Sunday, January 21, 2018

Edition Wars Eventually Become Edition Purges [Part 2]

If you are the only one standing in the Empire, you must leave the Empire.
Inspirobot knows where destiny must lead.
See Part 1.

...and so began and ended the Great Wargaming Purge, where all rulesets were cast aside and the meek inherited the Earth.  So where are we today?

Osprey Wargames leads the pack with several small, affordable rulesets that work fantastic.  Other small publishers have given us fantastic offerings like Horizon Wars and Tomorrow's War, and of course the modern classic that is Frostgrave. We are spoiled for choice no matter if you like to play Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Modern or Historical.

Not everyone plays the same editions anymore.  I first encountered Edition Wars with Warhammer 40,000, not D&D.  In 1998, when 3rd Edition was released, fully half the group decided they would stay with 2nd Edition, and they did UNTIL THEY DIED.  Literally.  My homey died with his 2nd Edition book still clutched in his lumpy hands.  RIP Big Randy.  At the time I didn't understand your recalcitrance, but I'm old now like you were then.

Well, I haven't played 40k, Warhammer, Warmachine or Flames of War in a few years, and I have no desire to jump on the newest edition grind.  Surprisingly, if you put these rulesets aside the Edition Wars cleanly end.  However, one issue still remains - in our hearts, we love these games and we want to play them.  What can we do?

Looking at my collection, I have a lot of 40k rules already.  That goes for each of those systems.  I'm a competent game designer.  So now we'll do what we should have done then.  We know what's wrong on the table, in our microcosm.  Rather than let some game designer somewhere writing drivel to earn a paycheck, we can actually create our own set of rules to accomodate and quash whatever issues were plaguing the table.  Every time, we can do this.

And so I shall.

It's time to break out the old books and start playing them.  Then change what we find to be "un-fun" - especially if it's seen as "unfair" on the table.  This is just how it has to be, and it's the job of the referee to make sure this is taken care of.  As such, in the new group and the old club, that job ultimately falls to me.  I failed the old club when I didn't enforce 'house' rules on the table, and the entire group suffered as a consequence.

So we're going to play these old games again.  We're not getting the new edition, instead, Iron Seer will adapt new material to old rulesets and old rulesets to new material.  We'll probably do a slow crawl like the old club did with D&D, starting with 40k 2nd Edition.  Warmachine / Hordes will be 2nd Edition, and Flames of War will be 3rd Edition.  Warhammer Fantasy Battle is up in the air, but we might go back as far as 3rd Edition.

Going forward, I'll probably be skipping several editions of all these games.  Probably at least ten years more, at the least.  There is no reason to do so, because the promise of a "better, updated version" is just sales copy.  Honestly I don't have any more room on my shelves for useless books from yesteryear...not when I can put all kinds of other good stuff in that same space that isn't the exact same stuff I already had.  I'll probably buy new models, though...and old books.

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