Stop Forging My World!

by | Sep 6, 2017

Last weekend the rejuvenated Nova Open held its annual Warhammer 40k tournaments and like BAO the top list featured the latest boogieman Imperial Guard Conscripts! In the days following, much analysis has been made about Andrew Gonyo’s list, which ended up winning both the invitational and championships at the Nova Open 2017. On the surface the average Warhammer 40k player either saw an interestingly fluffy set of units or a monstrosity.

Personally, I saw a slightly different problem.  If you look beyond the one list, Nova Open 2017 featured a host of lists filled with the same problem over and over. It is a problem I have been talking about since before 8th edition was release, and one that crystallized attending Warhammer Fest. Forge World is the greatest barrier to 8th edition becoming the edition everyone wants it to be. The completely untested rules the Forge World loves to release hurts the game and tournament organizers enabling them only exacerbates the issue.

A major problem is Games Workshop refusal to actually go to Forge World and force them to change. The compartmentalized structure of Games Workshop makes it near impossible to get Forge World to consistently do anything, but make amazing models. The Forge World indexes were blatantly rushed for 8th edition, with its writers paying no attention to the cost of equivalent units found in the regular indexes to balance their own units.

In the not so distance past, the majority of events didn’t allow Forge World, because everyone knew the rules were either untested or written terribly. Since 7th edition was such a cluster fuck, no one noticed as Forge World became normalized into the Warhammer 40k competitive scene. Well it is time to go back to the old ways, until Games Workshop gets a handle on their subsidiary. Events should stop allowing Forge World immediately! I know this sounds quite draconian, but even if Forge World was punctual with balancing, you cannot keep on playing wack a mole.

While Games Workshop is doing a stellar job plugging holes in the main game, Forge World operates at its own pace putting competitive balance far to the back of the line. If events banned Forge World it could send a firm message to the newly engaged Games Workshop to apply itself to fill one of the last remaining gaping holes in the game. I also have no faith in Forge World whenever they decide to release new units as well, because any place that uses “experimental rules” should know better that their shit is broken.

Don’t think the new Chapter Approved book will save us either, if it follows the format of the Generals Handbook you won’t see any Forge World units adjusted inside. Strangely, you can’t even apply the traditional profit motive to explain Forge World behavior, the majority of broken units are either easily converted or have a large secondary market. Worse it means Games Workshop doesn’t expand its own sales, because why should I take the Games Workshop version of a unit when I can take the insanely better Forge World versions?

Finally, Forge World has always brought out a few of the worst behaviors in Warhammer 40k players. Forge World encourages knock offs and terrible hobbying, as models are not easily accessible for the majority of players in the world. It also encourages players with money to have an outsized advantage over the average player. Throw the over powered units into the mix and you get toxic brew. Many of the problems are fundamental to the Games Workshop and Forge World relationship, but at the very least playtesters and/or Games Workshop needs to take over Forge World rules at least for match play, or the cycle of imbalance won’t ever end.