The Sandbox Of 7th Edition
With the new edition it is quite clear that there is a plethora of options with little restrictions. While this may seem like a problem, I don't believe it to be so. While issues may be found with unbound armies, Lords of War, formations, etc, they do not break the game on their own. What we have been given is a giant sand box, and GW has been stating and continues to state that these are the full options to play the game and that we can choose how much we want to use and incorporate. There is no, well all of this is legal so you have to play me. Since we are here to have fun, you have as much of a choice as your opponent on how you want to play the game.
Many balk at the idea of restrictions while some clamor for it. Both sides are right and are free to play the game as they wish. There is no need to hold on to old editions and refuse to play 7th, that is silly. The game we have available has the tools to satisfy the game you desire to play. You don't have to play unrestricted 40k, nor do you have to play minimalist. So how do we go forward?
I understand that there is a desire to try and create a "universal" 40k, that everyone plays by and agrees to. This is simply not feasible nor does it really matter. Ask yourself is it that important if someone playing a game in a store across the sea differently than you, and does it affect you in any way? Even amongst tournaments the rules differ by what they choose to include or exclude. Sure a generally universal rule set is a good idea and nothing is wrong with having one. How it should be approached is in the core mechanics of the game. We should focus less on what you bring, and much more on how you play.
Whether you play with unbound, lords of war, or simple force org, the phases of the game remain the same. It is this area that we should try to ensure has the least issues. It is nothing new that there are areas of the game that have potential for imbalance and abuse. The psychic phase, while an awesome addition, heavily rewards bringing as many psykers as possible. This may be an issue, its barely been a week so a real conclusion is yet to be found. Patience needs to be exercised, the fears may be founded, or overblown.
In the end, its ok if your area plays a little differently from another across the country. Where we can start is by establishing consensus in our area. We already do this, as I am sure many of you play at different points, with different rules on whats allowed and so on. My area has certain general guidelines or "house rules" that we play by. This eliminates the worry that you'll show up with an army no one will play.
Being active in your community falls on you, and it is your fault, not the communities, for not taking your opinion in. Most regions have forums or sites where gamers can regularly communicate. This does not mean you need to be posting daily or even weekly. But you should use that tool to express your opinion in a reasonable way and understand that others in the community deserve as much consideration as you. This allows you to post ahead of time of what game you want to play and general guidelines, lets say you want to play with lords of war that usually no one plays with for example. I've even seen someone post a few hours before showing up and getting a response.
Be proactive not reactive. Some may say that while its all well and good to allow differences between communities, it doesn't help those who travel. Well again, its not the communities fault that they did not accommodate your play style when you show up unannounced in their area. Again be proactive and find out what that area plays. You were able to find the location of the store, I'm sure a few more minutes of googling would find the local forum or site as well for you to find out what to expect. This also allows you to do the above and post what type of game you would like to play, you may not get the exact match up you want, but it will be much better than showing up and hoping your army you brought is legal.
The approach to 7th should be positive, not negative, and no I am not talking about being all happy about the game. What I mean is that you should use positive behavior to encourage positive behavior. Instead of banning unbound, let someone who wants to play unbound play a game, and let them know that next game you want to play a normal force org game. You simply cannot get what you want all the time, so don't expect it. If there is differing opinion on how you want to play the game in your community, instead of shunning the minority, bring them in. Let them play their way sometimes, and play your way others. Sure you may face an abusive list from time to time, but if you can encourage people to play without them without using shaming or negative tactics, in the long run your group will be better and healthy.
I have seen many large groups become small cliques because they became to be viewed as elitist, not letting new or other players play the game as they wanted. While you may find unbound to be horrible, someone might love it. Guess what you both are right, so find common ground where you both can have fun. There will always be those that get off on crushing people at the local shop, its just the nature of the beast. Shaming them should be the last resort. Let them play the occasional game with their army, if they can agree to play without it sometimes as well. This won't work every time, but I have found that most people are willing to accommodate and change when treated with respect instead of derision.
So here we are with the sandbox of 7th and a desire to play. The beauty of this new system is that it is intended to provide as much or as little as you want. You do not need a simple guideline from GW in order to decide on what you want in your games. You have it all now. I'm sure some groups will adopt unbound with eagerness while others will exclude it and neither will be wrong in doing that alone. Don't get caught up in the argument that we have to decide what the game is going to be and that it must be universal.
Individual tournaments will make their decisions as they always have. You get to decide which you want to go to, the ones that are restrictive, or the ones that allow as much as possible. The tournaments out there run the gambit and you have plenty of choice in which you want to go to, if any. Every tournament does not need to cater to your wants. And please understand that they are wants, not needs.
With FAQs we should see some issues with 7th fixed, and if not there can be a consensus on what to do if this does not happen. I know daemons and summoning are a point of contention and look to be a possible issue. Though I would stress that since very few games have been played, tactics to counter such armies have yet to arise and with that banning or limiting power levels may not be needed, or they may need to inspite of it. 40k armies should not need psykers to win, and if it appears that the new game mechanic is to powerful and skewed, then I can certainly agree to some changes needing to be made.
As we go forward, patience and an open mind is needed, as well as a willingness to compromise and find common ground. Dividing the community does nothing for us. Its not black and white and "WAAC" players have a place as much as Fluff Bunnies. With this approach 7th will be the best edition yet and in the end its about finding a game and having fun. Enjoy your time in the sand box.