Thursday, February 10, 2011

Let's ban all Special Characters!

After becoming the team captain for Team Norway at the next year's European Team Championship, I started reading both the rules pack and the discussions in the Captain's Council that lead to these rules.  You see, all aspects of the ETC is decided in a democratic process, where the team captains of each nation have one vote each. The majority rules.

Most of the decisions have been excellent, and the tournament format is undoubtedly very good for this kind of event. I did however wonder why they decided to ban all Special Characters Here in Norway, we have allowed SCs for  quite some time now, after GW started removing the need for "opponent's consent" whenever fielding an SC.

The discussions prior to the vote mostly dealt with some characters breaking the game. Some argued that allowing Special Characters would decrease the number of viable builds available to players. If Vulkan was allowed, for example, every Space Marine player would do a flamer/melta-heavy Salamanders list.

I don't agree with this at all. I find that by banning all SCs, you limit the possible number of high-level armies and skew the metagame into something that is easier to quantify and systemize than you would by allowing them. Sure, the SCs are powerful, but they all have drawbacks. Some are expensive which gives you less support (Logan Grimnar, Ghazkull Thraka, Abbadon), some are great in close combat but lacks firepower or are slow (Swarmlord), some act as a force multiplier but are vulnerable to shooting and assault  (Eldrad).

You pay premium points for their abilities. Sure, some of them are cheaper than you'd expect, but that can easily be said about many units too! Terminators with Thunder Hammers and Storm Shields are cleary undercosted. Let's ban them. Thunderwolves are a little too god, let's ban them too. And Fire Dragons. And while we're at it, take the Vendetta, Manticore, Plague Marines, Obliterators and Hive Guard too. In fact, the best way to make sure the game is fair is if we all play Necrons!

And ban the Monolith...