Meat for Meta: Living in a Bubble

The Closing Doors Around Warhammer 40k

Warning

Meat for Meta is rated editorial nonsense. These articles are meant to complain about some group, somewhere, that is playing the game for all the wrong reasons or simply to just make fun of 40k nerd rage.

I live in a Bubble, it is a pretty big one, but it is still a bubble. It is very specific one, it is the ITC bubble. The Independent Tournament Circuit founded by Frontline Gaming has been a warm cocoon for the last couple of years. In the dark days of Matt Ward’s 6th edition people were leaving the game in droves, it took a group of players coming together to stop the decay. Combined with the help of a more playable 7th edition, Warhammer 40k is thriving in my corner of the world. All along the North American West Coast, players are mostly unified by the ITC and the ranking system it has brought. Sure, people complain about certain things within the ITC, but by in large the format gives folks the latitude to play a balanced as can be form of the game.

Living in this bubble has caused me to mostly play 40k one way. There is no desire to try things like Unbound or Maelstrom missions. People don’t spam Super Heavies and the game generally feels playable. Certain armies are hurt even with these restrictions, but this has always been the same for every edition. This is my Warhammer 40k existence. I can’t help, but notice this story isn’t the same for the rest of the World. If I went by Internet discussions I would think the apocalypse has arrived. The East Coast is in complete disarray, with camps wanting either very limited or complete no-holds-barred 40k.

Then you have many places, either given up completely or beholden to individual game store policies. There seems to be a growing group of people targeting the ITC hiding behind jealousy couched in concerned trolling. I can see the logic behind anti-ITC many discussions. Since, GW has opened the game so wide, it gives players the option to do whatever they want, and with ITC restrictions, it can seem like it is targets certain armies or units while ignoring other problems. As stores adopt the ITC it can run against player desires to play the game a certain way. If you don’t like the ITC, I understand it would be hard to change your mind, but in the chaos GW continues to unleash it is safest place to be. It also doesn’t stop me from playing games how ever I want outside of organized play. Games Workshop opened up the rules, but in doing so they also closed many doors. Navigating what is and isn’t allowed between locations is harder than ever. If you are lucky you can find a Facebook group to help, but the days of showing up to any game store and hoping for a decent balanced game is long gone.

Collectively, we don’t know how the game is doing on the garage gamer level leaving a large gap in our understanding on the health of the game. In the past we could count on numerous blogs and forums to feed us information all across the world. Currently, most blogs have died or moved on, and large portions of all forums are nothing more than Troll dens for anti-GW sentiment. So, while my bubble is comfy and growing, I cannot help but wonder what the rest of the world is doing and it kinda frightens me.