Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Bring back the awesome

As we get older and more experienced, it can be natural to become jaded.  You've been there, done that, seen it and have the t-shirt.  In some ways, time can give you a deeper, more fulfilling experience with what you love.  But there's that danger of becoming jaded, of taking what you love for granted.  It can happen in your relationships with people, and it can happen in your relationships with the games and fictional universes we love too.  That thing you used to love and find joy in becomes a chore to deal with, a glaring mess of flaws that obscures the good.

I recently ran across a couple of things that brought this up for me.  One, a bit of a rant from Recalcitrant Daze about his reactions to the 7th ed books and the new Ork codex.  He's sad to see some of the more fun, creative things not making it into the publications - conversions giving way to stock models, evocative art giving way to more pictures of stock models, rules and text that are less evocative (YMMV).  As an old grognard he's seen what he considers the glory days and has access to it - but what about the new players, those who are being exposed now?  Is 40K forgetting to bring the awesome?

The second was a wonderful blog about a gamer who somehow has never been directly exposed to much of the stuff that geeks hold in high esteem and quote at each other across the table.  Dude's never seen Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Ghostbusters, etc. until recently.  As he watches them, he writes his reactions.  And they're great reactions.  Check his "instant reviews" out at Some Wonderful Kind of Noise.  After multiple viewings over many years it can be easy to lose the sense of wonder we had with our first exposure.  But I think if we try, we can get it back.

What's great about 40K?  What drew you in?  Was it getting to use tape measures and foam transport cases?  I doubt it.  More likely, it was guys in powered armor being fired at a planet from space, leaping into battle with guns that make people explode and chainsaw swords.  FREAKING CHAINSAW SWORDS!  Daemons bursting out of people's brains, rough and tough aliens with crazy technology that usually manages to work (when it doesn't blow up in their faces), relics of a heroic and dangerous past, a galaxy of wonders and terrors met with deliberate ignorance and hatred.


Embrace the awesome.  When there's someone new to the game or universe, don't discourage them with technical rules arguments and complaints.  Stoke their enthusiasm for the awesome, and leech some of it off for yourself. 

And don't forget the chainswords.

1 comment:

  1. I saw his rant and with all due respect was not impressed. I remember playing against those armies and it was not fun; sure they were wacky but with a few good roles they were insanely overpowerd and everything you could do as an opponent to balance this had a counter that defeated it.

    The rules for the looted vehicles are in a White Dwarf and if you missed it at the stands (I did) you can always buy it on line (which I will probably do).

    I will agree that with models being available for everything that there is some homogenization in an army where no two models should look exactly the same if you stick with the ramshackle theme/nature of space orks. However, some creative converting and an open-minded opponent can easily overcome this.

    I got into 40K when a friend and I stumbled onto the Rogue Trader book in a hobby shop on our way to the first Gulf War. It was dark and funny at the same time and promised much more (which GW eventually delivered). If you want to complain about the rules being broken and the armies unbalanced, go back and take a look at the first few supplements (they were not Codexes yet) and you will see unbalanced in its purist form. Yes 40k is not the game I first started playing but I think what it has become is richer and a more three-dimensional experience.


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