Rules as Written or Rules as Intended. This is an argument we hear a lot. Do we follow what is written in the rules to the letter of the words on the page? or do we allow for what was intended by the rule?

I am going to make this simple for most people..... Play as you want. However when I get a game in with someone I am not as familiar with, or at a store I do not play at often; there is nothing worse than hearing "that is the way we play it around here" half way through the game. In this regard, I am going to say that when I hear this, and those rules were not clear before the game got going, there is not much point in continuing the game. Its just to abstract to play with two different sets of rules. Its frustrating.

If there are rules that are not RAW that you expect to be playing with, they must be discussed, and known before the first dice is dropped. Otherwise when I play a game its assumed everything is RAW. Doing otherwise is just not fair play, and at times taking advantage of what someone thinks the rules should be.

Now lets get down to RAW vs RAI. It is my solid opinion that there is no such thing as RAI. I believe that the rules are written the way they were meant to be. If something needs to be changed, eventually a faq will address it. Otherwise it is my belief that "rules as intended" are exactly as they are written. I mean really, otherwise who is so special to be arbitrarily deciding what the intentions of the rules are? So for me its RAW.

(this does not mean in friendly games that someone can play something another way, as long as we both agree before hand. I just love to play the game, and between two friends, who cares how we play the game)

106 Comments:

  1. I think many folks would feel better about playing RAW over trying to figure out RAI if GW weren't so notoriously bad about the oversights in their rules writing.

    Remember all the speculation about overflow wounds in challenges?

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    1. Its Not GW
      Its the chees heads
      Every Edition some of the Same Things get FAQed... Like psykers in Transports ... Or how wound allication Works this Time...
      Becaus someone always trys Reading RAI with the idea of haveing an advantage or smth "cool" or it would be more realistic. -.-

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    2. I agree, it's not GW's fault.

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    3. what is the psyker in transports issue?

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    4. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. There are too many inconsistancies with GW rules. I'll play the "accepted" RAW even if it clearly meant something else.
      Take the Necron Night Scythe for example: Do Necrons need a boost especially that models' rules? Hell no, as confirmed by the tournament "meta". Who really thinks that embarked units should take the crash and burn test? If the Night Scythe was over priced and no one used them, then everyone wouldn't care. Since they are so effective and abused, everyone hides behind that as a reason to force the crash and burn tests. Honestly which conversation probably happened during development:

      1: I got this idea for a flying transport, accept when it crashes the models all take the hits and if any of them survive they have to put them in reserve still HAHA.

      2: I got this idea for a flying transport, accept when it crashes the models don't take any of the hits they just go back in reserves.

      The problem with going by RAW is that there is not that order of operations that everything needs in order to know what happens first. Same with the cultist zombies. It says you can't buy options, well you have to buy the squad before you can even nominate the squads as zombies? Which comes first the chicken or the egg?

      Here is the kicker though. As angry as the internet is, it gives us a chance to collectivly come together and find some sort of acceptable middle ground if its even a dice roll everytime it happens to determine what happens first in the case of Night Scythes, or just discussing it prior to even starting a game as with cultist zombies.

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    5. There is a fine line between RAI and RMU (rules made up) and how on earth can you know what they intended before an FAQ anyway?! You can see this now with people adamant that plague zombies come in 35 man units. It might be RAI but then it might not, you do not know. No one does ATM. Hence why I do not like RAI over RAW.as it gives some people too much freedom to overstep the mark and cheat. Saying that, GW do make it very easy for them with their sloppy rule writing a lot of the time but it still doesn't excuse people making up rules as they go along.

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    6. Saying that I would allow some obvious ones like the 35 plague zombies but as we saw from yesterdays thread, some poster started going on about them being able to take marks as if it was against the law not to?! This is my issue with RAI. When it over steps the mark... which it does almost always.

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    7. Ya, unfortunatly the rule is very unclear (regardless what some believe) It would make sense from a Fluff standpoint but really I couldn't see it, don't have my book but doesn't it say you lose your mark? Either way, again as long as it has something written to base an interpretation off of, then I am open minded to at leastgive it thought. As stated in a previous post though maybe I am just lucky enough to not run into any of these douchbags the internet is so afraid of.

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  2. House rules or any RAI should be discussed before a game begins. TO's should make these rules known well in advance for Tournaments/Events. GW should also have outside playtesters and editors ;)

    Even RAW can be interpreted differently. Remember the Golden Rule and dice off on it. Anyone who can't agree to that, I definitely wouldn't want to play myself. At one time I loved playing competitively, but at heart I just want to have fun. There is enough to stress over in life without a game being cause to get riled up.

    So yeah, be a good sport kiddies ;)

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    1. I quite agree with this sentiment and would also like to highlight the fact that most disagreement is not raw v rai but simply over how to interpret raw. The problem is simply the natural weakness of language and text.

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  3. It's true, if the wordings funky like a lot of it usually is then people tend to stretch it or interpret it to mean many things, sometimes very convincingly. raw in 6th still has quite a few bugs to work out with all the FAQs and older edition dexs so its still a pretty big deal.

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    1. I agree, wording is usually the biggest issue. I might even go as far to say that it's not the wording, but some people's inability to parse the rule and understand what it's saying. I recently got into an argument about BA sterguard scoring if they ally in Pedro. While I don't think this is RAI, RAW he does. If someone approached me with a Bloodro list, I would not turn them down just because that isn't how I think the rule is supposed to be interpreted.

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    2. BA Sternguard don't have Combat Tactics, so they can't get Chapter Tactics which is what makes Pedro's Sternguard scoring.

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    3. pedro allows your army to replace combat tactics with stubborn and sternguard gain hold the line.

      As a logical argument, this can be written:

      If Pedro then (replace combat tactics with stubborn and sternguard gain hold the line.)

      You can distribute the Pedro through the conjunction which gives:

      If Pedro then replace combat tactics with stubborn and if Pedro then sternguard gain hold the line.

      Therefore:

      If Pedro then sternguard gain hold the line.

      It's possible to use the mathematics of logical arguments to help break down confusing rules and make them easier to understand.

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    4. An admirable observation lol

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  4. Your post mirrors my thoughts on the subject better than I could have explained.

    Bellumvinco

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  5. Natfka's post that is.

    Bellumvinco

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  6. Rules as Intended is subjective. It's "playing pretend".

    While RAW can be interpreted different ways, there is a limit imposed by the language.

    Written rules require us to all examine the same words and their context. There is a finite amount of conclusions to base an argument on.

    Intent requires you to crawl into a game designer's head (a scary place, to be sure), and figure out his intent.

    RaI is important for game designers to look at when they issue FAQs, other than that its for friendly games and house rules.

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  7. Is it bad that when the page loaded, I could only see the top of the crown and the sword and thought, "Ooh who has the gold power sword?"

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    1. You know, that's probably not as bad as when I hear the phrase "Difficult and Dangerous" in a completely different context, but still grimace at the thought of rolling said tests.

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  8. I went on an exhaustively long rant on yesterdays post on the subject of raw and plague zombies. I made the point that under the cultist options the only one that says purchase is marks of chaos, and the typhus entry specifically says cannot purchase. The whole point of mh rant is that a badly worded rule can be argued to favor any position you want. Another thing to consider is it is not stated in the typhus entry as to when you can nominate a squad as zombies. It is only implied. So no matter what you do in this particular instance, you WILL be going off of RAI and NOT RAW. Its unfortunate that we will have to wait months before gw clears this up. Everyone knows a unit in a crashing night scythe goes into reserve, but we are STILL seeing arguments over it. The wording in these books really makes me think whatever playtesters they employ arnt even 40k veterans.

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    1. RAW - A unit of zombies cannot purchase options, purchase being a word that already has meaning and does not have to be explicitly spelled out. Therefore a unit that has purchased options cannot be turned into a unit of zombies, either before or after those options are chosen. There is no need for RAI there, other than personal interpretation on the model count issue, it's just people that like to stretch things in ridiculous ways that like to then claim that RAW doesn't work.

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    2. Well one could argue that you make a squad of cultists any size you want. Then you take Typhus and turn them into zombies, their profile is now changed to the zombie profile which states weaponry, rules etc. Does that profile say anything about unit size? ( I'm just guessing here still waiting for my codex and have been for 12 days :( )

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    3. honestly the "turn into zombies afterwards" option is the one that makes more sense to me. I think the RAI is that zombies can't purchase marks etc. but until GW clears this up. the RAW mean "squads of 10 tops"

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    4. But that is NOT the RAW. That is what people are interpreting as RAW. The RAW is so ambiguous that there is NO, I repeat, NO correct answer until a FAQ clarifies this.

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    5. I completely agree. Many rules can be interpreted multiple ways and zombies is one of them. For many rules there is no such thing as RAW because the wording works two or more ways, or in some cases there is no rule written for a particular situation. I think GW should spend more time on forums and blogs reading arguments and releasing FAQs

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  9. The problem with RAW versus RAI is what happens when win-at-all-cost players abuse poor wording in RAW to try to find a competitive advantage.

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    1. there is a huge difference between win at all costs players, and competitive players. Our community lumps them all together and that is unfortunate. There are a few pricks that fall under the WAAC, but they are much fewer than our community thinks.

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    2. I like to compete, but the Zombie horde list (that everyone fears) is not SUPER-competitive so stop that bullshit WAAC crying right now. Everyone has an opinion and you are entitled to yours but do not judge others harshly because they do not agree or see something differently.
      I play Chaos, I even play Typhus every once in awhile. I will not play the zombie horde (even at 210 models) mainly because I don't want to paint that many models and I don't find it fun otherwise I would have a bug or ork army. I agree that Zombies should be allowed to add models, simply because you have to nominate a cultist unit so therefor you can build a 35 model cultist unit then nominate them zombies.
      You can disagree that is perfectly fine, and since there is no flow chart about WHEN you nominate the zombie rule I am both correct an incorrect. I am schrodinger's cat.

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    3. See. I do disagree with the zombies being nominated after thing. That is one instance where I believe the wording is being twisted to allow something which ATM is not and that is my problem with with RAI.
      You start doing this and then others start twisting it even more and soon zombie are allowed to take marks and everything else a regular cultist can...

      The main consensus on 10 man zombies unit is that it is a goof that will be corrected in the FAQ. Most players should allow you at the very least to roll off at the start of the game for them. It's when you start BS'ing the wording players think "hold on a sec..".

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  10. This is from "Yes The Truth Hurts" blog, but i think is another fine example of how RAW is sometimes excellent and so wrong.

    http://yesthetruthhurts.com/2012/10/chaos-unlocking-the-rubric/

    Mad doc gives all in "Army" cybork (5+ inv) for x pts per model.

    I would love to exploit this but it just doesn't seem fair.

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    1. read it. There are a lot of tough seemingly broken builds. I truly do not consider them broken, as I play against lists that push the limits on this side of town. In fact the list I am playing right now is on the extreme side of things.

      I do think GW needs to make clarifications though on abilities that effect the "army". If GW wants this gap closed they will faq it. There is more than this one way to take advantage of that. In fact I can think of one without really even checking a codex. (grey knights have some army wide abilities)

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  11. The RAI vs RAW is hard because it is written how the codex author wrote it. Maybe he inteneded it to be like that or just figured people would have enough common sense.

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    1. common sense.....ahahahahahhahahhahahahah oh your being serious?? my bad!!

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  12. All the secrecy behind those codex pays off- too few playtesting.
    compare with how pathfinderhit the marked- and it sold well, and without a prehexistente fan base

    GW should provide beta or something to large gaming groups and listen to feedbacks. Beside rantings if both players agree about RAI, there's no problem; but RAW is often not an assurance , else lawyers whould'nt exist right?? ;)

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    1. I am doing a series of articles on this. You will be surprised at how this is done. Its a lot more intensive than our community gives it credit for.

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    2. Pathfinder had a pre-existing fanbase given that was basicly "D&D 3.5 with some tweeks" released right as 4th edition D&D came out.

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    3. Agreed. Pathfinder is a model for playtesting in this industry. "You mean to say you gave an early draft of the rules away for FREE and people still bought the rulebook! POPPYCOCK!" LOL

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    4. @derreavatar: I'm not trying to start an argument here, but I'm pretty sure you don't know just how much thought goes into making a codex that is balanced enough to be able to go toe-to-toe with 13+ other armies, be able to be taken as allies with many of those armies, NOT utterly smash those armies every single time, while still have a multitude of unique, fantastically modeled units that create a play style totally different from the other 13+ armies (I think I remembered them all, but I could have missed one, hence the 13'+'). That is a seriously tall order, my friend. Most video games have maybe three, four races and STILL don't get it right on occasion. 14+ armies, satisfying all those criteria AND being economically manufacture-able? I would probably be a puddle of raving mania lying on the floor after a few weeks of that, let alone 25 years. I guarantee they put way more time into play-testing than you give them credit for.

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    5. "I am doing a series of articles on this. You will be surprised at how this is done. Its a lot more intensive than our community gives it credit for."

      funny, because with every new codex we end up in this raw vs rai discussion caused by poor wording ...

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    6. Pathfinder had to steal all D&D customers to create his own fan base- including myself!

      Brent you confirm my point. The game is so complex that it doesn't matter how many official GW playtesters you have , it will always have problems.
      Pretending to test it only closed doors is maybe overconfidence !!
      But you have thousands of free playtesters all around- i mean use them!
      Also, some units are crap. Period.Obviously crap, with no role watsoever.
      GW has improved it somehow, but you have crap units or overcosted units anyway even in chaos ( defiler !)

      @naftka i whould like to know something about GW playtesting, i'm very curious about that, i expect a post soon about this topic :)

      PS great work with this blog!

      completely OFF topic, guys maybe i've found a miracolous product to strip off plastic miniature of paint. Up to now it has worked fine. I'll tell you. ;)





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    7. @derreavatar- Well, they can't give out their system without giving away info on models that haven't come out yet, which, as much as we hate it, they won't be doing. I think you're right, that getting fans to playtest would be way better, but they won't because they want secrecy about their models coming out. Which, now that I think about it, kinda makes sense, since that way someone can't copy their stuff before they get it to production.

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  13. This is my thoughts on it as well Natfka. I love when people argue RAI as if they actually know what someone they never met intended. Its quite arrogant really when you think about it. A game is a contract between two people to play by a certain set of rules. If one person Is playing by rules he believes are RAI he has changed the game. However If both parties agree before hand to the change then so be it. But in tournament play use RAW.

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    1. Most rule arguments are not "Rules as Intended", they are "Rules as interpreted". Yes some rules leave little room for doubt and players try to exploit that I agree, MOST though only argue because they see the rule and see it differently and it is usually because of some ambiguity in the rule itself.
      Maybe I am the lucky one, but every argument I have ever had about rule questions has been based on something written that can be taken a differnt way. I have yet to meet the true "WAAC" player that takes advantage of any seemingly simple rule and bends it to his will for that edge.

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  14. I've make a post about it in my own blog (written in spanish, ) about this.

    At each point of our lives, and in the whole history instead, there is a conflict between RAW and RAI, not just a GW thing. Football, Soccer for the americans, is an example: when you touch a ball with the hand the level of the foult depends on the intention you've touched it. It's not the same an accident or an intentional game stop. This just can be interpreted as writhen, but there is a human factor arround here who makes the whole thing more difficult.

    At legal stuff, if you download the full Justin Biever discography you've got a major penalty than if you just stole it from a store. And both penaltys are unfair since no electrical chair is contempled in none of both examples.

    And if we go 400 years ago, Giordano Bruno was killed and Galileo Galilei have got to shut up because the Holy Bible was RAW; at some point the book says something similar to "And God stoped the Sun at the sky" ergo (RAW) the Sun have to move because you can't stop something who don't move. If we go RAI, God may stop the Earth and our perspective makes us see the Sun have stop instead the real fact.

    My point, indeed, is to play as you want. Indeed, we've got to aply both, RAW and RAI. At some points RAW just make the game hardest to play, or just you don't like it (double FOC, terrain allocation, etc), makes the game slow or, indeed, you just want to try new rules, just do it.

    And if you go to a tournament, it's the tournament dutty to make it clear how to solution usual rule conflict before the tournament beggins.

    At my own believing, we aren't a society of kids. When you are a kid, the adult ones have to tell you "in X situation make Y" even if the difference between X+1 and X+2 is something really similar ("And if you are hungry, eat the apple when you go outside school" "Yes mum, I've eaten the chocolate, but I'm not hungry, I just want to eat something"). But we aren't anymore kids, we are adult. We can make a concens in each phase of our life. And this is just a game, just apply some comon sense

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  15. :D just a fun point to make here

    MATHS proves that the sun goes around the earth. This is written in scientific papers of the times and can probably even be googled for a full explaination as to why the maths proves this.
    RELIGION says that the earth is the center of the universe and every thing revolves around it. This fact is in the bible.

    Two cases of Rules as Written. One is wrong. The best scientists of the times had a set of rules, when they were handed new evidence that disproved one interpretation of the observed facts they went back and re-wrote the rules. BTW the one guy who had it right was told he was wrong. No one wanted to beleive him.


    I dont mind RAW or RAI. What I have an objection to is the insane, frothing, ranting bile and hatred that some people generate because you disagree with them.

    So...1 person had the correct interpretation of the facts, no one believed him. He was ridiculed and disparaged, imprisoned and only at a later date does every one realise they were the idiots that had it wrong. True Story. Take it to heart and lighten up if some one disagrees with you.

    As Manxol says: We are not all kids.
    I recon: Grow up but still have fun.
    Also: I want my opponent to take 6 units of 35 strong zombies..
    FRONT RANK, FIRE!
    SECOND RANK, FIRE!
    THIRD RANK, FIRE!
    FOURTH RANK, FIRE!
    FRONT RANK, FIRE!
    SECOND RANK, FIRE!
    THIRD RANK, FIRE!
    FOURTH RANK, FIRE!

    Anurien

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    1. A fun point for you as well: The bible actually doesn't say that the earth is the center of the universe and everything revolves around it. There are several verses that say something along the lines of "world is firmly esablished, it cannot be moved." This can easily be justified using physics. It's all about relative velocities. Since we're standing on the Earth, we're moving at it's velocity and everything outside the "us" earth system appears to be moving around us. Now as obvious this principle seems to us, it actually wasn't discovered until the renaissance. For a thousand years before this, the Catholic Church believed that the Earth was the center of the universe and in general, humanity always believed this to be true. I'm not even sure I can convey to you how big of a deal it was when humanity found out that we weren't the center of the universe. The Church did what almost any ruling body would have done. People are afraid of change. We prefer the status quo, and like things we know. Am I justifying what the Church did? No, what they did was wrong and if we hope to change and grow as a species we need to learn to accept change. However, before people decide to condemn the Church and blaming Religion, they need to try and understand where they're coming from.

      TLDR: People believed in geocentricism because they're selfish and want the world to revolve around them, not because religion says so.

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    2. That is a perfect example of science doing an FAQ. Man/Bible says the Sun revolves around the earth, then along comes the science FAQ saying that the RAW is not being interpreted correctly, and that the RAI is different.

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    3. Wow..off on a tangent much? Seriously guys this is about a rule book for toy soldiers....leave the socio political religious examples at home. Especially since it obfuscates the actual discussion and does not add to it.

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  16. For me, the language of the rules are so simple to understand. Having read every word of every rulebook, 2nd - 6th I just get it. The areas that folks normally debate over, I have trouble understanding how it is misunderstood.

    Then I remember some rules I misinterpreted in the earlier editions. The misinterpretation always stemmed from my devising of a strategy/tactics before reading the rules thoroughly. I then would try and twist wording to fit what I had schemed up. I had to learn to read the rules 1st without expectation. It gives me a much clearer understanding of the RAW. Not what I would like it to mean in terms of matching my plans. I do not believe in RAI.

    Bellumvinco

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  17. normally I'm a RAW guy myself, except in cases of obvious oversights where everyone seems to be in agreement (The Scarab farm originally as written could extend across the board, and currently you can take units of 10 zombies, when everyone associates zombies with Hordes.) I wouldn't play against someone who wanted to grow their scarabs across the board like that, and if my opponent only took 10 man zombie units I would tell him he's boring. (I'd still play, but I'd make sure he knew he was made of grey.)

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  18. Not wishing to play RAI is fine (and indeed the most reasonable course of action against someone you don't know) but arguing it doesn't exist is foolish. As the FAQs show us time and time again, RAW is not always the designers vision. Heck, the Ogres FAQ literally has words from Jervis to that effect. I still dispute the C&B thing for scythe (I think the disembark bit is hold over text from 5th as they no longer disembark using C&B, even using the definition - the entity no longer exists) but I would discuss that with a new opponent. If it's ruled against me then fine, it's a game. We KNOW it's not RAI though as Mat Ward said so himself at the open day. It most certainly exists, just whether you want to play it.

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    1. I agree sometimes that things turn out different than the writers intend, however, the purpose of an faq or errata is correct those things.

      RAI is something that people do to alter a RAW ruling because they think thats the way it was supposed to be. Who are they? RAI is nothing more than a house rule or a change in RAW that a player wants. So instead of this grand title (to give it more importance) of "Rules as Intended", it should simply be called changing the rules. (which is fine in my book)

      If its the authors or GW that think the RAW ends up being wrong, it will be fixed in the next faq. GW has been relatively quick with faqs lately, so I expect one soon.

      Even rules that I do not like or agree with (and some I think were mistakes), I play by the rules of the game.

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    2. I agree with that sentiment. I wish FAQs came out a bit faster though. I cannot believe the 10 man zombie thing is intentional, but that is what is (IMO indisputably clearly) written. It's also the reason I've been avoiding the Doom Scythe - I used it as hull mounted, did pythag to figure out vertical LOS and in the game it came up used that to snipe characters and special weapons out of squads. I was then called cheap for doing what they demanded I played. RAW, but silly. Also due to the wording of deathmark's hunters from hyperspace rule, it's possible to get multiple marks. I don't want to say how but again, it's silly. Nice trick against WAAC players though.

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    3. I think you are a little wrong there Naftka. There are rules that can go eather way. Even if you read it RAW. It is then you have to go RAI. Remember the the Death ray rule. It depends on how you read it. But it should be clear that it was not intended that it coused 30 str 10 ap 1 hits to a unit of orcs after just clipping one of them on the edge.

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  19. Natfka, I’d have to disagree re your comment of no difference between RAW and RAI. Case in point; Ork Deff Dread. The dread has three attacks on its profile, and comes with two Dread CCW’s. The rulebook states ‘…gain +1 attack for each additional DCCW beyond the first. Note this is not limited to +1 attack as per the normal rules for additional combat weapons’. In the most recent Ork FAW’s, the questions was asked ‘How many attacks does a Ork Dread get with three or four DCCW’s? To which the answer was ‘4 attacks with three DCCW and 3 attacks with 4 DCCW’.

    This makes no sense, and doesn’t correlate with the information released by GW in the rulebook. The FAQ hasn’t addressed the issue i.e. they could have said the first additional weapon is included in stats, but they didn’t. Therefore clearly the Rules as Written are not as GW intended. Also, its ridiculous that as standard, a Ork Deff Dread has the same number of attacks as an Ork boy. What kind of retarded madness is that

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    1. agreed in a case like that, obvious typo.

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  20. In my opinion RAW vs RAI is mostly a matter of personal taste, and I agree with the posts above that you need to make it clear before the first dice roll what kind of game is being played. But this is not the point of my post, there is a third type of player out there worse than both that I find most WAACs are... the Rule How I'll Win. I've ran into a few of these, and it's the most annoying of situations. Example from the new Chaos books: Player A shows up with a "RAI" Typhus Army(10+ zombies in a unit), B with a Abbadon army. Player A complains 2/3 of the way through the game when Abbadon jumps out of a Land Raider with 4 Khornate Terminators because it's against RAW. If you're gonna play RAI then play RAI, if you're playing RAW then do so, this is one of those few cases where having it both ways is just not possible. Playing one way or the other when it suits you is just plain cheating to me, there is no middle ground here.

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    1. BTW, in case it's not apparent. I'm a RAW player.

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    2. This is ultimately the problem. I grasp that Natfka wants a unified, shared rules list that is at least presumed to be balanced against itself, but the potential for abuse and exploit is why pure RAW can be a problem. The cybork body Chaos / Ork build floating around is a good example of that.

      As an aside I expect that Natfka is not a fan of ForgeWorld at tournaments, again because of the presumption of internal balance in Codex material being violated by FW rulesets.

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  21. Oh! I have an important question!

    Last night I was reading through the rulebook and stumbled upon psychic powers. There it said that, for example, Blessings last until the end of that turn.

    What does that mean? The end of my turn? Or the end of, say turn 2. Cause then the person who goes second would never get to benefit from blessings that improve Overwatch as an example since you only overwatch in the opponents turn.. How does it work?

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    1. in the rulebook (can't remember which page) it was stated that, unless it's explicitly said, "turn" references a game turn and not a player turn

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    2. A game turn as in "turn 1" och "turn 2"? What if I'm the player that goes second? Then the game turn is over when my turn is over. Will I not get the benefit from these Blessings if I go second?

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    3. Under the definitions for each type of psychic power (Pg 68-69), it states, "lasts until the end of the FOLLOWING turn." as you can see, according to the BRB, any powers you manifest as the second player will end at the end of the next turn. So, if you cast Telekine Dome, for instance, at the beginning of your movement phase during game turn 1 as player 2, it would stop being effective at the end of your turn on game turn 2, and would not have an effect during his turn on game turn 3.

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    4. Makes sense now, thanks alot!

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  22. There is a neglected point here. There are certainly times where the tension between R.a.I. and R.a.W. doesn't come from players who are trying to one-up each other but from an honest curiosity about the rules or how one rule interacts with another rule.

    These discussions arise naturally from any rule where after multiple readings there is still plausible or reasonable debate about the meaning, OR where after multiple readings of the rule the mechanics of one rule interacting with another drastically changes their function in a way that appears inconsistent with the narrative explanation.

    This is especially true in cases where there is a narrative explanation of a rule separate from the explanation of it's actual mechanics, and they don't appear to agree.

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  23. Some of the GW rulebooks even suggest changing rules to customise the game. Of course this is pre-game with both players agreement.

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    Replies
    1. which is totally fair. the most important rule in gameing of any type if "rule zero" which is "the rules are whatever the people playing it decide are fun"

      Delete
  24. I think it's clear here a s I agree.

    RAW - rules as written in books or Faq's.

    Everything else is house rules.

    There is no "interpretation issue with the majority of rules. Play them as written until the FAQ comes, or house rule them.

    If you house rule them, for example the zombies in squads of 35, then don't get upset when somebody else ( not from your gaming group) doesn't think you're right. Essentially you have made up a fun rule for your friends and are now imposing that rule on people.

    I wouldn't turn up and say my group plays that veterans are scoring units all the time, and then expect you to agree. I would discuss first.


    Of course, if you have built your entire army around a single disputed rule, which you are always running by default, I think it is abundantly clear you are abusing said rule rather than championing free thinking.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Oh sure, rules as written Yes,sir!

    Then GW forgets to put entry points on your rhinos

    "Sorry! Rules as written!"

    40k is a cooperative game. It only works if both players are in agreement making the RAW vs. RAI debate pretty pointless.

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  26. I am Very passionate in my loathing for RAW. It's always in opposition to commOn sense. for example, when necrons came out, a lord with a Rez orb that died got back up on a 4+. then some guy on the Internet went "aha! But he does not get a reanimation protocols token, he gets an everliving token, so his orb, which specifically states "affects him and his unit" does not work on him!"

    Seriously? I challenge anyone reading this to honestly argue that is how the rule should be played. There's also this thing with RAW players, in my shop at least: "show me in the rules where it says I can't." which infuriates me. WH40k is a game of permissions, and a game that is played to fulfill the fantasy of commanding an army from the future. RAW means, to me, being a rules lawyer and finding every possible loophole and misstep and then grinding that into your advantage.

    I had someone INSIST that you could put a termi in a squad of gaurdsmen, take his 2+ armor save, and if he failed it, bounce it to a guardsman. Effectively giving a 50 man gaurd squad terminator armor. If that's not bending the rules to breaking them I don't know what is. It requires a little common sense to say "that's dumb, the game isn't meant to work that way, look out sir before you roll armor saves."

    RAI is playing the game using common sense, and, as the rules are there to help you experience the universe (according to the writers of rogue trader), Playing in a way that is counter-intuitive to the universe kills the immersion and the fun of the game. Units that are not physically in a transport taking a hit because a portal on another world exploded makes no sense

    . RAW is rules as interpreted in my favor with tiny loopholes and a lack of common sense, gw

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you've got them back to front.

      Delete
    2. As for the termie example, there's an entry in the rulebook that covers that. It basically states if the IC is in a unit with different armour saves than him, then you roll LoS first.

      Delete
  27. I have to disagree. For many incarnations of the rule book it clearly stated at the beginning that when there is a situation where the rules are not clear or do not accurately cover a situation you find yourself to be in, then flip a coin, try to agree to something, or try to interpret the best you can.

    Its naive to think that the rule book is so expertly written that you can follow it to the letter in ever situation and not have any issues. Waiting for a FAQ is a sound idea, but what do you do in the mean time? It is my experience that people who are so strict about RAW are either trying to exploit a loop whole, or preventing someone from exploiting one.

    my two cents

    ReplyDelete
  28. Strictly in the RAI camp. This is not a sports (yes, tournaments, durr, everyone to his tastes), the purpose of 40K is to have fun. If you cannot come to an agreement with your opponent about things, how are you supposed to enjoy the game together?

    Those people who start at once nitpicking about WYSIWYG (especially things that may not even necessarily be explicitly represented) even if they are shown the army list before the game and EXPLAINED if there are any exceptions or "counts as", or go all anal about a list being 1 point over the agreed limit, I simply don't understand. They are often also the people who are all about RAW, no matter if the result is against common sense and the "feel" of the 40Kverse. In my eyes they are all in the same category as the minmaxers that back in 4th ed always played with the infamous Iron Warriors list with two 100p 5-man CSM squads, maxed out flying DP, 9 Oblis, three Vindis, and a Basilisk (remember, at the time VP's were still mostly awarded for units killed).

    Case in point: Plague Zombies in the new CSM 'dex. Yes, RAW says you can only get 10 man squads. RAI and common sense says that you first buy the upgrade to 35 cultists, then "nominate" the squad to be zombies, however they would at that point lose any benefit from other upgrades bought, making it pointless to buy them in the first place, so it makes sense to say that you can't even buy those upgrades. Plus zombies always come in big shambling hordes (I don't like the current trend of "fast" zombies, but even those come in vast numbers).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "zombies always come in big hordes". That's where you lose me. Sure, in all other mediums including warhammer fantasy, zombies attack on mass. Do we know this is the intention of 40k zombies? No. Zombies have rules for increased survivability compared to standard cultists, so is the balance the limit to 10 per squad? No idea. As stated before, we can't read the minds of the designers, ergo we have to assume what is written is the correct rules because it currently is coherent and not 'obviously' flawed. I personally would love zombies to be fielded in large squads but I couldn't do it in good conscience just because I disagree with the rules we were given.

      Delete
  29. GW does not write perfectly coherent rules. Frankly, across such a diverse set of codices and such a deep rulebook, it would be hard to do ... the style of game just makes it a little more difficult.

    That said, the reason RAI is so difficult is that it is so difficult to truly say WHAT the RAI really is. If every single rule had a little italicized section that explained how the MECHANICS of the rule were supposed to play out, the "intent," it would be one thing, but that's not really there ... and it's certainly not consistently there.

    When that's not the case, the "fallback" of RAW makes sense ... because it's one of the only constants you have to work with.

    Being so Draconian about it in either direction, however, is probably not the best call. To the point of the intro ... the game is very open and often ambiguous. Tournament FAQs are not by design supposed to get things "right," so much as provide clear answers in advance to common questions so that attendees know what to expect. Individual pick-up games don't have to follow ANY FAQ, and can clarify how to play in advance between each player. In both cases, there's no mandate that needs be made to follow the RAW or RAI exclusively or consistently ... only that each question likely to arise be answered to the best of participant/organizer ability ahead of the fact.

    In some cases, RAI is crystal clear to almost EVERYONE ... in some cases it's not. Each case presents inherently the probable best / simplest resolution to follow in terms of choosing RAI or RAW.

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  30. I will play any army any time with house rules cause I am a fluff player, and no army should have to be fair. this is the grim darkness of the far future and there is only war. that is the first part of the book, and if we take rules as they are written, that is the only rule that matters. all is fair on love and war, 40k is only war, ergo everything goes in 40k. so...bring it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice, that got me pumped for a game :)

      Delete
    2. You're my kind of gamer! I hope you live near Seattle cause you'd obviously be a great opponent, lol.

      Delete
  31. Some times you just can't play by raw, for instance heldrake vector strike.

    raw you can't hurt anything with it. as you can't allocate wounds to things out of los, as its los is only forward and the thing you are striking is behind you (as vector striking is declared thus resolved after movement has finished) you can't allocate wounds.....

    however anyone who tries to run it this way needs to go play by themselves , raw or not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wouldnt you use random allocation if so?

      And if you VS a tactical squad and not flyers or other vehicles than thats probably a mistake imo.

      Delete
  32. Look most of us know what things in our army are contentious. If you are playing a friendly game ask your opponent. "mind if I bring 70 plague zombies?) In a tournament either leave it at home or ask the TO ahead of time and get it in writing. Back in 5th I never brought a deff rolla to a tourney. I didnt feel like dealing with the hassle, or arguements.

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  33. Reason RAW does not work. Abandon, cannot Join any marked unit... Obviously this was not intended.

    There needs to be some RAI going on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Abaddon, sorry he is my fav character. Why can he not ally with marked units he has the Mark of Chaos Ascendant. Yes that counts as having all 4 marks, but anyone saying he can't is just pulling at strings in this case.

      Delete
    2. That was precisely his point. Abaddon is stated as having all four marks, and it says under the section for marks that an IC "may not join a unit with a different Mark of Chaos." Now, obviously we all know Abaddon can go in any squad he pleases, but according to RAW, he cannot and a rules lawyer could definitely argue that point. Which is why I HATE those people. With a passion.

      Delete
    3. That is absolutely right! That was mh point with the plague zombie issue. It is obvious that it was intended as marks and weapon upgrades only, but because of the wording we have this ridiculous debate from the immovable RAW crowd. Ironically those same people would probably make an RAI argument over the abbadon wording. You can't have it both ways!

      Delete
    4. The Abbadon entry is certainly one you shouldn't need to role off on for it to be allowed. If anyone makes you, I can't see them being very fun to play against.
      The plague zombie issue I'm on the fence about. I personally would allow that even though it is not RAI (no knows ATM if it is or not, we need an FAQ to confirm it), but then the more you start allowing RAI, the more people start twisting the wording to the point of completely disregarding what RAI was supposed to be for.

      Delete
    5. Yes, exactly. The Zombie issue is slightly more open, because it states that options cannot be purchased. However, the exact wording is, "Any Chaos Cultist units in the same army as Typhus can be nominated as Plague Zombies. Plague Zombies....blah, blah, and cannot purchase options." Obviously, adding models is an option, so I understand where they are coming from, but like others have said, when does 'nomination' occur? After or before you start the game? Is it a 'before deployment' action or a 'during construction of an army list' action? So, both sides have merit, which is why it's annoying to me that people are blasting each other for believing one way or the other.

      Delete
  34. I have a problem with this kind of attitude. I worked in policy development for two years, and wrote a particular policy that came back to screw me when someone had else read it. As written, the policy was in my favor (I wrote it, after all). However, he had a different interpretation and took the policy far too literally. There does exist a "spirit of the rules" to make things reasonable, such as the Plague Zombie issue in the new Codex.

    That said, I do agree that any rule changes should be discussed before had, since a game's rules serve as a point of reference of players. If the rules change mid game, this can invalidate strategies and cause arguments. I just don't think "rules as written" should be taken so literally that it too risks arguments and problems.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I hate the debate everytime a new book comes out with new rules. But the debate is necessary. If we (the audience) didn't get up in arms about RAW v. RAI then there would be no FAQ. Everyone would be playing the game as written, there would be no question. But in that scenario, the rules never get clarified, and we'd all be playing the game in a way the designer never intended.

    I agree with Natfka, when you are not playing your bud or a someone not your regular, it is incumbent on you to bring up the discussion of rules that are in debate.

    I also generally believe in playing it as written, regardless of how counter-intuitive it might seem. Now if you differ on how it is written that is a completely different matter...

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  36. Playing by strictly RAW is impossible. You must have some interpretation of what the rules are supposed to mean. The rules simply are not detailed enough for strict RAW. There is always some amount of interpretation. The rulebooks are not written like legal documents that attempt to be air tight (nor do I want them to be); there are ambiguities all over the place. Luckily the intent is usually obvious so everyone agrees how it should be played, but this is in fact RAI. Most people seem to only think RAI is happening when two people disagree what it means but in fact whenever your reading a rule it almost always interpreted.

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  37. Maybe some examples could help ... there are NEVER example list in codexes

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  38. Big problem with this approach... RAW are ambiguous. Also interpretation is necessary because there's a gap between the language and the thought. Languages are syntax, thought is semantic. GW writes loosely defined rules in natural language (that has an ambiguous syntax) and so it leads to ambiguous RAW.

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  39. The simple fact you read something means you interpret it. there is no raw only generally accepted rules as interpreted.

    ReplyDelete
  40. If you play with a friend in your home or your local gaming place, then sure, house rule that you can have zombie mobs up to 100, put a daemon prince on a pimped out attack bike or let you your Space Marine chapter master turn into a dragon every other turn it really doesn't matter.

    But when you play against someone you don't know well in a shop, tournament, gaming club or somewhere else, the only thing you really have in common are the rules as written in the various rulebooks.

    And if you don't follow those, then you are essentially playing 'Calvinball' where there is nothing preventing your little toy soldiers from doing anything you think they should be able to do.

    RAW may be stupid at times, but it is the only thing we have in common when we play with someone who may interpret RAI (Rules as Interpreted) differently from you.

    GW is quite frankly shit at getting their rules into a sensible position, and we have sadly gotten so used to it that we make excuses for them like someone in an abusive relationship who makes excuses for the violent partner and says s/he will change.

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  41. Nafka and Lars have put it extremely well. To a certain extent it's a GW quality control issue. If they dedicated more time to watching for odd glitches, or at least got errata out faster, a lot of the confusion over poorly worded RAW would be avoided.

    Playing at home, yeah, go nuts with the rules if you want. There's a long history of that going back through centuries of tabletop miniatures. In fact when wargaming first started, there was only "house" rules, and when you visited someone you played by the rules they'd devised.

    Now however we have a set of agreed upon rules. It might be broken at times, but it's the only common ground. The thing about even RAW, is people may parse the rules differently, sometimes incorrectly, hence all the FAQs.

    If people are using RAI on a regular basis, and expect visitors to use them, I'd invite them to type them out and give copies to new players. Like Nafka, nothing annoys me more than "ambush" rulings.

    Hownowbrowntau

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed, and if I show up to a new place and they have their 'house rules' listed on their website/forum, then I'm totally happy to conform...

      Delete
  42. The problem I often see with RAW arguments is that they are devoid of reading comprehension skills. Some call the considerations of context and prose as RAI but in fact it is RAW. READING is different from seeing words on a page.

    Further, it is my opinion that the rules are being written MORE poorly than years prior because the rules lawyers out there are winning the argument. As a result they are influencing GW work product. GW seems to strive for clarity but are failing miserably, loading each rule explanation with verbiage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have a point that rules are generally getting "worse," but I think it is unfair to finger GW in this. Yes, they could edit better, and the company is notorious for odd wordings. However, I think the issue here is the use of natural language and lack of examples. Natural language is a great thing, and is a skill in teaching, language learning, and academia (specifically, recasting what is said a number of different ways). This is where a lot of the problem comes from. The specific plague zombie issue comes from editing and proofing, but a huge number of rule problems come from these helpful but damaging recasts.

      Delete
  43. For me it gets a bit complicated i play SOB and i feel i have to discuss the exorcist missile launcher before i play anyone, this is due to there being two equally valid interpretations of the RAW as it does not specifically say what it is.

    1: the organ pipes are barrels as such if you can only see the pipes you can't shoot the tank (as per core book), this also limits the tank to a 45 degree firing arc

    2: the organ pipes are a turret with this you can shoot me but i get a full 360 firing arc

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  44. Im making a RAW blog with a section on RAI too. But for lawyers like us looking for the right answer it will be somewhere where we can collaborate our thoughts and also be the judges of our thoughts. We will be able to narrow down what the RAW really intends and highlight it and repost in stone. This way we can "google search" our questions all linked to one answer on the blog: the reposted in stone.
    Of course I will include a RAI which will be an open post with no votes. It will basically give people ideas for their house rules and most importantly FAIR compromise. A fairness that all house rules could be alike with the help of others contributions. If anyone wants to help just reply to this post.

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