Captain Jonah wrote:[If not you then who?
The FAQ and errata.
Seriously, it has to be that way.
I may answer these forums at home, when I don't have a book to hand. I may answer one way one day, then change my mind the next (usually after a player has made a good argument, not often on a whim...).
The items in the FAQ and errata have been inspected, considered, revised and repeated. That is the big difference.
Honestly, taking something I say here and using a print out in a tournament, whether or not it is technically correct, would be the gate to madness!
On this point (and I acknowledge that I am going to get it in the neck for saying this), I spent a fair amount of time hobnobbing with GW games designers of various stripes in my youthful days of writing, and came to understand their philosophy when it comes to rules writing.
It is not the intention of the GW writers (they said to me) to lay out, chapter and verse, every little possible rules interpretation. It would result in a book three times as large with a very high boredom factor - which is the complete reversal of what the game is intended to be. One of them told me (and this is more or less an exact quote) that if there is a choice of writing one paragraph of rules that covers 90% of all doubt, and six paragraphs that remove all doubt, they will choose the former.
And I would agree with them...
Now, I _know_ that some of you reading this will call foul on that approach, that a rules set should be an enclosed structure. But that is not how the guys at GW play their games. And it isn't really how I play them either. It is about a much looser approach that does not rely on tournament style play (not that you can't do tournaments with them, as you quite clearly can), or fixed forces, or even fair forces, or single interpretations of the rules. That is precisely why GW have the 'roll a D6 rule' in their games.
Warlord Games is another company that takes this approach, and it is not surprising they are two ex-GW guys. Check out their Black Powder game (it is a great book, go buy it!). No points values. At all.
That would drive some gamers I know spare!
There will be gamers reading this, I know, for whom this approach is just wrong and the root of all evil. ADB, for example (and I just raise them as an example, though a directly relevant one), take the opposite approach, and try to squeeze every last ambiguity out of the rules set. I know that many SFB and FC players are having trouble with the way CTA handles things, and it is because of this philosophy. We can make a direct comparison between the comments and questions made on CTA:SF and those made for CTA: NA and B5 in the past, and the difference is marked. Same rules sets, different expectations from one segment of players.
The thing is, it often boils down to this. There are certain things in the rules that are critical, either for its structure or its balance. Those go into the rulebook or, if we make a boo-boo, into the errata. The other stuff... well, I'll let you into a Games Design Secret.
It doesn't really matter.
So long as you are _consistent_ (and that really is the key) in the way you play, you will find your games go along just fine. Occasionally you will bump into a player who is not part of your regular group. If (_if_) you hit a sticking point in the game, either agree to go along with one interpretation or the other like gentlemen, or invoke the GW D6 rule. That is precisely what it is there for.
_That_ is why I am reluctant to have my words be taken as though they were inscribed on stone. There are likely to be many groups playing it one way, they read something I said off the cuff and start thinking 'oh, no! We've been doing it all wrong!' when in actual fact, what they were doing is just fine. If it works for them, they should carry on because it will not wreck the game either way.
Umm... I started waffling there, did any of it make any sense?