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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Runes of, I mean Warding

Runes of Warding how I loved you. But it's just not working out. The game has moved in a decidedly more psychic direction. Many armies rely on powers to operate at full potential and almost all armies benefit greatly from them. And they're fun! Most players really want to take advantage of this excellent and cool part of the game. But you just won't let them will you. You need control. Everything has to be your way, doesn't it? You've just gotta have those psychic powers all to yourself. Well, I'm sorry. I'm ready to see other people...use psychic powers. I think it's best for both of us if we just end this charade.

I started Eldar in 2009 and I've been using and loving the heck out of Runes of Warding for the entire lifespan of my army. I even took them when I knew for sure my opponent wouldn't take a psyker. It just felt right to play with the list I want to have against any opponent. Because, well, why the f^%& not? They're just so unbelievably cheap for what they do. And I know you can say that about so much gear out there but this must be the case where it is most true. This <20pt wargear effectively shuts down psychic powers on the entire board. That's a huge part of the game that just--doesn't--happen. The power gamer in me says "f$%&#ng sweet!," but commonsense says that not only should it be changed because it's too good, it should be changed because it will make the entire game better for everyone.

Consider a gaming group with one Eldar player. In this group, everyone writes their lists before they show up to game and they write TAC (take all-comers) lists because they don't have any idea what they will fight. Almost every army has some kind of psyker and most of them are very useful. They're also expensive, points-wise. So do they spend points that may turn out to be a waste if they draw up the only Eldar player? What if there are two Eldar players? Some people may take the psykers anyway, but I don't know that they'll keep taking them if they kill their HQ on Perils of the Warp. Or continuously do so. Especially with the Warlord's well-being factoring into your chances to win.

I know a lot of Eldar players are going to be really disappointed when RoWard gets nerfed into oblivion. Or at least picks up a limited range. But, think about it this way. Does RoWard satisfyingly establish Eldar as the most psychic race? Even unimpeded, how many powers can you dish out with one force org? Five. Wow, you must be practicing very hard. How about Tyranids? A friend of mine casts nine a turn. Grey Knights? Chaos Daemons? Psychic supremacy means having more powers with greater effects. It's not about picking up a passive piece of wargear that negates an interesting aspect of the game.

Eldar players ought to break up with Runes of Warding before she walks out that door herself. Because when she does, she ain't comin' back. Don't cry into your beer. Don't stay up late and wonder if she's seeing other codices. Don't look up her (page) number over and over again just to think about the good old days. Don't dwell on past editions. Turn the page. Look forward. This is for the best.