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Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2018/12/31 17:21:21


Post by: CommunistNapkin


In a recent thread, I noticed that it seemed people had very different ideas about how the game should be balanced. There were two primary groups from what I could tell.

Group A appears to be advocating for the direct balance on a unit vs unit level. For example, in terms of damage and durability, X points worth of Guardsmen should be equal to X points of Tactical Marines. Or Y points of Fire Warriors should be equivalent to Y points of Eldar Guardians. Or, in similar fashion, a Leman Russ costing 1.25 Predators should outclass a Predator by approximately 25% in terms of damage/durability. This approach seems to be more akin to a game of Chess, in which every unit controlled by any faction is roughly the equal of the corresponding unit of the opposing faction. A Pawn = a pawn, but since your Pawn is a X% better, you have X% fewer of them. The biggest downside to this method of balance is that it would be, at least in my opinion, fairly bland. Each army is basically the same, just with different looking models. Your infantry are equal to my infantry, your tanks are equal to my tanks, your monsters are equal to my monsters, etc. The differences between armies would boil down to stratagems, army-wide rules, psychic powers, etc.

Group B, on the other hand, appears to be pushing for the balance of each faction against each other, rather than each unit. So in this situation, we should see that a 1500 points Space Marine army is approximately equal to a 1500 point Ork army or a 1500 point T'au army. In this example, it would be okay for Tactical Marines to be subpar to Fire Warriors, as long as the army makes up for that difference somewhere else (better tanks, faster units, etc.). I think this is the method of balance that GW is currently attempting, in which every army is very unique and does some things better than others, but overall each army is able to compete with each other army (clearly this is not entirely the case at the moment, but it does seem to be the goal. There are two immediate problems that come to mind with this particular method of balance.

1) What exactly constitutes an army to be balanced? Are we balancing based on Space Marines, Craftworld Eldar, Tyranids, Orks, etc.? Or are we balancing with Imperium, Chaos, Aeldari, and the other scrubs in mind?
2) With as much unit variety in each individual codex, how do you balance each "army" based on all of the different options they can take? Do you base it on taking the best units of each codex all the time, or would it be based on a smattering of units from Codex A can fight the same points value in this group of units from codex B?

What are your thoughts?


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2018/12/31 17:29:11


Post by: Horst


Unit vs Unit is probably the best way of doing it to actually achieve balance, since soup armies can just pick and choose what units they want from each codex available, so army vs army balance is largely irrelevant if you can just ignore the bad parts and pick only the good parts.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2018/12/31 17:41:54


Post by: KurtAngle2


Ideally it should be Faction vs Faction and only afterwards Army vs Army.
Problems arise when a single Army equals to an entire faction


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2018/12/31 17:42:21


Post by: Maréchal des Logis Walter


 Horst wrote:
Unit vs Unit is probably the best way of doing it to actually achieve balance, since soup armies can just pick and choose what units they want from each codex available, so army vs army balance is largely irrelevant if you can just ignore the bad parts and pick only the good parts.


However, I think it's safe to assume that a unit's efficiency not only depends on itself but also on what you bring along with them, hence trying to balance the entire army and it's "combos", rather than units. Taken out of context, its hard to evaluate their actual effectiness.

Secondly, unit vs unit would mean as I understand it to balance guardsmen against tactical marines, eldar guardians, ork boyz, chaos space marines etc at once. Just imagine how awful it'd be to balance the most specialised units according to that principle!


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2018/12/31 17:56:36


Post by: auticus


Actual balance is unit vs unit. Anything else is just lip service to balance.

The more balanced the game, the more bland it would be.

GW is not interested in unit vs unit, and quite honestly neither are the people who play GW games. The desire for non-balance is actually quite high (particularly if our favorite faction happens to also be very strong / OP) because of the principal that the more balanced the units are to each other the more bland the game is.

GW games are more combo centric. They are built on the backbone of collectible card game mechanics only they use models and dice. However the core principals of combos multiplying unit effectiveness and deckbuilding the most efficient combos is what drives both 40k and AOS.

In a unit by unit balancing measure, that type of mechanic could not prosper.

However anything less than unit by unit balancing means you are advocating and supporting a game with a host of false choices and traps, which has been a 40k and aos/whfb reality since the inception of the internet. Often times, an army seems balanced against another army only because 9/10s of either army are ignored for the busted and OP 1/10 of the army.

To me you might as well just strip out the 9/10 of the game if you're going to go in that direction and get rid of the false choices and traps.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2018/12/31 18:12:02


Post by: Vaktathi


I think army vs army balance, as opposed to unit vs unit, is the most important...to a point.

Context matters. Different armies have different strengths and weaknesses. What is fine in one army or for one unit can be horrifically broken with another depending on the context. Expecting every unit to be perfectly points balanced with every equivalent from every other force out there will lead to disappointment. That said, this can be overused and some emphasis on the unit v unit consideration given, but the broad look should start army to army.

Faction vs Faction, essentially expanding the Army concept to include multiple armies, is a total disaster because at that point you're basically trying to treat multiple armies as a single army, and they really just arent designed that way, they're operable that way, but not really built around that concept. This is why we see Soup being so powerful as theres lots of things to take advantagr of at this level.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2018/12/31 18:18:17


Post by: A.T.


Unit vs unit, insofar as their value in game for their points.

100pts of guardians don't have to be equal to 100pts of marines in all things, just broadly balanced (weaker but more numerous for instance).

Army vs army balance went out the window with allies.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2018/12/31 18:23:07


Post by: Lobukia


A mix of faction to faction and army to army, IMO

Sisters shouldn’t have all the tools available to match one to one against craftworld Eldar... but, Necrons vs CSM should be a fair fight.

Unit to unit is more about correctly costing things, less about mechanical balance, so I think that concern should be shelved... with Super Heavies, Knights, etc being the exceptions... where 1 unit/model basically IS the decider in game balance when it is used... then the unit to unit matrix is less about cost and more about rules and abilities in the balance


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2018/12/31 19:06:01


Post by: A.T.


 Lobukia wrote:
Sisters shouldn’t have all the tools available to match one to one against craftworld Eldar... but, Necrons vs CSM should be a fair fight.
So you propose that some factions should just be arbitrarily crippled? Why?


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2018/12/31 19:07:19


Post by: greatbigtree


Only faction vs faction is important on the table.

Hypothetically, external balance is most important to the game. Even if there were only one “optimal build” for each faction, that would establish a balance baseline to which all units could be balanced to.

If the Imperial faction is balanced against Chaos, Aeldari, Necron, Ork and Tyranid factions, all units / armies can be tweaked to become viable.

Unit vs Unit comparisons fall apart in 40k, due to super-units that don’t care about the differences between an MEQ and a GEQ unit. For example, Tacticals could be balanced against Guardsmen, but a Volcano Cannon treats both units the same. Only # of wounds matters, so the cheaper per wound Guardsmen will always be at an advantage.

So when we return to the tabletop and consider the Imperial Faction, Tacticals need to be “better” than unit vs unit Guardsmen to make them viable, because Lascannons, Plasma Guns, Volcano Cannons all are more points efficient vs Marines.

Which is more of a scale issue than anything else. In our current environment, mid-value stats are less valuable than extreme stats. Lots of little guys trade more favourably against super-guns and those same little guys have the volume of firepower and staying power to interact with Knights.

Mid-range stats are more valuable against low stats, but are effectively equal vs high stats. Hypothetically this could create a rock-papers-scissors interaction but in practice has not. Mixed armies could then thrive. Some parts weak against an extreme army, but others “OP”.

That should be the balance point the game strives for. Encouraging games to be played with mixed forces. Which can be achieved by decreasing the cost of mid-stat units. I can sum that up by saying...

Marines just need to be chee-eeper!


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2018/12/31 19:28:59


Post by: Ice_can


The concept of X points of unit Y vrs X points of unit Z is less about as you believe it to be X points of Y kills 2 marines so X points of Z should do the same.

It's that at some point in the game state Y should be able to beat Z but at another game state Z should be able to beat Y.

The issue is some units in the game just can't be beaten by similar units from any other codex for the points.

The idea that codex A having undercosted troops is ok because codex B has undercosted elites and Codex C has undercosted HQ's and codex D has undercosted heavy support is also broken because the allies rules as they are allow codex A B and C to mix and match without penalty while codex D has to go it solo.

Balance has to be applied at all levels otherwise each codex may aswell just have a single 2k or 1750 point list printed in it thats balanced against every other codex's fixed list as otherwise balancing codex to codex or even worse super faction vrs codex isn't possible.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2018/12/31 19:32:00


Post by: insaniak


Balance should always be calculated between the forces that are used on the table - so army vs army. The effectiveness of an individual unit is always going to depend on the force that it is a part of.

That only works, though, when the armies are self-contained entities. Allies should never have been open-slather, as the moment you grant permission to include whatever you want in your force, any balance goes out the window. To be balanced, the forces need to be structured.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2018/12/31 19:45:57


Post by: greatbigtree


I don’t think allies are an inherently bad thing. I do enjoy the potential to develop a new force while still enjoying a “full size” game.

So, to contrast, I think the restrictions placed on Allies are what make the game imbalanced. If all Armies could ally with any other army, the cherry picking opportunities become available to all.

Fluff murder? Sure. But anyone could come up with a flimsy reason to put a couple of factions together. I’d rather see a flat penalty to allied armies... a 5% points penalty for every faction beyond the first. A two-army list at 1500 points instead has 1425 points to work with. Three factions have 1350. You can build any crazy wombo-combo you want but have fewer points to pull it off with.

Nids and Chaos and Aeldari with an Imperial assassin? Go for it at 15% less points than mono-faction.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2018/12/31 20:45:29


Post by: HoundsofDemos


Unit to unit would be ideal but due to the core mechanics of 8th, (like 7th but for different reasons), such a balance is nearly impossible. That's because 8th edition is all about cp generation, stratagem usage and making use of auras. With so many outside factors that can boost a unit's performance, unit to unit balance is really hard even if GW actually cared about balancing the game, which they really aren't


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2018/12/31 20:57:39


Post by: Xenomancers


It's pretty simple really...the best combos and interactions should be within a units codex - not some other unit in it's faction of allies.

So IMO - the game should be balanced by codex to codex. Codex should have strong and weak points also. For example eldar units should get bonus speed for their cost at the loss of durability - nurge should sacrifice speed for durability and so on. Plus CP shouldn't even be a factor in all of this. All codex should have equal access to CP and all codex should have stratagems as good as the ones coming out in later codex.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2018/12/31 21:28:55


Post by: Crimson


Unit to unit is the only reasonable way to do this. But it doesn't mean everything needs to be the same. Hundred points of Y can do more damage than hundred points of X, if X is commensurately better at something else, such as durability or mobility. Units can have strengths or weakness, but those are more about how they do things. You can't just make some units in the army undercosted because some other units in it are overcosted. This just leads everyone ignoring the overcosted units if at all possible and focus on the undercosted ones.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2018/12/31 23:42:06


Post by: Lobukia


A.T. wrote:
 Lobukia wrote:
Sisters shouldn’t have all the tools available to match one to one against craftworld Eldar... but, Necrons vs CSM should be a fair fight.
So you propose that some factions should just be arbitrarily crippled? Why?


Not crippled, but yeah, kinda. Every special snowflake IoM army with a couple dozen units should not be on equal footing with the big, diverse, 60+ unit codices. That’d be dumb.

If you have a play style and a plan that lets you double down on the snowflake’s strength, then yeah, that should be plausibly competitive... but big ‘dexs should have an upper hand due to breadth and depth.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/01 00:45:27


Post by: A.T.


 Lobukia wrote:
Not crippled, but yeah, kinda. Every special snowflake IoM army with a couple dozen units should not be on equal footing with the big, diverse, 60+ unit codices. That’d be dumb.
Sounds like a faction vs faction balance problem if one has a dozen units and the other has 60+. Ignoring it doesn't fix it.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/01 01:22:49


Post by: Crimson


A.T. wrote:
Sounds like a faction vs faction balance problem if one has a dozen units and the other has 60+. Ignoring it doesn't fix it.

But that's how it is and how it has always been. That's why it is completely silly when people cry that soup has way more choice than monoarmies, because the exact same issue exists between monoarmies too.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/01 02:01:22


Post by: vipoid


Army to army balance seems the most sensible.

Unit to unit is nice in theory but there are just too many factors for it to be viable. You could have two units that are balanced against one another in a vacuum (and so would be costed the same), yet one performs better because its army has access to more/better buffs, or more efficient transports, or more useful faction rules, or some other aspect that is simply beyond the scope of unit vs. unit balancing.

Not to say that units shouldn't be balanced against one another at all, just that it should be secondary to army vs. army balance.


Ice_can wrote:
The idea that codex A having undercosted troops is ok because codex B has undercosted elites and Codex C has undercosted HQ's and codex D has undercosted heavy support is also broken because the allies rules as they are allow codex A B and C to mix and match without penalty while codex D has to go it solo.


I'd argue that it's not the idea that's broken - it's the ally rules. They are the problem because they allow anyone to just skip the inbuilt weaknesses of their faction by pilfering units from other factions that are strong in that area. e.g. armies that would otherwise be short on CP can simply take a cheap IG or AM Battalion for some extra CPs. Or an army like AM, with weak melee, can just grab some BA or Custodes units and suddenly they're punching with the best of them.

The fact is that people should not be able to cherry-pick units from any allied army at no cost.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/01 02:08:55


Post by: Insectum7


Unit to unit balance isnt a good idea because units can (and should) have wildly different roles.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/01 02:11:36


Post by: Crimson


 Insectum7 wrote:
Unit to unit balance isnt a good idea because units can (and should) have wildly different roles.

That has nothing to do with it. They can. It is just that a role of a unit shouldn't be that they suck.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/01 02:21:57


Post by: w1zard


Unit vs Unit is the only real way to balance since soup basically made "army" a meaningless distinction. Balancing by "faction" is also not fair to people who want to stick to mono-codex armies, for example, why should unit X be nerfed just because of units from other codexes that can soup together and make it "broken", when X is not a problem in it's own codex and is fairly priced otherwise.

 vipoid wrote:
The fact is that people should not be able to cherry-pick units from any allied army at no cost.

Except that GW said that it's what they want. So, the only real way to make this work is unit vs unit balance with points being an objective (whatever "objective" means in a game where power is situational) measure of tabletop performance.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/01 03:00:00


Post by: admironheart


well this is a GAME right.

ofc all the factions have different rules to give them flavor.

But to make things fair lets ABSTRACT the game very far.

Lets say ARMY A has 3 HQ 2 Elites, 3 Troops, 2 Fast Attack and 2 Heavy Support.

Then HQ 1 should have skills 1, 2, 3
HQ 2 should have skills 2 3 4
HQ 3 should have skills 1 and 4

go on from there for all the units

Then each and every other ARMY should have a game piece/unit that has a comparable skill set.

So All Fast Attack units will share a set number of skills. So each army may have 1 or 2 unit combinations that other armies wont, but for the most part the toolbox would be the same.

Then you factor in the different Faction and army bonuses and adjust points accordingly.

Would this dumb down the game....possibly. But streamlining of this sort would go a long way to clean up glaring imbalances and make it easier to adjust point and ability costs.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/01 03:24:03


Post by: dhallnet


 Crimson wrote:
 Insectum7 wrote:
Unit to unit balance isnt a good idea because units can (and should) have wildly different roles.

That has nothing to do with it. They can. It is just that a role of a unit shouldn't be that they suck.

I think Insectum is at least partially right.You can't balance "unit anti tank" against "unit anti infantry", or "anti infantry tank" vs "titanic unit", etc. And you can't just look at units and their preferred targets because even if all its units are perfectly costed, a codex full of "anti tank units" won't be great for example, even though on paper its units are "balanced".
Units should absolutely be good at doing something and unless it's part of a weakness/strong point in a faction, similar units should perform similarly though ("similarly" still allows differences, more bodies weaker impact vs less bodies bigger impact, etc). But unless all units are all trying to do everything at once and becomes all more of the same, they will naturally be "imbalanced" as long as the game has such a large scale (from grots to knights). Thus you need to look at a faction against all other factions and then start to tweak if one of its elements becomes too good/bad at its role.

So to not have everything feel the same and still have a game worth playing, it's probably a bit of both unit vs unit and faction vs faction balance that you are aiming at. Which probably, imho, can't hold in the long run due to allies (if you balance faction A with a weakness but it can ally with faction B that cover it with its strong point, your making your task harder).

Edit : Also, to answer the previous post, giving bonuses to some factions against certain types of units or to help them perform better in their chosen field and then adding a point cost to it, doesn't really achieve anything. You just made a bunch of special rules that seem flavorful but doesn't help this faction at all as it's now at the same point it was before the addition of said rules (meaning : it will perform just the same with or without a special rule as you're tweaking the point cost to keep the same expected performance from this unit with or without it). Imho, you WANT some imbalance in a game like this (but it should be covered by flaws/advantages from the faction), otherwise you end up with more of the same every time you add a new unit.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/01 03:39:47


Post by: Crimson


dhallnet wrote:

I think Insectum is at least partially right.You can't balance "unit anti tank" against "unit anti infantry", or "anti infantry tank" vs "titanic unit", etc. And you can't just look at units and their preferred targets because even if all its units are perfectly costed, a codex full of "anti tank units" will be absolutely awful for example, even though on paper its units are "balanced".

Of course when building an army you must include variety of different units to deal with different foes. That has always been the case. Balancing units merely means that thee units pay a fair point cost for the capabilities they actually have.

Units should absolutely be good at doing something and unless it's part of a weakness/strong point in a faction, similar units should perform similarly though ("similarly" still allows differences, more bodies weaker impact vs less bodies bigger impact, etc). But unless all units are all trying to do everything at once and becomes all more of the same, they will naturally be "imbalanced" as long as the game has such a large scale (from grots to knights). Thus you need to look at a faction against all other factions and then start to tweak if one of its elements becomes too good/bad at its role.
Just no. Units doing differnt things do not mean they're imbalanced. As I said earlier it is fine for one hundred point unit do less damage than another, if it is commensurately better in another area, such as mobility or durability. Also, points exist. A grot and a Imperial Knight have very different rules, but the Knight costs a few points more. And factions should not have weaknesses in a sense that their units are overcosted in certain area.

So to not have everything feel the same and still have a game worth playing, it's probably a bit of both unit vs unit and faction vs faction balance that you are aiming at. Which probably, imho, can't hold due to allies in the long run (if you balance faction A with a weakness but it can ally with faction B that cover it with its strong point, your making your task harder).

This is why you need to balance units, not factions. Once units are properly balanced the factions need to be merely balanced in a sense that they all have access to essential tools that are absolutely needed. And this doesn't mean that their units need to be the same. For example, all armies need to have some ability to heal with heavily armoured vehicles, but one faction may have units which deal with them using long ranged firepower while another has units able to punch tanks to death.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/01 03:52:29


Post by: dhallnet


Spoiler:
 Crimson wrote:
dhallnet wrote:

I think Insectum is at least partially right.You can't balance "unit anti tank" against "unit anti infantry", or "anti infantry tank" vs "titanic unit", etc. And you can't just look at units and their preferred targets because even if all its units are perfectly costed, a codex full of "anti tank units" will be absolutely awful for example, even though on paper its units are "balanced".

Of course when building an army you must include variety of different units to deal with different foes. That has always been the case. Balancing units merely means that thee units pay a fair point cost for the capabilities they actually have.

Units should absolutely be good at doing something and unless it's part of a weakness/strong point in a faction, similar units should perform similarly though ("similarly" still allows differences, more bodies weaker impact vs less bodies bigger impact, etc). But unless all units are all trying to do everything at once and becomes all more of the same, they will naturally be "imbalanced" as long as the game has such a large scale (from grots to knights). Thus you need to look at a faction against all other factions and then start to tweak if one of its elements becomes too good/bad at its role.
Just no. Units doing differnt things do not mean they're imbalanced. As I said earlier it is fine for one hundred point unit do less damage than another, if it is commensurately better in another area, such as mobility or durability. Also, points exist. A grot and a Imperial Knight have very different rules, but the Knight costs a few points more. And factions should not have weaknesses in a sense that their units are overcosted in certain area.

So to not have everything feel the same and still have a game worth playing, it's probably a bit of both unit vs unit and faction vs faction balance that you are aiming at. Which probably, imho, can't hold due to allies in the long run (if you balance faction A with a weakness but it can ally with faction B that cover it with its strong point, your making your task harder).

This is why you need to balance units, not factions. Once units are properly balanced the factions need to be merely balanced in a sense that they all have access to essential tools that are absolutely needed. And this doesn't mean that their units need to be the same. For example, all armies need to have some ability to heal with heavily armoured vehicles, but one faction may have units which deal with them using long ranged firepower while another has units able to punch tanks to death.

Of course units should pay a fair cost for what they have, but you can't take one unit and compare it to the entirety of the game (with units having vastly different purposes) and achieve "perfect balance" point wise. Some units will and should always be terrible against some others.
I didn't mean that doing different things is imbalanced, but how do you attribute point cost "fairly" when one unit should stomp on another and aren't created for the same purpose at all ? You can estimate but if they don't even have the same use, what scale are you using to say that they are balanced between each other ? Also it's perfectly fine to have a faction be better at something than another. It's not fine if it's better (or worse) at everything though.
If you design units to be perfectly equal in all scenarios because of allies, you just end up with a "perception" of flavour but in the end, you're just having more of the same unit (for example if a lascannon is as effective as X bolter for it's price against vehicles, then the choice doesn't matter in that context). Dealing with vehicles during close combat or from range IS a point of balance from a faction stand point, and if faction "close combat" can ally with faction "range", you just messed with said balance.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/01 03:53:41


Post by: Martel732


 Insectum7 wrote:
Unit to unit balance isnt a good idea because units can (and should) have wildly different roles.


Different unit roles doesn't prevent unit to unit balance. But GW has chosen not to do this. So instead, we have 85% false choices and trap units. And units across codices that do not remotely have justifiable costs.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/01 04:06:18


Post by: admironheart


Balance each list.

In chess both players have the same units....they just will use them differently.

If Marines have a rook...so the tyranids should too and the Tau. If the Eldar has a Bishop....then give Guard a Bishop.

Sure they will be marginally different....but the fault of the inbalanced game IN EVERY edition of 40k has been that each faction/army has a very different balance due to not having the same pieces.

The game has so many details and they try so hard to differentiate each that is spirals out of control.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/01 04:09:17


Post by: Crimson


dhallnet wrote:

Of course units should pay a fair cost for what they have, but you can't take one unit and compare it to the entirety of the game (with units having vastly different purposes) and achieve "perfect balance" point wise.

That is exactly what you need to do. Of course it will never be perfect in the reality, but that's the goal.

Some units will and should always be terrible against some others.

Of course. And those units which were terrible against that foe should be good against another (or have some other area in which they excell, such as buffing other units.)

I didn't mean that doing different things is imbalanced, but how do you attribute point cost "fairly" when one unit should stomp on another and aren't created for the same purpose at all ? You can estimate but if they don't even have the same use, what scale are you using to say that they are balanced between each other ?
You of course need to consider the different areas in which unit can excel and make sure the unit excels in some of them appropriately for their cost.

Also it's perfectly fine to have a faction be better at something than another.

Yes. Because 'balanced' doesn't mean 'same.'

If you design units to be perfectly equal in all scenarios because of allies, you just end up with a "perception" of flavour but in the end, you're just having more of the same unit. Dealing with vehicles during close combat or from range IS a point of balance from a faction stand point, and if faction "close combat" can ally with faction "range", you just messed with said balance.

No. Because points actually exist. If units are properly balanced it doesn't matter if you take four units that shoot tanks to death or four units that punch tanks to death or two units that shoot tanks to death and two that punch them to death. Of course each set of units plays differently and you need to use differnt tactics with them, and that's the flavour, but ultimately they kill tanks. And BTW, you can't have a faction whose weakness is that they're bad at killing tanks, that just would mean that it would be possible to build an army they cannot deal with.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/01 04:25:21


Post by: Pink Horror


"Unit to unit" - but I don't think that means that every unit should be equal to every other unit.

I don't think balance means anything more or less than units and armies that work well as designed. (Very ambiguous, I know.) So I want army balance, but you have to start somewhere. If you can't balance tactical marines vs. guardsmen, you have no chance to balance two armies together in any satisfying way.

Balance would just mean that the designers set up an expectation for what should happen in a unit vs. unit conflict, and then test that it does happen. For example, the designers could decide that 200 points of marines should win around 50% of the time vs. 200 points of guardsmen, and then make sure that's true. They could also decide that scions are anti-MEQ, so it 200 points of marines should be equal to 150 points of scions.

The designers could have a whole list of unit to unit interactions that they expect to happen. And then, when that's solid, they could build larger expectations for small groups of units - a couple units and a character, for example. Of course, you would first test that aura characters on their own would lose to equivalent points of most other options.

And, if you've done this as a designer, you don't need to keep this secret. You could release strategy articles revealing some of the intentional mismatches, and what the rock-paper-scissors style interactions are supposed to be. Then your community can tell you when they don't work and why, and highlight match-ups that maybe you didn't think about. There could be a deeper discussion than whether guard are the best.

Without a design for unit to unit interactions, there's nothing you can really do other than observe and tweak the rules to try to hope you get a balanced game, or try to use your gut.

Oh, and one last thing: regardless of how you balance the game, it would be a lot easier if multiple detachments cost you CP instead of giving you extra CP. Allies wouldn't be such a problem if they came with an inherent handicap.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/01 04:26:36


Post by: dhallnet


 Crimson wrote:

No. Because points actually exist. If units are properly balanced it doesn't matter if you take four units that shoot tanks to death or four units that punch tanks to death or two units that shoot tanks to death and two that punch them to death. Of course each set of units plays differently and you need to use differnt tactics with them, and that's the flavour, but ultimately they kill tanks. And BTW, you can't have a faction whose weakness is that they're bad at killing tanks, that just would mean that it would be possible to build an army they cannot deal with.

It feels like we think mostly alike but end up with a different conclusion regarding allies

It's not flavour, it's a melee unit and a ranged unit (you can call that flavour if you want, that's not what I had in mind when using this term though). If points were perfect, I could take the same amount of lasguns/chainswords points wise and achieve the same result than dedicated ranged/melee anti tank.
And I didn't mean that a weakness would be "can't deal with tank" obviously, but in your example one faction deal with tanks in melee and the other from range. Imho the first is harder to accomplish than the second and if these differences were meant to be part of the balance between these 2 factions and a third, the balance point for such a difference would be moot if these 2 factions could ally.
Now if you reduce points from the melee unit to ease the task of dealing with tanks in melee, you're giving an advantage to the melee unit (in mobility, durability, whatever). One that you might think is tangible enough to put a point cost on it, where I think it's highly situational because of the variety we have. It might be possible, I don't know, but it would take a lots of tweaks imho. And even then, if the ranged unit is just as good as the melee unit in their role, it's a false choice. What you chose doesn't matter, it feels flavourful (melee vs ranged) but in the end, they do exactly the same thing (doesn't mean you can't have units just as good at doing stuff, they can't ALL be though) and in the end, how you chose to play doesn't matter as much as how you build your army (and even that doesn't matter if points are perfect since X points of chainswords should equal X points of chainfists).


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/01 07:06:07


Post by: Charistoph


It shouldn't be unit to unit. Comparing a unit of infantry to a unit of armor to an artillery battery is pointless. Some armies will have better infantry, with decent armor, but a minimal battery park, while others will offer better armor with reduced effectiveness on their artillery or infantry.

But each unit should be able to do the job it is meant to do. Tactical Marines are all arounders and are tougher than Guardsmen, but Guardsmen can be either be brought at a minimal level to bring in very heavy armor or one of the nastiest artillery parks in the game, or brought in mass to take down a target the way ants take down vertebrates.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/01 08:03:49


Post by: Peregrine


Army vs. army. Faction vs. faction involves soup, which is a stupid idea that never should have been introduced. Unit vs. unit is helpful, but emphasizing it too much takes away the ability to give different armies strengths and weaknesses. For example, Tau melee units should be weak if they exist at all. You might grudgingly take them if you absolutely must have a melee unit, but they should never be as effective as melee units from a Khorne army.

(And of course I'd modify "army" a bit to deal with archetypes rather than codices. For example, mech IG and horde IG should both be balanced as "armies", not just the IG codex as a whole.)


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/01 09:32:46


Post by: insaniak


 admironheart wrote:

In chess both players have the same units....they just will use them differently.

If Marines have a rook...so the tyranids should too and the Tau. If the Eldar has a Bishop....then give Guard a Bishop.

Sure they will be marginally different....but the fault of the inbalanced game IN EVERY edition of 40k has been that each faction/army has a very different balance due to not having the same pieces.

Giving each faction different pieces is how you differentiate them. Each faction should have that one thing that they are better at than the others, and preferably should also have some things that they don't have access to at all. The army that can do everything that every other army can do is boring.

Balance isn't achieved by every army being the same. It's achieved by every army having the same chance of winning against each of the others.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/01 10:34:09


Post by: vipoid


 Peregrine wrote:
Army vs. army. Faction vs. faction involves soup, which is a stupid idea that never should have been introduced. Unit vs. unit is helpful, but emphasizing it too much takes away the ability to give different armies strengths and weaknesses. For example, Tau melee units should be weak if they exist at all. You might grudgingly take them if you absolutely must have a melee unit, but they should never be as effective as melee units from a Khorne army.

(And of course I'd modify "army" a bit to deal with archetypes rather than codices. For example, mech IG and horde IG should both be balanced as "armies", not just the IG codex as a whole.)


This definitely seems like the way to go.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/01 10:52:06


Post by: Ghorgul


 Peregrine wrote:
Army vs. army. Faction vs. faction involves soup, which is a stupid idea that never should have been introduced. Unit vs. unit is helpful, but emphasizing it too much takes away the ability to give different armies strengths and weaknesses. For example, Tau melee units should be weak if they exist at all. You might grudgingly take them if you absolutely must have a melee unit, but they should never be as effective as melee units from a Khorne army.

(And of course I'd modify "army" a bit to deal with archetypes rather than codices. For example, mech IG and horde IG should both be balanced as "armies", not just the IG codex as a whole.)
Archetypes can sound like a curse word if people don't like MtG (like some people recently admitted on this forum).

On the topic of MtG, reality is that competitive 40k is not that different from competitive MtG, both are essentially (card) list building games with random elements which you reduce by multiplying the amount of specific pieces (units or cards). Although MtG is inherently more balanced and the competitive scene is easier to get into when high level decks can be bought for like 100-200 units of western currency and does not need significant time dedication, unlike 40k where getting even a list of most unplayable units to passable tabletop standard game costs easily the same as high level MtG deck and then there is the associated time dedication.

But to the archetypes:
40k could really use a concept of giving every codex main 2-3 archetypes from pool of 10 to 15 archetypes. Archetypes in general should be designed in rough extended rock-paper-scissors manner. Then it would be up to the players to choose in list building step if they want to go 100% one archetype or a 80-30 or 50-50 mix of archetypes. Of course all the armies should be able to do a list of more than just 2-3 archetypes, it's just these non-main archetypes should be weaker than what another codex which spesialises on these archetypes can do.

There are already kind of archetypes existing in 40k:
Horde: Huge amounts of models that are difficult to remove as especially ranged attacks don't scale well against big units.
Anti-Horde Melee: Huge number of melee attacks that easily rip through Hordes. Note: Problematically large volume of attacks also can remove high wound models so the archetype is working poorly because of general game design.
Anti-High W Melee: Smash Captains and similar do high damage but relatively low number of attacks so they can do significant damage to high wound models but cannot remove Hordes efficiently.
High Mobility
High Durability
High Ranged Firepower
Mortal Wound Spam: Another archetype that is ruined because of the game's core rule design.

All this however kind of collapse because of the core rule design (high volume of normal attacks scale ok against both hordes and single models, while high damage but low volume doesnt scale against hordes at all) which leads to melee being restricted through core rules because we have these swiss-army-knife high volume melee units that can rip through anything. End result is melee is only viable option to relatively few specialised units while most units in game struggle to do anything in melee, i.e. the restriction on melee nerfs the weaker melee units disproportionally more than the efficient melee units, when the restrictions are actually targeted against the efficient melee units.

Also soup allows quite efficient mixing of archetypes, and arguably too good mixing at the moment: These Castellan lists everyone is raging about basically combine Horde, High Durability and High Ranged Firepower in same list. Castellans are also High Mobility, being able to move 10" a turn without penalty to shooting while it's every weapon has range of 48". Castellans are problematic already with this archetype classification.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/01 11:00:42


Post by: Not Online!!!


 insaniak wrote:
 admironheart wrote:

In chess both players have the same units....they just will use them differently.

If Marines have a rook...so the tyranids should too and the Tau. If the Eldar has a Bishop....then give Guard a Bishop.

Sure they will be marginally different....but the fault of the inbalanced game IN EVERY edition of 40k has been that each faction/army has a very different balance due to not having the same pieces.

Giving each faction different pieces is how you differentiate them. Each faction should have that one thing that they are better at than the others, and preferably should also have some things that they don't have access to at all. The army that can do everything that every other army can do is boring.

Balance isn't achieved by every army being the same. It's achieved by every army having the same chance of winning against each of the others.


Nope. Disagree insaniak, remember the introduction of flyers and lack of others /AA ? Yeah valkyires were outright cancer to play against.

And you still find such holes in many codices, f.e. AA is lacking in nearly all codices other then guard (AAmissile stratagem does not count and is slowed: F.E.: Abbadon my thrice cursed lord, would you kindly pass the AA missile for me and my Havoc squad?)

My argument is, that codices should not have such holes, but rather should be diversivied by effectivety of the choseable options.
Every codex should have a AA option, just as any codex should have a role filler for any job. And this is were i point the finger to the knight codex and dare to say, it's fething badly designed in order to sell you more guardsmen.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/01 11:15:39


Post by: Ghorgul


Not Online!!! wrote:
My argument is, that codices should not have such holes, but rather should be diversivied by effectivety of the choseable options.
Every codex should have a AA option, just as any codex should have a role filler for any job. And this is were i point the finger to the knight codex and dare to say, it's fething badly designed in order to sell you more guardsmen.
Completely agreed! And extending this with archetypes, some codex could be Air Domination type, having both good AA and Flyers. Or one could have strong AA and weak flyers or vice-versa. However Flyers are kind of bad in general atm, just expensive vehicles with -1 to hit and knight or anti-knight lists shoot them down in a turn.

Keywords are also utilised quite poorly. One could easily come up with stratagems that allow Devastator/Havoc squads to be 'promoted' into Titan-killers or Flyer-killers, giving them +1 to hit and +1 to wound against units with said keyword. These types of stratagems for different codices could already punish certain kind of spam lists which come playing with 1500 points of Knights and loyal 32 and other 'fluffy' support elements, like Mephiston with Smash Captains.
One of you gonna cry these would be too powerful? Well boo-hoo, no one forced you to come play with 3 Titanic units. But this ain't gonna happen because GW seems allergic to treating the cause for spam.

The 40k has lots of nice concepts but most don't work because most of everything is just half-assed, or if something becomes too dominant GW will introduce some blanket extension to Core Rules that nerfs the non-oppressive options to oblivion also.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/01 13:09:59


Post by: Not Online!!!


Keywords are also utilised quite poorly. One could easily come up with stratagems that allow Devastator/Havoc squads to be 'promoted' into Titan-killers or Flyer-killers, giving them +1 to hit and +1 to wound against units with said keyword. These types of stratagems for different codices could already punish certain kind of spam lists which come playing with 1500 points of Knights and loyal 32 and other 'fluffy' support elements, like Mephiston with Smash Captains.
One of you gonna cry these would be too powerful? Well boo-hoo, no one forced you to come play with 3 Titanic units. But this ain't gonna happen because GW seems allergic to treating the cause for spam.


my point was more that f.e. The knight codex get's a troopslot equivalent. maybee a walker about the size of a sentinel for anti horde duty for i dunoo 60 pts a pop?

But i agree with your points about specific stratagems, on the other hand it would also be a nice way to balance Votwl.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/01 13:22:53


Post by: Tyel


The issue is player freedom.

Saying "unit to unit balance will result in a dull boring game where all armies are the same" is potentially true - but not really, because when we talk about performance we mean efficiency for its points.

Consider faction A with good shooting units but rubbish assault units and Faction B with good assault units but rubbish shooting unions. Which units would actually make it to the table? I feel safe in saying "the good ones". Saying "its fair because "bad" units are in a book but never played" is a bit weird. It doesn't matter.

For example Eldar are a top codex - their good options are not "balanced" by the fact Storm Guardians are crap because you as a player are under no obligation to take storm guardians.

The thing is though in principle (although rarely in practice) a faction (Eldar again say hi) that has good shooting, assault, psychic units etc isn't necessarily overpowered. They only get so many points. If they split them into "good assault", "good shooting", "good psychic" they are not automatically superior to another faction (say Tau) that puts all their points into "good shooting".

The issue is in the inter-unit synergy. The idea that having good assault units and shooting units together is better than just having good assault or good shooting. Or good anti-vehicle weapons and good anti-horde weapons. Which is really the problem with 40k at whatever level you balance it at.

Are Guardsmen overpowered on their own? Probably.
Are Knights overpowered on their own? Probably not tbh.
Are Guardsmen and Knights overpowered together - 99% certain yes. Or at least by overpowered I feel they perform at a higher level than the average across all units.

This leads to "we can balance the synergy" - but short of a hard ban on soup I'm not sure you can. Sure no CP swapping would have an impact - but I am sort of convinced that Knights+faction will just about always be superior to mono-Knights. The weaknesses of the Knight codex (low model count so limited chaff/screening/objective holding etc) lock that in place.

So what "price" should Knights be? Should it be calculated in the Mono context, or in the soup context? Guardsmen and Knights are good efficient choices on their own. They then move up to another level when paired together. Same with say Dark Eldar/Harlies with a Doom-casting Farseer behind them.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/01 13:47:48


Post by: Ghorgul


Not Online!!! wrote:
But i agree with your points about specific stratagems, on the other hand it would also be a nice way to balance Votwl.
VotLW could and should definitely be easily balanced with more keyword restrictions.

Stratagem system in general is good, but I don't think GW is using it to full extend, for example this 'promotion' example I mentioned. Thinking about it now the new specialist detachments introduced are exactly like a promotion system, although they have taken the approach of paying set amount of CP and then the specialist detachment rules are extended to every qualifying unit. This approach in general can lead to more spam lists if too powerful specialist detachments are designed in future.
There is already a clear precedent in Space Marine codex for these kind of single unit promotions, but I do not own every codex so I can't talk about this regarding all the codices. However in general sense these kind of single unit promotion-like stratagems would allow sideboard-like function to armies and with well-thought keyword restrictions they can be controlled to prevent spam and counter spammers. Also updating and introducing new stratagems is far easier than updating the rules and datasheets for units.

Well I just fell in love with these promotion stratagems and I think GW should do more of them. Note that these are functionally quite similar to Veteran Skills CSM could buy in legendary beloved 3.5 Codex.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/01 14:23:43


Post by: w1zard


 insaniak wrote:
Giving each faction different pieces is how you differentiate them. Each faction should have that one thing that they are better at than the others, and preferably should also have some things that they don't have access to at all. The army that can do everything that every other army can do is boring.

Balance isn't achieved by every army being the same. It's achieved by every army having the same chance of winning against each of the others.

I don't necessarily agree with this. For example, Tau thematically are supposed to be weak in melee. However, a Tau player shouldn't have to overpay in points (in relation to other armies) for a dedicated melee unit (such as kroot) because of this "army focus". Such a thing makes people ignore "weakness units" and double down on "strength units" because the points costs are inappropriate.

So I think I would agree with you as long as points aren't the "balancing factor" between what armies are good at and what they aren't good at, but rather the presence or absence of units capable of filling a particular role. But, no army should have "nothing" to fulfill a particular role because that leads to overly "rock, paper, scissors" like army interactions.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/01 15:17:15


Post by: Crimson


dhallnet wrote:

It's not flavour, it's a melee unit and a ranged unit (you can call that flavour if you want, that's not what I had in mind when using this term though).

It's playstyle. They play differently.

If points were perfect, I could take the same amount of lasguns/chainswords points wise and achieve the same result than dedicated ranged/melee anti tank.

No! Because that's not the role of lasguns or chainswords! Those are anti light infantry weapons and thus perform better against such targets than antitank units and obviously worse against tanks. Please stop this 'balance means same' nonsense.

And I didn't mean that a weakness would be "can't deal with tank" obviously, but in your example one faction deal with tanks in melee and the other from range. Imho the first is harder to accomplish than the second and if these differences were meant to be part of the balance between these 2 factions and a third, the balance point for such a difference would be moot if these 2 factions could ally.

That should never be a part of intentional weakness of an army.

Now if you reduce points from the melee unit to ease the task of dealing with tanks in melee, you're giving an advantage to the melee unit (in mobility, durability, whatever). One that you might think is tangible enough to put a point cost on it, where I think it's highly situational because of the variety we have. It might be possible, I don't know, but it would take a lots of tweaks imho.

This is exactly what needs to be done and no one is saying it is easy.

And even then, if the ranged unit is just as good as the melee unit in their role, it's a false choice. What you chose doesn't matter, it feels flavourful (melee vs ranged) but in the end, they do exactly the same thing (doesn't mean you can't have units just as good at doing stuff, they can't ALL be though) and in the end, how you chose to play doesn't matter as much as how you build your army

How the army plays and what sort of tactics you need to utilise with it are really important things, it is not a false choice at all.

(and even that doesn't matter if points are perfect since X points of chainswords should equal X points of chainfists).

Not equal in all tasks. Both are suited for different tasks.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
w1zard wrote:

I don't necessarily agree with this. For example, Tau thematically are supposed to be weak in melee. However, a Tau player shouldn't have to overpay in points (in relation to other armies) for a dedicated melee unit (such as kroot) because of this "army focus". Such a thing makes people ignore "weakness units" and double down on "strength units" because the points costs are inappropriate.

Exactly. If Kroots are about as capable in melee (and other tasks) than Ork Boys, but cost ten point per model because Tau is not a melee army, they will just be ignored. Or enthusiastic noobs make Kroot heavy armies because they think they're cool, and then get utterly crushed in every game because they picked the trap choices.



Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/01 16:52:51


Post by: Karol


 Lobukia wrote:
A.T. wrote:
 Lobukia wrote:
Sisters shouldn’t have all the tools available to match one to one against craftworld Eldar... but, Necrons vs CSM should be a fair fight.
So you propose that some factions should just be arbitrarily crippled? Why?


Not crippled, but yeah, kinda. Every special snowflake IoM army with a couple dozen units should not be on equal footing with the big, diverse, 60+ unit codices. That’d be dumb.

If you have a play style and a plan that lets you double down on the snowflake’s strength, then yeah, that should be plausibly competitive... but big ‘dexs should have an upper hand due to breadth and depth.

And eldar are not special snowflakes? In the fluff they almost never go to war. They have few people running the warrior aspect path, and their biggest aspect path craftworld got blown up. If we went by fluff they should have armies made out of guardians and aspect warriors limited to 0-1 maybe even excluding some aspects from running around in the same list. Yet what do we see on the tables, ton of rangers and aspects with tank support . How are they diverse if all armies consists of reapers, s spears, farseers and wave serpents? Also it is hardly the players foult that GW didn't give rules and models to their faction, while giving eldar twice as many, just by virtue of letting eldar play them as craftworld or Inari.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/01 17:32:30


Post by: dhallnet


 Crimson wrote:
dhallnet wrote:

It's not flavour, it's a melee unit and a ranged unit (you can call that flavour if you want, that's not what I had in mind when using this term though).

It's playstyle. They play differently.

Okay.

 Crimson wrote:

If points were perfect, I could take the same amount of lasguns/chainswords points wise and achieve the same result than dedicated ranged/melee anti tank.

No! Because that's not the role of lasguns or chainswords! Those are anti light infantry weapons and thus perform better against such targets than antitank units and obviously worse against tanks. Please stop this 'balance means same' nonsense.

I don't think balance means same, that's what I'm defending actually. BUT if you compare unit to unit in the context of POINTS and try to achieve perfect point balance, how do you say : these two units can't do the same thing for their cost and are thus perfectly balanced ? Unless I'm not understanding something, you are advocating at the same time unit to unit balance (no units should be terrible or too good for its cost) and faction to faction balance (every factions should have tools to deal with most threats, they don't need to be equally efficient at everything though) which is exactly what I said in my first post in this thread.


 Crimson wrote:

And I didn't mean that a weakness would be "can't deal with tank" obviously, but in your example one faction deal with tanks in melee and the other from range. Imho the first is harder to accomplish than the second and if these differences were meant to be part of the balance between these 2 factions and a third, the balance point for such a difference would be moot if these 2 factions could ally.

That should never be a part of intentional weakness of an army.

Why ? Why an army's weakness couldn't be "have difficulties to deal with armour from range" ? Why are other weaknesses more suitable ? What is a suitable weakness even ? Please develop and then consider these weaknesses in the context of allies.

 Crimson wrote:

Now if you reduce points from the melee unit to ease the task of dealing with tanks in melee, you're giving an advantage to the melee unit (in mobility, durability, whatever). One that you might think is tangible enough to put a point cost on it, where I think it's highly situational because of the variety we have. It might be possible, I don't know, but it would take a lots of tweaks imho.

This is exactly what needs to be done and no one is saying it is easy.

Then sorry but it means the unit is bound to be unbalanced in some way (doesn't mean it has to be op or useless). Unless you expect games with so many different entries like 40k to test every single one in every single situation imaginable (faction, army roster which is made of units and equipment selections, stratagems, terrain, mission, etc) over and over, until the final perfect tweak to it's cost/stat line making it perfectly balanced is found.

 Crimson wrote:

And even then, if the ranged unit is just as good as the melee unit in their role, it's a false choice. What you chose doesn't matter, it feels flavourful (melee vs ranged) but in the end, they do exactly the same thing (doesn't mean you can't have units just as good at doing stuff, they can't ALL be though) and in the end, how you chose to play doesn't matter as much as how you build your army

How the army plays and what sort of tactics you need to utilise with it are really important things, it is not a false choice at all.

Remember you pointed the ranged unit and the melee unit to achieve the same goal just as effectively despite the melee one starting at a mechanical disadvantage. Then it doesn't matter how you play the army, pushing forward some minis or pewpewing from the rear. You know that if you take whatever unit, the same goal will be achieved as easily because you made sure of it when you chose a point cost for these units. Sure you'll feel one way to do it is funnier for you but you didn't make a tactical choice like taking the cheaper but harder option to free some better but costlier options in other roles. You just took one unit over the other because you prefer fists or guns.

 Crimson wrote:
(and even that doesn't matter if points are perfect since X points of chainswords should equal X points of chainfists).

Not equal in all tasks. Both are suited for different tasks.

So should I deduct you're actually agreeing with Insectum's comment which started this whole conversation ? You don't balance everything to everything else because they have wildly different roles.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/01 17:58:12


Post by: Crimson


dhallnet wrote:

I don't think balance means same, that's what I'm defending actually. BUT if you compare unit to unit in the context of POINTS and try to achieve perfect point balance, how do you say : these two units can't do the same thing for their cost and are thus perfectly balanced ? Unless I'm not understanding something, you are advocating at the same time unit to unit balance (no units should be terrible or too good for its cost) and faction to faction balance (every factions should have tools to deal with most threats, they don't need to be equally efficient at everything though) which is exactly what I said in my first post in this thread.

In rock-paper-scissors each choice does different ting, yet are perfectly balanced. Units can be rock, papers or scissors, and the game play is about manoeuvring so that your rock can attack their scissors whilst protecting your paper. Whole armies cannot be this way, if one army is a rock army, then a game against paper army is not fun. You balance factiosn by giving them the tools needed, but these tools themselves must be balanced. See my Kroot example.

Why ? Why an army's weakness couldn't be "have difficulties to deal with armour from range" ? Why are other weaknesses more suitable ? What is a suitable weakness even ? Please develop and then consider these weaknesses in the context of allies.

It can. But it cannot be "has difficulties dealing with armour, period" which would be the case in a situation you suggested where one army had only access to melee armour killers and melee armour killers were inherently worse than ranged ones.1

Then sorry but it means the unit is bound to be unbalanced in some way (doesn't mean it has to be op or useless). Unless you expect games with so many different entries like 40k to test every single one in every single situation imaginable (faction, army roster which is made of units and equipment selections, stratagems, terrain, mission, etc) over and over, until the final perfect tweak to it's cost/stat line making it perfectly balanced is found.

Hey, you have figured out why balancing the game as complex as 40K is difficult! Doesn't mean they should stop trying.

Remember you pointed the ranged unit and the melee unit to achieve the same goal just as effectively despite the melee one starting at a mechanical disadvantage. Then it doesn't matter how you play the army, pushing forward some minis or pewpewing from the rear. You know that if you take whatever unit, the same goal will be achieved as easily because you made sure of it when you chose a point cost for these units. Sure you'll feel one way to do it is funnier for you but you didn't make a tactical choice like taking the cheaper but harder option to free some better but costlier options in other roles. You just took one unit over the other because you prefer fists or guns.

You don't take 'wahtever units' you take a selection of units with differnt roles. BUt some choices cannot be weaker for their points in the role, because then they become trap choices.


So should I deduct you're actually agreeing with Insectum's comment which started this whole conversation ? You don't balance everything to everything else because they have wildly different roles.

You balance units for a the game as a whole.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/01 19:17:58


Post by: insaniak


Not Online!!! wrote:

Nope. Disagree insaniak, remember the introduction of flyers and lack of others /AA ? Yeah valkyires were outright cancer to play against.

That wasn't a theme issue, though. That was an issue with GW making AA the only way to deal with flyers, other than to ignore them and hope they didn't do too much damage.

A weakness built into an army should be balanced out by other factors - an army with no long range heavy weapons, for example, should have either enough protection from enemy fire to let them survive long enough to get in close, or the ability to get close really quickly. An army with no access to fast moving infantry units would similarly need either heavy armour to plod around, easy access to transports, or some other method of moving around the board (or not needing to!).

GW didn't build any of that in with flyers, because they were just bolted onto the top of the ruleset - some armies had flyers, and the only way to deal with them was to take dedicated AA options, which only some armies had access to, which created a situation where some armies just had no way to deal with flyers, and others were forced to always include AA units on the off-chance that their opponent would bring flyers... which is horrible game design. AA weapons should have been better at taking out flyers, rather than the only practical option, and armies with no AA weapons should have had other options to make up for the lack.

Everybody doesn't need to have the same options - but everybody does need a way to deal with every option, or to not need to.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/01 20:09:10


Post by: Peregrine


Also, flyers and AA weren't a deliberate choice to make some factions better or worse at it, they were a bad consequence of GW's slow update cycle where some armies had a 6th edition codex and some were stuck in 4th, and who got flyers or AA was determined by which models had been released. You can't compare an unfinished game mid-update to deliberate design concepts.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/01 20:23:10


Post by: jeff white


Early results speak for themselves.
Army v army is what perps want.
So if i collect orks and you collect mawheens
Then we can choose X points and have a good game.
Done.
No mysteries...


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/01 20:24:34


Post by: dhallnet


 Crimson wrote:
dhallnet wrote:

I don't think balance means same, that's what I'm defending actually. BUT if you compare unit to unit in the context of POINTS and try to achieve perfect point balance, how do you say : these two units can't do the same thing for their cost and are thus perfectly balanced ? Unless I'm not understanding something, you are advocating at the same time unit to unit balance (no units should be terrible or too good for its cost) and faction to faction balance (every factions should have tools to deal with most threats, they don't need to be equally efficient at everything though) which is exactly what I said in my first post in this thread.

In rock-paper-scissors each choice does different ting, yet are perfectly balanced. Units can be rock, papers or scissors, and the game play is about manoeuvring so that your rock can attack their scissors whilst protecting your paper. Whole armies cannot be this way, if one army is a rock army, then a game against paper army is not fun. You balance factiosn by giving them the tools needed, but these tools themselves must be balanced. See my Kroot example.

Rock/paper/scissors is a "balanced" game with unbalanced units, which contradicts the whole "balance all the units !" thing which is what we started arguing and we're now at "you balance role to role" which is more or less what you responded negatively to (you don't do unit vs unit balance because role matters).
But anyway, when did I say some armies shouldn't have tools against others ? Building a weakness in a faction doesn't mean removing access to some tools. We have multiple tools to cut through stuff IRL, but they aren't all as efficient depending on the material you're cutting. It's the same for armies, you can deal with armour, but another can deal with it better than you because it has tools more suited to the task. Which is fine as long as one faction doesn't hold all the power tools.

 Crimson wrote:
Why ? Why an army's weakness couldn't be "have difficulties to deal with armour from range" ? Why are other weaknesses more suitable ? What is a suitable weakness even ? Please develop and then consider these weaknesses in the context of allies.

It can. But it cannot be "has difficulties dealing with armour, period" which would be the case in a situation you suggested where one army had only access to melee armour killers and melee armour killers were inherently worse than ranged ones.

Melee is inherently harder to play with because of game mechanics. So what I'm saying is if "melee armour killers" were worse than ranged ones (because of game mechanics, not because they are also bad at dealing with armour once they make contact with the enemy), we wouldn't be in a "can't deal with armour" but in a "can't deal with armour as efficiently as that other faction with ranged tools" scenario. And it's fine if you're trying to build weakness and diversity in factions.

 Crimson wrote:

Then sorry but it means the unit is bound to be unbalanced in some way (doesn't mean it has to be op or useless). Unless you expect games with so many different entries like 40k to test every single one in every single situation imaginable (faction, army roster which is made of units and equipment selections, stratagems, terrain, mission, etc) over and over, until the final perfect tweak to it's cost/stat line making it perfectly balanced is found.

Hey, you have figured out why balancing the game as complex as 40K is difficult! Doesn't mean they should stop trying.

So what kind of discussion are we having here then ? GW won't wait for every existing unit to be balanced against each other (because there is quite a lot) before adding units or new mechanics which will screw with this balance again. Even if I felt that this kind of balance was exactly what was needed, I'm not sure it's achievable in a commercial context.

 Crimson wrote:
Remember you pointed the ranged unit and the melee unit to achieve the same goal just as effectively despite the melee one starting at a mechanical disadvantage. Then it doesn't matter how you play the army, pushing forward some minis or pewpewing from the rear. You know that if you take whatever unit, the same goal will be achieved as easily because you made sure of it when you chose a point cost for these units. Sure you'll feel one way to do it is funnier for you but you didn't make a tactical choice like taking the cheaper but harder option to free some better but costlier options in other roles. You just took one unit over the other because you prefer fists or guns.

You don't take 'wahtever units' you take a selection of units with differnt roles. BUt some choices cannot be weaker for their points in the role, because then they become trap choices.

I feel like I'm repeating myself but you don't take "whatever" unit, you take whatever unit in a role filled with two units having the exact same expected efficiency. If the choice presented is a melee unit and a ranged unit with the same expected ratio to points taken/given and whatnot, you just changed the choice to "do I like melee or ranged", rather than "do I take this worse option to cover my need and be stronger elsewhere". It becomes a trap only when you have bad options through out your choice of units. For example, the army with melee anti armour only might very well challenge the anti armour effectiveness of the one with good ranged options if it has access to good transports.
The melee choice becomes only a trap if it has no options in its faction that will help it perform it's role and/or if its faction's weakness/advantages aren't well thought out.

 Crimson wrote:

So should I deduct you're actually agreeing with Insectum's comment which started this whole conversation ? You don't balance everything to everything else because they have wildly different roles.

You balance units for a the game as a whole.

Which doesn't mean anything in this thread's context. The question is how do we achieve that. Not if it should be balanced AS A WHOLE, we all agree it has to.
You've been arguing you balance unit to unit despite putting some limitations to it (it's not unit to unit but rather role to role), arguing factions can have weaknesses (like one has melee tools, the other have ranged tools) while saying these should be costed so they are as much efficient to each other (which is making the point of advantages and weaknesses pretty much irrelevant) which is probably why you don't see a theoretical issue with allies as well, since if every faction have access to every role (which it should) and every role is just as efficient in every faction, factions don't matter at all. Thus you can ally with whatever you want, you'll always be at the same power level.
You just lost factions usefulness (game wise) in the process and created another game though.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/01 21:11:17


Post by: Charistoph


Peregrine wrote:Also, flyers and AA weren't a deliberate choice to make some factions better or worse at it, they were a bad consequence of GW's slow update cycle where some armies had a 6th edition codex and some were stuck in 4th, and who got flyers or AA was determined by which models had been released. You can't compare an unfinished game mid-update to deliberate design concepts.

But that slow update cycle is GW's design concept. They deliberately choose to release things in that haphazard manner. That they did it because of model availability is irrelevant because they should have begun the design scheme with allowing for those armies not getting flyers to have decent AAA without them, even if it was just a cheap Flakk missile upgrade for their Missile Launchers. They could have also made sure to include all the armies within that design space to release them in short order. They didn't, though. They brought out Flyers for some, allowed some Flakk for others, and ignored the rest until their next codex came out.

And a tabletop game going through it's 6th and 7th iteration is not unfinished or mid-update. This isn't like WoW's PTR where we know we're in testing. We're dealing with the live launches of the patches here, and someone screwed up leaving someone without access to pants till the next patch.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/01 21:12:25


Post by: Crimson


dhallnet wrote:

Rock/paper/scissors is a "balanced" game with unbalanced units, which contradicts the whole "balance all the units !" thing which is what we started arguing and we're now at "you balance role to role" which is more or less what you responded negatively to (you don't do unit vs unit balance because role matters).

No, you just don't understand what balance means. In R-P-S every 'unit' wind against third of other units, loses against third and ties against third. They're perfectly balanced.

But anyway, when did I say some armies shouldn't have tools against others ? Building a weakness in a faction doesn't mean removing access to some tools. We have multiple tools to cut through stuff IRL, but they aren't all as efficient depending on the material you're cutting. It's the same for armies, you can deal with armour, but another can deal with it better than you because it has tools more suited to the task. Which is fine as long as one faction doesn't hold all the power tools.
Is it fine? Is it fine that one faction has harder time dealing with tanks than others? Why is that fine? Do you think it is fun to play such a faction in a tank heavy meta?

Melee is inherently harder to play with because of game mechanics. So what I'm saying is if "melee armour killers" were worse than ranged ones (because of game mechanics, not because they are also bad at dealing with armour once they make contact with the enemy), we wouldn't be in a "can't deal with armour" but in a "can't deal with armour as efficiently as that other faction with ranged tools" scenario.

If they are effectively worse at it, then they should cost less point. That's why points exist.

And it's fine if you're trying to build weakness and diversity in factions.

No, it isn't fine.

So what kind of discussion are we having here then ? GW won't wait for every existing unit to be balanced against each other (because there is quite a lot) before adding units or new mechanics which will screw with this balance again. Even if I felt that this kind of balance was exactly what was needed, I'm not sure it's achievable in a commercial context.

Any sort of balance in a game of this complex is incredibly difficult to achieve and will never be perfect. But there are certain roles around which you can balance, you literally do not need to (well, it would be better if you would but it's unrealistic) to consider every units interaction with each unit in the game. You compare how they perform against certain common profiles GEQ, MEG, Vehicles etc.


I feel like I'm repeating myself but you don't take "whatever" unit, you take whatever unit in a role filled with two units having the exact same expected efficiency. If the choice presented is a melee unit and a ranged unit with the same expected ratio to points taken/given and whatnot, you just changed the choice to "do I like melee or ranged",

Yes! And that's the choice, not whether I want to take good units or crap units.

It becomes a trap only when you have bad options through out your choice of units.

No. Bad units shouldn't exist.

I'll repeat my Kroot example:

If Kroots are about as capable in melee (and other tasks) than Ork Boys, but cost ten point per model because Tau is not a melee army, they will just be ignored. Or enthusiastic noobs make Kroot heavy armies because they think they're cool, and then get utterly crushed in every game because they picked the trap choices.

Which doesn't mean anything in this thread's context. The question is how do we achieve that. Not if it should be balanced AS A WHOLE, we all agree it has to.
You've been arguing you balance unit to unit despite putting some limitations to it (it's not unit to unit but rather role to role), arguing factions can have weaknesses (like one has melee tools, the other have ranged tools) while saying these should be costed so they are as much efficient to each other (which is making the point of advantages and weaknesses pretty much irrelevant) which is probably why you don't see a theoretical issue with allies as well, since if every faction have access to every role (which it should) and every role is just as efficient in every faction, factions don't matter at all. Thus you can ally with whatever you want, you'll always be at the same power level.
You just lost factions usefulness (game wise) in the process and created another game though.

'You are always at the same power level' <- Balance. Why you want some factions to be bad, or bad against certain other factions? How that is fun? If you and your friend pick your factions based on what you think is cool, and then it turns out your faction's 'weakness' is that is dad at dealing with your friend's chosen faction how is that fun to anyone?

Faction's flavour should be about the playstyle. A melee based army will play completely differently and require utilising different tactics than a shooty or a combined arms one. The strategy is about manoeuvring the units in situations where they excel, and for different types of units those parameters differ and require you to play them differently. But armies should not have weakness in a sense that they're just bad at dealing with certain common types of foes. That just leads to unfun one sided games.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/01 22:47:22


Post by: admironheart


 insaniak wrote:
 admironheart wrote:

In chess both players have the same units....they just will use them differently.

If Marines have a rook...so the tyranids should too and the Tau. If the Eldar has a Bishop....then give Guard a Bishop.

Sure they will be marginally different....but the fault of the inbalanced game IN EVERY edition of 40k has been that each faction/army has a very different balance due to not having the same pieces.

Giving each faction different pieces is how you differentiate them. Each faction should have that one thing that they are better at than the others, and preferably should also have some things that they don't have access to at all. The army that can do everything that every other army can do is boring.

Balance isn't achieved by every army being the same. It's achieved by every army having the same chance of winning against each of the others.


I see where you are going...and I probably agree with that thought process....but we are talking about making balance....a different subject.

Lets say every unit in the game has 1 to 4 abilities. Example: Elites have 1)fast move, 2)lots of attacks, 3Great armor, 4 High wounds, Each of those options are designated a point value. you have a base Trooper unit stats (just like they did in 2nd edition....across all armies for troops, champions, heroes and mighty champions) You have a general cost for your base.....you take a unit and give it 1 to 4 abilities....they all have a base cost....add them together. Boom you have a unit.

Now each race could have a myriad of mathematical combinations....THEN you add a Faction bonus and then a Army bonus and you have lots of diversity. Not the willy wonka units spewed out over several decades like now.

When I play chess...it is the SAME units....but the fun is not the sameness....it is the skill and style of play.

If a game is boring ...maybe you need to focus on better play style and skill. Not my unit A completely outclasses your unit B....Game over in list building....that IS BORING.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/01 23:35:17


Post by: Charistoph


On the other hand, you have Starcraft, and they're still working on pulling out the best in that game, and the unit types are so diverse it is ridiculous.

Of course, balancing 3 armies is easy compared to the dozen-plus Imperium armies (which really shouldn't be that many as it exists), the hydra head of Chaos, and the 5 different species of the Xenos.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/01 23:50:11


Post by: Andykp


I think the idea of “balance” in 40k is castle in the sky stuff. It’s not needed and not beneficial for game. It should be done on a vague and general scale not trying to be done scientifically or mathematicaly.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 00:28:30


Post by: dhallnet


 Crimson wrote:
dhallnet wrote:

Rock/paper/scissors is a "balanced" game with unbalanced units, which contradicts the whole "balance all the units !" thing which is what we started arguing and we're now at "you balance role to role" which is more or less what you responded negatively to (you don't do unit vs unit balance because role matters).

No, you just don't understand what balance means. In R-P-S every 'unit' wind against third of other units, loses against third and ties against third. They're perfectly balanced.

Imho, you are mixing unit balance and game balance. RPS units aren't balanced against each others (rock ALWAYS win vs scissors and you can't do anything about it), the whole game is.
To take another example, we have asymetric games, where one faction is hugely stronger individually but the other has more tools. Each unit took separately is imbalanced against each others but the game itself is still balanced if done properly. Games like the video games Dead by daylight, Evolve or Alien vs Predator for example.

 Crimson wrote:
But anyway, when did I say some armies shouldn't have tools against others ? Building a weakness in a faction doesn't mean removing access to some tools. We have multiple tools to cut through stuff IRL, but they aren't all as efficient depending on the material you're cutting. It's the same for armies, you can deal with armour, but another can deal with it better than you because it has tools more suited to the task. Which is fine as long as one faction doesn't hold all the power tools.
Is it fine? Is it fine that one faction has harder time dealing with tanks than others? Why is that fine? Do you think it is fun to play such a faction in a tank heavy meta?

The meta is shapped by the balance in the first place since players are drawn to the stronger units. So if your balanced is borked up in favour of armour, then sure it will suck if you have a faction balanced around "it's harder to deal with tanks". It's not necessarily an issue with the faction though but with the game's balance itself. And today's meta will soon be yesterday's.
And I already explained how you can have a weakness "can deal with tanks only in melee" and still be efficient at it because your whole faction is balanced with that idea in mind. And yes, I think it's fun to have armies that function fundamentaly differently from each others. I have no idea how you would like a game alike 40K and be adverse to this though.

 Crimson wrote:
Melee is inherently harder to play with because of game mechanics. So what I'm saying is if "melee armour killers" were worse than ranged ones (because of game mechanics, not because they are also bad at dealing with armour once they make contact with the enemy), we wouldn't be in a "can't deal with armour" but in a "can't deal with armour as efficiently as that other faction with ranged tools" scenario.

If they are effectively worse at it, then they should cost less point. That's why points exist.

Yeah they will probably cost less points, unless they have other strong attributes (like being resilient or fast or whatever). Doesn't mean it will be just as good as the ranged one though. Dunno what new point we didn't already agreed upon you are trying to make here.

 Crimson wrote:
And it's fine if you're trying to build weakness and diversity in factions.

No, it isn't fine.

Yes, it is. Ban allies (no, not really).

 Crimson wrote:
So what kind of discussion are we having here then ? GW won't wait for every existing unit to be balanced against each other (because there is quite a lot) before adding units or new mechanics which will screw with this balance again. Even if I felt that this kind of balance was exactly what was needed, I'm not sure it's achievable in a commercial context.

Any sort of balance in a game of this complex is incredibly difficult to achieve and will never be perfect. But there are certain roles around which you can balance, you literally do not need to (well, it would be better if you would but it's unrealistic) to consider every units interaction with each unit in the game. You compare how they perform against certain common profiles GEQ, MEG, Vehicles etc.

Handwaving "well, the game has 500 different profiles,which interacts differently with buffs, stratagems and missions objectives and are played on hugely different tables but it's not a huge deal, just shrink the scope !"

 Crimson wrote:
I feel like I'm repeating myself but you don't take "whatever" unit, you take whatever unit in a role filled with two units having the exact same expected efficiency. If the choice presented is a melee unit and a ranged unit with the same expected ratio to points taken/given and whatnot, you just changed the choice to "do I like melee or ranged",

Yes! And that's the choice, not whether I want to take good units or crap units.

It's an irrelevant choice and for the Xth time, one unit isn't crap because it isn't as good as the neighbour as long some way to make good exists.
 Crimson wrote:


It becomes a trap only when you have bad options through out your choice of units.

No. Bad units shouldn't exist.

There are no bad units, just bad factions or lack of options and I explained how.
You can even design two units which taken separately would be awful but taken together would be great. Are these awful ? No, they are just presenting a different, imho more interesting choice than "do I want to melee or shoot today".

 Crimson wrote:

I'll repeat my Kroot example:

If Kroots are about as capable in melee (and other tasks) than Ork Boys, but cost ten point per model because Tau is not a melee army, they will just be ignored. Or enthusiastic noobs make Kroot heavy armies because they think they're cool, and then get utterly crushed in every game because they picked the trap choices.

No, they wouldn't be ignored if they had a purpose. If all they bring is "I do the same thing than this other unit in that other faction but I cost 3 times more and my faction has no way at all to make use of me", then sure it will be ignored. If suddenly they could deepstrike and charge turn 1 because you took something else in your army, they would be great. But I guess this isn't fine since "It'S NoT BaLANcEd".

 Crimson wrote:
Which doesn't mean anything in this thread's context. The question is how do we achieve that. Not if it should be balanced AS A WHOLE, we all agree it has to.
You've been arguing you balance unit to unit despite putting some limitations to it (it's not unit to unit but rather role to role), arguing factions can have weaknesses (like one has melee tools, the other have ranged tools) while saying these should be costed so they are as much efficient to each other (which is making the point of advantages and weaknesses pretty much irrelevant) which is probably why you don't see a theoretical issue with allies as well, since if every faction have access to every role (which it should) and every role is just as efficient in every faction, factions don't matter at all. Thus you can ally with whatever you want, you'll always be at the same power level.
You just lost factions usefulness (game wise) in the process and created another game though.

'You are always at the same power level' <- Balance. Why you want some factions to be bad, or bad against certain other factions? How that is fun? If you and your friend pick your factions based on what you think is cool, and then it turns out your faction's 'weakness' is that is dad at dealing with your friend's chosen faction how is that fun to anyone?

I don't want factions to be bad against other factions. I want factions to be interesting and something else than a cosmetic choice (or an illusion of choice because you took that unit that is good in one phase of the game instead of the other one even if ultimately they've been calculated to perform exactly in the same way). Which you seem to not get, so we will end this here.

Have fun.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 00:40:57


Post by: Crimson


Yeah, you just have completely nonsensical definition of balance. Balance doesn't mean identical. Choices in R-P-S are balanced, each is good and bad against the exact same amount of other choices.

And of course if you give factions weaknesses such as having difficulty dealing with armour, then some factions in fact are bad against some other factions. You also seem to think that having to play the army completely different manner is a 'cosmetic' difference.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 00:55:44


Post by: dhallnet


Yeah, you do you dude. There are obviously no choices in this game that aren't amazing but become better depending what you take alongside. It's like you don't even bother to read.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 01:07:17


Post by: Crimson


dhallnet wrote:
Yeah, you do you dude. There are obviously no choices in this game that aren't amazing but become better depending what you take alongside. It's like you don't even bother to read.

Some units are obviously meant to synergise with each other, like a character with buff abilities and units it can buff, and units and transports that go into them. Those synergies must be accounted in the point costs of those units. What I am arguin one should not do, is make some units in an army intentionally worse and compensating this by making some other units better. If unit can do a certain thing, a similar unit of similar power in another army should cost the same, reagadless of whether the thing they do matches the supposed 'strength' or 'weakness' of the army.

Please answer this: lets assume that there was an unit identical to ork boys available to the Tau (transport options, equivalent stratagems etc included.) Maybe they're Kroot, maybe they're some new alien allies, it doesn't matter. Should this exact same unit with exact same capabilities cost more in the Tau codex than it does in the Ork codex, because 'weakness' of the Tau is supposed to be melee?


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 08:05:51


Post by: Peregrine


 Crimson wrote:
Please answer this: lets assume that there was an unit identical to ork boys available to the Tau (transport options, equivalent stratagems etc included.) Maybe they're Kroot, maybe they're some new alien allies, it doesn't matter. Should this exact same unit with exact same capabilities cost more in the Tau codex than it does in the Ork codex, because 'weakness' of the Tau is supposed to be melee?


Yes, of course it should, because if Tau have the option of taking a melee unit that is comparable to the good melee units in melee-focused armies then they aren't weak in melee anymore.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Charistoph wrote:
But that slow update cycle is GW's design concept. They deliberately choose to release things in that haphazard manner. That they did it because of model availability is irrelevant because they should have begun the design scheme with allowing for those armies not getting flyers to have decent AAA without them, even if it was just a cheap Flakk missile upgrade for their Missile Launchers. They could have also made sure to include all the armies within that design space to release them in short order. They didn't, though. They brought out Flyers for some, allowed some Flakk for others, and ignored the rest until their next codex came out.

And a tabletop game going through it's 6th and 7th iteration is not unfinished or mid-update. This isn't like WoW's PTR where we know we're in testing. We're dealing with the live launches of the patches here, and someone screwed up leaving someone without access to pants till the next patch.


Well yes, it was an example of incompetence by GW. I'm certainly not going to defend their handling of the situation. But defending GW is not my point there, it's that there's a huge difference between "space marines struggle with AA because that's one of their intended weaknesses and it balances out their strengths elsewhere" and "space marines struggle with AA because their new flyer kit doesn't have a release slot for six months". You can't use GW's botched handling of 6th as an example of how designed weaknesses are bad.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 09:49:45


Post by: Not Online!!!


Everybody doesn't need to have the same options - but everybody does need a way to deal with every option, or to not need to.


Or in other words everyone needs an AA of a kind.
Anyone needs a fast attack choice that is fast.

Which was my point. A csm army or a SM army don't need a hydra like AA tank, but they need an option that can do AA work.

Well yes, it was an example of incompetence by GW. I'm certainly not going to defend their handling of the situation. But defending GW is not my point there, it's that there's a huge difference between "space marines struggle with AA because that's one of their intended weaknesses and it balances out their strengths elsewhere" and "space marines struggle with AA because their new flyer kit doesn't have a release slot for six months". You can't use GW's botched handling of 6th as an example of how designed weaknesses are bad


Except you can. Designed weaknesses are bad, look at kroot f.e. which was allready brought up.

Also Anti Aircraft missiles were introduced later on, though nobody could use them because they had arbitary requirments, (CSM could not take them for the missile launcher, chosen could f.e.)
Also a point why designed weakness are bad if done incorrectly.





Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 09:49:54


Post by: Ice_can


 Peregrine wrote:
 Crimson wrote:
Please answer this: lets assume that there was an unit identical to ork boys available to the Tau (transport options, equivalent stratagems etc included.) Maybe they're Kroot, maybe they're some new alien allies, it doesn't matter. Should this exact same unit with exact same capabilities cost more in the Tau codex than it does in the Ork codex, because 'weakness' of the Tau is supposed to be melee?


Yes, of course it should, because if Tau have the option of taking a melee unit that is comparable to the good melee units in melee-focused armies then they aren't weak in melee anymore.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Charistoph wrote:
But that slow update cycle is GW's design concept. They deliberately choose to release things in that haphazard manner. That they did it because of model availability is irrelevant because they should have begun the design scheme with allowing for those armies not getting flyers to have decent AAA without them, even if it was just a cheap Flakk missile upgrade for their Missile Launchers. They could have also made sure to include all the armies within that design space to release them in short order. They didn't, though. They brought out Flyers for some, allowed some Flakk for others, and ignored the rest until their next codex came out.

And a tabletop game going through it's 6th and 7th iteration is not unfinished or mid-update. This isn't like WoW's PTR where we know we're in testing. We're dealing with the live launches of the patches here, and someone screwed up leaving someone without access to pants till the next patch.


Well yes, it was an example of incompetence by GW. I'm certainly not going to defend their handling of the situation. But defending GW is not my point there, it's that there's a huge difference between "space marines struggle with AA because that's one of their intended weaknesses and it balances out their strengths elsewhere" and "space marines struggle with AA because their new flyer kit doesn't have a release slot for six months". You can't use GW's botched handling of 6th as an example of how designed weaknesses are bad.

Except that logic is entirely flawed, lack of synergies should be how you push flavour for a faction, or lack of options.
Presenting people with overcosted units is giving new players a false sense of security and actually is esentially sacrificing effort that could actually usefully be expended on playable units for false choice "Trap units".
Do you know what that does, it pisses players off and you and up with a bunch of people with unplayable model's that they have spent time money and effort on.
It's guaranteed 100% feel bad game design, in card games(filler cards) or other such minimal investment games changing units is easy, in a buy build paint system that design idea will cost you way more players that it will ever gain you.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 09:53:12


Post by: Crimson


Ice_can wrote:

Except that logic is entirely flawed, lack of synergies should be how you push flavour for a faction, or lack of options.
Presenting people with overcosted units is giving new players a false sense of security and actually is esentially sacrificing effort that could actually usefully be expended on playable units for false choice "Trap units".
Do you know what that does, it pisses players off and you and up with a bunch of people with unplayable model's that they have spent time money and effort on.
It's guaranteed 100% feel bad game design, in card games(filler cards) or other such minimal investment games changing units is easy, in a buy build paint system that design idea will cost you way more players that it will ever gain you.

Yes, exactly!


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 10:03:47


Post by: w1zard


 Crimson wrote:
Ice_can wrote:

Except that logic is entirely flawed, lack of synergies should be how you push flavour for a faction, or lack of options.
Presenting people with overcosted units is giving new players a false sense of security and actually is esentially sacrificing effort that could actually usefully be expended on playable units for false choice "Trap units".
Do you know what that does, it pisses players off and you and up with a bunch of people with unplayable model's that they have spent time money and effort on.
It's guaranteed 100% feel bad game design, in card games(filler cards) or other such minimal investment games changing units is easy, in a buy build paint system that design idea will cost you way more players that it will ever gain you.

Yes, exactly!

Agreed as well. Subpar units will just never get taken so long as units being taken is a choice and not something forced onto the player. If the Tau melee units suck and are intentionally overpriced compared to other faction's melee units, then good players will just never take those units and instead double down on the faction's strengths because having melee units isn't a necessary condition for winning. You might as well remove the units from the game at that point, because that isn't "choice", it is "the illusion of choice".

Now that soup is a thing it is even worse, because those overpriced units are now competing for spots against units from other armies that aren't overpriced.

You can make Tau feel worse at melee by limiting their melee options, or making the melee units in question synergize worse with the rest of the army. But intentionally overpricing them is a hamfisted way to try and achieve that, and a good way to kill list diversity.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 10:07:23


Post by: Not Online!!!


w1zard wrote:
 Crimson wrote:
Ice_can wrote:

Except that logic is entirely flawed, lack of synergies should be how you push flavour for a faction, or lack of options.
Presenting people with overcosted units is giving new players a false sense of security and actually is esentially sacrificing effort that could actually usefully be expended on playable units for false choice "Trap units".
Do you know what that does, it pisses players off and you and up with a bunch of people with unplayable model's that they have spent time money and effort on.
It's guaranteed 100% feel bad game design, in card games(filler cards) or other such minimal investment games changing units is easy, in a buy build paint system that design idea will cost you way more players that it will ever gain you.

Yes, exactly!

Agreed as well. Subpar units will just never get taken so long as units being taken is a choice and not something forced onto the player. If the Tau melee units suck and are intentionally overpriced compared to other faction's melee units, then good players will just never take those units and instead double down on the faction's strengths because having melee units isn't a necessary condition for winning. You might as well remove the units from the game at that point, because that isn't "choice", it is "the illusion of choice".

Now that soup is a thing it is even worse, because those overpriced units are now competing for spots against units from other armies that aren't overpriced.


Soup exemplifies and basically removes the balancing via designed weaknesses aspect of big factions anyways.
Guard armies internally are balanced by a shitton of CP but meh stratagems. ---> Soup guardsmen feed the CP to their smashcaptain and Knight overlords which in turn lose their CP weakness for beeing elite.

Basically balancing via designed weaknesses is (nearly) dead for big factions and the only ones that still can be balanced that way are Tau and Necrons and Orkz since they lack soup possibilites.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 10:10:49


Post by: An Actual Englishman


In a world of soup faction vs faction armies the only way the game can hope to be balanced is through unit vs unit balance. It is impossible to balance an army against another (as seems to be the most popular option here) when an "army" can consist of 3 characters and no other units. All sense of balance falls apart and we end up in the position we're in now where the best units are cherry picked and taken in cross army soup factions and mono armies are unable to compete.

This wouldn't be as much of an issue if the question of which factions could "soup" was a little more evenly split. But when Imperium can soup with over 50% of the available armies, Chaos with 30% Nids, IG and GSC can ally together and Orks/Necrons must stand alone it should be obvious that massive discrepancies in terms of unit, and hence army, viability.

Unit vs unit balance isn't as boring as the OP suggests either. Units can be balanced in terms of battlefield role, primary strengths, flexibility. There's a ton of ways to make vastly different units still balanced.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 10:11:56


Post by: w1zard


Not Online!!! wrote:
Soup exemplifies and basically removes the balancing via designed weaknesses aspect of big factions anyways.
Guard armies internally are balanced by a shitton of CP but meh stratagems. ---> Soup guardsmen feed the CP to their smashcaptain and Knight overlords which in turn lose their CP weakness for beeing elite.

Basically balancing via designed weaknesses is (nearly) dead for big factions and the only ones that still can be balanced that way are Tau and Necrons and Orkz since they lack soup possibilites.

Except you didn't seem to understand this part:
w1zard wrote:
Subpar units will just never get taken so long as units being taken is a choice and not something forced onto the player. If the Tau melee units suck and are intentionally overpriced compared to other faction's melee units, then good players will just never take those units and instead double down on the faction's strengths because having melee units isn't a necessary condition for winning. You might as well remove the units from the game at that point, because that isn't "choice", it is "the illusion of choice".


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 10:17:43


Post by: Not Online!!!


w1zard wrote:
Not Online!!! wrote:
Soup exemplifies and basically removes the balancing via designed weaknesses aspect of big factions anyways.
Guard armies internally are balanced by a shitton of CP but meh stratagems. ---> Soup guardsmen feed the CP to their smashcaptain and Knight overlords which in turn lose their CP weakness for beeing elite.

Basically balancing via designed weaknesses is (nearly) dead for big factions and the only ones that still can be balanced that way are Tau and Necrons and Orkz since they lack soup possibilites.

Except you didn't seem to understand this part:
w1zard wrote:
Subpar units will just never get taken so long as units being taken is a choice and not something forced onto the player. If the Tau melee units suck and are intentionally overpriced compared to other faction's melee units, then good players will just never take those units and instead double down on the faction's strengths because having melee units isn't a necessary condition for winning. You might as well remove the units from the game at that point, because that isn't "choice", it is "the illusion of choice".


The point of this post was to hightlight that balancing via designed weakness is dead for all but three armies, whilest the three armies suffer from the designed weakness comparatively unfair.
Again i am not in the camp that demands balancing via designed weakness.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 10:27:59


Post by: Peregrine


Ice_can wrote:
Except that logic is entirely flawed, lack of synergies should be how you push flavour for a faction, or lack of options.


That's a terrible argument. Lacking synergies is the same as being underpowered. If kroot, for example, are less effective than boyz because of a lack of synergies then how exactly is that any different from kroot being less effective because they cost more per model? Either way the unit is below average in power.

Presenting people with overcosted units is giving new players a false sense of security and actually is esentially sacrificing effort that could actually usefully be expended on playable units for false choice "Trap units".


Alternatively, it's offering power at a price. You can fix your lack of melee units if you really aren't comfortable with that hole, but you still won't be good at it compared to a dedicated melee faction. This makes the situation a bit less binary without risking a situation where a faction's "bad" units end up too effective and you have a god-tier faction that is good at everything.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Not Online!!! wrote:
Soup exemplifies and basically removes the balancing via designed weaknesses aspect of big factions anyways.
Guard armies internally are balanced by a shitton of CP but meh stratagems. ---> Soup guardsmen feed the CP to their smashcaptain and Knight overlords which in turn lose their CP weakness for beeing elite.


And this is why soup should go. One codex, one 5th edition FOC, period. Pick your army and play it, none of this nonsense where you get the best unit for every possible role.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 10:32:45


Post by: Not Online!!!




And this is why soup should go. One codex, one 5th edition FOC, period. Pick your army and play it, none of this nonsense where you get the best unit for every possible role.


As often as i disagree with you, that is something i could support.
Then again certain armies like knights, should either be moved into another army, get rid off, go apoc, or simply get a full roster.

(to this day i don't understand why knights did not get a troop slot mini knight the size of a sentinel.)

OR, reimplement the ally chart which was atleast 1 HQ and one troop and no LOW.
that was way more restrictive, still allowed for some fluffy choices and with the diferentiation of differing allies was also fairer. (except for tyranids but that is another story)


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 10:44:08


Post by: w1zard


 Peregrine wrote:
That's a terrible argument. Lacking synergies is the same as being underpowered. If kroot, for example, are less effective than boyz because of a lack of synergies then how exactly is that any different from kroot being less effective because they cost more per model? Either way the unit is below average in power.

No. I'd rather a unit lack synergy than be overcosted. A good unit with no synergy can stand on its own merits and doesn't take anything away from the rest of the army (doesn't add anything either). An overcosted unit is just bad, because not only is it bad for its price point, it means less points are available to be spent on your army and reduces the effectiveness of the whole.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 10:54:14


Post by: Eldarsif


Considering how often we've gone through this argument and considering it is not going anywhere I am beginning to believe that it would be in 8th's best interest to take up the AoS army system wholesale(ie. how to build an army).

At 2000 points that would mean max 6 HQ. You would have to have at least 3 Battlelines, and then the rest is up to you and allies could at best be 25% of the entire force. Command Points would be generated per turn like AoS and Kill Team which would further limit shenanigans. I am not exaggerating, but everyone who complains about soups, competitive lists, unfluffy armies, would probably love the AoS system in 8th edition if it were attempted. I know a lot of people have internal biases to everything AoS due to various reasons, but the army building system - as it stands - is currently leagues above 8th edition if you compare the amount of complaining and criticizing 8th gets.

Also keep in mind that the biggest complaint about 8th edition is the Command Point system. Going to an AoS Command Point system would resolve all of those issues. It would eliminate the need for the Brave 32. It would mean that mono-armies stand equal in CP generation to soup armies, because most of the soup complaint is related to CP issues and stratagems and the limited CP system of AoS would remove all those issues.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 11:00:41


Post by: Crimson


AOS command point system is definitely superior. It removes the whole silly filling slots to generate CP aspect, and not all points being available at the beginning of the game reduces the alpha strike.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 11:01:16


Post by: Peregrine


w1zard wrote:
No. I'd rather a unit lack synergy than be overcosted. A good unit with no synergy can stand on its own merits and doesn't take anything away from the rest of the army (doesn't add anything either). An overcosted unit is just bad, because not only is it bad for its price point, it means less points are available to be spent on your army and reduces the effectiveness of the whole.


Again, stop trying to separate inherent power and synergy, all that matters is the end result. In fact, a unit that is good enough to stand on its own merits is better than one that relies on synergy to get there. So in your hypothetical system you have Tau that are great at shooting but also great at melee because they can just drop in a Kroot squad or three and have them be top-tier melee units without even having to build the rest of the army around melee.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 11:04:08


Post by: Ice_can


 Peregrine wrote:
Ice_can wrote:
Except that logic is entirely flawed, lack of synergies should be how you push flavour for a faction, or lack of options.


That's a terrible argument. Lacking synergies is the same as being underpowered. If kroot, for example, are less effective than boyz because of a lack of synergies then how exactly is that any different from kroot being less effective because they cost more per model? Either way the unit is below average in power.

Presenting people with overcosted units is giving new players a false sense of security and actually is esentially sacrificing effort that could actually usefully be expended on playable units for false choice "Trap units".


Alternatively, it's offering power at a price. You can fix your lack of melee units if you really aren't comfortable with that hole, but you still won't be good at it compared to a dedicated melee faction. This makes the situation a bit less binary without risking a situation where a faction's "bad" units end up too effective and you have a god-tier faction that is good at everything.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Not Online!!! wrote:
Soup exemplifies and basically removes the balancing via designed weaknesses aspect of big factions anyways.
Guard armies internally are balanced by a shitton of CP but meh stratagems. ---> Soup guardsmen feed the CP to their smashcaptain and Knight overlords which in turn lose their CP weakness for beeing elite.


And this is why soup should go. One codex, one 5th edition FOC, period. Pick your army and play it, none of this nonsense where you get the best unit for every possible role.

Lacking synergies is not the same as being overcosted.
Your equating totally different things to support your own internal predisposition.

The unit being good but lacking synergies would be as follows
10 Kroot can fight as well as similar points of Ork boys, not necessarily always in the CC phase but between shooting and CC they should trade evenly.
What orks have in synergies are larger foot mobs get more deadly, but less mobile, smaller mobs get transports, they can also be buffed by HQ's

Kroot can fight point for point but can't add buffs or benifit from other synergies in the tau faction to enhance their combat power.


Whar your suggesting is that it should take 15 kroot to beat 10 kroots worth of points of ork boys unbuffed.
At that point it's not even a real choice it's spending points in a way that will always cost you the game.
As when you add synergies your talking about needing 200 points of kroot to even trade with 100 points of boy's. That sort of attrition rate is how you loose games turn 2.

Funny that your second point basically describes how many codex's felt playing against the astra Millicheese codex for all of 2018.

But undercosting and overcosting units simply doesn't work as it doesn't offer things at a price like you sayit does, it only offers the illusion of choice.

Which is why GW keeps thinking things are ok for marines as with 100 choices the designers believe that at atleast one of those units should answer any challenge, but it necer worked as you just end up with 90% of engagements as a probable loss, so why take such a bad unit.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 11:11:37


Post by: Peregrine


Ice_can wrote:
Kroot can fight point for point but can't add buffs or benifit from other synergies in the tau faction to enhance their combat power.


Then Kroot can't fight point for point. You can't have it both ways, if the units start the same and only one gets buffs then the other one is still weak. All that matters is the end result, not how they get there.

Whar your suggesting is that it should take 15 kroot to beat 10 kroots worth of points of ork boys unbuffed.


Why do you care about un-buffed boyz when they don't exist in a real game?

At that point it's not even a real choice it's spending points in a way that will always cost you the game.


It's a move that always loses you the game under your system too.

As when you add synergies your talking about needing 200 points of kroot to even trade with 100 points of boy's. That sort of attrition rate is how you loose games turn 2.


Yes, now you get it. That's the entire point of making them weak, to discourage people from taking them! If you absolutely must have a melee unit in your Tau army you can take one, but it's going to be bad and you probably shouldn't do it. This maintains the army concept of Tau having poor melee as a weakness instead of allowing you to cover that weakness with a competitive option. The alternative is to just delete Kroot from the game entirely and leave no option at all.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 11:12:34


Post by: Ice_can


 Peregrine wrote:
w1zard wrote:
No. I'd rather a unit lack synergy than be overcosted. A good unit with no synergy can stand on its own merits and doesn't take anything away from the rest of the army (doesn't add anything either). An overcosted unit is just bad, because not only is it bad for its price point, it means less points are available to be spent on your army and reduces the effectiveness of the whole.


Again, stop trying to separate inherent power and synergy, all that matters is the end result. In fact, a unit that is good enough to stand on its own merits is better than one that relies on synergy to get there. So in your hypothetical system you have Tau that are great at shooting but also great at melee because they can just drop in a Kroot squad or three and have them be top-tier melee units without even having to build the rest of the army around melee.

No that are inherently seperate, it's you that is trying to ram them together and mishmashing ideas together.

Having one or two melle units that are good, without delivery systems and buffs to offence and defence or mobility are never going to compete with a faction that can take as good melle units and buff them offensively or defensively. Or get them across table in number turn 1/2.

Those buffs or delivery method being in that codex are the enherint synergy that rewards that favoured playstyle


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 11:16:04


Post by: Crimson


 Peregrine wrote:


Why do you care about un-buffed boyz when they don't exist in a real game?

Buffs are not free.

Yes, now you get it. That's the entire point of making them weak, to discourage people from taking them! If you absolutely must have a melee unit in your Tau army you can take one, but it's going to be bad and you probably shouldn't do it.

This is moronic beyond belief. You would be a terrible game designer!


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 11:16:08


Post by: Ice_can


 Peregrine wrote:
Ice_can wrote:
Kroot can fight point for point but can't add buffs or benifit from other synergies in the tau faction to enhance their combat power.


Then Kroot can't fight point for point. You can't have it both ways, if the units start the same and only one gets buffs then the other one is still weak. All that matters is the end result, not how they get there.

Whar your suggesting is that it should take 15 kroot to beat 10 kroots worth of points of ork boys unbuffed.


Why do you care about un-buffed boyz when they don't exist in a real game?

At that point it's not even a real choice it's spending points in a way that will always cost you the game.


It's a move that always loses you the game under your system too.

As when you add synergies your talking about needing 200 points of kroot to even trade with 100 points of boy's. That sort of attrition rate is how you loose games turn 2.


Yes, now you get it. That's the entire point of making them weak, to discourage people from taking them! If you absolutely must have a melee unit in your Tau army you can take one, but it's going to be bad and you probably shouldn't do it. This maintains the army concept of Tau having poor melee as a weakness instead of allowing you to cover that weakness with a competitive option. The alternative is to just delete Kroot from the game entirely and leave no option at all.

Costing them like your suggesting is worse than actually just flat out retconning most of the armies down to their competitive units.

It leaves the illusion of choice, bad choices of units automatically cost new players the game. It's championing 100% feel bad game design and that will loose player's even faster.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 11:20:21


Post by: Peregrine


Ice_can wrote:
Having one or two melle units that are good, without delivery systems and buffs to offence and defence or mobility are never going to compete with a faction that can take as good melle units and buff them offensively or defensively. Or get them across table in number turn 1/2.


Congratulations, now you have a bad melee unit even if it's theoretically balanced in some abstract calculation that has nothing to do with real-world use. It doesn't matter if a unit is bad because of high ppm cost or lack of delivery system or whatever, it's still a bad unit.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Ice_can wrote:
Costing them like your suggesting is worse than actually just flat out retconning most of the armies down to their competitive units.

It leaves the illusion of choice, bad choices of units automatically cost new players the game. It's championing 100% feel bad game design and that will loose player's even faster.


I'd be happy with removing anti-theme units entirely, but some people don't like having such binary strengths and weaknesses. Low-tier units exist to fill a fluff role or allow a player who is afraid of going into battle with a major weakness to reduce it to a minor weakness at the cost of some of their primary strength, without allowing the army to actually be good at that thing.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 11:31:45


Post by: Ice_can


 Peregrine wrote:
Ice_can wrote:
Having one or two melle units that are good, without delivery systems and buffs to offence and defence or mobility are never going to compete with a faction that can take as good melle units and buff them offensively or defensively. Or get them across table in number turn 1/2.


Congratulations, now you have a bad melee unit even if it's theoretically balanced in some abstract calculation that has nothing to do with real-world use. It doesn't matter if a unit is bad because of high ppm cost or lack of delivery system or whatever, it's still a bad unit.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Ice_can wrote:
Costing them like your suggesting is worse than actually just flat out retconning most of the armies down to their competitive units.

It leaves the illusion of choice, bad choices of units automatically cost new players the game. It's championing 100% feel bad game design and that will loose player's even faster.


I'd be happy with removing anti-theme units entirely, but some people don't like having such binary strengths and weaknesses. Low-tier units exist to fill a fluff role or allow a player who is afraid of going into battle with a major weakness to reduce it to a minor weakness at the cost of some of their primary strength, without allowing the army to actually be good at that thing.

This is where we fundamentally disagree, a good ppm unit without buffs or delivery method can be used efficently by a suitably skilled player.

You can't play around a unit being flat overcosted.

Take a unit of broadsides for tau good shooting and fairly tanky, suck in CC, ok PPM kroot can be placed around the broadsides to keep them shooting for atleast another turn or 2 or possibly manovered during the game to oust the guardsmen cheesing up itc terrain to hide.

Thry won't do that if they are overcosted, no amount of player skill can make tac marines playable.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 11:43:19


Post by: Peregrine


Ice_can wrote:
This is where we fundamentally disagree, a good ppm unit without buffs or delivery method can be used efficently by a suitably skilled player.


If it can be used efficiently then it isn't a good ppm unit without buffs or delivery method, it's an overpowered unit only partially held in check by lacking the right support to dominate the game. If the buffs/delivery/etc are a meaningful drawback then player skill is not going to make up for it unless you're playing against a weaker player, in which case a higher ppm cost can be played around just as easily.

Take a unit of broadsides for tau good shooting and fairly tanky, suck in CC, ok PPM kroot can be placed around the broadsides to keep them shooting for atleast another turn or 2 or possibly manovered during the game to oust the guardsmen cheesing up itc terrain to hide.

Thry won't do that if they are overcosted, no amount of player skill can make tac marines playable.


If they're doing that job effectively then the lack of buffs/delivery/etc isn't a real penalty and you're trying to count it as one to make the unit look less impressive. The whole point of a faction with weaknesses is that you don't get everything you want. You can have that tanky unit with lots of firepower, but you don't get a meatshield screen to protect it. Etc. If you're looking at your army list and not thinking "how am I going to cope with this flaw" then you have an overpowered and badly designed faction.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 11:56:32


Post by: Ice_can


 Peregrine wrote:

If they're doing that job effectively then the lack of buffs/delivery/etc isn't a real penalty and you're trying to count it as one to make the unit look less impressive. The whole point of a faction with weaknesses is that you don't get everything you want. You can have that tanky unit with lots of firepower, but you don't get a meatshield screen to protect it. Etc. If you're looking at your army list and not thinking "how am I going to cope with this flaw" then you have an overpowered and badly designed faction.

You do realise that what you have described is the Astra Militarum Codex for 2018.
Simply put why is it ok for one codex but not others.

Your not willing to have a open and honest discussion about this so I really don't see the point in taking this much further, but 10 kroot vrs 10 kroots worth of bots being a draw doesn't fix the weakness Tau have against melle, as the orks can stack banners, warboss and faction trait buffs to get better melle.

Making Kroot more expensive than boys for the same ability in CC before buffs as has been explained by many people is bad game design as when you add those buffs they will quickly decend inti the rediculous outclassed/shelf warmers only trash tier of units.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 12:01:58


Post by: Peregrine


Ice_can wrote:
You do realise that what you have described is the Astra Militarum Codex for 2018.
Simply put why is it ok for one codex but not others.


Why are you assuming that I approve of the 8th edition IG codex?

(Though you'll note that I also favor getting rid of soup, so all those overpowered CP farms that elite factions weren't supposed to have are gone.)

Your not willing to have a open and honest discussion about this so I really don't see the point in taking this much further, but 10 kroot vrs 10 kroots worth of bots being a draw doesn't fix the weakness Tau have against melle, as the orks can stack banners, warboss and faction trait buffs to get better melle.


Then what's the point of having the units be "equal"? They're only equal in some abstract comparison that doesn't exist in a real game, so who cares?

Making Kroot more expensive than boys for the same ability in CC before buffs as has been explained by many people is bad game design as when you add those buffs they will quickly decend inti the rediculous outclassed/shelf warmers only trash tier of units.


Tau are not supposed to have melee units.

Making Kroot weak is the entire point! You shouldn't be using them 95% of the time, they should only appear in your list if you have a very unusual need and don't care if the unit you fill it with is low-tier at best.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 12:10:52


Post by: Not Online!!!


Tau are not supposed to have melee units.

Making Kroot weak is the entire point! You shouldn't be using them 95% of the time, they should only appear in your list if you have a very unusual need and don't care if the unit you fill it with is low-tier at best.


This is not how it should be, or how designed weakness should be for balance.

Instead of making them pisspoor, why not tie them with limits in numbers? f.e. for each firewarrior you get one Kroot.

is it arbitrary? yes, would it be better since melee still is premium for Tau, you bet your ass.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 12:18:54


Post by: Peregrine


Not Online!!! wrote:
Instead of making them pisspoor, why not tie them with limits in numbers? f.e. for each firewarrior you get one Kroot.


You could do that. Make them a 0-1 unit for your army and you could justify having them be mid-tier in strength. But GW has rejected the idea of unit limits, so I don't think it's a realistic balancing option.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 12:22:08


Post by: Not Online!!!


 Peregrine wrote:
Not Online!!! wrote:
Instead of making them pisspoor, why not tie them with limits in numbers? f.e. for each firewarrior you get one Kroot.


You could do that. Make them a 0-1 unit for your army and you could justify having them be mid-tier in strength. But GW has rejected the idea of unit limits, so I don't think it's a realistic balancing option.
1 per firewarrior squad, or 1 per two firewarrior squad. Heck you could even implement auxilia rules for Tau.

Also rule of three exists so unit limits are still there.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 12:44:34


Post by: Blackie


Army vs Army and banning the soups from matched play.

Unis vs unit would be terrible, killing armies identities. Everyone would work in the same way and I'd rather keep the current version of 40k with all its issues instead.

As long as soups with 10 codices are allowed and some other factions can rely on 2-3 books at most or just 1 it will always be impossible to balance factions vs factions.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 12:47:02


Post by: vipoid


Just to weigh in on the 'Tau melee' debate, what about other options for balancing melee?

For example, what if Kroot were decent units for their points, but simply lacked any meaningful melee weapons?

So, whilst 100pts of unbuffed Kroot could theoretically match 100pts of unbuffed Ork Boyz, the Ork Boyz have access to stuff like Power Klaws, whilst the Kroot can only ever have their basic bladed-gun things (with no AP, no multiple-damage etc.).

It would mean that Kroot weren't technically bad for their points, but would also leave them unable to specialise for cracking harder targets.

Could something along these lines be a reasonable solution?


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 13:37:12


Post by: Tyel


I think no unit should be bad "in itself" - which can often be calculated by probability. It may or may not synergise optimally - which will mean there will still be better and worse lists - but it shouldn't be so awful taking it is a trap.

Right now you have "good unit+synergy=great unit" versus "bad unit+no synergy=terrible unit".
I don't really see why its a problem. If a Tau player wants to put say 1000 points into Kroot (which are frankly not an assault unit anyway but go with it) I don't see why they should just be penalised because kroot are bad and you should feel bad for buying them.

I'd argue this is what GW have tried to do in CA, although obviously not perfectly.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 13:43:49


Post by: Karol


Not Online!!! wrote:


Soup exemplifies and basically removes the balancing via designed weaknesses aspect of big factions anyways.
Guard armies internally are balanced by a shitton of CP but meh stratagems. ---> Soup guardsmen feed the CP to their smashcaptain and Knight overlords which in turn lose their CP weakness for beeing elite.

Basically balancing via designed weaknesses is (nearly) dead for big factions and the only ones that still can be balanced that way are Tau and Necrons and Orkz since they lack soup possibilites.


Well it seems to "balance" stuff for weaker factions. For example for GK options were streamlined or removed or outright nerfed, because GW decided that too many people would be allying them in to get smites etc So achiving balance by nerfing stuff still seems to work. It only doesn't work for factions that are good to begin with. IG or eldar on their own are good factions. they get better if they soup. But a bad codex doesn't suddenly become good by taking ally. BA pre deep strike change are a great example of this, or jetbike custodes cpts. They had one good unit the cpts, mono custodes was no where to be seen, but adding either of those in to a IG or IG soup worked great. even 3 smash captins in a pure BA list weren't that great. In a list with a castellan and IG, they were beating eldar and that made people angry.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 13:49:03


Post by: BlackLobster


I say unit vs unit because they should look at the default unit in the game... space marine tactical or equivalent, and then balance the other units and thus the game around that.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 14:04:34


Post by: Crimson


Smash captains were absolutely undercosted in any list, it is just that the rest of the BA codex is crap. One OP unit keeping the army afloat is just bad design. But in addition to nerfing the good units, you need to buff the under-performing ones too.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 14:11:01


Post by: A.T.


 Crimson wrote:
Smash captains were absolutely undercosted in any list
Smash captains are a combination of stratagems, warlord/army traits, and relics.

The actual model itself - space marine captain with jump pack and thunder hammer - isn't costed unreasonably. It's actually a good example of why different armies can be markedly better at things without having to have discounted or overcosted models.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 14:16:07


Post by: Crimson


A.T. wrote:
 Crimson wrote:
Smash captains were absolutely undercosted in any list
Smash captains are a combination of stratagems, warlord/army traits, and relics.

The actual model itself - space marine captain with jump pack and thunder hammer - isn't costed unreasonably. It's actually a good example of why different armies can be markedly better at things without having to have discounted or overcosted models.

Actually I think the jump pack option is probably undercosted. But making the relics not cost points was a terrible idea to begin with. That's a utter balancing nightmare. At least with stratagems you can up the CP cost if turns out that they're too good.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 14:19:21


Post by: auticus


Thats something that I hear a lot of as well. If an army can compete in a tournament then its fine. Even if that really means only one or two things in that army are worth anything.

Thats horrible to me.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 14:23:33


Post by: Crimson


auticus wrote:
Thats something that I hear a lot of as well. If an army can compete in a tournament then its fine. Even if that really means only one or two things in that army are worth anything.

Thats horrible to me.

Well, that's the situation you end up with if you balance armies instead of units.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 14:27:05


Post by: Unit1126PLL


 Crimson wrote:
auticus wrote:
Thats something that I hear a lot of as well. If an army can compete in a tournament then its fine. Even if that really means only one or two things in that army are worth anything.

Thats horrible to me.

Well, that's the situation you end up with if you balance armies instead of units.


It's also the natural consequence of armies having specializations. If you specialize in assault, then you double down on assault power, and leave the middling stuff in the dust, because you build to your strength. If most of your codex is generalist stuff (e.g. space marines) then you aren't going to use most of it because it doesn't play to your strengths.

Or so the logic goes, I think.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 14:28:07


Post by: auticus


Then they should just release codex: assault marines. It has two or three units. Done.

That way they get rid of the traps and false choices.

If the overall gaming population are just min/maxing, then write the rules and army lists knowing that the vast majority of your unit lists are being ignored for the max (specialized) stuff.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 14:31:38


Post by: Unit1126PLL


auticus wrote:
Then they should just release codex: assault marines. It has two or three units. Done.

That way they get rid of the traps and false choices.

If the overall gaming population are just min/maxing, then write the rules and army lists knowing that the vast majority of your unit lists are being ignored for the max (specialized) stuff.


Why?

If there are 100,000,000 players, and 99,000,000 of them only min-max, should you screw over the remaining 1,000,000 that care about fluff just because... reasons? I don't even know why you'd take the options away. There's no problem with false choices or traps, because to some people (who care about things other than simply minmaxing for power) they are actually meaningful choices.

The fact that most people can't look past the power of a unit into its fluff or aesthetics doesn't mean you should screw the people who do. If someone wants to play a fluffy BA 3rd Company list full of 10-man tacticals running Heavy Flamers, they should be able to, even if it isn't "competitive" and is a "trap" or whatever the buzzwords are these days people are using to justify removing options.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 14:34:52


Post by: Crimson


I don't use 'trap choices' to justify removing those options, I use it to justify making them actually good (or decent, at least) and thus not 'trap choices'!


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 14:39:33


Post by: Unit1126PLL


 Crimson wrote:
I don't use 'trap choices' to justify removing those options, I use it to justify making them actually good (or decent, at least) and thus not 'trap choices'!

Yes, though this is much much much much much much much much more difficult than simply deleting them.

For example, a specialist assault unit should always be better at assault than a generalist unit.

In an army whose doctrine/chapter tactics/<army thing here> and stratagems generally buff assault units (as their army's archetype is "an assault army" e.g. Blood Angels), then simply playing to the army's strengths (which is why many people will play the army in the first place) will choose the units that play to those strengths, which will naturally be assault specialists rather than generalists.

Think about it this way: how much would you have to buff Chaos Space Marines before they start getting taken instead of Berzerkers as troops for a World Eaters army?


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 14:41:27


Post by: Karol


 Unit1126PLL wrote:

Well, that's the situation you end up with if you balance armies instead of units.


It's also the natural consequence of armies having specializations. If you specialize in assault, then you double down on assault power, and leave the middling stuff in the dust, because you build to your strength. If most of your codex is generalist stuff (e.g. space marines) then you aren't going to use most of it because it doesn't play to your strengths.

Or so the logic goes, I think.

IMO the generalist stuff doesn't work in w40k, unless by generlist we mean something that is good in shoting and melee. GK are the prime generalist army, zero specialisation that is worth taking. Every model has a SB and a melee weapon. In theory they should be outshot by shoty armies and outmeleed by melee ones, while being able to beat the shoty with melee and melee with shoty. Well the theory in reality ends with them being bad vs shoty and melee lists, and the few specialisation they have fluff wise are weaker then other factions non specialised psychic or anti demon stuff.

In the end it would probably be best to have balanced units, but the way GW writes their rules people should be happy to have an army that works. It maybe boring and easily killed by meta shifts or FAQ/errata vide blood angels, but sure beats having no good army. Before the rule of 3 people could have at least made a list around 6 NDKs or something crazy like that, now they can't even do that.



Think about it this way: how much would you have to buff Chaos Space Marines before they start getting taken instead of Berzerkers as troops for a World Eaters army
?
Not much just let them have 4 plasma guns in 10man squads, and make it WE only. People would play csm then.




Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 14:42:18


Post by: auticus


Because in my world for over twenty years 10% of the codex or less is all I ever see so deleting them is the same thing to me.

They are never going to actually balance their game or make 90% of the codex worth a damn. Its either too difficult for them to do or they simply don't want to do it.

When 99 players out of 100 don't care about fluff and only care about super optimization then to me there should just be the gamer edition of codices that are the 10% used and then maybe release a codex for the 1% that put non optimal choices in their army.

Trap choices and false choices are the #1 reason that I've experienced people getting fed up and frustrated and quit altogether because they wasted money and time painting a unit that gets hammered into the dust because its not one of the blessed 10%. To me having false choices and trap choices is detrimental to a gaming community as it bleeds off players not interested in dealing with that crap.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 14:45:29


Post by: Karol


auticus wrote:
Because in my world for over twenty years 10% of the codex or less is all I ever see so deleting them is the same thing to me.

They are never going to actually balance their game or make 90% of the codex worth a damn. Its either too difficult for them to do or they simply don't want to do it.

When 99 players out of 100 don't care about fluff and only care about super optimization then to me there should just be the gamer edition of codices that are the 10% used and then maybe release a codex for the 1% that put non optimal choices in their army.

Trap choices and false choices are the #1 reason that I've experienced people getting fed up and frustrated and quit altogether because they wasted money and time painting a unit that gets hammered into the dust because its not one of the blessed 10%. To me having false choices and trap choices is detrimental to a gaming community as it bleeds off players not interested in dealing with that crap.

But what about factions that don't have units that could be put in to a gamer edition, or they have something like 2. I doubt BA players would like to pay 70$ for a page with scouts and a smash captin on it.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 14:45:45


Post by: Unit1126PLL


Right, Karol, that's rather talking to my point.

If specialists are better than generalists, then an army of 50% assault specialists and 50% shooting specialists will beat an army of 100% generalists, provided the players have equal skill.

Generalist armies are harder to play - "fight the shooty and shoot the fighty" is actually very difficult to accomplish against an opponent with two brain-cells, and is, as you say, how a generalist unit beats a specialist one (by forcing the specialist into a situation it doesn't want to be in).

So generalist units (e.g. tac marines, intercessors) become viewed as "tax" units, while specialist units (e.g. Imperial Guardsmen, Smash Captains, Company Commanders, Custodes Bike Friendos) become "good" units. It's exactly the same phenomenon that makes the Shadowsword the most talked about superheavy tank, while you say something like "stormsword" and people go "huh, what?"


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 14:46:23


Post by: Crimson


Wait, so armies double down on their strengths? But I though everyone was playing soup which allows you to freely mix and match and being able to supplement your shooty army with some melee units was a huge problem?

So which is the strength now, focusing or on one thing or diversity?


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 14:50:05


Post by: AnomanderRake


To my mind the issue here is that if "army vs. army" balance is your central thesis then you end up creating a set of trap options. If you assume that players will "build to their army's strengths" but then leave the possibility of not doing so in the book someone might, say, think taking World Eaters Chaos Marines is a relevant thing to do because they aren't living inside the designer's head and you haven't communicated well that an army that uses basic Marines is just straight-up worse than one that uses only Berzerkers.

To my mind the goal of "balance" isn't to ensure that every unit is exactly as good as every other unit, or that every army is exactly as good as every other army, it is to ensure that there is a real reason to play every army and every unit. It isn't about absolute tournament list-presence level of fiddly specific balance, it's about making sure there are no units/armies whose tactics advice is "never buy this, it's crap" or "never take this, it's always better under every possible circumstance to take this other one."


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 14:50:28


Post by: Unit1126PLL


auticus wrote:
Because in my world for over twenty years 10% of the codex or less is all I ever see so deleting them is the same thing to me.

They are never going to actually balance their game or make 90% of the codex worth a damn. Its either too difficult for them to do or they simply don't want to do it.

When 99 players out of 100 don't care about fluff and only care about super optimization then to me there should just be the gamer edition of codices that are the 10% used and then maybe release a codex for the 1% that put non optimal choices in their army.

Trap choices and false choices are the #1 reason that I've experienced people getting fed up and frustrated and quit altogether because they wasted money and time painting a unit that gets hammered into the dust because its not one of the blessed 10%. To me having false choices and trap choices is detrimental to a gaming community as it bleeds off players not interested in dealing with that crap.


I'd argue that a player who gets frustrated and bins a unit because it is bad probably isn't going to enjoy 40k. 40k is generally most enjoyable for the background and aesthetics, imo, not for gameplay or winning.

I played a Leman Russ Tank Company through 5th edition and won 3 games (that I can remember), since tanks couldn't score on objectives. I drew a few more, maybe 10, but lost >90% of games. And that was totally chill with me, because I'd oftentimes set my own objectives; e.g. knock out enemy armour to win the "tank battle" or capture the objective with a Demolisher squadron (even if they can't mechanically, they can overrun the defenders "in the fluff".

Fundamentally, a unit being bad at winning the game is no reason not to use the unit, unless winning games is the most important criterion for you. If that is the case, then 40k is a terribly designed vehicle in which to find your jollies.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 14:52:10


Post by: auticus


And yet people largely ignore better games. 40k is indeed too big to fail.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 14:54:41


Post by: Unit1126PLL


 Crimson wrote:
Wait, so armies double down on their strengths? But I though everyone was playing soup which allows you to freely mix and match and being able to supplement your shooty army with some melee units was a huge problem?

So which is the strength now, focusing or on one thing or diversity?

This is speaking to the difference between Army Balance and Faction Balance.

Armies are Archetypes (e.g. World Eaters are an "Assault Army"). Factions are not.

If you are building an army list to win games, it is important to have the options to cover every base. This can either be achieved through Generalists x100, or by mixing a bunch of specialists together (e.g. Assault Specialist x33, Buff Specialist x33, Shoot Specialist x33 or whatever).

Since it is easier to play a specialist with 1 job than to play a generalist who is bad at many, players tend to opt to take armies of mixed specialists, rather than unique generalists.

A Smashcaptain, a Castellan, and the Loyal 32 are a mix of Assault Specialist, Shooty Specialist, and Durability Specialist/Buff Specialist armies. Each "army" within the "faction" has a specialization (Blood Angels bring concentrated Melee power, Knights bring concentrated shooty power, and Guard bring durability and access to buffs through Stratagems). But the "faction" is a generalist one (the Imperium).


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 14:55:00


Post by: Crimson


 AnomanderRake wrote:
To my mind the issue here is that if "army vs. army" balance is your central thesis then you end up creating a set of trap options. If you assume that players will "build to their army's strengths" but then leave the possibility of not doing so in the book someone might, say, think taking World Eaters Chaos Marines is a relevant thing to do because they aren't living inside the designer's head and you haven't communicated well that an army that uses basic Marines is just straight-up worse than one that uses only Berzerkers.

To my mind the goal of "balance" isn't to ensure that every unit is exactly as good as every other unit, or that every army is exactly as good as every other army, it is to ensure that there is a real reason to play every army and every unit. It isn't about absolute tournament list-presence level of fiddly specific balance, it's about making sure there are no units/armies whose tactics advice is "never buy this, it's crap" or "never take this, it's always better under every possible circumstance to take this other one."

Yes, exactly!


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 14:55:13


Post by: Unit1126PLL


auticus wrote:
And yet people largely ignore better games. 40k is indeed too big to fail.


I can't control the behavior of other people, Auticus, sorry. This doesn't disprove the claim though.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 14:57:13


Post by: auticus


Well I still say army vs army design is garbage, because it creates traps and wastes peoples' time and money.

If an army is competitive but 8 of its 10 entries are garbage and the only reason its competitive is because you just spam the other two entries, that is still not a good game or conducive to retaining players and promoting fun gameplay.

Why are the other 8 entries garbage? Typically because the specialist angle yes, I agree. A "specialist" melee is going to slaughter a generalist unit. So the designers need to find how generalist units can exist in their gameworld without being traps and garbage. Other games do it somewhat successfully. 40k could also.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 14:57:41


Post by: Unit1126PLL


 Crimson wrote:
 AnomanderRake wrote:
To my mind the issue here is that if "army vs. army" balance is your central thesis then you end up creating a set of trap options. If you assume that players will "build to their army's strengths" but then leave the possibility of not doing so in the book someone might, say, think taking World Eaters Chaos Marines is a relevant thing to do because they aren't living inside the designer's head and you haven't communicated well that an army that uses basic Marines is just straight-up worse than one that uses only Berzerkers.

To my mind the goal of "balance" isn't to ensure that every unit is exactly as good as every other unit, or that every army is exactly as good as every other army, it is to ensure that there is a real reason to play every army and every unit. It isn't about absolute tournament list-presence level of fiddly specific balance, it's about making sure there are no units/armies whose tactics advice is "never buy this, it's crap" or "never take this, it's always better under every possible circumstance to take this other one."

Yes, exactly!


The problem is, this game is bland. If the question: "I'm playing World Eaters, should I buy Chaos Space Marines" is "meh, doesn't matter, each unit is viable" then the difference between World Eaters and Black Legion is basically zilch.

Running a foot horde of guardsmen from Armageddon should be outright worse than running a mechanized regiment, for example.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 14:58:42


Post by: Crimson


 Unit1126PLL wrote:

This is speaking to the difference between Army Balance and Faction Balance.

Armies are Archetypes (e.g. World Eaters are an "Assault Army"). Factions are not.

If you are building an army list to win games, it is important to have the options to cover every base. This can either be achieved through Generalists x100, or by mixing a bunch of specialists together (e.g. Assault Specialist x33, Buff Specialist x33, Shoot Specialist x33 or whatever).

Since it is easier to play a specialist with 1 job than to play a generalist who is bad at many, players tend to opt to take armies of mixed specialists, rather than unique generalists.

A Smashcaptain, a Castellan, and the Loyal 32 are a mix of Assault Specialist, Shooty Specialist, and Durability Specialist/Buff Specialist armies. Each "army" within the "faction" has a specialization (Blood Angels bring concentrated Melee power, Knights bring concentrated shooty power, and Guard bring durability and access to buffs through Stratagems). But the "faction" is a generalist one (the Imperium).

That's fair. I don't think that generalists or multipurpose units are unworkable concept, but GW often seems to overvalue their effectiveness when assigning the point costs. The marine problem, basically.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 14:59:31


Post by: Unit1126PLL


auticus wrote:
Well I still say army vs army design is garbage, because it creates traps and wastes peoples' time and money.

If an army is competitive but 8 of its 10 entries are garbage and the only reason its competitive is because you just spam the other two entries, that is still not a good game or conducive to retaining players and promoting fun gameplay.


I voted for Faction vs. Faction, because I agree that Army vs Army is bad.

I disagree with your second premise, though, because 8 out of 10 entries may be garbage from the gameplay perspective but amazing from a fluff or aesthetics perspective. I can't speak to player retention (40k manages somehow it seems?) but "fun gameplay" is ... well, subjective. I can have fun with garbage units on the table.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 15:01:46


Post by: Crimson


 Unit1126PLL wrote:

The problem is, this game is bland. If the question: "I'm playing World Eaters, should I buy Chaos Space Marines" is "meh, doesn't matter, each unit is viable" then the difference between World Eaters and Black Legion is basically zilch.

The answer shouldn't be 'meh, it doesn't matter' it should be 'it depends on the playstyle you prefer.' That the units need to be used differently doesn't mean that one of them needs to be just plain worse.

Running a foot horde of guardsmen from Armageddon should be outright worse than running a mechanized regiment, for example.

Why?


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:

I disagree with your second premise, though, because 8 out of 10 entries may be garbage from the gameplay perspective but amazing from a fluff or aesthetics perspective. I can't speak to player retention (40k manages somehow it seems?) but "fun gameplay" is ... well, subjective. I can have fun with garbage units on the table.

But wouldn't it still be better if they weren't garbage from the gameplay perspective either? What purpose does them being rubbish serve?





Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 15:05:28


Post by: auticus


I'm on the opposite end. Garbage units are repulsive and while you will have some units be garbage, the amount of garbage units in a GW game is over the top.

Playing games that are decided before turn 1 is not a fun time for me. It puts way too much emphasis on list building and hardly any on actually playing the game.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 15:05:59


Post by: Unit1126PLL


 Crimson wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:

This is speaking to the difference between Army Balance and Faction Balance.

Armies are Archetypes (e.g. World Eaters are an "Assault Army"). Factions are not.

If you are building an army list to win games, it is important to have the options to cover every base. This can either be achieved through Generalists x100, or by mixing a bunch of specialists together (e.g. Assault Specialist x33, Buff Specialist x33, Shoot Specialist x33 or whatever).

Since it is easier to play a specialist with 1 job than to play a generalist who is bad at many, players tend to opt to take armies of mixed specialists, rather than unique generalists.

A Smashcaptain, a Castellan, and the Loyal 32 are a mix of Assault Specialist, Shooty Specialist, and Durability Specialist/Buff Specialist armies. Each "army" within the "faction" has a specialization (Blood Angels bring concentrated Melee power, Knights bring concentrated shooty power, and Guard bring durability and access to buffs through Stratagems). But the "faction" is a generalist one (the Imperium).

That's fair. I don't think that generalists or multipurpose units are unworkable concept, but GW often seems to overvalue their effectiveness when assigning the point costs. The marine problem, basically.


Well, the problem at its core (and this is a HUGE PROBLEM to which I have no solution) is that a generalist should rightfully never be better at a specific job than a specialist.

Tac Marines should never ever out-melee Shining Scorpions, and should barely be able to go toe-to-toe with Kroot in Melee (only because the Tau archetype is bad at Melee). This is because the Marines do out-shoot and out-durability those same units.
Tac Marines should never ever out-shoot Guardian Defenders, and should only be able to go toe-to-toe at best with Adepta Sororitas. This is because the Marines do out-melee and out-durability those same units.
Tac Marines should never out-durability Custodes or Plague Marines, etc. etc.

All you end up with is an army that says "well, my melee specialist is Custodes bike captains, my durability specialist is a million guardsmen, and my shooty specialist is a House Raven Castellan" or whatever, because it's easier to play specialists than generalists.

 Crimson wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:

The problem is, this game is bland. If the question: "I'm playing World Eaters, should I buy Chaos Space Marines" is "meh, doesn't matter, each unit is viable" then the difference between World Eaters and Black Legion is basically zilch.

The answer shouldn't be 'meh, it doesn't matter' it should be 'it depends on the playstyle you prefer.' That the units need to be used differently doesn't mean that one of them needs to be just plain worse.

The problem is that playstyle should define your army choice. Not every army should be able to support every playstyle. If you want to run a gunline-heavy super-shooty army, you shouldn't play World Eaters. Similarly, if you want to play assault specialists, don't pick Tau.

 Crimson wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Running a foot horde of guardsmen from Armageddon should be outright worse than running a mechanized regiment, for example.

Why?

Because armies (and army traits) should be what defines them. If the difference between Armageddon and Cadia for example is "IDK LOL" then that's a blander game than we have now.


 Crimson wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:

I disagree with your second premise, though, because 8 out of 10 entries may be garbage from the gameplay perspective but amazing from a fluff or aesthetics perspective. I can't speak to player retention (40k manages somehow it seems?) but "fun gameplay" is ... well, subjective. I can have fun with garbage units on the table.

But wouldn't it still be better if they weren't garbage from the gameplay perspective either? What purpose does them being rubbish serve?

The purpose is to give armies unique identities. World Eaters being good at assault automatically makes World Eater havocs a suboptimal ("garbage") choice. Does that mean we should just delete Havocs completely from CSM? Or make World Eaters good at shooting? Good enough that they are either better than or at least indistinguishable from the Iron Warriors Havocs? If the answer to either of those questions is "no" then you just have to accept that suboptimal "garbage" choices are a natural consequence of individuating army identity.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 15:32:09


Post by: auticus


No because world eaters are a subset of chaos space marines. They are a type of chaos space marine in a book written to represent all of the "legions".

However if there was a world eaters codex, I'd say yes, they have no use for havocs because no one will ever take them.

Now if in a generic CSM list no one bothers with havocs because they are just garbage period I'd be for their removal then as well if GW can't get their act together to make them worth taking.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 15:33:02


Post by: Crimson


Army's playstyle is defined by its units. A melee focused army might have a large selection of melee units to perform different roles and only some ranged units. But those ranged units shouldn't be just straight out worse than similar units in a shooty army. This is the Kroot example again (except in reverse.) Trap choices are bad, intentionally making them is terrible game design.

(Also, I think it is absurdly limited view of Khorne to think he would care whether his followers kill the enemies by axes or heavy bolters.)




Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 15:40:17


Post by: Unit1126PLL


auticus wrote:No because world eaters are a subset of chaos space marines. They are a type of chaos space marine in a book written to represent all of the "legions".

However if there was a world eaters codex, I'd say yes, they have no use for havocs because no one will ever take them.

Now if in a generic CSM list no one bothers with havocs because they are just garbage period I'd be for their removal then as well if GW can't get their act together to make them worth taking.


This is a problem, though, because World Eaters really should be able to take some Havocs in their warbands, from a fluff perspective. The old Legion had them, if doing a pre-Kharn's Betrayal fluff army, and current World Eaters lords can certainly hire/abduct/raise/own/compel their own Havocs from someone else. If someone wants to play a World Eaters warband, and also have a Havoc squad in their army, they should not be forced to soup, even if World Eaters had their own codex. People have all sorts of reasons to run units, everything from aesthetics to paint schemes to army backgrounds to more besides, and "gameplay reasons" is not the only governing one for someone somewhere, surely?

Crimson wrote:Army's playstyle is defined by its units. A melee focused army might have a large selection of melee units to perform different roles and only some ranged units. But those ranged units shouldn't be just straight out worse than similar units in a shooty army. This is the Kroot example again (except in reverse.) Trap choices are bad, intentionally making them is terrible game design.


This is false. An army's playstyle is defined by its units, but also its army trait, stratagems, and warlord traits.

And why shouldn't a melee army's shooting options be straight out worse than a similar unit in a shooting army? If the difference between, say, Tau battlesuits and Black Templars devastators is basically negligible (and you turn around and say a shooting army's melee units shouldn't automatically be worse than a melee army's melee units, which is the natural converse of your statement), then the difference between, say, a Black Templars Crusader Squad and Kroot is also basically negligible.

That doesn't make sense to me, from an army identity perspective. If a shooty army's melee units aren't significantly less powerful than a melee army's melee units, and visa-versa for shooting, then you might as well just strip army identities out entirely.

EDIT:
*Shrug* I didn't write the World Eater's identity as an assault army, that's GW's doing. You could instead write the Death Guard as the assault army, emphasizing not their toughness but rather their virulence, and have written World Eaters as a shooting army. You can justify what ever you like. My greater point is that:

"Armies have identities. Tau are shooting, World Eaters are melee, as examples. If you say that World Eaters should shoot about as well as Tau, and Tau should punch about as well as World Eaters, then I disagree with you because that is bland and uninteresting."


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 15:50:26


Post by: Ice_can


 Unit1126PLL wrote:

The purpose is to give armies unique identities. World Eaters being good at assault automatically makes World Eater havocs a suboptimal ("garbage") choice. Does that mean we should just delete Havocs completely from CSM? Or make World Eaters good at shooting? Good enough that they are either better than or at least indistinguishable from the Iron Warriors Havocs? If the answer to either of those questions is "no" then you just have to accept that suboptimal "garbage" choices are a natural consequence of individuating army identity.

Their is a difference between sub optimal, like a unit of havocs in an army who legion bonus is reroll charge distance or +1 attack on the charge. But they arn't exactlly worse baseline, (more points) than say Iron warrios havocs who might get ignore cover and +1 to wound against buildings as a legion bonus.

The iron warriors will probably do more damage but id your havocs in your world eaters army can clear a path for your bezerkers who are better they have contributed in a way that overcosting them would prevent.

There is a line between a sub optimal choice and a ("garbage") choice.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 15:52:27


Post by: Crimson


 Unit1126PLL wrote:

This is false. An army's playstyle is defined by its units, but also its army trait, stratagems, and warlord traits.

Sure. And powerful free army traits are actually a balancing problem. In fair game only units that benefitted from the armytait would pay for it, but that would probably be too annoying to keep track of.

And why shouldn't a melee army's shooting options be straight out worse than a similar unit in a shooting army?

Because then there's no point in taking it!

If the difference between, say, Tau battlesuits and Black Templars devastators is basically negligible (and you turn around and say a shooting army's melee units shouldn't automatically be worse than a melee army's melee units, which is the natural converse of your statement), then the difference between, say, a Black Templars Crusader Squad and Kroot is also basically negligible.

Yes. Though I'd expect the Crusaders to be more powerful and more versatile, but also pay commensurate amount of points for it.

That doesn't make sense to me, from an army identity perspective. If a shooty army's melee units aren't significantly less powerful than a melee army's melee units, and visa-versa for shooting, then you might as well just strip army identities out entirely.

It's like this. The Tau have like that one melee unit. That melee unit can only really deal with light infantry and dies in a stiff breeze. So it is not like they can resolve many problems with that unit. For most things they need to use shooty solutions, and that defines the playstyle. But for that one role (cheap melee chaff) their melee unit should be equally good than a unit with similar role in more melee oriented army. TL;DR, if you put in the codex, it needs to be worth taking, at least in limited amounts.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 15:54:43


Post by: Unit1126PLL


Ice_can wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:

The purpose is to give armies unique identities. World Eaters being good at assault automatically makes World Eater havocs a suboptimal ("garbage") choice. Does that mean we should just delete Havocs completely from CSM? Or make World Eaters good at shooting? Good enough that they are either better than or at least indistinguishable from the Iron Warriors Havocs? If the answer to either of those questions is "no" then you just have to accept that suboptimal "garbage" choices are a natural consequence of individuating army identity.

Their is a difference between sub optimal, like a unit of havocs in an army who legion bonus is reroll charge distance or +1 attack on the charge. But they arn't exactlly worse baseline, (more points) than say Iron warrios havocs who might get ignore cover and +1 to wound against buildings as a legion bonus.

The iron warriors will probably do more damage but id your havocs in your world eaters army can clear a path for your bezerkers who are better they have contributed in a way that overcosting them would prevent.

There is a line between a sub optimal choice and a ("garbage") choice.


Not in competitive play there's not.

Look at some of the threads on DakkaDakka. Something is either "competitive" or it is "unusable." If you go into the CSM Tactics Thread with a post titled "how to make World Eaters Havocs work?" people will be like and then tell you not to do it.

It's the same answer I get (and anyone gets) every time I (they) ask a question based on fluff.

 Crimson wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:

This is false. An army's playstyle is defined by its units, but also its army trait, stratagems, and warlord traits.

Sure. And powerful free army traits are actually a balancing problem. In fair game only units that benefitted from the armytait would pay for it, but that would probably be too annoying to keep track of.

Sure, they could pay for it, that'd be fine, though as you say, a bit fiddly.

 Crimson wrote:
And why shouldn't a melee army's shooting options be straight out worse than a similar unit in a shooting army?

Because then there's no point in taking it!

Except fluff, paint scheme, rules, aesthetics, masochism... you know. All those reasons that aren't directly a consequent of mathematical efficiency?

 Crimson wrote:
If the difference between, say, Tau battlesuits and Black Templars devastators is basically negligible (and you turn around and say a shooting army's melee units shouldn't automatically be worse than a melee army's melee units, which is the natural converse of your statement), then the difference between, say, a Black Templars Crusader Squad and Kroot is also basically negligible.

Yes. Though I'd expect the Crusaders to be more powerful and more versatile, but also pay commensurate amount of points for it.

I agree, but they should still be more efficient point-per-point. Dedicated melee armies should be better at melee than not-dedicated-melee-armies, given equal army sizes at 2000 points. Thusly, dedicated melee armies should have "better points efficiency in melee" than non-dedicated-melee armies. Quod erat demonstrandum.
 Crimson wrote:
That doesn't make sense to me, from an army identity perspective. If a shooty army's melee units aren't significantly less powerful than a melee army's melee units, and visa-versa for shooting, then you might as well just strip army identities out entirely.

It's like this. The Tau have like that one melee unit. That melee unit can only really deal with light infantry and dies in a stiff breeze. So it is not like they can resolve many problems with that unit. For most things they need to use shooty solutions, and that defines the playstyle. But for that one role (cheap melee chaff) their melee unit should be equally good than a unit with similar role in more melee oriented army. TL;DR, if you put in the codex, it needs to be worth taking, at least in limited amounts.

No, it shouldn't be. As demonstrated above, specialist armies should be better in their specialization than armies that do not share that specialization, given 2000 points of equity. If 160 points of melee unit in the Tau is as efficient as 160 points of melee unit from the Blood Angels, then that is bland and boring.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 16:09:44


Post by: Ice_can


 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Ice_can wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:

The purpose is to give armies unique identities. World Eaters being good at assault automatically makes World Eater havocs a suboptimal ("garbage") choice. Does that mean we should just delete Havocs completely from CSM? Or make World Eaters good at shooting? Good enough that they are either better than or at least indistinguishable from the Iron Warriors Havocs? If the answer to either of those questions is "no" then you just have to accept that suboptimal "garbage" choices are a natural consequence of individuating army identity.

Their is a difference between sub optimal, like a unit of havocs in an army who legion bonus is reroll charge distance or +1 attack on the charge. But they arn't exactlly worse baseline, (more points) than say Iron warrios havocs who might get ignore cover and +1 to wound against buildings as a legion bonus.

The iron warriors will probably do more damage but id your havocs in your world eaters army can clear a path for your bezerkers who are better they have contributed in a way that overcosting them would prevent.

There is a line between a sub optimal choice and a ("garbage") choice.


Not in competitive play there's not.

Look at some of the threads on DakkaDakka. Something is either "competitive" or it is "unusable." If you go into the CSM Tactics Thread with a post titled "how to make World Eaters Havocs work?" people will be like and then tell you not to do it.

It's the same answer I get (and anyone gets) every time I (they) ask a question based on fluff.


That's partly to do with their being little to no real reason in 8th edition not to min-max the snot out of everything.

I'll admit I would probably be one of the people telling you that right now your pobably going to have better luck doing the same job with a totally different faction be it a Thousand sons supreme comand detachment or such but that doesn't mean that as some people are advocating that world eaters should have to pay 20 ppm for havocs while iron warrios pay 15.

That woukd guarantee that no-one would ever be able to take world eaters havocs without seriously feeling like they gimped their own army.

This is where it's those bonuses and strategums that add the narative flavour rather than broken unit design.
Just straight up saying well your a blood angel your devistators are 5 points more than codex devistators for the same rules is terrible design.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 16:15:19


Post by: Unit1126PLL


Ice_can wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Ice_can wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:

The purpose is to give armies unique identities. World Eaters being good at assault automatically makes World Eater havocs a suboptimal ("garbage") choice. Does that mean we should just delete Havocs completely from CSM? Or make World Eaters good at shooting? Good enough that they are either better than or at least indistinguishable from the Iron Warriors Havocs? If the answer to either of those questions is "no" then you just have to accept that suboptimal "garbage" choices are a natural consequence of individuating army identity.

Their is a difference between sub optimal, like a unit of havocs in an army who legion bonus is reroll charge distance or +1 attack on the charge. But they arn't exactlly worse baseline, (more points) than say Iron warrios havocs who might get ignore cover and +1 to wound against buildings as a legion bonus.

The iron warriors will probably do more damage but id your havocs in your world eaters army can clear a path for your bezerkers who are better they have contributed in a way that overcosting them would prevent.

There is a line between a sub optimal choice and a ("garbage") choice.


Not in competitive play there's not.

Look at some of the threads on DakkaDakka. Something is either "competitive" or it is "unusable." If you go into the CSM Tactics Thread with a post titled "how to make World Eaters Havocs work?" people will be like and then tell you not to do it.

It's the same answer I get (and anyone gets) every time I (they) ask a question based on fluff.


That's partly to do with their being little to no real reason in 8th edition not to min-max the snot out of everything.

I'll admit I would probably be one of the people telling you that right now your pobably going to have better luck doing the same job with a totally different faction be it a Thousand sons supreme comand detachment or such but that doesn't mean that as some people are advocating that world eaters should have to pay 20 ppm for havocs while iron warrios pay 15.

That woukd guarantee that no-one would ever be able to take world eaters havocs without seriously feeling like they gimped their own army.

This is where it's those bonuses and strategums that add the narative flavour rather than broken unit design.
Just straight up saying well your a blood angel your devistators are 5 points more than codex devistators for the same rules is terrible design.


Well, yes, they should be the same price, pointswise. But stratagems and army traits absolutely matter - Catachan Leman Russes are demonstrably better than Mordian ones, for most jobs (unless you're only bringing your Leman Russes to overwatch with).

And there's never ever been a reason not to min-max. Indeed, min-maxing in general has been a problem in Warhammer since its inception. Competitive play is always going to minimize what is bad in their list, and maximize what is good. Fundamentally, that's all min-maxing is. I would argue every game does it to some degree (when was the last time Russians took IS-2 obr 1943s in Flames of War?). It's just a fact. Some things are gonna be worse than other things, and that is okay because part of having differentiation in the game is that some armies are better or worse at something than other armies.

Soup, of course, is going to be the way to build the best army in this situation, just like we're seeing in current 8th edition 40k. That's why I said it is more important to balance faction vs faction than army vs army.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 16:21:48


Post by: w1zard


 Peregrine wrote:
Yes, now you get it. That's the entire point of making them weak, to discourage people from taking them! If you absolutely must have a melee unit in your Tau army you can take one, but it's going to be bad and you probably shouldn't do it.

Then why do they even exist in the first place? Simply remove them and get rid of the false choice. I suspect that if you do this you would only have a handful of units remaining for each army, and the game would be overwhelmingly boring.

 Peregrine wrote:
Tau are not supposed to have melee units.

This is where I stop taking you seriously. Tau are supposed to be bad generally (army-wide) in melee, not have non-existent melee or be unable to field a dedicated melee unit. They should just be unable to do so in a way that their makes their entire army revolve around those melee units.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 16:22:23


Post by: Ice_can


 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Spoiler:
Ice_can wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Ice_can wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:

The purpose is to give armies unique identities. World Eaters being good at assault automatically makes World Eater havocs a suboptimal ("garbage") choice. Does that mean we should just delete Havocs completely from CSM? Or make World Eaters good at shooting? Good enough that they are either better than or at least indistinguishable from the Iron Warriors Havocs? If the answer to either of those questions is "no" then you just have to accept that suboptimal "garbage" choices are a natural consequence of individuating army identity.

Their is a difference between sub optimal, like a unit of havocs in an army who legion bonus is reroll charge distance or +1 attack on the charge. But they arn't exactlly worse baseline, (more points) than say Iron warrios havocs who might get ignore cover and +1 to wound against buildings as a legion bonus.

The iron warriors will probably do more damage but id your havocs in your world eaters army can clear a path for your bezerkers who are better they have contributed in a way that overcosting them would prevent.

There is a line between a sub optimal choice and a ("garbage") choice.


Not in competitive play there's not.

Look at some of the threads on DakkaDakka. Something is either "competitive" or it is "unusable." If you go into the CSM Tactics Thread with a post titled "how to make World Eaters Havocs work?" people will be like and then tell you not to do it.

It's the same answer I get (and anyone gets) every time I (they) ask a question based on fluff.


That's partly to do with their being little to no real reason in 8th edition not to min-max the snot out of everything.

I'll admit I would probably be one of the people telling you that right now your pobably going to have better luck doing the same job with a totally different faction be it a Thousand sons supreme comand detachment or such but that doesn't mean that as some people are advocating that world eaters should have to pay 20 ppm for havocs while iron warrios pay 15.

That woukd guarantee that no-one would ever be able to take world eaters havocs without seriously feeling like they gimped their own army.

This is where it's those bonuses and strategums that add the narative flavour rather than broken unit design.
Just straight up saying well your a blood angel your devistators are 5 points more than codex devistators for the same rules is terrible design.


Well, yes, they should be the same price, pointswise. But stratagems and army traits absolutely matter - Catachan Leman Russes are demonstrably better than Mordian ones, for most jobs (unless you're only bringing your Leman Russes to overwatch with).

And there's never ever been a reason not to min-max. Indeed, min-maxing in general has been a problem in Warhammer since its inception. Competitive play is always going to minimize what is bad in their list, and maximize what is good. Fundamentally, that's all min-maxing is. I would argue every game does it to some degree (when was the last time Russians took IS-2 obr 1943s in Flames of War?). It's just a fact. Some things are gonna be worse than other things, and that is okay because part of having differentiation in the game is that some armies are better or worse at something than other armies.

Soup, of course, is going to be the way to build the best army in this situation, just like we're seeing in current 8th edition 40k. That's why I said it is more important to balance faction vs faction than army vs army.

I think we're probably alot closer to agreeing that it might first seam.

I've seen people arguing that Army A having troops at a 20% discount in points is ok because B has a 10% discount on tanks.

To me thats terrible design, you add legion,chaptor tactics or strategums to make army A troops better, army B's tanks better but not game breaking slow. Thats what gives your army flavour not just straight up undercosted or overcosted units as that's insane as a concept to me.

Really I don't think anyone actually believes that the current CP and detachment rules actually work as they should cost you CP but allow you more choice to min-max so it's an actual trade off.

I can have world eaters havocs who are slightly worse or I can take a iron warriors detachment for them and my tanks but cost myself say 5 CP.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 16:24:14


Post by: Unit1126PLL


w1zard wrote:
 Peregrine wrote:
Yes, now you get it. That's the entire point of making them weak, to discourage people from taking them! If you absolutely must have a melee unit in your Tau army you can take one, but it's going to be bad and you probably shouldn't do it.

Then why do they even exist in the first place? Simply remove them and get rid of the false choice. I suspect that if you do this you would only have a handful of units remaining for each army, and the game would be overwhelmingly boring.


The obvious solution is to accept that false choice exists (and isn't even false if your decision making process is more complex than "WHAT IS BEST IN GAME -> TAKE THAT" and not remove anything at all.
w1zard wrote:
 Peregrine wrote:
Tau are not supposed to have melee units.

This is where I stop taking you seriously. Tau are supposed to be bad generally (army-wide) in melee, not have non-existent melee or be unable to field a dedicated melee unit.

However, if that dedicated melee unit is as good as, say, Black Templars Crusader Squads on a points-efficiency comparison, then simply by allowing Tau to have the unit, then you've allowed them to not be bad in melee army-wide, since you could build an army almost entirely out of that unit alone. Therefore, the melee unit needs to be worse than melee units in other codexes.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 16:26:26


Post by: Unit1126PLL


Ice_can wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Spoiler:
Ice_can wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Ice_can wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:

The purpose is to give armies unique identities. World Eaters being good at assault automatically makes World Eater havocs a suboptimal ("garbage") choice. Does that mean we should just delete Havocs completely from CSM? Or make World Eaters good at shooting? Good enough that they are either better than or at least indistinguishable from the Iron Warriors Havocs? If the answer to either of those questions is "no" then you just have to accept that suboptimal "garbage" choices are a natural consequence of individuating army identity.

Their is a difference between sub optimal, like a unit of havocs in an army who legion bonus is reroll charge distance or +1 attack on the charge. But they arn't exactlly worse baseline, (more points) than say Iron warrios havocs who might get ignore cover and +1 to wound against buildings as a legion bonus.

The iron warriors will probably do more damage but id your havocs in your world eaters army can clear a path for your bezerkers who are better they have contributed in a way that overcosting them would prevent.

There is a line between a sub optimal choice and a ("garbage") choice.


Not in competitive play there's not.

Look at some of the threads on DakkaDakka. Something is either "competitive" or it is "unusable." If you go into the CSM Tactics Thread with a post titled "how to make World Eaters Havocs work?" people will be like and then tell you not to do it.

It's the same answer I get (and anyone gets) every time I (they) ask a question based on fluff.


That's partly to do with their being little to no real reason in 8th edition not to min-max the snot out of everything.

I'll admit I would probably be one of the people telling you that right now your pobably going to have better luck doing the same job with a totally different faction be it a Thousand sons supreme comand detachment or such but that doesn't mean that as some people are advocating that world eaters should have to pay 20 ppm for havocs while iron warrios pay 15.

That woukd guarantee that no-one would ever be able to take world eaters havocs without seriously feeling like they gimped their own army.

This is where it's those bonuses and strategums that add the narative flavour rather than broken unit design.
Just straight up saying well your a blood angel your devistators are 5 points more than codex devistators for the same rules is terrible design.


Well, yes, they should be the same price, pointswise. But stratagems and army traits absolutely matter - Catachan Leman Russes are demonstrably better than Mordian ones, for most jobs (unless you're only bringing your Leman Russes to overwatch with).

And there's never ever been a reason not to min-max. Indeed, min-maxing in general has been a problem in Warhammer since its inception. Competitive play is always going to minimize what is bad in their list, and maximize what is good. Fundamentally, that's all min-maxing is. I would argue every game does it to some degree (when was the last time Russians took IS-2 obr 1943s in Flames of War?). It's just a fact. Some things are gonna be worse than other things, and that is okay because part of having differentiation in the game is that some armies are better or worse at something than other armies.

Soup, of course, is going to be the way to build the best army in this situation, just like we're seeing in current 8th edition 40k. That's why I said it is more important to balance faction vs faction than army vs army.

I think we're probably alot closer to agreeing that it might first seam.

I've seen people arguing that Army A having troops at a 20% discount in points is ok because B has a 10% discount on tanks.

To me thats terrible design, you add legion,chaptor tactics or strategums to make army A troops better, army B's tanks better but not game breaking slow. Thats what gives your army flavour not just straight up undercosted or overcosted units as that's insane as a concept to me.

Really I don't think anyone actually believes that the current CP and detachment rules actually work as they should cost you CP but allow you more choice to min-max so it's an actual trade off.

I can have world eaters havocs who are slightly worse or I can take a iron warriors detachment for them and my tanks but cost myself say 5 CP.


I think all we disagree on is "scale of difference." It sounds like you're okay with Imperial Guard tanks being better than Space Marine Predators on a points-efficiency comparison, just not to a drastic degree, if I am reading you correctly. Of course, since points-efficiency is the measure of a unit's ingame utility at performing a given task, then that does mean that a better tank also "does the same for cheaper." by design. That's the natural consequence of following this logic.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 16:26:54


Post by: AnomanderRake


 Unit1126PLL wrote:
 Crimson wrote:
 AnomanderRake wrote:
To my mind the issue here is that if "army vs. army" balance is your central thesis then you end up creating a set of trap options. If you assume that players will "build to their army's strengths" but then leave the possibility of not doing so in the book someone might, say, think taking World Eaters Chaos Marines is a relevant thing to do because they aren't living inside the designer's head and you haven't communicated well that an army that uses basic Marines is just straight-up worse than one that uses only Berzerkers.

To my mind the goal of "balance" isn't to ensure that every unit is exactly as good as every other unit, or that every army is exactly as good as every other army, it is to ensure that there is a real reason to play every army and every unit. It isn't about absolute tournament list-presence level of fiddly specific balance, it's about making sure there are no units/armies whose tactics advice is "never buy this, it's crap" or "never take this, it's always better under every possible circumstance to take this other one."

Yes, exactly!


The problem is, this game is bland. If the question: "I'm playing World Eaters, should I buy Chaos Space Marines" is "meh, doesn't matter, each unit is viable" then the difference between World Eaters and Black Legion is basically zilch.

Running a foot horde of guardsmen from Armageddon should be outright worse than running a mechanized regiment, for example.


The game becomes bland if every unit does the same thing, but it isn't bland if you make units comparable but situationally more useful. The problem is that GW hasn't parsed this and has tried to make too many different units that do the exact same thing as each other.

Consider as a counterexample Warmachine. If you called me up and said "Hey, Anomander, I just bought a Warpwolf box and I was wondering which one I should build?", we can start having a discussion about how the Feral is a frontline murderbeast hampered in its usefulness by its short melee reach, while the Stalker is a generalist tool that doesn't have the same brute-force killing power a Stalker can put out but its animus and its longer melee range open up a wider range of attack vectors and the ability to warp for Berserk makes it great at clearing tough infantry, while the Pureblood doesn't have anything like the melee output of the other two but has a high-damage shooting attack and some tremendously useful support abilities that let it interact with other units in your list in interesting ways. Then we might start asking questions about what else is in your list and how the Warpwolf might interact with it/what holes the Warpwolf might plug/what your warcaster(s) do for it and what it does for them.

If you called me up with the same question about a 40k kit my answers might range from "there are various fiddly technical reasons why you might do one or the other but for the most part do what looks cool" (ex. "Do I build my Custodian Wardens with spears or axes?") to "there is one functional loadout, everything else is a trap" (ex. "How should I arm my Dreadnaught?") to "ahahahaha why did you buy that kit" (ex. "How should I build my Assault Marines?"). The game is laden with trap choices; things you shouldn't build, things you shouldn't buy, and things that look different but fundamentally aren't.

I'm not asking for every option to be the same, or every option to be exactly as valuable as every other option; those are absolutely ways to make the game more bland. But I would love it if I could sit down to build a kit and think to myself "Now, what do I want this unit to do on the tabletop, and how do I go about building them to do that?" instead of "Which loadout is playable and which is a trap?", or if I could look at a wall in a game store and think to myself "Which of these looks cool?" rather than "Which of these is the 'never buy this' trap that is going to get me laughed at if I try and put it on the table?"

The answer to the question "should I buy Chaos Marines for my World Eaters?" shouldn't be "meh doesn't matter everything works about the same", and it shouldn't be "never ever just get more berzerkers", it should be "these are the things CSM do that Berzerkers don't and these are the circumstances/lists in which you might want to do those things".

(Though note that GW does screw itself on this front by making two different units with very slightly different statlines that really do the exact same thing; ex. Dreadnaughts/Venerable Dreadnaughts (where one is ~1/6th more expensive after weapons to be about 1/6th better at hitting things and about 1/6th tougher), or Custodian Wardens (who are similarly ~1/6th more expensive with spears than normal Custodians and ~1/6th killier/1/6th tougher, so the difference ends up being "do I want the squad that can use axes or the squad that can use storm shields"). It would be easier to make a larger percentage of choices into viable choices rather than trap choices if there were fewer different almost identical units; one Guardsmen squad instead of Conscripts/Veterans/Guardsmen, for instance.)


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 16:44:29


Post by: Unit1126PLL


The problem, Anomander, with your proscription is that army identity means there will always be better choices.

CSM do offer things that Berzerkers don't. They have longer ranged shooting, access to special weapons in greater quantites, and are much more flexible when part of your army is forced to sit back and hold an objective.

The problem is, of course, that those aren't things World Eaters do or care about. The differences between Berzerkers and CSM are essentially "become worse at melee to become better at shooting" - in an army that doesn't shoot, and really has no business doing so.

Your Warmachine example is more like "how should I build this unit of Berzerkers? Are plasma pistols worth it to try to crack some armour before charging in? Should the champion have a power fist, or trade the fist in for something like an axe or maul, which are better against T3 targets? What unit size should I make?" Things like that.

There are options in 40k when building individual kits. Some of the options are bad when considering things (e.g. Vanquisher Leman Russ) but that doesn't mean the entire concept should be thrown out (e.g. Demolisher vs Battlecannon russ is a real question now after CA2018).


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 17:21:45


Post by: vipoid


@AnomanderRake

Do you think that 40k could do with taking a leaf out of the Warmachine book and having different HQs benefit different units? As opposed to just handing out generic buffs to every unit from that army.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 17:24:30


Post by: Tycho


The issue is in the inter-unit synergy.


Which is EXACTLY why Unit vs Unit is physically impossible. You can't do Unit vs Unit without looking at synergies, and the second you do that, you've changed the scope from Unit vs Unit, to Army vs Army (because you have to take into account the entire codex to account for synergies). Honestly, even Army vs Army will eventually snowball into Faction vs Faction because of synergies. Plus, in order to do UvsU, you have to decide what the default "unit" is and build around that. This means the game will eventually lack proper granularity while also being limited by whatever limitations are inherent to that base unit. One of the reasons MEQs are in such a rough spot is because in the very early days of 40K, the GW design team used a UvsU approach with Space Marines as the default unit. Since then, the game has grown by leaps and bounds, and a basic MEQ stat line is not what it used to be, and we can actually see the negative results of this approach. No thanks.

While I think the idea of true "balance" in 40K is probably a pipe-dream, if you were going to approach balancing things from one of the standpoints in this thread, you would first have to decide what level you want the game to be played at. Unit vs Unit only works with a truly squad level game (and even then, almost every game I've seen take this approach has ended up being fairly boring. The AT 43 starter set really suffered from this approach for example). At the moment, like it or not, it seems like the game is being played largely at the "Faction" level (soup would not be a thing were this not true). So with that in mind, I'd probably go Faction vs Faction.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 17:32:42


Post by: w1zard


 Unit1126PLL wrote:
w1zard wrote:
 Peregrine wrote:
Tau are not supposed to have melee units.

This is where I stop taking you seriously. Tau are supposed to be bad generally (army-wide) in melee, not have non-existent melee or be unable to field a dedicated melee unit.

However, if that dedicated melee unit is as good as, say, Black Templars Crusader Squads on a points-efficiency comparison, then simply by allowing Tau to have the unit, then you've allowed them to not be bad in melee army-wide, since you could build an army almost entirely out of that unit alone. Therefore, the melee unit needs to be worse than melee units in other codexes.

That is not how the rule of three works... Also, you can make them "worse" from an army cohesion perspective rather than a points efficiency perspective. Example: Ogryn for IG. Actually pretty tough and moderately well pointed melee unit that lacks any kind of army cohesion (unable to take orders and receive regimental doctrines), but still punches its weight and has its place. Melee guard really isn't a thing (outside of catachan) but ogryns allow the IG to have a heavy hitter melee unit whilst making them unable to base an entire army around them.

Making a unit less efficient from an army cohesion perspective or limiting the amount you can take (via the rule of 3 or other such rules) makes people say "Ah, I can take this unit for a specific purpose but I shouldn't/can't spam them because that isn't what my army is about". Making a unit less efficient from a points per power perspective makes people say "I don't want to take this because it's awful for its cost and takes away points that I can use to spend on other things".


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 17:35:00


Post by: Apple Peel


w1zard wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
w1zard wrote:
 Peregrine wrote:
Tau are not supposed to have melee units.

This is where I stop taking you seriously. Tau are supposed to be bad generally (army-wide) in melee, not have non-existent melee or be unable to field a dedicated melee unit.

However, if that dedicated melee unit is as good as, say, Black Templars Crusader Squads on a points-efficiency comparison, then simply by allowing Tau to have the unit, then you've allowed them to not be bad in melee army-wide, since you could build an army almost entirely out of that unit alone. Therefore, the melee unit needs to be worse than melee units in other codexes.

That is not how the rule of three works... Also, you can make them "worse" from an army cohesion perspective rather than a points efficiency perspective. Example: Ogryn for IG. Actually pretty tough and moderately well pointed melee unit that lacks any kind of army cohesion (unable to take orders and receive regimental doctrines), but still punches its weight and has its place. Melee guard really isn't a thing (outside of catachan) but ogryns allow the IG to have a heavy hitter melee unit whilst making them unable to base an entire army around them.

Kroot are troops. That’s how rule of three works.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 17:37:25


Post by: Unit1126PLL


w1zard wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
w1zard wrote:
 Peregrine wrote:
Tau are not supposed to have melee units.

This is where I stop taking you seriously. Tau are supposed to be bad generally (army-wide) in melee, not have non-existent melee or be unable to field a dedicated melee unit.

However, if that dedicated melee unit is as good as, say, Black Templars Crusader Squads on a points-efficiency comparison, then simply by allowing Tau to have the unit, then you've allowed them to not be bad in melee army-wide, since you could build an army almost entirely out of that unit alone. Therefore, the melee unit needs to be worse than melee units in other codexes.

That is not how the rule of three works... Also, you can make them "worse" from an army cohesion perspective rather than a points efficiency perspective. Example: Ogryn for IG. Actually pretty tough and moderately well pointed melee unit that lacks any kind of army cohesion (unable to take orders and receive regimental doctrines), but still punches it's weight and has its place. Melee guard really isn't a thing (and shouldn't be outside of catachan) but ogryns allow the IG to have a heavy hitter melee unit whilst making them unable to base an entire army around them.


Kroot are Troops and exempt from the Rule of Three, last I checked, and also Ro3 is not a bandaid for this problem. You can run a single datasheet of some units to well over the number of points used in a 500 point game. Remember, Black Templars need to be better at Melee than Tau even at 500 points, as well as 60,000.

And worse from a "cohesion" perspective is worse from a points efficiency perspective. Ogryns are worse melee units than Custodes Bike Captains. Ogryns have never seen the top tables in a long while. They're suboptimal competitive choices, and asking in a thread "what melee options should I field with Imperial Guard?" the answer will be "In mono-Guard, Ogryns, but in competitive play? Custodes Bike Captains/Smash Captains/Knight Gallant."

Ogryns are exactly the example I am talking about when I say "a melee unit in a shooting army should be less points efficient in melee than a melee unit in a melee army." You've literally chosen the example that proves the rule. Ogryns vs. Berzerkers isn't even a fight, it's a one-sided slaughter for the same points cost, especially including stratagems, army synergies, etc.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 17:38:00


Post by: w1zard


 Apple Peel wrote:
Kroot are troops. That’s how rule of three works.

Then maybe they shouldn't be. If it means that kroot actually punch their weight maybe they should be elites and limited to the rule of 3 so that they are no longer a "trap" choice and exist to waste people's time. Because, as it stands half the units in the game aren't worth their points compared to the other half. This is not diversity, it's the illusion of diversity.

 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Ogryns are exactly the example I am talking about when I say "a melee unit in a shooting army should be less points efficient in melee than a melee unit in a melee army." You've literally chosen the example that proves the rule. Ogryns vs. Berzerkers isn't even a fight, it's a one-sided slaughter for the same points cost, especially including stratagems, army synergies, etc.

Math please? Last I checked ogryns were actually a pretty efficient melee option even when compared to dedicated melee units from other factions, although I will admit I have not run them in awhile.

Tycho wrote:
So with that in mind, I'd probably go Faction vs Faction.

But if you balance units against the best of what "might" be taken alongside of them (synergy wise), they are under-powered unless you take that "best" option.

This is how we get things like space marines being balanced around always having Gulliman present even though he is an ultramarines character.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 17:47:19


Post by: Crimson


The last time I faced Ogryns they felt quite effective in melee!


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 17:51:28


Post by: Apple Peel


w1zard wrote:
 Apple Peel wrote:
Kroot are troops. That’s how rule of three works.

Then maybe they shouldn't be.

If we are changing that, will vets be changed back to troops?


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 17:52:25


Post by: Tyel


Tycho wrote:
The issue is in the inter-unit synergy.


Which is EXACTLY why Unit vs Unit is physically impossible. You can't do Unit vs Unit without looking at synergies, and the second you do that, you've changed the scope from Unit vs Unit, to Army vs Army (because you have to take into account the entire codex to account for synergies). Honestly, even Army vs Army will eventually snowball into Faction vs Faction because of synergies. Plus, in order to do UvsU, you have to decide what the default "unit" is and build around that. This means the game will eventually lack proper granularity while also being limited by whatever limitations are inherent to that base unit. One of the reasons MEQs are in such a rough spot is because in the very early days of 40K, the GW design team used a UvsU approach with Space Marines as the default unit. Since then, the game has grown by leaps and bounds, and a basic MEQ stat line is not what it used to be, and we can actually see the negative results of this approach. No thanks.

While I think the idea of true "balance" in 40K is probably a pipe-dream, if you were going to approach balancing things from one of the standpoints in this thread, you would first have to decide what level you want the game to be played at. Unit vs Unit only works with a truly squad level game (and even then, almost every game I've seen take this approach has ended up being fairly boring. The AT 43 starter set really suffered from this approach for example). At the moment, like it or not, it seems like the game is being played largely at the "Faction" level (soup would not be a thing were this not true). So with that in mind, I'd probably go Faction vs Faction.


I don't think this is necessarily true.
I mean to take the example of World Eaters. On the table you will need to deal with vehicles - either long range sniping vehicles or just transports.
You can run (or drive) khorne berzerkers to them. It may however make more sense to pack some heavy firepower of your own. To take out those kiting ravagers (or flyers) or to break open vehicles so your berzerkers can charge.

The options to do this - say Havocs, or las-toting Helbrutes - should be viable in themselves. Sure they might not be as good as Iron Warriors versions ignoring cover but they can still do the job to a certain acceptable standard which is deemed to be balanced. They should not be crap.

Now obviously if you make it so actually the World Eaters player is better off just spamming havocs, helbrutes, those plasma spitting dinosaurs etc in a gunline then something has gone wrong in the design process. But if the only option you should take is berzerkers regardless of your opponent then that's bad design too.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 18:12:35


Post by: Unit1126PLL


 Crimson wrote:
The last time I faced Ogryns they felt quite effective in melee!

Quite effective != As Effective as Berzerkers.

There's a large gulf between "Tau Squad" and "Berzerker Squad" in which melee units can fit. Ogryns shouldn't be (and aren't) out-performing melee specialists, but are themselves melee specialists and outperform the majority of the game (shooting units and non-melee specialists, and generalists).


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 18:41:56


Post by: Tycho


I don't think this is necessarily true.
I mean to take the example of World Eaters. On the table you will need to deal with vehicles - either long range sniping vehicles or just transports.
You can run (or drive) khorne berzerkers to them. It may however make more sense to pack some heavy firepower of your own. To take out those kiting ravagers (or flyers) or to break open vehicles so your berzerkers can charge.

The options to do this - say Havocs, or las-toting Helbrutes - should be viable in themselves. Sure they might not be as good as Iron Warriors versions ignoring cover but they can still do the job to a certain acceptable standard which is deemed to be balanced. They should not be crap.
chances of
Now obviously if you make it so actually the World Eaters player is better off just spamming havocs, helbrutes, those plasma spitting dinosaurs etc in a gunline then something has gone wrong in the design process. But if the only option you should take is berzerkers regardless of your opponent then that's bad design too.


You just did exactly what I'm talking about though. In considering berzerkers, you branched out to other units in the army, thus making it an "army level" comparison ...

But if you balance units against the best of what "might" be taken alongside of them (synergy wise), they are under-powered unless you take that "best" option.

This is how we get things like space marines being balanced around always having Gulliman present even though he is an ultramarines character.


Which is why I said true balance is probably a pipe dream with the game as it current;y stands (certainly we can already see this issue at times when PL is used instead of points). That said though, the reverse is also true. If you don't consider what might be taken along side a certain unit, that unit can become over-powered. We see this all the time when GW looks at a unit in a vacuum. Conscripts were a prime example of this prior to some of the nerfs. Like it or not, synergy is a major part of the game (especially in 8th with all the aura effects), and trying to balance the game without considering it, is a huge waste of time. Also, Space Marines "being balanced around Gman" isn't something the GW staff intended to do. That came about as a by-product of the player base combined with Gman being ridiculous and most of the rest of the Marine codex being average to below average at best. It wasn't an intent of the design strategy, but rather a flaw IN the strategy (as MEQs in general are still suffering from the Unit vs Unit approach from back when this was intended as more of a squad based game).

I admit it's less than perfect, but I think if you zoom out to the faction level (provided we agree that this is the level the game is generally being played at), you still have more options for balance and fewer chances of accidental OP combos than if you go Army vs Army (because Unit to Unit is still just not possible at this stage of the game imo).


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 19:39:40


Post by: AnomanderRake


 Unit1126PLL wrote:
The problem, Anomander, with your proscription is that army identity means there will always be better choices.

CSM do offer things that Berzerkers don't. They have longer ranged shooting, access to special weapons in greater quantites, and are much more flexible when part of your army is forced to sit back and hold an objective.

The problem is, of course, that those aren't things World Eaters do or care about. The differences between Berzerkers and CSM are essentially "become worse at melee to become better at shooting" - in an army that doesn't shoot, and really has no business doing so.

Your Warmachine example is more like "how should I build this unit of Berzerkers? Are plasma pistols worth it to try to crack some armour before charging in? Should the champion have a power fist, or trade the fist in for something like an axe or maul, which are better against T3 targets? What unit size should I make?" Things like that.

There are options in 40k when building individual kits. Some of the options are bad when considering things (e.g. Vanquisher Leman Russ) but that doesn't mean the entire concept should be thrown out (e.g. Demolisher vs Battlecannon russ is a real question now after CA2018).


It sounds like we have different perspectives on what "army identity" should mean. GW likes "army identity" to be concrete numbers on a statline; this is a shooty army therefore their guns have better stats, this is a choppy army therefore their melee weapons have better stats, etc; rather than trying to give an army a personality independent of the game rules.

Going back to Warmachine for a moment the common trap is to do things like say "Cygnar is a 'ranged faction'"; that is a gross oversimplification of a faction identity that's built around precision and disruptive counterplay. Their choices, both ranged and melee, tend to support a strategy of removing support pieces their opponent's army requires to function; within that framework you have access to the full spectrum of mechanics, unit types, and rules that exist in the game, and you can construct a wide variety of builds that make use of a whole bunch of different peices. Similarly someone may tell you Khador is a "melee faction" and completely miss the Winter Guard blast gunline that is completely in character for a faction identity built around brute force and saturation of attacks.

GW, by contrast, writes "faction identity" as "this is a melee faction, therefore they are not allowed to have any efficient or effective ranged choices" (see: Adeptus Custodes, Daemons), or "this is a ranged faction, therefore they are not allowed to have any efficient or effective melee choices" (see: Tau, AdMech). It stops being the personality of the faction and starts being specific lists; the "faction identity" of the White Scars, for instance, became "an all-bike army" in 5e-7e to the point that people over on Proposed Rules pop up to grumble about not being able to take Bikes in Troops in 8e because it means they "can't play a fluffy White Scars army". The personality of the White Scars isn't supposed to be "motorcycles", it's supposed to be about speed, aggression, and hit-and-run tactics, but the way GW writes rules every time they do a new book they strip that faction's personality back down to a blander, more limited, "spam this one unit" picture of the faction.

Which is certainly one way to solve the fact that a succession of imbeciles at GW think that they need sixty or seventy "factions" with distinct identities; it's very quick and easy to remember them all when they're the "spam this one unit from this one book" faction (the Craftworlds are "the Aspect faction", "the Seer faction", "the Ranger faction", "the Wraithguard faction", and "the Jetbike faction", for instance), but pushing armies to be more mono-build builds these weird army-building traps into the game.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 vipoid wrote:
@AnomanderRake

Do you think that 40k could do with taking a leaf out of the Warmachine book and having different HQs benefit different units? As opposed to just handing out generic buffs to every unit from that army.


Probably not; the way 40k is written you'd probably just end up pushing army-building restrictions where you'd only take (unit X) with (HQ Y). The way Warmachine works all the warjacks, warbeasts, and units are middle-of-the-road and kind of bland on their own, but taking them with different support abilities makes them function almost like different units.

The force organization structure is another layer of problem with this; anything that buffed Troops would be too good, anything that buffed anything else would be limited by the fact that you can't have very many of them, and you'd end up with these sort of weirdly limited armies. It's sort of like why you couldn't do a WHFB High Elf book with rules for doing armies from specific Kingdoms; the spearmen, archers, and Silver Helms are the only generic units, so eight Kingdoms would have an army list of four or five units.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 19:53:04


Post by: Unit1126PLL


I think, Anomander, that we do, in fact, have a different definition of faction identity and mechanics.

I think of armies like D&D characters - the Bard can do magic but not as well as a wizard, but has this other music thing he does. The Fighter stabs, but doesn't really cast magic as well as a Sorcerer. The Sorcerer and Wizard cast magic well, but one is flexible but risky while the other is reliable but rigid.

I generally feel like wargame armies should have similar one-sentence blurbs, such as "World Eaters are front-loaded offensive melee; they aren't any tougher than regular Marines but hit like a truck in melee. Conversely, Custodes are the opposite: their offense is pretty good, but not on the level of Berzerkers, while their durability is astonishing." etc. etc.

Things like "precision and disruptive counterplay" are tactics employed by the player in the game. White Scars might have the personality of "aggression, speed, and hit-and-run tactics", but their identity is motorcycles, basically. Because you can't force aggression, speed, and hit-and-run tactics upon a player; there will always be "White Scars gunlines" (this is especially bad in the Heresy). Those are player attributes. Sort of like how you can't force a fighter in D&D to actually stab anyone or behave like a fighter instead of reading books or playing music, but he will never be a bard in the mechanics or in identity.

I'm not sure if I'm phrasing it well, really. But in general, "army identity" is basically 'the mechanism by which that army do'. For example Slaanesh Daemons are the fastest daemons. 'how the army employs the mechanism', whether it is by disrupting their support elements or assassinating their characters or board control or achieving force concentration or whatever is a player thing, and not mechanically enforcable.

I'm at a bit of a disadvantage in this discussion but not having Warmachine experience to draw from since a while ago in Mark II, but in Mark II I played Khador, and the game did not strike me as having terribly distinct factions. I could go in and say "well, <X> is going to wombo-combo my warcaster, so I better wombo-combo his warcaster first, or plan to be able to mitigate their wombo-combo."

The exact nature of the wombo-combo varied from army to army, but it was always "wombo-combo the warcaster to death" whether it was Cryx or Cygnar or Khador, in my Mark II days (which were themselves mercifully short). I definitely prefer the vast differences between factions in 40k to the less-vast-distances in War Machines. Indeed, there were times I would look at an army, and then have to ask the player what it was because "here are some unpainted 'jaks" was basically the same whether it was Khador or Mercenaries or whathaveyou. I was especially bad at telling Hordes armies apart.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 20:18:38


Post by: AnomanderRake


 Unit1126PLL wrote:
I think, Anomander, that we do, in fact, have a different definition of faction identity and mechanics.

I think of armies like D&D characters - the Bard can do magic but not as well as a wizard, but has this other music thing he does. The Fighter stabs, but doesn't really cast magic as well as a Sorcerer. The Sorcerer and Wizard cast magic well, but one is flexible but risky while the other is reliable but rigid.

I generally feel like wargame armies should have similar one-sentence blurbs, such as "World Eaters are front-loaded offensive melee; they aren't any tougher than regular Marines but hit like a truck in melee. Conversely, Custodes are the opposite: their offense is pretty good, but not on the level of Berzerkers, while their durability is astonishing." etc. etc.


I find the same problem emerges with D&D characters, actually; if you imagine a set of verbs that exist in the game ("punch", "cast", "shoot", etc.) one of the biggest weaknesses of D&D is that a "class" exists to constrain the set of verbs you can use. If I'm playing a Wizard everything I do is "I cast Fireball" or "I run away so I can sleep and regen spell slots"; the way the numbers are written there's no good reason for me to do anything else. There are cases (playing a Fighter in a hack-and-slash game) where you don't need a player, they could be replaced with a little card saying "I hit it with my sword". I'm entirely happy with giving armies one-sentence blurbs, but the blurb shouldn't be "World Eaters are a melee rush army that spams Berzerkers". The army's personality shouldn't be "this is the specific list you always play with this Codex".

Things like "precision and disruptive counterplay" are tactics employed by the player in the game. White Scars might have the personality of "aggression, speed, and hit-and-run tactics", but their identity is motorcycles, basically. Because you can't force aggression, speed, and hit-and-run tactics upon a player; there will always be "White Scars gunlines" (this is especially bad in the Heresy). Those are player attributes. Sort of like how you can't force a fighter in D&D to actually stab anyone or behave like a fighter instead of reading books or playing music, but he will never be a bard in the mechanics or in identity.

I'm not sure if I'm phrasing it well, really. But in general, "army identity" is basically 'the mechanism by which that army do'. For example Slaanesh Daemons are the fastest daemons. 'how the army employs the mechanism', whether it is by disrupting their support elements or assassinating their characters or board control or achieving force concentration or whatever is a player thing, and not mechanically enforcable.


You can't force a player to use certain tactics, but you can build the rules such that certain tactics work better than others. Take a Cygnar army into a Warmachine game planning to use brute-force toe-to-toe tactics and you will probably lose because it's not how the army works; take a PanO army into an Infinity game planning to sneak around and use indirect/ambush tactics and you'll probably get squished because, again, it's not how the army works. Building an army's identity around tactical decision-making rather than around the rules means you have more options building an army and more options playing the game, if you build the army's identity around the rules they use you force them into single-build lists with a limited battle plan.

I'm at a bit of a disadvantage in this discussion but not having Warmachine experience to draw from since a while ago in Mark II, but in Mark II I played Khador, and the game did not strike me as having terribly distinct factions. I could go in and say "well, <X> is going to wombo-combo my warcaster, so I better wombo-combo his warcaster first, or plan to be able to mitigate their wombo-combo."

The exact nature of the wombo-combo varied from army to army, but it was always "wombo-combo the warcaster to death" whether it was Cryx or Cygnar or Khador, in my Mark II days (which were themselves mercifully short).


Warmachine is a strange game in that it requires tournament scenarios to function; there are three broad classes of strategy (control/scenario, attrition, and assassination) and the game becomes interesting when you have to attack and defend along multiple victory methods. Without a scenario the game is just "who can set up to combo out first" and some armies are better at setting up to combo out than others.

Most games other than Warhammer 40k make at least an attempt to give an army a strategic personality independent of the game mechanics, but they also tend to have to deal with <10 factions rather than the vast quantity 40k has to deal with.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 20:28:42


Post by: Unit1126PLL


Ah, so what you see as problem, I do not. The player isn't there to decide only what the wizard does in combat (Rest v Fight -> Spells), because that is fairly routine. The player is there to role-play. to push the boundaries. To see if they can overcome obstacles given the limited set of stuff they have to work with (i.e. the limited number of verbs they can perform).

Here's a question addressing your second point: what's the difference between "building the rules such that certain tactics work better than others" for a given army, and "arranging the army's entries such that some list-building choices work better than others"? One is done at the table, the other before the table, but they're both the game gently nudging you into playing a certain way with a faction. I fail to see the difference between "if you brute force with Cygnar, you lose" or "if you try to sneak around and use ambush tactics with Pan Oceania you lose" and "if you try to play World Eaters as a gunline, you lose."


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 21:09:12


Post by: AnomanderRake


 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Ah, so what you see as problem, I do not. The player isn't there to decide only what the wizard does in combat (Rest v Fight -> Spells), because that is fairly routine. The player is there to role-play. to push the boundaries. To see if they can overcome obstacles given the limited set of stuff they have to work with (i.e. the limited number of verbs they can perform).

Here's a question addressing your second point: what's the difference between "building the rules such that certain tactics work better than others" for a given army, and "arranging the army's entries such that some list-building choices work better than others"? One is done at the table, the other before the table, but they're both the game gently nudging you into playing a certain way with a faction. I fail to see the difference between "if you brute force with Cygnar, you lose" or "if you try to sneak around and use ambush tactics with Pan Oceania you lose" and "if you try to play World Eaters as a gunline, you lose."


Because "if you try to brute-force with Cygnar you lose" requires you to play the models you own differently, where "if you play ranged units with World Eaters you lose" requires you to buy different models. The option to take World Eaters Havocs exists, it's in the book, GW sells you models to build them, so there should be a reason to use them, rather than just saying "Nah, World Eaters are a melee army, Havocs are a trap you shouldn't take".


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 21:13:39


Post by: Apple Peel


 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Ah, so what you see as problem, I do not. The player isn't there to decide only what the wizard does in combat (Rest v Fight -> Spells), because that is fairly routine. The player is there to role-play. to push the boundaries. To see if they can overcome obstacles given the limited set of stuff they have to work with (i.e. the limited number of verbs they can perform).

Here's a question addressing your second point: what's the difference between "building the rules such that certain tactics work better than others" for a given army, and "arranging the army's entries such that some list-building choices work better than others"? One is done at the table, the other before the table, but they're both the game gently nudging you into playing a certain way with a faction. I fail to see the difference between "if you brute force with Cygnar, you lose" or "if you try to sneak around and use ambush tactics with Pan Oceania you lose" and "if you try to play World Eaters as a gunline, you lose."

It’s like tomatoes being fruit. Tomatoes are fruit, and “can” be used as fruits for purposes, but I’d imagine they make a terrible fruit smoothie.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 21:23:08


Post by: w1zard


 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Here's a question addressing your second point: what's the difference between "building the rules such that certain tactics work better than others" for a given army, and "arranging the army's entries such that some list-building choices work better than others"? One is done at the table, the other before the table, but they're both the game gently nudging you into playing a certain way with a faction. I fail to see the difference between "if you brute force with Cygnar, you lose" or "if you try to sneak around and use ambush tactics with Pan Oceania you lose" and "if you try to play World Eaters as a gunline, you lose."

Let me rephrase my former argument.

Going back to your D&D example, imagine that every class can do EVERYTHING because every class needs to do everything. Fighters can cast spells, wizards can wield swords, clerics can sneak. There are two ways to balance this, the first being that you make each class so bad at what they aren't "supposed" to do that they become pretty laughable outside of it. If you pick fighter and try to specialize in fighter "spells" you are just going to get laughed at and destroyed by even a poorly optimized wizard. Is it really even a choice then? Fighter can only REALLY be played one way and trying anything else is basically a trap option. This is what 40k currently does.

OR

You can make the classes perform situationally well at things they aren't "supposed" to do. A wizard can fight decently with a sword in a particular situation or for a short length of time, but will still lose to a melee focused fighter in a prolonged battle or in a generalized situation. Transferring the analogy over to 40k... Ogryn are just one tool in the IG toolkit, they are a melee unit that performs a specific purpose in an army that is otherwise relatively bad at melee. Ogryn should be good at melee, and the "army focus" of guard being generally bad at melee should be maintained by limiting the amount of ogryns you can take, limiting their synergy with IG units, or otherwise not allowing you to take an entire army of ogryns. They are supposed to be a specialist unit not the mainstay of the faction. You don't do this by intentionally overcosting ogryns because that just makes them bad. You don't NEED ogryn to win, and so if they are intentionally overcosted they just don't get taken.

OR

You can just eliminate the trap options, but then every army is reduced to a handful of "actual" units and the game becomes too simple.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 21:32:23


Post by: AnomanderRake


w1zard wrote:
...You can just eliminate the trap options, but then every army is reduced to a handful of "actual" units and the game becomes too simple.


Going this route unfortunately leads into a weird space where something else becomes the trap option until the entire Codex is reduced to "spam this one unit" (see: Codex: Dawneagle Jetbikes and Codex: Nemesis Dreadknights).


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 21:38:55


Post by: Tyel


The thing is there is optimisation to the nth degree - and then there is raising units up to a standard that makes them okay to play rather than awful.

This is a game about rolling six sided dice. Luck will have a massive influence on any given game. You don't therefore need things to be mathematically perfect in order for it to be balanced - you just need it to be close enough.

What you want to avoid is situations where on normal dice player 1's army does 50% more damage and takes 50% less damage than player 2's army. If instead its around 10% then its likely moving around the table to optimizing targets/objectives (and just dumb luck) is going to have a greater impact on the result than purely list building.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 21:48:35


Post by: w1zard


Tyel wrote:
The thing is there is optimisation to the nth degree - and then there is raising units up to a standard that makes them okay to play rather than awful.

This is a game about rolling six sided dice. Luck will have a massive influence on any given game. You don't therefore need things to be mathematically perfect in order for it to be balanced - you just need it to be close enough.

What you want to avoid is situations where on normal dice player 1's army does 50% more damage and takes 50% less damage than player 2's army. If instead its around 10% then its likely moving around the table to optimizing targets/objectives (and just dumb luck) is going to have a greater impact on the result than purely list building.

That is true too. Balance doesn't necessarily mean "perfect balance" it just means "close enough not to matter".


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 21:56:36


Post by: Charistoph


 Peregrine wrote:

 Charistoph wrote:
But that slow update cycle is GW's design concept. They deliberately choose to release things in that haphazard manner. That they did it because of model availability is irrelevant because they should have begun the design scheme with allowing for those armies not getting flyers to have decent AAA without them, even if it was just a cheap Flakk missile upgrade for their Missile Launchers. They could have also made sure to include all the armies within that design space to release them in short order. They didn't, though. They brought out Flyers for some, allowed some Flakk for others, and ignored the rest until their next codex came out.

And a tabletop game going through it's 6th and 7th iteration is not unfinished or mid-update. This isn't like WoW's PTR where we know we're in testing. We're dealing with the live launches of the patches here, and someone screwed up leaving someone without access to pants till the next patch.

Well yes, it was an example of incompetence by GW. I'm certainly not going to defend their handling of the situation. But defending GW is not my point there, it's that there's a huge difference between "space marines struggle with AA because that's one of their intended weaknesses and it balances out their strengths elsewhere" and "space marines struggle with AA because their new flyer kit doesn't have a release slot for six months". You can't use GW's botched handling of 6th as an example of how designed weaknesses are bad.

Actually I can for GW because their design process exacerbates weaknesses between armies that were not inherently designed in at the time the book was written. The longer an army goes without a codex, the longer it goes without models that are keeping with the new design philosophies. There are armies which have gone 2-3 editions without an update and their designed weaknesses from a decade before became glaring issues because they couldn't compete at all.

As an example, Necrons were forced to deal with Phase Out from their pamphlet codex through all of 3rd, 4th, and only were able to get rid of it at the twilight of 5th, and their army wasn't QUITE ready to handle the mechanics of 6th edition. During that intervening time almost everyone's units got cheaper and easier to use and more able exploit the Necron's designed weaknesses.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 22:29:45


Post by: Karol


But how can GW fix such a situation? they can play with options of armies that already work. Or play with those armies power, but with a bad army and bad units, GW has to work with material that is bad to begin with, so if they copy past stuff bad armies get bad stuff all over again. It would require a whole model line reset for GW to change rule, and it would still only be a change, nothing can garente that the new stuff will be bad.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 22:39:50


Post by: auticus


Releasing all armies at once has always been how other games do it, and in fact when GW has done it (look at Ravening Hordes 2000 for whfb) it worked very well.

When you do the release model GW does where you put out a book and then wait and put out another book, you inevitably get codex creep to the nth degree.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 22:43:40


Post by: Charistoph


Karol wrote:
But how can GW fix such a situation? they can play with options of armies that already work. Or play with those armies power, but with a bad army and bad units, GW has to work with material that is bad to begin with, so if they copy past stuff bad armies get bad stuff all over again. It would require a whole model line reset for GW to change rule, and it would still only be a change, nothing can garente that the new stuff will be bad.

Well, copy and pasting usually means not changing anything, so definitely a GIGO situation. Some of the developers also don't seem to waste a lot of brainpower when they go through an army's listing for their next update, either, which can leave some units out in the cold due to simple poor performance ratios before which are repeated again, and not considering other options.

One example is the Pyrovore of the Tyranid line. No one wanted to waste a precious Elite slot for a unit of Heavy Flamers on a mediocre platform, so no one took them. If they bothered to think beyond a step and have it be an upgrade for a unit, such as being allowed to be added to 'gant or 'gaunt squads, they would have seen far more use. No need for a model line reset (unless you are referring to a codex release) to do this, but it would have been a favorable change in effectiveness for both model groups.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 23:12:38


Post by: Not Online!!!


 Charistoph wrote:
Karol wrote:
But how can GW fix such a situation? they can play with options of armies that already work. Or play with those armies power, but with a bad army and bad units, GW has to work with material that is bad to begin with, so if they copy past stuff bad armies get bad stuff all over again. It would require a whole model line reset for GW to change rule, and it would still only be a change, nothing can garente that the new stuff will be bad.

Well, copy and pasting usually means not changing anything, so definitely a GIGO situation. Some of the developers also don't seem to waste a lot of brainpower when they go through an army's listing for their next update, either, which can leave some units out in the cold due to simple poor performance ratios before which are repeated again, and not considering other options.

One example is the Pyrovore of the Tyranid line. No one wanted to waste a precious Elite slot for a unit of Heavy Flamers on a mediocre platform, so no one took them. If they bothered to think beyond a step and have it be an upgrade for a unit, such as being allowed to be added to 'gant or 'gaunt squads, they would have seen far more use. No need for a model line reset (unless you are referring to a codex release) to do this, but it would have been a favorable change in effectiveness for both model groups.


"Not a lot of brainpower" is Putting it mildly.
There are still indexes that have hq's that lack the charachter keyword....


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/02 23:47:40


Post by: A.T.


Karol wrote:
But how can GW fix such a situation?
8th edition gave them that opportunity. New rules, clean slate, chance to reorganise and consolidate factions, fundamentally change statlines, and set out structures for army composition and alliances.

Not the safe option though.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/03 00:36:03


Post by: Karol


But from what I know 7th ed GK were horrible. If 8th was their chance to be fixed, then GW did not do a good job. And if future updates are ment to be for new units and new IP, and GK players were all told they won't get any primaris, then it would mean that GK are never going to be fixed.



Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/03 01:27:03


Post by: Peregrine


 Charistoph wrote:
Actually I can for GW because their design process exacerbates weaknesses between armies that were not inherently designed in at the time the book was written. The longer an army goes without a codex, the longer it goes without models that are keeping with the new design philosophies. There are armies which have gone 2-3 editions without an update and their designed weaknesses from a decade before became glaring issues because they couldn't compete at all.

As an example, Necrons were forced to deal with Phase Out from their pamphlet codex through all of 3rd, 4th, and only were able to get rid of it at the twilight of 5th, and their army wasn't QUITE ready to handle the mechanics of 6th edition. During that intervening time almost everyone's units got cheaper and easier to use and more able exploit the Necron's designed weaknesses.


Again you're missing the point. The question is not whether or not GW's handling of game design and release schedules was good, because it obviously wasn't and nobody is defending it. The question is whether or not the state of the game in that era is useful evidence for or against the idea of deliberately designed weaknesses for factions. And the answer is no, it isn't. Space marines didn't lack AA early in 6th because a competent game designer came up with a faction identity for the space marines that included a weakness against aircraft (balancing out strengths elsewhere), and a faction identity for Necrons that involved being great at AA and aircraft. It's purely a coincidence of the release schedule where Necrons had their flyer kit on the shelf already, and space marines weren't getting theirs until months later. If GW's marketing department had decided to make the space marine flyer an earlier release the space marine AA problem never would have existed.

If you want to talk about the merits of designed weaknesses then you need to look at something like index-only 8th edition, where everything is designed at the same time as part of a coherent system and any strengths or weaknesses are the result of deliberate game design and not just the whims of the release calendar.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/03 04:39:19


Post by: Charistoph


 Peregrine wrote:
Again you're missing the point. The question is not whether or not GW's handling of game design and release schedules was good, because it obviously wasn't and nobody is defending it. The question is whether or not the state of the game in that era is useful evidence for or against the idea of deliberately designed weaknesses for factions. And the answer is no, it isn't. Space marines didn't lack AA early in 6th because a competent game designer came up with a faction identity for the space marines that included a weakness against aircraft (balancing out strengths elsewhere), and a faction identity for Necrons that involved being great at AA and aircraft. It's purely a coincidence of the release schedule where Necrons had their flyer kit on the shelf already, and space marines weren't getting theirs until months later. If GW's marketing department had decided to make the space marine flyer an earlier release the space marine AA problem never would have existed.

No, I got that point. My counter-point is that their design paradigm generates faction weaknesses on their own that are not always inherent at the time of their printing and they have little interest in addressing in an accelerated manner. Furthermore, it takes an existing designed weakness and further expands on it by virtue of delayed releases creating a wider and wider gap. It wasn't coincidence that other Flyers weren't all released at the same time, it was simply piss-poor release strategy and demonstrated the pure lack of desire to do any balancing, either by unit or by faction, on the part of Games Workshop. I think YOU do not realize just what kind of havoc this plays on balancing factions or units.

 Peregrine wrote:
If you want to talk about the merits of designed weaknesses then you need to look at something like index-only 8th edition, where everything is designed at the same time as part of a coherent system and any strengths or weaknesses are the result of deliberate game design and not just the whims of the release calendar.

No, not really. Because GW has chosen this type of release schedule, I can address it as it exists. They don't get a pass simply because they chose a piss-poor release concept. Indeed, the very concept of designed strengths and weaknesses becomes markedly more noticeable in this type of release process. Whether you want to talk about Flyers, Choice Detachments (aka Decurion, Gladius, etc), or Codex Stratagems, their release schedule adds strengths on one army at a time, while immediately adding weakness to an army that hasn't been brought up to date at the same time.

If every faction had their Flyer or AAA released when 7th Edition was released, there wouldn't have been an imbalance. That there wasn't was a deliberate choice on GW's part (for whatever reason behind it). They could have easily set up a "Death From the Skies" release group before 7th Edition launched to specifically address this. They chose not to. This becomes a designed set of weaknesses for the "have-nots" (though, some would argue for some of the "haves", too, right Hell Turkey?) at that point in time. It may not have been the original intention of the game designers, but GW's game designers don't think on those balance levels like PP (used to) or any online game designer has in consideration.

Furthermore, part of your statement was about the game was that it was "not finished" or "mid-update" was pure fantasy that leads to the delusion that "Codex Creep" isn't also setting up a series of designed strengths and weaknesses. Once they release a book, that is a finished update for the game, even if it is only for one small portion of the entire game, and it adds to the strength of that army (most of the time, sorry Sisters), while each codex slowly reduces the effectiveness of every other army and compounds or exposes any weaknesses that they have.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/03 11:16:20


Post by: bouncingboredom


Even though this is something of a moot discussion, on the principle that we know from people that have worked for them that they have no real interest in balance....

The soup problem is something GW has had going back to the very beginning. These days it manifests itself as weird mixes of allies to create broken combinations, in years past it was broken combinations of magic items or special equipment. They know it's a problem. They've known its a problem for a long time. They're unlikely to ever fix it, but there's your starting point; getting rid of most of the broken combos.

From there you can balance unit to unit, but it's not so much a case of "every unit performs the same" as it is using a reference model (model zero or unit zero) as a starting point and point costing units in relation to unit zero. Then playtest. Then adjust. Then playtest etc. For all the talk of how hard it is to balance these games, GW history is absolutely replete with even the most basic errors, where units that are completely identical in stats (and having no special rules or synergies) end up costing different amounts of points, or the classic of units that cost the same amount of points, even though one unit is markedly better than the other at the same function. Phrases like "internal balance" and "external balance" simply mean nothing to GW. They don't care and they never have.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/03 11:34:10


Post by: Peregrine




JFC you are building straw man arguments. Please look at the original context of my position, dealing with a hypothetical version of 40k designed according to my principles. Nobody is defending GW's game or release schedule as-is. Nobody is disputing the fact that a slow update cycle and tying rules updates to model releases creates situations where armies are playing with obsolete rules and it hurts balance. The point was that the state of flyers in early 6th was the result of a bad release/update system where you have to wait months/years to get your rules, not a deliberate choice that certain factions should not have flyers. In fact, all of those factions did get flyers eventually, once their release slot came up. So comparing it to a hypothetical version of the game where "space marines are weak against aircraft" is similar to "Tau are weak in melee" is completely inappropriate. There was no consideration to making a weakness against flyers part of faction design and making sure the faction's strengths offset it enough to have a balanced end result, GW just didn't give a about balance or filling that role until they had a new kit to sell.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/03 11:57:10


Post by: Ghorgul


Lots of good interesting points being thrown around, very nice to read these comments!

I think one problem with designing defined synergies to armies leads to trap units, unless the synergies are designed in very controlled manner affecting only very specific units. However current 40k 'synergies' are just 'Giff re-roll 1's aura' 'Giff 5++ invulnerable' to units sharing a keyword. These are broad blanket 'synergies' and when priced in they can easily create trap units, because the unit usually isn't in range, unless you make some weird lists.

I think it would be far better to give create auras that are more specific and cheaper, but simultaneously because they are more specific there is kind of drawback for taking them over the other. Currently for example the CSM re-roll 1's to-hit auras apply to both shooting and melee and every unit sharing a <Legion> keyword and thus every unit in existence having <Legion> keyword needs to be considering this aura buff, i.e. these broad auras create spammability issues. If one would create more, but more specific auras, then each aura taken is one other aura not taken. For example one could have some HQ giving aura to bolter weapons or to weapons with rapid fire instead of broad blanket aura buffs and alternatively give only melee buff aura to another HQ option. These more specific auras allow more incremental balancing of every unit, leading to the fact that melee units don't need to be so expensive because they demand specific auras to be available to be extra efficient. Currently for example Berserkers need to be balanced around the assumption of re-roll 1's to hit because it's relatively easy to have either Chaos Lord or Daemon Prince in vicinity of them.

So with more specific auras one could go more for melee style lists with Berserkers and appropriate aura HQs while these synergy choices would make your shooting relatively weaker because the same auras do not buff shooting. Going for more shooting elements and auras would then again make your melee relatively weaker, so the HQ choices with more specific auras would have kind of associated cost of missing out on other aura. For example as CSM going for full melee style list with all the melee specific auras would make your list extremely weak against other more specialised melee factions, and this reason would be your own fault because you maxed out your melee power at the cost of shooting power available. Currently one can augment shooting with same auras that augment melee so there is far more tactical flexibility which IMO enables spam combos and forces the general blanket auras to be accounted for in the cost of other units, and there are many clear indications that GW is considering the Stratagems and other buffs available when it adjusts point costs of specific units.

TL;DR: Factions should have more auras, stratagems and synergies available but these should NOT be all-encompassing, so min-maxing on one aspect effectively would make your factions other available strengths relatively weaker. This IMO would encourage building of more balanced lists, while avoiding formation of trap units because not everyone unit needs to priced based on their maximum buffed state as the maximum buff condition contains elements that make you weaker.

I would point out that AoS does much better with player interaction: The Combo pieces and Auras can be removed as characters can be targeted freely. Stratagems (Command Abilities) are activated with characters and have limited range so they work in far more positional manner than in 40k where stratagems can be just 'invoked' on lone unit away from every friendly unit.
In 40k if your opponent has appropriate unit and CPs available you generally can't do anything to prevent them using that stratagem, i.e. the combos are mostly non-interactive. In AoS enemy has option of denying the combos by targeting the pieces that enable those combos. Of course people cry out about AoS having balance issues, but I would say 40k has far more pressing issues than AoS.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/03 12:07:46


Post by: auticus


In my experience, aos and 40k have the same level of issues, they are just different issues.

But both revolve around the same thing: imbalance, trap units, false choices, obvious builds.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/03 13:32:53


Post by: Ghorgul


auticus wrote:
In my experience, aos and 40k have the same level of issues, they are just different issues.

But both revolve around the same thing: imbalance, trap units, false choices, obvious builds.
Yeah, imbalance is something that comes inherently with far too many armies, like GW games currently tend to have. AoS has pretty obvious builds because the general pool of units you choose from tends to be quite small, also there aren't that many Stratagems (Command Abilities) available generally, which further limits the obvious builds. So for more varied playstyles IMO there needs to be more buffs and stratagems that enable more combos than the obvious broken FoM build. With too limited pool of units and stratagems the builds and combos become obvious and then it's difficult to adjust them because every other combo is bad to begin with, i.e. there is basically only 1-2 good builds available.

For example SM and CSM have 'Killshot' stratagem but the design of this stratagem is seriously flawed: Need 3 Predators and the later blanket restriction makes it max. 3 Predators to begin with, so any capable enemy that has targets scared of this 'Killshot' combo can quite easily destroy one of the predators, unless opponent's list is unable to destroy one predator per turn, but then I would say it's the opponents failure if they cannot do this.

There are many kind of fluffy ways to enable certain playstyles without significant point adjustments:
We could create 'Distraction carnifex' rule for Land Raiders: "<Vehicle> units sharing <Legion> keyword with this unit get -1 to hit at in enemy shooting phase when within 6" of Land Raider".
We could create 'Combined Arms' rule for Predators: "<Chaos Rhino> units sharing <Legion> keyword with this unit get -1 to hit at in enemy shooting phase when within 6" of Predator that did not use smoke launchers in previous turn".
If Land Raiders hypothetical 'Distraction carnifex' made CSM players build weird shooty lists the rule could be changed to affect only <Legion> <Chaos Rhino> units, assuming we want to encourage CSM players driving into opponents face with units.
If this stacking of -2 to hit against Rhinos would make Khorne Berserker rushes too powerful there are plenty of avenues to start adjusting: We could make Berserkers and/or Rhinos more expensive. Better control of HQ auras that buff Berserkers. We could make Land Raider more expensive. Rightfully Berserkers themselves could be adjusted if they are given easier options to get to combat. Also still going all-in with vehicles and berserkers would make your list weak against complete anti-vehicle lists which can effectively destroy Land Raiders and Rhinos or have the mobility to kite your berserker rhinos.

Basically add more synergies which are well controlled and not completely multifunctional, like above suggestions would buff rhino durability with the tax of taking Land Raider and Predator, both of which don't really see much play to my understanding.

Land Raider could also be given rules like 'Dispersive Fire' "<Chaos Space Marine> [This is the troop choice] units sharing <Legion> keyword with this unit get +1 to hit when firing enemy units in shooting phase when within 3" of this unit". Allow this to be stacked, powerful yes, but then again CSM units have quite restrictive long range weaponry options, poor melee power and land raiders are actually quite easy to remove, so the rule would only become really functional when Troop CSM reach 24"/12" threshold distance. Low 3" range would force CSM player to pile up his forces for maximum effect which would make him weaker against strong melee opponents and hinder his mobility.
So now Land Raider and Multiples of Land Raiders would increase Firepower of Troop CSM tremendously, providing reason for enemy to destroy Land Raiders and reasons for CSM to take Land Raiders, while still including heavy tax on the ability as Land Raiders are quite expensive.

There, I came up with examples how to create tightly controlled synergies which promote both faction specific and varied playstyles while giving little played units some extra functionality, while still promoting interaction as opponent has options to remove the combo pieces (destroy land raiders, charge the rhinos/land raiders/other units to prevent the combo from moving in dangerous position).


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/03 13:52:19


Post by: Unit1126PLL


The problem is there used to be similar (well, opposite, but example to follow) rules in earlier editions and they got decried as Rules Bloat.

For example, there was a formation back in the day that was a Shadowsword, 0-6 Leman Russes, 0-3 Hydras, 0-3 Sentinels, and 0-3 Chimeras. The only rule the Formation had was that any penetrating or glancing hit done a vehicle could be pawned off on a lesser vehicle - so if you penetrated the Shadowsword, a Sentinel would dive in the way and catch the bullet, then a chimera, then a hydra, then a russ... etc etc.

It made for a cool vehicle fleet army, and the rule was called "Piquets" I believe, which is the French word from which we get pickets and at the time was a naval term meaning smaller ships in a fleet that screened for the larger warships. A pretty cool concept, right?


Well, I bet no one knows the name of the formation. I sure as hell have forgotten. Most people probably don't even remember that it existed.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/03 15:22:08


Post by: Peregrine


 Unit1126PLL wrote:
A pretty cool concept, right?


Not really. Aside from being Apocalypse-only (the reason hardly anyone remembers it) it's pretty poor design. The rule effectively says "you must shoot at targets in the inverse order of what you want", blocking you from shooting at the formation's important units until you've cleared out all of the cannon fodder. Instead of leaving it up to the player to figure out a way to make their Sentinel squadrons a sufficient threat that their opponent chooses them as a target instead of the Shadowsword you just pay your points* and the big guns become immune to attack. It's exactly the sort of CCG-style "LOL I PLAY MY TRAP CARD I WIN" mechanic that is a problem with 8th edition and stratagems, where picking the right rules to abuse in list construction is more important than how you play the game on the table.

*The only thing it does right, assigning a point value to the formation buffs instead of just giving them for free as a reward for buying the limited-edition bundle deal it came in.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/03 16:50:43


Post by: Unit1126PLL


Well, there were positional restrictions, e.g. the Russes had to stay within 6" of the Shadowsword - everyone had to be some discrete distance away from each-other for it to work.

So enemy units "doing things" (being in the way) generally cocked it up, as did terrain... it was hardly as foolproof or uncounterable as you claim. A Flank March (that was always fun) of Dreadnoughts moved onto the board and locked me into a corner; the terrain effectively prevented the Shadowsword from firing, and any attempt to move safely would force the Russes 6" away and allow the Shadowsword to be targeted independently even as it /just/ achieved line of sight on the significant pieces of the enemy force. Incidentally, I spent most of the game using anti-Titan cannons on Dreadnoughts.

EDIT:
Maybe I should've just said "Pretty cool to everyone except Peregrine" instead of writing this convoluted explanatory response...


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/03 17:03:51


Post by: Slayer-Fan123


Honestly the fact you had Dreads of all things pin you down speaks levels of how you actually play.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/03 17:40:07


Post by: Unit1126PLL


Slayer-Fan123 wrote:
Honestly the fact you had Dreads of all things pin you down speaks levels of how you actually play.


16 dreadnoughts in 6th/7th was a lot, buddy. Thanks for the condescension though.

They came in from a flank with the Flank March ability, and each one was more than capable of wrecking a Leman Russ in a single combat.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/03 18:11:08


Post by: Charistoph


Peregrine wrote:

JFC you are building straw man arguments. Please look at the original context of my position, dealing with a hypothetical version of 40k designed according to my principles. Nobody is defending GW's game or release schedule as-is. Nobody is disputing the fact that a slow update cycle and tying rules updates to model releases creates situations where armies are playing with obsolete rules and it hurts balance. The point was that the state of flyers in early 6th was the result of a bad release/update system where you have to wait months/years to get your rules, not a deliberate choice that certain factions should not have flyers. In fact, all of those factions did get flyers eventually, once their release slot came up. So comparing it to a hypothetical version of the game where "space marines are weak against aircraft" is similar to "Tau are weak in melee" is completely inappropriate. There was no consideration to making a weakness against flyers part of faction design and making sure the faction's strengths offset it enough to have a balanced end result, GW just didn't give a about balance or filling that role until they had a new kit to sell.

Get control of yourself and watch the language. I am not building straw man arguments because I am bringing up real world situations and experiences in regards to dealing with Warhammer army strengths and weaknesses, and you dismissed them.

Let's take, for example, the original Dawn of War series. Every army was given a Flyer unit at the same time. This was a deliberate design decision to make sure that the armies were balanced upon its release. Then let's look at GW's decision which was not, "let's hold off on releasing this model set until we can provide every army with an option or an answer", it was, "let's release these models, who cares if an army doesn't have the option which will cause them to be invalidated against this new freshness." This was a deliberate design decision on the part of the company.

When the first Formation was released in 6th Edition, did everyone get a Formation? No. Only a few armies received one at the time, which allowed them to ignore the FOC everyone else was restricted to. When the Decurion was released, did everyone else get a powerful Choice Detachment option? Not even by the advent of 8th Edition did every army have access to them. By choosing not to develop these options and choices for all armies, it becomes a deliberate choice to build in weaknesses to armies by virtue of not allowing them to have an aspect of a new mechanic's strengths.

Is it the same as developing Necrons with Phase Out, Tyranids with short shooting range, or Tau with low melee defense? Not as overtly at the time of the writing of the codex, but just as deliberately when looking at the game's design as a whole. You are only focusing on deci-level of the content, while I'm focusing on the deca-level of the content, and that is part of the question of this thread. Unit level balance focuses on the centi-level of the content (milli being the model level) while the army balance focuses on the deca-level. The whole game's aspect would be the deca-level of balancing.

I'll bring up the aspect of Starcraft again, because there is almost zero unit level balancing in that game, it is all focused on the army level, and it still remains great. Warhammer could be reviewed with such balance elements in mind, but the developers don't care enough, and their release schedule promotes this apathy by always only focusing on one army instead of the game as a whole. This gets worse with the developers often getting more myopic by only focusing on a few models here and there instead of the army as a whole, much less how it may affect balance across the entire game. Flyers just happen to be an effective example of the real world experience in how GW botches up balance because of their overall design scheme.

Unless you're only planning on playing the game a few months before and after an edition change, this will always be the case with Warhammer, Fantasy or 40K. It is important and vital to keep that in mind when considering balancing a game from a developer's point of view, as it is one of GW's greatest and most significant business weaknesses.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/03 18:14:24


Post by: Martel732


Starcraft does balance at the unit level. In the beta, 2 armor roaches were breaking the game. GW won't fix the armor on roaches effectively by refusing to address drukhari, ynarri and ig.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/03 18:54:44


Post by: Charistoph


Martel732 wrote:
Starcraft does balance at the unit level. In the beta, 2 armor roaches were breaking the game. GW won't fix the armor on roaches effectively by refusing to address drukhari, ynarri and ig.

I think you're missing what has been used as the definition of unit level balancing, then. You mentioned Roaches were being over-powered. What were they being compared to in performance with the Protoss or the Terrans? You didn't even think to mention them at all.

When people think of unit-level balancing, there is often a comparison going on. Very few units in Starcraft are easily analagous, often begin parked behind different tiers of construction. Comparing the core Troop of the Factions (SM Tacticals, Guard Infantry Squad, Nid Termagant Brood, etc) would be a case that people would look at when doing unit balancing. The problem being that they are not intended to be balanced 1:1. The Guard Squad is cheap, but has a very low model cap for such a cheap unit. Termagants being both cheap and having a large model cap. SM Tacticals are somewhat more expensive, but are generally tougher, stronger, while having a low model cap. Guardsmen are then geared for providing for either larger detachments at a cheaper cost, or allowing for point room for their far more effective vehicles. Termagants can be used like Guardsmen in that respect, but with their shorter-ranged weapons, need to be taken in larger numbers to have a chance for the unit survive long enough to even consider hurting something. Tacticals aren't really set up to be taken cheaply, but either can more easily survive what the 'gants and Guard cannot, or it takes more resources to do so easily. From their, their weapon loadout is more diverse and effective in its diversity than either 'gant or Guard can provide, but their Vehicles are either mediocre or vastly far more expensive.

It's that consideration of allowing for better vehicles or bigger bugs which translates the consideration of balancing the Troops from a unit balancing exercise to a faction balancing exercise. And we haven't even considered the ramifications of what HQs may do for said Troops which pulls us back from focusing only on the unit, to the faction as a whole.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/03 19:23:26


Post by: Crimson


 Charistoph wrote:

When people think of unit-level balancing, there is often a comparison going on. Very few units in Starcraft are easily analagous, often begin parked behind different tiers of construction. Comparing the core Troop of the Factions (SM Tacticals, Guard Infantry Squad, Nid Termagant Brood, etc) would be a case that people would look at when doing unit balancing. The problem being that they are not intended to be balanced 1:1. The Guard Squad is cheap, but has a very low model cap for such a cheap unit. Termagants being both cheap and having a large model cap. SM Tacticals are somewhat more expensive, but are generally tougher, stronger, while having a low model cap. Guardsmen are then geared for providing for either larger detachments at a cheaper cost, or allowing for point room for their far more effective vehicles. Termagants can be used like Guardsmen in that respect, but with their shorter-ranged weapons, need to be taken in larger numbers to have a chance for the unit survive long enough to even consider hurting something. Tacticals aren't really set up to be taken cheaply, but either can more easily survive what the 'gants and Guard cannot, or it takes more resources to do so easily. From their, their weapon loadout is more diverse and effective in its diversity than either 'gant or Guard can provide, but their Vehicles are either mediocre or vastly far more expensive.

Except Tacticals are not more resilient than guardsmen for their points nor are their weapons more effective.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/03 19:28:58


Post by: Karol


:too slow:

But considering they aren't more resilient then cheap swarm chaff. Which way should GW go fixing marines. Make them tougher, or make them more killy like eldar are? Maybe a bit of both.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/03 19:37:54


Post by: HoundsofDemos


One big issue with balancing the game both in 7th and 8th (via different game mechanics) that make it very hard to balance anything, free ish buffs that aren't really reflected in the units point cost. Chapter tactics and stratagems for everyone make certain units far more effective than they would be as a stand alone. Formations in 7th did the same thing. Aura hammer being super prevalent to doesn't help since trying to balance that requires you to have an ideal point or power total for the baseline game.

To use a basic example how much should a tactical marine cost. In an ideal world GW would base it's cost on it's stats, base equipment and the rules on it's data sheet. But then you have to keep in mind all of the above since that can really change how well a unit performs. Trying to balance anything in such a system seems a tall task given how many factions and units are in the game plus you can mix and match many of them.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/03 19:39:43


Post by: Bharring


Edit: the post I was responding to was edited away.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/03 22:27:57


Post by: Tyel


 Crimson wrote:
Except Tacticals are not more resilient than guardsmen for their points nor are their weapons more effective.


Yeah.
They are just bad.

Which is the issue here. Units can be defined as bad or good depending on where they fall on the spectrum of all units.

The more points you spend on tactical marines, the worse your army is likely to get. This is because you are getting significantly less for your points than you would with the overwhelming majority of other options.

There is no fluff or "army character" reason for this weakness. Tactical Marines are not meant to be crap compared to Guardsmen. Or Fire Warriors, or Kabalites or most other troops options. They just are, because they cost 13 points and Guardsmen cost 4.

If Marines were say 12 points, but Guardsmen were 5 points (and anything else problematic was suitably adjusted) then you would have a more balanced situation. Marines would be at - or at least a lot closer to - the acceptable mark. You would no longer be making your army objectively worse by taking them.

The problem is that Marines have the albatross of Guilliman and won't be fixed properly until he is cast to the outer dark - but that could be done.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/03 23:24:44


Post by: Ice_can


Except even giving bobby G a bro hug still doesn't make tactical marines good, they just go from garbage to fluffy lists ok.

Just loom at how many points GW had to take off of intercessors to make peope even begin to consider them worthwhile.

In ith edition GW massively overcosted 3+ and doesn't seem to know why or by how much to be able to fix it.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/03 23:49:25


Post by: Karol


like 10pts drop I would say. bolters that cost almost 20pts don't kill enough stuff. their resiliance is also, while better then tac marines, not good enough to base an army around. Not when there is a bucket of d2 being thrown around by most lists.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/03 23:50:44


Post by: Charistoph


Crimson wrote:
 Charistoph wrote:

When people think of unit-level balancing, there is often a comparison going on. Very few units in Starcraft are easily analagous, often begin parked behind different tiers of construction. Comparing the core Troop of the Factions (SM Tacticals, Guard Infantry Squad, Nid Termagant Brood, etc) would be a case that people would look at when doing unit balancing. The problem being that they are not intended to be balanced 1:1. The Guard Squad is cheap, but has a very low model cap for such a cheap unit. Termagants being both cheap and having a large model cap. SM Tacticals are somewhat more expensive, but are generally tougher, stronger, while having a low model cap. Guardsmen are then geared for providing for either larger detachments at a cheaper cost, or allowing for point room for their far more effective vehicles. Termagants can be used like Guardsmen in that respect, but with their shorter-ranged weapons, need to be taken in larger numbers to have a chance for the unit survive long enough to even consider hurting something. Tacticals aren't really set up to be taken cheaply, but either can more easily survive what the 'gants and Guard cannot, or it takes more resources to do so easily. From their, their weapon loadout is more diverse and effective in its diversity than either 'gant or Guard can provide, but their Vehicles are either mediocre or vastly far more expensive.

Except Tacticals are not more resilient than guardsmen for their points nor are their weapons more effective.

I didn't say they were more resilient for their points. What I said is that Tacticals were not meant to be cheap (they aren't), that they are tougher than Guardsmen and 'gants (they are), and that their weapon loadout is more diverse (primarily over the 'gants) and more effective (better range than the 'gants and a little stronger than the Guardsmen). That point value is where the imbalance of Warhammer begins to shine and measures out the desirability of the unit to either take as spam or necessary filler.

Realistically, they should set one unit as the base point, and work from there at how much of it that it can kill versus how quickly it kills it. This should be tested from a ranged perspective and a melee perspective. Everything should then be based off of how it compares with that base unit point. If our base point is the Tactical Marine Squad, how many Guardsmen, on average would it take to shoot them off the board? How long would it take Guardsmen to beat them off the board? Then reverse it and go from there. If it takes 3 Infantry Squads to kill 1 Tactical Squad in the same time 1 Tactical Squad butchers those 3 Infantry Squads, then a Guardsman should be 1/3 the point value of the Marine. This would at least provide a base starting point. It's not perfect, because this method doesn't consider synergistic affects like HQs, Markerlights, etc. (whose affects should be priced in themselves), but I think it would prove better than what we're getting.

What we seem to get is a bit of a dart board approach to which they feel it with a +1 or -2 approach till it 'feels" right without engaging math at all. Then they add weapons and gear with nice round numbers which further imbalances something that was still teetering to begin with.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/04 00:01:56


Post by: JohnHwangDD


There are two different contexts.

Army v Army is pretty typical, where there is one specific build for each army which is competitive against the competitive builds of other armies. This is "external balance", where you can pick any army, and have "fair" odds of winning - as long as you take the correct mix of units for that army. If you deviate from that competitive build, you will fail.

Unit v Unit is less common, because there are so many other things going on that it's really hard to balance a Grot against a Knight. But it gets to the notion of "internal balance", where you have more choices of what to take for your competitive build.

I believe that Army v Army balance is more important, and that there should be deliberate cost imbalances to encourage particular army compositions. For example, SMs should be most competitive if they take a fully-mechanized Demi-Company, but considerably less so if they're taking Scouts and Terminators and Primaris and other specialists. "Soup" should be uncompetitive by its nature.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/04 00:17:04


Post by: Slayer-Fan123


 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Slayer-Fan123 wrote:
Honestly the fact you had Dreads of all things pin you down speaks levels of how you actually play.


16 dreadnoughts in 6th/7th was a lot, buddy. Thanks for the condescension though.

They came in from a flank with the Flank March ability, and each one was more than capable of wrecking a Leman Russ in a single combat.

...and Dreads in 6th/7th were terrible. So if you thought they were dangerous I would say you're not a strong player.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/04 02:05:09


Post by: HoundsofDemos


Slayer-Fan123 wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Slayer-Fan123 wrote:
Honestly the fact you had Dreads of all things pin you down speaks levels of how you actually play.


16 dreadnoughts in 6th/7th was a lot, buddy. Thanks for the condescension though.

They came in from a flank with the Flank March ability, and each one was more than capable of wrecking a Leman Russ in a single combat.

...and Dreads in 6th/7th were terrible. So if you thought they were dangerous I would say you're not a strong player.


While I generally I agree with Dreads not being that strong back then, couldn't Blood angels pull some pretty nasty combos with them using the FW dread DPs and the Lib versions? I vaguely remember that doing well at a few tournaments.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/04 02:29:23


Post by: Martel732


Yes, it was a gimmick for a while. Once they were forced to deploy, it was over.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/04 14:05:16


Post by: Unit1126PLL


Slayer-Fan123 wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Slayer-Fan123 wrote:
Honestly the fact you had Dreads of all things pin you down speaks levels of how you actually play.


16 dreadnoughts in 6th/7th was a lot, buddy. Thanks for the condescension though.

They came in from a flank with the Flank March ability, and each one was more than capable of wrecking a Leman Russ in a single combat.

...and Dreads in 6th/7th were terrible. So if you thought they were dangerous I would say you're not a strong player.


What do you want me to say? He had 16 dreadnoughts, and I had <16 anti-tank guns that could stop them in one turn. I killed almost all of them before the end, but they Flank Marched to ~12" away from me, and it was either "get closer" and fail to kill them all because he had more bodies than I had guns (then get charged and mulched by Dreadnought Close Combat Weapons with Str. 10 vs Rear Armor 10, or 12, at best), or "run away" and kill them all eventually, which is what I chose.

I'm sort of shocked you're a bad enough player that you can't do the basic math required to understand that 6 Leman Russes and 1 Shadowsword in those editions was powerful, but not numerous, anti-tank. Indeed, with all your incessant whining about Imperial Guard I would hope you understand the basic tactical concept of having not enough shots to stop the wall of bad-guys attacking you.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/04 16:37:34


Post by: AnomanderRake


Karol wrote:
:too slow:

But considering they aren't more resilient then cheap swarm chaff. Which way should GW go fixing marines. Make them tougher, or make them more killy like eldar are? Maybe a bit of both.


If you look at a bolter Marine in a vacuum next to a Guardsman with a lasgun in a vacuum they're both reasonably priced for getting into infantry firefights.

The problem is that size creep (multiple detachments, vehicle squadrons, bigger guns) has gotten wildly out of control to the point that Space Marines are too squishy and pulse rifles require abilities allowing them to fire four shots a turn to be an effective weapon. Changing Space Marines doesn't really help a whole lot; you can't make an infantry squad bigger or better in the age of Knights/Riptides/Russ squadrons because you can't make it durable until it becomes an Ogryn or a Custodian, and anything else just makes it more expensive without making it more worthwhile. At some point you have to start reining in the damage output; you can't solve all problems by buffing the thing at the bottom of the pile, that just ends up moving the pile without actually flattening it at all.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/04 17:07:01


Post by: Saturmorn Carvilli


 AnomanderRake wrote:


If you look at a bolter Marine in a vacuum next to a Guardsman with a lasgun in a vacuum they're both reasonably priced for getting into infantry firefights.


Funny, you can do exactly that in Kill Team. In fact, technically marines have slight buffs given the slight rules differences of Kill Team. Still, I think 3 cultists technically do more work than a single bolter marine. Both being 12 points.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/04 17:09:14


Post by: Karol


 AnomanderRake wrote:
Karol wrote:
:too slow:

But considering they aren't more resilient then cheap swarm chaff. Which way should GW go fixing marines. Make them tougher, or make them more killy like eldar are? Maybe a bit of both.


If you look at a bolter Marine in a vacuum next to a Guardsman with a lasgun in a vacuum they're both reasonably priced for getting into infantry firefights.

The problem is that size creep (multiple detachments, vehicle squadrons, bigger guns) has gotten wildly out of control to the point that Space Marines are too squishy and pulse rifles require abilities allowing them to fire four shots a turn to be an effective weapon. Changing Space Marines doesn't really help a whole lot; you can't make an infantry squad bigger or better in the age of Knights/Riptides/Russ squadrons because you can't make it durable until it becomes an Ogryn or a Custodian, and anything else just makes it more expensive without making it more worthwhile. At some point you have to start reining in the damage output; you can't solve all problems by buffing the thing at the bottom of the pile, that just ends up moving the pile without actually flattening it at all.

But buffs don't have to be +1 to save or AP. GW could give marines better deployment or redeployment options. they could even give them to primaris only. Other stuff could be a form of build in apothecary, which could be buffed up by an actual apothecary or stratagems. Lets say primaris could regrow d2 wounds or one model each turn. It could be enhanced for some chapter that could make the regeneration their whole schtick.
Other fixs could be done in form of option changes. Maybe marines should have more weapon options per squad?
Other stuff could be chapter specific or unit specific, but based on fluff. In the books I read a marine charging is like a mini tank droping on you, they can break light armored targets by weight of impact alone.

Why not give marines some sort of auto hit if they charge . An assault space marine or raptor droping in using a jump pack should leave a crater when he lands. So maybe auto hits based on the size of a unit, if they charge something less armored then them. That could even spread to other armies, eldar could get some sort of dodge bonus which would make them tougher to hit in melee on some units. Orcs could have a space marine like rule, but it could be based on wounds in a unit. Maybe tau could use their non pistol weapons in melee. Maybe some super disciplined IG regiment like the morodian iron guard could get the same type of rule.

I understand the GW tries to make all the rules as much the same as possible, but they really don't have to do it 100% of time. If they make the unit rules the same, then all that is important is raw stats and point costs. And then I agree that fixing anything marine, primaris or not, is not possible in this edition.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/04 17:49:53


Post by: AnomanderRake


Karol wrote:
 AnomanderRake wrote:
Karol wrote:
:too slow:

But considering they aren't more resilient then cheap swarm chaff. Which way should GW go fixing marines. Make them tougher, or make them more killy like eldar are? Maybe a bit of both.


If you look at a bolter Marine in a vacuum next to a Guardsman with a lasgun in a vacuum they're both reasonably priced for getting into infantry firefights.

The problem is that size creep (multiple detachments, vehicle squadrons, bigger guns) has gotten wildly out of control to the point that Space Marines are too squishy and pulse rifles require abilities allowing them to fire four shots a turn to be an effective weapon. Changing Space Marines doesn't really help a whole lot; you can't make an infantry squad bigger or better in the age of Knights/Riptides/Russ squadrons because you can't make it durable until it becomes an Ogryn or a Custodian, and anything else just makes it more expensive without making it more worthwhile. At some point you have to start reining in the damage output; you can't solve all problems by buffing the thing at the bottom of the pile, that just ends up moving the pile without actually flattening it at all.

But buffs don't have to be +1 to save or AP. GW could give marines better deployment or redeployment options. they could even give them to primaris only. Other stuff could be a form of build in apothecary, which could be buffed up by an actual apothecary or stratagems. Lets say primaris could regrow d2 wounds or one model each turn. It could be enhanced for some chapter that could make the regeneration their whole schtick.
Other fixs could be done in form of option changes. Maybe marines should have more weapon options per squad?
Other stuff could be chapter specific or unit specific, but based on fluff. In the books I read a marine charging is like a mini tank droping on you, they can break light armored targets by weight of impact alone.

Why not give marines some sort of auto hit if they charge . An assault space marine or raptor droping in using a jump pack should leave a crater when he lands. So maybe auto hits based on the size of a unit, if they charge something less armored then them. That could even spread to other armies, eldar could get some sort of dodge bonus which would make them tougher to hit in melee on some units. Orcs could have a space marine like rule, but it could be based on wounds in a unit. Maybe tau could use their non pistol weapons in melee. Maybe some super disciplined IG regiment like the morodian iron guard could get the same type of rule.

I understand the GW tries to make all the rules as much the same as possible, but they really don't have to do it 100% of time. If they make the unit rules the same, then all that is important is raw stats and point costs. And then I agree that fixing anything marine, primaris or not, is not possible in this edition.


Things like this tend to end up making the game more complicated (making players learn more special rules) without actually fixing the underlying problem. This is how D&D and AoS are written; the underlying basic structure without any of the tacked-on special rules is really, really boring, and the special rules do a lot more to obfuscate the problem than they do to solve the problem.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/04 21:08:47


Post by: Karol


Things like this tend to end up making the game more complicated (making players learn more special rules) without actually fixing the underlying problem. This is how D&D and AoS are written; the underlying basic structure without any of the tacked-on special rules is really, really boring, and the special rules do a lot more to obfuscate the problem than they do to solve the problem.

It could be very streamlined. A marine could do a s3 attack for free when charging. If he was on a bike, termintor or with a pack it would be higher str.

Eldar foot aspects of the nimble kind could have a unmodified save, that could go up in melee.

Orc boys could do a str 3 hit for 10 wounds, str 4 for 20 and 5 for 30. It could be put in to general army rules.

But maybe you are right. I think that GW just streamlined some stuff too much. Marines for example clearly lack 1-2 army wide rules to be efficient. GW even kind of a tries to fix it in the new book, with detachments getting extra rules. Am just not sure that a high CP cost of those, that forces people to play IG, is the way to go.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/04 21:23:08


Post by: CadianGateTroll


Competitive players always going to min max and spam the cost efficient models.

Balancing for factions will never solve this as someone already stated how people can ignore 90% of a codex and cherry pick the top 10% powerful, undercosted units.

Balancing for units wont work because of other army equivalent are not ever equivalent. MEqs, GEqs, TEqs etc... There is sometimes army synergy that is in accounted for.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/04 21:40:10


Post by: LunarSol


Balance is always a gradient. Nothing is ever perfectly balanced, you just want to go with as much balance as possible with a priority towards External balance over Internal balanced (cause having all the equal options in the world does you know good if they're all equally bad)

Faction vs Faction is sort of the bare minimum to provide everyone with a way to play their army in a competitive fashion. If a Faction is not competitive, priority 1 has to be making that Faction competitive. It's the External floor.

Army vs Army is the next goal. I'm not really a believe in codex pure, but having an Army that doesn't have a place in its faction is a red flag to address. This is a bit of a mix of External and Internal balance and leans towards the latter a bit for me, but the former for people that are a little more dedicated to single codex armies.

Unit vs Unit is essentially impossible and not realistically desirable even. You want choices and having X number of points capable of killing their points worth of anything regardless of their weapon loadouts and the opposing defensive stats removes pretty much all the decision making in the game. That said, this is something you can do to improve Internal balance once you've got a grip on the higher tier things, but even then, you probably want to prioritize things. For example, it probably needs to be a bit of a priority to make Marines and Terminators viable over say... the Thunderfire Cannon? I mean, its cool and all, but you want to make sure that iconic stuff people love is in the game before you worry too much about the more niche stuff.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/05 00:05:03


Post by: Charistoph


It is possible to do unit vs unit balancing, but it leads to very boring army creation, leaving gameplay to only maneuvers and/or the roll of the dice.

With only a couple of exceptions, Warcraft 2's units only had a difference of images. Health, damage, upgrades, and costs were exactly the same across the board (with the exception of the Paladins and the Ogre Mages). I never found the gameplay very interesting, but I enjoyed the story.

Warcraft 3's units had many similarities, being paired up in the first tier, but had more differences when you looked at it across the board. That made the gameplay interesting, and it was largely balanced.

Starcraft and Starcraft 2 has zero similiarities in their units between factions, yet they still kept things manageably balanced when looked at across the board.

Dawn of War managed to do something 40K hasn't done and keep balance pretty close between the factions.

That being said, it is far easier to balance video games that download updates across the internet than a tabletop game that is updated by book, and only one faction at a time unless the entire system gets replaced.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 13:23:33


Post by: AtoMaki


I would rather try to balance both factions and units in a matrix rather than do a single-axis balance.

Let's group all units into definitive battlefield roles, like Basic Infantry, General Infantry, Assault Infantry, Support Infantry, Heavy Infantry, Light Vehicle, Combat Vehicle, Transport Vehicle, etc. Once all factions have their units grouped into these roles, we can compare units horizontally (units with the same role but belonging to different factions) and sum them up vertically (power of unit synergy within the same faction).

I think it is important to have both unit and army balance because "vacuum engagements" do exist and are often the key points of the battle (for example, two General Infantry units duke it out over an objective they both want to capture) but army-on-army situations are generally more prevalent.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 15:20:03


Post by: w1zard


 LunarSol wrote:
Unit vs Unit is essentially impossible and not realistically desirable even. You want choices and having X number of points capable of killing their points worth of anything regardless of their weapon loadouts and the opposing defensive stats removes pretty much all the decision making in the game.

That isn't what Unit vs Unit balancing is. There is always going to be battlefield roles based on loadouts and statlines... that HWT with lascannons is going to be crap at taking out infantry, but good for shooting at vehicles. Unit vs Unit balancing is comparing units WITHIN A ROLE to each other to make sure they are at least somewhat close in terms of efficiency per point. If a unit of lootas costs the same as a HWS with lascannons (example only, I'm not sure what lootas cost) then they should have comparable damage output per point. If they do not, then they need to make up for it in other ways like durability per point, special rules, or range or something.

Is this extremely difficult to do and ultimately somewhat subjective? Sure. It still needs to be done, preferably with community feedback.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 15:22:53


Post by: Unit1126PLL


w1zard wrote:
 LunarSol wrote:
Unit vs Unit is essentially impossible and not realistically desirable even. You want choices and having X number of points capable of killing their points worth of anything regardless of their weapon loadouts and the opposing defensive stats removes pretty much all the decision making in the game.

That isn't what Unit vs Unit balancing is. There is always going to be battlefield roles based on loadouts and statlines... that HWT with lascannons is going to be crap at taking out infantry, but good for shooting at vehicles. Unit vs Unit balancing is comparing units WITHIN A ROLE to each other to make sure they are at least somewhat close in terms of efficiency per point. If a unit of lootas costs the same as a HWS with lascannons (example only, I'm not sure what lootas cost) then they should have comparable damage output per point. If they do not, then they need to make up for it in other ways like durability per point, special rules, or range or something.


The problem is "what do you mean by comparable damage output per point"?

That single variable varies wildly with terrain type, stratagems/buffs available, target type (especially this), etc etc. So it could appear (for example) that IG Heavy Weapons Teams do comparable damage per point on Planet Bowling Ball with access to the Cadian buff and Overlapping Fields of Fire, and then you can put lootas on that level. However, that basically means that every other IG regiment's HWTs are undercosted.

If you price the lootas on the level of unbuffed lascannon HWTs in dense terrain where they have to move every turn before shooting, you'll end up with ridiculously underpriced lootas...


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 15:28:29


Post by: Slayer-Fan123


The most important matter is that a unit shouldn't be terrible just because it's part of a faction that isn't really about that role. Kroot aren't exactly good for melee right now, and some people might use the excuse that Tau aren't a melee faction anyway. Whirlwinds aren't good, and some people might use the excuse that Marines aren't supposed to use artillery anyway.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 15:42:08


Post by: Unit1126PLL


Slayer-Fan123 wrote:
The most important matter is that a unit shouldn't be terrible just because it's part of a faction that isn't really about that role. Kroot aren't exactly good for melee right now, and some people might use the excuse that Tau aren't a melee faction anyway. Whirlwinds aren't good, and some people might use the excuse that Marines aren't supposed to use artillery anyway.


This goes back to the argument way at the beginning of the thread, about faction identity. I am exactly the person that thinks Kroot should not be as point-efficient as dedicated melee units like Berzerkers. I am also of the opinion that a Whirlwind should not be as point-efficient as a Basilisk, for example.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 15:58:16


Post by: Ice_can


 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Slayer-Fan123 wrote:
The most important matter is that a unit shouldn't be terrible just because it's part of a faction that isn't really about that role. Kroot aren't exactly good for melee right now, and some people might use the excuse that Tau aren't a melee faction anyway. Whirlwinds aren't good, and some people might use the excuse that Marines aren't supposed to use artillery anyway.


This goes back to the argument way at the beginning of the thread, about faction identity. I am exactly the person that thinks Kroot should not be as point-efficient as dedicated melee units like Berzerkers. I am also of the opinion that a Whirlwind should not be as point-efficient as a Basilisk, for example.

If that's so then why should a marine player ever take a whirlwind if they are more points efficent in just bringing a basilisk?
Why not double down and bring 3 basilisks and make a detachment?
At that point it's doesn't matter what faction your playing outside of soup or non soupable as you just pick each unit from the codex that gets that unit discounted and balance is not going to come from that. It's also even more broken is someone just goes all out on the flavour bonus undercosted stuff, guard get undercosted tanks ok so I hope you like facing 16 leman russes, they might be a bit OP but it's ok my elites (which I haven't got any of are overcosted like crazy.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 16:02:59


Post by: Unit1126PLL


Ice_can wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Slayer-Fan123 wrote:
The most important matter is that a unit shouldn't be terrible just because it's part of a faction that isn't really about that role. Kroot aren't exactly good for melee right now, and some people might use the excuse that Tau aren't a melee faction anyway. Whirlwinds aren't good, and some people might use the excuse that Marines aren't supposed to use artillery anyway.


This goes back to the argument way at the beginning of the thread, about faction identity. I am exactly the person that thinks Kroot should not be as point-efficient as dedicated melee units like Berzerkers. I am also of the opinion that a Whirlwind should not be as point-efficient as a Basilisk, for example.

If that's so then why should a marine player ever take a whirlwind if they are more points efficent in just bringing a basilisk?
Why not double down and bring 3 basilisks and make a detachment?
At that point it's doesn't matter what faction your playing outside of soup or non soupable as you just pick each unit from the codex that gets that unit discounted and balance is not going to come from that. It's also even more broken is someone just goes all out on the flavour bonus undercosted stuff, guard get undercosted tanks ok so I hope you like facing 16 leman russes, they might be a bit OP but it's ok my elites (which I haven't got any of are overcosted like crazy.


And here we're back to why I voted "Faction vs. Faction" balance on the poll.

The reason for Marines to take a whirlwind would be narrative, aesthetics, army dedication, or rule of cool. You know, all the things that don't have the words "points efficiency" in them around which people build their armies.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 16:06:17


Post by: Ice_can


 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Ice_can wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Slayer-Fan123 wrote:
The most important matter is that a unit shouldn't be terrible just because it's part of a faction that isn't really about that role. Kroot aren't exactly good for melee right now, and some people might use the excuse that Tau aren't a melee faction anyway. Whirlwinds aren't good, and some people might use the excuse that Marines aren't supposed to use artillery anyway.


This goes back to the argument way at the beginning of the thread, about faction identity. I am exactly the person that thinks Kroot should not be as point-efficient as dedicated melee units like Berzerkers. I am also of the opinion that a Whirlwind should not be as point-efficient as a Basilisk, for example.

If that's so then why should a marine player ever take a whirlwind if they are more points efficent in just bringing a basilisk?
Why not double down and bring 3 basilisks and make a detachment?
At that point it's doesn't matter what faction your playing outside of soup or non soupable as you just pick each unit from the codex that gets that unit discounted and balance is not going to come from that. It's also even more broken is someone just goes all out on the flavour bonus undercosted stuff, guard get undercosted tanks ok so I hope you like facing 16 leman russes, they might be a bit OP but it's ok my elites (which I haven't got any of are overcosted like crazy.


And here we're back to why I voted "Faction vs. Faction" balance on the poll.

The reason for Marines to take a whirlwind would be narrative, aesthetics, army dedication, or rule of cool. You know, all the things that don't have the words "points efficiency" in them around which people build their armies.

So play narative games and still loose to the russ spam list anyways?

As far as I'm concerned that isn't balance thats some hand waiving to cover up imbalance without answering the question.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 16:12:14


Post by: Unit1126PLL


Ice_can wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Ice_can wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Slayer-Fan123 wrote:
The most important matter is that a unit shouldn't be terrible just because it's part of a faction that isn't really about that role. Kroot aren't exactly good for melee right now, and some people might use the excuse that Tau aren't a melee faction anyway. Whirlwinds aren't good, and some people might use the excuse that Marines aren't supposed to use artillery anyway.


This goes back to the argument way at the beginning of the thread, about faction identity. I am exactly the person that thinks Kroot should not be as point-efficient as dedicated melee units like Berzerkers. I am also of the opinion that a Whirlwind should not be as point-efficient as a Basilisk, for example.

If that's so then why should a marine player ever take a whirlwind if they are more points efficent in just bringing a basilisk?
Why not double down and bring 3 basilisks and make a detachment?
At that point it's doesn't matter what faction your playing outside of soup or non soupable as you just pick each unit from the codex that gets that unit discounted and balance is not going to come from that. It's also even more broken is someone just goes all out on the flavour bonus undercosted stuff, guard get undercosted tanks ok so I hope you like facing 16 leman russes, they might be a bit OP but it's ok my elites (which I haven't got any of are overcosted like crazy.


And here we're back to why I voted "Faction vs. Faction" balance on the poll.

The reason for Marines to take a whirlwind would be narrative, aesthetics, army dedication, or rule of cool. You know, all the things that don't have the words "points efficiency" in them around which people build their armies.

So play narative games and still loose to the russ spam list anyways?

As far as I'm concerned that isn't balance thats some hand waiving to cover up imbalance without answering the question.


The Russ Spam list isn't very good, actually.

But even setting that aside, the whole reason behind splitting Narrative and Matched Play apart is you can balance them separately. They even have separate army construction rules! So perhaps you could balance Narrative Play (using Power Level costs) around Army vs Army, and then balance Matched Play around Faction versus Faction.

But honestly, the problem in your example seems to be that one player (the one with the Whirlwind) wants to play narratively and the other hypothetical Russ-spamming player does not.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 16:29:40


Post by: Ghorgul


 AtoMaki wrote:
I would rather try to balance both factions and units in a matrix rather than do a single-axis balance.

Let's group all units into definitive battlefield roles, like Basic Infantry, General Infantry, Assault Infantry, Support Infantry, Heavy Infantry, Light Vehicle, Combat Vehicle, Transport Vehicle, etc. Once all factions have their units grouped into these roles, we can compare units horizontally (units with the same role but belonging to different factions) and sum them up vertically (power of unit synergy within the same faction).

I think it is important to have both unit and army balance because "vacuum engagements" do exist and are often the key points of the battle (for example, two General Infantry units duke it out over an objective they both want to capture) but army-on-army situations are generally more prevalent.
I think this is very sensible approach, dividing units into different types. Then design units in a manner their rules make them good against certain kind of enemy units. Although current core rules don't generally allow good type classification because the weapon system is so fluid that everything can wound everything to some level, so now people spam high volume, medium-high strength, low AP fire because that bypasses some cheesy ++ save stacking while medium-high strength can wound everything on suitable level and high volume can deal with hordes in some manner.
Now combine these different classes of units and target specialisations and add faction specialisations: Melee army could and should have larger pool of melee capable units with good performance against various targets, while shooty armies should have also melee units but maybe more specialised, for example one against hordes and one against heavy melee infantry, to prevent them from dominating melee armies in melee. Making something expensive because it's not within faction's specialisation is really poor way of balancing, this is how you end up with trap units. Although other way to come up with trap units is to make some of the units too multifunctional for their price point so everyone just spams them because they make the list more flexible with little loss of performance.

Also must be noted that GW is really adept at making useless units in general, there are so many 'legacy' units that are just ported directly from previous edition with little actual thought put on how they function or should function. And then GW doubles down on these poorly ported units by restricting themselves mostly to just point adjustments, while quite many old legacy trap units would need rework in form of some new special rules to make them function, unless you give them huge price decreases.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 16:36:08


Post by: Crimson


 Unit1126PLL wrote:

The reason for Marines to take a whirlwind would be narrative, aesthetics, army dedication, or rule of cool. You know, all the things that don't have the words "points efficiency" in them around which people build their armies.
This is utterly terrible game design.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 16:41:24


Post by: Unit1126PLL


 Crimson wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:

The reason for Marines to take a whirlwind would be narrative, aesthetics, army dedication, or rule of cool. You know, all the things that don't have the words "points efficiency" in them around which people build their armies.
This is utterly terrible game design.

Why? Is there some reason people should expect their mono-faction to be 100% as good at everything as any other mono-faction?

It's like saying a Bard should be able to reasonably mimic a Barbarian in melee combat in D&D, or wear no armour like a Monk, or cast spells as well as a Wizard. How do you differentiate anything when you could just say "Artillery Unit A" because everything's equally efficient...


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 16:45:47


Post by: Crimson


 Unit1126PLL wrote:

Why? Is there some reason people should expect their mono-faction to be 100% as good at everything as any other mono-faction?
Not at everything. But you just want to intentionally create trap units and justify it by fluff. Points exist for a reason, worse stuff needs to cost les points.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 16:49:41


Post by: Unit1126PLL


 Crimson wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:

Why? Is there some reason people should expect their mono-faction to be 100% as good at everything as any other mono-faction?
Not at everything. But you just want to intentionally create trap units and justify it by fluff. Points exist for a reason, worse stuff needs to cost les points.


I don't want to create trap units? I want armies to have identities. An army that is identified as the "melee army" should have better points efficiency than an army that is not, when engaged in melee.

Making bad units cheaper ups their points efficiency. Consider a hypothetical artillery unit (call it the BirlBind) that is exactly half as good at being an artillery as another unit (called the Smashalisk). If you make the BirlBind cost exactly half the points as a Smashalisk as well, then there's not really a difference between the two - they're exactly as efficient as eachother, and Army Face Purines is exactly as good at artillery, point for point, as Army Bastard Militantrum.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 16:50:51


Post by: Karol


 Unit1126PLL wrote:


And here we're back to why I voted "Faction vs. Faction" balance on the poll.

The reason for Marines to take a whirlwind would be narrative, aesthetics, army dedication, or rule of cool. You know, all the things that don't have the words "points efficiency" in them around which people build their armies.


Ok, but what about factions that have 1-2 models that are semi ok to play? GK only ok units are 2 HQs, eveything else, which is 20+units, are different levels of bad. And because of rule of 3 GK can't even spam those options.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 16:51:55


Post by: Unit1126PLL


Karol wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:


And here we're back to why I voted "Faction vs. Faction" balance on the poll.

The reason for Marines to take a whirlwind would be narrative, aesthetics, army dedication, or rule of cool. You know, all the things that don't have the words "points efficiency" in them around which people build their armies.


Ok, but what about factions that have 1-2 models that are semi ok to play? GK only ok units are 2 HQs, eveything else, which is 20+units, are different levels of bad. And because of rule of 3 GK can't even spam those options.


what about them? Badly-balanced existing armies have little impact on balancing theory, which is what we are talking about now. Of course GK needs a rebalancing; not sure anyone said they didn't.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 16:52:10


Post by: Crimson


 Unit1126PLL wrote:

It's like saying a Bard should be able to reasonably mimic a Barbarian in melee combat in D&D, or wear no armour like a Monk, or cast spells as well as a Wizard. How do you differentiate anything when you could just say "Artillery Unit A" because everything's equally efficient...

If it is not equally efective it needs to cost less points or to be able to do multiple things like the bard! You just want some units to be bad because some other units in the codex are OP. It doesn't work, everyone will just ignore the bad units.

Why should Imperial Fists siege cohort using a lot of Whirlwinds suck? How should new players know that they're not supposed to build an army like this?


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 16:59:08


Post by: Karol


 Unit1126PLL wrote:


what about them? Badly-balanced existing armies have little impact on balancing theory, which is what we are talking about now. Of course GK needs a rebalancing; not sure anyone said they didn't.

well if they don't have multiple ok units to build on, and no access to primaris, and GW does not seem to want to fix the existing units, the theory kind of doesn't help them. GW seems to make changes build on how much they like an army, tournament data and it does not seem like they are much love for GK among the design studio, and the tournament data for GK use is non existant.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 16:59:14


Post by: Unit1126PLL


 Crimson wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:

It's like saying a Bard should be able to reasonably mimic a Barbarian in melee combat in D&D, or wear no armour like a Monk, or cast spells as well as a Wizard. How do you differentiate anything when you could just say "Artillery Unit A" because everything's equally efficient...

If it is not equally efective it needs to cost less points or to be able to do multiple things like the bard! You just want some units to be bad because some other units in the codex are OP. It doesn't work, everyone will just ignore the bad units.

Why should Imperial Fists siege cohort using a lot of Whirlwinds suck? How should new players know that they're not supposed to build an army like this?

Let me address your point in sub-bullets:
 Crimson wrote:
If it is not equally efective it needs to cost less points or to be able to do multiple things like the bard!

- "Costing less points" is making it equally effective, when you're talking about points efficiency between two units. Consider my smashalisk example in an earlier post.
- "Do multiple things" is fine. I'd be alright, for example, saying a Whirlwind Missile Launcher could also fire like a Typhoon missile launcher should it so choose. That's fine, and could contribute to a faction identity idea that all the marine stuff is general-purpose instead of specialized.

 Crimson wrote:
You just want some units to be bad because some other units in the codex are OP. It doesn't work, everyone will just ignore the bad units.

No, what I want is for some factions to have identities. And the "everyone" I've highlighted in cyan there is really just "competitive players". I've met plenty of players who take suboptimal choices in the face of fluff. For example, I just met a player who keeps his Basilisks in a separate Detachment from his vostroyans but runs them as Vostroyan anyways, because they're from the same regiment. In a separate detachment, though, they could be any regiment, and Vostroyan is clearly a suboptimal choice for a Basilisk.

 Crimson wrote:
Why should Imperial Fists siege cohort using a lot of Whirlwinds suck?

- Why shouldn't it? The "faction identity" for Space Marines is not that of siege engineers or siege warfare or trench warfare, and shouldn't be. Back when the fists were "experts" at siege warfare, what it really meant is they were experts at "storming the fortress" quickly. Once the siege actually starts, and you get long lines of convallations and whatnot, do you really envision a Space Marine chapter dicking around with their thumbs up their bums firing artillery from 100km away at an area target because it might kill something, for years?

 Crimson wrote:
How should new players know that they're not supposed to build an army like this?

What do you mean "supposed to"; the whole point is they can build the way they want. If you mean "how will new competitive players learn what is or isn't competitive, then that is a larger question, though I'd be happy to go into it, if you like. Usually it involves internet research and list testing.

Not every player needs to be competitive you know.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 17:01:36


Post by: Martel732


Trap units are crap. There are no trap units in starcraft. This assumes good scouting. I'm really missing temporal cost for unit.

Marine artillery should be inferior to guard artillery but cost significantly less due to this. Overall efficiency preserved.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 17:03:45


Post by: Unit1126PLL


Martel732 wrote:
There are no trap units in starcraft. This assumes good scouting.


There are no trap units in 40k. This assumes good list-building.

Also, what the feth even are trap units? Can someone define that for me?

Is it "a unit a player might take because they think that doesn't perform as well as they expect" or something? I'm sort of unclear. Right now, it just sounds like "units that are suboptimal relative to other units in a similar role" which is ... silly. Of course Berzerkers should outperform Kroot at an even points-level in melee, despite them both being melee-role units.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 17:04:48


Post by: Martel732


Which will never include a whirlwind. Try again.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 17:05:09


Post by: Crimson


 Unit1126PLL wrote:

I don't want to create trap units?

Then why are you suggesting things that result exactly that?

I want armies to have identities. An army that is identified as the "melee army" should have better points efficiency than an army that is not, when engaged in melee.
No it shouldn't. The melee army should have a lot of melee units that can perform varied roles in the melee ways. Melee infantry killers, melee elite killers, melee tank killers, etc. Non melee focused army might have a melee unit for one of those roles, but it must be point effective or it simply just is not taken.

Making bad units cheaper ups their points efficiency. Consider a hypothetical artillery unit (call it the BirlBind) that is exactly half as good at being an artillery as another unit (called the Smashalisk). If you make the BirlBind cost exactly half the points as a Smashalisk as well, then there's not really a difference between the two - they're exactly as efficient as eachother, and Army Face Purines is exactly as good at artillery, point for point, as Army Bastard Militantrum.
As it should. Now if you want one army to be more artillerery focused, you need to give it more artillery related units, which can perform different roles via barrage, not simply better units.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 17:05:21


Post by: HoundsofDemos


 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Martel732 wrote:
There are no trap units in starcraft. This assumes good scouting.


There are no trap units in 40k. This assumes good list-building.


The above is laughable. 40k has entire trap factions, let alone individual options.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 17:05:36


Post by: Slayer-Fan123


 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Slayer-Fan123 wrote:
The most important matter is that a unit shouldn't be terrible just because it's part of a faction that isn't really about that role. Kroot aren't exactly good for melee right now, and some people might use the excuse that Tau aren't a melee faction anyway. Whirlwinds aren't good, and some people might use the excuse that Marines aren't supposed to use artillery anyway.


This goes back to the argument way at the beginning of the thread, about faction identity. I am exactly the person that thinks Kroot should not be as point-efficient as dedicated melee units like Berzerkers. I am also of the opinion that a Whirlwind should not be as point-efficient as a Basilisk, for example.

This is a terrible line of thinking.

Why SHOULD Kroot. a dedicated melee unit, be bad at melee just because they're part of the Tau faction? If I made them a choice for CSM, would you agree with the unit's design?

The answer is no. Whirlwinds shouldn't be mathematically bad just because Marines don't typically use artillery. They should, at minimum, not be terrible for their dedicated role of anti-infantry compared to the Basilisk which is better at everything.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 17:06:30


Post by: Martel732


There is a difference. One costs half as much. And they might be better vs different kinds of targets. You just want your super death unit to cost a pack of skittles like they do now.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 17:07:09


Post by: Karol


No, what I want is for some factions to have identities. And the "everyone" I've highlighted in red there is "competitive players". I've met plenty of players who take suboptimal choices in the face of fluff. For example, I just met a player who keeps his Basilisks in a separate Detachment from his vostroyans but runs them as Vostroyan anyways, because they're from the same regiment. In a separate detachment, though, they could be any regiment, and Vostroyan is clearly a suboptimal choice for a Basilisk.

But a basilisk is still good, even if it is non catachan or cadian. There are factions which are bad for tournaments, and bad for casual games. GK indentity was deep strike, termintors and psychic powers. Deep strike got nerfed, termintors are bad and GK psychic powers got nerfed because GW thought they would be too powerful. Of course they forgot about that when they were making eldar or IG psykers, but that is a separate issue.


What do you mean "supposed to"; the whole point is they can build the way they want. If you mean "how will new competitive players learn what is or isn't competitive, then that is a larger question, though I'd be happy to go into it, if you like. Usually it involves internet research and list testing.

Not every player needs to be competitive you know.

yeah, because someone who never played a game of w40k and goes in to a store, will totaly start by playing with paper cut outs and reading deep in to forums, he does not even know exist. I tell you more often then not it is someone selling them an army, or they buying models they think should work. If they have friends or siblings they habe it better, because at least people will not cheat them selling an army. For everyone else they have to pray they army is good. I would have loved if someone have told me before I bought GK that they are unplayable.


Also, what the feth even are trap units? Can someone define that for me?

NDKs of the normal kind cost almost as much as a GM NDK, but have worse stats. It is like buying a primaris, but it not having +1W over normal marines.
You could go over most of the GK codex and it is full of trap units. Normal troop termintors. GM in termintor armor etc




Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 17:11:40


Post by: Unit1126PLL


Crimson wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:

I don't want to create trap units?

Then why are you suggesting things that result exactly that?

I want armies to have identities. An army that is identified as the "melee army" should have better points efficiency than an army that is not, when engaged in melee.
No it shouldn't. The melee army should have a lot of melee units that can perform varied roles in the melee ways. Melee infantry killers, melee elite killers, melee tank killers, etc. Non melee focused army might have a melee unit for one of those roles, but it must be point effective or it simply just is not taken.

Making bad units cheaper ups their points efficiency. Consider a hypothetical artillery unit (call it the BirlBind) that is exactly half as good at being an artillery as another unit (called the Smashalisk). If you make the BirlBind cost exactly half the points as a Smashalisk as well, then there's not really a difference between the two - they're exactly as efficient as eachother, and Army Face Purines is exactly as good at artillery, point for point, as Army Bastard Militantrum.
As it should. Now if you want one army to be more artillerery focused, you need to give it more artillery related units, which can perform different roles via barrage, not simply better units.

So you're essentially saying that an artillery army or melee army should have more "options" for those roles, rather than just being "better." How does that not result in being better, exactly? Army A's artillery is still better than Army B's when listbuilding, as a general rule, so competitive players looking to optimize would widely overlook Army B unless they had some non-points-efficiency-related reason not to.

HoundsofDemos wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Martel732 wrote:
There are no trap units in starcraft. This assumes good scouting.


There are no trap units in 40k. This assumes good list-building.


The above is laughable. 40k has entire trap factions, let alone individual options.

This goes for Karol as well: I am making no argument that current 40k is balanced. It is currently awful. Commenting on the current state of 40k is irrelevant.

Slayer-Fan123 wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Slayer-Fan123 wrote:
The most important matter is that a unit shouldn't be terrible just because it's part of a faction that isn't really about that role. Kroot aren't exactly good for melee right now, and some people might use the excuse that Tau aren't a melee faction anyway. Whirlwinds aren't good, and some people might use the excuse that Marines aren't supposed to use artillery anyway.


This goes back to the argument way at the beginning of the thread, about faction identity. I am exactly the person that thinks Kroot should not be as point-efficient as dedicated melee units like Berzerkers. I am also of the opinion that a Whirlwind should not be as point-efficient as a Basilisk, for example.

This is a terrible line of thinking.

Why SHOULD Kroot. a dedicated melee unit, be bad at melee just because they're part of the Tau faction? If I made them a choice for CSM, would you agree with the unit's design?

The answer is no. Whirlwinds shouldn't be mathematically bad just because Marines don't typically use artillery. They should, at minimum, not be terrible for their dedicated role of anti-infantry compared to the Basilisk which is better at everything.

The Basilisk is actually not better at killing Imperial Guardsmen than the whirlwind in current 40k (2d6 strength 6 AP0 gives something like 3 dead Guardsmen, while the Basilisk at 2d6 drop lowest, str 9, -3 gives about 2 (2.59 vs 1.85). But people don't take the Whirlwind, which returns to my point:

An army with "more artillery options" is going to be better at artillery than an army without when viewed from a competitive listbuilding standpoint...


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 17:32:35


Post by: AtoMaki


 Unit1126PLL wrote:
How do you differentiate anything when you could just say "Artillery Unit A" because everything's equally efficient...


There is a lot of leeway here for how to reach that efficiency. The Space Marines Artillery Unit is the Whirlwind. The Chaos Artillery Unit is the Defiler. The Tau Empire Artillery Unit is the Sky Ray. The most you can say that these units all fire very far away (doh...) and both the Whirlwind and the Sky Ray fire missiles (kinda).


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 17:41:41


Post by: Marmatag


Imperial Guard and Space Marines vehicles are much easier to compare, though, because they're in the same macro-faction. There's little excuse for Imperial Guard artillery to be so vastly superior to Space Marine artillery, because both space marine and imperial guard players have the choice to bring whatever is best.

Imperial Guard have been underpriced since the beginning of 8th editdion. Take a stroll over to blood of kittens and look at the faction breakdown. While this may not be perfect data, the gentleman who runs the site, Nick, actually looks at all the lists when creating his breakdown.

It's also worth noting that Index Sisters are outperforming several codexes (Necrons, Space Wolves, Grey Knights, Dark Angels).


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 17:50:53


Post by: Slayer-Fan123


 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Crimson wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:

I don't want to create trap units?

Then why are you suggesting things that result exactly that?

I want armies to have identities. An army that is identified as the "melee army" should have better points efficiency than an army that is not, when engaged in melee.
No it shouldn't. The melee army should have a lot of melee units that can perform varied roles in the melee ways. Melee infantry killers, melee elite killers, melee tank killers, etc. Non melee focused army might have a melee unit for one of those roles, but it must be point effective or it simply just is not taken.

Making bad units cheaper ups their points efficiency. Consider a hypothetical artillery unit (call it the BirlBind) that is exactly half as good at being an artillery as another unit (called the Smashalisk). If you make the BirlBind cost exactly half the points as a Smashalisk as well, then there's not really a difference between the two - they're exactly as efficient as eachother, and Army Face Purines is exactly as good at artillery, point for point, as Army Bastard Militantrum.
As it should. Now if you want one army to be more artillerery focused, you need to give it more artillery related units, which can perform different roles via barrage, not simply better units.

So you're essentially saying that an artillery army or melee army should have more "options" for those roles, rather than just being "better." How does that not result in being better, exactly? Army A's artillery is still better than Army B's when listbuilding, as a general rule, so competitive players looking to optimize would widely overlook Army B unless they had some non-points-efficiency-related reason not to.

HoundsofDemos wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Martel732 wrote:
There are no trap units in starcraft. This assumes good scouting.


There are no trap units in 40k. This assumes good list-building.


The above is laughable. 40k has entire trap factions, let alone individual options.

This goes for Karol as well: I am making no argument that current 40k is balanced. It is currently awful. Commenting on the current state of 40k is irrelevant.

Slayer-Fan123 wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Slayer-Fan123 wrote:
The most important matter is that a unit shouldn't be terrible just because it's part of a faction that isn't really about that role. Kroot aren't exactly good for melee right now, and some people might use the excuse that Tau aren't a melee faction anyway. Whirlwinds aren't good, and some people might use the excuse that Marines aren't supposed to use artillery anyway.


This goes back to the argument way at the beginning of the thread, about faction identity. I am exactly the person that thinks Kroot should not be as point-efficient as dedicated melee units like Berzerkers. I am also of the opinion that a Whirlwind should not be as point-efficient as a Basilisk, for example.

This is a terrible line of thinking.

Why SHOULD Kroot. a dedicated melee unit, be bad at melee just because they're part of the Tau faction? If I made them a choice for CSM, would you agree with the unit's design?

The answer is no. Whirlwinds shouldn't be mathematically bad just because Marines don't typically use artillery. They should, at minimum, not be terrible for their dedicated role of anti-infantry compared to the Basilisk which is better at everything.

The Basilisk is actually not better at killing Imperial Guardsmen than the whirlwind in current 40k (2d6 strength 6 AP0 gives something like 3 dead Guardsmen, while the Basilisk at 2d6 drop lowest, str 9, -3 gives about 2 (2.59 vs 1.85). But people don't take the Whirlwind, which returns to my point:

An army with "more artillery options" is going to be better at artillery than an army without when viewed from a competitive listbuilding standpoint...

Forgetting to include Regiment benefits for your Basilisk (which is several situations), the fact you don't see issue with 2 vs 3 dead Infantry is kinda scary.

You'd be the last person that should talking about balance in this game, as you didn't even know what a trap unit was!


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 17:52:43


Post by: Earth127


To get back to the OP: hollistically. YOu need approach balance at every level.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 17:59:31


Post by: Unit1126PLL


Slayer-Fan123 wrote:
Forgetting to include Regiment benefits for your Basilisk (which is several situations), the fact you don't see issue with 2 vs 3 dead Infantry is kinda scary.

You'd be the last person that should talking about balance in this game, as you didn't even know what a trap unit was!


Are you shocked that the army which specializes artillery buffs artillery relative to the army that doesn't? That's what I mean by blandification. Army A is a melee army (or artillery army in this case). Army B isn't, but has some tools. Army A's will be better, because Army A has army-trait buffs for its melee units, tools to give them, HQ's that benefit them, etc. Army B rightfully should not, as it's army trait HQ's might buff shooting or durability or whatever their faction identity calls for.

This is part of the problem with Imperial Guard. It's a "shooting-emphasis durability army that takes a fair hit to mobility" with shooting that's far too powerful relative to its durability, and melee options that are actually quite competitive (e.g. straken + priest + blobsquad). The Imperial Guard's army identity is now "good at everything" and that's unhealthy for the game. They can do everything fairly well.

I don't know why you said the Whirlwind killing 3 infantry was bad compared to the Basilisk, considering the whirlwind is cheaper? It's literally outperforming the Basilisk for less than the cost, I'm not sure what more you could ask for... except army-buffs (e.g. regiment traits) for artillery, which isn't the Space Marines' army identity, nor should it be.

Lastly, what I was asking for was a definition of "trap unit" because people throw the term around and I don't think they understand my position on the issue. They say I want "Trap Units", which I don't. does a unit have to have "THIS UNIT IS SUBOPTIMAL NARRATIVE PLAY ONLY" slapped across its datasheet in red or something to be considered "not a trap?"

EDIT: Also, once again for the people in the back: I acknowledge the current state of 40k as imbalanced, and in need of fixing. I am not arguing to endorse 40k in its current state. I am merely seeking to discuss balance theory from the perspective that "unit vs unit" balance is less desirable than army vs army, and faction vs. faction is the most desirable yet.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 18:07:36


Post by: Martel732


It's not bland. It's fair. GWs method of handing out objectively superior units is extremely high level crap that they are not capable of.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 18:48:19


Post by: Ghorgul


Looking into this Whirlbind vs. Basilisk example: Are guardsmen Basilisk's main targets? I guess not. Birlwind however specialises against infantry and being able to kill 3 guardsmen a turn is really bad, like really bad. Funnily enough Wirbelbind is more efficient against MEQs than GEQs, everyone act surprised Now!

GW could play around so much with rules if they wanted. Vengence Launcher could easily have rule that it does 4D3 hits against units with 5+ saves. This would make Birlbind roughly equally efficient against MEQs. So we could go even up to 5D3 or 6D3 to force the weapon to be efficient against cheap horde-like units. But then someone shouts 'Rules Bloat!'

I think all goes back to the fact the general weapon rules are bland and GW avoiding to create true anti horde weapons, for example flamer is more efficient against MEQs than guardsmen when looking at points destroyed. Everyone act surprised again!
So we end up in situation where many weapons don't have clear well defined roles and everyone who can spams mid strength high volume weapons to shred both infantry and tanks.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 18:50:40


Post by: Unit1126PLL


Ghorgul wrote:
Looking into this Whirlbind vs. Basilisk example: Are guardsmen Basilisk's main targets? I guess not. Birlwind however specialises against infantry and being able to kill 3 guardsmen a turn is really bad, like really bad. Funnily enough Wirbelbind is more efficient against MEQs than GEQs, everyone act surprised Now!

GW could play around so much with rules if they wanted. Vengence Launcher could easily have rule that it does 4D3 hits against units with 5+ saves. This would make Birlbind roughly equally efficient against MEQs. So we could go even up to 5D3 or 6D3 to force the weapon to be efficient against cheap horde-like units. But then someone shouts 'Rules Bloat!'

I think all goes back to the fact the general weapon rules are bland and GW avoiding to create true anti horde weapons, for example flamer is more efficient against MEQs than guardsmen when looking at points destroyed. Everyone act surprised again!
So we end up in situation where many weapons don't have clear well defined roles and everyone who can spams mid strength high volume weapons to shred both infantry and tanks.


Right, the current state of the rules is pretty unfortunate, ironically.

It's telling that the Index era was both the most balanced 8th edition has ever been (not that it was super balanced mind...), and also the blandest 8th Edition has ever been...


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 19:23:10


Post by: Charistoph


Ghorgul wrote:
Looking into this Whirlbind vs. Basilisk example: Are guardsmen Basilisk's main targets? I guess not. Birlwind however specialises against infantry and being able to kill 3 guardsmen a turn is really bad, like really bad. Funnily enough Wirbelbind is more efficient against MEQs than GEQs, everyone act surprised Now!

True, it would be better to compare Mortar Teams to Whirlwinds for cost and survivability ratios, as both are anti-infantry artillery rather than anti-vehicle artillery.

 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Lastly, what I was asking for was a definition of "trap unit" because people throw the term around and I don't think they understand my position on the issue. They say I want "Trap Units", which I don't. does a unit have to have "THIS UNIT IS SUBOPTIMAL NARRATIVE PLAY ONLY" slapped across its datasheet in red or something to be considered "not a trap?"

Yet, "trap unit" is being used in the context of, "this unit may seem cool, but is very point inefficient and should not be taken in a competitive atmosphere".

 Unit1126PLL wrote:
EDIT: Also, once again for the people in the back: I acknowledge the current state of 40k as imbalanced, and in need of fixing. I am not arguing to endorse 40k in its current state. I am merely seeking to discuss balance theory from the perspective that "unit vs unit" balance is less desirable than army vs army, and faction vs. faction is the most desirable yet.

But we can't ignore that this is a 40K board on a largely 40K site and one of the biggest issues of 40K is its level of balance, and has been since before Rogue Trader was ever printed. This thread was put here because of those issues and people wanting to talk about those issues.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 19:23:54


Post by: w1zard


 AtoMaki wrote:
How do you differentiate anything when you could just say "Artillery Unit A" because everything's equally efficient...

That's the wrong way to look at it. It isn't about making units perfect mirror copies of each other. You can take away from "points efficiency" in one area and give it something else in return to make asymmetrical balance. "Balance" doesn't have to mean "literally the same".

In an "ideal" balancing perspective, both whirlwinds and the equivalent points in say mortars would be balanced against each other. You would have to examine the damage output of the equivalent points in mortars, vs the durability per point vs a range of weapons that could be shot at each and adjust the points cost of one or the other respectively.

Maybe the whirlwind is more durable per point vs the equivilant points in mortars, therefore it may cost a little more... or have less damage output per point to make up for it.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 19:27:18


Post by: Crimson


 Unit1126PLL wrote:
So you're essentially saying that an artillery army or melee army should have more "options" for those roles, rather than just being "better."

Yes, exactly. Such an army would be able to do more things via artillery, without having to resort to other units for those tasks. An army with non-artillery focus could only do one thing via artillery, and would have to utilise other units for other things.

How does that not result in being better, exactly? Army A's artillery is still better than Army B's when listbuilding, as a general rule, so competitive players looking to optimize would widely overlook Army B unless they had some non-points-efficiency-related reason not to.

No, individual units are not better. The Kroot are an unit purpose of which is to deal with light infantry, and they should be appropriately costed for their capability in that role. If we do what you suggest and overcost the Kroot and undercost Tau shooty units (because Tau is a shooty, not a melee army) then you're just better off dealing with that light infantry via Firewarriors or dakka drones etc. By including Kroot you would just make your army worse. This is a trap unit.

Even if Kroot are appropriately costed for their ability to kill light infantry with pointy sticks, Tau will not become a melee army; they do not have melee units for other roles, they need to still deal with tanks and heavy infantry with shooting. A more melee focused army such as Orks would have melee units that could deal with those things too.



Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 19:27:36


Post by: Ice_can


 Charistoph wrote:
Ghorgul wrote:
Looking into this Whirlbind vs. Basilisk example: Are guardsmen Basilisk's main targets? I guess not. Birlwind however specialises against infantry and being able to kill 3 guardsmen a turn is really bad, like really bad. Funnily enough Wirbelbind is more efficient against MEQs than GEQs, everyone act surprised Now!

True, it would be better to compare Mortar Teams to Whirlwinds for cost and survivability ratios, as both are anti-infantry artillery rather than anti-vehicle artillery.

Actually wouldn't it be the wyvern that would be most comparible to a whirlwind with castellan launcher?


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 19:30:10


Post by: Slayer-Fan123


Anyone saying the Index lists were balanced are playing revisionary.

Necrons ALONE prove that wrong. Look at Deathwatch, though, and how bad they were. Eldar costs were scattered all across the board, Conscripts needed just one model and they were impossible to remove and were easily buffed, Grey Knights were still bad (though the base Terminator became worse with the codex, which was an impressive feat in of itself), Smite was completely silly...

We aren't balanced now, but stop pretending the Index stuff was done even close to mediocrity. It was done just to get us by for some games and it really shows.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 19:33:41


Post by: Crimson


 Unit1126PLL wrote:

Lastly, what I was asking for was a definition of "trap unit" because people throw the term around and I don't think they understand my position on the issue. They say I want "Trap Units", which I don't. does a unit have to have "THIS UNIT IS SUBOPTIMAL NARRATIVE PLAY ONLY" slapped across its datasheet in red or something to be considered "not a trap?"

Yes, if it is suboptimal.

Now, I am a hardcore flufbunny, but your stance comes closest to Peregrine's mythical CAAC player that I've ever actually encountered. You literally want some units to intentionally be bad so you can signal your casualness by including them. Frankly, that's plain crazy. Now, I too definitely include suboptimal units because they look cool, but I'd greatly prefer if they actually weren't suboptimal.



Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 19:33:57


Post by: Slayer-Fan123


 Crimson wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
So you're essentially saying that an artillery army or melee army should have more "options" for those roles, rather than just being "better."

Yes, exactly. Such an army would be able to do more things via artillery, without having to resoert to other units for those tasks. An army with non-artillery focus could only do one thing via artillery, and would have to utilise other units for other things.

How does that not result in being better, exactly? Army A's artillery is still better than Army B's when listbuilding, as a general rule, so competitive players looking to optimize would widely overlook Army B unless they had some non-points-efficiency-related reason not to.

No, individual units are not better. The Kroot are an unit purpose of which is to deal with light infantry, and they should be appropriately costed for their capability in that role. If we do what you suggest and overcost the Kroot and undercost Tau shooty units (because Tau is a shooty, not a melee army) then you're just better off dealing with that light infantry via Firewarriors or dakka drones etc. By including Kroot you would just make your army worse. This is a trap unit.

Even if Kroot are appropriately costed for their ability to kill light infantry with pointy sticks, Tau will not become a melee army; they do not have melee units for other roles, they need to still deal with tanks and heavy infantry with shooting. A more melee focused army such as Orks would have melee units that could deal with those things too.

Exactly.

Should we make Skull Cannons worse simply because Khorne is all about melee rather than range?


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 19:35:45


Post by: Charistoph


Ice_can wrote:
 Charistoph wrote:
Ghorgul wrote:
Looking into this Whirlbind vs. Basilisk example: Are guardsmen Basilisk's main targets? I guess not. Birlwind however specialises against infantry and being able to kill 3 guardsmen a turn is really bad, like really bad. Funnily enough Wirbelbind is more efficient against MEQs than GEQs, everyone act surprised Now!

True, it would be better to compare Mortar Teams to Whirlwinds for cost and survivability ratios, as both are anti-infantry artillery rather than anti-vehicle artillery.

Actually wouldn't it be the wyvern that would be most comparible to a whirlwind with castellan launcher?

True, I forgot about that beast. It was relatively new when I rage-quit, and I wasn't that in to Guard.

Slayer-Fan123 wrote:Anyone saying the Index lists were balanced are playing revisionary.
...
We aren't balanced now, but stop pretending the Index stuff was done even close to mediocrity. It was done just to get us by for some games and it really shows.

I don't think any one was, as their was the qualifier, "most", which is a relative statement rather than an absolute. I am the most skilled tabletop player in my family, but that's because I'm the only tabletop player in my family.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 19:41:56


Post by: HoundsofDemos


I consider a trap unit to be a unit that even within the confines of ones own codex is either redundant or priced so inefficiently that they have no real role. The Whirlwind falls into that category and has been that way pretty much since I started the game. Its a tank that isn't tough, fast or even that lethal. It's primary target is light infantry, which marines really don't have issues dealing with. For an artillery piece, it has a meh range and the HS slot is already crowded for marine. Even in a casual game it's a bad unit.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 19:43:14


Post by: Slayer-Fan123


HoundsofDemos wrote:
I consider a trap unit to be a unit that even within the confines of ones own codex is either redundant or priced so inefficiently that they have no real role. The Whirlwind falls into that category and has been that way pretty much since I started the game. Its a tank that isn't tough, fast or even that lethal. It's primary target is light infantry, which marines really don't have issues dealing with. For an artillery piece, it has a meh range and the HS slot is already crowded for marine. Even in a casual game it's a bad unit.

Compare to the Thunderfire. It isn't that less durable and it has a relevant Strategem that doesn't require another unit for you to take.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/07 21:55:39


Post by: Saturmorn Carvilli


 Unit1126PLL wrote:

Lastly, what I was asking for was a definition of "trap unit" because people throw the term around and I don't think they understand my position on the issue. They say I want "Trap Units", which I don't. does a unit have to have "THIS UNIT IS SUBOPTIMAL NARRATIVE PLAY ONLY" slapped across its datasheet in red or something to be considered "not a trap?"


I can give a few of examples in my army:

-I think Chaos Space Marines are a trap unit. They just can do nearly as much work as Cultists for the points they cost. I don't think it is hard see a player picking CSM and wanting field Warp-crazed, super soldiers only to find Lovecraftain bad-guy wannabes are the better choice.
-As much as I like my Chaos Terminators, I can't seem to build a list around them now that turn 1 assaults and warp time don't work like they used to. I still field them, but unless I playing a similarly tiered army (thank you Blood Angels players), I don't really seem to stand a chance most games.
-I kinda feel that my land raider is a trap unit in that it eats up a chunk of points that if never seems to make back even as a distraction carnifax.
-I am not sure if my Helldrake is a trap unit. I kinda suspect is, but it could just be an under-performing unit that I am bad at utilizing.

I kinda get that you think some posters are equating under-performing units or units not used in their correct role as trap units. That isn't the case. I think there is a difference in an under-performing/out-of-role unit and a trap unit. An under-performing unit is a unit that is probably a little weaker than the average, but close enough their isn't any easy to balance it closer and its presence in an army shouldn't affect the overall effectiveness of it. Where a trap unit is one that you have to build the rest of you army to absorb is lack of effectiveness or role. Note: this isn't the same as building an army around a unit that, at that point, makes the army better. An even worst trap unit is one that no matter how you construct your army that unit just isn't going to contribute very well no matter what role you give it.

Unfortunately, Warhammer 40k has lots of trap units. Many of which are hard for some faction to avoid given a lack of unit options overall, Force Org considerations, or even redundancy of roles where it is less of choice on which unit you want for that role over one unit is clearly just plain better at that role. Warhammer 40k isn't alone in that. In Bolt Action (1st ed) I felt that often that green troops where a bit of trap. Fortunately, there wasn't a difference in the model so a player could just use them as regular or veterans. A better example was in Dust Battlefield non-helicopter flyers, SSU Steel Guard and bunker weapons were total trap units. None of them were their points no matter how you built your army.

I think it is reasonable to not expect anywhere close to perfect balance out of a game. That's fine, but I do expect that I can put together a collection of models that if I can cover all my bases should do at least okay on the tabletop. I might have to play at a higher level to make that happen, but it can happen. Again, in Dust Battlefield, Allied Rangers seemed like the weakest basic infantry of the 3 blocs. However, I made a WWII Able-Baker-Charlie list that actually managed to go nearly undefeated because I could create a list that played to their strengths and knew Dust very well. I have my doubts that I could do the same with Chaos Terminators in 8th ed 40k.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 01:38:39


Post by: auticus


Considering that in Warhammer ArmyList-K the army list is the central pillar to your success, and that given two equally skilled opponents the one with the better list will almost always win, I consider a trap unit to be anything that is not optimal or efficient for what it is supposed to do.

Which is a sizable chunk of the game.

It is a trap because the illusion is that if I have 2000 points and you have 2000 points that we are going to have a good game, assuming equal player skill.

That illusion gets shattered pretty fast.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 08:46:17


Post by: Peregrine


 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Lastly, what I was asking for was a definition of "trap unit" because people throw the term around and I don't think they understand my position on the issue. They say I want "Trap Units", which I don't. does a unit have to have "THIS UNIT IS SUBOPTIMAL NARRATIVE PLAY ONLY" slapped across its datasheet in red or something to be considered "not a trap?"


A trap unit is one that is reasonably expected to be good but isn't, especially when seeing its weakness requires a high level of understanding and math. For example, tactical marines are a trap unit. They're presented as the core of the space marine army and have a stat line that makes you think they're elite (at least among basic troops units) but once you do the math you find that they're trash. Kroot aren't necessarily a trap unit because they're presented as a support unit that does something Tau aren't really supposed to do, so you know that if you're taking one it's because you desperately need that melee cannon fodder and are willing to settle for a less than optimal unit to get it. GW isn't saying "take Kroot, they're the best", they're showing off armies full of Tau models with maybe an occasional Kroot here and there. Post-nerf conscripts aren't a trap unit because you look at the unit, immediately see that they're worse than normal infantry squads, and never bother with them.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 11:54:22


Post by: Blackie


Index 8th edition was the most inbalanced version of 40k ever, even more inbalanced than 7th edition. There even wasn't rule of three back then.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 13:41:34


Post by: A.T.


 Blackie wrote:
Index 8th edition was the most inbalanced version of 40k ever, even more inbalanced than 7th edition. There even wasn't rule of three back then.
7th edition I could field a marine army that matched my sororitas list model for model, gun for gun, with game-long rerolls and enough points left over the buy a knight.
And that marine army wouldn't stand a chance against the real cheese of the edition.

8e index may not have been amazingly balanced but the gap between the haves and the have nots was quite a bit smaller.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 14:10:21


Post by: Unit1126PLL


Saturmorn Carvilli wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:

Lastly, what I was asking for was a definition of "trap unit" because people throw the term around and I don't think they understand my position on the issue. They say I want "Trap Units", which I don't. does a unit have to have "THIS UNIT IS SUBOPTIMAL NARRATIVE PLAY ONLY" slapped across its datasheet in red or something to be considered "not a trap?"


I can give a few of examples in my army:

-I think Chaos Space Marines are a trap unit. They just can do nearly as much work as Cultists for the points they cost. I don't think it is hard see a player picking CSM and wanting field Warp-crazed, super soldiers only to find Lovecraftain bad-guy wannabes are the better choice.
-As much as I like my Chaos Terminators, I can't seem to build a list around them now that turn 1 assaults and warp time don't work like they used to. I still field them, but unless I playing a similarly tiered army (thank you Blood Angels players), I don't really seem to stand a chance most games.
-I kinda feel that my land raider is a trap unit in that it eats up a chunk of points that if never seems to make back even as a distraction carnifax.
-I am not sure if my Helldrake is a trap unit. I kinda suspect is, but it could just be an under-performing unit that I am bad at utilizing.

I kinda get that you think some posters are equating under-performing units or units not used in their correct role as trap units. That isn't the case. I think there is a difference in an under-performing/out-of-role unit and a trap unit. An under-performing unit is a unit that is probably a little weaker than the average, but close enough their isn't any easy to balance it closer and its presence in an army shouldn't affect the overall effectiveness of it. Where a trap unit is one that you have to build the rest of you army to absorb is lack of effectiveness or role. Note: this isn't the same as building an army around a unit that, at that point, makes the army better. An even worst trap unit is one that no matter how you construct your army that unit just isn't going to contribute very well no matter what role you give it.

Unfortunately, Warhammer 40k has lots of trap units. Many of which are hard for some faction to avoid given a lack of unit options overall, Force Org considerations, or even redundancy of roles where it is less of choice on which unit you want for that role over one unit is clearly just plain better at that role. Warhammer 40k isn't alone in that. In Bolt Action (1st ed) I felt that often that green troops where a bit of trap. Fortunately, there wasn't a difference in the model so a player could just use them as regular or veterans. A better example was in Dust Battlefield non-helicopter flyers, SSU Steel Guard and bunker weapons were total trap units. None of them were their points no matter how you built your army.

I think it is reasonable to not expect anywhere close to perfect balance out of a game. That's fine, but I do expect that I can put together a collection of models that if I can cover all my bases should do at least okay on the tabletop. I might have to play at a higher level to make that happen, but it can happen. Again, in Dust Battlefield, Allied Rangers seemed like the weakest basic infantry of the 3 blocs. However, I made a WWII Able-Baker-Charlie list that actually managed to go nearly undefeated because I could create a list that played to their strengths and knew Dust very well. I have my doubts that I could do the same with Chaos Terminators in 8th ed 40k.


Alright, yes. I understand, but I'm not sure those are trap units in the same way "I want trap units" as some posters claim. Let me address your units point-by-point because I think it might shed some light on how I feel:

1) Chaos Space Marines are bad in current 40k, but in the theoretical 40k I am proposing, they shouldn't be. When I talk about Faction Identity, well, CSM are literally the name of the faction. They have no right being bad, and are a "trap unit" for reasons entirely unrelated to the balance philosophy we're discussing.
2) Chaos Terminators are much the same, basically. They're bad because GW doesn't actually know what they're doing, rather than being bad simply because the design philosophy requires it (e.g. they're the "heavy troops" of a comparatively light infantry faction like Guard). I don't think their existence is a refutation of the design philosophy I've proposed.
3) Land Raiders are an odd case; I can imagine they're difficult to balance, simply because they do everything pretty well. They're one of the most durable Heavy Support units in the game, but everyone's bringing guns to kill LOW. They're fairly good transports, with some variants (though not yours obviously) being among the largest capacities in the game, again outside of LOWs. They're also excellent gun platforms, having as many Lascannons as a fully kitted Predator Annihilator but more, and also being able to move and shoot with no trouble at all. Balancing a vehicle that "does everything well" is going to be difficult, with so few weaknesses (CC alone) it should cost a premium, but at the same time in a game with LOWs anything that costs a premium and is good is just going to get swatted off the board with nary a gesture. Even so, I would consider Land Raiders (i.e. assault transport vehicles in general) to be part of the "shock troops" theme of both Marines and CSM, and therefore they'd be one of the stronger not-trap units in my prospective world where faction identity determines what units are strong vice weak.
4) I think Heldrakes can be fairly effective, but they are matchup dependent. I actually don't really consider them core to the identity of the CSM, so the fact that they're middling isn't an issue in my opinion.

I think the issue for me with the "expect[ation] that I can put together a collection of models that if I can cover all my bases should do at least okay on the tabletop" is that armies are more than just a collection of models. Armies should, like D&D character archetypes, have built-in weaknesses and very strong strengths. A Tau army shouldn't be able to "cover all its [melee] bases" as well as, say, a World Eaters army, which should in turn not be able to "cover all its [shooting] bases" as well as, say, Imperial Guard, etc.. This is why I eventually advocate for faction vs. faction balance, because people will inevitably soup to cover their weaknesses, at least in competitive play.

Peregrine wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Lastly, what I was asking for was a definition of "trap unit" because people throw the term around and I don't think they understand my position on the issue. They say I want "Trap Units", which I don't. does a unit have to have "THIS UNIT IS SUBOPTIMAL NARRATIVE PLAY ONLY" slapped across its datasheet in red or something to be considered "not a trap?"


A trap unit is one that is reasonably expected to be good but isn't, especially when seeing its weakness requires a high level of understanding and math. For example, tactical marines are a trap unit. They're presented as the core of the space marine army and have a stat line that makes you think they're elite (at least among basic troops units) but once you do the math you find that they're trash. Kroot aren't necessarily a trap unit because they're presented as a support unit that does something Tau aren't really supposed to do, so you know that if you're taking one it's because you desperately need that melee cannon fodder and are willing to settle for a less than optimal unit to get it. GW isn't saying "take Kroot, they're the best", they're showing off armies full of Tau models with maybe an occasional Kroot here and there. Post-nerf conscripts aren't a trap unit because you look at the unit, immediately see that they're worse than normal infantry squads, and never bother with them.

I'll say the same thing I said to the CSM player: Tactical Marines really should be good. Just like you, I consider them a crucial, indelible part of the faction identity of the Adeptus Astartes, and they really should be much better, which is why I agree with buffing them. A unit that is presented as the core of a good faction being bad is exactly the type of unit I wish to avoid, despite the opinions of my accusers.

Conversely, one of the reasons Kroot are so popular in my examples is because they are, in fact, an example of what I am talking about. The Tau army shouldn't have excellent access to melee, and shouldn't expect much out of their melee units. The fact that they do, indeed, lack access to general melee units and the ones they have are at best mediocre is perfect. But some people seem to think that "a suboptimal unit in a role compared to other options available to the army" is somehow a trap unit, like how the ability for a wizard to get and use a greatsword in D&D should be removed just because it's a "trap option" or something. I don't really get it.

Lastly, post-nerf conscripts are so badly overnerfed that I agree with you. Conscripts are part of the identity of the Imperial Guard, though not quite so much as the Infantry Squad, and as such should at least have a role to play. Personally, I believe that role should be durability (as a unit): their firepower ought to be bad compared to an Infantry Squad (point-efficiency wise, not per unit), and their speed and maneuverability, like all Guard foot units, should be cumbersome, etc. But they should, given a Commissar to keep them in line, be able to plug gaps in the front. Right now, they can't even do that.

So, to sum up, it sounds like a lot of the problem with "Trap Units" is in presentation: a unit is presented in either the lore or the promotional materials or whatever as fantastic! or is perhaps even the core of a faction, but doesn't play that way on the table-top. So, the obvious solution is to make sure the faction core units (the ones that feed the "faction identity" I keep talking about) are really good for an army, and perform well, while presenting units that aren't part of the "core identity" as less useful, and then make them useful on the tabletop.

That way, when a Whirlwind (a comparatively minor artillery tank that I don't hear much about in the fluff) performs worse than the Basilisk (the quintessential artillery tank of the setting, present in memes, books, pictures, etc.), people won't be shocked or surprised. Because one is a tack-on unit that contributes to its faction identity in small ways, while the other is a core unit that fits the mold of the Imperial Guard faction. I think this balancing method is best, because it allows the core units to perform, and helps restrain factions (like the current Imperial Guard) who have absolutely jumped the shark in terms of core identity, and have so many "core identities" that almost any unit can be justified from some niche perspective.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 14:52:00


Post by: Crimson


JFC, I alreasy explained how faction flavour can be preserved without making some units intentionally bad. Tau would not be an melee focused army even if Kroot were good. Your D&D analogy is flawed as there things come in ready-made packages, in 40K you use resources to get things. If in D&D wizard would have to choose between an ability to use fire spells and ability to use swords whilst the former was much more powerful than the latter then it would be more analogous. Furthermore, 40K is not an RPG, even in casual form it is a competitive game whereas D&D is cooperative game, so balancing considerarions are quite different.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 14:57:12


Post by: Slayer-Fan123


A.T. wrote:
 Blackie wrote:
Index 8th edition was the most inbalanced version of 40k ever, even more inbalanced than 7th edition. There even wasn't rule of three back then.
7th edition I could field a marine army that matched my sororitas list model for model, gun for gun, with game-long rerolls and enough points left over the buy a knight.
And that marine army wouldn't stand a chance against the real cheese of the edition.

8e index may not have been amazingly balanced but the gap between the haves and the have nots was quite a bit smaller.

Everyone getting broken formations started to fill the gap for balance. Otherwise, the two separate 8th edition eras is something to discuss with almost a whole different thread.

Index Lists were just purely having rules for the sake of rules with little thought put into them, and it shows.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 14:59:41


Post by: Slayer-Fan123


Spoiler:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Saturmorn Carvilli wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:

Lastly, what I was asking for was a definition of "trap unit" because people throw the term around and I don't think they understand my position on the issue. They say I want "Trap Units", which I don't. does a unit have to have "THIS UNIT IS SUBOPTIMAL NARRATIVE PLAY ONLY" slapped across its datasheet in red or something to be considered "not a trap?"


I can give a few of examples in my army:

-I think Chaos Space Marines are a trap unit. They just can do nearly as much work as Cultists for the points they cost. I don't think it is hard see a player picking CSM and wanting field Warp-crazed, super soldiers only to find Lovecraftain bad-guy wannabes are the better choice.
-As much as I like my Chaos Terminators, I can't seem to build a list around them now that turn 1 assaults and warp time don't work like they used to. I still field them, but unless I playing a similarly tiered army (thank you Blood Angels players), I don't really seem to stand a chance most games.
-I kinda feel that my land raider is a trap unit in that it eats up a chunk of points that if never seems to make back even as a distraction carnifax.
-I am not sure if my Helldrake is a trap unit. I kinda suspect is, but it could just be an under-performing unit that I am bad at utilizing.

I kinda get that you think some posters are equating under-performing units or units not used in their correct role as trap units. That isn't the case. I think there is a difference in an under-performing/out-of-role unit and a trap unit. An under-performing unit is a unit that is probably a little weaker than the average, but close enough their isn't any easy to balance it closer and its presence in an army shouldn't affect the overall effectiveness of it. Where a trap unit is one that you have to build the rest of you army to absorb is lack of effectiveness or role. Note: this isn't the same as building an army around a unit that, at that point, makes the army better. An even worst trap unit is one that no matter how you construct your army that unit just isn't going to contribute very well no matter what role you give it.

Unfortunately, Warhammer 40k has lots of trap units. Many of which are hard for some faction to avoid given a lack of unit options overall, Force Org considerations, or even redundancy of roles where it is less of choice on which unit you want for that role over one unit is clearly just plain better at that role. Warhammer 40k isn't alone in that. In Bolt Action (1st ed) I felt that often that green troops where a bit of trap. Fortunately, there wasn't a difference in the model so a player could just use them as regular or veterans. A better example was in Dust Battlefield non-helicopter flyers, SSU Steel Guard and bunker weapons were total trap units. None of them were their points no matter how you built your army.

I think it is reasonable to not expect anywhere close to perfect balance out of a game. That's fine, but I do expect that I can put together a collection of models that if I can cover all my bases should do at least okay on the tabletop. I might have to play at a higher level to make that happen, but it can happen. Again, in Dust Battlefield, Allied Rangers seemed like the weakest basic infantry of the 3 blocs. However, I made a WWII Able-Baker-Charlie list that actually managed to go nearly undefeated because I could create a list that played to their strengths and knew Dust very well. I have my doubts that I could do the same with Chaos Terminators in 8th ed 40k.


Alright, yes. I understand, but I'm not sure those are trap units in the same way "I want trap units" as some posters claim. Let me address your units point-by-point because I think it might shed some light on how I feel:

1) Chaos Space Marines are bad in current 40k, but in the theoretical 40k I am proposing, they shouldn't be. When I talk about Faction Identity, well, CSM are literally the name of the faction. They have no right being bad, and are a "trap unit" for reasons entirely unrelated to the balance philosophy we're discussing.
2) Chaos Terminators are much the same, basically. They're bad because GW doesn't actually know what they're doing, rather than being bad simply because the design philosophy requires it (e.g. they're the "heavy troops" of a comparatively light infantry faction like Guard). I don't think their existence is a refutation of the design philosophy I've proposed.
3) Land Raiders are an odd case; I can imagine they're difficult to balance, simply because they do everything pretty well. They're one of the most durable Heavy Support units in the game, but everyone's bringing guns to kill LOW. They're fairly good transports, with some variants (though not yours obviously) being among the largest capacities in the game, again outside of LOWs. They're also excellent gun platforms, having as many Lascannons as a fully kitted Predator Annihilator but more, and also being able to move and shoot with no trouble at all. Balancing a vehicle that "does everything well" is going to be difficult, with so few weaknesses (CC alone) it should cost a premium, but at the same time in a game with LOWs anything that costs a premium and is good is just going to get swatted off the board with nary a gesture. Even so, I would consider Land Raiders (i.e. assault transport vehicles in general) to be part of the "shock troops" theme of both Marines and CSM, and therefore they'd be one of the stronger not-trap units in my prospective world where faction identity determines what units are strong vice weak.
4) I think Heldrakes can be fairly effective, but they are matchup dependent. I actually don't really consider them core to the identity of the CSM, so the fact that they're middling isn't an issue in my opinion.

I think the issue for me with the "expect[ation] that I can put together a collection of models that if I can cover all my bases should do at least okay on the tabletop" is that armies are more than just a collection of models. Armies should, like D&D character archetypes, have built-in weaknesses and very strong strengths. A Tau army shouldn't be able to "cover all its [melee] bases" as well as, say, a World Eaters army, which should in turn not be able to "cover all its [shooting] bases" as well as, say, Imperial Guard, etc.. This is why I eventually advocate for faction vs. faction balance, because people will inevitably soup to cover their weaknesses, at least in competitive play.

Peregrine wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Lastly, what I was asking for was a definition of "trap unit" because people throw the term around and I don't think they understand my position on the issue. They say I want "Trap Units", which I don't. does a unit have to have "THIS UNIT IS SUBOPTIMAL NARRATIVE PLAY ONLY" slapped across its datasheet in red or something to be considered "not a trap?"


A trap unit is one that is reasonably expected to be good but isn't, especially when seeing its weakness requires a high level of understanding and math. For example, tactical marines are a trap unit. They're presented as the core of the space marine army and have a stat line that makes you think they're elite (at least among basic troops units) but once you do the math you find that they're trash. Kroot aren't necessarily a trap unit because they're presented as a support unit that does something Tau aren't really supposed to do, so you know that if you're taking one it's because you desperately need that melee cannon fodder and are willing to settle for a less than optimal unit to get it. GW isn't saying "take Kroot, they're the best", they're showing off armies full of Tau models with maybe an occasional Kroot here and there. Post-nerf conscripts aren't a trap unit because you look at the unit, immediately see that they're worse than normal infantry squads, and never bother with them.

I'll say the same thing I said to the CSM player: Tactical Marines really should be good. Just like you, I consider them a crucial, indelible part of the faction identity of the Adeptus Astartes, and they really should be much better, which is why I agree with buffing them. A unit that is presented as the core of a good faction being bad is exactly the type of unit I wish to avoid, despite the opinions of my accusers.

Conversely, one of the reasons Kroot are so popular in my examples is because they are, in fact, an example of what I am talking about. The Tau army shouldn't have excellent access to melee, and shouldn't expect much out of their melee units. The fact that they do, indeed, lack access to general melee units and the ones they have are at best mediocre is perfect. But some people seem to think that "a suboptimal unit in a role compared to other options available to the army" is somehow a trap unit, like how the ability for a wizard to get and use a greatsword in D&D should be removed just because it's a "trap option" or something. I don't really get it.

Lastly, post-nerf conscripts are so badly overnerfed that I agree with you. Conscripts are part of the identity of the Imperial Guard, though not quite so much as the Infantry Squad, and as such should at least have a role to play. Personally, I believe that role should be durability (as a unit): their firepower ought to be bad compared to an Infantry Squad (point-efficiency wise, not per unit), and their speed and maneuverability, like all Guard foot units, should be cumbersome, etc. But they should, given a Commissar to keep them in line, be able to plug gaps in the front. Right now, they can't even do that.

So, to sum up, it sounds like a lot of the problem with "Trap Units" is in presentation: a unit is presented in either the lore or the promotional materials or whatever as fantastic! or is perhaps even the core of a faction, but doesn't play that way on the table-top. So, the obvious solution is to make sure the faction core units (the ones that feed the "faction identity" I keep talking about) are really good for an army, and perform well, while presenting units that aren't part of the "core identity" as less useful, and then make them useful on the tabletop.

That way, when a Whirlwind (a comparatively minor artillery tank that I don't hear much about in the fluff) performs worse than the Basilisk (the quintessential artillery tank of the setting, present in memes, books, pictures, etc.), people won't be shocked or surprised. Because one is a tack-on unit that contributes to its faction identity in small ways, while the other is a core unit that fits the mold of the Imperial Guard faction. I think this balancing method is best, because it allows the core units to perform, and helps restrain factions (like the current Imperial Guard) who have absolutely jumped the shark in terms of core identity, and have so many "core identities" that almost any unit can be justified from some niche perspective.

So I'll repeat a question from earlier:
Should Skull Cannons be nerfed because they don't fit the identity of Khorne Daemons?


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 15:41:28


Post by: Unit1126PLL


Crimson wrote:JFC, I alreasy explained how faction flavour can be preserved without making some units intentionally bad. Tau would not be an melee focused army even if Kroot were good. Your D&D analogy is flawed as there things come in ready-made packages, in 40K you use resources to get things. If in D&D wizard would have to choose between an ability to use fire spells and ability to use swords whilst the former was much more powerful than the latter then it would be more analogous. Furthermore, 40K is not an RPG, even in casual form it is a competitive game whereas D&D is cooperative game, so balancing considerarions are quite different.


Your explanation was inadequate, as an artillery faction (for example) will be able to buff their artillery, making it automatically better than the not-artillery faction if one looks for indirect fire support. Take the example of the Whirlwind: it outperforms the Basilisk vs. its preferred target, but the Basilisk has access to buffs, making it automatically overshadow the Whirlwind. This is a good thing. If Kroot were better, they'd still not be a melee faction, true. But if Kroot were as efficient point-for-point in melee as, say, Khorne Berzerkers, then you'd probably start seeing Tau melee lists crop up. Therefore, making units as efficient as other units point-for-point means that factions lose their identity, as each "melee unit" is as efficient as any other, whether it is Tau or Khorne. Therefore, Kroot need to be worse per-point-spent in melee than Berzerkers or Bloodletters. QED.

40k is only as competitive as you make it out to be. Winning is the objective, but fun is the goal. Sometimes, people think the objective is the goal, but I would hope you could realize that sometimes, storytelling is the goal, while winning is merely an objective. (Of course, this recognizes that there can be goals outside the game, while objectives exist inside the game, but some people don't like to talk about that).

You could conceivably play PVP D&D. It's a dumb idea, but the fact that game "could" be played competitively (everyone draw up lvl 5 characters, then fight eachother!) does not make it a "competitive game" automatically.

Slayer-Fan123 wrote:So I'll repeat a question from earlier:
Should Skull Cannons be nerfed because they don't fit the identity of Khorne Daemons?

No, as currently they're worse than equivalent choices a Khorne Daemons player could find elsewhere (e.g. CSM) if they were playing competitively. Skull Cannons are fine where they are - a suboptimal choice for shooting in the competitive sense, and therefore never taken in competitive lists, but present for players who like them (for a wide variety of reasons) and otherwise aren't playing competitively.

Remember, I think World Eaters should have worse havocs than, say, Iron Warriors, point-for-point. Not that they shouldn't have them at all, or anything like that.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 16:12:24


Post by: Ice_can


 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Crimson wrote:JFC, I alreasy explained how faction flavour can be preserved without making some units intentionally bad. Tau would not be an melee focused army even if Kroot were good. Your D&D analogy is flawed as there things come in ready-made packages, in 40K you use resources to get things. If in D&D wizard would have to choose between an ability to use fire spells and ability to use swords whilst the former was much more powerful than the latter then it would be more analogous. Furthermore, 40K is not an RPG, even in casual form it is a competitive game whereas D&D is cooperative game, so balancing considerarions are quite different.


Your explanation was inadequate, as an artillery faction (for example) will be able to buff their artillery, making it automatically better than the not-artillery faction if one looks for indirect fire support. Take the example of the Whirlwind: it outperforms the Basilisk vs. its preferred target, but the Basilisk has access to buffs, making it automatically overshadow the Whirlwind. This is a good thing. If Kroot were better, they'd still not be a melee faction, true. But if Kroot were as efficient point-for-point in melee as, say, Khorne Berzerkers, then you'd probably start seeing Tau melee lists crop up. Therefore, making units as efficient as other units point-for-point means that factions lose their identity, as each "melee unit" is as efficient as any other, whether it is Tau or Khorne. Therefore, Kroot need to be worse per-point-spent in melee than Berzerkers or Bloodletters. QED.

40k is only as competitive as you make it out to be. Winning is the objective, but fun is the goal. Sometimes, people think the objective is the goal, but I would hope you could realize that sometimes, storytelling is the goal, while winning is merely an objective. (Of course, this recognizes that there can be goals outside the game, while objectives exist inside the game, but some people don't like to talk about that).

You could conceivably play PVP D&D. It's a dumb idea, but the fact that game "could" be played competitively (everyone draw up lvl 5 characters, then fight eachother!) does not make it a "competitive game" automatically.

Slayer-Fan123 wrote:So I'll repeat a question from earlier:
Should Skull Cannons be nerfed because they don't fit the identity of Khorne Daemons?

No, as currently they're worse than equivalent choices a Khorne Daemons player could find elsewhere (e.g. CSM) if they were playing competitively. Skull Cannons are fine where they are - a suboptimal choice for shooting in the competitive sense, and therefore never taken in competitive lists, but present for players who like them (for a wide variety of reasons) and otherwise aren't playing competitively.

Remember, I think World Eaters should have worse havocs than, say, Iron Warriors, point-for-point. Not that they shouldn't have them at all, or anything like that.

Why are you compairing a whirlwind to a basalisk instead of a wyvern? It's a more honest match up for their prefered targets of infantry.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 16:14:03


Post by: HoundsofDemos


 Blackie wrote:
Index 8th edition was the most inbalanced version of 40k ever, even more inbalanced than 7th edition. There even wasn't rule of three back then.


This made me laugh so hard. The indexes were bland but far more balanced than 7th. As a marine player having a formation that gave me 100s of points worth of free vehicles was bad game design and that wasn't even close to the strongest/most boneheaded thing GW released.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 16:17:34


Post by: Unit1126PLL


Ice_can wrote:
Why are you compairing a whirlwind to a basalisk instead of a wyvern? It's a more honest match up for their prefered targets of infantry.


*shrug* It was the specific comparison brought up by someone else. I think it's because the Wyvern is typically not considered a very good unit, while the Basilisk makes showings at the top tables. The Wyvern does drastically outperform the Whirlwind, I suspect, though, meaning it probably needs a nerf. It shouldn't be that drastic... perhaps 4d3 or 2d6 instead, or lose the re-roll wounds.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 17:28:15


Post by: Slayer-Fan123


 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Crimson wrote:JFC, I alreasy explained how faction flavour can be preserved without making some units intentionally bad. Tau would not be an melee focused army even if Kroot were good. Your D&D analogy is flawed as there things come in ready-made packages, in 40K you use resources to get things. If in D&D wizard would have to choose between an ability to use fire spells and ability to use swords whilst the former was much more powerful than the latter then it would be more analogous. Furthermore, 40K is not an RPG, even in casual form it is a competitive game whereas D&D is cooperative game, so balancing considerarions are quite different.


Your explanation was inadequate, as an artillery faction (for example) will be able to buff their artillery, making it automatically better than the not-artillery faction if one looks for indirect fire support. Take the example of the Whirlwind: it outperforms the Basilisk vs. its preferred target, but the Basilisk has access to buffs, making it automatically overshadow the Whirlwind. This is a good thing. If Kroot were better, they'd still not be a melee faction, true. But if Kroot were as efficient point-for-point in melee as, say, Khorne Berzerkers, then you'd probably start seeing Tau melee lists crop up. Therefore, making units as efficient as other units point-for-point means that factions lose their identity, as each "melee unit" is as efficient as any other, whether it is Tau or Khorne. Therefore, Kroot need to be worse per-point-spent in melee than Berzerkers or Bloodletters. QED.

40k is only as competitive as you make it out to be. Winning is the objective, but fun is the goal. Sometimes, people think the objective is the goal, but I would hope you could realize that sometimes, storytelling is the goal, while winning is merely an objective. (Of course, this recognizes that there can be goals outside the game, while objectives exist inside the game, but some people don't like to talk about that).

You could conceivably play PVP D&D. It's a dumb idea, but the fact that game "could" be played competitively (everyone draw up lvl 5 characters, then fight eachother!) does not make it a "competitive game" automatically.

Slayer-Fan123 wrote:So I'll repeat a question from earlier:
Should Skull Cannons be nerfed because they don't fit the identity of Khorne Daemons?

No, as currently they're worse than equivalent choices a Khorne Daemons player could find elsewhere (e.g. CSM) if they were playing competitively. Skull Cannons are fine where they are - a suboptimal choice for shooting in the competitive sense, and therefore never taken in competitive lists, but present for players who like them (for a wide variety of reasons) and otherwise aren't playing competitively.

Remember, I think World Eaters should have worse havocs than, say, Iron Warriors, point-for-point. Not that they shouldn't have them at all, or anything like that.

We aren't talking about Chaos Space Marines, an entirely different codex.

We are talking about the identity of Khorne Daemons and if the Skull Cannon fits that (it doesn't). It's also actually good since it's only 90 points for being a Battlecannon that ignores cover.

So isn't it too good to be in a melee army? Absolutely. Shouldn't it be nerfed because Khorne Daemons shouldn't be so shooty?


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 17:32:06


Post by: Karol


40k is only as competitive as you make it out to be. Winning is the objective, but fun is the goal. Sometimes, people think the objective is the goal, but I would hope you could realize that sometimes, storytelling is the goal, while winning is merely an objective. (Of course, this recognizes that there can be goals outside the game, while objectives exist inside the game, but some people don't like to talk about that).

That maybe true for good armies. It is really hard to make playing with a bad army fun. Worse after sometime you can't even find opponents, because a lot of people don't want to play games they know they will win no matter what.



No, as currently they're worse than equivalent choices a Khorne Daemons player could find elsewhere (e.g. CSM) if they were playing competitively. Skull Cannons are fine where they are - a suboptimal choice for shooting in the competitive sense, and therefore never taken in competitive lists, but present for players who like them (for a wide variety of reasons) and otherwise aren't playing competitively.

So an army like GK should be bad, because there are better shoting imperial armies, better melee imperial armies, other armies have better casting etc? GW went with that line of thought, then playing GK would make no sense at all, because GW would never fix them, and people that bought them just wasted money.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 17:37:04


Post by: Unit1126PLL


Slayer-Fan123 wrote:

We aren't talking about Chaos Space Marines, an entirely different codex.

No, but we are talking about an army that has access to them. Codexes don't matter in army construction anymore; if Daemons want shooting, they have access to better, hence why I voted faction vs faction balance.

Slayer-Fan123 wrote:
We are talking about the identity of Khorne Daemons and if the Skull Cannon fits that (it doesn't). It's also actually good since it's only 90 points for being a Battlecannon that ignores cover.

It's really not that good. Asserting that it is does not make it so. Even if you think it's that good, in my opinion it doesn't harm the core identity of the army being as good as it is, and so it can stay the way it is.

Slayer-Fan123 wrote:
So isn't it too good to be in a melee army? Absolutely. Shouldn't it be nerfed because Khorne Daemons shouldn't be so shooty?

The part you put in Cyan is you putting words into my mouth (words that are literally contradicted by my previous post). I disagree with the premise that it is too good to be in a melee army. Therefore, I disagree with your conclusion.

To reiterate: I didn't say I don't think melee armies shouldn't have shooting. I said their shooting should not be as efficient, point-for-point, as shooting specialist armies. I've said this almost word for word like five times in the course of this thread. The fact that you don't understand it makes me think you either are intellectually incapable of doing so (which I doubt, since you seem smart), you aren't reading what I am writing (which is possible), or you're attempting to strawman my position, which is of course a fallacy.

Karol wrote:
So an army like GK should be bad, because there are better shoting imperial armies, better melee imperial armies, other armies have better casting etc? GW went with that line of thought, then playing GK would make no sense at all, because GW would never fix them, and people that bought them just wasted money.

GK's faction identity is "good against daemons." That's why they exist. Their secondary faction identity is "good at psykers" (though it's not their primary like it is for Tzeench). So really, the things they should do better (i.e. more points-efficiently than everyone else) is kill daemons and cast psychic powers, with the latter tempered somewhat by armies whose identity is even more psychic (i.e. Tzeench).

Eldar, too, are another heavily psychic army, for whom it is a big part of their identity. Grey Knight's access to psychic powers and ability to cast them should be on par with or slightly exceed Eldar's, as should the utility of their powers. That this isn't the case is a travesty within the current ruleset. Furthermore, the fact that GK are as awful against Daemons as they are is an even worse betrayal of faction identity, and is another reason to dislike GW's handling of the current game.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 18:11:16


Post by: Slayer-Fan123


 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Slayer-Fan123 wrote:

We aren't talking about Chaos Space Marines, an entirely different codex.

No, but we are talking about an army that has access to them. Codexes don't matter in army construction anymore; if Daemons want shooting, they have access to better, hence why I voted faction vs faction balance.

Slayer-Fan123 wrote:
We are talking about the identity of Khorne Daemons and if the Skull Cannon fits that (it doesn't). It's also actually good since it's only 90 points for being a Battlecannon that ignores cover.

It's really not that good. Asserting that it is does not make it so. Even if you think it's that good, in my opinion it doesn't harm the core identity of the army being as good as it is, and so it can stay the way it is.

Slayer-Fan123 wrote:
So isn't it too good to be in a melee army? Absolutely. Shouldn't it be nerfed because Khorne Daemons shouldn't be so shooty?

The part you put in Cyan is you putting words into my mouth (words that are literally contradicted by my previous post). I disagree with the premise that it is too good to be in a melee army. Therefore, I disagree with your conclusion.

To reiterate: I didn't say I don't think melee armies shouldn't have shooting. I said their shooting should not be as efficient, point-for-point, as shooting specialist armies. I've said this almost word for word like five times in the course of this thread. The fact that you don't understand it makes me think you either are intellectually incapable of doing so (which I doubt, since you seem smart), you aren't reading what I am writing (which is possible), or you're attempting to strawman my position, which is of course a fallacy.

Karol wrote:
So an army like GK should be bad, because there are better shoting imperial armies, better melee imperial armies, other armies have better casting etc? GW went with that line of thought, then playing GK would make no sense at all, because GW would never fix them, and people that bought them just wasted money.

GK's faction identity is "good against daemons." That's why they exist. Their secondary faction identity is "good at psykers" (though it's not their primary like it is for Tzeench). So really, the things they should do better (i.e. more points-efficiently than everyone else) is kill daemons and cast psychic powers, with the latter tempered somewhat by armies whose identity is even more psychic (i.e. Tzeench).

Eldar, too, are another heavily psychic army, for whom it is a big part of their identity. Grey Knight's access to psychic powers and ability to cast them should be on par with or slightly exceed Eldar's, as should the utility of their powers. That this isn't the case is a travesty within the current ruleset. Furthermore, the fact that GK are as awful against Daemons as they are is an even worse betrayal of faction identity, and is another reason to dislike GW's handling of the current game.

You don't play Khorne Daemons (you play Slaanesh instead), so I'm sure how much you've actually looked at that part of your codex.

Skull Cannons are better than a majority of strictly shooting choices for 90 points (like the mentioned Whirlwinds, Thunderfire Cannon, Wyverns). They should be nerfed because Khorne is a melee army. Khorne shouldn't have efficient shooting.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 18:17:28


Post by: Unit1126PLL


Slayer-Fan123 wrote:
You don't play Khorne Daemons (you play Slaanesh instead), so I'm sure how much you've actually looked at that part of your codex.

Skull Cannons are better than a majority of strictly shooting choices for 90 points (like the mentioned Whirlwinds, Thunderfire Cannon, Wyverns). They should be nerfed because Khorne is a melee army. Khorne shouldn't have efficient shooting.

I can look at it right now if you want. I don't think there's enough evidence that Skull Cannons are excellent shooting options that are outperforming similar dedicated units in other codexes.

Funny that you should compare the chariot-like device with an MBT's cannon to light artillery, as if that's meaningful. Better comparison with the Skull Cannon would be other MBT or MBT-lite units, like the Falcon, Fire Prism, Leman Russ, Tyrannofex, or Predator. It's solidly middle of the pack in that regard, tending towards the lower end because of its comparatively awful durability (less than that of a Basilisk, against AT weapons). If you won't compare Like vs. Like, then you might as well compare the Skull Cannon to a mortar Heavy Weapon Squad, at which point I am forced to concede that the Skull Cannon is, in fact, better than a HWS...

I don't think it's too good at all, and repeatedly trying to convince me that it is is a thread derail. If you'd like, you can post a thread called "Are Skull Cannons Too Good For A Melee Army" or something like that.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 18:24:16


Post by: Slayer-Fan123


It's clearly not one of the Battle Tanks you listed. It's for sure an artillery piece, and it's unfair for an army like Marines, a shooting army, to not get one as effective as a Skull Cannon.

Under your logic that's bad game design and we should nerf it to a fluff piece.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Crimson wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:

Lastly, what I was asking for was a definition of "trap unit" because people throw the term around and I don't think they understand my position on the issue. They say I want "Trap Units", which I don't. does a unit have to have "THIS UNIT IS SUBOPTIMAL NARRATIVE PLAY ONLY" slapped across its datasheet in red or something to be considered "not a trap?"

Yes, if it is suboptimal.

Now, I am a hardcore flufbunny, but your stance comes closest to Peregrine's mythical CAAC player that I've ever actually encountered. You literally want some units to intentionally be bad so you can signal your casualness by including them. Frankly, that's plain crazy. Now, I too definitely include suboptimal units because they look cool, but I'd greatly prefer if they actually weren't suboptimal.


Look at this post for some outside perspective on why your beliefs are bad and unhealthy for the game.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 18:31:27


Post by: Unit1126PLL


Slayer-Fan123 wrote:
It's clearly not one of the Battle Tanks you listed. It's for sure an artillery piece, and it's unfair for an army like Marines, a shooting army, to not get one as effective as a Skull Cannon.

Under your logic that's bad game design and we should nerf it to a fluff piece.

It already is a fluff piece. I don't see Skull Cannons if a Daemons army wants really good shooting. You see Renegade Knights and CSM. That's rather the point. It doesn't need further nerfing.

Furthermore, it's a tank. It plays on the battlefield more like a Predator, needing direct-fire but unwilling to move, than a Basilisk, which can sit out of LOS and in safety while shooting. The Predator tank is more effective than the Skull Cannon for the points, I think. Certainly more durable.

Slayer-Fan123 wrote:
Look at this post for some outside perspective on why your beliefs are bad and unhealthy for the game.

I ignored that post, as it strawmans my position very badly, but if you want a real counter argument:
I don't want some units to be intentionally bad for the purpose of signalling my casualness, as this post claims. I want some units to be intentionally bad to preserve and individuate army identity. Imperial Guard has no business being as good as World Eaters at melee, therefore, any melee options they have should be less points-efficient than the World Eaters have. That's the real stance, and it has nothing to do with signalling anything.

Therefore, my beliefs aren't bad and unhealthy for the game, since my beliefs have nothing to do with "virtue signalling" or anything of the sort. I believe I've made a legitimate argument, and all you've found to refute it are strawmen (i.e. "The Skull Cannon is too good, right? Let's nerf it!") or ad-hominems ("You're just CAAC!") rather than actually addressing the argument as it stands.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 19:56:13


Post by: w1zard


@Unit1126PLL

I don't think anyone is strawmanning your arguments, they are trying to illustrate using examples why they think your argument is flawed.

Personally, I would hate a D&D game where wizards NEVER meleed, fighters NEVER used magic items, or clerics NEVER sneaked. Sure you need to make those classes worse at those things (generally) that they aren't supposed to be doing than the classes who are supposed to be specialists in that area. But, you don't do that by making classes laughably bad at things they aren't supposed to be specialists in, otherwise they just never do it. If you make the cleric bad at sneaking, he just will never sneak at all, ever, and will rather fight and play to his strengths even in a situation that sneaking might be the better option.

A better way is to make the classes SITUATIONALLY decent at things they aren't supposed to be doing. A cleric probably should be bad at being a cat burglar, but pretending to be a member of a crazy cult to infiltrate an enemy temple should be right up their alley. Transferring the analogy over to 40k... Khorne is supposed to be a "melee" army, but Skull cannons should be a GOOD (read, points efficient) ranged weapon that gives khorne the option of engaging at range. Does that mean that khorne becomes an army that is good at shooting? No. Supplementary rules like the rule of 3 prevents this, and also the skull cannon only fulfills a single role (be that ranged anti-infantry or ranged anti-tank, I'm honestly not sure which) so you cannot make an entire army out of them anyway because it would be lacking in ways to deal with most units. Skull cannons are a specialist shooting unit in a melee army much like ogryn are a specialist melee unit inside a shooty army (IG). Making them bad (read, points inefficient) makes it so that they just aren't ever taken.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 19:58:58


Post by: Unit1126PLL


w1zard wrote:
@Unit1126PLL

I don't think anyone is strawmanning your arguments, they are trying to illustrate using examples why they think your argument is flawed.


But the examples indicated a flawed understanding of my argument. The Skull Cannon is fine, using my own logic, as is the Whirlwind.

The chosen examples are either misunderstandings of the argument I am making (in which case, poo on me for explaining it 5 or 6 times without being understood), or deliberate strawmen in an attempt to catch me out.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 20:05:59


Post by: HoundsofDemos


In an ideal world all unit entries and options would be at least somewhat useful.

Should IG have access to more diverse and powerful artillery? yes they should but that doesn't mean other factions should have terrible artillery or that certain models should be deliberately priced to not be useful.


That's just bad game design.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 20:11:21


Post by: Unit1126PLL


HoundsofDemos wrote:
In an ideal world all unit entries and options would be at least somewhat useful.

Should IG have access to more diverse and powerful artillery? yes they should but that doesn't mean other factions should have terrible artillery or that certain models should be deliberately priced to not be useful.


That's just bad game design.


Agreed. But there is a difference between "useful" and "competitive" which is the problem here on Dakkadakka, I think. It's okay for a Whirlwind to be "suboptimal" compared to a Basilisk, or that a phalanx of Skull Cannons (well, like 3-4) is "suboptimal" compared to an Imperial Knight. I still see Skull Cannons on the table, and even whirlwinds in recent memory. Just not top-table competitive.

That's inevitable, in my opinion - the top tables will never have everything, because true balance is impossible. So you should at least try to balance armies around their identities, and then allow their identities to come together in a cohesive whole as an entire faction. It shouldn't be surprising that a Marine Battle Company is more effectively supported by an Imperial Guard infantry battery with dedicated personnel and equipment (e.g. Masters of Ordnance and Trojans) in emplaced positions with preplanned fire-locations than it would be supported by a trio of Whirlwinds that just got off the boat at the same time they did.
I'm not saying "not everything should be useful." I'm saying "not everything should be competitively balanced on a unit vs unit basis without consideration for the army handling them." Then, furthermore, I am saying that "armies have faction identities in the way D&D Classes have functions" and therefore I am saying "A melee army should have worse (though not useless!) shooting point-for-point compared to a shooting army, in the same way that even a well-built Wizard using a Greatsword should be worse than a Fighter using a Greatsword, given that they both have the limited resources of feat points and actions in a turn."


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 20:16:57


Post by: w1zard


 Unit1126PLL wrote:
...because true balance is impossible....

No, it is not. It is extremely difficult but it is possible. You are conducting an argument from a flawed premise. See my post above about how D&D classes can be decent at things they aren't supposed to be specialists in.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 20:19:27


Post by: Unit1126PLL


w1zard wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
...because true balance is impossible....

No, it is not. It is extremely difficult but it is possible. You are conducting an argument from a flawed premise.


Alright, if true balance can be achieved, then do that, obviously. I've seen no evidence that it can, but I would be eminently happy if we arrive at this state, because it is the best state. Can you tell me why you think it can, despite all the evidence to the contrary? I'm not sure I know of any tabletop game that ever has throughout its entire lifetime.

If it cannot, then my method of balancing at least preserves faction identity amid the chaos. It is obviously inferior to true balance, of course - provided that can be achieved.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 20:20:37


Post by: Dandelion


 Unit1126PLL wrote:
I want some units to be intentionally bad


Wow. Unfortunately, this is a terrible way to balance a game with massive freedom of choice. If players were forced to take the good with the bad you might have had a point, but when players can just completely skip over bad options you've effectively removed them as an option for most players, especially with allies around.

Besides, who gets to decide what is or isn't an army's theme anyway? Should a Tau player who loves Kroot be penalized every time he/she takes a Kroot unit just because? Why? How does that make anything better? What identity crisis have you averted? You're just hurting players who like different things. If your contention is that it's fluffy, don't you think those fluffy players would follow the fluff of their own accord? Why do you need to prod them into a confined playstyle? Just let players pick units they like for whatever reason they want.
Example: A mangled tau cadre could consist of mostly kroot since they were the only available reinforcements. Boom. It's fluffy, it's cool and it's different and fresh.

Remember, 40k is probably more about collecting than playing for a lot of people. I've spent hundreds more hours painting and building than I have playing, so I would like for every unit to have a purpose and be effective at it when I do play.

On the plus side, it's much easier to actually balance the game when the goal is to make everything as equal as possible instead of trying to juggle good/bad units when easy allies are in the mix.

PS making the archetypical units of a faction overly good just makes the game stale. When only a few units are top dog, people burn out and what something new.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 20:24:24


Post by: Unit1126PLL


Since you edited it in and I missed it, my reply:

w1zard wrote:
@Unit1126PLL

I don't think anyone is strawmanning your arguments, they are trying to illustrate using examples why they think your argument is flawed.

Personally, I would hate a D&D game where wizards NEVER meleed, fighters NEVER used magic items, or clerics NEVER sneaked. Sure you need to make those classes worse at those things (generally) that they aren't supposed to be doing than the classes who are supposed to be specialists in that area. But, you don't do that by making classes laughably bad at things they aren't supposed to be specialists in, otherwise they just never do it. If you make the cleric bad at sneaking, he just will never sneak at all, ever, and will rather fight and play to his strengths even in a situation that sneaking might be the better option.

A better way is to make the classes SITUATIONALLY decent at things they aren't supposed to be doing. A cleric probably should be bad at being a cat burglar, but pretending to be a member of a crazy cult to infiltrate an enemy temple should be right up their alley. Transferring the analogy over to 40k... Khorne is supposed to be a "melee" army, but Skull cannons should be a GOOD (read, points efficient) ranged weapon that gives khorne the option of engaging at range. Does that mean that khorne becomes an army that is good at shooting? No. Supplementary rules like the rule of 3 prevents this, and also the skull cannon only fulfills a single role (be that ranged anti-infantry or ranged anti-tank, I'm honestly not sure which) so you cannot make an entire army out of them anyway because it would be lacking in ways to deal with most units. Skull cannons are a specialist shooting unit in a melee army much like ogryn are a specialist melee unit inside a shooty army (IG). Making them bad (read, points inefficient) makes it so that they just aren't ever taken.


Everything you've asserted is false.

What I am arguing for is that Khorne should NEVER shoot - nor am I arguing a Wizard should NEVER melee. I am simply arguing that Khorne should be worse (read: points efficient) at shooting than shooting armies, just like how a Cleric should be worse at sneaking than a rogue. Neither one is NEVER going to do those things, and has the tools to do it, but only sort of, compared to the specialists.

The only part I'm unclear on is how you think how Skull Cannons can simultaneously be GOOD (points-efficient) while the army isn't good at shooting, other than bandaid rules like the Rule of 3 (which doesn't exist in narrative play at all, I'll remind you). If it cannot deal with most units, it's not a points-efficient unit, obviously, so you've self-refuted by assuming the skull-cannon was both points-efficient and not-points-efficient at the same time.

Yes, they are a specialist shooting element in a melee army, which is why they should be slightly less efficient than a specialist shooting element in a shooting army.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 20:31:52


Post by: Slayer-Fan123


They're not less efficient than several different choices for the cost though. So they should be nerfed, simple as that.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 20:32:08


Post by: Unit1126PLL


Dandelion wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
I want some units to be intentionally bad


Wow. Unfortunately, this is a terrible way to balance a game with massive freedom of choice. If players were forced to take the good with the bad you might have had a point, but when players can just completely skip over bad options you've effectively removed them as an option for most players, especially with allies around.

Besides, who gets to decide what is or isn't an army's theme anyway? Should a Tau player who loves Kroot be penalized every time he/she takes a Kroot unit just because? Why? How does that make anything better? What identity crisis have you averted? You're just hurting players who like different things. If your contention is that it's fluffy, don't you think those fluffy players would follow the fluff of their own accord? Why do you need to prod them into a confined playstyle? Just let players pick units they like for whatever reason they want.
Example: A mangled tau cadre could consist of mostly kroot since they were the only available reinforcements. Boom. It's fluffy, it's cool and it's different and fresh.

Remember, 40k is probably more about collecting than playing for a lot of people. I've spent hundreds more hours painting and building than I have playing, so I would like for every unit to have a purpose and be effective at it when I do play.

On the plus side, it's much easier to actually balance the game when the goal is to make everything as equal as possible instead of trying to juggle good/bad units when easy allies are in the mix.

PS making the archetypical units of a faction overly good just makes the game stale. When only a few units are top dog, people burn out and what something new.


Double post because the replies are coming more quickly. I'll color code the points I am addressing:
Orange: The assumption implicit in this post is that most players play competitively, as apparently the only criterion for picking a unit in their mind is its competitiveness on the table. This is, in deed, a very stale way to play. There's not much else to say; it's true.

Green: Games Workshop, the faction's creator, self-evidently.

Blue: The one where one could build a plausible melee army out of the Tau Empire army list. If Kroot are competitive, there's a very real risk that the Tau melee is as good as its shooting, especially if they become as good as Khorne Berzerkers, and that betrays the faction identity GW seems to wish to establish.

Violet: Yes, I do, but there's no reason competitive armies couldn't at least appear fluffy as well, by souping together different elements that plays to each present army's strength.

Cyan: Ironically, in my system, they can absolutely do this. No one has removed any options, and the only reason people will tailor their army away from whatever they want is they no longer want it... if they want to be competitive, be competitive. If they want something that isn't competitive, they don't want to be competitive. That's... hopefully self-evident, as well.

White: Of course. That's rather the point, actually - that army is fresh, fun, and not competitive. Because what the player wants is something fresh and fun, not competition. If they wanted competition, they'd go a different route, obviously.



Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 20:32:51


Post by: Slayer-Fan123


 Unit1126PLL wrote:
HoundsofDemos wrote:
In an ideal world all unit entries and options would be at least somewhat useful.

Should IG have access to more diverse and powerful artillery? yes they should but that doesn't mean other factions should have terrible artillery or that certain models should be deliberately priced to not be useful.


That's just bad game design.


Agreed. But there is a difference between "useful" and "competitive" which is the problem here on Dakkadakka, I think. It's okay for a Whirlwind to be "suboptimal" compared to a Basilisk, or that a phalanx of Skull Cannons (well, like 3-4) is "suboptimal" compared to an Imperial Knight. I still see Skull Cannons on the table, and even whirlwinds in recent memory. Just not top-table competitive.

That's inevitable, in my opinion - the top tables will never have everything, because true balance is impossible. So you should at least try to balance armies around their identities, and then allow their identities to come together in a cohesive whole as an entire faction. It shouldn't be surprising that a Marine Battle Company is more effectively supported by an Imperial Guard infantry battery with dedicated personnel and equipment (e.g. Masters of Ordnance and Trojans) in emplaced positions with preplanned fire-locations than it would be supported by a trio of Whirlwinds that just got off the boat at the same time they did.
I'm not saying "not everything should be useful." I'm saying "not everything should be competitively balanced on a unit vs unit basis without consideration for the army handling them." Then, furthermore, I am saying that "armies have faction identities in the way D&D Classes have functions" and therefore I am saying "A melee army should have worse (though not useless!) shooting point-for-point compared to a shooting army, in the same way that even a well-built Wizard using a Greatsword should be worse than a Fighter using a Greatsword, given that they both have the limited resources of feat points and actions in a turn."

If the unit isn't good at the job, it IS, by definition, not having a purpose. Simple as that.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 20:32:56


Post by: Unit1126PLL


Slayer-Fan123 wrote:
They're not less efficient than several different choices for the cost though. So they should be nerfed, simple as that.


Or the other options buffed, of course. Skull Cannons are almost the perfect unit in my system - fairly good, not unplayably bad, but not measuring up to the shooting specialists in shooting armies. So they're perfect! It's the worse options that should be buffed, perhaps.

Slayer-Fan123 wrote:
If the unit isn't good at the job, it IS, by definition, not having a purpose. Simple as that.

What? No.
Units can have a purpose that aren't their job. For example, the purpose of the Carnodon Tank is to mostly look cool and have an interesting and unique lore, rather than to compete with the Leman Russ for performance on the table-top, despite them both being Imperial Guard Main Battle Tanks.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 20:35:02


Post by: Slayer-Fan123


 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Slayer-Fan123 wrote:
They're not less efficient than several different choices for the cost though. So they should be nerfed, simple as that.


Or the other options buffed, of course. Skull Cannons are almost the perfect unit in my system - fairly good, not unplayably bad, but not measuring up to the shooting specialists in shooting armies. So they're perfect! It's the worse options that should be buffed, perhaps.

If a unit can't function without a buff from another unit, the original unit has a fundamental problem.

So just admit you're okay with the Skull Cannon because it's in YOUR codex and we can be on our way. Otherwise, you need to admit that the Skull Cannon should be nerfed.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 20:36:19


Post by: Unit1126PLL


Slayer-Fan123 wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Slayer-Fan123 wrote:
They're not less efficient than several different choices for the cost though. So they should be nerfed, simple as that.


Or the other options buffed, of course. Skull Cannons are almost the perfect unit in my system - fairly good, not unplayably bad, but not measuring up to the shooting specialists in shooting armies. So they're perfect! It's the worse options that should be buffed, perhaps.

If a unit can't function without a buff from another unit, the original unit has a fundamental problem.

So just admit you're okay with the Skull Cannon because it's in YOUR codex and we can be on our way. Otherwise, you need to admit that the Skull Cannon should be nerfed.


But the skull cannon isn't actually good, and as you yourself said earlier, I don't even play Khorne Daemons.

And I don't understand your first sentence. I wasn't mentioning unit buffs from another unit, I meant a buff as in "should be made more points efficient either by price drops or rules buffs" not, like, buffed by an SM captain or something. I suppose I could've said "improved" but the cat's out of the bag now, innit.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 20:51:00


Post by: Crimson


 Unit1126PLL wrote:

Units can have a purpose that aren't their job. For example, the purpose of the Carnodon Tank is to mostly look cool and have an interesting and unique lore, rather than to compete with the Leman Russ for performance on the table-top, despite them both being Imperial Guard Main Battle Tanks.

Why can't it be cool looking and also a good unit? What fething purpose does it serve for it to be bad? This is pure lunacy. Let's just balance the units properly and then you can just leave some points unspent; whatever amount you feel is appropriate to punish yourself for choosing too cool looking models.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 20:52:23


Post by: Dandelion


 Unit1126PLL wrote:

Orange: The assumption implicit in this post is that most players play competitively, as apparently the only criterion for picking a unit in their mind is its competitiveness on the table. This is, in deed, a very stale way to play. There's not much else to say; it's true.

No, that is not the assumption. The assumption is that if I pay $50 to buy a unit, then spend a week to paint it I expect it to be useful and not a dead-weight. I don't play competitively at all and all my games are narrative with PL, but running a bad unit simply isn't fun. I once used Kroot to charge some Guardsmen and the Guardsmen won. I haven't used Kroot since because that wasn't fun. It just sucked.
Green: Games Workshop, the faction's creator, self-evidently.

And did they say that having bad units was their intention?
Blue: The one where one could build a plausible melee army out of the Tau Empire army list. If Kroot are competitive, there's a very real risk that the Tau melee is as good as its shooting, especially if they become as good as Khorne Berzerkers, and that betrays the faction identity GW seems to wish to establish.

Why is a plausible tau melee army bad? If faction identity makes units I paid for bad then I want none of it.
Violet: Yes, I do, but there's no reason competitive armies couldn't at least appear fluffy as well, by souping together different elements that plays to each present army's strength.

So in essence, you want to restrict competitive players? Why? Who cares what they do? Why does it matter?
White: Of course. That's rather the point, actually - that army is fresh, fun, and not competitive. Because what the player wants is something fresh and fun, not competition. If they wanted competition, they'd go a different route, obviously.

Why does it matter that it's not competitive? Who even cares? All I know is that said Kroot list would lose to the vast majority of casual lists because they have no bite, and that's not fun for anyone, competitive or casual.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 20:54:20


Post by: Slayer-Fan123


 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Slayer-Fan123 wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Slayer-Fan123 wrote:
They're not less efficient than several different choices for the cost though. So they should be nerfed, simple as that.


Or the other options buffed, of course. Skull Cannons are almost the perfect unit in my system - fairly good, not unplayably bad, but not measuring up to the shooting specialists in shooting armies. So they're perfect! It's the worse options that should be buffed, perhaps.

If a unit can't function without a buff from another unit, the original unit has a fundamental problem.

So just admit you're okay with the Skull Cannon because it's in YOUR codex and we can be on our way. Otherwise, you need to admit that the Skull Cannon should be nerfed.


But the skull cannon isn't actually good, and as you yourself said earlier, I don't even play Khorne Daemons.

And I don't understand your first sentence. I wasn't mentioning unit buffs from another unit, I meant a buff as in "should be made more points efficient either by price drops or rules buffs" not, like, buffed by an SM captain or something. I suppose I could've said "improved" but the cat's out of the bag now, innit.

Of course the Skull Cannon is good. 90 points gets you near Rhino durability with a 5++, non-helpless melee, and an excellent range weapon that ignores cover. All at BS3+ which is too high for a melee army. I can show it that it is mathematically better than a ton of other units in the same role if you want.

If it were significantly more expensive it wouldn't be good. At 90 points it's awesome.

So we need the Skull Cannon under your premise.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 20:57:33


Post by: Unit1126PLL


 Crimson wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:

Units can have a purpose that aren't their job. For example, the purpose of the Carnodon Tank is to mostly look cool and have an interesting and unique lore, rather than to compete with the Leman Russ for performance on the table-top, despite them both being Imperial Guard Main Battle Tanks.

Why can't it be cool looking and also a good unit? What fething purpose does it serve for it to be bad? This is pure lunacy. Let's just balance the units properly and then you can just leave some points unspent; whatever amount you feel is appropriate to punish yourself for choosing too cool looking models.


I think you missed the point, but I'll reiterate it here again:
The Carnodon doesn't have to be bad. Indeed, it could be better than the Leman Russ, should the designers so choose. But, in competitive play, that will make the Leman Russ fall out of the world, and replace it with the Carnodon. The only way to balance them against each-other is to make them even more the same (e.g. remove the Leman Russ's double shooting, or make the Carnodon T8, or able to receive orders, or the like), given the same amount of points spent on Heavy Support.

Making things the same is increasing the blandness in the game. Opponents who face the Carnodon will get to face an army who has tanks from the Heresy-era, which means it probably has interesting lore, and which operate completely differently from the typical Leman Russ tanks the Imperial Guards fields. This is a Good Thing™. The Carnodon could proxy as a Leman Russ with a few weapon swaps, to be sure, and I also wouldn't begrudge people doing that, of course, but running them as Russes generally isn't respectful of the lore around them.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 21:02:52


Post by: Crimson


 Unit1126PLL wrote:


I think you missed the point, but I'll reiterate it here again:
The Carnodon doesn't have to be bad. Indeed, it could be better than the Leman Russ, should the designers so choose. But, in competitive play, that will make the Leman Russ fall out of the world, and replace it with the Carnodon. The only way to balance them against each-other is to make them even more the same (e.g. remove the Leman Russ's double shooting, or make the Carnodon T8, or able to receive orders, or the like), given the same amount of points spent on Heavy Support.

Making things the same is increasing the blandness in the game. Opponents who face the Carnodon will get to face an army who has tanks from the Heresy-era, which means it probably has interesting lore, and which operate completely differently from the typical Leman Russ tanks the Imperial Guards fields. This is a Good Thing™. The Carnodon could proxy as a Leman Russ with a few weapon swaps, to be sure, and I also wouldn't begrudge people doing that, of course, but running them as Russes generally isn't respectful of the lore around them.

You have been told about seven million times that balanced doesn't mean the same. One can be more durable other can do more damage, other can be faster other can have some weird bonus rule. If your way of making them different is to make one of them just worse, then it is an utterly gakky way to differentiate them.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 21:07:43


Post by: Unit1126PLL


Dandelion wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:

Orange: The assumption implicit in this post is that most players play competitively, as apparently the only criterion for picking a unit in their mind is its competitiveness on the table. This is, in deed, a very stale way to play. There's not much else to say; it's true.

No, that is not the assumption. The assumption is that if I pay $50 to buy a unit, then spend a week to paint it I expect it to be useful and not a dead-weight. I don't play competitively at all and all my games are narrative with PL, but running a bad unit simply isn't fun. I once used Kroot to charge some Guardsmen and the Guardsmen won. I haven't used Kroot since because that wasn't fun. It just sucked.

Guardsmen should be worse at melee than Kroot, of course. The fact that they're not is an awful thing and should be rectified. I'm not arguing for units to be that bad. What I am arguing for is units to fit their army's archetype. For example, you shouldn't expect a Kroot unit of 150 points to charge a Khorne Berzerker squad of 150 points and have a 50/50 of winning...

Dandelion wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Green: Games Workshop, the faction's creator, self-evidently.

And did they say that having bad units was their intention?

Yes? Unless you think they're too dumb to realize that the Whirlwind is worse than the Basilisk/Wyvern after decades of them existing together...

Dandelion wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Blue: The one where one could build a plausible melee army out of the Tau Empire army list. If Kroot are competitive, there's a very real risk that the Tau melee is as good as its shooting, especially if they become as good as Khorne Berzerkers, and that betrays the faction identity GW seems to wish to establish.

Why is a plausible tau melee army bad? If faction identity makes units I paid for bad then I want none of it.

Then play an army you do like the units for. Armies are like D&D characters, as I've reiterated time and again - if you pick a wizard, don't get upset your greatsword combat turns are worse than the fighter's. Instead, be happy that your magic is so much better!

Dandelion wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Violet: Yes, I do, but there's no reason competitive armies couldn't at least appear fluffy as well, by souping together different elements that plays to each present army's strength.

So in essence, you want to restrict competitive players? Why? Who cares what they do? Why does it matter?

What do you mean who cares what they do? Clearly everyone here does, since it's the standard at what DakkaDakka operates. What I'd like to see is armies that are like D&D characters, where you take the good with the bad - or you double down on the good by munchkining your character. There's nothing wrong with trying to play competitively, but I'm sort of shocked you'd judge a unit by its tabletop competitiveness and then turn around and say "who cares about competitiveness?" That doesn't feel jarring when your mind changes so quickly?

Dandelion wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
White: Of course. That's rather the point, actually - that army is fresh, fun, and not competitive. Because what the player wants is something fresh and fun, not competition. If they wanted competition, they'd go a different route, obviously.

Why does it matter that it's not competitive? Who even cares? All I know is that said Kroot list would lose to the vast majority of casual lists because they have no bite, and that's not fun for anyone, competitive or casual.

It matters because the Tau should not be trying to out-melee World Eaters on the casual or competitive scene. That betrays the players who picked World Eaters specifically because they picked the army to be good at melee. It'd be like if you picked a Wizard to cast cool badass spells, and then it turns out that every class can cast exactly the same cool, badass spells - your character's uniqueness and playstyle is diminished, because everyone's basically the same. At least you can swing a greatsword as well as a Fighter, though, I guess.

Slayer-Fan123 wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Slayer-Fan123 wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Slayer-Fan123 wrote:
They're not less efficient than several different choices for the cost though. So they should be nerfed, simple as that.


Or the other options buffed, of course. Skull Cannons are almost the perfect unit in my system - fairly good, not unplayably bad, but not measuring up to the shooting specialists in shooting armies. So they're perfect! It's the worse options that should be buffed, perhaps.

If a unit can't function without a buff from another unit, the original unit has a fundamental problem.

So just admit you're okay with the Skull Cannon because it's in YOUR codex and we can be on our way. Otherwise, you need to admit that the Skull Cannon should be nerfed.


But the skull cannon isn't actually good, and as you yourself said earlier, I don't even play Khorne Daemons.

And I don't understand your first sentence. I wasn't mentioning unit buffs from another unit, I meant a buff as in "should be made more points efficient either by price drops or rules buffs" not, like, buffed by an SM captain or something. I suppose I could've said "improved" but the cat's out of the bag now, innit.

Of course the Skull Cannon is good. 90 points gets you near Rhino durability with a 5++, non-helpless melee, and an excellent range weapon that ignores cover. All at BS3+ which is too high for a melee army. I can show it that it is mathematically better than a ton of other units in the same role if you want.

If it were significantly more expensive it wouldn't be good. At 90 points it's awesome.

So we need the Skull Cannon under your premise.

I disagree that 7 wounds is "near Rhino durability". I honestly thought it was BS4+, and perhaps it should be. Can you show me what main battle tanks it is mathematically better then? Now I am curious - it may truly turn out to be too good; I was going off of what people took in tournaments and in Daemons lists, assuming those would, of course, take good units.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 21:24:08


Post by: Dandelion


 Unit1126PLL wrote:

Dandelion wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Green: Games Workshop, the faction's creator, self-evidently.

And did they say that having bad units was their intention?

Yes? Unless you think they're too dumb to realize that the Whirlwind is worse than the Basilisk/Wyvern after decades of them existing together...

Are you inferring that or did they say that's how they balance the game?

 Unit1126PLL wrote:

Then play an army you do like the units for. Armies are like D&D characters, as I've reiterated time and again - if you pick a wizard, don't get upset your greatsword combat turns are worse than the fighter's. Instead, be happy that your magic is so much better!

How are armies like D&D characters? Units sure, but why entire armies? It'd be like making an army of fighters+wizards and saying your wizards have to be worse than your opponent's because that's their thing.
What do you mean who cares what they do? Clearly everyone here does, since it's the standard at what DakkaDakka operates. What I'd like to see is armies that are like D&D characters, where you take the good with the bad - or you double down on the good by munchkining your character. There's nothing wrong with trying to play competitively, but I'm sort of shocked you'd judge a unit by its tabletop competitiveness and then turn around and say "who cares about competitiveness?" That doesn't feel jarring when your mind changes so quickly?

Your actual stance is difficult to understand. It seem you want to restrict competitive players options while hoping fluffy players just take the good with the bad. My question is why. Why does it matter so much to you that competitive players may not bring fluffy lists all the time. Why does it matter to you whether or not a player makes a powerful tau melee army? Why does it matter?

Also, you talk about faction identity, but the factions are so much more than what you're making them out to be. Tau aren't solely defined by shooting a lot. Khorne isn't only about chopping things. Orks love dakka as much as they love chopping. Guard don't just run over you with tanks. etc...


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 21:26:56


Post by: Crimson


Unit, armies are not like D&D characters. Stop saying this. It is a gak analogy.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 21:43:02


Post by: AtoMaki


 Unit1126PLL wrote:

What I am arguing for is that Khorne should NEVER shoot - nor am I arguing a Wizard should NEVER melee. I am simply arguing that Khorne should be worse (read: points efficient) at shooting than shooting armies, just like how a Cleric should be worse at sneaking than a rogue. Neither one is NEVER going to do those things, and has the tools to do it, but only sort of, compared to the specialists.


I'm fairly sure that this is nigh impossible to do properly unless we assume very specific circumstances. For example, Khorne has access to Havocs, Obliterators, Chaos Predators, and Defilers all the same way for all the shooty goodness, so you have to make these units 'bleh' and have the other Gods pull them up with specific bonuses or something, that in turn kinda self-defeating in terms of balance IMO.

I would rather have everything good and extrapolate from there: Khorne can do good shooting but Khorne Berzerkers are extra-choppy and there is really no reason to not have them if you play Khorne anyway.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 21:50:29


Post by: A.T.


Slayer-Fan123 wrote:
Of course the Skull Cannon is good. 90 points gets you near Rhino durability with a 5++, non-helpless melee, and an excellent range weapon that ignores cover. All at BS3+ which is too high for a melee army. I can show it that it is mathematically better than a ton of other units in the same role if you want.
I don't know, glancing at its stats it kinda looks like a crappy pre-buff (index) exorcist tank. And people don't even take the post-buff exorcist.
Though the ram-bar looks like good fun.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/08 23:41:24


Post by: w1zard


 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Guardsmen should be worse at melee than Kroot, of course. The fact that they're not is an awful thing and should be rectified. I'm not arguing for units to be that bad. What I am arguing for is units to fit their army's archetype. For example, you shouldn't expect a Kroot unit of 150 points to charge a Khorne Berzerker squad of 150 points and have a 50/50 of winning...

Yes, you should. And the Tau should be limited in the amount of kroot they can take through things like force org slots, or things like the rule of 3. By making kroot worse per point then the equivalent amount of points in khorne beserkers you ensure that no Tau player will ever take kroot vs berserkers because WHY? If they cannot even perform their role efficiently, then they just suck, and the Tau player just doubles down on fire warriors because melee troops aren't a REQUIREMENT for winning.

 Unit1126PLL wrote:
What I am arguing for is that Khorne should NEVER shoot - nor am I arguing a Wizard should NEVER melee. I am simply arguing that Khorne should be worse (read: points efficient) at shooting than shooting armies, just like how a Cleric should be worse at sneaking than a rogue. Neither one is NEVER going to do those things, and has the tools to do it, but only sort of, compared to the specialists.

But, by making them so laughably worse than the specialist you are ensuring that they are NEVER used. Why would a wizard ever pick up a sword when his spells are going to be better in literally every situation? You must ensure that situations exist where a wizard will want to use a sword because that is the BEST option. Granted, they shouldn't be common, but they should exist. Transferring the analogy over to 40k, you want skull cannons to actually better than berserkers in PARTICULAR situations. If every problem can be solved MORE EFFICIENTLY with simply more berserkers there is no reason to ever use skull cannons.

Please drop the whole "narrative play is an option" argument too. The majority of players play matched, and matched play includes the rule of 3.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/09 00:41:41


Post by: Wyzilla


Why would you ever use D&D as an example for anything? Firstly it's a godawfully designed RPG that has never been properly balanced in its lifetime because nobody has bothered. There's many other systems out there that are far better and do manage balance unlike D&D. But the crux is that D&D is not a PVP tabletop wargame and any comparison of it to pvp wargames is asinine by nature. D&D doesn't need balance because balance isn't absolutely necessary for a cooperative RPG because the players aren't fighting each other.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/09 00:56:12


Post by: w1zard


 Wyzilla wrote:
Why would you ever use D&D as an example for anything? Firstly it's a godawfully designed RPG that has never been properly balanced in its lifetime because nobody has bothered. There's many other systems out there that are far better and do manage balance unlike D&D. But the crux is that D&D is not a PVP tabletop wargame and any comparison of it to pvp wargames is asinine by nature. D&D doesn't need balance because balance isn't absolutely necessary for a cooperative RPG because the players aren't fighting each other.

5th edition D&D is actually pretty balanced, and players fight each other all the time... regardless it is just an analogy. We weren't comparing how D&D is balanced vs how 40k is balanced, we were using D&D classes as an example of examining how specialists operate outside of their area of expertise.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/09 13:25:05


Post by: AtoMaki


w1zard wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Guardsmen should be worse at melee than Kroot, of course. The fact that they're not is an awful thing and should be rectified. I'm not arguing for units to be that bad. What I am arguing for is units to fit their army's archetype. For example, you shouldn't expect a Kroot unit of 150 points to charge a Khorne Berzerker squad of 150 points and have a 50/50 of winning...

Yes, you should. And the Tau should be limited in the amount of kroot they can take through things like force org slots, or things like the rule of 3. By making kroot worse per point then the equivalent amount of points in khorne beserkers you ensure that no Tau player will ever take kroot vs berserkers because WHY? If they cannot even perform their role efficiently, then they just suck, and the Tau player just doubles down on fire warriors because melee troops aren't a REQUIREMENT for winning.


I don't think that the Tau should have limited access to Kroot. If the Tau player wants to do a CQC army with Kroots, Stealths, and Hazards, then he should be able to do it and have a fairly balanced fight with any other CQC army (like a Khorne one) with the deciding factor being army knowledge and tactics rather than individual unit power. If the Tau player can wrestle the Raptors with their Kroot and isolate and destroy the Berzerkers with their Stealths and Hazards then victory will be theirs - if the Khorne player can catch the Kroot with their Berzerkers and hunt down those suits with their Raptors then they will win. Easy as that.

By the way, the Berzerker equivalents for the Tau are the Stealth Teams and the Hazard Teams. I know, they look nothing alike, but that's the Tau vs Chaos faction difference for you.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/09 13:46:33


Post by: Eldarsif


Making things the same is increasing the blandness in the game. Opponents who face the Carnodon will get to face an army who has tanks from the Heresy-era, which means it probably has interesting lore, and which operate completely differently from the typical Leman Russ tanks the Imperial Guards fields. This is a Good Thing™. The Carnodon could proxy as a Leman Russ with a few weapon swaps, to be sure, and I also wouldn't begrudge people doing that, of course, but running them as Russes generally isn't respectful of the lore around them.


Blandness comes from few units being viable. Balance the units, unbland the game. I also think you put a little too much emphasis on lore. People also want to just play with cool looking units regardless of lore and having more balanced units means we'll see all these cool looking things on the table instead of a select few. This is a Good Thing™.

I am also of the opinion that if you were a proper lore hound you'd like Warhammer 40k to be more like MERP than D&D. Get some of those juicy MERP damage tables with heads crackin' and all that.



Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/09 15:42:10


Post by: Karol


 Wyzilla wrote:
Why would you ever use D&D as an example for anything? Firstly it's a godawfully designed RPG that has never been properly balanced in its lifetime because nobody has bothered. There's many other systems out there that are far better and do manage balance unlike D&D. But the crux is that D&D is not a PVP tabletop wargame and any comparison of it to pvp wargames is asinine by nature. D&D doesn't need balance because balance isn't absolutely necessary for a cooperative RPG because the players aren't fighting each other.

D&D is not a bad example. Right now some people have the option to play a "melee" warrior, an "utility" rogue or ranger. Or they can play the game for real and go after a wizard who can melee while he does range, and range while he does melee, on top of having utility spells. Now all he needs is some chaff "healer" to not die too fast and he is set for greatness. I mean why play GK or even a GK soup, when the same army made out of the same soup components and any other imperial army will just work dramaticly better. On the other hand we have the "wizards" of the game doing melee and shoting, and utility and have ton of good extra rules and soup synergy in one 2k pts army. No wonder some people feel as if they rolled a warrior in a party of 3 wizards and a cleric.



5th edition D&D is actually pretty balanced, and players fight each other all the time... regardless it is just an analogy. We weren't comparing how D&D is balanced vs how 40k is balanced, we were using D&D classes as an example of examining how specialists operate outside of their area of expertise.

5th maybe many things, but it aint D&D. D&D ended with 4th ed.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/09 16:02:08


Post by: Bharring


"D&D ended with 4th ed."
You mean with the *start* of 4th? Because if you're implying that 4th was actually D&D, we obviously must kung-fu fight. That's simply not an OK opinion to have.

3.5 was the best edition. Even better than 3.75.

Back OT,
One of the problems with thematics?
CWE: Super-specialized units. Their tanks are Grav. They are the kings of shooting-on-the-move.

Primaris Marines: Super-specialized Units. Their tanks are Grav. Oh, and POTMS, because a Falcon Cloudhunter is a clumbsy cludge of a vehicle compared to the grace and sophistication of some IoM crap.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/09 16:14:10


Post by: Slayer-Fan123


Well if you wanna pay 300 points for the Falcon you can have POTMS too.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/09 18:34:56


Post by: Marmatag


This is hilarious, the reason none of these weapons are efficient against guardsmen as they are against marines is because 1 marine is more than 3 times as expensive as 1 guardsman.

If Guardsmen were appropriately costed at 7 ppm, then yeah, suddenly weapons become effective against them. Or to put it another way. If Guardsmen are dropped to 1 ppm, literally no weapon in the game is efficient at killing them. And that would only be a 3 point decrease. Insanity.

Percentage wise, how much more effective should a light flamer (S4, AP0) be against Guarsdmen versus Marines? If it were to be equally effective (just as good at killing marines as killing guardsmen) you'd need 7.3 point guardsmen. Are all of you guard apologists going to argue that the game should function where flamers are less effective at killing guard versus marines? So who gets the price increase and who gets the price cut?


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/09 19:10:28


Post by: AtoMaki


 Marmatag wrote:
Are all of you guard apologists going to argue that the game should function where flamers are less effective at killing guard versus marines? So who gets the price increase and who gets the price cut?


I would rather have the Space Marine merit its price. A mighty Space Marine costing only, like, twice as much as a humble Guardsman makes me feel uncomfortable.


Balancing Factions vs Balancing Units @ 2019/01/09 19:22:01


Post by: Crimson


 AtoMaki wrote:
 Marmatag wrote:
Are all of you guard apologists going to argue that the game should function where flamers are less effective at killing guard versus marines? So who gets the price increase and who gets the price cut?

I would rather have the Space Marine merit its price. A mighty Space Marine costing only, like, twice as much as a humble Guardsman makes me feel uncomfortable.

Again: this has already been sorted, the Primaris marines exist, and they're indeed more resilient per point against flamers and small arms than the guardsmen. With the minimarine statline this is impossible to achieve without either making the marines really cheap or the guardsmen really expensive.