Sunday, March 15, 2009

Dwarfs.. a small problem????

I was tempted into starting my Dwarven host for WFB as a result of a fascinating discussion on the South Island War games forum about how boring dwarves are to play. My first thought (already recorded on an earlier blog) was, how could you be bored by a lot of very short guys with lots of attitude and big axes? As I have also been 'gaming for 40 years this year (yep, 1969 I started) my experience suggests that if an army is boring then either the rules are rubbish, or players have developed stereotypical ways of playing that cause the boredom.

So, I thought, there's only one answer: build an army and start playing differently. So, i bought the army book and my first battalion box of GW figures, and have already started painting them (a small confession : I had planned to 'speed paint' them to get an army on the table. Sadly my painting habits - I am a fan of layering- have meant that I just can't bring myself to 'speed paint'.. damn). I also thought.. I've heard nice things about tournament players in WFB.. hard but good humoured etc), I've even anticipated playing in a tournament or two. An inspection of the army book seemed op present a number of appropriate alternatives that would allow for a range of interesting tactical alternatives that might make for interesting games instead of the 'boring (or predictable) games' that, I'd heard, are the norm.

Imagine then my surprise when, talking with a 'gamer whose opinion I have no reason to disbelieve, I discover that the alternatives I am contemplating are 'cheesy'!!!!

I HATE the word, but I've met the concept before. In the last nationals competition I played in (WW2,.. Natcon 1981.. in which Brian S and I took out the title as a team) we played an army that consisted of two Tiger Is and a Panther.... in WW23 terms that's 'cheesy'!!! I resolved after that experience that I would never play in a competition again.. I broke the resolution on 2008 and played at TagCon in their DBA competition.. thanks guys for showing what a good competition can be.

However provided you stay within the legal army book I am a little puzzled about why army composition could be considered 'cheesy'.. (I hate the word so much, I'll refrain from using it anymore in this post!!). But apparently I'll lose sportsmanship points 'big time' if I do so.

OK.. now I'm really puzzled. In any games that I play, I'm looking for interest and entertainment. I tend to lose at least as many games as I win, and I'm certainly NOT a power 'gamer. But if using the legal army list is frowned upon by one's opponents, and sportsmanship scores suffer as a result, it's NO WONDER that games involving Dwarf armies are boring.

Really, guys... how can you expect anything else if you basically 'cower' players into one paradigm of army composition, and therefore of play.

I have no problem organising armies that are legal, and looking for ways to create interesting tactical situations that make for entertaining armies.

But this attitude (if I have this correct): does this mean that if WFB players played Modern Spearhead, then you would frown upon opponents using Counter battery fire, or attack helicopters, is MRLSs, or Gas??? These were technically a possible part of any warfare on the modern battlefield, and are encompassed within the rules system as a result.

If specific army compositions are allowed for in the army book of a fantasy games system, isn't that an equivalent to CB fire, or gas or.... I had planned to lay outside the existing paradigm in order to create interesting games, fun games.

I am puzzled by why they are in the lists if they are considered to be 'ch...'.. no I can't say the word any more. Surely dwarf miners, or gyrocopters or.. whatever, anything in fact that alters the style of play, can't be that dodgy. Or maybe some folk just feel threatened by out of the box (but inside the army list) thinking.

I am hoping that someone else reads this blog post, and can assure me that what I have been told is not true, that this little rant was unnecessary... if it is true, then I've invested $$ and quite some time already for a 'gaming experience that I may not enjoy,

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