One of the messageboards I frequent is the primary haunt for a group of local WFB players. One of the recent threads concerned an event put on by another gamer known for rather “cheesy” armies.
This topic generated quite a few comments by some people who derided some of the more beardy armies that this particular fellow had used in the past and it made me wonder about WFB and why it seems to be plagued by this problem.
Now in my experience when two gamers get together to play WFB and they are not focusing on trying to win at all costs the game can be quite fun (too many rules arguments for my taste though). But due to level of flexibility and options in each of the WFB army books the game can quite easily lead to power-gaming and people building armies that are simply built to destroy your opponent.
This isn’t a problem limited to WFB. You can do this in almost any game. But Games Workshop games seem more prone to this sort of thing given the companies focus on selling models and not on actually selling good rules. Any company that gives away rulebooks as a way to continue sales of a line of miniatures, as GW did with their Specialist Games range, is giving everyone a good clue as to what the companies actual priorities are.
So are GW games doomed? Is there no way to balance them (or no desire to balance them) so that this sort of cheesy army building is a thing of the past?
I’m not too sure to be honest. Solid rules come from people who are interested in building a solid gameplay experience and I can’t see that this is a priority for GW. Churning out regular army updates and new armies to maintain their sales levels is a priority.