We've all be through it. Years of wargaming have taught us that there is never just one rulebook written for a game that will not be replaced later by a new edition. Warhammer Fantasy is going on it's 9th Edition, 40K is on the brink of 6.5 or 7th depending on who you talk to, Infinity just released that their 3rd edition is due before the end of the year, etc. so-on and so-forth.
So why is it that time and time again, we always get so bent out of shape each time a new edition of our favorite game is rolled out?
The answer is simple really: We don't like change. Sure there are individual reasons, but they all boil down to just not liking change. Let me give you some examples:
"What, you don't still play Rogue Trader??"
This is the classic fear of change at it's finest. There are those of us who hang onto one particular edition of our favorite game because of some sort of delusion that their chosen version is the "best" or "most true to the spirit of the game". Not because the rules were better or because they like to revisit the old days, but because they just won't change. Ever.
"But 'X' edition was better balanced!!!"
Here is one of the few attempts at applying logic to not wanting to change. Such-and-such a rule was better balanced in the previous edition, or the way the turn structure was made more sense, etc. No matter what the excuse, these folks won't change because of some personal perception, and not months and months of testing new rules, that they know better than the game designers.
"The new edition just made my army unplayable!"
Really? Says who? I've yet to see any army be truly rendered unplayable by the release of a new edition. Sure you might have to purchase a few new units to alter your tactics according to whatever new rules changes were just rolled out, but that is far from making your army unplayable.
"I don't want to drop 100 bucks on new books!"
This is another attempt at applying logic to not wanting a new edition to come out. I'll even admit that on the surface, this seems like a very sound argument. After all, the books for these games can indeed get pricey. However, we do not engage in a cheap hobby, so let's not kid ourselves. We'll happy drop over $100 on a shiny new Imperial Knight, but we want to complain about how much the books cost?
"They are only coming out with new rules to make more money!"
I'll actually partly agree with this…but only partly. These are companies, with employees and owners who kind of need to make money, otherwise your favorite games wouldn't be around much longer. So sure, they need to make money. However, don't think that's the only reason. Game companies also come out with new editions to fix past mistakes and make the game work better in addition to making more money.
I could go on, but really I'm just trying to yank your chains a bit with some sarcasm to show you how silly some of the comments I've read and heard are.
Now I will admit that GW is really pushing it with releasing a new edition to 40K only 2 years after releasing the previous one. I'm not exactly thrilled about that myself. On the flip side of that though, have you seen the sheer amount of errata and faq's that the rulebook and codices have since 6th edition launched? If the new edition reduces the amount of rules questions that have reared their ugly heads since 6th was released, I might just consider it worth the new release.
The other announcement that has cause a collective internet nerd rage is the announcement of 3rd edition Infinity, or N3. This actually boggles my mind. You folks do realize that Corvus Belli releases the rules FOR FREE on their website, right? On top of that, it's been how many years since 2nd Edition was released? Oh, and according to the folks from GenCon last year, who finally were able to talk about it, CB has been play testing N3 since well before GenCon 2013, so for at least a year, if not more. I truly think that the people complaining about this release just feel so burned by a certain other company that they are complaining because they feel that is what they should do when a new edition comes out. Heck, Corvus Belli even announced that the new edition will not invalidate the Human Sphere or Campaign Paradiso books. Talk about an unprecedented opportunity to reprint and make more money that they didn't take!
Regardless of any of the reasons why we may or may not like new editions of our favorite toy soldier games, the release of new rules sets are a reality we have to deal with. Good, Bad or Indifferent.
So what's your take?