What’s Wrong with Imperial Armour?

Look at that thing. It’s the brand spanking new Necron Night Shroud Bomber, just released by Forgeworld. It’s a lean, mean, death-dealing killing machine, and like so many of the Forgeworld models it makes its standard GW codex peers look a little bit, well, ordinary.

The problem is, you won’t see that many of them around, and despite all the requests for army building advice and discussions around unit choices you see on this site, you’re unlikely to see it recommended.

Foregworld models are often gorgeous, and Imperial Armour units and rules come up quite frequently in 40k discussions, so I’d like to try tackle the subject head-on. From the point of view of someone who writes on a 40K Tactics blog and frequently gives people advice on army builds and force optimisation, here’s what’s wrong with Imperial Armour.

It’s not Balance

Balance is the most common complaint players have against Imperial Armour. If I had to guess I’d say up to 90% of the Imperial Armour units are probably weaker than or at best equivalent to their 40K codex equivalents,  and then the remainder are Over The Top, either insanely powerful or underpriced.

crassusPopular examples of unbalanced Imperial Armour units include the Lucius Droppod (that allows dreadnoughts to assault on arrival –including AV13 ironclads immune to most infantry attacks), the infantry-annihilating Vulture Gunship, the Deimos Predator Executioner or the Blight drones that became flyers with AP3 large blasts and reaper autocannons (squadrons of 1-3 flyers that fire battle cannons and twinlinked autocannons? Why thank you very much, I will take 9).

We often say that Balance is the objection, but the truth is if that was all it took to keep models from being used there are plenty of standard codex examples. The dirt-cheap Nightscythe, arguably the game’s best transport as well as one of the best anti-air and light-vehicle platforms, would have been shown the door long before the vast majority of FW models. That’s not to say IA doesn’t contain units that are even worse balanced, but it does mean we as players are not just ruling out models for ‘balance reasons’.

It’s not the Points Cost

Even more than standard 40K, Forgeworld unit prices are all over the place, as if selecting costs is left to some sort of random chance. At one end of the scale lie things like the AV11 Arvus Lander that gives you a single Heavy Bolter for an absurd 110pts, and at the other is the IA Manticore with its S9 AP2 Seven inch megablast that somehow costs 15pts less than the codex equivalent.

Most IA models are overpriced, possibly on purpose as an alternative to balancing them in other ways, but if it was really just points cost that kept models from being used and recommended for normal games the Vendetta would get cut before any FW equivalent.

It’s not the Models

It’s definitely not the models. The models are almost universally terrific, taking the quality of GW design a step further. With a few exceptions they have appropriate dimensions and are approximately the same size as codex equivalents. The weapons on the models are generally clear and easy to recognise.

It should be enough to say that most tournaments allow Forgeworld equivalents to be used in place of Codex models, so the models can’t be the issue. I have 10 Forgeworld vehicles, 4 Flyers with FW parts and 65 Forgeworld infantry in my Imperial Guard army, and routinely use them as Codex: IG without anyone raising objections. (Which hopefully also proves I am not a FW-hater!)

It’s not the rules

It should be the rules, but believe it or not, that is not the reason we can’t recommend IA to people who ask for army advice.

Forgeworld are criticised for their rule writing on several levels, and there are plenty of legitimate angles for attack.

  • Some of their rules simply don’t work, or don’t have an in-game effect. There are immobile units with Scout, Flakk Trakks that have flakk guns in photographs but don’t have them in their profile (seriously, it has two big shootas and can’t even upgrade to buy Flakka-Gunz!), an Aquila Lander that is a transport that cannot be disembarked from (supersonic) and a long list of similar examples.
  • Some of the rules seem to be written without a knowledge of the core rules of 40k – for example, recently released rules that “negate the increased scatter when firing ordnance while moving” which doesn’t exist in 6th edition. Or 5th. Maybe not even 4th. It would seem really important when writing an expansion to a set of rules to actually know the rules, and unfortunately FW fail on this repeatedly.
  • Some of their rules are poorly thought out. The Lucius drop pod is frequently used as an example of ‘broken’ rules, since it is a drop pod that allows Dreadnoughts to assault out of it on arrival. It’s extremely powerful, as anyone who has had AV13 Ironclads arrive and assault squads of Marines can testify, but at least it works.

Chaos Marines 0n the other hand get something superficially similar from IA; the Dreadclaw. This has an extravagant mishmash of rules; it must arrive via deepstrike, but does not have Drop Pod assault (so no arrival until turn 2 earliest). It has Assault Vehicle rules and even frag assault launchers, but no rule to allow contents to assault on arrival (so no assault until turn 3 earliest). It’s also unarmed and a Flyer (although any unit it carries can’t disembark from a Zooming flyer).

  • Most of their rules will be completely unknown to opponents. Most people who visit 3++ are 40K veterans, frequent tournament attendees and generally either very good at the game or too dedicated to care about their lack of success, and still most of the Imperial Armour rules will be a surprise. Would you have expected the Dreadclaw assault drop pod to arrive late in the game and then zip around at up to 36” per turn instead of have units, you know, assault out of it?

Many players won’t have a clear idea of the rules for hundreds of additional units Imperial Armour brings to the party, units like the Lynx, the Fire Storm, DX-6 Remora, Damocles, Warp Hunters, Hades Breaching Drill etc and it’s not entirely fair to expect them to work it all out in the moments before deploying forces at a tournament.

So it should be the Rules, but it is not.

The reason we can’t recommend IA in standard 40K is because it’s not standard 40K

The reason we cannot and do not recommend Forgeworld and Imperial Armour units is because they are not part of standard 40K. No matter how much FW’s fans may want it to be or how many times they point to a “40K Approved” stamp on some of the entries, it is not part of standard 40K and won’t be allowed at the vast majority of tournaments. I know this will really grate with people who love their FW and IA models, have bought them at great expense and painted and detailed them to a level above the average GW model, but it is the way it is.

If IA was part of the standard 40K game, we’d accept the points costs. We’d accept the balance issues of some models. We’d deal with the rules. Whether the rules were overpowered, contradictory, impotent, ineffectual or entirely sane and beneficial, we’d get used to them, develop counters, formulate tactics and learn to deal with them.

If IA was part of the standard 40K game, every time someone emailed in or asked in the Chatbox what they should ally or add against Cron air, flyer spam or Heldrakes, I might reply something like this,

“Ally with Guard and take 1 platoon. Take Sabre Weapons Battery for 30pts per model, and upgrade them to twin linked lascannons for 20pts, then add extra crewmen for 2pts more and free searchlights (because they are free duh). It’s 156pts for 3 Sabres and 6 men, but they are all toughness 7 artillery and scoring units! Set that baby up behind an Aegis line, and with a 3+ save on the gun and T7 infantry you are good to go. You’ll love the fact that it has both interceptor and skyfire, so unlike hydras it can take out enemy aircraft immediately on arrival.

Oh you’re worried your opponent may be bringing  too many flyers for 3 twinlinked lascannons to deal with? Don’t worry, a single guard platoon can bring 15 Sabres and they are all scoring. And you can have two platoons as an ally! Also available with twinlinked autocannons, heavy bolters or doubled up heavy stubbers if you like variety.”

But I can’t.

If Gamesworkshop were to say Imperial Armour units and rules are now equivalent to standard Codexes, and opponent’s permission is no longer needed, this would all change.

It would also dramatically change the game of 40K and the balance between armies, and if the IA rules were left as they are, then some changes would be for the better and some for the much, much worse.

I don’t mean to be overly negative, so watch this space for a follow up article, ‘How Forgeworld can Double their $$$Profits$$$ in 6 Months!’. Until then, we’re just kids gazing in through the candy-store window, and I regret the fact that some people who read this article will have seen the fancy model pictures and their first instinct will be to go order them regardless of what the words say 🙂

Just pause for a moment before you put it in your shopping cart and remember it is not universally-accepted, tournament-ready, standard-Codex 40K. Because like it or not, it isn’t.

And from the point of view of army buidling and list-creation advice, that’s what’s wrong with Imperial Armour.

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133 responses to What’s Wrong with Imperial Armour?

Author's note:

In the comment thread for this article, Ish is allowed to post as much as he wants, saying whatever he wants, as many times as he wants.


In before Peregrine over at DakkaDakka gets all angry about Forgeworld not being part of standard 40k.

That would imply that for a few brief moments he STOPPED being angry about it. That is not possible.

Peregrine is on DakkaDakka!? I don't go there much but he got booted from my forum of choice long ago.

This is what I tell anyone who asks – be careful, as most tournaments won't let you use it.

I would also add that even if a tournament does allow you to, I imagine I'd be annoyed winning a tournament fair and square only to be told 'oh but you brought forgeworld, so of course' – same with players who were running flamers/screamers or cron air etc.

@ Jason I agree. I’ve also heard people who have spent big bucks on Forgewlrd give TOs a hard time for not letting them use their stuff, like the TO is spoiling their fun.
What about the fun of the new player who is about to get hit by 3 lucious drop pods turn 1 and lose the game before they even get to roll dice?

If players want to agree with each other to use FW vs FW or Apocalypse units that is fine, it is not my place to say they can’t use what they have the most fun with, but it isn’t “standard codex 40k”.

Really, a lucius isn't all that bad, pretty much all Marine squads should be taking a PF or at least melta bombs anyway in case they tangle with a dread, and given that the dread isn't a character then it has to kill its way through at least 9 other guys before it gets to the fist. The best that can really be said about them is that they "lock units down" fairly easily. I mean you can pretty much counter them the same way you would a BA vanguard veteran squad.

Now the sabre platforms…yeah those are broken as hell

"given that the dread isn't a character " -Funnily enough someone brought Bjorn the Fellhanded in a Lucius to an event that allowed FW.
Space Wolves have no conscience 😀

Ok I'll pay that, but he's a special case, still if you just melta his face/ bolter his butt then he dies like any other dread, if you can't deal with one , even an angry one in your deployment you haven't got to shoot yet, in a single turn then your list has bigger problems.

You can "melta his face and bolter his butt" as long as he hasn't got into combat, or if he has got in to combat as long as you can call 'Our weapons can't hurt it!' or fall back without leaving the board.
…which is the whole point of why the Lucius is such a game-changer.
Deepstrike + Assault = $$Profit%%

not to digres, but for whats its worth, no, marine sergeants should not be taking power fists… Melta Bombs maybe… but even if you did take a fist, the odds of you killing an iron clad dread with 1 fist is rediculously small.

First of all, not every Marine squad does or should bring a Power Fist nor Meltabombs. If you're giving your Devastators PFs, you are throwing points in the garbage.

Second of all, a Power Fist doesn't actually have much chance against an AV13 dread; you're needing sixes to penetrate. He will probably kill the squad before you can do anything to him.

Third of all, not every army is Marines. You think Tau or IG or Necrons like getting charged on the first turn? A lot of armies just don't have solutions to that sort of thing.

And what are all those non-Marine armies supposed to do about an Ironclad loose in their backfield that gets to charge before having to take a single shot? My Tau don't have powerfists, or melta bombs, or anything that might realistically stand a chance against a dreadnought on the rampage. Am I just supposed to kiss a unit goodbye and hope that I can put the thing down in my shooting phase, along with probably another dread or two (because why would you field just one Lucius Dread when you could field two or three?), and the supporting fire from the on-table Marine elements?

Honestly man, I wish fw would just get their act together and make rules that are good enough for everyone to be happy using them. I have some of their models and hardly ever get to take them out for a game.

Beer and pretzels, meh

“Anything that is balanced for competition also results in a better Beer & Pretzels time. ”


"Anything that is balanced for competition also results in a better Beer & Pretzels time" – Great soundbite. Email it to GW 😀

More than anything, I think it's the slightly confusing mishmash of rule books that makes it so hard to get behind wide-spread adoption of FW. If you're playing a 40K army, you have the rulebook (and everyone knows what the most recent rulebook is), and the codex (and everyone knows what the most recent codex is). FW, on the other hand, has a bad habit of not specifically ordering their books, and of reprinting the (slightly altered over time) rules for individual models in multiple books without that direct expression that "This Overrules That".

Don't disagree with anything Matt-Shadowlord has to say here, though I think he may have left out a category best described as, "It's the monetary cost." Let's face it FW stuff is spendy, particularly on top of the normal 40k investment. There are a large number of our fellow hobbyists who can not afford, or are unwilling to spend that sort of cash. There's also those who play factions not well represented in the FW range.

I am, however, a complete FW fan. So everything I buy from them is bought with an eye toward using it as something from a standard codex if my opponent has any objection to playing against a FW list.

My Death Korp of Krieg work as Imperial Guard. My pre-heresy World Eaters can be run as Codex Marines or Codex Blood Angels. There are a number of models I've bought to run as Space Wolves, with no thought at all to their FW stats.

Sure, there are some models I own that can only be used in Apoc games, or FW lists. I have friends that have no objection to playing either, but pickups down at the FLGS, or tournaments are their own environment, and adapting to your opponent, or the tournament organizers views on the subject is just courteous. So adapt.

The entire world doesn't need to ascribe to my, or anyone's, viewpoint on anything, and I really don't begin to understand the absolutists on the whole FW debate.

With the cost of normal GW models these days, the cost of FW is no longer that spendy in comparison, especially since the models look 10x more appealing.

It's called ebay and forum trading/buying mate. Why the heck are you paying out your arse for GW stuff when you don't have to. FW is STILL expensive. Just because GW is making everything more in-line with the Australian standard of so overly expensive we don't buy anything except a White Dwarf if that from the stores, doesn't mean FW is cheap.

It kinda is. But you can easily do a price comparison on the GW website, where you can choose what country you are ordering from and see the prices.

Just remember to o a proper currency convention so you aren't trying to compare the different prices at a 1:1 ratio of exchange. I recommend XE.

American to Australian is pretty close to 1:1, though I use XE as well. But to give you an idea our Space Marine tactical box is $62 Australian, or $37.25 American.

$62 converted to American is $64 American dollars.

So yeah we pretty much pay double….

That's more true in some cases than others- for example, the new Necron bomber runs about US$100, which is double the price of a regular Night Scythe. That's a pretty significant cost bump no matter how you look at it, even compared to other flyer kits.

cancon, sure few forgeworld units and you know i agree bloody adapt to the suituation. sure the dreadnought assault turn 1 is very hard to stop. but just give it a tempting target and really i hope you have marines to go suck it and flee

Give 'it' a tempting target? There is no 'it', the word you are looking for is 'them'.

I used the Lucius Droppods at an event that allowed FW a few years ago; 3 Lucius Pods with Ironclads with and other pods in the list just to ensure all 3 Lucius arrived in turn 1. There were a couple of games where I successfully took out all the opponent's scoring units in a turn or two.

It seemed kind of fun to launch such devastating attacks and cripple the opponent so quickly, but a few games in to the event it also felt pretty hollow. I don't think the opponents were exactly having the time of their lives watching troops massacred or Landraiders assaulted before they had moved.

So yay, I won the tournament, but since then have left the pods in a container in the garage.

In fact my issue with IA balance isn't caused by losing to the FW models, it's caused by winning with them, lol.

I'm impressed you managed to kill off entire units with a single dread, given its low WS and attacks.

Factor in some melta or heavy flamers on the way in, iron clads and venerables getting extra attacks or hits, and (back before it was disallowed) Blood Angel blender-dreads in Lucius, and then 2 turns is 4 rounds of assault.

It doesn't mean the "Sky is Falling" or it is unbeatable or "IA breaks 40k", but it does mean that we'd have to build armies to face this sort of thing if IA was part of the standard game. If it was, we'd all need to suck it up and counter it. But it isn't, so we don't.
That's the point of article 🙂

Well you can't put BA dreads in a lucius, most recent rules for it do not give BA's access to them.

I know they're good, but I don't think you need to build your list against them any more than you would for say heldrakes.

edit: sorry my fault I should double check what I'm reading before I reply please ignore the BA lucius line.

If you aren't Marines or Fearless, it's super-possible. Just because the Imperium gets to ignore every rule in the game doesn't mean Sweeping Advance isn't actually a thing.

Back before 6th edition when 40K was the main game locally we used to use Forge World units in Apocalypse games. We all played 40K quite competitively and used Apocalypse for our 'Beer and Pretzels' evenings and due to the massive points values we were playing at the odd unbalanced unit made little difference. Of course 6th edition has made Apocalypse virtually unplayable even as a 'for fun only' activity and Games Workshop stopped supporting it a long time ago…

The few tournaments I've played in that allowed Forge World units became unbalanced because the only Forge World models people used were the 'broken' units you mentioned (or similar). The argument used by many people for their inclusion (Fluff, most of them aren't broken, etc.) become irrelevant as we all know that the fluffy, over-pointed models aren't going to be the ones that appear on the table-top opposite you.

7th Edition 40K will probably have rules for Superheavies in it anyway…

wait, people buy FW models for reasons other than the models itself?

this craziness unfortunately is going to carry over into the WHFB version of forgeworld, by the look of it. k'daai fireborn are awesome models, but have terrible rules (55pts each for 2 wounds, and they kill themselves) or obvious mistakes (bale taurus has a rule that is probably meant to say it deals extra S4 hits to enemies in base contact at the start of the combat phase, but it left the base contact part out, so by RAW the bale taurus deals a S4 hit to every enemy model on the battlefield at the start of combat) or just blatantly overpowered rules (see the Marienburg Land Ship) or the absolutely pointless rules (the Mournghul has a separate, unique special rule just to explain why the model /does not/ have the large target and ethereal rules)

dont get me started on the maddening insanity that is Tamurkhan's Possession Attack rule.

I want to see more rules that explain why models don't have certain rules. Why aren't my Termagants immune to poison? Why isn't Marneus Calgar a monstrous creature? Magnets- how do they work? People demand answers, GW!

But more than anything else, why don't Space Marines ever look at all the the skulls on their Caps and Badges and wonder… are we the Baddies?

"It doesn't say next to the skull, yeah we killed him… but he was really horrid."

if he dies, tammy and the guy who killed him have a roll off. if tammy wins, he possesses the other guy (cos his real form is a daemonic giant maggot that lives in corpses and moves them like puppets he's pretty radical in the fluff) and then follows about a page describing how you merge the profiles of tammy and the possessed guy, what happens to the possessed guy's rules (cos he ceases to be undead or whatever if he is something weird like a vampire) and to everybody's wargear. it gets even more crazy if tammy or the other guy is riding something. its a very cool rule and it does work, its just a lot of stuff for something that might never happen during a game (tammy is very hard to kill since he's a major Nurgle character)

Quoting the article:
"I have 10 Forgeworld vehicles, 4 Flyers with FW parts and 65 Forgeworld infantry in my Imperial Guard army, and routinely use them as Codex: IG without anyone raising objections. (Which hopefully also proves I am not a FW-hater!)"


Don't worry Matt, I've got your back.

Fair enough, but you have to admit that NamZ Pamz probably didn't read the article or chose to ignore the obvious and should keep his lazy comments to himself.

"The problem is, you won’t see that many of them around, and despite all the requests for army building advice and discussions around unit choices you see on this site, you’re unlikely to see it recommended." Lots of people I play use Forge World. Maybe in your circle it's not accepted but that has little if any bearing on other people who play 40k. Probably you just don't want to discuss it as a viable edition to 40k armies. Fact is though FW units with the 40k Approved stamp are fine for standard 40k. You imply the rules for FW are written in a vacuum but that's not true… Just look at the many FW units that have crossed over to 40k – Trygons, flyers, etc. "…remember it is not universally-accepted, tournament-ready, standard-Codex 40K. Because like it or not, it isn’t." Says you… Many tournaments are starting to allow the use of FW now. Adepticon has allowed it for years. "But I can’t." You mean you don't want to. Like I said many use FW now in their standard 40k armies. I know it would require more work on your part though and that might be a reason for part of your unwillingly ness to accept new things. To me that is equals FAIL on your part. "Most of their rules will be completely unknown to opponents. Most people who visit 3++ are 40K veterans, frequent tournament attendees and generally either very good at the game or too dedicated to care about their lack of success, and still most of the Imperial Armour rules will be a surprise. Would you have expected the Dreadclaw assault drop pod to arrive late in the game and then zip around at up to 36” per turn instead of have units, you know, assault out of it?" This has an easy solution – players must bring the rules and show them to their opponents before the start of a game… Simple. "Chaos Marines 0n the other hand get something superficially similar from IA; the Dreadclaw. This has an extravagant mishmash of rules; it must arrive via deepstrike, but does not have Drop Pod assault (so no arrival until turn 2 earliest). It has Assault Vehicle rules and even frag assault launchers, but no rule to allow contents to assault on arrival (so no assault until turn 3 earliest). It’s also unarmed and a Flyer (although any unit it carries can’t disembark from a Zooming flyer)." Why are these rules poorly thought out – because you say so… LOL. The rules for the Dreadclaw are fine and bring another dimension to CSM armies. You can assault the turn after it arrives… Same as any other flyer with an assault ramp. Are you going to say the Storm Raven is ill conceived as well?? I hope not.

@NamZ PamZ if that wall of text was intended as your revenge, well played 😀

" "I can't recommend FW for standard 40K"
You mean you don't want to. Like I said many use FW now in their standard 40k armies. I know it would require more work on your part though and that might be a reason for part of your unwillingly ness to accept new things. To me that is equals FAIL on your part."

You're correct that it would require more work. The more models, codexes, rules units, armies and permutations in the game, the more work is involved in assessing lists and offering counters.

However, what you may not be considering is that it is not the ANSWERS that adding all the FW to standard 40k would change, it is the QUESTIONS.

Right now a frequent question is 'How do I deal with Necron Flyers? Does my army have enough AA?". FW models might provide some new answers to questions like that.

However, if you add all the FW models then the questions would change to things like 'How do I deal with 3 Lucius pods arriving turn 1? Should I expect to lose 3 Scoring units in turn 1?' for just one example.
It would dramatically change the game in unpredictable ways.

It's not up to me or you anyway, if GW want to integrate IA into 40K they can do so. As yet, they haven't, so most players treat it like an optional expansion.

If the reason you cannot recommend IA in standard 40K is because it’s not standard 40K, then I think we have a simple problem of definition. Namely, what consititutes "standard" Warhammer 40,000. To my mind, any products that Games Workshop designs, publishes, and markets as part of the Warhammer 40,000 game should be considered "standard" Warhammer 40,000… This includes IA, the codices, White Dwarf, and supplements like 'Death from the Skies,' but leaves out only those supplements specifically denoted as being nonstandard: Apocalypse, Cities of Death, Planetary Empires, etc.

(My comment is too long for a single post, so I apologize for having to reply to myself.)

Many people consider only the codices as being "standard," and I can appreciate the logic behind that… but if you blur the lines by allowing White Dwarf? Death from the Skies? Well, it becomes a lot harder for me to see the logic behind this pick-and-choose approach and it starts to seem an awful lot like kids telling me I can't play with my toys in "their" sandbox at the park.

The statement 'IA is not standard 40K' seems easy enough to falsify, to me, by pointing out that every Imperial Armour book presently in print specifically states which codices the various units inside are a part of and none of the last half-dozen or so have contained the "opponent’s permission" language (which was an artifact from 2nd/3rd Editions). This does not statisfy the critics such as Matt-Shadowlord, Kirby, et al. I truly respect your opinions, so let me ask:

What would you consider to be a necessary endorsment by Games Workshop of Imperial Armour's official status?

Definitionally, standard 40k would be the 40k that people assume they are showing up to play.

This does not include forgeworld. There are arguments as to why it does not – some good, some bad – but the assumption when you show up for a random game is "And it won't include Forge World unless they ask me".

Is that self defining? Yes. Yes it is. You obviously think that's a bad thing. (Frankly, objectively speaking, it kind of is, removing an entire aspect of the game because it's what everyone does).

But until Forge World get their act together, and at least learn the damn rules of the game? I think it's a needed thing.

I agree that 'Because its not Standard 40K' was not the strongest argument to use, but it does have a point. IA is not 'standard 40k' in that I don't expect to have my opponent bring it, nor do I expect to be allowed to bring it to all of my games. Its useless to build my army around IA units, since the local tournies will most likely not allow it. My opponents in pick up games will likely not have even a rough idea of the rules either.

So, why don't we just change that then? If tournaments started allowing it wide scale, wouldn't it become 'normal 40k'?

Except they won't. And they won't for many of the issues above. The rules are poorly written and unbalanced, especially compared to the main game (which, despite people on the internet, isn't bad compared to how it was at some points). People are unsure of what counts as 'current' and 'allowed'.This all prevents them from being acceptable in those games.

Death From the Skies is a book that can only be ordered online, in a limited production run, to the point where my friend who ordered it two days after it was offered on the site waited until just this week to get his copy.

Sister of Battle have a codex that is literally not in print, because it was printed in WD half a year ago and GW doesn’t have a PDF up.

How do these things make the cut but Forgeworld books not?

This brings up a point I saw last week (I think on BoLS?) where a GW exec was quoted as saying Forgeworld will not become embraced until sales improve, but then they refuse to do anything to MAKE sales improve, like, say, use FW units in battlereports. If they did, suddenly there would be a rush on FW products, and now sales.

Sadly, I suspect GW is happy with FW’s place in all this, and doesn’t really want to see people rush to build Krieg armies…

-shrugs-. Well..yeah. People don't really want to spend the signficant amounts of money on Forge World stuff that they just cannot use. Some of it, sure, it's got analogues.But a lot just..doesn't.

The fact that they are really pushing the PreHeresy stuff won't be helping sales. Now, sure, I'm very happy to see the pre-heresy things. IT's interesting. But I won't be buying them (save perhaps some of the primarchs if I'm VERY impressed with the models).

They do include FW in White Dwarf incidentally – but only as part of the "look at this wonderful army our staff member has painted up! Why don't you show us your army so we can show you another wonderful staff army!" running thing.

I literally do not understand the SoB thing. If you don't want to support a line, just cancel it; if you're not going to cancel the line, then at least make it possible for new people to pick up the army by providing the freaking army rules. Shit or get off the pot, GW!

I guess they want to keep being able to say "Yep, we are doing Sisters of Battle" so they don't lose the people that are interested in that army – it's got quite a unique feel to it, especially given GW's fear of doing female models.

Two reasons, mos' likely.

First is simple – they have, in the history of the game, retired one army for poor sales and lack of interest… and over a decade later they still get neckbeards complaining about it, in their stores, even though only a tiny fraction of those guys ever played the army in question or would buy any if it came back for some reason. If GW said "yeah, we're discontinuing SoB", then they'd have 15 years of "WHAT ABOUT THE SISTERS?!" to deal with, and who wants the trouble? Formally killing the army gets them nothing but grief.

Second, of course, is that they could figure out the problems with producing plastic Sisters models and expand the line back out…

I guess that really is the biggest gripe I have about GW and SoB. You can't even buy the codex from them in any way.

Otherwise they may be chosen last for an updated codex, but they require probably the most work to do one right for them so that at least is understandable. Some codex needs to be last anyway.

Actually, if they don't produce it anymore (can't back-order the issue), they may not be able to do anything about you just printing the dex, because it's not available any other way.

"Definitionally, standard 40k would be the 40k that people assume they are showing up to play."

Everyone seems to be quickly glazing over the social aspect of gaming, be it beer and pretzels or competitive tournament. We're all quick to look for clear-cut 'rules' and 'guidelines' to define what we can and cannot bring to a game, but at the end of the day we're still playing a game with other people, and this is where all the problems listed with Forgeworld comes to a head.

I know what 'standard 40K' is because I can gain access to it from any GW store (or FLGS); rulebook, codexes, etc, and even despite GW trying to kill us off in Aus, I can readily afford to do so (be it by buying the books myself, or reading those belonging to friends, or the good old scanned pdf).
What I cannot afford to do is be aware of every Forgeworld unit available, especially with the problem of knowing precisely which iteration of rules is up-to-date/correct. I don't mean money wise (though that's still there); the great plethora of varied rules spread throughout the Forgeworld books poses a logistical problem.

Extending this to the social aspect of the game: if I attended a tournament, even if I knew Forgeworld was going to be used, getting my arse handed to me by an army built around units I didn't even know the rules for until 30 minutes ago would leave me rather sour. I get that I can be assumed to understand how any unit with explained rules can interact with the game rules I am familiar with, but 'surprise' games like this would turn me off. Considering how unbalanced 6th Edition currently is (and how we're still trying to work out precisely how rules in the main rulebook interact in places), enabling more games of this sort will only turn people away.

I would define "standard 40K" as what's mentioned in the Rules portion of the 40K Rulebook. Or in other words, what's mentioned in the small Rulebook that comes in the Starter Box. Other than that core Rulebook itself, the only other sources that are mentioned in there for playing the Game are the Codexes.

Even in the expanded version of the 40K Rulebook, Forge World is only mentioned in terms of their Campaign systems. No mention is made anywhere in there that I can find of using their Models or Units, even in terms of conversions or the FW versions of standard 40K Units.

So yeah, when FW gets mentioned in the actual Warhammer 40K Rulebook, I'll accept it as part of 40K. Until then, it's not.

That invalidates Chapter Approved, the Sisters of BAttle 'codex', and prior to the Daemon Codex, the White Dwarf released minidex.

But they are all standard 40k.

SoB are listed with stats for all their units in the main 6th ed rulebook though, and the special FW units are not.

"What would you consider to be a necessary endorsment by Games Workshop of Imperial Armour's official status? "

It's not a question of endorsement for me. It's a question of Catachans.
You see, the Imperial Codex has been updated. The Catachan Codex is outdated and no longer legal. You can not run Catachan units in your army (other than the current units which are the current version, such as Stracken).

And we know this, because to run Imperial Guard, you use the latest Codex, and only the latest Codex. When GW puts out a new Codex, they balance the Codex based upon itself only.

What happens when Forge World puts out a new unit for Eldar that puts them in balance with the other Codices, at the time that FW does this. And, then, GW updates the Eldar Codex, it becomes powerful… but more importantly, that FW unit now unbalances the Codex so that it's the clear "best of the game". See, for example, Sabre Weapons Platform, and the new Artillery model rules. If there was a unit in the old Eldar Codex that kept the Codex alive because it was strong enough… when the new Eldar Codex comes out, that unit cannot unbalance the Codex, because it's been superseded.

That's not true with FW. Not only are they often unclear about which of their own unit rules are currently active when they put out the rules in more than one publication, but they are not synced up with GW Codex releases (or, heck, even updated with new main rulebook versions). So a unit that was good, or bad, or balanced, in prior editions (of the game, or of a Codex), can change to be good, or bad, or balanced, or whatever it was not before. And these changes are not taken into account by GW when they write their own Codices.

Let us assume (heh) that FW actually cares to try to balance their units, and that they actually do a tolerable job. They don't, but let's assume the best-case scenario. Let's assume the same for GW. Both companies try to balance their units so that they are usable, useful, and don't break the game.

But, because the companies do not sync up their unit releases, do not test and alter their units when the other company adds something that affects balance, the situation that we have is that even if FW and GW did a good job of balancing their units when they make them… inherently, this situation means that playing with both FW and GW units will allow units that are badly balanced as soon as one of the companies updates one of their rule sets (main rulebook, IA, or a Codex). So, inherently in the design, running FW and GW units together, is unbalanced.

You cannot really play without GW units, so you're left with leaving out FW units, or adding in units that you know, by the way they are put out, cannot be balanced except by luck. When you know that it is logically impossible for FW to keep their units balanced unless they re-balance them when GW puts out any major amount of new units (a new rulebook or any Codex release), and you know that they do not bothe to re-balance… you have the option of banning FW, or of accepting the use of units that you know were designed in a fashion that is inherently unstable.

So, without using house rules to rebalance FW yourself, or to ban the specific units that are unbalanced so as to be too strong… using FW is inherently unbalanced (to a much greater degree than any imbalance between any of GW's Codices).

>What would you consider to be a necessary endorsment by Games Workshop of Imperial Armour's official status?

"Supplemental books, such as the Imperial Armor line from Forge World and other products may also contain addition entries for your army list- see the relevant book for details on these units."

Or literally any other text anywhere stating or implying that Forge World models were in any way a part of the game on GW's part.

> "What would you consider to be a necessary endorsment by Games Workshop of Imperial Armour's official status? "

When I can walk into a local Games Workshop shop, enter a tournament and then show up the day of the tournament with Sabre Platforms or Lucius Drop Pods in my list, and the staff does would not tell me that I can't use those units.

@ Ish "What would you consider to be a necessary endorsment by Games Workshop of Imperial Armour's official status?"

Something like the following:

40K Rule Book Amendment: Choosing your Army (Page 108)
Each of the races or space-born empires in Warhammer 40,000
has a codex – a book that contains rules, background and
collecting information for that army. Within the pages of each
codex, you'll find everything you need to know about that
faction. An imporlant part of this is the army list, which will
let you transform your collection of Citadel miniatures into a
Warhammer 40,000 army.
As well as Gamesworkshop's Codexes, a range of Imperial Armour
books are available, all of which can be used to augment your
army with additional models and variety for games of all sizes.

I'll consider FW to be "standard 40k" when I can walk into my flgs, or better yet, a GW store and buy FW items rather than ordering it through the internet or at various cons where FW is present.

My FLGS can get FW. It's not cost effective for him to carry it, because not enough people buy it. He makes no money on it, but can do it as a special order.

I'm pretty sure he is just ordering from FW like a normal customer would, then, not ordering as a distributor, at which point you may as well be making the call yourself and save them the trouble.

The Bay Area Open 40k tourney just ran as a Forgeworld inclusive tournament with 140+ players. All players with forgeworld units had to bring the rulebooks and be prepared to explain how their units worked before each game. The majority of players coming out of the tournament thought inclusion of FW was fun.

All it takes is one large local tourney to embrace forgeworld and then you have to deal with it. It isn't such a big deal, and it's more local convention than "all TOs are going to block it. Maybe this article is right in your part of the world, but in California it looks like Forgeworld is now a part of the game.

It's not really a bad thing. Balance is still shot to hell with 6th edition, so why not make the 40k universe as big as it can be and give a few more armies good access to anti air units they're otherwise lacking.

This is something I’m curious to see. If, say, major US tournies start becoming FW friendly, what will the response be? If Adepticon or NOVA start, will that be enough to shift opinion? Is there, say, five major tournments that would decide this, if they started using it?

I mean, just because Nova did mulitple layer missions last edition doesn’t mean I EVER saw them used around here.

Who are these kingmakers, and if somehow convinced, would it be cool to use FW?

Or is that not enough, and would it take 7th Edition literally saying on page 5 ‘Forgeworld is Legal’?

The Bay Area Open was a blast and most seemed to have a good time. There were a couple hard-core tourney players who had reservations about it and as always a few bad apples provide evidence on how it can go wrong. There was a Tau player who had hammer-heads with what looks at first glance as twin-linked rail guns (conversion). Unfortunately, he was playing it as the TL plasma gun version which caused confusion. That appeared to be the exception as opposed to the norm.
It will be interesting to see how the top 15 at BAO (an interesting mix of armies) compares to Adepticon this year (which does not allow FW).

My personal problem with FW is the army bias. The stupidly good stuff is mostly Imperial. The addition of allies in 6th softens the blow though. Though anyone that can ally guard takes them in standard 40k, adding FW would shift the meta to be even more guard intensive.

As for changing the mindset of standard 40k, this would only happen if GW decided to think in terms of competitive play and support tourneys, and force FW on us, or a majority of tournaments decide to allow FW. Both seem to be trending the other way.

I think it is pretty clear that GW are different from FW and that GW at the very least do not intend for FW models in normal games from the BRB FAQ:

Q: Land Speeder Storms, Stormraven Gunships and

Stormtalon Gunships are all listed as Space Marine vehicles

in the Reference section. Does this mean that every Space

Marine Chapter now has access to these vehicles as well (i.e.

Space Wolves, Blood Angels, Grey Knights etc.)? (p411)

A: No – you may only select units and vehicles that are

available in the army list section of your codex. The two

exceptions are the Stormtalon and Stormraven Gunships,

which are only available to armies chosen from Codex:

Space Marines and Codex: Black Templars. The rules for these

Flyers can be found in the Death From the Skies


The pertinent point being: “you may only select units and vehicles that are

available in the army list section of your codex.”

GW could have said the following FW units are allowed but they didn’t. Instead they said the above. This should pretty much clear it up.

Matt could have also added missing rules where FW forgot to specify which FOC a unit was in.

And yet the majority of IA units have a blurb stating this is a [insert FOC slot] for a [insert codex] army the same as the ork flyers, the storm talon and the Eldar Night Spinner..

GW are just as bad at FW with missing unit wargear, special rules, unit options, just look at the errata for the DA codex, they've had to put the same errata in for the company veterans squad as before.

"Forge World: they usually give you the bare minimum rules you need to use a unit" is not exactly a ringing endorsement.

GW's history of rules mistakes is much, much better than FW's. Like, by an order of magnitude. The errata to Company Veterans, for example, clarifies their text and fixes their upgrade options; without it, they are still at least a unit that exists and follows the rules of the game. Things like Supersonic Transports, the Manta's non-increase of scatter, and so forth are literally non-functional- they do not work within the rules of the game as they exist.

Games Workshop often doesn't understand their own rules well enough to balance them properly; Forge World doesn't understand their own rules well enough to write rules that aren't nonsensical.

So nobody should build an army around FW models, and nobody should advise anyone to include FW models in their army, because Forgeworld isn't standard 40k and won't be allowed in tournaments? That last part isn't set in stone – tournament organizers get to choose whether or not to allow FW stuff, and "standard 40k" is really just shorthand for "the majority of organized events".

Of course, tournament organizers won't start include Forgeworld stuff until the rules start to suck less and the more ludicrously overpowered crap goes away.

So, it IS the rules, and it IS the balance, but not directly.

No one said "you can't buy or use Forge World ever we hate you go home you big dumb idiot." The point of the article was that Forge World isn't a standard part of the game, isn't really appropriate for tournament 40K, and isn't something that the author would recommend to most players that were asking for advice about buying units.

You could say all of those things about Cityfight or Apocalypse or Planetary Empires, too. It doesn't mean they aren't enjoyable or interesting or something that more veteran players might have a lot of fun with, just that they occupy a different place in the rules than the normal codices and BRB.

I think what TOs allow should be up to them. They all do a great job in furthering the hobby and community. If they want to allow FW then that is fine.

My point is that FW cannot, like anyone, self authorise themselves to be valid. I.E. they cannot just put a 40K stamp on it without GW approval. For GW to approve this it would have taken a sentence in a FAQ to say they are approved but they didn’t. Instead they went the other way and explicitly stated that only codex units are allowed. Why? We can only make assumptions. But the end result is they said no.

My view is that FW units are like house rules. Non standard but fine if your opponent agrees, or it is approved for the tournament.

>I think what TOs allow should be up to them.

Well, sure, everyone has the right to make their own decisions. But, by the same token, we as players have the right to offer our opinion on what we think is good or bad for the game.

>My point is that FW cannot, like anyone, self authorise themselves to be valid.
>My view is that FW units are like house rules

Absolutely agreed. And, as someone who writes house rules sometimes and has fun with them, I don't think that's a bad thing- you just have to keep in perspective what they exist for.

Forgeworld isn't 'self authorized'.

Every book has an individual unique number that lists (among other things) its title and publisher.
Flip your IA books over, look at the ISBn , and then enter them into the following site:

Once you do that, you'll realize the GW publishes each and every IA book. They choose to distribute them (and the supporting models) through a license agreement with ForgeWorld. Are we going to say that GW products not bought from a GW store are anathema?

Additionally, head over to the GW investor site. As a publicly traded company, here is a lot of freely available information about GW. For example, there is a nice list of sites they own. The major three are Games Workshop, Blacklibrary… and Forge World.

So, about that 'self authorizing'?

They're self-authorized in the sense that the only people telling you it's okay to use FW in 40K is FW. GW directly doesn't say anything one way or the other. It's not in the rulebook or the codexes, which define what does and doesn't exist in the game. It's not even in the White Dwarfs, which are nothing but glossy ads for GW products and frequently feature incorrect rules in their battle reports, so clearly they're not sticklers for detail.

I usually crack photoshop in order to lose weight too. And I find that doctors all agree that Forgeworld is the best way to cure testicular cancer.

Because really, who needed those pieces of lung anyway….

On a serious note any fine particulate will have a similar effect on your lungs, note: crystalline silicates like those commonly found in cement!

Great article Matt, very well written and constructed arguements. Now I can jsut direct people to this instead of explaining why forge world would not be good for competitive 40k. You're articles are always wel formulated and clear in their purpose. You are one of my favourite writters mate. Keep up the exceptionally high standard of your articles


Thanks Crynn!
I won't respond to the other comments, sometimes it's better not to stoop to their level and instead be the bigger man.

(that just happened :D)

How about;
Allowing FW leads to a Slippery Slope Fallacy;
Proxy, Counts-As, and not having the actual FW book?

It's a hate or like thing and it won't change as GW can't be bothered.
Just came off from my first 6th tournament this weekend allowing FW and it was all a blast. To see Eldar putting finally up a good army and Black Templar standing a chance againt 6th ed Codice and seeing those players models again on a table was a relief from those dull Necron/GK/BA/IG-times of last year.
There were no misunderstandings or -interpretations cause players knew FW would be there and they "dared" to ask their opponents "What's that cool looking dreadnought there? A contemptor? Okay, you have the rules for me?"
The winner of the tournament went 3-1-0 (w/t/l), noone went undefeated and only some beginners from our club made too many mistakes and were tabled in one or the other game – some of the top games were really close calls. Only tyranids, dark eldar and sisters weren't present at this tournament. Tau, GK, CD/CSM, DA, Eldar were the first five placing players. Nobody complained about FW-units.
So what does that tell us? Nothing at all concerning this page. The position about FW here is concrete and won't change before GW says so or US-tourneys allow FW and thus enforce it on the writers here. This lame try of an excuse for this view above just made that clear. Matt-Shadowlord could also have just said "Cause I sez so" – it wouldn't have changed anything about the outcome as this is not about discussing the viability of FW.

This article (which is in-depth and awesome in a bunch of ways) gets two things powerfully wrong. I'll state why, without any personal opinion, just objective fact.

Firstly, opponent's permission isn't needed. Not in the context that has become the meme's commonplace interpretation, like Oliver Twist humbly begging for a little more, please, sir. That's a lingering meme (malingering, even) and hasn't been true for many, many years now. As far back as Imperial Armour II, Forge World redacts the "asking opponent's permission" system as an unsatisfactory solution. Since then, especially in recent years, every Forge World statement – and the point of the 40K-approved stamps – has been to focus on the fact that they *are* acceptable baseline units in games of 40K. Even the wording has changed significantly in recent years. It's no longer "ask your opponent's permission". It's now "Tell them what you're using in case they're unfamiliar with it." This is as bold and obvious as Games Workshop gets. This is them saying "Use whatever you like, but be nice about it because some people may not know the rules."

Secondly, it doesn't matter what tournament rules say or allow. Tournament rules have nothing (literally, nothing) to do with how GW and the hobby rolls out their game lines. It's not even a consideration in design or release. It shouldn't be clinged to as an inviolate defence, like "Forge World is banned from tournaments, that must mean something". It means nothing. It means tournaments, the staggeringly little niche of the hobby that gets disproportionate airtime on online forums, and are run by guys who have next to nothing to do with the company, don't like how Games Workshop chooses to present about half of its rules in different books, and chooses to ignore them. That's all it means.

Asking Games Workshop to come out and make a statement is futile, because that's not how Games Workshop operates. They don't just say "Dear Gamers who are missing the point. It's X, not Y." Their way of making a clear statement has been done to death already: Games Workshop keeps repeating that their Forge World books and units aren't optional bolt-ons that any gamer can just deny the use of – but you have to bear in mind that GW is specifically not aiming to tell any players how they can use their toy soldiers. That's vastly against their policy. So they don't make clear, outright statements like that. They release rules, and let people follow them or ignore them as people choose. Forge World units are just as valid as anything in a codex or a late-published e-book like the recent Flyers update, Death from the Skies. Forge World say it themselves, countless times. Denying it and clinging to old memes will keep working, though, because the average player believes the weight of history, and doesn't see/like/respect the relatively unclear nature of how GW implements changes like this over time, without blowing all the horns about it.

Forge World isn't a parasitic add-on separate from GW. That's another overdone meme. Their top brass sits in on most of the same meetings as Black Library top brass, and Design Studio top brass. They all share notes and minutes. It's one company. They're separate teams, but not separate companies.

This, like the ancient "Black Library isn't canon" meme, is something that makes contributors involved with the license just sort of shake their heads and sigh. When official or unofficial statements are made, if they go against the weight of memehood, they're immediately shot down or ignored, anyway.

EDIT: It's probably even easier to distil it down like this: GW publishes rules in a variety of ways, not personally caring what's considered canon or not by "the community". They're not the Fun Police. They just publish the rules. In this case, an old meme has become considered law by "the community".

I'm not saying anything controversial or new. This is all already in plain sight. Every hobby has its legends and myths and scandals that endure despite everything else. Ladies and gentlemen, here's one of ours. It's a 'sound in space' kinda deal, where you hear the spaceships' engines revving and guns firing. It's been wrong for so long, that most people just accept it as right.

"Staggeringly Little" is quite a claim about the tournament scene, especially in light of events like Feast of Blades which reaches stores in almost every state in the US. During the BAO, there were 3 other large tournaments happening with nearly 1000 net participants.

Now you're certainly in a position to know better than I, but I would ask for enlightenment. In a hobby that is already staggeringly tiny, how large does the tournament community have to be before it's not an ignorable fraction?

And this is my real question: Does any of the many hydra heads of GW have numbers that inform your assertion? Do they have the data management to actually track the size of the hobby?

That post might seem a bit confrontational which is not my intent. I just see the claim that the tournament scene is a tiny fraction of the hobby posted many times. I just want to know if that's based of of anything other than a vague perception.

We can track how many people participate in tournaments, and get a rough idea of readership for sites that focus on the tournament scene. What we can't do is tell how many guys play with 2nd edition models in their garage. If all of the evidence is Anecdotal, then the argument is meaningless, as each person's play group will be their own anecdote. If the evidence is based on sales tracking and estimates kept by the guys in suits, that's some real numbers to compare.

Admittedly, the idea of cookie cutter lists online has spread the idea of tournaments far and wide into many forum posters' consciousnesses, but even the online population of hobbyists are an absolutely insignificant minority.

I'm in a weird position, here. I talk to (and work with) a lot of Games Workshop HQ staff, across various divisions and teams, and I have a lot of good friends working there. I know nothing particularly controversial or scandalous (I'm a freelancer, not an employee), but similarly, there's a lot that Games Workshop don't say (ever…) and although to my humble opinion it seems like silence (such as in this case) serves no one, the company itself obviously has its reasons and rhymes for the information it releases. And without a wider grasp of why it doesn't say most of those things, I'm reluctant to say any of them. I have no grudge to bear, I have no agenda beyond talking about the hobby we all love, and I don't consider myself slipping any leash to bring some vastly useful enlightenment, or whatever. So, yeah, it's safe to say that GW does have numbers about that sort of thing, which is why the tournament scene is essentially… well, it's loud, but that's all. It's a very, very vocal and publicised minority of a niche of a minority. There're even figures at GW for how many of its customers play at all (as opposed to solely collecting) and so on. Again, any business worth its salt would look into those figures, so it's not exactly stunningly surprising that GW does the same. Again, not insider info – that's been talked about publically a squillion times.

But you can probably see why GW itself, as some gestalt and tight-lipped entity, just ignores stuff like this. The rules are released. If the fans want to argue over whether them, they're free to use the rules however they like. They're not in the business of stamping their feet and telling people how to have fun – which is an ethos they've kept since the company's founding – and one the designers are all passionate about, no matter what the weekly online mudslinging in GW's direction might be.

Think of tournaments like the Olympics, purely in terms of time and number of people doing it. Every 4 years, something mega happens where a few hundred people take their sport very, very seriously, and are experts on giving other people advice on how to take those chosen sports seriously themselves. The rest of the time, 99.9999999999999999% of the world's population is playing sports at the amateur level, for fun, or even professionally, pretty much constantly (or watching it, or reading about it, or… you know what I mean, the list goes on), a squillion times a day, in every country of the world. What the best 50 runners on Earth do every 4 years gets a lot of public airtime, because of the fact it's competitive at an elite level and draws attention, but it's absolutely meaningless in terms of all the sports and exercise going on every day. Usain Bolt winning a few races will change absolutely nothing for the bajillion people that jog, walk or run every day. He's still just one guy running, and he has no real influence over the other millions that do the same for their own reasons, as part of their own lives. In cold terms, he's, what… 0.0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001% of the running population. Joking aside, that's infinitesimal.

That's tournament gaming. That's why using anything about it as an example in GW policy (or indeed the wider hobby) is honestly just sort of… ludicrous. It's harder to see at our level, because we're in the trenches speaking online all the time as fans, and thinking we see a balanced representation of "the hobby community". But we don't. We see the bleeding edge, most vocal, absolutely dedicated members of the fandom sharing their opinions, which – as it happens – are based on as many misconceptions, other perspectives, and misunderstandings, as any other community with myths and legends.

I've heard that they have numbers before. I guess their behavior has to be based off of their numbers, so its reasonable to assume they have come to that set of conclusions.

I think the Olympic analogy is bad. The Olympics are a selected group from the elite of the world. You have a minimum level of skill and a lot of proving it to even get there. Only the ETC and maybe the FoB and NOVA invitationals fit this structure. Even then, they don't draw from as organized a pool.

No, the Tournament scene is more like Amateur Soccer. You've got the guys who kick a ball around every once in a while with their friends. You've got the guys who play intermurals or pickup games at the local gym (These would be guys who attend RTTs) and you have the guys who join local teams and compete (These would be GT players). No level is exclusive of the other, and are based simply on a desire to participate.

In my area, about 2/3 of the stores run small tournaments at least 3-4 times a year, and most of the people in the stores play in them. Most of the players I know (offline) play in tournaments regularly. They're not part of the internet community for the most part, but they are part of the tournament crowd. They're also the audience that the tournament community writes too.

That's my thing: when you say they're a small part of the hobby, the ONLY people I know who play, introduce more players, or contribute to the hobby at all also play in tournaments. The claim that the tournament community is so tiny as to be ignorable is so counter to my experience of what the hobby is, that I cannot reconcile it. I wish those numbers would be released, because I'd love to actually find out how small the thousands are in comparison to the hobby at large.

(Also, thank you for taking the time to reply. I understand you're a busy man with a Movie to work on, which I am very very eager to see!)

"An advocate who has been well paid in advance will find the cause he is pleading all the more just."


As much as I love that quote, it's wide of the mark, here. I have nothing to do with this topic professionally speaking, except the ability to tell a slightly more informed truth (because I've specifically asked GW to explain it to me, several freaking times). As I said, I have no agenda, no grudge to bear one way or the other, and no need to take any imaginary stand to promote either side. It doesn't affect me at all. I just like talking hobby, and this is one of those old, old meme-myths that has no bearing on how the company really functions.

This is one of the key problems with this topic, actually. The "Black Library is/isn't canon" suffers from the same thing. When people actually do come out and explain these things by saying "Hey, uh, it doesn't work like that" even from positions of informed neutrality, the fans who find it going against their perspectives react with scepticism at best (understandable), and at worst, invent agendas that they believe are being pushed for whatever imaginary reasons (less understandable, and poisonous to real debate, but desperate times call for desperate measures).

This whole article is in itself that exact reaction. It doesn't matter that Forge World have plainly stated what the case is in their FAQs, their books, and their Facebook page every time it's asked 500 times a week. What matters it that it doesn't suit the OP's perception of The Way Games Workshop Should Handle This, so he reacts by saying it's untrue until they meet his criteria.

This is a topic entrenched in its ways. One side has decided the only "proof" that will settle it is something that is unlikely to ever come, because the company just doesn't work that way (as described above) and evidently sees no need to work that way.

EDIT: Just to clarify, I play with a few tournament gamers in my campaigns (irritatingly successful ones, too – complete with jealousy-inducing trophy collections), and I have no burning hatred for tournament play. I just don't overstate its importance to the hobby/company.

>Secondly, it doesn't matter what tournament rules say or allow.

The thing is, yes it does. In the absence of any kind of input from GW (because "omg were just a model company") tournaments are free to make up their own rules and guidelines. They will use, or not use, or modify, or alter the rules in whatever ways they see appropriate. EVERY tournament does this to some degree because GW is so ambiguous about which rules represent what, so TOs are forced to make decisions. Some just ignore certain small additions; others don't use parts of the main rulebook; still others issue their own FAQs, or ignore the official FAQs in places, or rewrite portions of the rules entirely. It is absolutely universal that this is done, for each and every tournament I have ever seen anywhere.

So whether a particular tournament does or doesn't allow Forge World rules is, in fact, up to them, just as whether or not they use other supplemental material (the Death From the Skies dogfighting rules, etc) is also their decision. And the decision has been, in most cases, not to use FW's supplements.

Now, you may like this decision or you may dislike it, but to deny that the TOs have the right to dictate the rules of their own tournament that they run with zero influence from the company? That's just absurd and you know it.

That doesn't even touch on any of the other issues with FW, and despite your constant declarations that they don't matter, aren't controversial, have already been decided, etc, etc, those issues are hardly things that the community is fully agreed on. Simply handwaving them away doesn't change the reality of things- that it is an issue the community has been struggling with for years now and has never really come to any kind of consensus. Some tournaments have tested FW at their events and found it wanting; others have okayed it; still others have avoided it entirely. Even outside of tournaments, some clubs and groups see FW rules as perfectly acceptable and others frown upon bringing them to casual events.

I'll also point out that your Olympics metaphor is flawed- while a win by so-and-so at the Olympics is not going to directly change how people around the world play a sport or whatever, the competitive level of events are the pinnacle that many people aspire to (if often only in a sort of general longing to be better) and the technologies (be they physical, conceptual, etc) and practices developed for the top levels are eventually passed down to the general population once they become known. Tournaments and tournament participants may be far from a majority of the players, but they are often the more influential and dedicated players in the hobby.

Tournaments are not, in any sport or activity I'm aware of, the _majority_ of the population, but they are usually the de facto standard because they represent an agreed-upon bottom line that is accessible to all players. Other forms of play likely deviate from this standard in many ways, but this is usual with an admittance (even if grudging) that these tournament standards are the "official" way to play the game, with all that entails.

"Now, you may like this decision or you may dislike it, but to deny that the TOs have the right to dictate the rules of their own tournament that they run with zero influence from the company? That's just absurd and you know it."

Not sure where you got that from – I've actually said the exact opposite of that. Tournaments are entirely welcome to that right (that's the whole point; they have nothing to do with the company, as I said) and I cited several examples of how the meme (which, sadly, is still incorrect no matter how tournaments enforce it) is hugely reinforced by the nature of tournament visibility and popularity in discussion online. That doesn't necessarily apply to the whole hobby, because… it plainly doesn't. It's massively saturated online, and especially on forums, but you'd be surprised how small a percentage that is of the whole hobby.

The Olympic analogy went too far, but don't miss the point for the sake of a minor addendum. Tournament play isn't considered at all in design (it's not, as far as I've been told, and as far as every employee publically says) and Games Workshop has made its stance on Forge World as clear as it is likely to make it – it's just not in a way many fans would prefer or respect. So, as I said, they stay with the tournament stances, because of the popularity of the ingrained meme. That doesn't mean it's right. Old habits die hard.

> and Games Workshop has made its stance on Forge World as clear as it is likely to make it

If that's their idea of "clear," I would hate to see what they consider obtuse.

And yes, I realize that GW doesn't really think much of tournaments when writing rules, but that's part of their problem. "We're just a model company" hasn't been true for decades now.

@ Aaron
Thanks for the comments. There's a lot of what you say that I agree with, but several things I don't.

"Firstly, opponent's permission isn't needed"
IA Aeronautica page 4 says "…owing to the fact that they may be unknown to your opponent, it's best to make sure they are happy to play a game Forge World models before you start."
And what if they aren't?

If they aren't, because they've never heard of them, or because they want to practise for an event against models that are likely to be at the event, or because they had negative experiences with FW rules in the past, or because they believed anti FW statements they read online, or because they are chicken, or because they are new and want a simple game or any of a dozen reasons?
You just asked the opponent's permission and found you did need it after all.

"it doesn't matter what tournament rules say or allow" – for the purposes of this article, it does. It is absolutely core, because the majority of readers on 3++ want help, advice and opinions on improving armies they can take to events. They want to read battle reports, hear about tactics and see photographs of models that are relevant to the games they are most likely to play.

The article is not about what people should buy for themselves (whatever they want!) or what they should use in games at home (anything they like!) against opponents who are willing.

You're talking about what GW want (beer and pretzels and fun stories), I am talking about what most of our readers want (on the one hand competitive armies that perform well, based on models they can consistently use at events, on the other tactics to beat other armies built from models they can consistently expect to face off against at events).

Most players play most of their games at home or clubs, but the minority of tournament games they play inform their friendly games.

"Games Workshop keeps repeating that their Forge World books and units aren't optional bolt-ons that any gamer can just deny the use of"
– If you have one, could I get a GW quote please?

"Asking Games Workshop to come out and make a statement is futile, because that's not how Games Workshop operates. They don't just say "Dear Gamers who are missing the point. It's X, not Y." "

I agree. The thing is, anyone who really knows 40K should be aware it's not a proper purpose-built tournament system, like MTG for example. It's not balanced or streamlined enough. But we don't care. We still give it out best shot and have a lot of fun. I'd reply to them:
"Dear Gamesworkshop who are missing the point. Anything that is balanced for competition also results in a better Beer & Pretzels time. You can have X and Y"

So I agree with you that as long as people are having fun, who cares what models they use? GW don't seem to. But for the purposes of this article, for the majority of the audience on this site, what is allowed at standard 40K codex events is absolutely important.



Hey, dude. (Do I remember you for the old Werewolf: the Apocalypse forum…?)

And, yeah, I didn't mean to imply that you were wrong in the context of 3++ and competitive gaming. I know you're not. Similarly, I know me saying "This is what the company seems to intend" is going to go down badly when those intentions are the opposite of what many tournament players are familiar and comfortable with. They need it in black and white, and all they get is shades of grey.

I was purely explaining it in terms of the wider picture and how it works on a hobby-wide / company scale. I'm totally aware of the influence tournaments have on the fandom, etc. and mentioned it a couple of times.

It might be worth bearing in mind, though, that the changes in Forge World's "acceptability" were intended to make them as valid as traditional codex units. I understand it's not as declarative as many fans want, but it's as declarative as they're likely to be about it.

I'm actually glad you posted, and it actually, to me, just reverberates the level of mis-communication that is present to begin with over the FW issue.

I don't really think it's news to anyone here that Games Workshop doesn't see the need to directly say "Forgeworld Add-Ons can/should/whatever be used within a normal game of Warhammer 40K"…. simply because they haven't done so (more on this in a moment). Nor does anyone who participates in the part of the hobby that is competitive 40K actually believe that GW pays attention to us…. although this is another great conversation topic, and this is speaking honestly not with sarcasm, because if this is actually true, then I want to know why the latest bunch of codices have invalidated competitively almost every model I own and pigeon-holed me into buying newer, more expensive ones…

What you are posing, and what we all already kind of know is that they have said that, but the problem is, there is a disconnect between "what is FW" and what is "design team" since conception, and that gap has only been bridged by one side, the Forgeworld side. As in, there is no corresponding message in my 6th ed. rulebook that says……

"Go check out Forgeworld when you are done here for even more official 40K rules you can use as you battle your friends for control of the grim-dark galaxy of grim-dark!" ….. <— look it was even communicated without giving me the feeling that GW is trying to tell me how play!

Are we really crazy for expecting this or asking about it? It IS confusing for a lot of us, especially when you have very little to zero Forgeworld exposure, much more common in the States. We don't see Forgeworld as official because the core game of 40K has never said it is… only Forgeworld has.

To put more perspective on it…. this would be like me formulating my own 40K Add-on and then writing on the first page 1: "For official use with Warhammer 40K".

So, the nutshell problem comes down to this…..

– "There is a 'meme' "… as you described.

And now, though, indirectly, the conversation is displaying yet another meme….

– "'WE' already told them it was official, why do they keep asking about this?"

This entire discussion is actually circular too. Thinking about this:

"Forgeworld already told them they are official rules. So, I don't see why we would have to state elsewhere that they are official! "

But surely, we can see that for those of us who aren't privy to the internal workings of GW, who aren't privy to the inner workings of their minds, that this might be, maybe just is… maybe evidenced by the number of people (if they are posting this on facebook each week) asking the question…. that perhaps… they haven't actually done what they keep saying they have done?

And that we aren't just a bunch of trolls saying that "they didn't say it was official" but that well… they… the actual 40K design team/core rulebook/information/rules/etc. don't actually say that FW is official?…. and that this really could possibly confuse the hell out of someone?

The answer to that is a hardened 'meme' by GW, is basically what is being suggested here. "We did say it! You just don't accept !"

along the same lines of a hardened 'meme' of: "Why won't they say it's official???"

It's really comical in a way. 🙂 But ultimately, we surely can agree that the party with the "voice" in this circular comedy is GW, not internet forum posters. It's not like we're asking for the moon to have them insert one sentence into a book, FAQ, right on the GW Website…

"Forgeworld is now officially part of the Game of 40K! Check out their cool line of miniatures, books, art work, and more! And while you are there, check out Black Library and buy Aaron's new book!"

And what you are really bringing to the table is insight that GW has basically decided to die on this mountain…

"We shouldn't have to say that. We already did in our FW book! So there!"

Same way the internet trolls are going to say "well they didn't say it was official, so there!"

it's comical. 🙂

"Firstly, opponent's permission isn't needed."

>> I stopped reading here, because this is incorrect. From the latest Forge World book, Imperial Armour, Volume 1, Second Edition (Vehicles of the Imperial Guard), pg 7 "Warhammer 40k Units":

"…these should be considered 'official', but owing to the fact they may be unknown to your opponent, it's best to make sure they are happy to play a game using Forge World models before you start."

key things – they say "should be considered", instead of simply saying "are". they also still think you should ask for permission. so the fact that FW are NOT claiming official status with any type of conviction, and that the masses aren't using them in their normal or tournament games leads me to believe they still aren't a part of standard 40k.

As I said: "This, like the ancient "Black Library isn't canon" meme, is something that makes contributors involved with the license just sort of shake their heads and sigh. When official or unofficial statements are made, if they go against the weight of memehood, they're immediately shot down or ignored, anyway."

You can interpret that FW statement as "You need to ask your opponent's permission". It used to say that, sure. Now, however, it's literally "These should be considered official" and "make sure your opponent is happy". Not "Ask his permission". The onus has changed completely. It's official, but be polite about it and make sure they're cool with it, because they may not know the rules.

You say Forge World aren't claiming "official status with any conviction". Well, actually, they're claiming it officially and publically. You (like many others – that's the whole point) just aren't convinced by the way they're doing it, and choose to believe it's some sort of smoke and mirrors., because of how you assume GW must/should function. But this is how Games Workshop have chosen to make the official statement. I don't blame anyone for not buying that, because the meme runs deep. However, it doesn't make it less true.

This is such a bizarre conversation. The truth is right there in front of everyone's eyes, and I covered every one of these argument-replies in the first post.

You could save yourself a lot of time and just ask Forge World directly. They'll say the same thing they say in their books – they say it countless times a week on their Facebook page in reply to this exact question. It's perfectly official, just bear in mind some opponents are fussy about not knowing the rules.

At this point, I think it just must be more fun to argue with it and pretend there's some devious conspiracy. Why would I weigh in on this at all if I was ranting madly? Do I have some blind pro-Forge World agenda that needs to be sated in online text, to the point I'd *lie* about my employers' policies? Or ask for the info and then post the exact opposite?

>At this point, I think it just must be more fun to argue with it and pretend there's some devious conspiracy. Why would I weigh in on this at all if I was ranting madly? Do I have some blind pro-Forge World agenda that needs to be sated in online text,

"Liar, loon, or lord" is a false trichotomy and you know it. Just because you aren't intentionally deceiving us and aren't crazy doesn't mean that your arguments are 100% honest and accurate and that you can do no wrong in advocating something. That's why sane, rational, helpful people can have arguments and still disagree about things.

Forge World saying they are official doesn't make them official. You apparently have additional inside knowledge that backs that position- we don't. No offense, but the opinion of a talking head on the internet saying that he heard from someone once that a thing is totally true does not add enormously to the evidence in favor of.

Your wholesale denial of the "FW needs opponent's permission" meme is… well, not a lot better. People have quoted several times from the most recent of books: it does not _explicitly_ tell you to ask permission, but the text clearly does so _implicitly_. You may notice that no such text appears in GW's codices, despite many people being unfamiliar with them- this is because FW does NOT occupy the same space in the rules as the regular codices do. It's an optional addition- the key word being "optional." You can talk about our denial all you want, but if so you're guilty of just the same when you ignore the portions of that same text you don't like.

>The truth is right there in front of everyone's eyes

You know sometimes people interpret things differently from the way you do, right? If you want to turn this into an absurd truther "open your eyes, man, don't let Them control you!" thing I guess you can, but I'd appreciate it if you would keep the conversation to the level of sane adults discussing a subject.

"Forge World saying they are official doesn't make them official. You apparently have additional inside knowledge that backs that position- we don't."

Here's the crux of the argument. The fact is, Forge World is Games Workshop, and Forge World saying that does indeed make them "official", because that's what official means, when they use that exact word. However, I completely understand why that doesn't cut it for a lot of the player base. They want X, and think X is the only way an answer will be right. But they're getting Y, because the company works with Y.

I've said nothing at all about insider information, beyond sharing my confusion and having it explained to me that, yes, when Forge World say it's official, that's Games Workshop saying it's official. I've said, several times, that none of this is secret or new. All I'm doing is explaining that the way Games Workshop has presented the information is *how Games Workshop has chosen to present the information*. No more, no less. I completely understand that it's not going to cut it with people. That's what the meme means. That's the whole core of it.

Again, I have no agenda, here. It doesn't bother me one way or the other, but I like to discuss this stuff, because our fandom is especially unfortunate in terms of how tight-lipped GW is, and we fall back too often on ingrained memes that don't actually approach the truth. The truth is what it is, whether I (or any of us) like it that way or not. I see perfectly well (with cited examples) of why people interpret it differently – I've even agreed with why they do. Totally their call. In this case, I'm trying to explain clearly why their interpretation is wrong, because… well, it is and it isn't. The whole point is that GW presents the rules, and don't mind what people do with them. The very notion of "official" and "canon" just isn't A Thing in the process.

I know people's opinions won't change, because they've laid out years of what they believe the company would have to do to convince them. But what they're doing is applying a square peg to a round hole, there. The company has made it as clear as the company is likely to do. Again, I know nothing will change on the side of the player base. That's fine, too. I was just shedding some light on the process.

This can all be boiled down to one thing, really.

You say this: "Forge World saying they are official doesn't make them official."

Yes. It does. That's what official means. That's why they use those words. I can completely understand why people choose to interpret it other ways, because it's a difficult thing to grasp even at the best of times (which is why I directly asked about it, and why people ask Forge World about it 800 times a week, and get the same answer). But, yes, official does mean official. Forge World is Games Workshop.

And I don't have a wholesale denial of "needing an opponent's permission, because the truth is not "You never need to ask" or " You must ask permission". Neither of those are true, but the fandom has this ironclad perception that the latter is The Way Things Are. The truth is somewhere inbetween: the company releases rules and fans can use them however they like. People constantly misunderstand Forge World, though. They see "Use whatever you like, this is official as these things go, but make sure people are okay with something they may not be familiar with" as "You must ask permission to use your toys". Which isn't true. It's common courtesy, not a mandate to plead for permission to use a secret weapon. That's how it is. Not my personal opinion. And I'm not being facetious when I say that's exactly what's written, because that's exactly what's written. People can (and do) interpret that however they wish, but that's what's written.

It's getting circular now – it's been circular since my first post, because the company's policy literally can't change from people not believing its wording is true – so I'll bow out.

The thing is, though, that not even Games Workshop acts like Forge World is 'official'. They don't feature their units in White Dwarf battle reports, there are no pictures of Forge World models alongside standard 40K models in the rule book, there is basically no evidence from Games Workshop that they are aware Forge World products and rules even exist. You can try and dismiss hesitation at fully embracing Forge World as just a 'meme' circulating amongst certain segments of the player base, but in that case you need to accept that this 'meme' is apparently accepted by the very people who you are claiming have said just the opposite to their own satisfaction.

Just for clarity, dude, I don't disrespect the meme at all, or think people believing it are misguided mentalists. Memes are powerful things – I'm not using the word in terms of an insult or a cheap laugh. I'm using it in terms of an idea that's powerfully stuck in our collective brainsquidge. Just wanted to make that clear.

I can't (and won't) speak for company policy, about why they choose to present their rules and products in certain ways. I have nothing to add to it, and it's none of my business anyway. I was just trying to explain that they're not wildly separate companies, in terms of the famous meme, like "Games Workshop not acknowledging Forge World exists". Forge World is Games Workshop; Games Workshop is Forge World.

I totally get that people perceive it differently (it's why I begged for an answer, myself) because it's a confusing thing. People need X for it to ring true to them. All good. The answer looks like it'll stay as Y, though, and it could be considered a bit of a shame that the meme sticks.

People ask FW about it all the time, but I can understand why they believe FW's answer isn't good enough. It's a deep meme. We *expect* the answer should be X, so Y doesn't cut it.

"I was just trying to explain that they're not wildly separate companies, in terms of the famous meme, like "Games Workshop not acknowledging Forge World exists". Forge World is Games Workshop; Games Workshop is Forge World."

Except that they aren't. Games Workshop is the overall name of the company, yes, of which Black Library and Forge World are wholly owned subsidiaries. But Games Workshop is also presented as being the distinct portion of the company responsible for Warhammer 40K, as a tabletop game, and White Dwarf, as a monthly publication. It might be that there would be less confusion if Games Workshop referred only to the overall company, and some other discrete subsidiary put out 40K and White Dwarf. But that's not the case. So, as far as most people understand it,Forge World is Forge World, and Games Workshop is 40K and White Dwarf, because that's the way Games Workshop presents itself.

And Games Workshop, as 40K and White Dwarf, absolutely does refuse to acknowledge Forge World exists. That's not even debatable. Forge World is completely and totally ignored as far as Games Workshop's communications with the player base is concerned. Heck, Games Workshop's website barely even mentions Forge World; there's a single, tiny link at the very bottom of the page, in between 'Black Library' and 'Investor Relations'. There are no mentions of Forge World in its standard publications, it does nothing to promote new releases, it does nothing to encourage the player base to pick up Forge World units.

It is, in fact, true that Games Workshop doesn't acknowledge that Forge World exists. For, admittedly, a given value of 'Games Workshop'.

>You say this: "Forge World saying they are official doesn't make them official."

People have made a lot of other arguments in this thread; you might want to respond to some of them rather than just harping on this one point.

How about this, then: Planetstrike and Spearhead are also "official." They are printed by Games Workshop, for use with Games Workshop products and have the 100% backing of the company. Does this mean we should use those rules in tournaments, also?

No, because they are _optional_ rules, just as Forge World is.

>Use whatever you like, this is official as these things go, but make sure people are okay with something they may not be familiar with"

I still don't get it; what part of "make sure people are okay with [it]" is different from asking permission?

"Before playing with"

Sorry, that's permission needed. BAsic language comprehension. If they are not happy, you do not get to put them on the table.

Or do you feel that what they are advocating is that you check if they are happy, then tell them to suck it if they aren't?

There's no requirement that the opponent be 'happy' to face cron air, for example. But there IS such a requirement for Forge World. That necessarily means that you require their permission.

You don't have an argument on that front, and are being blinded by your own confirmation bias.

It's really quite simple. You bring your models and I'll bring mine. If you bring a triple Helldrake list or a Cron Air but don't want me to use my Saber Defense platform you're free to decline the game, just like I'm free to look at your list and decline the game. You don't have to play.

If you're playing in a tournament, you know what the constraints are before starting and you need to play the game.

BAO had it right.

Nowhere in the Chaos Codex does it say you have to make sure your opponent is happy with your three Heldrakes.

Yes, they can walk away. Obviously.

But the Forge World things require you to check. Requiring you to check translated fairly directly to "You must have your opponent's permision". Unless you want to imply the rule is actually stating "And if they aren't, be a dick about it and play with them anyway" ?

I am glad you took the time to write a reasonable article on this subject. I am happy that you even somewhat agree that FW units are not that powerful or undercosted which goes against popular opinion. I enjoyed this article but offer the following critique:

I think the final conclusion you gave is weak.

The majority of tournaments in the world are not run by GW employees, and a general format has not emerged. If we were all playing something called “Type II: GW Standard” or another similar name this would be a perfectly logical conclusion, but we do not. We play a fan based amalgamation of edition rules and mission types with cherry picked ideals from the fan base that screams the loudest. If this is “standard” 40k than why is the Skyshield Landing Pad and Fortress of Redemption not allowed at every tournament? Why do we see 1999+1 tournaments to avoid double force org, and what about hidden objectives and terrain? The tournament scene, around the world, does not play “Standard 40k.”

The idea that we are waiting for GW to say something even more official than what they already have is a lie. What more do you really need? The giant label you mentioned inside the book that GW makes that says “40k Approved” already exists and people want more proof that GW (the company that stamped the label) is approving such models for 40k? Are we waiting on a love letter to show up at the Adepticon P.O. box to give another level of consent? What made the White Dwarf rules any different if you think about it? Why are Sisters of Battle even allowed at tournaments if they do not follow the traditional codex model?

The real reason we cannot play IA in major tournaments is because the community is filled with a bunch of babies that need something to cry about. A heldrake is reasonable, but a Lucius Pattern is OP?

40K is a game; it is not balanced now, nor will it never will be (with or without IA). If people are worried about IA spam (9 platforms, drones, etc.) make all IA unique 0-1 options and quit crying. We (not GW) run the tournaments, we (not GW) decide which rules to use, and we (not GW) define what “standard 40k” actually is.

Honestly, this feels like a very disingenuous post, not an attempt to "put the final word" in FW arguments, but in listing a litany of reasons to not allow it to fall back on if the main reason is put to bed. A laundry list of "why forge world is bad", with all the bias and fuzzy logic inherent in such a post.

To start off, the main point that "FW requires opponents permission" is frankly ridiculous. In a hobby where the letter of the main rules is read so directly that no inference is allowed, it's amazing that the same people can read a line like "It's best to make sure your opponent is happy" and get "You must ask permission". It's not the same thing at all. It's best (but not required!) to make sure your opponent is happy playing FW (What if he isn't?). There's two failings there for the "Permission is required" crowd–one, that "It's best" is hardly a mandate, and not a rule to follow, and two, that "your opponent should be happy" isn't really "he must accept". I'm not happy playing Necron Air Force, but that doesn't mean the rules state I need to give my permission for it.

Second, the rest of the article is full of half truths and tired slander against FW. Working backwards, yes, FW has rules issues, but so does the rulebook and codexes. We have things called errata and FAQ to fix those, the only real issue is that FW tends to be really slow releasing said errata. Second, the "points cost" section with the manticore really neglects to mention the increase in minimum range (a huge 12 inches) and the lack of cluster technology AND the loss of barrage, meaning it must be fired directly that comes with the missiles, explaining why they have points cut compared to the SE rockets–the increase in blast size and the lowering of the AP is not worth losing 1-2 extra blasts, limited use thanks to a increased deadzone, and the logistical pain of not being able to fire directly and also losing out on the cover save denial provided.

In addition, the Lucius Drop-pod was nerfed ages ago, you must take a difficult terrain test to leave, and it takes up a FOC slot all by itself.

"Second, the rest of the article is full of half truths and tired slander against FW."

Slander? A malicious, false, and defamatory statement or report?
The article specifically says FW has rules issues issues, and that so does GW. It says some of their rules are over- or under-powered, and some points costs are wide of expectations in both directions, and that so are some of GW's. There are plenty of parallels drawn and that is part of an attempt to have a balanced point of view.

The place where we disagree is really easy to identify: "the main point that FW requires opponents permission is frankly ridiculous."

If you look at the comments posted by 40K players, you will quickly see most find it less than ridiculous.

Quoting IA: "…owing to the fact that they may be unknown to your opponent, it's best to make sure they are happy to play a game with Forge World models before you start," is a nice, well-phrased and gentle way of saying your opponent might not want to play a game against anything in this codex, and that you need to ask if they are before you start.
That line does not appear in any of the GW codexes despite the fact they might also be unknown to an opponent since few people own all of the books.

Players would be shocked to see IA units across from them at a tournament if the tournament hadn't announced an explicit rule for allowing them in advance. If anyone were to take a selection of IA units to an average 40K tournament without checking the TO was “happy to [let them] play a game with Forge World models before [they] start," they would be in for a big disappointment when they realise they don't have permission to use them.

As far as I am concerned you should play how you like, where you like, with whatever your opponent will allow. As long as you're having fun, it really doesn't matter.

But the simple truth is that a FW/IA game is not what people expect when they set out to play a game of 40k.
If you disagree with that, then yes you will probably find this article disingenuous.

Point of fact; tournaments are even less "standard 40K" than Forgeworld.

I've never understood how tournament types can stand there with a straight face saying "No FW, it's not standard 40K, oh and here is our vast trove of jumped-up house rules which you must follow to play in our event". If you want to ignore parts of the game because you don't like them, that's your prerogative, but don't pretend you're basing your conclusions on an objective standard.

Sure there might not be a perfect pure strain of 40K in existence since even the developers don't play it all correctly in their own battle reports!
But the "no FW" rule is so common at tournaments that people expect standard 40K to be the normal books, and bring things to counter them from the normal books. You agree with that at least?

Tournaments don't allow FW because nobody knows the FW rules because tournaments don't allow FW. (??) In an age where Death from the skies (an online-only supplement) and Farsight Enclave (An online, currently digital-only supplement) are accepted as okay in tournies, not accepting FW because it's not accessable, or not standard, it crazy. I can walk into my local GW and pick up IA:Apoc, or Aeronautica (they stock them), but I can't pick up the supplement codexes or death from the skies. Don't even get me started on the "40k legal" fortifications that only have the rules in the box for the model. How is that more accessible than FW?

I know I'm really late to the party here but this just got linked to me and I was with the author until I saw the "standard" 40k arguement. Are we really trying to claim that?

I see two issues with that honestly: first is the Spirit of the Game (which is in every rulebook, in the rules section which means it's not some hobby stuff to brush off) says the rules are a framework and they encourage us to add to them all the time. This basically means that the "standard" game already doesn't exist because the game itself is saying "do what you want" with it.

The other issue I have with that is there is a little section on page 108 that covers "Army Lists" and where you can get them. If you look at it you see there are 3 options mentioned. Yes 3, and it doesn't say "codex" three times. First we have the traditional army list from a codex, second we have the altered army list (yes altered, just like how FW normally works not to mention how dataslates and codex supplements, by altering the army list. Not a single one of those is mentioned by name so we run into a serious hypocrisy if a person claims FW doesn't count there and doesn't also throw those out as well) and then we have "your own system". Yes GW put in the actual rulebook the fact that you can play homebrew as you army.

So if, and I mean if you really, want to try and say there is a standard game based on what GW has solely put in rulebook as what is "legal" then there are two big things that kill the "FW isn't standard" arguement: the fact that GW says the rules aren't written in stone (despite players acting like they are), and the fact that they give you the freedom to pick what you want to play instead of holing you into just playing codexes.