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Warhammer 40,000 (fifth edition)» Forums » General

Subject: Why Does 40k have a low user rating relative to the other top games? rss

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Joseph
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I can think of two things right off the top of my head:

A lot of people want to buy a game and play it, they don't want to have to build it first.

AND

A lot of people want to buy a whole game at once. You buy one box and you have a whole game.
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Leo Zappa
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I'm going to guess that people might say that while 40K is a great hobby, encompassing not just gameplay, but the building, painting, and collecting of models of the various factions, it's not perhaps a top flight game in and of itself. Put another way, stripping away theme and ancillaries and looking at just the bare game engine, some might be inclined to say that there's not a lot there, that 40K, from a pure gameplay standpoint, is not a brain burner like some of the other top games that you mentioned. Roll for initiative, move guys, pick targets, roll to hit, roll to save, rinse, repeat. It works for me (I play a little 40K with a friend who has a huge Black Templar army and some assorted opponent units), but I can see how some might not be overly impressed with the gameplay.

I'm not sure I'd agree with people who might say these things, but that's what I'd expect to read in response to your question. I'm a board wargamer myself, and the same could be said about a lot of the games I play - strip away the theme and the pretty counter and map graphics and what do you have? Pretty much the same thing as 40K, and yet, I find myself drawn to wargames over Euros every day and twice on Sundays. Theme, graphic presentation, and the gameplay, taken as a whole integrated package, is irresistible to me!

Bottom line - don't worry about BGG ratings and your favorite games - if you enjoy the game, it doesn't matter what a bunch of Euro-fans think!

Also - don't forget that there is a rather strong anti-GW bias here, mostly due to the cease and desist letter sent to BGG regarding fan-made files for Space Hulk 3rd Edition a couple of years ago. That may also play into some negative ratings assigned by some bitter fans (I was one of those fans for about a week, and then got over it!)
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Tim M-L
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Wargames and miniatures games in general have lower rankings on BGG. It is not a focus of the site. Looking at some of the other stats, there are very few fans of this game. There are a lot of people who have the various 40K microbadges, but I suspect that is mostly out of nostalgia.
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Joseph
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Plus, this is a factor:

$
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Bossko B.
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I've got accustomed to the anti-GW rage here on BGG. That and that most 40Ker's probably stick to dedicated 40K forums like Dakka Dakka (which still has lots of GW hate), Libraium & Bell of Souls.

But like desertfox2004 says, BGG is also a site where most users wants a boxed board game. That is not really what 40K is about. Shame, because I feel BGG could be the perfect place for 40K to fit in.



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Brian Collins
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There's also the perception that science-fiction toy soldier games are "not for grown-ups" - this bias also carries over to their fiction line, which my local specialty bookstore won't stock.

GW does not help their own situation either, being perceived as quite the bully by the community. A few years ago, when Space Hulk was the big deal, they demanded that all user-created files be deleted from this site. Few could see any point to this, it was just high-handed bullying, but the instructions were carried out and the files went missing.

Anyway, I'm certainly not a GW apologist but I do love their games...
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Leo Zappa
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korxonthos wrote:
desertfox2004 wrote:
I'm going to guess that people might say that while 40K is a great hobby, encompassing not just gameplay, but the building, painting, and collecting of models of the various factions, it's not perhaps a top flight game in and of itself. Put another way, stripping away theme and ancillaries and looking at just the bare game engine, some might be inclined to say that there's not a lot there, that 40K, from a pure gameplay standpoint, is not a brain burner like some of the other top games that you mentioned. Roll for initiative, move guys, pick targets, roll to hit, roll to save, rinse, repeat. It works for me (I play a little 40K with a friend who has a huge Black Templar army and some assorted opponent units), but I can see how some might not be overly impressed with the gameplay.

I'm not sure I'd agree with people who might say these things, but that's what I'd expect to read in response to your question. I'm a board wargamer myself, and the same could be said about a lot of the games I play - strip away the theme and the pretty counter and map graphics and what do you have? Pretty much the same thing as 40K, and yet, I find myself drawn to wargames over Euros every day and twice on Sundays. Theme, graphic presentation, and the gameplay, taken as a whole integrated package, is irresistible to me!


I'm not sure if this is necessarily the case. Aren't there many different strategies and tactics in Warhammer 40k? I certainly don't think that charging all your Ork Boyz against dozens of Fire Warriors is a "good" tactical choice...


Oh, I agree that there's more than meets the eye to 40K and most other minis wargames, but to the majority of people who frequent BGG and play with wooden meeples, rondels, and tile-bags, these kinds of tactical decisions may not register as significant. Bottom line - wargames, board or minis, are not the prime focus of BGG, so our games will generally never get ranked too high (someone will invariably point out that the top ranked game here is Twilight Struggle, a game classified as a wargame on BGG, but one which most wargamers would not include as part of their hobby, since it lacks one aspect that is generally associated with wargames, that being 'combat').
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Bossko B.
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GW games are not the only ones looked down upon on BGG either. Lets take one of the best selling board games as an example shall we. Go to the General Forum and say that you're a huge Monopoly fan and think it's the best game ever and would like similar suggestions. whistle
 
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Bryan Lane
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Pretty much everything noted above, plus (coming from someone who played a TON of 40K) as far as mini war games go, it's not even that great. Balance is horrible because GW's release schedule is wacked and combined with standard power creep there's always a couple of armies languishing with horrible books and the new hotness (usually marines of some flavour) that have ridiculous books. Even when your army finally gets a new book, it might do more harm than good.

Warmachine Prime Mk II does everything warhammer does but so much better. GW makes some good games, but 40K isn't one of them.
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The War Chief
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ElCid91 wrote:
Plus, this is a factor:

$


Being a big money suck is the main factor I stopped playing.
 
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Cody Holden
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Well, I'm probably going to retread a bit in this, but bear with me.

1. It's a miniature selling mechanism more than it is a game.


Now, I'm not going to come on here and say that unjustified. I'm subscribed to this board, so obviously I don't hate the game. I play a whole lot of Deathwatch and own the video games.

However, it's pretty obviously true. Take, for example, the WYSIWYG rule. Is it necessary? No. Not at all. But it's in the rules. Because GW knows they can get people to buy that extra heavy weapons sprue for a dozen bucks in order to keep their armies tournament-legal. The WYSIWYG rule is actually one of the main reasons that Necromunda now has a fan-made edition: The new house weapon restrictions were explicitly made to be in line with the models and accessories that GW was selling for the game.

Power creep is another part of this mechanism. Every time a new codex comes out, it is generally the most powerful codex available the day it comes out. This is because they want people buying the new armies and their codices, especially all the new elite models and overpriced finecast commanders that they made more powerful than balance dictated in order to make sure that people buy them.

So, yeah, the constant push to make you buy new models (Now, you can play TEN THOUSAND POINT GAMES, guys! Don't you want to go buy that many models? And spend hundreds on individual Titans? It'll be great!) isn't a great selling point for the BGG community, many of whom are of limited means.

2. It's simple, it's repetitive, it's random, it's looong.


The actual game for sale in WH40k is pretty simple in concept. Move your guys, roll to hit, roll to wound, roll to save. Everything else is pretty much modifiers on those actions. That's not a bad thing, but it's definitely not the kind of game that BGG tends to rate highly: Tight, balanced, tactical experiences where there isn't enough randomness to lose a game based entirely on the dice.

But, that wouldn't be a problem, if it weren't for the fact that the game takes hours. Rolling some dice to see who wins a firefight is great, if it's a five minute experience as part of a larger game. However, when you're looking for a game to spend the better part of a day on, rolling handfuls of dice isn't the kind of thing that BGG goers want to see as the sole means of resolving conflict.

So, to examine your Smallworld comparison, let's think about the differences between the games: WH40k takes hours, whereas SW takes one to two. WH40k is about how much you can tilt the odds in your favor, whereas SW is about using limited resources most efficiently in a certain time frame. WH40k is random every step of the way, but in SW you know almost exactly what you'll be able to achieve in a given turn without ever touching a die.

Smallworld isn't really a wargame, either, though. But in the wargame community here on BGG, WH40k is too middle-of-the-road to achieve widespread support. For the hardcore simulationists, WH40k is too unrealistic and doesn't have enough options. To the more casual wargamers, WH40k is a time and money sink that they don't see as worth it. Most cripplingly, both groups hate the lack of balance in 40k.

3. The Big Space Hulk Debacle.


Seriously, BGG's GW-supporting community went crazy over that. You would have thought that GW had started putting kittens in their resin vats.

4. It's not even the "best" GW game.


There's a lot of mudslinging between WH40k and Fantasy in certain circles, and that doesn't help, but there are still raving fans of the "specialty" games out there who hold a lot of resentment about the big brother games getting all the attention. Necromunda, Battlefleet Gothic, Mordheim, and Bloodbowl are all systems that have interesting, fun rules, and-- critically-- don't take too many models to play. In the case of Necromunda, there's an entire ruleset that has been spawned by a community which wants their favorite game to be more balanced but understands that GW has abandoned the game from a developmental standpoint.

So, basically, There's a lot of reasons for people to attempt to drag down the ratings of GW's big games.

But, take heart! Considering how many games are on BGG, being in the top 1000 still ain't too bad.

Postscript time!

GW also doesn't gain too many popularity points in the community from the way it treats small game stores. They tend to be a lot more demanding than other distributors, and have an expectation that you ought to be filling half of the space in your store with their crap, even if it won't sell. I'm talking from second hand info here, but what I've heard about their behavior on that stage hasn't been pleasant.
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Bossko B.
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I play a lot of games.
40K is amongst my favourites at the moment (my favourites change). I agree it's not a normal Board Game, it is a hobby that is more about the miniatures. The game mechanics are little more than a dice rolling contest, a bit like, well, every other game that uses dice really.

Anyway, I visit several 40K websites, much as I have visited gaming websites for other games I've enjoyed - Star Wars Minis, D&D minis, Heroclix, Heroscape & many, many RPG websites. But never do I see so much hate for a game, even from so-called fans, than on 40K sites. I don't get it. Sure, I've complained about games (especially Star Wars minis), but never to the extent I see people rant about 40K. I want to spend time chatting about a game I like with people with the same interest, but I find myself moving from forum to forum trying to avoid the constant 'I love Mechmachine' threads. Why are people posting this on Warhammer forums?

There are the Games Workshop is the evil corporation threads. Really? I think people need to look at what Internet, computer & electical corporations they are using before looking at a small company, by comparison, as Games Workshop.

And not to mention the forums on GW prices. Do they also rant to Ferrari & Porsche? Saw a post from someone posting from an iPhone5 the other day complaining about GW prices. Sell the phone and you could buy a GW Apocalypse army!

This isn't a rant, I just don't understand it and just want somewhere to go to chat about a game I enjoy. So here I am at one of my favourite sites, BGG. And still there is so much hate. It's why I generally stick to RPGGeek and rarely post on BGG nowadays.

I have a game I enjoy. I intend to carry on enjoying it. I intend to keep visiting 40K forums until I find one without the hate. I'm going to grown old before that happens.

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korxonthos wrote:
By the way, since there's such a high anti-GW mentality on BBG, should I change my avatar to something that's non-GW related, so I can get more thumbs on my posts?



Nah! GW avatars are cool!

But more importanly, keep in mind that being rated ~700 out of all the rated boardgames, and ~400 out of all the rated wargames is probably pretty good!

What I'd be curious to see is where it sits among all the rated games.... Anyone know how to check this? If you browse the wargames, it includes all the unranked ones (i.e., those without enough ratings to be ranked) - how do you filter out those guys?
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Bwian, just
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Ugavine wrote:
Saw a post from someone posting from an iPhone5 the other day complaining about GW prices. Sell the phone and you could buy a GW Apocalypse army!

I don't know what iPhones run in England, but $200 isn't going to get you much of a 40K army in the US... robot
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Speaking as a game, it isn't as interesting, especially when compared to the slick decision spaces of some of the designs of the last 15 years. Most GW titles are very old, and though there have been lots of interesting things bolted to their rules sets, they show their age. In some instances (Space Hulk, Blood Bowl) the games maneuver through their problems with humor and grace. And in other instances (40k, Fantasy) they drown under their own weight.

There are a lot of good things about Games Workshop products, but gameplay is not one of them.
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Bwian wrote:
Ugavine wrote:
Saw a post from someone posting from an iPhone5 the other day complaining about GW prices. Sell the phone and you could buy a GW Apocalypse army!

I don't know what iPhones run in England, but $200 isn't going to get you much of a 40K army in the US... robot


More than $200...

Probably less than Apocalypse armies, though
 
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Bossko B.
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nyhotep wrote:
Bwian wrote:
Ugavine wrote:
Saw a post from someone posting from an iPhone5 the other day complaining about GW prices. Sell the phone and you could buy a GW Apocalypse army!

I don't know what iPhones run in England, but $200 isn't going to get you much of a 40K army in the US... robot


More than $200...

Probably less than Apocalypse armies, though

32GB iPhone 5 is £219.99

Ork Battle force £65
Codex £20
Ghazghkull Thraka £23.50
4 Box of Nobz £15.50 x 4 = £62

£170.50 for a force including Codex that is over 2000pts.

Didn't say it was competitive, but Apoc for less than an iPhone 5.
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Aaron Morgan
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Ugavine wrote:
£170.50 for a force including Codex that is over 2000pts.


How much over 2000? You need 3000+ for Apocalypse.
 
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EitherOrlok wrote:
Ugavine wrote:
£170.50 for a force including Codex that is over 2000pts.


How much over 2000? You need 3000+ for Apocalypse.

Okay, I was just going by my local club that have played Apoc at 2K.

Still, you're not far off. Each 10 Nob unit with a painboy, Big Choppas and 3 Power Klaws is over 800 points each.

So 3 10 nob mobz (1 counts as Troops cuz of Ghaz) - 2400pts
3 Nob bikers with PowerKlaw is around 330
20 'ard Boys 200pts
Ghaz 225pts

So yeah, you can still make 3000pts for £201.50 and didn't use the Trukk. Won't be great, but point is it can be done.
 
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Evan Edlund
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My big gripe with 40K is that I have to buy an army, then I have to build the army, and then I have to paint the army... that's a lot of bloody work for a single game.

If your hobby is painting and building tiny plastic men then this is the game for you. If it isn't...
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Richard Johnson
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Maybe because the actual game is pretty terrible. This is from someone who owns two rather large armies and little bits of a few more and loves the hobby. This site is mainly about board games, and 40k is not a board game. It's a hobby. Look at Space Hulk if you want to see how an actual board game in the 40k world is viewed (#80).
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Bossko B.
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The_Gunslinger wrote:
My big gripe with 40K is that I have to buy an army, then I have to build the army, and then I have to paint the army... that's a lot of bloody work for a single game.

If your hobby is painting and building tiny plastic men then this is the game for you. If it isn't...

This is a very fair point. And 40K does have a lot of snobbery about unpainted models. While you still have to assemble them I certainly have no qualms about unpainted figures from people who just want to play the game.
 
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korxonthos wrote:
How about 6th ed? Does it sit well with any boardgamer, or is it the same old thing repackaged in a nicer looking container?


I really like 6th edition, but it still has its problems. One of the major issues is not the base rules, which are fairly simple, but in the rules breaking the various codices make. Consider some armies go a decade without an update and it becomes very lop-sided over time. Some armies haven't been update for two full rules additions ago. This is not a game I enjoy playing competitively, but is a great game to play with a friend who has a similar outlook on the game. Great hobby, mediocre game.
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korxonthos wrote:
Not only that, but who was the genius that declared that grenades can actually be thrown in 6th edition?! How come they took SIX ENTIRE EDITIONS just to come up with THAT idea?!

Thrown grenades where in 1st and 2nd editions, throwing a tactical squads worth of frag grenades was devastating.

And lets not forget the often hilarious Vortex Grenade, a weapon which always killed more of your own troops than your opponent's
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Cody Holden
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korxonthos wrote:
Not only that, but who was the genius that declared that grenades can actually be thrown in 6th edition?! How come they took SIX ENTIRE EDITIONS just to come up with THAT idea?!


I always liked the way grenades worked, personally. Having them pin the enemy rather than kill them made it more believable that the combat was between two highly trained military forces (or the racial equivalent).
 
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