Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Templates and Scatters: Why 8th Ed 40k didn't "fix" the problems they caused

A common consensus seems to be that 8th Edition has "solved" the problem of Templates and Scatters by getting rid of them. Really though, it only treated the symptom of the real problem.

"But they caused so many arguments" you may say. And therein lies the issue.

The issue was never in the rules of blast and scatters. Those were unambiguous and the RAW met the RAI. If played by the book there should have never EVER have been an issue.

The issue was in how players acted about them and the level of sportsmanship one or both of the players had and their ability to reasonably play the game and settle disagreements.
Basically, people can be jerks.

"But the scatter dice and template could be so subjective!" you may say. Well let me tell you there are MANY more subjective games out there that people have no problems with (just go look at historical wargames in general and how open and loose they can be). Beyond that pretty much EVERYTHING is subjective in this game. LoS, measuring distances, what is "cocked" and what is not, etc. etc.

So what is the solution then? Stop being dicks. And an edition change can do nothing about that, only eliminate the rules that are exploited by unsporting conduct.
In 7th, I almost NEVER had a problem with scatters or blasts. Why?
-I rolled the dice as close as possible to the location of the scatter
-Because I tried to never debate where the dice pointed or how many guys the template covered
-If there was doubt or debatable in my own, I would ask my opponent for a judgement call
-If there was a unresolved issue, a simple roll off would decide it.

See how that works? It was sporting, and it was in accordance with the rules by the time we got to the Roll Off. And generally, my opponent would follow my example and the game would go smoother, faster and be generally more pleasant.

Because no one was a jerk.

There may not be the issue with Templates and Scatters anymore, but people can and will still be jerks and poor sportsman to each other. There will be something new that will be exploitable by these players that will become the ire of all. It will be the new Template/Scatter. The underlying problem still exists.
If you found yourself having continuous problems with scatters and templates in 7th and start to find that there is some mechanic you keep fighting over in 8th... take a look at the people you play with AND at yourself.

Are you making every effort to be as sporting as possible OR are you being jerks?

Answer that and you may just find that the "Issues" or "Problems" in game may just disappear.