Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you should be aware of the new 2017 Steamroller CID that was released last Wednesday and the ensuing shit storm that it created on the inter webs. Funny thing is, all the nerd rage and uptight constipation wasn’t about the actual scenarios but about a this little nugget:
A measurement marker is a token, template, glass bead, or other item used by a player to mark a specific place on the board based on pre-measurement. For example, a player might use a glass bead to mark the charge range of an enemy warjack, or might place an empty model base to determine if a friendly model will fit into a specific space after charging an enemy. A player cannot have more than one measurement marker on the table at any time.
So what’s the big deal? Well, warmachine has gained a reputation as a haven for mildly uptight, uber precision, genius savants who proxy the shit out of their entire turn. In fact, it has the gained that reputation to such an extent that it has become the defacto way TO play the game, if not the ONLY way to play the game.
Why does this matter, and is it a problem?
Well that all depends on which side of the uptight spectrum you fall on and what your intended goal is for playing warmachine. For the uber precision uptight the game is all about precision, because precision is fair. For PP and the filthy casuals it’s about presenting the game as a fun hobby that is accessible to everyone. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? FIGHT!
COMPETITIVE PRECISION uptight SAVANT ARGUMENT
This game is played competitively. The Steamroller document is a strict and legal binding edict that allows competitively minded players to have a precision, rule filled experience, that will determine the better player without an iota of doubt.
By not allowing players to access as much knowledge as possible at any given time, you are limiting their calculated decision making ability which means they are making decisions in a vacuum. This makes us very uncomfortable and isn’t fair, the game is already limited on a clock, let me use my clock how I want!
Plus you said pre-measure is okay, so we pre-measured, now your saying we’re doing it too much?!?!?!?
FILTHY CASUALS ARGUMENT
We’re playing wardollies, rolling dice and having fun. There is nothing fun about watching my opponent lay out 600 widgets and proxy bases over 40mins to determine that he can assassinate my caster with a 66.75% chance of success. Not only that, he wants me to follow him down this rabbit hole of boring pre-planning and confirm or deny it at every step of the way. I’d rather go get ice cream than sit through this bullshit!
PRIVATEER PRESS’ ARGUMENT
Look, we’re just saying we don’t want you guys making the game look like a boring mess of plastic. This steamroller document is our guideline for organized play and we want the game we’ve created to be reflected in the document in the manner in which we hope will attract potential new players interest. If you don’t like any aspects of the steamroller document, then don’t use them, or modify them for your organized play experience. It’s always been up to the tournament organizer which aspect of the SR that is used, there is nothing stopping the TO from allowing uber uptight super proxy mania!
Well, really, no one wins this argument. The uptight savants won’t be happy unless they can pre calculate every step of the way and filthy casuals aren’t interested in organized play that allows uptight savants the power to bore them to death with minutia. PP is also stuck in the middle saying, “Can’t we all get along? I feel like one proxy is already a huge concession!” it’s a mess of “no one wins”, and everyone is wrong.
Privateer Press has a right to present their game in the manner they want. It’s easy to single out Jason Soles and think he’s completely to blame for this new directive on pre-measure but I don’t think that’s the case. I’m certain this directive comes from the core of the company management, who don’t want their game to be or remain a niche game played exclusively by genius uptight savants.
PP wants its hobby to grow and prosper, and it won’t if it caters exclusively to the uber uptight savants that play the game with a million proxy’s. That’s not how they want their game to be recognized, or how they want the public to identify it.
So the Filthy casuals are right, right?
Nope they are wrong too. That’s why PP is allowing a precision measure for a single event or situation on the table. PP has recognized that warmachine is a game that requires a certain degree of precision when played competitively BUT they don’t want the game to become a game of widgets and proxy’s when it is meant to be a game with cool models and fun interactions. They also don’t want the game to be slow and ponderous, because that’s boring and won’t attract people to it at all.
WHY YOU’RE WRONG ABOUT THE TOKEN SHITSTORM
The limitation is on proxy’s and measure devices, not on your ability to use a tape measure. So you can place your proxy and use your tape measure to see if the model will be in your control area. If it’s a matter of a micro inch, then maybe you should come up with a new plan and stop wasting time. If you’re concerned that you won’t be able to sidestep to a point where you can kill the enemy caster, then maybe you shouldn’t commit to a risky plan.
If you really need to proxy and detail measure 20 moves ahead for 15 different models, then maybe you should see a psychiatrist, because you have an issue and that issue is probably making you a boring person to play against.
Likewise, if you have a problem with your opponent asking you to proxy a charge or placement, just to check that it is legal and accurate, then stop being a jerk a man up to a bit of precision.
You’re wrong about the Token Shit Storm of 2017, because it shouldn’t be a shit storm. The guidelines in the steamroller are pretty generous, within the mandate of PP to guide their hobby and are, after all, just guidelines. So stop bitching about about something that isn’t that big a deal and start testing some of the interesting and exciting new scenarios!