rules bloat, over saturation of strategem and needessly complicated (yet restrictive) datasheets and we have a big mess.
   
Made in gb
Ship's Officer





Bristol (UK)

Sgt. Cortez wrote:
Well, there's a lot to remember about your army, but the base rules are pretty straightforward. Where in prior editions half the game consisted of reading the main rulebook, it's now searching for things in your Codex. I like the latter better because you can prepare for it by reading your Codex and write down the combos you want to use before the game, while in earlier editions you started to read the rulebook once a situation happened (and often not finding an answer due to lack of FAQ).

I really dislike this approach, I feel like I know how I'm going to play the game before I've even turned up. I have the road map of what strats to use on who and when.
Games are enacting the plan, far less reacting and dancing with my opponent.
This is not helped because reacting to my opponent requires knowing a great weight of rules. I need to search through my six pages of strategems, I'm boned because I didn't realise this other secondary was a thing, etc etc.
   
Made in ie
Ruthless Rafkin





quantumquixote wrote:
I like the complexity, if I want to play something simpler the sky is the limit to what I can play. There very few games with high ceilings as to how much theory crafting and research I can do. I know some people are like I'm too busy but if you're too busy this isn't the game for you anyways. Or people who are like, I wanna play competitively so I don't want to learn everyone's rules, but the majority of players are casual and for me, personally, I like being surprised by what other people can do with their armies. Simplifying this game would just make it more like any other game, which then I might as well save money and play something easier.


This post makes me sad. 40k is an INCREDIBLY simple game, there is just a lot of it. Its like reading a dictionary and claiming its a deep complex book because you can combine the words to make a (probably bad) novel. I'm not 100% sure that analogy works but I'm sticking with it.

When you say simple games I can't think of any wargame that is simpler than 40k so I assume you mean like light weight board games? And even then most of them have a deeper decision space than 40k.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/08/05 09:08:57


 
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut




 kirotheavenger wrote:
Sgt. Cortez wrote:
Well, there's a lot to remember about your army, but the base rules are pretty straightforward. Where in prior editions half the game consisted of reading the main rulebook, it's now searching for things in your Codex. I like the latter better because you can prepare for it by reading your Codex and write down the combos you want to use before the game, while in earlier editions you started to read the rulebook once a situation happened (and often not finding an answer due to lack of FAQ).

I really dislike this approach, I feel like I know how I'm going to play the game before I've even turned up. I have the road map of what strats to use on who and when.
Games are enacting the plan, far less reacting and dancing with my opponent.


To be fair,you tend to see this 'controlled environment' in a lot of games. Dice rolls aside, you can activate/move what you want where you want etc. As you say games come down to repeating a formula of actions.

If you want a game to better test your ability to 'improvise' and 'think/adapt on the fly', and for game to not be about going through the motions (again) of the same old plan, I find games with more random activations and that have integrated the 'random' factor do this better. Warlord had a charming little samurai game called test of honour which completely humbugged me because I was so used to controlling my own army. Bolt action has a lot of the same dna aswell. well worth playing to test different skills.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/08/05 09:14:59


greatest band in the universe: machine supremacy

"Punch your fist in the air and hold your Gameboy aloft like the warrior you are" 
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut



London

 H.B.M.C. wrote:
Complex or complicated?


Comment 2 summed it up. There is very little that is complex about 40k. But the pile of books, strategems, special rules and exceptions make it complicated.

For comparison. Go is not complicated but very complex. 40k is complicated but not very complex. The advantage is people wouldn't have much fun being beaten at complex games can play 40k and excel if they put the time in to rote learn everything. This is also a sunk cost as stopping and restarting is harder than with something like Go.
   
Made in de
Ork Admiral Kroozin Da Kosmos on Da Hulk






Sometimes I wonder if people are playing the same game as me...

9th edition of 40k complex? Really? This ridiculously trivial game is supposed to be complex?

Most people seem to be complaining about not being able to memorize every single rule of the game at all times... which is completely unnecessary to play the game and has nothing to do with complexity.
Not to mention all this whining about how complicated stratagems are and how hard it is to know which ones your opponent will be using...

Earth is not flat
Vaccines work
We've been to the moon
Climate change is real
Chemtrails aren't a thing
Evolution is a fact
Orks are not a melee army
Stand up for science!
 
   
Made in us
Dakka Veteran





 Jidmah wrote:
Sometimes I wonder if people are playing the same game as me...

9th edition of 40k complex? Really? This ridiculously trivial game is supposed to be complex?

Most people seem to be complaining about not being able to memorize every single rule of the game at all times... which is completely unnecessary to play the game and has nothing to do with complexity.
Not to mention all this whining about how complicated stratagems are and how hard it is to know which ones your opponent will be using...


Complexity definition - difficult to analyze, understand, or explain.

Gw is purposely adding layers of and layers COMPLEXITY and removing DEPTH.
   
Made in at
Discriminating Warrior





Austria

GW is adding layers of complicated language and wall of text, not complexity

Harry, bring this ring to Narnia or the Sith will take the Enterprise

M41 - Alternative Rules for Battles in the 41st Millennium (40k LRB Project) 
   
Made in us
Dakka Veteran





 kodos wrote:
GW is adding layers of complicated language and wall of text, not complexity


I agree. We are just debating semantics at this point. Bloat, tedium, complicated, they are all pointing to the same issue.
   
Made in pl
Fixture of Dakka




If you have rule spread over 2-3 books, pages of print outs of WDs and FAQ/erratas, I would say the game becomes complicated to handle, because of the space restrains both players are under. At the start of turn 3-4 it may not be that bad, because a ton of stuff has moved up or is dead. But turn 1-2 you often don't have a place to put your stuff without moving the models or the table.

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. 
   
Made in at
Discriminating Warrior





Austria

Pancakey wrote:
 kodos wrote:
GW is adding layers of complicated language and wall of text, not complexity

I agree. We are just debating semantics at this point. Bloat, tedium, complicated, they are all pointing to the same issue.


but the semantics are important, we are with the current rules because players told GW that the rules are too complex, hence we got the 8 page core rules as simple rules to remove the complexity from the game
but the game stayed complicated because not complexity in the core was the problem but shattered rules, wall of complicated texts, and layers upon layers

every time GW wants to make it less complex because the players ask for it, they make it more complicated to keep the impression of depth while it already is a very simple game without any real difference between factions, just too hard to read and too much to remember for the casual gamer to learn it

Harry, bring this ring to Narnia or the Sith will take the Enterprise

M41 - Alternative Rules for Battles in the 41st Millennium (40k LRB Project) 
   
Made in us
Dakka Veteran





 kodos wrote:
Pancakey wrote:
 kodos wrote:
GW is adding layers of complicated language and wall of text, not complexity

I agree. We are just debating semantics at this point. Bloat, tedium, complicated, they are all pointing to the same issue.


but the semantics are important, we are with the current rules because players told GW that the rules are too complex, hence we got the 8 page core rules as simple rules to remove the complexity from the game
but the game stayed complicated because not complexity in the core was the problem but shattered rules, wall of complicated texts, and layers upon layers

every time GW wants to make it less complex because the players ask for it, they make it more complicated to keep the impression of depth while it already is a very simple game without any real difference between factions, just too hard to read and too much to remember for the casual gamer to learn it


Your synopsis is right on. We are all pretty much saying the same thing in our own way.
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut





I wonder how deeply people would feel about the complexity if the Admech book wasn't a thing. There are layered rules, but it they haven't been anything absurd until that book.

The biggest problem for me is the book creep ( like actual quantity of books ).

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/08/05 13:28:11


   
Made in ie
Ruthless Rafkin





 Daedalus81 wrote:
I wonder how deeply people would feel about the complexity if the Admech book wasn't a thing. There are layered rules, but it they haven't been anything absurd until that book.

The biggest problem for me is the book creep ( like actual quantity of books ).



Pretty sure people have been complaining about bloat long before AdMech 9th. Whatever happened to BaconCatBug? He woukd have loved this thread. He complained about bloat before it was cool.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/08/05 14:17:15



 
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut





 Sim-Life wrote:
 Daedalus81 wrote:
I wonder how deeply people would feel about the complexity if the Admech book wasn't a thing. There are layered rules, but it they haven't been anything absurd until that book.

The biggest problem for me is the book creep ( like actual quantity of books ).



Pretty sure people have been complaining about bloat long before AdMech 9th. Whatever happened to BaconCatBug? He woukd have loved this thread. He complained about bloat before it was cool.


Sure, but there's a different level of perception to AdMech. Everything in that book is quintessential AdMech, but it was not handled elegantly. Cabalist Rituals for Thousand Sons is another layer for the army, but it completely makes sense and potentially works to help a psychic focused army succeed.

   
Made in de
Contagious Dreadnought of Nurgle




I mean, 40K was never complex like some people seem to imply. Pages upon pages of vehicle rules added nothing but useless bloat for example, while the base rules were not deep at all due to igougo. If anything 8th added a little complexity with a fight phase where you actually do something and have to make careful decisions and stratagems that allow for a bit of reaction to your opponent, while before the game played itself and you watched your opponent do his thing for half an hour or more.
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




Annandale, VA

Deadnight wrote:
To be fair,you tend to see this 'controlled environment' in a lot of games. Dice rolls aside, you can activate/move what you want where you want etc. As you say games come down to repeating a formula of actions.


40K does it more than most, though, and it's not strictly a matter of randomness. Chess, for example, is a great example of a game with no randomness but only minimal ability to execute a prepared plan due to the importance of emergent states.

I've noticed 40K players tend to dislike games that either involve significant randomness or require changing execution on the fly. Building your list to optimize the wombo-combo and then performing it on the table is the core of 9th Ed 40K. You see this reflected in the core design, from missions that are all basically the same objective with different layouts, or secondary objectives that you get to pick and optimize for.

Different strokes for different folks. But I think GW has correctly identified that it's much easier to drive churn when the game is in large part played via listbuilding.

   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Sgt. Cortez wrote:
I mean, 40K was never complex like some people seem to imply. Pages upon pages of vehicle rules added nothing but useless bloat for example, while the base rules were not deep at all due to igougo. If anything 8th added a little complexity with a fight phase where you actually do something and have to make careful decisions and stratagems that allow for a bit of reaction to your opponent, while before the game played itself and you watched your opponent do his thing for half an hour or more.


Not compex, no, but some people like that restrained I can't move my tank if I want to shoot my guns, I need to pivot to this specific direction to shoot the sponsons, and I need to kiddy corner it to protect it's backside.

I enjoyed it for it's time, but I like what we have now more.

Part of the problem is we have the fortune of being able to discuss these newer editions in greater depth with actual data. We had no such depth of discussion in the past so the rose tinted glasses make it all that much easier to crap on 9th and hold up old editions as some virtuous thing.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 catbarf wrote:
Deadnight wrote:
To be fair,you tend to see this 'controlled environment' in a lot of games. Dice rolls aside, you can activate/move what you want where you want etc. As you say games come down to repeating a formula of actions.


40K does it more than most, though, and it's not strictly a matter of randomness. Chess, for example, is a great example of a game with no randomness but only minimal ability to execute a prepared plan due to the importance of emergent states.

I've noticed 40K players tend to dislike games that either involve significant randomness or require changing execution on the fly. Building your list to optimize the wombo-combo and then performing it on the table is the core of 9th Ed 40K. You see this reflected in the core design, from missions that are all basically the same objective with different layouts, or secondary objectives that you get to pick and optimize for.

Different strokes for different folks. But I think GW has correctly identified that it's much easier to drive churn when the game is in large part played via listbuilding.


This seems like a weird comparison considering Chess has no randomness of the type 40K players dislike ( aka randumb ). You absolutely have to adjust your plan as the dice come in.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/08/05 14:35:44


   
Made in us
Shadowy Grot Kommittee Memba






Sgt. Cortez wrote:
I mean, 40K was never complex like some people seem to imply. Pages upon pages of vehicle rules added nothing but useless bloat for example, while the base rules were not deep at all due to igougo. If anything 8th added a little complexity with a fight phase where you actually do something and have to make careful decisions and stratagems that allow for a bit of reaction to your opponent, while before the game played itself and you watched your opponent do his thing for half an hour or more.


Yeah, i just remember the hilarious amount of time and effort it took to figure out how to resolve a Ram attack when I had a spare trukk waiting around with nothing better to do...and it just never, ever did anything impactful lol.

"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
Krazed Killa Kan






 catbarf wrote:

I've noticed 40K players tend to dislike games that either involve significant randomness or require changing execution on the fly. Building your list to optimize the wombo-combo and then performing it on the table is the core of 9th Ed 40K. You see this reflected in the core design, from missions that are all basically the same objective with different layouts, or secondary objectives that you get to pick and optimize for.

Different strokes for different folks. But I think GW has correctly identified that it's much easier to drive churn when the game is in large part played via listbuilding.


Personally I always enjoyed list building as a means to create the strategy I have in mind and then trying to execute it. The attempted execution being the important part as the ability to react to what happens on the table top and adjusting to an enemy army is what make for the most interesting and challenging part of the game. I found 8th and 9th to be lacking the variety in how the game would play out as it seemed too easy to just mathhammer it out to some optimized wombo combo as it where. In my mind it felt like just smashing two armies together until one side falls over which was moreso devoid of meaningful tactical decision making or playing around the various game mechanics to do something more than just "kill all the things". 8th was really bad with excess of stacking modifiers and bare bones terrain rules which made many board layouts play like it was planet bowling ball despite actually having a bunch of terrain pieces (just not a ton of LoS blockers).

It sorta hits on the feeling again about the game feeling at times like MtG except this time it's with the similarities to how competitive decks play out (instead of the drafting format which is far more interesting).

Side note but formations, for all the hate that they got, where actually a rather cool thing that GW put out in that it gave the ability to give more playstyle variety to units (unfortunately for every fun thematic formation, there was a formation that either was hot garbage or brokenly OP).

"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" 
   
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Scarred Ultramarine Tyrannic War Veteran






9th edition core rules are good. 9th edition codices are terrible. 9th edition missions are gak beyond imagining.

But... best edition ever, right? Made for tournament players, by tournament players. And what's best for tournament play is best for everyone.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/08/05 15:35:48


 
   
Made in at
Discriminating Warrior





Austria

 oni wrote:
Made for tournament players, by tournament players.

were does this actually come from?
as this Edition is everything but not made for tournaments and I doubt that a single tournaments player got the full rules to read or test before they went to print

Harry, bring this ring to Narnia or the Sith will take the Enterprise

M41 - Alternative Rules for Battles in the 41st Millennium (40k LRB Project) 
   
Made in us
Abel





Washington State

Y'all never played any other table top miniature games before, eh?

Kara Sloan shoots through Time and Design Space for a Negative Play Experience  
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




Annandale, VA

 Daedalus81 wrote:
This seems like a weird comparison considering Chess has no randomness of the type 40K players dislike ( aka randumb ). You absolutely have to adjust your plan as the dice come in.


Right, that's why I explicitly said control is not strictly about randomness.

Chess has no randomness, but it also does not afford as much out-of-game control to the players. It has a fixed starting state and fixed victory conditions, and strong emergent complexity from the game state. You don't get to pick what your 'forces' look like going in, or what 'secondary' objectives you get, so the only thing that matters is turn-by-turn gameplay. That turn-by-turn gameplay is deep and outright demands that you adapt on the fly to keep up.

Bolt Action gives you a lot of control over listbuilding, but the randomness of its activation system introduces unpredictability (what people who hate Clausewitz call 'randumb') and forces players to react and adapt accordingly. You cannot draft and execute a plan within a single turn, safe in the knowledge that everyone can act before your opponent can respond. You have to improvise as you go.

40K gives you lots of control. It lets you pick the forces you're bringing (optimizing for a particular combo or leaning into particularly powerful units), pick part of your victory conditions, and plan against a consistent central objective. On the table, you operate in pure IGOUGO fashion with every unit able to act simultaneously and in perfect synchronization to pull off your pre-planned combo. You obviously still have to react to the game state and your opponent, but in 8th/9th more of the emergent complexity than ever comes from your army and units rather than the core rules and game state.

You can make a game that puts less emphasis on listbuilding and 'repeating the formula' than 40K without simply making it more random. Chain of Command is a game I've been playing lately that does this well. It involves a lot less dice rolling than 40K, but the emergent complexity of the interplay between terrain, morale, suppression, and jumping-off point positioning emphasizes decisions made on the table. There's none of this 'scan your rulebook for an hour to find the Good Combo, then deploy that on the table to win'.

I'm not one of those people who claims that 40K is all about listbuilding and the tabletop doesn't matter, but compared to other games I've played I find 40K puts a lot more emphasis on bringing the right units with the right abilities, heavily skewing the outcome before the game even starts, and then executing a pre-planned strategy with as little adjustment/adaptation as necessary. To many players this is a feature rather than a bug- heck, we have people on this forum who have openly stated that they prefer imbalanced codices so they can be rewarded for finding the right units.

   
Made in gb
Trigger-Happy Baal Predator Pilot




Scotland

I don't think 40k is complex itself and I feel the core rules are in a pretty good place. Battle forged and codex rules are where they've gone too far IMO and it's going to kill this edition.

I also agree with what someone said above in regard to not knowing every rule. That's a futile endeavour indeed.
   
Made in de
Contagious Dreadnought of Nurgle




 the_scotsman wrote:
Sgt. Cortez wrote:
I mean, 40K was never complex like some people seem to imply. Pages upon pages of vehicle rules added nothing but useless bloat for example, while the base rules were not deep at all due to igougo. If anything 8th added a little complexity with a fight phase where you actually do something and have to make careful decisions and stratagems that allow for a bit of reaction to your opponent, while before the game played itself and you watched your opponent do his thing for half an hour or more.


Yeah, i just remember the hilarious amount of time and effort it took to figure out how to resolve a Ram attack when I had a spare trukk waiting around with nothing better to do...and it just never, ever did anything impactful lol.


Indeed
Whenever someone had his Rhino left without guns you knew at some point he'd try to "tankshock" the damn thing, meaning reading the tank shock rules for ten minutes, then use them to...move one enemy squad an inch to the side, done.
Or Soulblaze: Roll a die to roll a die to maybe kill an Ork Boy every other game.
Or fear, which actually sounded cool, until you realized 3/4 of the units in the game were immune to it and the ones' that weren't either made their leadership check or, even if they failed, it meant nothing more than -1 to hit in CC because of the bad WS table at the time...

There might be rules that seem... Unwieldy in 9th, but so far I get the feeling, aside from some very situational stratagems you might as well forget, there's little in the game that seems pointless. Command Protocols are the only thing that come to mind, our Necron player forgets them every other game and even if he doesn't it looks like a lot of rolling and bookkeeping with very little effect on the game.
   
Made in us
Shadowy Grot Kommittee Memba






The aspect of older editions I really miss though, is...sometimes I just want to use a wargame as a means to 'see what happens' rather than like, this big MENTAL CONTEST OF BRAIN-WILLS AND WITS TO BAMBOOZLE MY OPPONENT INTO SUBMISSION!

There's not much to that in 9th. Everything pretty much goes to plan, and the game tends to be 'your plan vs your opponent's plan.'

Usually, if you want stuff to die, it dies. If you want a unit to arrive right here, right now, it does just that. If you want a weapon to work, generally it works.

"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





 the_scotsman wrote:
The aspect of older editions I really miss though, is...sometimes I just want to use a wargame as a means to 'see what happens' rather than like, this big MENTAL CONTEST OF BRAIN-WILLS AND WITS TO BAMBOOZLE MY OPPONENT INTO SUBMISSION!

There's not much to that in 9th. Everything pretty much goes to plan, and the game tends to be 'your plan vs your opponent's plan.'

Usually, if you want stuff to die, it dies. If you want a unit to arrive right here, right now, it does just that. If you want a weapon to work, generally it works.


It entirely depends on your opponent's army and plan.

If they've gone a mindless smash everything list and you're not equipped to go toe to toe in melee you need to focus one side and kite the other.

You have to work around what might pick up transhuman or otherwise slow you down. If you can bait it out and switch to the real target then even better.

There's positioning characters for an effective intervention based on the incoming unit and terrain.

You have to consider cross table firing lanes when the side you win on gets bare and so on.

   
Made in de
Contagious Dreadnought of Nurgle




There's truth to that as well. But overall these things seem to have been seen as "randumb" and therefore done away with. I wonder if there's a middle ground between "roll for your equipment before the game starts and then roll every turn to see if your army blows up" (aka Daemons Codex 6th and 7th Edition, 5th Edition was: before the game, roll to see if your army turns up at all...) and current situation of "make up your mind, do what you want and even there's a really unfortunate 1- just reroll it". But what was left of the funny rules in 8th, like FW Rapiers eating people when their Crew has died, or bubble chuckas seems to haven't been streamlined as well to be more predictable. I blame the tournament focus, but there was always the problem of reliable alternatives instead of the random things, that even in casual play were just that more... Reasonable to play.
   
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Decrepit Dakkanaut





Halifax

There you go, there's at least two audiences, the audience that wants to throw some dice and see what happens, and then the audience that wants a more PvP experience.

   
 
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