Monday, September 28, 2009

[ 12 / 02 / 05 ] Ignorance IS Bliss

Apparently there is a new rulebook. Yeah, I know you all know that, but then, this is not a news site, it's a shrine to my own self-importance.

Anyway , there 's a new rulebook and when this sort of thing happens dozens of people slow enough to want to know what I think about such things invariably send me emails asking what I think about such things. Or no one does, but definitely one of the two. Either way,
eventually I get around to a series of long-winded, arrogant rants about how this or that change was good, bad, or indifferent.

But this isn't one of those.

Remarkably enough, the manifestation of a new rulebook has had little or no impact upon me at all. Oh, I've got a copy, I even asked Tom to send it to me, but I just haven't bothered to look at it.

Why not?

Truth is, I'm not sure why I just don't care this time.

Shouldn 't be that way, I know. I still love this game. I still think about it entirely too much and write about it slightly less than I really should. I am painting and sculpting more these days than I have been able to do for almost two years. Nothing has really changed, except that for the first time in ages I just don't particularly give a damn that the rules got overhauled yet again.

Maybe it 's fatigue. This one makes how many new versions of the game in the last five years or so? I've made my feelings on the pace of change and the disastrous potential consequences on long-term coach retention known in the past. Have my Nostradamian visions of coach
alienation from excessive revision not only come true, but come true in the case of the prophet himself?

Or perhaps I am confused about what this new version is. It isn't the LRB, it might be the next printed version, it might be official, it wasn 't assembled by GW itself, nor was the entire BBRC involved. The status of this rulebook is so jumbled that it is possible I just don't
take it as seriously as I probably should.

Maybe I simply recognize that by the time I get around to playing another match, the rules will change again. Aside from the odd dining room tilt against Jim, for which rules really aren't particularly required or observed anyway, I'm remarkably unashamed to report that I am down to only getting metal on the table once a year for the Three Kingdom 's Challenge tourney. That said, I can usually get a crash course in major changes ten minutes before round one and be fine. When the game changes more often than you play it, sometimes it just doesn 't pay to keep up.

But it is most likely that I simply no longer have any pressing interest in the game's ever-changing sanctioned form. I've been telling people for a while now that I am now working on a ten-year schedule with everything I do with Bloodbowl. I started playing this game as a kid, now I have kids. Being a grown-up (well, contextually one, if not actually one) and rarely playing, I have unconsciously shifted almost all of my thinking toward a vague point in the future when my boys will be old enough to play the game. What the rules are today really aren't as important to me in this frame of reference. I know that the rules will change a dozen times before the day that I will really need them again, and I know that the majority of the
rulebook my kids will learn the game from has not been written as of today (whether I write it myself or the game gets its act together over the next decade remains to be seen). All that said, I approach something like a new version in a very different way than I would have done two or three years ago when those changes took immediate impact upon my then much more often and very much present life in the game. The bubble I'm in now (or the rock I'm under, you decide) affords me the opportunity of evaluating the flights of fancy that masquerade as official rules for a few weeks every few months in a much more leisurely and critical light, and to do so whenever I feel like it, or never at all.

So, the short story long is that I don't have an opinion on the substance of the new version. I'm sure Tom put a lot of thought and effort into the thing, and I must admit that I don't envy him his new position as chief slander target in the community that came with the job, but it may be profoundly appropriate that he got that helmet for his time.

He 's going to need it.

But for a change, I won't be first in line with stone in hand.