Friday, May 9, 2008

Rulespocalypse NOW!

Rules. All games have them by definition.
game; noun
a competitive activity involving skill, chance, or endurance on the part of two or more persons who play according to a set of rules, usually for their own amusement or for that of spectators.
This definition does not account for the reality of the Rules. The cold, harsh, tundra of the Rules wasteland cares not of antiquated notions such as "amusement". It cares not for personal feelings, thoughts, or desires. The Rules are a force of nature in games. An unstoppable force that cannot be reasoned or bargained with. In all game situations the Rules are akin to God.

Much like holy books such as the Bible or Koran are passed down as the word of God, so too are the Rulebooks for Warhammer: Fantasy Battles. Each section of these books can be broken down, explored, and translated into many different possible meanings. Each meaning has repercussions that reach far beyond the mortal realm, and its tiny models, and into the very fabric of human existence. Within these pages are the powers to destroy and create, to live or die. It is up to us to learn from the Rules, to take it's message and preach it's gospel of the nerd. To become like that which we may never truly understand. To become Rules Disciples.

Much like Biblical Scholars we study the Rulebooks, finding new and interesting interpretations of the cryptic texts contained within. Good or bad, these interpretations shape our view of the world around us and can change the very outcome of every encounter in the game. It is nearly impossible to truly know the Rules. Many nerds have devoted their entire lives to the pursuit of this goal, some failing to ever again see the light of day.

I am not so strong. My knowledge of the Rules is limited, as is my exposure to it's grandeur. But I carry on, knowing that I may never reach the apex of the icy Rules summit. That I may die from lack of oxygen, or starvation, as I claw my way towards the top. To be dragged back down by the packs of ravenous dire nerds who roam it's frozen cracks and crevices. Trying is the first step towards failing and I try in spectacular ways.

Tabletop Tuesday this week was attacked by the Rules. Our minds clouded by it's death-like grip we stumbled on in an attempt at game survival. We missed critical rolls. We missed important turn phases. We royally fucked up yet another game of Warhammer. And to add insult to injury, we fought against one another, not in the game as prescribed by our nerd brethren, but in reality as commanded by our very Rules master. Possessed like angels of mercy, or hellish fiends, we bickered and argued over minute details of the game. Unable to come to a compromise we bitterly ground out the last few turns of the game before calling it a night.

It was a pathetic showing for both armies involved, but in the end the Ogre Kingdoms overcame the Dwarf army in this point for point rematch of last week's battle.

No "play by play" this week. No cute little paint images. This is the reality of the Rules. This is the pleasure and pain, and this is why we play.

May the Rules spare our eternal souls.

1 comment:

Randroid said...

The Rules in question for this game are pretty well covered in this thread on the Ogre Stronghold forums: