Friday, September 16, 2011

Dear GW: Please Stop Purging the Xenos

So... I know that you guys are just poking some good natured fun about my decision to take up "another" Marines army. I suppose it goes un-noticed that this would be my first heavily mechanized army... ever.

But that's not the point is it. One Spesh Mareen army is just like another, amirite? And I'm just contributing to the plague of Mareens out there.

Let me reiterate that I am fully aware that people like SinSynn are just flipping me shit in a good natured way. I'm talking about the internetz at large mostly.

I actually have a deep seated desire to increase the "biodiversity" of the 40k community writ large. It's one of the big reasons that I started Tyranids. Because I like variety and I like playing against different armies, so darnit, I'm going to start a "different" army.

Well, I like my Nids. I do. They are mostly painted and certainly playable and if I ever got a wild hair I think they look as cool as hell and they have place of pride in my display case. I certainly COULD take them to a tourney.

But do I want to?

I don't know that I do.

Dashofpepper recently posted this rant article about the "Draw of Xenos." Now, don't get me wrong, I agree with a lot of his points, but this section really kind of pissed me off:

"The word “bandwagoner” gets tossed around a lot for folks who start playing the latest codex. I consider all space marine players to be bandwagoners. I hold all of them in the same regard that I do for the legion of MMO players who all have names like, “Drizzt, Drizzzt, Drizzt24, Drizzit, Druzzt, etc.” Pathetic." 

Umm.. no. To put this nicely, this is really bullshit. Blame the game designer, not the player. To call all Space Marines pathetic bandwagoners is just the height of bullshit arrogance. I will admit that I sometimes feel twinges of regret that I have yet to find a Xenos codex that "fires on all cylinders." I really do. Nids have the aesthetic, but are just so frustratingly lacking for what *I* want in an army that I lost my motivation. Note that I'm not lecturing you from on high about how Nids are a crap army and no one can win with them. What I am telling you is that the army doesn't work the way *I* want it to, and why the hell would I put myself through that? (Note: I think Dark Eldar are a "good" codex, but they aren't my style. That's ok, right? Lol. I'm sorry that the *one* competitive Xenos codex doesn't appeal to me. Something MUST be wrong with me, right?)

My Loganwing army works exactly how I want it to. It does the things I want it to do. I lose some games, win most, but at the end of the day I don't think to myself "man this army just CAN'T handle X." It's simply not the case. I may have built my army wrong, but I can fix it, and find that the army performs better. There is no such magic bullet for Nids. I used to think there might be, and honestly the closest thing I've come to said "magic bullet" is playing T-Fexes properly and using Genestealers.


They are good, but not good enough.

Sigh. I didn't mean for this to be a Nids rant.

So Dash, while I may agree with some of your thoughts, and respect your (obvious) skills as a player, you can take the elitism and leave it at home.

I had a private chat with my buddy Chappy about this topic. I told him that it actually did make me feel bad that people out there think I'm a "bandwagoner" (at least in the sense that I'm one of the large number of players playing Grey Knights) for playing an army that appeals to me on all levels - functionality, aesthetic, competitiveness, etc.

His thoughts are a bit blunter than mine:

"Fuck what others think. Space Marines built this company. Space Marines sell this company. Space Marines are the most versatile army out there if you take all of their codex' and throw em together. Do I think GW should show more love to xenos? Yes. But did they? No. Am I going to play a sub-standard army and be a money donater at tournament? Fucking Hell NO! So let the haters hate while we walk away with their prize support.

Deathwing Bitches. 
So let me just say this once and be done with it. I'm NOT a "bandwagoner." I don't jump on armies because "the internet says they are leet." I read everyone's thoughts, sure. But I watch, and read, and think, and (eventually) test. At that point I decide. That's the way I did it with Space Wolves (way late to the party there), Nids (again, mostly because I really *wanted* to make it work), and now with Grey Knights. 
Here's a hint: If there's a 'bandwagon' it might be because the army is good.
And you know what, I don't think there's any shame in playing a "good" army. And I don't mean "Oh, the internetz says if I play Space Wolves I will DOMINATE!" No, it means that I can look at the Space Wolf codex and build, rebuild, tear apart, and mix up dozens of different armies that support many of my hair brained ideas, and it actually WORKS. 
The Nids Codex does not allow me to do this to the same extent.
Thus, Space Wolves are better. 
It's just a fact.
Grey Knights allow me to have lots of hulls on the board, and shoot things a lot. It's a very different army from my Space Wolves. It will scratch a different itch in my brain. So don't hate. 
If Necrons come out, and they rock, then guess what, I might want to play them too.
If they suck, well, someone else can take up the burden of "supporting biodiversity." 

You don't think I wouldn't LOVE to play a beautiful Eldar army? Tau? Or gee, how about a new army? (Space Skaven or Lizardmen, anyone? I don't care if it's another Fantasy > Sci Fi Transfer, I would love to see rats or dinosaurs in space). 
The game needs more good Xenos codices. I agree. But it's not my job to be the martyr boosting GW's Xenos sales till they pull their heads out of their asses.