Thursday, March 25, 2010

Letter to Jervis, Feedback needed.

Hey there guys! So this is the first draft of my letter to Jervis. Any pointers on it? If not, I'll put it into the post today.

Dear Mr. Johnson,

I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing you because I had a number of questions about the Tau Empire army. The Tau Empire is my first and foremost favorite army in the 40k universe. The models are gorgeous and have a high-technology science-fiction look that I simply love. They're an army that fills the niche of players that are looking for something that isn't gothic, barbaric or evil. it provides players who have an interest in modern warfare and technology. They have such a unique style that the army really fills a niche that no other Warhammer 40,000 army can.

The Tau army is in desperate need of a new Codex. So much so that I believe it is affecting sales of the range. I've heard first hand accounts of store owners discouraging new players to choose the Tau as their first army. Through my blog I periodically get emails about basic rules in the Codex, such as Battlesuit armament and the complicated rules behind drones and the like. The wording of the rules in the Tau Empire Codex are simply too complicated. 

As a tournament player, a number of rules questions have come up that I can not find an answer to in the main rulebook or Codex. Among friends, these questions are solved easily but on a tournament level these questions can slow the pace of the game and cause disputes. I searched the Games Workshop website and I could not find anyone to email or call about rule queries so I am sending them to you. 

Number 1: How do flechette dischargers work in vehicle squadrons? Say I've got a squadron of 3 Tau Piranhas that get assaulted by 5 marines. Does each flechette discharger get a roll to wound against Space Marine attacker, giving me 15 rolls to wound?

Number 2: There are two items of wargear in the Tau codex that ignore line of sight when targeting, the seeker missile and smart missile system. While the smart missile system is clear in how cover is worked out (pg. 27 Tau Codex) but the seeker missile entry on pg 30 has no explanation of how cover is worked out. Does the seeker missile work in the same way as smart missile systems? How are cover saves determined when firing seeker missiles? How do you determine whether a vehicle 50% obscured when you don't need to check line of sight?

Number 3: With the absence of Target Priority Tests in 5th Edition, how do Target Locks work when equipped on infantry and battlesuits?

Number 4: Tau Devilfish come with a squad of two gundrones attached that can disembark to form a unit but never counts as scoring. Does this mean the unit does not count as kill points when destroyed?


So and So. 


Adam said...

I don't want to burst your bubble OSH, but even if Jervis had quite as much clout as he once did with GW games development, you'd still be waiting at least a year and a half for a new Tau Codex.

As it stands, Dark Eldar are rumoured for October with Necrons emerging in January 2011. That doesn't leave many races left to work on.

I'd expect the Tau in 2011 or early 2012 judging from GW production scheduling.

eriochrome said...

I am also not sure why you are contact Jervis with these questions. I doubt Jervis has any significant control on the production schedule and he does not work on the FAQ.

If the questions are not already in the adepticon FAQ then they will probably never make it into a official GW FAQ since they missed them in the 5th ed update.

Captain Yukka said...

The Adepticon FAQ is not an official GW FAQ and whilst it is a good resource for resolving "grey" areas it has been known to have made calls in the past that did not go down the way that GW eventually FAQ'd.

Whilst I would echo several of Adam's comments I'm very much in the camp of not sitting around and moaning about things if I'm not happy. At the end of the day yes this would be doubtful to get a response or to trigger a change but at the end of the day at least you aren't just sitting around and moaning without taking positive action on the subject!

Soundwave said...

I like the letter. Although I am pessimistic about any outcome from GW, it is great to see someone take action instead of sitting on their hands.

Good luck and I hope you get at least some sort of response from him!

Pete W said...

I think the letter is pretty solid OSH.

I would add though that the SMS is not entirely clear on how it interacts with cover. If my unit is behind another unit (w.r.t the SMS firer) then it is in cover when targeted. Therefore I could argue that I can count this as cover I am in when being targeted. Given that the cover save of units did not apply in 4th edition, the SMS rules are not quite accurate.

Golmen94 said...

I think its great, i dont expect anything from GW but you have to try. Right?

Anonymous said...

another question
can the battlessuits move,run and move again in assaut phase?

because the jet pack and run rules allow these

sorry my bad english in spanish native speaker

Oh, it's you, Bob... said...

Para 2-
I've heard first hand accounts of store owners discouraging new players from choosing the Tau as their first army.

The wording of the rules in the Tau Empire Codex is simply too complicated.

Para 3-
As a tournament player, a number of rules questions have come up to which I can find no answer in the main rulebook or Codex.

Para 5-
While the smart missile system is clear in how cover is worked out (pg. 27 Tau Codex), the seeker missile entry on pg 30 has no explanation of how cover is worked out.

I really hope you get a response. I doubt you will get more than a "Thanks for your interest", but I hope I'm wrong. Good luck, man.

Col. Corbane said...

Well, it's better written than the one I wrote and I ended up chatting to him in Bugmans, so who knows.

Jervis still has a hell of a lot to do with the studio, he runs it but I don't think you're going to get specific answers to your questions. On your questions, you're supposed to call the hobby advisors, so he's not going to answer your rules queries.

Anyway, good luck with it, let us know how you get on.

Gredus said...

To me, "because i had a number of questions" makes it the past tense. This makes it look like you had questions to ask but now don't.
I'd use "because I have some questions"

Also after you say "gothic, barbaric or evil" you end with a full stop and don't follow with a captial I for the next sentence.

Sorry if that's not the kind of feeback you're looking for.

Cobalt Cannon said...

Hi OSH. What you are doing is the right thing to do as a consumer. You have questions about a product and it is the duty and obligation of the producer to answer them in order to support their product. I suggest adding a paragraph after your last point. In it, I would include a request asking that if he cannot help with your inquiry, that he forward the letter to a person at GWS that can answer your questions.

slxiii said...

" it provides players who have an interest in modern warfare and technology." incomplete sentence, needs capitalization

"The wording of the rules in the Tau Empire Codex are simply too complicated." Should be "is too complicated", the wording is too complicated, not the wording are too complicated.

"Does each flechette discharger get a roll to wound against Space Marine attacker" Do you mean get to roll against the space marine attackers?

"How do you determine whether a vehicle 50% obscured" vehicle IS 50% obscured

you really need to fix these before sending it off, grammar and spelling errors can turn a good letter into a horrible one

rpthomps1111 said...

I would eliminate the specifics in your letters. Don't get into numbered questions. Your purpose for writing the letter should be that you find that the Tau are too complicated to play and that because of this reason they are losing money. THIS more than anything will get GW to pay attention if they choose to do so. If you include the numbered bullets it dilutes the main purpose of your letter, I think, and makes it look like you want help playing your Tau.



Anonymous said...

how about bringing up the odd wording on the hard-wired battle suit multi-tracker entrie. it makes it seem as if you CAN'T fire a twin-linked weapon AND a regular weapon at the same time. This is because of a bad choice of the word "hard-point" when i'm sure it was intended to say "weapon" as it does in the infantry hard-wired multi-tracker entrie. i dont have my codex with me to give you more detail, page numbers.


Anonymous said...

oh, and good luck. I dont think we can affect the codex release line-up, but i'm sure we can SQUuueeeeeeze a FAQ out of them. :)


Damian said...

The other thing with the gun drones on a devilfish would be does a destroyed devilfish loose it's kill points if the gun drones survive the game?

Inquisitor M said...

i think the letter looks pretty sound (i am not going to comment on the grammar because other have and i would do it wrong anyways). my only critique is that maybe you should not put say "the Tau army is in desperate need of a new codex or at least an updated FAQ" in stead of just the codex thing to make the letter sound a little less demanding or at least give more options for them to respond positively.

anyways just my 2 cents. good luck i hope they at least give you some real feed back

david_padwick said...

I am glad to see someone putting their thoughts into action instead of just moaning on message boards and expecting something to be done.

I won't comment on any errors or changes as others have already covered anything I could think of, but I will say that as someone else posted, appealing to their wallets is the way to go, rather than asking specific questions regarding the rules.

You can always add these in a future letter if necessary.

I wish you good luck and hope you get a decent response.

It might also be worth mentioning your blog and how many followers you have that share your opinion while I think about it.

Old Shatter Hands said...

This is great feedback, guys. Grammar checks are always what I need. My next letter will be posted next thursday. I am planning on sending a couple letters.

Anonymous said...

me again
im a Colombian player and my english is not t best but i have a question

in the RUN! rule says
"units that run in the Shooting Phase Cannot assault in the following Assault phase"

in the jet pack rule says in the movement phase, they only move 6" when using their jet packs, but ALWAYS allowed to move 6" in the asault phase, even IF THEY DONT ASSAULT.

can the crisis and stealts suits , move, run and move in the assault phase, in the same turn?


Anonymous said...

Use the first paragraph to introduce yourself. In your introduction include what qualifies you to speak on behalf of the Tau player base. Yes, as a consumer, you have a right to ask any questions you like, but as a voice of and to the community, you greater chance or a meaning full response.

"I am a long time Tau player. I frequently participate in tournaments and interact with other Tau players. I publish a Tau specific blog,, with xxx number of visitors per month from countries all over the world. My concerns are shared by many of my peers and by much of my audience. Because of the breadth of my interaction with one of your specific customer bases, and do to the consistency of of the feedback I receive from that customer base, I feel compelled to contact your directly..."

Something along those lines. Let them know you are not just a customer, but an active contributor to their success and have an impact on their customers staying interested in their product line.

Anthony Yeates said...

I think Anon 4 makes a damn fine point. Showing that you speak for a fairly large number of folks will likley help the case a fair bit.

Anonymous said...

I love it when you said "simply too complicated" It sounds funny.

DavePak said...

Regardless of if they can or can not change a schedule, any time a company receives well thought out feedback, it can matter.

Keep it up, we never know what products or services may be in consideration.