Saturday, September 12, 2009

Double Banana

Aka "Green Shirt + Red Shirt = Rosarius!"

I've been away from 40k for awhile, due to cost and losing my American crowd to play it with, but my hunger to be a part of that universe has driven me once again into the unloving, cold arms of GW, and I'm painting a Crimson Fist army (it's going very well, thank you, the prettiest minis I've painted yet, though still not up to the standards of Koen, Roomie or Walter). I've also been getting to know a group of people at a place called Gameforce, and it's been nice. I was really making inroads today, which is a shame, because something really got beneath my skin and made me walk out early.

I'm watching a battle between Orks and Space Marine, and the Ork player is a little iffy to me. The way he measures bugs me (for range: front of model to front of model), and "accidentally" snatching up failed rolls and tossing them with the next batch (unless someone points it out), forgetting rules if they inconvenience him. Really, smaller than I'm making it sound, more "round up for me, round down for you," sort of gameplay, and this already begins to bother me. But then he really starts to pull something that really gets me going.

He keeps saying his units, in plain sight, have cover. I finally get up and say "Dude, look, he can see all of them but like four. You don't get a cover save!" Then he argues that his units are intermixed, so he does. And the thing is, he's right.

Lemme explain:

If you have a bunch of guys behind rocks, they get cover saves, like so:

SSSSS (space marines)

RRRR (some rocks)
OOOO (Some orks)

If the Space Marines try to shoot the Orks, the Orks get cover. Makes sense.

Units provide cover too.

SSSSS

GGGGG (Some grots)

OOOOO

The Orks are behind the Grots. If the Space marines wanted to shoot "through" the Grots to hit the Orks, the Orks would get a cover save. This makes sense, as the point of sending a vanguard is for them to die first. Duh.

But he pulled this:

SSSSSS

GOGOG
OGOGO
GOGOG

Now, he can only see about 3 of the 8 Grots, and 2 of the 7 Orks. If he declares he's firing at the Orks, the Grots give them cover. If he declares he's firing at the Grots, the Orks give them cover. You can only fire at one unit, and since these are technically two units, each unit has a cover save (even, incidentally, if you hit them with artillery). They just march around, ignoring cover, because they don't need it. Orks that are supposed to have a 6+ armor save suddenly all have Rosarius, superior even to Space Marine armor, for a third the cost. Victory was assured, because he picked the ideal army to use this tactic. Completely cheesy.

The worst thing? Completely legal. Completely legal asshatery, if you ask me.

(He's not the first to come with this, after a brief perusal online. You find plenty of discussions, replete with the foul-mouthed offensive-defenses you'd expect from twinks defending practices they know are twinky. A common house rule is: You cannot both give and receive cover to/from a unit," and that seems reasonable to me.)

"Ok, so just don't play against him" says Bee. Well, I don't plan on it. Even if he relents and admits this is a crappy way to play, or if GW (finally) comes out with a rule against it, his attitude bugs me. See, I know I'm going to lose when I play. It bugs me, but I accept it, because playing will be fun. It'll be competitive too, as players use superior strategies to defeat one another. Feelings will be hurt but, hopefully, friends will be made, and I'll have stories to regal my friends with. Yeah, I've been on the benefiting side of overpowered cheese (Space Wolf 2e codex with that magical teleport device), but I remember realizing it was cheesy after a few games, and honestly enjoying my "invincible" SW scout "Roark." (He never died. Really.) I remember losing alot as Black Templar, and never winning as Chaos. That's how these things go. As one fellow (Tommie, I think) said "Whatever happens, just smile." That's a good attitude to have.

But I don't want to play if I have to get into yelling matches about the rules, or have people tell me to look up stuff on the internet. Just because a loophole isn't against the rules doesn't mean it's a good idea. The fun of the other player matters too. As Tony said "I want to have someone to play against again after I win," and that takes sportsmanship.

I'm really disheartened. I was hoping to get back in, and now I'm nervous that this sort of thing will be wide spread. If so, I'll focus on friends I make, and playing with the Knights (they play 40k too). I feel bad I walked out, but I wasn't really planning on it, it just sort of happened because I needed to cool my head and I wanted to paint (needed a new brush). Hopefully, though, I'll feel better next week.
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