Friday, 29 July 2011

40k misconceived: WYSIWYG

After my recent lapse into WarmaHordes (which is still ongoing, as it were) I thought I’d reaffirm my allegiance to the Empire of Games and do another rules thingy for 40k.

I’m gonna poke a hole in a very basic assumption.

What you see isn’t always what you get.

From Turn Signals on a Land Raider. Read it, if you haven't.

See, the 40k rulebook has a single paragraph about WYSIWYG. It’s on page 47. Yep, in the characters section. Now, the way the rule is phrased is very general, and would seem to indicate that this is meant to apply to all models, but then it really shouldn’t be in the characters section.

Just like we cannot apply any of the vehicle rules on our bikes, we cannot apply the character rules on anything else. And being in the character section makes a rule a character rule.

So the concept of WYSIWYG is stipulated in the rulebook, but only applies to characters. Am I in the habit of being an ass about it?

Nope. I make sure my armies are WYSIWYG, or make it very clear to my opponent what isn’t. In the serial tournament I’m running, I enforce WYSIWYG. Why? It’s a good tool.

It just isn’t in the rules.

The main rules, that is.

Tournament organizers, local clubs and bands of friends sometimes enforce it as a rule. And well that they do. There’s a good reason to make sure your opponent can tell what’s on your models. It makes the games go more smoothly, and prevents moments of “What? That guy has a melta gun? That’s a freaking bolter!”

But, the rules do not require all models to be WYSIWYG. If your Tactical Marine models aren’t actually equipped with bolt pistols, that’s not an actual rules problem. If your Captain’s pipe wrench represents a Thunder Hammer (or worse, a bike) that is a rules problem.

Don’t be an ass about it.

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