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Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 09:20:08


Post by: Ratius


This came up in another thread where someone said GW themselves do not want balance in 40k.
Imbalance shifts product as people will rush to try and keep up with the meta/flavor of the month/whats cool.

Park that for a moment but ask the question, do you as a player really want balance in 40k?
Do you want, or at least expect your Ork bike army to be able to compete VS a dedicated Tau gunline line or your footslogging Primaris to be able to beat IKsoup?

Or is it fair to just accept that 40k does not and cannot have balance when you factor in the range of armies, rules, special abilities, interactions etc.
In the above case, accept these are bad match ups and move on? (I used to play friendly MtG as white and really struggled against blue but had much better matchups vs black funnily enough. Eventually learned to accept it ).

Or should GW balance the game by giving each army "roughly equal units". e.g. a waveserpent is so far ahead of a rhino as a transport its kinda imbalanced? Hence GW should focus on fixing this via more equal abilities, points increase/decrease or better unit interactions.

Im on the fence on this one and have to give it more thought


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 09:27:45


Post by: Stux


It's not a binary choice for me.

I don't think people would actually enjoy it if it's was 100% skill based and balanced. This is because most people overestimate their ability by quite a large amount, and imbalance and randomness both serve to give these players something other than themselves to blame for their losses.

But that isn't to say that balance can't be improved. Just that perfect balance is neither desirable nor attainable.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 09:30:17


Post by: Haanz


Yes.

Rock/paper/scissors matchups are only fun to be if the difference if subtle - when a game is won or lost at listbuilding phase, then there's not much point in playing the game, IMO.

In an ideal world, I'd like for list building to simply be a case of configuring what stuff you want to use this game, rather than a competitive 'phase' of the game.

The world is not ideal though, and synergy/combos would have to flat out not exist for list building to work like that. What I would realistically like is for matchups to be more subtle and less swingy and for no unit to be so bad that it's too much of a burden to ever bring to a game.

I dunno. Models and aesthetic are considerably more of a thing in this game than, say, a video game, and you actually need to physically buy, build and paint them. It's really demoralising when you do and they either do nothing but cost points in your army, or you need to buy them in huge quantities at the expense of variety to achieve anything with them.

I want balance, I'm not realistically expecting to actually get it. The more flavour you put in the game, the further out of reach it gets, and that's fine too.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 09:35:52


Post by: ClockworkZion


Imbalance shifts some product in the short term, but a balanced game shifts more as a wider array of viable builds out of a codex means a wider array of stuff people will buy for thst army.

Not to mention we saw what a heavilly imbalanced game did during 6th and 7th: bleeds players constantly. So with dead taking up warehouse space and a loss of players what does a heavily imbalanced game really do for the company?

I think the execs learned this the hard way and have stopped meddling so directly with the new stuff. Points changes are frequent and dead units don't stay dead.

Removed - BrookM


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 09:40:23


Post by: Hawky


 Haanz wrote:
when a game is won or lost at listbuilding phase, then there's not much point in playing the game, IMO.


This. When you take army focused on anti-tank, don't be surprised you get stomped to the ground by pure infantry army, that is okay, but so-called "autotake" units, that are so good people give you weird looks if you don't take them are the biggest problem.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 09:46:39


Post by: wuestenfux


Well, balance cannot be attained.
First, you have to define concretely what balance means.
Then you will see that this is an NP-hard problem and so intractable for larger problem instances.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 09:49:32


Post by: Ratius


Ah come on dudes, lets not get the thread locked this early


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 09:49:52


Post by: Da Boss


If I had to choose between balance and the list building phase being a game in itself, I would choose balance every time.

I am in these games to play with minis. I can do the maths on the most powerful stuff as easily as anyone else, but it does not interest me. I want to collect miniatures that inspire me due to their aesthetics and background and then make what I consider to be a fun and interesting army out of whatever I have chosen.

I want a fair enough shot at winning with this if I make a few concessions to list building like ensuring a good mix of anti tank and anti infantry options, some mobile options and some more slow, long range ones. I don't mind list building giving an edge, but I really disagree with entire factions being trash because GWs lazy and unprofessional game designers cannot be bothered ensuring that any kid who likes the look of a faction and picks up a start collecting and a codex does not get autostomped by another kid who happened to choose whatever the powerful faction is by sheer accident. That is unpleasant for new players, it is unpleasant for older players too.

A more balanced game with more consistent design means people are free to do what they want and will still get a satisfying game most of the time. The free for all, list building is super important style favours people who like the intellectual exercise of breaking lists down into their most powerful configuration and who do not care too much about the miniatures or the story behind the game. It also compensates for a lack of tactical skills, because you can easily google what the best stuff is and then just apply it, particularly if you play on boards with predictable, GW mandated terrain.

I do not mind some imbalance and am not seeking perfect balance to be clear. Just something decent enough. And it is important that the design paradigm remains fairly consistent throughout an edition, which is a problem for GW because their designers seem to be really immature and unprofessional and they do not seem to care about what it means to radically change the design paradigm halfway through an edition (not to mention leaving stuff without an update for years and years, though I can see they have gotten better about that).

To me though the entire paradigm has changed and all GW games are a bit more card game or board game like in nature than what I consider a classic wargame to be like.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 09:59:03


Post by: Spoletta


Balance is a nice thing to have, but it is a direct enemy of model and rule range. The bigger your range of variables, the worse the balance. That happens in all games.

40k is first of all a narrative game. Sure, we all play matched games, but everyone does with his idea of an army. Only a really small minority builds list purely by numbers. The biggest part of players builds lists by the models and then uses numbers to tweak it, which is a fine approach.

As long as there aren't extreme cases of imbalance (like the old castellan, the old ynnary and so on), the game is fine like this. It's already a miracle that with a model range this big and a continous stream of releases, the game is actually reasonably balanced.

Look at MtG for an example of why range of choices is the absolute enemy of balance. The amount of variables in MtG is simply huge, and the balance respects that. In fact, there is absolutely no balance, It was thrown out as a concept. There is no concept any more of "fluffy decks". If you want to play (not to compete) you are supposed to bring the most broken stuff available, and anything else is not supported.

So, since these are the rules of game design, and since this game wouldn't work without all these choices and releases because it is a narrative focused game, the current situation is fine. As long as GW keeps squashing the worst cases of imbalance.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 10:00:52


Post by: Jack Flask


No.

I wish the rules were much more "simulationist" with stats, equipment, etc accurately reflecting a cohesive vision of the 41st Millennium.

"Balance", as most people describe it, flies in the face of that because it wants to skew fundamentally unequal objects into a relative equality rather than adjusting for power difference through the use of in-universe logic.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 10:10:26


Post by: Klickor


There will always be units better than others depending on how the meta looks so it doesnt have to be perfect since that is impossible.

But what I would like to see is that externally most lists have if well balanced and built with a good plan have some chance in each matchup even if they go second. Right now it can be like a 5% chance to win if going second depending on terrain even if you have a rather good list just due to how lethal 8th is and how bad a matchup can skew it sometimes. Even some "allrounded" lists have rock paper scissor matchups right now. I have had games that were only down to if my opponent rolls 30%+ ones on their first shooting phase I might have a chance if not I have 0 chance to bring it back unless I just roll sixes on almost every roll for the next 2 turns.

But if I show up with a pure intercessor list on planet bowling ball and face a guard list with 3 plasma TC and other D2 weaponry spam I don't mind it if the marine player has 0% chance in winning. A balanced rules set that can do both is what I want. A spam list with no good thought behind it against its pure counter list without sufficient terrain should have 0 chance to win.

I also want the internal balance in a codex be good so even before you sit down and build your list and consider the meta you dont ignore 2/3 of the available units because they are just so much worse than everything else that no matter what you try to build you know you wont use them. Its ok if some units generally are better than others in most lists and metas but when you dont even consider them ever there is a problem. There should be situations that you would want to use terminators or land raiders in a space marine army.

I rather have some units lose some wargear options so they dont always become the superior choice before another unit with a similar role. Have discussed it in other threads about BA jump infantry. I want all of them to be viable for different things but when the cost is so similar and the different veterans have so much more options and attacks there were barely no situation normal assault marines were better than taking DC,SG,VV or CV. Surviving mortal wounds point for point is what AM do better but anything else you could do better with a certain build of the 4 veteran squads. They are so flexible that they could be cheaper, shoot better, fight better, survive better, better detachment for CP, bodyguards or a bunch of other extra rules that they could do everything AM could do but just straight up better no matter what role you wanted.

It's a bit the same with the tactical marines. t4 3+ isnt that sturdy anymore so if you want cheap troops for your troop tax you take scouts and they also have some special rules that do something the tacticals cant. If you want some tough troops the intercessors just cost a tiny bit more but have twice the wounds and attacks, longer range and better ap. Sure tacticals can have more options but unlike some earlier editions they dont get them for free or heavily discounted so at that point you are paying quite a lot for a heavy weapon while the rest of the unit is quite bland, Probably better to just use scouts and save the points for a more dedicated anti tank unit. Shock assault helps tactical and assault marines more compared to the more expensive units and the lower price for tacticals helps too so now there might be a reason to take them but a month ago there were close to 0 non fluff reason to. As long as each unit have a reason to exist on the board more than they exist in the fluff I will be much happier than now with the balance.

Top lists against top lists seems quite ok in 8th so the top units are fairly balanced it seems its just those forgotten units like terminators and land raiders that need a reason to see the light.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 10:18:46


Post by: Overread


The thing with shifting product is that GW isn't just selling a product that you put on the table. It's ap roduct you might spend many hours building and painting before it even makes it to the tabletop. If GW sells and promotes imbalance as a means to sell "the newest shiny thing" that can work somewhat; but many people are not going to buy "every army". In fact many will only buy a few.

Therefore if GW leaves armies in the dust without support those players bleed away. They are less likely to invest into a new army because why bother when the old army got abandoned and the new could likely get abandoned too.



Honestly whislt balance is still an issue, I think that this is something that GW finally realised with their newest editions of the game. That armies left behind were not selling; that GW was losing investment potential in them, but also resulting in having to increase investment to bring armies "back from the dead" when they didn't need to.

GW isn't selling short term products; they are selling long term products for the majority of their core customers.



Better balance will breed better sales over a far broader range of products for GW. If all the armies were "perfectly balanced" the only shortfire sales GW would lose out on would be the "army flippers" and honestly that group would be army flipping even if results of balance changes were marginal gains.
Just look how GW was steadily bleeding off players and losing long term customers for a long while. A bad thing because long term customers are what keeps clubs and shops going and what helps attract new fresh blood into the game. When GW started makign efforts toward equal rules support for 8th edition and rebalanacing adjustments through FAQ, Errata and annual updates etc... they've seen their sales SOAR higher and maintain a higher threshhold than before. Old customers came back, new people are getting involved and GW has seen more pickup than in a very very long while.

Clearly better tighter and more balanced rules that means more armies are on par with each other results in better sales for GW. Remember many a player is not going to buy every army. That Tyranid player is a Tyranid player; they might get one more army on the side; but their main army is their one. GW can continue to sell new models and updated sculpts to that player over years and that player is there playing games with the newbies and getting newbies into the game as well. But if that player is left with an army with no updates, bad rules and a weak force that can't have a chance to win - then they will drift away. Worse they'll also likely take a few more players with them and discourage others getting involved.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 11:39:17


Post by: Weazel


There's always going to be the mathcrunchers who will calculate the the most survivable units point for point, most killy units point for point etc. But those numbers don't really mean much outside of a vacuum. The amount of variables is just too big to ever reach absolute balance. I mean even the meta affects the perceived balance of certain units.

Take the humble Primaris Space Marine for example. In a meta where there's an abundance of D2+ weapons around, they are not perceived as very survivable because they are more expensive than Tacticals yet die just as easily. However in a meta where most weapons are D1 the Primaris marine is mostly twice as survivable as the Tactical marine yet doesn't cost twice as much and actually shoots a bit harder than the Tactical.

Of course this is just an anecdote but just one example where a unit can be "well balanced" in one meta, but "poorly balanced" in another one.

Add stratagems to the mix that can turn a well balanced unit into an utterly broken OP game changer.

To answer the question: Yes, I want balance. Is it possible to achieve balance? Probably not.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 11:42:39


Post by: Duskweaver


What I want is:

1) for decisions made during list-building to be far less important than tactical decisions made during the game, and

2) for the 'best' (i.e. most competitive) lists to look at least something like the armies we see/read about in the fluff, and

3) for points 1 and 2 to be achieved without hamfistedly stripping out options (e.g. weird skew lists and soup armies should still be legal) or eliminating real choices (I'd never want all SM Devastator heavy weapons reduced to a single generic profile, for example).

When I ask for 'better balance', it's just a shorthand way of saying all that.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 11:50:38


Post by: Nithaniel


Do you actually want balance in 40K

Yes of course! Why would anyone say no to this?

Of course the subject of balance is far more nuanced than that but for me it goes back to the idea of points. I do not expect a 7 point ork to be balanced against a 13pt marine but I do expect that a 2k Ork list should be capable of winning at approximately 50% of the time against any other 2k list. But we know this isnt the case. The concept of points implies balance and the design team fail to understand this.

Such a big influx of new players to 8th edition now which is a great thing but I can't help feeling pity for the new player who walks into a store and decides to play grey knights because they sound and look cool. They might not realise the truth of that choice until they're 100's of £/$ invested

In the words of the late great Geoff Robinson,

"This is a games workshop game, it will never be balanced but thats part of the fun"


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 12:00:50


Post by: Overread


I think that moving forward we might see balanace improve, but only once GW actually changes some of its rules writers. They are clearly stuck in a rutt with a skill set and expectation setup that isn't quite what is conductive to a tight rules system. You can see it in the way they write rules whereby there are gaps and clear omissions or hazy interactions. Even just a purely technical writer with no gaming could tighten up things on that score alone.

They have made big changes, but I think some of the old culture is still there ingrained in the system.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 12:01:12


Post by: A.T.


 Ratius wrote:
...do you as a player really want balance in 40k?
Yes


 Ratius wrote:
Or is it fair to just accept that 40k does not and cannot have balance when you factor in the range of armies, rules, special abilities, interactions etc.
Changes made to the scale, unit types, and army restrictions over past few editions have made balance particularly difficult, but that's on GW.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 12:13:23


Post by: Shadenuat


I don't want balance in the way players think they want balance i.e symmetry/equality.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 12:22:19


Post by: Cornishman


Do I actually want balance? Yes
Do I actually expect everything both intra-codex and inter-codex to be perfectly balanced? No
Do I think balance means symmetry? No

It would be very nice if out of the choices available for any given army, that out of the range of units that are suitable to fill a given niche/ role, that all those choices are comparable. This doesn’t mean they are all the same, some may be more expensive (and have suitably increase ability), some may trade offence for defence (or vise-versa). It more about avoiding the situation that frequently occurs now which is that of those units some are significantly more efficient at delivery that ability than others (e.g. offers similar performance to other options but is way cheaper, it’s points cost is comparable to other options but is notably better at doing the job…)

This would allow for army choices to be more about personal preferences, an increase the variability of the gaming experience, and the outcome of a game being more about the game than the choices of what's gone into the two armies. Even all you play is casual games there is often a point you’ll go I could get unit X as I like the model but my wallet is limited and as it’s totally over costed in game I’m not actually going to use it…


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 12:29:57


Post by: Imateria


Yes, what a silly question.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 12:33:46


Post by: Not Online!!!


I belive most want gw to actually attempt a fair shot at internal and external balance.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 12:38:08


Post by: PenitentJake


 BaconCatBug wrote:
What I want is just for the core system to be scrapped and rebuilt with a technical editor and someone who actually knows game design.


Which would require rewriting all 24 codecies for the 9th time, rereleasing all the marines again before anything new can happen. We'd lose another 3 years just to get back to where we are now, and even if it was a perfect edition for you and the way you like to play, there would be just as many other people who would be just as disappointed the new version as you are with this one.

I think they should just make a version of Kill Team Arena for 40k scale games. Of course, then they'd err on the side of caution and make it too streamlined, and you probably wouldn't like that either.

As for me, balance is nice, but I don't want it at the expense of moving forward. Nothing new will ever happen until we can stick with an edition for 5+ years, and the longer we stick with one, the better.



Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 12:47:17


Post by: Jidmah


 Ratius wrote:
This came up in another thread where someone said GW themselves do not want balance in 40k.
Imbalance shifts product as people will rush to try and keep up with the meta/flavor of the month/whats cool.

Park that for a moment but ask the question, do you as a player really want balance in 40k?
Do you want, or at least expect your Ork bike army to be able to compete VS a dedicated Tau gunline line or your footslogging Primaris to be able to beat IKsoup?

Yes and yes. Assuming all armies are build with a similar mindset, of course. Awesome models arranged as a diorama will rarely, if ever, defeat an army which is playing the best of the best.
However, if both players want to run top competitive lists or both players just run the best from their limited collection, the game should be decided over the course of the game. Not during list building, not during the roll who goes first and not during the first turn.

Or is it fair to just accept that 40k does not and cannot have balance when you factor in the range of armies, rules, special abilities, interactions etc.

The assumption that WH40k being extremely complex and can therefore not be balanced is but an illusion. Sure it is complex compared to a regular board game, and matches that of many trading card games, but its complexity is completely dwarfed by video games like turn based or real-time strategy, mobas or auto-chess games which are all relatives of our turn-based strategy game with just 5-7 turns.

Imagine the entire game being folded into a video game, with you picking 2000 points like you do on the battlescribe app, deploying them onto a virtual table, moving them by dragging them, shooting and charging works by selecting models and right-clicking targets, optional abilities can be clicked.
The game does all the things like measuring, determining how much damage a shot does, resolving abilities automatically and just removing moral casualties on its own.
It would be a game that could be played on your phone, and your 5-7 turns would be over in less than half an hour, despite working exactly like our hate-loved WH40k.
So, compared to things like Starcraft, Warcraft, Age of Empires, Command&Conquer, Supreme Commander and all the game that evolved from those, the complexity is ridiculously low in comparison. Many of those games have archived balance that is good enough for 90% or more of the player base, so - without doubt - WH40k can archive that as well.

In the above case, accept these are bad match ups and move on? (I used to play friendly MtG as white and really struggled against blue but had much better matchups vs black funnily enough. Eventually learned to accept it ).

I understand what you are trying to say, but balance in MtG doesn't work that way. WotC hasn't been balancing colors against each other for multiple decades now. And, of course, a decent white weenie will give any blue deck a run for its money.

Or should GW balance the game by giving each army "roughly equal units". e.g. a waveserpent is so far ahead of a rhino as a transport its kinda imbalanced? Hence GW should focus on fixing this via more equal abilities, points increase/decrease or better unit interactions.

This was the attempt that was done in strategy games at the end of the 90s - human race gets big tank, aliens get same big tank, but with different look and sounds, maybe with slightly different abilities. Orks get dragons, humans get dwarfs throwing hammers. Allies get missile troops, russians get tesla troopers. Or you just gave everyone the same stuff and just altered which they could access.
Then came StarCraft and proved that three races which had absolutely nothing in common, not even a single thing, could be balanced against each other. Everybody's mind was blown.

The "trick" to balancing such a complex system is not to find the god equation and solve it for X.
Instead, you iterate. This is the reason why most successful competitive games get patches at least every few months - they are iterating to get closer to a perfectly balanced game.

1) You basically pick a starting point and then look at the data.
2) You then analyze that data and find stuff that over-performs and stuff that under-performs. Check if the measures you took last time have been effective, or maybe too effective.
3) You reduce the efficiency of the over-performers and increase the efficiency of the under-performers.
4) If you find that something simply doesn't work/isn't fun no matter what you do with it, that unit (or army) needs a major overhaul
5) You release the whole thing and go to 2) analyze data again.

Of course, sometimes iterations will make the game objectively worse, but in general, the game will be getting more balanced the more iterations you have. Some successful games have archived a state where the devs just mess with the balance intentionally to shake up things, because otherwise nothing would change anymore.

GW is only iterating twice a year (big FAQ and CA), so we are moving very slowly. But people are not playing as many games as video gamers and armies take time to build, so it can't really compared to a game like LoL which is patching twice a month.

Subjectively we have come a long way from conscript spam, 7 storm raven lists, the unbroken reign of the Ynnari, Magnus&Mortarion soup, Guilliman's razorbacks, pox walker farm, commander spam, hive tyrant spam and all the castellans that were deployed whenever 32 guardsmen showed up anywhere in the imperium.
Remember all those problematic lists GW addressed in 7th? Yeah, me neither.
On the other hand, they undid the "TO THE GROUND!" nerf on comissars, gave Marines a second codex to get them out of the Ultramarine trap, additional attacks and CP for CSM and a bunch of other buffs to units that saw little play.
If you look at tournament results, there is a slight imbalance in favor of TS, but in general you see all sorts of armies playing on the top to tables of tournaments. And this matches what I see in my casual matches, the game is in a better state than ever.

Of course, there are still some major flaws in the game, which need to be address and GW often does things like a drunk toddler, but the direction is a good one. Unless they decide to toss 8th out of the window for something completely new, balance will improve over time, even if slowly.

Last, and most importantly: Of course GW wants to balance 40k. Despite not being a huge idiot like Kirby, Rountree first and foremost still wants our money.
Balanced games draw in gamers and keep them in, while games with major imbalances frustrate players and loses them. Multiple gaming companies, including Riot, WotC and Blizzard have shown statistics that they were losing gamers during times where huge imbalances have been present in their games. Players = customers = $$$.

TL;DR: Balancing WH40k is possible, and GW will try to do that in order to make sure that people keep spending money on the game.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 12:59:40


Post by: BrookM


Did some cleaning, I would kindly ask people to stay on topic and to not snipe at one another.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 13:12:34


Post by: Vankraken


PenitentJake wrote:
 BaconCatBug wrote:
What I want is just for the core system to be scrapped and rebuilt with a technical editor and someone who actually knows game design.


Which would require rewriting all 24 codecies for the 9th time, rereleasing all the marines again before anything new can happen. We'd lose another 3 years just to get back to where we are now, and even if it was a perfect edition for you and the way you like to play, there would be just as many other people who would be just as disappointed the new version as you are with this one.

I think they should just make a version of Kill Team Arena for 40k scale games. Of course, then they'd err on the side of caution and make it too streamlined, and you probably wouldn't like that either.

As for me, balance is nice, but I don't want it at the expense of moving forward. Nothing new will ever happen until we can stick with an edition for 5+ years, and the longer we stick with one, the better.



They need to scrap 8th because they shot themselves in the foot by making such a bare bones core game. It lacks all complexity and requires stacking rule sources to create any depth of mechanics (it fails to do so). 8th can only become more of a bloated mess as they slap layer after layer of changes on top of a bare bones and minimal foundation. Balance is the least of 8ths concerns as it suffers from being a bloated mess and yet mechanically a very shallow gameplay experiences.

As to the original subject. I use to want a more balanced game but I felt like 8th was a monkey's paw situation. 8th became more balanced than 7th but at the cost of all it's fun and depth. I realized that what matters more than balance is having all units being semi viable. There needs to be depth of mechanics that allow units to operate much more differently from each other and close enough balance that no unit is completely useless in the long term while no other unit remains so powerful that it makes all other units invalidated. And between the factions it needs to be close enough in balance that it's not all but determines who wins based only on what faction they bring to the table. That last bit is the hardest to achieve but it should be something that is the aim to at least partially achieve. Above all, there needs to be interesting mechanics at play which creates fun and interesting gameplay instead of the current bland as dust gameplay we have now.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 13:15:26


Post by: Talizvar


I have trouble with the word "balance", maybe GW has ruined it for me, I think to be "fair" is the better word.

Finding a means to apply appropriate cost to model points is the pivotal breaking point of this.
I have taken many kicks at trying to make an equation to assess an overall cost or value to a model for relative comparison.

What almost throws this out the window is the various aura capabilities and how many models it can affect.
Going to keywords has drastically helped with these not affecting models they were not intended for.
NOTE: I am including various psyker abilities and the chaplain hymns since they are all relatively short range buffs.

Stratagems are also a growing concern of the relative worth vs affected models for each point used.
Oddly, some of these have had me dust off a few models because they specifically buff certain units.

<edit> Lost my mind there, we also have MANY faction buffs that are huge force multipliers, the new Ultramarine ability treat firing weapons like you had not moved is huge BUT your entire "army" must be Ultra... not sure how I would do the math there... so yeah, given up on that. We can at least say it is sufficiently complex that only the HUGELY unfair combinations stick out.

The main overarching goal is to have "no model is an auto-include" and "no model is an auto-shelf".
We pay money for our models and typically want to use them.
Makes me rather sad to see a fully painted model that will never see play without it feeling like a major handicap to use.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 13:24:04


Post by: G00fySmiley


I would much rather have a mroe balanced game.

GW realyl needs to do an app of some sorts for points even if is has a subscriptin model and make incremental points changes. this once a year and juse that is all you get (outside edge cases like the Castellan and possibility of new codex) is insufficient. I keep hearing how this edition is "the most balanced" and yet my main arm (orks) has fewer effective builds then it did in 5th edition.

we all know some units need adjustment, some up , some down. Often the units needing to go up are the same ones in every tournament list for a faction, meanwhile every unit needing buffs are the ones never making it into tournament lists or even casual play.

An example here is the wraithknight. at release it was really good. in 6th-7th overpowered. 8th you can pick them up CHEAP as there are so many and they are basically useless now as the balance swing was to hard.. When GW added 100 points to a Castellan you coudl likewise pick them up cheap on ebay.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 13:29:07


Post by: skchsan


Going back to OP's idea - the game itself is indeed balanced through via plus/minus of "approximately equal units". Meaning, in theory, the game's overall balance is determined by the minute differences in performances in certain aspects, whether be it shooting, assaulting, moving, claiming objectives, etc.

Generally speaking, SM/CSM (supposed to be) serves as the baseline where offense and defense is more or less balanced; Aeldari/Drukhari sacrifices defense for more specialized offensive toolkit; Tau sacrifices assault capabilities & defense for stronger ranged offense; Ork foregoes ranged offense for superior model count & melee capabilites; Tyranid trades off some firepower & requirements for internal synergies for numerical supremacy; IG sacrifices melee prowess and weaker troops for increased durability of vehicles, firepower and numerical supremacy; Necrons trade offensive capabilities for defensive gimmicks; Daemons have numerical advantages plus other offensive gimmicks at a price of unreliability. In short, all armies are balanced between quality and quantity of varying degrees.

The issue here is that the game's core mechanics are skewed to favor three particular aspects of the game currently: cheap 1W models, expendability and shooting. Of course, we must acknowledge that there are certain outliers such as smash captains + scout CP batteries that are tailored specifically to counter certain lists.

All in all, tournament winning lists have few things in common - 1. it has a minimum sized battalion (or two) 2. majority of models are single-wound 3. has big gun unit where majority of CP's are spent on. So, which ever army that can: 1. make a cheap battalion for CP, leaving pts for the big guns in the list and 2. exercise superior board control through cheap units tend to be stronger than those who cannot. This is further exacerbated by the strength of weight of dice in the current edition where it doesn't make sense to bring quality units. Redundancies always made for a stronger list, but expendability has come to outweigh the qualitative aspect of the redundancies observed in the offense department.

So what does this tell us? The balance of 40k rests mainly on the mechanics of cheap individual wounds, stratagems and CP generation. The internal/external balance of units and codex is secondary to the current scheme of things in 40k.

Potential solutions for overall balance would be revisit how stratagems are composed - the game desperately needs to 1. remove stratagems that guarantees benefits across all armies (i.e. improve X characteristic by Y) and 2. expand on the game-wide stratagems focusing on out-of-turn interruptions to provide more proactive decision making (i.e. intercept, move out of turn, shoot out of turn)


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 13:38:35


Post by: Talizvar


 skchsan wrote:
Going back to OP's idea - the game itself is indeed balanced through via plus/minus of "approximately equal units". Meaning, the game's overall balance is determined by the minute differences in performances in certain aspects, whether be it shooting, assaulting, moving, claiming objectives, etc.
VERY good point. Taking into account the relative "bias" of the game toward a unit role like shooting or assault would have a huge impact on relative worth of the unit.

I find combinations of factors improve things:
- Assault unit, relative survivability to come to grips with the enemy - deepstrike, minuses to hit, relative toughness, high armor, high attack stat,... etc.
- Shooting - Range, auto-hit, need line of sight, high hits, high damage, Oeverwatch buffs...etc.



Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 13:39:51


Post by: Ratius


I have trouble with the word "balance", maybe GW has ruined it for me, I think to be "fair" is the better word.


Thats an interesting quote.
I'll keep that for next Fridays philosophical debate


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 13:59:36


Post by: Stormonu


Back in Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 era, I remember clamoring for balance in that game. Linear fighters, quadratic wizards and Codzilla. D&D 4E rolls in and it’s “all about balance”. And I utterly hated it, as it felt as if the soul of the game had been sucked out of it. Eventually came 5E, and while it was far more balanced than 3E, the occasional imbalances one could find were offset by overall how good the whole structure was - the unbalanced portions could easily be checked by a modicum of self-restraint, not core flaws.

So yes, I want balance - but not at the cost of the soul of the game.

Which brings me to 40K. 6th/7th was an unwieldy mess built atop a frame that had been shored up since 3E. That made 8E a fresh breath of air - cleaner and simpler than previous. But the codex releases have been slowly adding in complexity, skewing balance and dragging the system off-course by introducing power creep and encouraging imbalance. Every time GW adds new faction abilities/stronger stratagems AND drops unit points, they are making it harder to balance the system overall. It needs to stop before we end up with the messes we had for 7E.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 14:08:33


Post by: skchsan


 Stormonu wrote:
Back in Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 era, I remember clamoring for balance in that game. Linear fighters, quadratic wizards and Codzilla. D&D 4E rolls in and it’s “all about balance”. And I utterly hated it, as it felt as if the soul of the game had been sucked out of it. Eventually came 5E, and while it was far more balanced than 3E, the occasional imbalances one could find were offset by overall how good the whole structure was - the unbalanced portions could easily be checked by a modicum of self-restraint, not core flaws.

So yes, I want balance - but not at the cost of the soul of the game.

Which brings me to 40K. 6th/7th was an unwieldy mess built atop a frame that had been shored up since 3E. That made 8E a fresh breath of air - cleaner and simpler than previous. But the codex releases have been slowly adding in complexity, skewing balance and dragging the system off-course by introducing power creep and encouraging imbalance. Every time GW adds new faction abilities/stronger stratagems AND drops unit points, they are making it harder to balance the system overall. It needs to stop before we end up with the messes we had for 7E.
Well the D&D comparison is moot because of the sheer level of customization available in character creation. Though I stopped playing in 3.5, stat stacking was a real thing and the 'openness' character creation is what made D&D good. This worked because you are essentially playing against NPCs for the most part, although there were some notable OP-ness during some of our colosseum PVP campaigns.

But back to the point - yes GW has to think about overall balance every time they release something new. Power creep and rule bloat is nearing its breaking point I'm afraid.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 14:12:56


Post by: Daedalus81


 Ratius wrote:
This came up in another thread where someone said GW themselves do not want balance in 40k.


People like to put words into GW's mouth when they have no idea what the hell they're talking about.

Look at the top tables at tournaments a year ago. Look at them now. There is a wealth of variety in the armies making it to the top and no single army is really sticking like Castellans or Ynnari were.

The next task for GW is to expand the usability of all units so we can open up lists more. The new marine books open a lot of possibilities.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 14:17:50


Post by: Overread


DnD is a bad comparison because the game runs almost entirely through a DM. As such the balance of the game isn't just based on the maths, but also how the DM crafts the game around that structure. They can adapt things to suit the party and the playstyle of the games; really good DMs can adapt things to suit specific players desires and mix and match multiple themes and elements into the game.

So even if the core rules were woefully imbalanced, the games actual playing balance would come from the DM. Of course a solid balanced system is lot easier for a DM to work with and makes their part of the game simpler. It also opens it up to a wider skillbase of DMs who can produce and work with fun games.


Most GW Wargames don't have a DM so its purely pvp and no filtration of the game rules as part of the experience. Even game modes that do have a DM - like Necromunda - often have a lesser role and might even be playing with their own force during the games


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 14:19:25


Post by: skchsan


 Daedalus81 wrote:
The next task for GW is to expand the usability of all units so we can open up lists more. The new marine books open a lot of possibilities.
The problem with this is that there are too many redundant entries in some codex. Some culling is required but this is an act of walking a tight rope as already evidenced by the strong opposition for replacement of mini marines with nu marines.

It would be nice to see a better promise for Legends support - this way majority of the hobbyists wont feel as betrayed by the company who we've supported til now.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 14:23:29


Post by: Bharring


On 3.5 D&D: I didn't mind Druids being OP if built that way. Because, roleplay-wise, it made sense. Druids shouldn't be cut-rate spellcasters, and their wild shape should be impactful. Ideally, there would be reasons to play a Wizard or Fighter instead - and there were. They were mainly not "crunch" reasons, though.

WoW, on the other hand, can't allow such imbalance. When it came out, the idea of a Tauren Warrior made a lot of sense to me. But a Tauren should stomp several (equally-skilled/equipped) Gnome warriors into paste easily. Slower, but much stronger and tougher. That would be more logical, lore-wise. However, how do you balance that? Who wants to play such a weak Gnome? (All that said, Tauren Warriors were better than Gnomes, because Gnomes were alliance scum.)

Different mediums have different quality tradeoffs between balance and theme.

I, personally, view 40k as more a hobby and narrative game. Note that when I say "narrative game", I'm actually referring to "Matched Play" games, based on points, etc. I want more balance - it makes random games much more fun. But I don't want balance at the cost of theme. You could add balance by removing variation and theme, simplifying streamlining and balancing all the way down to Chess/TicTacToe/FlipACoin. But If I wanted to play a super balanced game, I can already play one of those.

There are much better venues for a tactical challenge than 40k. For "simple" (in terms of rules/crunch, not necessarily tactics) games, Chess/Go/etc will always beat 40k. For more complex games, video games will always have an edge in how quickly balance can be corrected. Or how quickly an alternate force/build can be assmebled/applied. In addition to being able to handle categorically much higher crunch gracefully.

Where 40k wins is in the character, story, and experience. Zerg swarming someone in StarCraft halfway across the world is nothing like picking apart their force meticulously will a well-applied Swordwind face-to-face over a physical 6x4 board with actual minis.

My Captain hunted a Helldrake across a campaign over months, only to die to it in the end (actual death, not just RFP) - only to have an allied BA Captain oneshot it with a Plasma Pistol the turn it came on in it's next game... There's something much more endearing about that in plastic than checkmating some random King, or eating the Marine "Command Chair" in a video game.

40k is awesome for a variety of reasons. Better balance would make it better. But not if it costs it's soul.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 14:26:16


Post by: LunarSol


Of course people want balance; its just a matter of deciding or coming to an understanding of what balance is, what it can be, and what you want. For me, that's come down to the difference between wanting "everything" to be playable or wanting "anything" to be playable. I think we all initially kind of expect the latter, where we put our points down and they are worth their points whatever they are. I've come to appreciate that raw math constructs simply don't make that particularly feasible in 40k or any other game, so I think its more worthwhile to hope that "everything" has a place in the game; even if its in limited quantities or with specific support elements.

I've gotten away from the binary distinction of balance and unbalance in ever expanding games (mostly because they're all the latter by that definition) and started to appreciate appreciating the value of competitive diversity a bit more. I prioritize games where every faction has a competitive build, even if every build isn't competitive and since many games have "leader" options, my next priority is a variety of competitive leaders or "themes" or whatever subdivision the game gets down to.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 14:33:06


Post by: Daedalus81


 LunarSol wrote:
Of course people want balance; its just a matter of deciding or coming to an understanding of what balance is, what it can be, and what you want. For me, that's come down to the difference between wanting "everything" to be playable or wanting "anything" to be playable. I think we all initially kind of expect the latter, where we put our points down and they are worth their points whatever they are. I've come to appreciate that raw math constructs simply don't make that particularly feasible in 40k or any other game, so I think its more worthwhile to hope that "everything" has a place in the game; even if its in limited quantities or with specific support elements.

I've gotten away from the binary distinction of balance and unbalance in ever expanding games (mostly because they're all the latter by that definition) and started to appreciate appreciating the value of competitive diversity a bit more. I prioritize games where every faction has a competitive build, even if every build isn't competitive and since many games have "leader" options, my next priority is a variety of competitive leaders or "themes" or whatever subdivision the game gets down to.


^ this


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 14:40:12


Post by: JNAProductions


I do indeed want balance for 40k.

What my ideal would be is this:

1) Minimal skill in list-building. I'm okay with it being possible to build bad lists, but a competent player should have a very similar list to a tournament player if both are playing to win as best they can.

2) All options are valid. Not necessarily in EVERY LIST, but every option should have a place in some list. A Spoilpox Scrivener should be great in a Plaguebearer heavy list, but I'm okay with it being useless in a Nurgle Monster Mash list.

3) Players of equal skill should have very close to a 50/50 win rate against each other, and players of VASTLY different skill should see curbstomps in favor of the skilled player (assuming both sides are playing hardball). If I, a decent but not great player, go up against a tournament-winning player, I should get my tuckus whooped if they're trying their best.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Now, I know that's not likely to happen. Given what GW does, I'd honestly prefer they just focus on options. While they should not ABANDON balance, I'd rather see them expand options at a minor cost to a balanced game, since they suck at balance. So, you know, might as well let you play with your dudes however you want.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 14:40:31


Post by: CapRichard


Relatively so.
Just to make sure everyone has a fair chance at winning.

I don't see 40k as competitive enough to warrant an actual tight ruleset. Kill team yes though.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 14:45:50


Post by: Stormonu


It would be nice if listbuilding at best gives a slight advantage, rather than the ability to crush an opponent. The game *should* be decided by actual play - with the superior tactician winning - not before the first model hits the table.

But that’s a tall order requiring a lot of work being put into the rule system. Something that I think is far beyond GW’s “that sounds good enough” minimal to non-exist playtesting and approach to rules writing.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 14:52:26


Post by: skchsan


 Stormonu wrote:
It would be nice if listbuilding at best gives a slight advantage, rather than the ability to crush an opponent. The game *should* be decided by actual play - with the superior tactician winning - not before the first model hits the table.

But that’s a tall order requiring a lot of work being put into the rule system. Something that I think is far beyond GW’s “that sounds good enough” minimal to non-exist playtesting and approach to rules writing.
Agreed. There needs to be more 'wrenches' that can be thrown in the game rather than revolving around statistical manipulation.



Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 15:01:58


Post by: AnomanderRake


The definition of "balance" is what prompts these arguments; some folks want to define "balance" as "all things have an equal opportunity of beating all other things" and end up convincing themselves it is impossible.

I'd like the game to be "balanced" in the sense that there should be a good reason to play every army and every model; there should be no trap options where the answer to the question "how do I win?" is "buy different models".


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 15:16:39


Post by: Overread


 AnomanderRake wrote:
The definition of "balance" is what prompts these arguments; some folks want to define "balance" as "all things have an equal opportunity of beating all other things" and end up convincing themselves it is impossible.

I'd like the game to be "balanced" in the sense that there should be a good reason to play every army and every model; there should be no trap options where the answer to the question "how do I win?" is "buy different models".


Another issue is the vast differences in skill and local scenes.

Some clubs play with almost no terrain so armies are very much lined up and fight in a line, whilst other places might have tables chock full of line of sight blocking terrain and features. So even if the rules system itself is balanced out the way its used can break it. Clearly gunlines are going to work phenomenally better in the first situation and the game would require far more "first turn charges" to work for any close combat force. However if the latter is the terrain setup then suddenly those sneak attacks and first turn charges become more broken because now the gunline army can't get into position to dominate so easily.

It's one thing that I was encouraged with Warcry since GW put terrain setup cards into the terrain packs. With GW being more and more keen to sell terrain I can see it being something they might roll out in the future ofr their big games; even if its just terrain setup articles in White Dwarf.



Otherwise I fully agree, each army should have internal balance so that each model has a use and a purpose. Making purchases a choice of strategic style and situation rather than "OMG this unit is so overpowered I have to have it". Further armies should be balanced against each other so that armies build to the same level of skill should have an even chance of winning on the maths; or atl east put the greatest part of the win on the player.

Of course there will always be bad match-ups; esp if players build poor or niche lists.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 15:16:41


Post by: Kaiyanwang


 Stormonu wrote:
Back in Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 era, I remember clamoring for balance in that game. Linear fighters, quadratic wizards and Codzilla. D&D 4E rolls in and it’s “all about balance”. And I utterly hated it, as it felt as if the soul of the game had been sucked out of it. Eventually came 5E, and while it was far more balanced than 3E, the occasional imbalances one could find were offset by overall how good the whole structure was - the unbalanced portions could easily be checked by a modicum of self-restraint, not core flaws.

So yes, I want balance - but not at the cost of the soul of the game.

Which brings me to 40K. 6th/7th was an unwieldy mess built atop a frame that had been shored up since 3E. That made 8E a fresh breath of air - cleaner and simpler than previous. But the codex releases have been slowly adding in complexity, skewing balance and dragging the system off-course by introducing power creep and encouraging imbalance. Every time GW adds new faction abilities/stronger stratagems AND drops unit points, they are making it harder to balance the system overall. It needs to stop before we end up with the messes we had for 7E.


I think that adding complexity can be a good thing when the quality of the game improves and the tactical choices increase.
In case of GW's rule writing, more book generally mean "here's an hotfix for the SAG" and rule updates mean "sorry for messing up completely the transition between old 5 inches artillery rules and d6 shots, here, shoot twice that LR".
Which is all a convoluted way to admit "our studio cannot do math because we hire for attitude".
That attitude is also one of the reason factions are neglected time to time. The designer has his own marty-stus to pimp so who cares about faction X.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 15:32:40


Post by: catbarf


 AnomanderRake wrote:
there should be no trap options where the answer to the question "how do I win?" is "buy different models".


Even that I think can be valid in certain contexts. 'How do I beat all-Knights with my exclusively-anti-infantry army' might be one. I agree though that there shouldn't ever be units where the best way to use them is to always leave them on the shelf. Everything should have some viable role for which it is worth the cost of inclusion.

I often see this straw man interpretation of 'balance' where it's taken to mean 'everything has a 50/50 chance against everything else', and that's really not what any reasonable player expects. It's okay for there to be rock-paper-scissors, as long as all three options are equally viable.

The problem is that right now 40K is pretty limited for decision space. The IGOUGO system doesn't allow for immediate counterplay, and incentivizes one-turn combos that can be executed with total control and precision. There's no overwatch (in the military sense), no benefit to flanking, no vehicle armor facings, no leadership penalties to being surrounded, no C&C whatsoever. Cover is kind of a joke in 8th, morale is easy to ignore, and deep strike gives you absolute perfect control over when and where your units show up.

So the decision space largely comes down to abilities, auras, stratagems, and target priority, which in turn means that the actual tabletop matters a lot less than the units you bring to it, and in turn that means army composition is the be-all and end-all. You can't have battles like Agincourt (where terrain mattered), Waterloo (where maneuver mattered), D-Day (where cover mattered), or Market Garden (where C&C mattered) when the basic mechanics instrumental to those scenarios aren't well-represented. You can't play Rommel (or Ender Wiggin, or Hannibal, take your pick) leading an inferior force to victory if the game mechanics don't provide ways for an objectively inferior force to outmaneuver, out-react, or out-coordinate their enemy.

When the basic game plays more like a CCG than a wargame, I find it unsurprising that it's going to have balance issues more akin to CCGs than to wargames. We're never going to see the vaunted ideal of 'a good player with a bad list will reliably beat a bad player with a good list' unless there's actually more to the game for that good player to exploit beyond what's present in his list.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 15:34:50


Post by: ERJAK


Imbalance is fine so long as 2 things happen, 1. The imbalance is relatively small. Things existing slightly above or below the power curve are totally fine as long they're it's not warping the game or army around themselves.

And 2. The imbalance changes. Shifting power around makes the imbalance feel less problematic because it oscillates more between stuff you like and stuff you dislike. It also helps alleviate boredom and burnout.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 15:41:13


Post by: LunarSol


 Overread wrote:

It's one thing that I was encouraged with Warcry since GW put terrain setup cards into the terrain packs. With GW being more and more keen to sell terrain I can see it being something they might roll out in the future ofr their big games; even if its just terrain setup articles in White Dwarf.


Given how important map design is in competitive gaming (DotA is literally an entire game built on the back of a single, tactically exceptional map layout) I'm honestly surprised there's never been more effort to define tables a little more.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 15:48:40


Post by: Vaktathi


I think a huge part of the issue is that 40k tries to be too many things, it covers too many different scales normally broken into distinct different game systems, and too many forces operating in too many wildly differing fashions.

Trying to balance a game that's fundamentally played out as a pitched frontal firefight on a soccer field, while also trying to make tank companies, underground guerilla forces, entire batallions of conventional infantry, titan maniples and Knight lances, infiltration specialists, etc all work on the same ruleset, is basically impossible.

Half the factions in the game really have no business fighting each other or engaging in the way the game sets up, but it does it anyway. Why on earth do we have Dark Eldar raiding forces or Genestealer guerilla fighting Guard tank companies in frontal attacks, or why do we have Space Marine infiltration forces fighting battles with Chaos Knights? Trying to balance that while maintaining a flavor of what each force is intended to be, is mind bogglingly awkward, particularly when half those matchups have no business being balanced in any fluff/realistic sense.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 16:04:25


Post by: ERJAK


catbarf wrote:
 AnomanderRake wrote:
there should be no trap options where the answer to the question "how do I win?" is "buy different models".


Even that I think can be valid in certain contexts. 'How do I beat all-Knights with my exclusively-anti-infantry army' might be one. I agree though that there shouldn't ever be units where the best way to use them is to always leave them on the shelf. Everything should have some viable role for which it is worth the cost of inclusion.

I often see this straw man interpretation of 'balance' where it's taken to mean 'everything has a 50/50 chance against everything else', and that's really not what any reasonable player expects. It's okay for there to be rock-paper-scissors, as long as all three options are equally viable.

The problem is that right now 40K is pretty limited for decision space. The IGOUGO system doesn't allow for immediate counterplay, and incentivizes one-turn combos that can be executed with total control and precision. There's no overwatch (in the military sense), no benefit to flanking, no vehicle armor facings, no leadership penalties to being surrounded, no C&C whatsoever. Cover is kind of a joke in 8th, and deep strike gives you absolute perfect control over when and where your units show up.

So the decision space largely comes down to abilities, auras, Stratagems, and target priority, which in turn means that the actual tabletop matters a lot less than the units you bring to it, and in turn that means army composition is the be-all and end-all. You can't have battles like Agincourt (where terrain mattered), Waterloo (where maneuver mattered), D-Day (where cover mattered), or Market Garden (where C&C mattered) when the basic mechanics instrumental to those scenarios aren't represented.

When the basic game plays more like a CCG than a wargame, I find it unsurprising that it's going to have balance issues more akin to CCGs than to wargames. We're never going to see the vaunted ideal of 'a good player with a bad list will reliably beat a bad player with a good list' unless there's actually more to the game for that good player to exploit beyond what's present in his list.


So about that second paragraph, the examples you give mostly don't really support your 'counterplay and incentivizes one turn-combos' thing. You just got sidetracked into things you want to see rather than supporting your point. Flanking is more 'play' than 'counterplay' on a battlefield with no FOW, vehicle armor facings have proven to be almost entirely pointless in previous editions (not to mention nonsensical in a sci-fi setting), leadership penalties to being surrounded while neat in theory are, in practice, just a 'win more' thing that punishes the player who's losing for being behind, not something that constitutes either tactical play or counterplay. I agree about cover but deepstrike giving you control over where and when your units show up, with the limitations inherent to deepstrike in the modern game, incentivize NOT going for a super death all in in one turn and allows for flexibility on the deepstrikers part and counterplay on the deepstrike-e's part. Admittedly it also ALLOWS for super death combos on turn two(or turn one with droppods now) but the cost of doing so is often prohibative.

As for the second paragraph, this has been proven to be largely untrue. Army composition, while certainly having more weight than it might in more simulation heavy wargames, is not at all the be all end all and years of tournament statistics back that up. The same list that takes first place at events almost always exists at every rung of the ladder doing much, much worse in the hands of less skilled players.

I also don't agree that a good player with a bad list can't beat a bad player with a good list. That happens at locals all over the country every day. It happens in tournaments all the time, even. I've beaten netlists with random SoB
nonsense because of mistakes my opponent's made multiple times(not a brag, they literally beat themselves, all I did was not fall over dead at any point.). There's still plenty of room to feth up in this game and people find new ways all the time.

But let's break this down a bit more: How good of a player and how bad of a list vs how bad of a player and how good of a list are we talking? Because if we're talking a slightly below average player with a tournament winning netlist vs. a good player with an army of foot Techmarines and multimelta, flamer, powerfist, combi-plasma tac squads backing up max upgrade Assault marines, then yeah, I'm okay with the good player losing. List building is ALSO a skill and not one that I would want to see eliminated. Is it representative of actual warfare? Kind of but not really? But that's okay because it ISN'T actual warfare. It's a game and one that isn't trying to be a simulation.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 16:05:49


Post by: Karol


 Daedalus81 wrote:
 Ratius wrote:
This came up in another thread where someone said GW themselves do not want balance in 40k.


People like to put words into GW's mouth when they have no idea what the hell they're talking about.

Look at the top tables at tournaments a year ago. Look at them now. There is a wealth of variety in the armies making it to the top and no single army is really sticking like Castellans or Ynnari were.

The next task for GW is to expand the usability of all units so we can open up lists more. The new marine books open a lot of possibilities.


Aren't most tournaments being won by people running chaos soup, with ahriman, DPs, plague bearers etc ? Here those kind of lists win a lot, maybe half of all the events reported.


As balance goes. I don't have problems with unit on unit imbalance. Maybe a waveserpent has to be much better then a rhino. Armies themselfs though should be less all over the place, the gap between the normal armies being played, and those that are weak is too big in my opinion at least.



Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 17:00:58


Post by: Da Boss


 AnomanderRake wrote:
The definition of "balance" is what prompts these arguments; some folks want to define "balance" as "all things have an equal opportunity of beating all other things" and end up convincing themselves it is impossible.

I'd like the game to be "balanced" in the sense that there should be a good reason to play every army and every model; there should be no trap options where the answer to the question "how do I win?" is "buy different models".


This is what I wanted to say, put really clearly and succinctly.

Perfect balance is impossible without sacrifices to flavour and style that nobody wants. But much better balance is possible, even in a complex game with a lot of units. Warmachine and Hordes managed it for a long time.

I think an all rounder force from any army should stand a fair chance against an all rounder force from any other army. By all rounder I mean the sort of army a kid starts with - a couple of troops squads, a hero or two, an elite unit and some tanks or fast attack. This is currently not the case and the game does not seem to encourage this sort of approach..

Though, I will say, puttng Knight sized models and fliers into the game was a mistake that changed the scale and scope of the game in a way that makes balancing it very difficult now for these all rounder forces, and it may just be pretty broken as long as those things are allowed in the game. They make very little sense on a 6x4' table outside of special scenarios in any case, and their introduction was really what made me lose interest in 40K.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 18:02:30


Post by: Talizvar


 Daedalus81 wrote:
 Ratius wrote:
This came up in another thread where someone said GW themselves do not want balance in 40k.
People like to put words into GW's mouth when they have no idea what the hell they're talking about.
Look at the top tables at tournaments a year ago. Look at them now. There is a wealth of variety in the armies making it to the top and no single army is really sticking like Castellans or Ynnari were.
The next task for GW is to expand the usability of all units so we can open up lists more. The new marine books open a lot of possibilities.
No idea?
Been playing 40k since 2nd edition and seen the Kirby fiasco to the bitter end.
But that is trying to establish some kind of authoritative credentials.

There are too many factors at work using "balanced", fluff vs competitive, build vs game... I think the intent is the overall fairness of play of one army vs the other of an "equal" value.
Already mentioned in the quoted post about how no unit should be an "auto-include" or an "auto-shelf" just differing applications.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Stormonu wrote:
It would be nice if listbuilding at best gives a slight advantage, rather than the ability to crush an opponent. The game *should* be decided by actual play - with the superior tactician winning - not before the first model hits the table.
But that’s a tall order requiring a lot of work being put into the rule system. Something that I think is far beyond GW’s “that sounds good enough” minimal to non-exist playtesting and approach to rules writing.
A game that is completely determined by play is chess.
Newbies without fail get utterly crushed by experienced players.

Rolling of dice and mitigating the odds of said dice is where most brain-power goes into for 40k.
This is why list building becomes so critical so you can play a more "predictable" army so can get the desired outcomes more consistently.
The more randomization thrown into the game greatly dilutes predictable outcomes so relatively new players have a viable chance for a win: considered an "accessible" or new player friendly game system.

Command Points and Stratagems feels like the replacement for Psychic powers before they got their own game phase: you can apply more predictable outcomes at pivotal times, they are wildcards to leverage a pivotal moment or condition.
Why do you see the more successful "soup" lists how they are? To squeeze-out the most command points for the least points spent possible for the juiciest Stratagems.



Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 18:21:29


Post by: Daedalus81


 Talizvar wrote:
 Daedalus81 wrote:
 Ratius wrote:
This came up in another thread where someone said GW themselves do not want balance in 40k.
People like to put words into GW's mouth when they have no idea what the hell they're talking about.
Look at the top tables at tournaments a year ago. Look at them now. There is a wealth of variety in the armies making it to the top and no single army is really sticking like Castellans or Ynnari were.
The next task for GW is to expand the usability of all units so we can open up lists more. The new marine books open a lot of possibilities.
No idea?
Been playing 40k since 2nd edition and seen the Kirby fiasco to the bitter end.
But that is trying to establish some kind of authoritative credentials.

There are too many factors at work using "balanced", fluff vs competitive, build vs game... I think the intent is the overall fairness of play of one army vs the other of an "equal" value.
Already mentioned in the quoted post about how no unit should be an "auto-include" or an "auto-shelf" just differing applications.


As have I. I probably still have my cardboard dreadnoughts somewhere. What's more bold is making an assertion at what GW is doing without citing an actual source. That's what I like to call bs artistry.

Someone can take 2000 points of infantry. Someone else can take 2,000 points of infantry shredding tanks. That doesn't mean the game is unbalanced. LunarSol said it best --

the difference between wanting "everything" to be playable or wanting "anything" to be playable


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 18:41:42


Post by: Talizvar


 Daedalus81 wrote:
What's more bold is making an assertion at what GW is doing without citing an actual source. That's what I like to call bs artistry.
I would say look back and think hard on who is putting words in a person's mouth.
REALLY would like to know how BS was created or how one would go about citing that "balanced", how GW has used it, may not be as accurate as "fair".
Someone can take 2000 points of infantry. Someone else can take 2,000 points of infantry shredding tanks. That doesn't mean the game is unbalanced. LunarSol said it best --
the difference between wanting "everything" to be playable or wanting "anything" to be playable
Again pretty sure I said:
Already mentioned in the quoted post about how no unit should be an "auto-include" or an "auto-shelf" just differing applications.
Yep, sure did.
So I assume you are arguing with someone else about how cavalry vs infantry, aircraft vs tanks, rock vs scissors works out and that a non-spam army be encouraged.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 19:55:02


Post by: vipoid


 Vaktathi wrote:
I think a huge part of the issue is that 40k tries to be too many things, it covers too many different scales normally broken into distinct different game systems, and too many forces operating in too many wildly differing fashions.

Trying to balance a game that's fundamentally played out as a pitched frontal firefight on a soccer field, while also trying to make tank companies, underground guerilla forces, entire batallions of conventional infantry, titan maniples and Knight lances, infiltration specialists, etc all work on the same ruleset, is basically impossible.

Half the factions in the game really have no business fighting each other or engaging in the way the game sets up, but it does it anyway. Why on earth do we have Dark Eldar raiding forces or Genestealer guerilla fighting Guard tank companies in frontal attacks, or why do we have Space Marine infiltration forces fighting battles with Chaos Knights? Trying to balance that while maintaining a flavor of what each force is intended to be, is mind bogglingly awkward, particularly when half those matchups have no business being balanced in any fluff/realistic sense.


This.

Currently, 40k has 3 (official) modes of play - two of which are basically pointless.

Rather than splitting it into nonsense like Matched Play vs. Narrative vs. Unbound, it would make much more sense to split it into different scales of game - with models like fliers, baneblades, primarchs and knights being Apocalypse-only.

As it is, the 40k rules are still ultimately based on those of a skirmish game. And trying to include super-tanks and mechas causes no end of issues for balance and design.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 21:17:23


Post by: Waaaghpower


My opinion: A lot of the balance issues in 40k comes down to the core of the game and most of the missions giving a huge advantage to direct killing power. Even non-killing mission goals like holding objectives or linebreaker are usually determined by one player's ability to kill another player's units. Even though sweeping is no longer an auto-win, it usually amounts to the same in most circumstances.

I don't have a fix for this, but if mission objectives were more varied and weren't as directly influenced by point-and-shoot tactics, it would heavily increase the skill ceiling and reduce the impact that list building has on victory.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 22:07:51


Post by: AngryAngel80


Would anyone want balance from the game ? Yes I think most would.

I also agree with the poster who said " Fair " that is also a good idea. Fairness, as it currently stands most armies can't and don't feel fair when taken against some others.

For comments that it's impossible for GW to do, that is just offering forgiveness for lack of effort or lack of caring however you want to view it.

I'm still not sold on the fact GW want to even come close to balance, I think they are getting better at controlling the imbalance like a tide machine let it roll in and out and benefit from bringing up one while pushing down another. The see saw of balance to move product.

For those who would say it's impossible, it isn't. I mean at the point they release more and more bloat it becomes harder and harder to achieve that fairness and any fairness you can find seemingly is behind a pay wall with all these campaign books.

My ideal ? Every book feel fair, regardless of what codex I take and what codex my opponent takes. Obviously you'll always have bad lists but shouldn't be straight bad army books.

Once everyone felt fair at least, then add in the extras for everyone to flavor to choice but not just be power buffs over and over and over.

So yeah, I want fair, and balanced and I think they can do it, they just don't want to it doesn't fit their selling goals. 7th was so far out of control with that feeling, it bled players they are doing a better job with the controlling imbalance but its still not there and I really don't think they want it to be or they'd do more to fix the core baked in problems, then move on to armies, then to extras.

Instead its you get what you get, and if it sucks, oh well better buy the next campaign book, it'll get better then maybe, on and on till you have like 8 books for one mono faction army list.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 22:11:19


Post by: Not Online!!!


My ideal ? Every book feel fair, regardless of what codex I take and what codex my opponent takes. Obviously you'll always have bad lists but shouldn't be straight bad army books.

Considering the state of internal balance and the absolute massive domination of certain subfactions only in top table i can only assume that external balance somewhat gets regarded.
The rest is non existent.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 22:22:26


Post by: An Actual Englishman


Of course I want balance. I pray for the day that I can take almost any combination of units and still be competitive. There is absolutely no logical reason my Evil Sunz bikers can’t compete with other competitive lists.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 22:32:16


Post by: JNAProductions


 An Actual Englishman wrote:
Of course I want balance. I pray for the day that I can take almost any combination of units and still be competitive. There is absolutely no logical reason my Evil Sunz bikers can’t compete with other competitive lists.
That’s not balance.

You should still need to build a competent list-taking nothing but Servitors should end in you losing, no matter what. But taking a balanced, fluffy list should be a perfectly viable and even tournament capable list.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 22:36:18


Post by: An Actual Englishman


 JNAProductions wrote:
 An Actual Englishman wrote:
Of course I want balance. I pray for the day that I can take almost any combination of units and still be competitive. There is absolutely no logical reason my Evil Sunz bikers can’t compete with other competitive lists.
That’s not balance.

You should still need to build a competent list-taking nothing but Servitors should end in you losing, no matter what. But taking a balanced, fluffy list should be a perfectly viable and even tournament capable list.

What if I told you Evil Sunz bikers was a fluffy, balanced list?


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 22:40:37


Post by: AngryAngel80


Not Online!!! wrote:
My ideal ? Every book feel fair, regardless of what codex I take and what codex my opponent takes. Obviously you'll always have bad lists but shouldn't be straight bad army books.

Considering the state of internal balance and the absolute massive domination of certain subfactions only in top table i can only assume that external balance somewhat gets regarded.
The rest is non existent.


It's much like health of your body. It starts what you take in, how you keep yourself in shape, your mental state etc. Express that in the game, the core game needs to be solid, which currently it still isn't. The codex needs to have good internal balance of choices to take when most are full of things that aren't even very good in a casual list even given the perfect units to use them against. Then off set this off of all the other books.

I get that no one should expect taking all infantry with no heavy weapons or AT should just roll up on a tank company and perhaps win. However infantry with proper weapons, using the game play mechanics should have an ability to tackle a slew of tanks, that isn't an unreasonable belief to have. Outside the real lopsided lists, most stuff should feel usable and not that you just gave away the game because you brought say..drop pods. Which like a couple weeks before the new marine dex dropped was literally called the worst thing ever. That if I took a 10 man grey hunter squad with a drop pod, regardless of equipment, I might as well not even play the game, it was over. That is not very fair, or remotely balanced if its viewed that way and plays that way.

So work on the core game, internal balance, then external and it doesn't need to be perfect, just a good deal better than it is. I actually like an uphill struggle when I play, I don't chase the meta but I also have played a long time and like the challenge, not every player has the tenacity to hang in there with that. They get into the game, get some poor units and are smashed over and over because they believed the units had some use baked into them. That is and has been an issue.

The fact that GW just keeps pushing on but not really fixing base issues first is what makes me believe it's either their intention to leave it like this, or they just can't with all the new additions coming so quickly. They just may not have the capability because selling trumps quality control in that regard, I don't know. People may care but like in any large company they may not have the say in what happens when if at all.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 22:52:35


Post by: Ishagu


Absolute balance is absolutely boring.

At the sane time if the disparity is too high that causes a lot of problems.

We need a slight imbalance lol


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 22:58:22


Post by: AngryAngel80


Absolute balance no one asked for, or expects. Workable balance which isn't where we currently reside is I think not too much to ask for.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 23:09:34


Post by: Ishagu


What is giving you do much grief?

GW rebalance things all the time. They literally fixed the Caladius tank today.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 23:09:51


Post by: vipoid


I wonder if it would help to have HQs that were more focused?

For example, Warmachine/Hordes isn't perfectly balanced but it has very few 'dud' units. And one of the main reasons is that each of the Warcasters/Warlocks has a different niche. So, even if an army's swordsman infantry are relatively weak, there's usually one or more Warcasters with enough infantry-buffing abilities to make them viable or even powerful when used with him.

In contrast, the majority of 40k's HQs have buffs that are near universal. A SM Captain doesn't care if he'd buffing a unit of Tactical Marines or a Predator Tank - both get the exact same buff. Hence, there's rarely any reason to not just use the strongest unit(s) available. They get the same buff but the stronger unit still benefits more simply because it was better to begin with.

Perhaps it might be better if buffs were more limited but also stronger (especially in the case of weaker or underused units). e.g. A character could have an aura that allowed all failed hits to be rerolled - but it only affects Terminators.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 23:14:18


Post by: An Actual Englishman


 Ishagu wrote:
What is giving you do much grief?

GW rebalance things all the time. They literally fixed the Caladius tank today.

Questionable on Caladius tanks. They are still very/too points efficient.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 23:33:19


Post by: Ozomoto


Wtf does balance mean? People throw that word around in strategy games like crazy .

It doesn't make sense to refer to a game as balanced or im-balanced in most cases. Rather aspects can be.

Is 40k balanced? Yes I have the same options as my opponent does (in that we have can play whatever unit/faction in the game we want and pay the same points for it) . Is this codex balanced to this other.

The units I chess are balanced, the turn system is not (as one gives a higher winrate). You have to say what you mean by balance or its meaningless. You can't just say 40k is not balanced.

What kind of balance are you talking about? This is paramount to addressing all concerns of a dialogue about balance.

Op your original post doesn't mean anything; I have to infer things I don't want to to even have an idea of wtf you are talking about


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/30 23:35:35


Post by: flandarz


Perfectly balanced, as all things should be.

Thanos said that, and I think he knows a little more about 40k than you do.

On a real note, I agree with the majority here: just making it so every unit is useful would be a HUGE step in the right direction. Tone down the power of some things, step up the power of others, and we can still have our little differences without it being 40k checkers.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/31 00:28:17


Post by: AngryAngel80


 vipoid wrote:
I wonder if it would help to have HQs that were more focused?

For example, Warmachine/Hordes isn't perfectly balanced but it has very few 'dud' units. And one of the main reasons is that each of the Warcasters/Warlocks has a different niche. So, even if an army's swordsman infantry are relatively weak, there's usually one or more Warcasters with enough infantry-buffing abilities to make them viable or even powerful when used with him.

In contrast, the majority of 40k's HQs have buffs that are near universal. A SM Captain doesn't care if he'd buffing a unit of Tactical Marines or a Predator Tank - both get the exact same buff. Hence, there's rarely any reason to not just use the strongest unit(s) available. They get the same buff but the stronger unit still benefits more simply because it was better to begin with.

Perhaps it might be better if buffs were more limited but also stronger (especially in the case of weaker or underused units). e.g. A character could have an aura that allowed all failed hits to be rerolled - but it only affects Terminators.


That's actually a pretty cool idea. So far all I've seen that for though is that one librarian having psyker powers that for some odd reason only affect certain types of units but it is a step in that direction. I could see it being a synergy thing, like ground commanders can buff certain ground units more because of skill set, or equipment etc and maybe do much less for vehicles. Would give some layers to things and make you put a bit more thought into army make up as opposed to just slap buffs down and add strongest units, as the buffs then could make units stronger that were otherwise kind of middle of the road.

I'd love for a tactical oriented HQ that buffs tac marines lets say and makes people go," wow, those tac marines are pretty bad a^^ ! " Just using tac marines as an example. of course. They've kind of had some stuff that felt close to that before in various ways but never quite there, I would like it though. Incentive army builds of backbone units or units that should be a backbone anyways.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/31 02:32:48


Post by: JNAProductions


 An Actual Englishman wrote:
 JNAProductions wrote:
 An Actual Englishman wrote:
Of course I want balance. I pray for the day that I can take almost any combination of units and still be competitive. There is absolutely no logical reason my Evil Sunz bikers can’t compete with other competitive lists.
That’s not balance.

You should still need to build a competent list-taking nothing but Servitors should end in you losing, no matter what. But taking a balanced, fluffy list should be a perfectly viable and even tournament capable list.

What if I told you Evil Sunz bikers was a fluffy, balanced list?
It's not that specific list I object to-it's the idea that you can any combination of units and be competitive.

Evil Sunz Bikers SHOULD be competitive. As should Greentide, as should Mekrush, as should various other Orky configurations.

But, to continue the ork theme, taking 500 Grots and nothing else shouldn't be competitive.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/31 03:16:40


Post by: alextroy


Do we want balance? Of course we do. The more balanced the game the better. It will never be perfectly balanced, because perfection is impossible. But the search for better balance is a good thing.

That being said, 40K as it is will be very difficult to balance. There are too many variables for the game to get highly balanced. Still, there is much that can be done even without radically restructuring the game with balance as the goal.

1. Balance units in Codexes to make all units useful. A Codex should not have must pick or must avoid units in them.
2. Balance the effectiveness of units across ally factions to prevent too much multi-faction synergy in an army. Codex Space Marines is a good example on building towards this.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/31 06:56:15


Post by: Karol


 Ishagu wrote:
What is giving you do much grief?

GW rebalance things all the time. They literally fixed the Caladius tank today.

Only their "rebalancing" is not very good. In spring FAQ, GK got nerfs again, same with FAQs before, and CA fix nothing. The "balancing" they do to GK, are changes they make to all marines. They drop the costs of all dreadnoughts, GK drop too. all marines, including chaos, gets +1A on first round, GK get it too, but changes that are made to everyone help those at the bottom a lot less the those who are in the mid or at the top. I mean when CA was coming out GW probably finished the changes to codex sm. I find no explanation why they thought a 21pts strike is a good thing to leave in the game, when tacs were suppose to drop to 12pts and primaris to 17.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/31 06:57:11


Post by: Breton


 Ratius wrote:
This came up in another thread where someone said GW themselves do not want balance in 40k.
Imbalance shifts product as people will rush to try and keep up with the meta/flavor of the month/whats cool.

Park that for a moment but ask the question, do you as a player really want balance in 40k?
Do you want, or at least expect your Ork bike army to be able to compete VS a dedicated Tau gunline line or your footslogging Primaris to be able to beat IKsoup?
I don't want my Intercessors to shoot a knight to pieces in a turn. I want my Intercessors to be able to assist in damaging a Knight. I want an Ork Bike Army to be able to engage in a war of attrition with a Tau Gunlin such that it comes down to how much the Tau whittled down the bikes before the bikes mulched the Tau.


Or is it fair to just accept that 40k does not and cannot have balance when you factor in the range of armies, rules, special abilities, interactions etc.
In the above case, accept these are bad match ups and move on? (I used to play friendly MtG as white and really struggled against blue but had much better matchups vs black funnily enough. Eventually learned to accept it ).

Its fair to expect hard counters to be hard counters. It's not fair to be able to expect an entire army being a hard counter to another entire army. Hordes should not in and of itself be the hard counter to low model count elite armies that they are. Thematic armies should have the special rules they need to be competitive as well - We're too forced into the Batallion for CP Generation, and troops for objectives. The White Scars bike army, the Raven/Death/Combi - Wing armies, Eldar Jet Bike armies.. they are all punished for being thematically accurate but Force Org/Detachment different.

Or should GW balance the game by giving each army "roughly equal units". e.g. a waveserpent is so far ahead of a rhino as a transport its kinda imbalanced? Hence GW should focus on fixing this via more equal abilities, points increase/decrease or better unit interactions.

Im on the fence on this one and have to give it more thought
The Rhino and the DropPod both have inadequacies that should be resolved. That's not a balance vs a Wave Serpent issue, it's systemic to the Rhino and the Drop Pod itself before you even compare it to other transports.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/31 06:57:46


Post by: Apple fox


 LunarSol wrote:
Of course people want balance; its just a matter of deciding or coming to an understanding of what balance is, what it can be, and what you want. For me, that's come down to the difference between wanting "everything" to be playable or wanting "anything" to be playable. I think we all initially kind of expect the latter, where we put our points down and they are worth their points whatever they are. I've come to appreciate that raw math constructs simply don't make that particularly feasible in 40k or any other game, so I think its more worthwhile to hope that "everything" has a place in the game; even if its in limited quantities or with specific support elements.

I've gotten away from the binary distinction of balance and unbalance in ever expanding games (mostly because they're all the latter by that definition) and started to appreciate appreciating the value of competitive diversity a bit more. I prioritize games where every faction has a competitive build, even if every build isn't competitive and since many games have "leader" options, my next priority is a variety of competitive leaders or "themes" or whatever subdivision the game gets down to.


This i thinks sums up my thoughts on it mostly as well, every faction should have things they can build into a workable game. Without going outside its own army. But throwing down units with no really thought should be discouraged. This should also work into the world and the story they present, Bunch of space marines running into a tau gun line should never be presented as a good idea.
But space marines with there support and heavy elements drawing fire, and thoughts to how there use of units be the real selling point to that narrative.

I have also really thought GW need to put out a solid narritive book, with Good missions and how to lay out a table for narritive focused games. To show players they do support that way to play as well with good content.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/31 07:43:26


Post by: An Actual Englishman


 JNAProductions wrote:
 An Actual Englishman wrote:
 JNAProductions wrote:
 An Actual Englishman wrote:
Of course I want balance. I pray for the day that I can take almost any combination of units and still be competitive. There is absolutely no logical reason my Evil Sunz bikers can’t compete with other competitive lists.
That’s not balance.

You should still need to build a competent list-taking nothing but Servitors should end in you losing, no matter what. But taking a balanced, fluffy list should be a perfectly viable and even tournament capable list.

What if I told you Evil Sunz bikers was a fluffy, balanced list?
It's not that specific list I object to-it's the idea that you can any combination of units and be competitive.

Evil Sunz Bikers SHOULD be competitive. As should Greentide, as should Mekrush, as should various other Orky configurations.

But, to continue the ork theme, taking 500 Grots and nothing else shouldn't be competitive.


Yes, sorry if I was unclear in my original post but I absolutely agree with you.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/31 08:24:31


Post by: Jidmah


 JNAProductions wrote:
 An Actual Englishman wrote:
Of course I want balance. I pray for the day that I can take almost any combination of units and still be competitive. There is absolutely no logical reason my Evil Sunz bikers can’t compete with other competitive lists.
That’s not balance.

You should still need to build a competent list-taking nothing but Servitors should end in you losing, no matter what. But taking a balanced, fluffy list should be a perfectly viable and even tournament capable list.


I think he meant that a properly built army made of bikers, buggies and other things that make up speed freaks should have the same shot at winning as an army made of tau battle suits. Which is not the case right now.

Also, something fascinating: Basically everyone replied with "yes we want balance". Dakka agrees on something


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/31 10:42:44


Post by: Not Online!!!


Spoiler:
AngryAngel80 wrote:
Not Online!!! wrote:
My ideal ? Every book feel fair, regardless of what codex I take and what codex my opponent takes. Obviously you'll always have bad lists but shouldn't be straight bad army books.

Considering the state of internal balance and the absolute massive domination of certain subfactions only in top table i can only assume that external balance somewhat gets regarded.
The rest is non existent.


It's much like health of your body. It starts what you take in, how you keep yourself in shape, your mental state etc. Express that in the game, the core game needs to be solid, which currently it still isn't. The codex needs to have good internal balance of choices to take when most are full of things that aren't even very good in a casual list even given the perfect units to use them against. Then off set this off of all the other books.

I get that no one should expect taking all infantry with no heavy weapons or AT should just roll up on a tank company and perhaps win. However infantry with proper weapons, using the game play mechanics should have an ability to tackle a slew of tanks, that isn't an unreasonable belief to have. Outside the real lopsided lists, most stuff should feel usable and not that you just gave away the game because you brought say..drop pods. Which like a couple weeks before the new marine dex dropped was literally called the worst thing ever. That if I took a 10 man grey hunter squad with a drop pod, regardless of equipment, I might as well not even play the game, it was over. That is not very fair, or remotely balanced if its viewed that way and plays that way.

So work on the core game, internal balance, then external and it doesn't need to be perfect, just a good deal better than it is. I actually like an uphill struggle when I play, I don't chase the meta but I also have played a long time and like the challenge, not every player has the tenacity to hang in there with that. They get into the game, get some poor units and are smashed over and over because they believed the units had some use baked into them. That is and has been an issue.

The fact that GW just keeps pushing on but not really fixing base issues first is what makes me believe it's either their intention to leave it like this, or they just can't with all the new additions coming so quickly. They just may not have the capability because selling trumps quality control in that regard, I don't know. People may care but like in any large company they may not have the say in what happens when if at all.


IN conjunction with what Jimdah said about dakka aggreeeing on something for once, i believe we are at a stage were we can see the clear internal balance issues of the dexes alone.

Basically, regardless of DEX, really, people can see in their own dex the vast differences in capability alone in the traits and conected stratagems. Noboy would use Mordian ever for IG, Word bearers might aswell not exist anymore.
It get's worse when the internal balance is so skewed in one direction and dependant on a combination of subfaction + stratagem that only makes a whole unit class work.
Take the basic CSM, signature unit, outside of AL or RC you don't see them. IN RC they generate a massive advantage since they generate enough CP to be "Worth it " to hamstring yourself for CP gain.
Conditional Stratagems are also hillariously loopsided: The CSM codex is also a funny exhibition there, It has 2 double fight /shoot stratagems, the kind that is also often heavily critizied. Ironically you don't see the double melee that often due to two reasons, A: It's khorne/ melee and B: ) 3 CP and vastly more expensive to get use out of it. Whilest the double shooting one is only 2 CP for slaanesh. The other god specific stratagems , well they exist but are so bad that it is hillarious.

Not only do these two stratagems skew all CSM lists and plans into 1 direction, they also have a massive effect on points aswell. Subfactions that are mark limited and therefore don't gain access to these stratagems are often massively overpriced, whilest the same unit in another subfaction that can have access to these is performing vastly over what you paid. Best exemple Combi plas Terminators. Not worth in Scourged, Brazen beasts, WE, etc.


And you find this issue in a lot of books, i also wouldn't be surprised if the supplements for the marines end up with the same issue.

And now, let's talk about specialist units. (what do i mean by that? Units with either a specialized role or tactical application, e.g. Stormboyz, tankbustas, Veterans)

They fall into two categories:
Used, or NOT used. --> The issue is they should be used as a capability gap filler, instead they are either autoinclude or hardpass. Their inclusion should DEPEND on the type of list the Player fields NOT just be autoinclude or hardpass.
exemple how it(imo) should be: Stormboyz, a sacrificial mobility option for greentide to allow the rest of the army to close in with less losses due to effective tying up. How they are atm used: Nope, why bother when A tellyporta exists and B they are overpriced for what they do?
Harpass units are units that are obsolete in any way or form: Possesed f.e. Units so abmissaly bad by design that they don't work until the price forces them to be an autoinclude.


Then there is the third category: The troopchoice + often found in the elites: (Chosen, Veterans, Cultmarines etc) There is honestly not a reason for them to not be troopchoices.
Also they often suck. Thanks to CP generation and the role it fills in certain armies: E.g in many cases the only reason the army even works. Why do they suck, because you pay premium on stats,when CP generation and CP allocation atm prefers CHEAP as possible (preferably exploitable by allies) Generation and Use on as Expensive / (probably better most effective) as possible unit.

Then there are Signature units: Unit types that are there and Unique to specific armies/ factions: Daemonengines for exemple.
They either work conceptually or they don't.
In the Case of daemonengines, more often then not they don't work. (excluding the Lord discordant) mostly because in essence you pay the price for a what should be a WS/BS 3+ really.
Ofcourse there are also exemples of them done well. Khorne berzerkers come to mind, even plague marines after pricedrops.

In essence: ATM you get codexes that tend to be very specific in their capability and whilest that wouldn't be bad, it is bad when there is in essence just one combination that works great and the rest might aswell as an archetype does not exist.
:
TLDR: Internal balances fethed and mostly based around combos of Stratagems and specific subfactions, that vastly overshadow all other subfactions in a dex.




Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/31 13:37:16


Post by: JNAProductions


 An Actual Englishman wrote:
Yes, sorry if I was unclear in my original post but I absolutely agree with you.
Fantastic. Glad we could be at consensus.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/31 14:11:10


Post by: Vankraken


What hurts unit variety is the fact that 8th lacks so much mechanically that it basically all boils down to killing power, staying power, and mobility. There is a lack of other mechanics that creates variety in the function of similar units so it tends to boil down to utilizing the units that can do those 2 or 3 things the best for the best points cost. The only wrench that gets thrown in there comes in the form of auras and stratagems but in practice it seems to just augment the good units to be even better while not helping the weaker units to be viable due to opportunity cost. Depth of mechanics allows for more meaningful niche roles to emerge while the lack of mechanics results in easier to calculate mathhammer results. Without a lot of systems in place to disrupt unit operations it becomes easier to effectively utilize those theoretical results in practice.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/08/31 22:59:48


Post by: jeff white


 Da Boss wrote:
If I had to choose between balance and the list building phase being a game in itself, I would choose balance every time.

I am in these games to play with minis. I can do the maths on the most powerful stuff as easily as anyone else, but it does not interest me. I want to collect miniatures that inspire me due to their aesthetics and background and then make what I consider to be a fun and interesting army out of whatever I have chosen.

I want a fair enough shot at winning with this if I make a few concessions to list building like ensuring a good mix of anti tank and anti infantry options, some mobile options and some more slow, long range ones. I don't mind list building giving an edge, but I really disagree with entire factions being trash because GWs lazy and unprofessional game designers cannot be bothered ensuring that any kid who likes the look of a faction and picks up a start collecting and a codex does not get autostomped by another kid who happened to choose whatever the powerful faction is by sheer accident. That is unpleasant for new players, it is unpleasant for older players too.

A more balanced game with more consistent design means people are free to do what they want and will still get a satisfying game most of the time. The free for all, list building is super important style favours people who like the intellectual exercise of breaking lists down into their most powerful configuration and who do not care too much about the miniatures or the story behind the game. It also compensates for a lack of tactical skills, because you can easily google what the best stuff is and then just apply it, particularly if you play on boards with predictable, GW mandated terrain.

I do not mind some imbalance and am not seeking perfect balance to be clear. Just something decent enough. And it is important that the design paradigm remains fairly consistent throughout an edition, which is a problem for GW because their designers seem to be really immature and unprofessional and they do not seem to care about what it means to radically change the design paradigm halfway through an edition (not to mention leaving stuff without an update for years and years, though I can see they have gotten better about that).

To me though the entire paradigm has changed and all GW games are a bit more card game or board game like in nature than what I consider a classic wargame to be like.


So much this^^


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Vankraken wrote:
What hurts unit variety is the fact that 8th lacks so much mechanically that it basically all boils down to killing power, staying power, and mobility. There is a lack of other mechanics that creates variety in the function of similar units so it tends to boil down to utilizing the units that can do those 2 or 3 things the best for the best points cost. The only wrench that gets thrown in there comes in the form of auras and stratagems but in practice it seems to just augment the good units to be even better while not helping the weaker units to be viable due to opportunity cost. Depth of mechanics allows for more meaningful niche roles to emerge while the lack of mechanics results in easier to calculate mathhammer results. Without a lot of systems in place to disrupt unit operations it becomes easier to effectively utilize those theoretical results in practice.


And this.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/01 08:54:51


Post by: happy_inquisitor


AngryAngel80 wrote:
Absolute balance no one asked for, or expects. Workable balance which isn't where we currently reside is I think not too much to ask for.


The thing is that the stats say we are getting pretty close to workable balance.

https://www.40kstats.com/faction-breakdown-report?fbclid=IwAR2f4sqx0OETmiFmfCMDqpnysw1h3Ok0LHI81qGypeUexbGk2cBXqgsCXw0

If you take out factions that have less than 10 lists included (because they will statistically skew on tiny numbers of games) almost every faction falls between 40% and 60% win rate - so they can all meet an expectation of going to a 5 game tournament and winning 2 or 3 games. The sad exception right now is Dark Angels; sorry dudes, updates clearly still needed for some of the power armour factions.

So we have balance to the extent that you can play almost any faction and do OK at a tournament, so really you can have competitive fun with your models whatever they are. If you go to a pickup game you should do fine and win enough games that it stays fun, if you are not doing fine then the problem is unlikely to be your faction choice.

What more do people actually want?



Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/01 10:49:54


Post by: Jidmah


happy_inquisitor wrote:
What more do people actually want?


The other thing people want is that there is more variety of what you can play within a faction. Right now there are a whole lot of units across all codices which just don't serve a purpose. Burna boyz, Spyders, Banshees, Assault Terminators and many other iconic and liked models simply fail to function when played and simply handicap you when you field them.
If you get everything withing reasonable range of what's working right now, 40k would be in a truly great state.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/01 11:07:05


Post by: Sunny Side Up


happy_inquisitor wrote:
AngryAngel80 wrote:
Absolute balance no one asked for, or expects. Workable balance which isn't where we currently reside is I think not too much to ask for.


The thing is that the stats say we are getting pretty close to workable balance.

https://www.40kstats.com/faction-breakdown-report?fbclid=IwAR2f4sqx0OETmiFmfCMDqpnysw1h3Ok0LHI81qGypeUexbGk2cBXqgsCXw0

If you take out factions that have less than 10 lists included (because they will statistically skew on tiny numbers of games) almost every faction falls between 40% and 60% win rate - so they can all meet an expectation of going to a 5 game tournament and winning 2 or 3 games. The sad exception right now is Dark Angels; sorry dudes, updates clearly still needed for some of the power armour factions.

So we have balance to the extent that you can play almost any faction and do OK at a tournament, so really you can have competitive fun with your models whatever they are. If you go to a pickup game you should do fine and win enough games that it stays fun, if you are not doing fine then the problem is unlikely to be your faction choice.

What more do people actually want?



Not really. 40Kstats says nothing about 40K balance, because it only samples tournament lists. Not all lists.

Even the worst-performing tournament list is probably already in the top 5%, if not the top 1% of all lists you could build in the game.

Looking at tournament data for 40K balance is like examining only olympic athletes for a general picture of public health.

The sample is biased to the extreme and irrelevant for the larger picture.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/01 11:07:17


Post by: Not Online!!!


 Jidmah wrote:
happy_inquisitor wrote:
What more do people actually want?


The other thing people want is that there is more variety of what you can play within a faction. Right now there are a whole lot of units across all codices which just don't serve a purpose. Burna boyz, Spyders, Banshees, Assault Terminators and many other iconic and liked models simply fail to function when played and simply handicap you when you field them.
If you get everything withing reasonable range of what's working right now, 40k would be in a truly great state.


This, it isn't really well balanced when you don't even see half the subfactions within a codex.
Not to mention of all the units that are simply not existent and their archetypes.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/01 11:18:21


Post by: Jidmah


Not Online!!! wrote:
 Jidmah wrote:
happy_inquisitor wrote:
What more do people actually want?


The other thing people want is that there is more variety of what you can play within a faction. Right now there are a whole lot of units across all codices which just don't serve a purpose. Burna boyz, Spyders, Banshees, Assault Terminators and many other iconic and liked models simply fail to function when played and simply handicap you when you field them.
If you get everything withing reasonable range of what's working right now, 40k would be in a truly great state.


This, it isn't really well balanced when you don't even see half the subfactions within a codex.
Not to mention of all the units that are simply not existent and their archetypes.


Exactly.

For example, the ork codex did the sub-faction thing pretty well right out the gates - freebootas, bad moons, deff skulls, evil suns all see plenty of play. Goff, snakebites and blood axes are lagging behind, with goff at least seeing play on less competitive levels. But I don't think many other codices have four sub-factions of roughly equal power. With some tweaking of existing culture, there all should at least

As for the archetype part - if there is an archetype supported in the army, it should be able to archive that 40-60% win rate bracket that was mentioned above. If something like speed freaks, deathwing or footdar fails to deliver, they should be buffed as well, even if there is another archetype in that same codex doing well.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/01 14:30:25


Post by: happy_inquisitor


Sunny Side Up wrote:
happy_inquisitor wrote:
AngryAngel80 wrote:
Absolute balance no one asked for, or expects. Workable balance which isn't where we currently reside is I think not too much to ask for.


The thing is that the stats say we are getting pretty close to workable balance.

https://www.40kstats.com/faction-breakdown-report?fbclid=IwAR2f4sqx0OETmiFmfCMDqpnysw1h3Ok0LHI81qGypeUexbGk2cBXqgsCXw0

If you take out factions that have less than 10 lists included (because they will statistically skew on tiny numbers of games) almost every faction falls between 40% and 60% win rate - so they can all meet an expectation of going to a 5 game tournament and winning 2 or 3 games. The sad exception right now is Dark Angels; sorry dudes, updates clearly still needed for some of the power armour factions.

So we have balance to the extent that you can play almost any faction and do OK at a tournament, so really you can have competitive fun with your models whatever they are. If you go to a pickup game you should do fine and win enough games that it stays fun, if you are not doing fine then the problem is unlikely to be your faction choice.

What more do people actually want?



Not really. 40Kstats says nothing about 40K balance, because it only samples tournament lists. Not all lists.

Even the worst-performing tournament list is probably already in the top 5%, if not the top 1% of all lists you could build in the game.

Looking at tournament data for 40K balance is like examining only olympic athletes for a general picture of public health.

The sample is biased to the extreme and irrelevant for the larger picture.


40K stats answers a specific question - which best picks from which factions do well in certain scenarios. The stats answer that question well and tell us that nearly all full codexes have decent and viable options for that style of play - which typifies the tournament scene and also a lot of pick up play.

When you start to look at other units you are often looking at units which are thematic or good for specific scenario styles rather than for the generic tournament situation. In city fight missions what counts as a good unit will often be very different to what is good in a more vanilla mission set - especially in mission sets such as ITC with little functional difference between different missions. That does not mean that those units are bad, it just means that they are more specialised and thematic.

So should the game designers be removing that sort of thematic option in order to maintain this idea of balance when applied to the "default" of some tournament mission set? Is that the balance that people want?

Or to put this another way - tournament lists are optimised to a very narrow set of missions so there will always be a preference towards the narrow set of sub-factions and units which best suit those missions. the narrower the set of missions (and I would argue that ITC in particular are basically just all one single mission with trivial variations) then the more you will see this effect. This is to ignore the much wider part of the game which is all the other missions out there from alternative matched play missions through narrative missions etc.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Jidmah wrote:


As for the archetype part - if there is an archetype supported in the army, it should be able to archive that 40-60% win rate bracket that was mentioned above. If something like speed freaks, deathwing or footdar fails to deliver, they should be buffed as well, even if there is another archetype in that same codex doing well.


A speed freak list is a speed archetype list, you would expect it to be good at missions which emphasise speed and less good at missions which emphasise the other things which it sacrificed for speed. It seems to me that this is exactly what a themed list should be - better at the thing it is themed for than for. Are you looking for the game to be balanced in a way that a themed list is better at its theme and yet exactly as good as other lists when playing in missions that those other lists were designed for? Seems like an odd thing to want but if that is what you want then I guess you want it.

I would expect speed freeks to do better than the 40-60% bracket in missions which emphasise the value of speed. That description does not fit most tournament missions and nor really what people use for pick up games but that is a mismatch of list to mission rather than a fundamental flaw with the units or the sub-faction.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/01 17:09:24


Post by: Jidmah


A speed freak list will see itself tabled by turn 3, no matter the mission.

I expect it do just as well as an eldar jetbike list.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/01 17:21:15


Post by: happy_inquisitor


 Jidmah wrote:
A speed freak list will see itself tabled by turn 3, no matter the mission.

I expect it do just as well as an eldar jetbike list.


If you play a mission like Thunder Run your speed freak list may well have won already. Themed missions suit themed armies. Conversely, strongly thematic armies are not good at missions that do not suit their theme.

My question was whether you do not want themed armies to fit themed missions. Do you want all armies to be functionally equally good at all missions? I think that would mean that designing a list to suit a mission would be pointless, may as well randomly generate your list as design it but I do sometimes think that this is what dakkanauts are asking for.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/01 20:13:41


Post by: Jidmah


I don't think we are talking about the same kind of speed freaks army.

I'm not talking about some fluff-bunny attempt at driving around the board as fast as possible. I'm talking about building a solid list out of trukks, battlewagons, boyz, koptas, bikes, buggies and planes. That's a third of our codex!
There is everything in there that decent list needs - and yet they fall apart simply because all of those units pay way to much points compared to their resilience.

I'd also like to point out that instead you basically told me "Yeah, but your army is fine in a some narrative mission".
I have no words for that except "please don't talk about game balance ever again".

Oh, and a speed freak army will still lose the thunder run against an imperial gun line. Because they aren't actually that fast and dead units can't move off the board.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/01 20:20:59


Post by: Not Online!!!


I'm not talking about some fluff-bunny attempt at driving around the board as fast as possible. I'm talking about building a solid list out of trukks, battlewagons, boyz, koptas, bikes, buggies and planes. That's a third of our codex!
There is everything in there that decent list needs - and yet they fall apart simply because all of those units pay way to much points compared to their resilience.


Ahh yes the speedfreaks, a huge aspect and archetype, just stagnating...
Instead we get tellyporta bs.

Kinda like daemonengines and Warpsmiths really. Archetypes that don't function


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/01 21:03:40


Post by: Brother Castor


 Da Boss wrote:
Though, I will say, puttng Knight sized models and fliers into the game was a mistake that changed the scale and scope of the game in a way that makes balancing it very difficult now for these all rounder forces, and it may just be pretty broken as long as those things are allowed in the game. They make very little sense on a 6x4' table outside of special scenarios in any case, and their introduction was really what made me lose interest in 40K.

They're certainly difficult to balance, but powerful units like greater daemons have always been in the game from 1st edition. It's actually one of the things I really like about 40k - that you can play out battles where greater daemons or massive war machines and infantry share a table. In casual play it shouldn't really be an issue assuming players discuss it before preparing lists. I certainly always encourage my opponent to bring suitable units to take on my chaos knights when I play them, and actively avoid bringing TITANIC units in lower points games. At the end of the day, even with equal points costs, an anti-tank army is going to do better against tanks than an anti-horde army (and vice versa). Unless you constrain the types of units that both players bring, some lists will have advantages against others. But being able to bring the units you like is a huge part of 40K, and I'd rather keep that than have perfect balance for armies that shouldn't be well matched. What's that saying about bringing a knife to a gun fight?


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/02 07:07:52


Post by: happy_inquisitor


 Jidmah wrote:


I'd also like to point out that instead you basically told me "Yeah, but your army is fine in a some narrative mission".
I have no words for that except "please don't talk about game balance ever again".



Themed list is good in themed mission - shock horror!

Themed list is less good in missions which do not match its theme - sky falling!

The game is designed to play in many ways, when GW put out missions in their publications you would expect them to have list types available to support those missions and they do. If you choose to use one of those highly themed lists in a mission set to which it is unsuited then what exactly do you expect to happen against a list that was designed with the mission in mind?

Are you asking for every list to be functionally just as good at every mission whether or not the player took any account of the mission when designing the list? That certainly seems to be what you are asking for.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/02 08:07:41


Post by: Karol


 Brother Castor wrote:

They're certainly difficult to balance, but powerful units like greater daemons have always been in the game from 1st edition. It's actually one of the things I really like about 40k - that you can play out battles where greater daemons or massive war machines and infantry share a table. In casual play it shouldn't really be an issue assuming players discuss it before preparing lists. I certainly always encourage my opponent to bring suitable units to take on my chaos knights when I play them, and actively avoid bringing TITANIC units in lower points games. At the end of the day, even with equal points costs, an anti-tank army is going to do better against tanks than an anti-horde army (and vice versa). Unless you constrain the types of units that both players bring, some lists will have advantages against others. But being able to bring the units you like is a huge part of 40K, and I'd rather keep that than have perfect balance for armies that shouldn't be well matched. What's that saying about bringing a knife to a gun fight?

Okey, but that doesn't really help in most situations. First of all if an army can counter both horde and anti tank with the same list, it probably doesn't worry what your playing most of the time. In all other situations it would require to buy more models then it takes for 2000pts. And sometimes, because of the rule of 3, and other list limitations, even if you go over 2000pts with your army, you sitll may end up with a list that can't deal with vehicles or hordes. Which is a problem when a lot of armies bring imperial knights, now one could of course say that smart game play is needed in such a situation and playing the mission, assuming this isn't a kill game, but to play the mission succesfuly your army has to have at least mid tier rule set. If it is weaker, and can't counter the opposing army, then it will just get beaten, because the models won't be able to do fullfill the plan to win. It would end with people not being able to play, certain match ups, unless they like to know pre game that they will lose bad.


If you choose to use one of those highly themed lists in a mission set to which it is unsuited then what exactly do you expect to happen against a list that was designed with the mission in mind?

Some armies don't have themed missions that favour their army rules though.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/02 09:05:14


Post by: Grimtuff


 Brother Castor wrote:
 Da Boss wrote:
Though, I will say, puttng Knight sized models and fliers into the game was a mistake that changed the scale and scope of the game in a way that makes balancing it very difficult now for these all rounder forces, and it may just be pretty broken as long as those things are allowed in the game. They make very little sense on a 6x4' table outside of special scenarios in any case, and their introduction was really what made me lose interest in 40K.

They're certainly difficult to balance, but powerful units like greater daemons have always been in the game from 1st edition. It's actually one of the things I really like about 40k - that you can play out battles where greater daemons or massive war machines and infantry share a table. In casual play it shouldn't really be an issue assuming players discuss it before preparing lists. I certainly always encourage my opponent to bring suitable units to take on my chaos knights when I play them, and actively avoid bringing TITANIC units in lower points games. At the end of the day, even with equal points costs, an anti-tank army is going to do better against tanks than an anti-horde army (and vice versa). Unless you constrain the types of units that both players bring, some lists will have advantages against others. But being able to bring the units you like is a huge part of 40K, and I'd rather keep that than have perfect balance for armies that shouldn't be well matched. What's that saying about bringing a knife to a gun fight?


They're not really comparable though. Yes, that one powerful lynchpin unit/model has been part of the game for a while, but they were restricted. You couldn't have a whole army of Bloodthirsters. You couldn't reasonably take 3 Monoliths without gimping yourself with phase out as they were nearly (or exactly) half your army's points. I shouldn't need to discuss with my opponent what is and isn't allowed in lists to ensure I have a good game. In just about any other game, you can rock up to the store for a PUG with no other discussion to be had. 40k is the sole exception to this.

All of the Apocalypse only units should have stayed Apoc only. This is 40k's event horizon point, where they decided to put them into regular play circa 6th ed. Which is also the time the game went down the toilet funnily enough. Now, they've crossed that proverbial Rubicon and don't want to go back for fear of pissing off their whales that bought a lot of these kits. Sorry GW, for the health of your game you've got to make these types of units restricted to Apocalypse again. I know people won't like it, but tough gak. It's for a greater good.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/02 09:09:26


Post by: BaconCatBug


 Grimtuff wrote:
 Brother Castor wrote:
 Da Boss wrote:
Though, I will say, puttng Knight sized models and fliers into the game was a mistake that changed the scale and scope of the game in a way that makes balancing it very difficult now for these all rounder forces, and it may just be pretty broken as long as those things are allowed in the game. They make very little sense on a 6x4' table outside of special scenarios in any case, and their introduction was really what made me lose interest in 40K.

They're certainly difficult to balance, but powerful units like greater daemons have always been in the game from 1st edition. It's actually one of the things I really like about 40k - that you can play out battles where greater daemons or massive war machines and infantry share a table. In casual play it shouldn't really be an issue assuming players discuss it before preparing lists. I certainly always encourage my opponent to bring suitable units to take on my chaos knights when I play them, and actively avoid bringing TITANIC units in lower points games. At the end of the day, even with equal points costs, an anti-tank army is going to do better against tanks than an anti-horde army (and vice versa). Unless you constrain the types of units that both players bring, some lists will have advantages against others. But being able to bring the units you like is a huge part of 40K, and I'd rather keep that than have perfect balance for armies that shouldn't be well matched. What's that saying about bringing a knife to a gun fight?


They're not really comparable though. Yes, that one powerful lynchpin unit/model has been part of the game for a while, but they were restricted. You couldn't have a whole army of Bloodthirsters. You couldn't reasonably take 3 Monoliths without gimping yourself with phase out as they were nearly (or exactly) half your army's points. I shouldn't need to discuss with my opponent what is and isn't allowed in lists to ensure I have a good game. In just about any other game, you can rock up to the store for a PUG with no other discussion to be had. 40k is the sole exception to this.

All of the Apocalypse only units should have stayed Apoc only. This is 40k's event horizon point, where they decided to put them into regular play circa 6th ed. Which is also the time the game went down the toilet funnily enough. Now, they've crossed that proverbial Rubicon and don't want to go back for fear of pissing off their whales that bought a lot of these kits. Sorry GW, for the health of your game you've got to make these types of units restricted to Apocalypse again. I know people won't like it, but tough gak. It's for a greater good.
But Grimtuff , why don't you just house rule those models out of your game.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/02 09:26:49


Post by: Apple fox


 Grimtuff wrote:
 Brother Castor wrote:
 Da Boss wrote:
Though, I will say, puttng Knight sized models and fliers into the game was a mistake that changed the scale and scope of the game in a way that makes balancing it very difficult now for these all rounder forces, and it may just be pretty broken as long as those things are allowed in the game. They make very little sense on a 6x4' table outside of special scenarios in any case, and their introduction was really what made me lose interest in 40K.

They're certainly difficult to balance, but powerful units like greater daemons have always been in the game from 1st edition. It's actually one of the things I really like about 40k - that you can play out battles where greater daemons or massive war machines and infantry share a table. In casual play it shouldn't really be an issue assuming players discuss it before preparing lists. I certainly always encourage my opponent to bring suitable units to take on my chaos knights when I play them, and actively avoid bringing TITANIC units in lower points games. At the end of the day, even with equal points costs, an anti-tank army is going to do better against tanks than an anti-horde army (and vice versa). Unless you constrain the types of units that both players bring, some lists will have advantages against others. But being able to bring the units you like is a huge part of 40K, and I'd rather keep that than have perfect balance for armies that shouldn't be well matched. What's that saying about bringing a knife to a gun fight?


They're not really comparable though. Yes, that one powerful lynchpin unit/model has been part of the game for a while, but they were restricted. You couldn't have a whole army of Bloodthirsters. You couldn't reasonably take 3 Monoliths without gimping yourself with phase out as they were nearly (or exactly) half your army's points. I shouldn't need to discuss with my opponent what is and isn't allowed in lists to ensure I have a good game. In just about any other game, you can rock up to the store for a PUG with no other discussion to be had. 40k is the sole exception to this.

All of the Apocalypse only units should have stayed Apoc only. This is 40k's event horizon point, where they decided to put them into regular play circa 6th ed. Which is also the time the game went down the toilet funnily enough. Now, they've crossed that proverbial Rubicon and don't want to go back for fear of pissing off their whales that bought a lot of these kits. Sorry GW, for the health of your game you've got to make these types of units restricted to Apocalypse again. I know people won't like it, but tough gak. It's for a greater good.


Honestly i wonder how bad it would be for the player base, We lost so many players with 6th. And i never really got the impression that anyone really wanted those apocalypse units in 40k and only really 1 person even used them once they had come.
It in one fell swoop killed apocalypse as a game played and hurt 40k a huge deal. Probably was profitable, the bigs kits probably have a huge return over the smaller ones.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/02 09:52:39


Post by: Jidmah


happy_inquisitor wrote:
 Jidmah wrote:


I'd also like to point out that instead you basically told me "Yeah, but your army is fine in a some narrative mission".
I have no words for that except "please don't talk about game balance ever again".



Themed list is good in themed mission - shock horror!

Themed list is less good in missions which do not match its theme - sky falling!

The game is designed to play in many ways, when GW put out missions in their publications you would expect them to have list types available to support those missions and they do. If you choose to use one of those highly themed lists in a mission set to which it is unsuited then what exactly do you expect to happen against a list that was designed with the mission in mind?

Are you asking for every list to be functionally just as good at every mission whether or not the player took any account of the mission when designing the list? That certainly seems to be what you are asking for.


I thoroughly explained what I want. A speed freaks is no more "themed" than any other army, including imperial gunlines, eldar jetbikes, daemon hordes and infantry marines. It's a major aspect of the ork army and thus should be able to generate a list that has a decent win quote in any eternal war and maelstrom mission.

Since you repeated your statement of "speed feaks = fluffy fun army", you have cemented that you have no fething clue what you are talking about. You should do some research before continuing to make a fool out of yourself.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/02 10:17:29


Post by: Grimtuff


 BaconCatBug wrote:
 Grimtuff wrote:
 Brother Castor wrote:
 Da Boss wrote:
Though, I will say, puttng Knight sized models and fliers into the game was a mistake that changed the scale and scope of the game in a way that makes balancing it very difficult now for these all rounder forces, and it may just be pretty broken as long as those things are allowed in the game. They make very little sense on a 6x4' table outside of special scenarios in any case, and their introduction was really what made me lose interest in 40K.

They're certainly difficult to balance, but powerful units like greater daemons have always been in the game from 1st edition. It's actually one of the things I really like about 40k - that you can play out battles where greater daemons or massive war machines and infantry share a table. In casual play it shouldn't really be an issue assuming players discuss it before preparing lists. I certainly always encourage my opponent to bring suitable units to take on my chaos knights when I play them, and actively avoid bringing TITANIC units in lower points games. At the end of the day, even with equal points costs, an anti-tank army is going to do better against tanks than an anti-horde army (and vice versa). Unless you constrain the types of units that both players bring, some lists will have advantages against others. But being able to bring the units you like is a huge part of 40K, and I'd rather keep that than have perfect balance for armies that shouldn't be well matched. What's that saying about bringing a knife to a gun fight?


They're not really comparable though. Yes, that one powerful lynchpin unit/model has been part of the game for a while, but they were restricted. You couldn't have a whole army of Bloodthirsters. You couldn't reasonably take 3 Monoliths without gimping yourself with phase out as they were nearly (or exactly) half your army's points. I shouldn't need to discuss with my opponent what is and isn't allowed in lists to ensure I have a good game. In just about any other game, you can rock up to the store for a PUG with no other discussion to be had. 40k is the sole exception to this.

All of the Apocalypse only units should have stayed Apoc only. This is 40k's event horizon point, where they decided to put them into regular play circa 6th ed. Which is also the time the game went down the toilet funnily enough. Now, they've crossed that proverbial Rubicon and don't want to go back for fear of pissing off their whales that bought a lot of these kits. Sorry GW, for the health of your game you've got to make these types of units restricted to Apocalypse again. I know people won't like it, but tough gak. It's for a greater good.
But Grimtuff , why don't you just house rule those models out of your game.


WHOOOOOOOSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

That was like fething Concorde flying over. Swing and a miss.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/02 10:42:56


Post by: BaconCatBug


 Grimtuff wrote:
WHOOOOOOOSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

That was like fething Concorde flying over. Swing and a miss.
That was part of the joke, yes.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/02 11:09:19


Post by: Eldarsif


I want balance, but there will always be some caveats. Ranged units getting good range and chance to ambush a melee unit are very often going to come out stronger unless they are just that much weaker to begin with. In which case the melee unit will be able to close the gap and murder the ranged unit in question. Here terrain would also play a part which complicates thing further.

The second thing that also needs to happen is a proper culling of redundancies. Some armies are overflowing with certain specialist units that now tend to overlap with other specialist units and that tends to create a lot of trap units that no one uses. It is one of the things I think AoS has done well so far(except with Stormcast that seems to suffer from excessive model output) which leaves a game that can be more easily balanced and then maybe expanded slowly. Hell, I wouldn't mind if some units would be effectively made the same so there is less redundancy and the different looks would be a player choice rather than a rule choice.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/02 12:40:51


Post by: Karol


 Grimtuff wrote:


WHOOOOOOOSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

That was like fething Concorde flying over. Swing and a miss.

That is not very funny, my aunt died when a concorde fell on her.

But Grimtuff , why don't you just house rule those models out of your game.

Because people who bought them are going to want to use them, and if people bought a unit then there is a higher chance it is good, then bad. Try telling people to not play smash capt+knights in their soup lists, when such lists make 1/3 of all people playing, and the rest is knights with something else, or armies build to kill knights lists, and eldar. People would just laugh at for asking stupid questions.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/02 13:42:06


Post by: balmong7


Karol wrote:
 Grimtuff wrote:


WHOOOOOOOSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

That was like fething Concorde flying over. Swing and a miss.

That is not very funny, my aunt died when a concorde fell on her.

But Grimtuff , why don't you just house rule those models out of your game.

Because people who bought them are going to want to use them, and if people bought a unit then there is a higher chance it is good, then bad. Try telling people to not play smash capt+knights in their soup lists, when such lists make 1/3 of all people playing, and the rest is knights with something else, or armies build to kill knights lists, and eldar. People would just laugh at for asking stupid questions.


And we are back to Karols meta being insanely competitive.

Are there any other stores near your house? Surely you can find a community that won't stomp you into the ground and then expect you to thank them.

Also Concorde the plane? or concorde the bird?


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/02 14:19:18


Post by: Karol


The plane. She worked at a hotel in France and it fell down and she died.

It isn't a question of competitive though, it is a question of how much an army costs. I am a bad example for this, because no one wanted to tell me how much an army costs, or to be precise I got the play what you want/collection never ends/etc shtick from people at the store, and I was too stupid to ask my dad about w40k. Though I my defence, I did not know that he played it. But 700$ here is a lot more then 700$ in the US, the people I started with bought one army and played with it till they left the game, or switched armies if they started playing tournaments. Not many people are willing to experiment or buy bad models, when investing in to an army means you used up the money for 1-2 years. And if enough people do it, you end up with a meta where most armies are build out of models that are good now or which were good in the past. Ah and not many people stay playing for long. Seems like most people play for a year, maybe a bit longer.

The closest other store to me Is 6 hours trip away. So not really an option for me. But the store is there. I know people go to events there, but they have cars.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/02 15:14:09


Post by: greatbigtree


So, what I’m looking for in a balanced game are the following.

1: Missions designed to require player interaction. One of the ways would be to create scenarios where objectives / goals placed by your opponent are worth more victory points. I.e. Controlling an objective you placed is worth 2 VP, controlling an objective placed by your opponent is worth 3 VP. This creates value in being aggressive, and encourages without penalizing armies that have units dedicated to advancing through / around the opponent.

2: Avoid missions that reward destroying *more* of your opponent’s models than you lose. Missions can still involve destroying targets, like Warlords for example, but 1 VP per unit or “points per unit destroyed” should be avoided. At the very least, it creates an interesting tension between protecting your warlord and not taking advantage of the points invested.

3: Awareness that 40k scales exponentially, not linearly. In a game with ready access to Knights with Battle cannon style weapons, a Marine is defensively equivalent and offensively equivalent to a Guardsman. There are two * very* different points of comparison when balancing. There can only really be a Rock Paper Scissors style balance in that case. Guard beats Knights, Knights beat Marines, Marines beat Guard.

Guard mitigates loss to Marines by focusing on anti-elite weapons. Marines mitigate loss to Knights by focussing on anti-tank weapons. Knights mitigate loss to Guard by focussing on anti-chaff weapons.

4: Having attacks that are functionally separate in terms of mechanical interaction with different targets. Whaaah? Acknowledge that a d6 can generate 7 results (including auto-fail and auto-pass) and force all units into 7 rough categories in terms of durability.

Currently, high volume mid strength (5+) weapons are good against everything. Mechanically, we would want greater “distance” between stats. I.e. Guard have T 3, Standard Marines have T 5, Light vehicles T 7, Medium Vehicles T 10, Heavy Vehicles T 15, and Super-Heavy Vehicles T 20.

This would require rework of all damage charts. S v T

-6 or more, can’t wound.
-5,-4 : 6+
-3,-2 : 5+
-1,0,+1 : 4+
+2,+3 : 3+
+4,+5 : 2+
+6 or more, auto wound.

And then anti super heavy weapons go to around S 20, AP -4 or so, anti heavy around S 15, AP -3, anti med vehicle around S 10 AP -2, anti light vehicle around S 7 AP -1, And anti-chaff around S 4 AP 0.

Tweak Rates of fire (top end) to 1, 2, 3, 5, 8 Starting at Super Heavy to Chaff. Tweak damage (top end) to 10, 7, 5, 2, 1.

Points wise, weapons 1 category on either side of ideal should be passably efficient.

5: Encourage lists to be built in a TAC fashion. Either allow upgrades to be taken at the table (rework factions without options to have them) or charge premium for skew lists. Ie if more than 1/3 of your points limit is spent on any one category of unit, pay an additional 5% points for those units. If 2/3 of your points limit is spent on any one category, pay an additional 10% points for those units. Categories (with current values).

Light Infantry - (T3, T4 with poor save) Guard, Ork Boy, Most Aspect Warriors
Medium Infantry - (T4, 4/3+ save)Scouts, Marines, Necron Immortals
Heavy Infantry - (T5, 2+ save, 3+ wounds) Custodes, Terminators, Liche Guard, Tyranid Warriors
Light Vehicle / Monster - (T6) SM bikes, Ork truks and buggies, elite Nids, Eldar Flyers
Medium Vehicle / Monster - (T7) Most Imperial transports, most Imperial Flyers, HQ Nids, most walkers
Heavy vehicle / Monster - (T8) Leman Russ tanks, Land Raiders, Monolith, Carnifex
Titanic Vehicle / Monster - Knights, Baneblades, Necron Super-Monolith, Wraith Knight

Any skew gets “punished” for being harder to tackle for a TAC list, because it’s harder for a balanced list to handle. We want balance, and freedom, and this aims to balance the two.


So while we all want a better balanced game (in my opinion, equally skilled opponents winning a 60/40 split or closer would be ideal / easily acceptable.) the core mechanics of 8th edition do not appear to have these factors / ideas compensated for, and would need rework.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/02 15:51:10


Post by: Not Online!!!


1: Missions designed to require player interaction. One of the ways would be to create scenarios where objectives / goals placed by your opponent are worth more victory points. I.e. Controlling an objective you placed is worth 2 VP, controlling an objective placed by your opponent is worth 3 VP. This creates value in being aggressive, and encourages without penalizing armies that have units dedicated to advancing through / around the opponent.


Not to be a dick but that severly punishes factions that have no ability for mobility aswell as also adding in a opposing effect of defending your placed objective from your enemy more ardently.
In essence you just get the countereffect of what you wanted.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/02 15:56:53


Post by: JNAProductions


Not Online!!! wrote:
1: Missions designed to require player interaction. One of the ways would be to create scenarios where objectives / goals placed by your opponent are worth more victory points. I.e. Controlling an objective you placed is worth 2 VP, controlling an objective placed by your opponent is worth 3 VP. This creates value in being aggressive, and encourages without penalizing armies that have units dedicated to advancing through / around the opponent.


Not to be a dick but that severly punishes factions that have no ability for mobility aswell as also adding in a opposing effect of defending your placed objective from your enemy more ardently.
In essence you just get the countereffect of what you wanted.
Do you disagree with the concept, or the implementation?

Because while that specific implementation might be flawed, the general idea (missions should be interactive between the sides) is a great one.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/02 16:04:53


Post by: Not Online!!!


 JNAProductions wrote:
Not Online!!! wrote:
1: Missions designed to require player interaction. One of the ways would be to create scenarios where objectives / goals placed by your opponent are worth more victory points. I.e. Controlling an objective you placed is worth 2 VP, controlling an objective placed by your opponent is worth 3 VP. This creates value in being aggressive, and encourages without penalizing armies that have units dedicated to advancing through / around the opponent.


Not to be a dick but that severly punishes factions that have no ability for mobility aswell as also adding in a opposing effect of defending your placed objective from your enemy more ardently.
In essence you just get the countereffect of what you wanted.
Do you disagree with the concept, or the implementation?

Because while that specific implementation might be flawed, the general idea (missions should be interactive between the sides) is a great one.


If i were to disagree with the conccept, i ain't for the reccord, i would've mentioned it.

Infact i endorse it since it promotes an actual army and not skew anymore, in a way i suspect if finetuned you might also finally could reign in the spam of certain units.
However, i also feel like a lot of older mechanics need a comeback and overhaul.

It also leads to factions that are not by design interactive to be sidelined (Tau, or Knights f.e.) while actively promoting aggresive lists that rely on Alpha strikes. (depending on how you look at it that is a problem)


IT is certainly a suggestion worth mulling about and might include in ways or forms in local groups.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/02 16:06:12


Post by: JNAProductions


An idea I've had is that you score objectives at the end of your OPPONENT'S turn.

So your opponent always has at least one turn to kill you off an objective or take it from you or something. Wouldn't work with stuff like Blood and Guts, but it'd make "Secure Objective X" more interesting.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/02 16:08:07


Post by: Not Online!!!


 JNAProductions wrote:
An idea I've had is that you score objectives at the end of your OPPONENT'S turn.

So your opponent always has at least one turn to kill you off an objective or take it from you or something. Wouldn't work with stuff like Blood and Guts, but it'd make "Secure Objective X" more interesting.


It would atleast give the opposing player one turn of initiative (in a battle sense ) to react.

actually why isn't that a thing?


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/02 16:35:14


Post by: Snugiraffe


Spoiler:
 vipoid wrote:
 Vaktathi wrote:
I think a huge part of the issue is that 40k tries to be too many things, it covers too many different scales normally broken into distinct different game systems, and too many forces operating in too many wildly differing fashions.

Trying to balance a game that's fundamentally played out as a pitched frontal firefight on a soccer field, while also trying to make tank companies, underground guerilla forces, entire batallions of conventional infantry, titan maniples and Knight lances, infiltration specialists, etc all work on the same ruleset, is basically impossible.

Half the factions in the game really have no business fighting each other or engaging in the way the game sets up, but it does it anyway. Why on earth do we have Dark Eldar raiding forces or Genestealer guerilla fighting Guard tank companies in frontal attacks, or why do we have Space Marine infiltration forces fighting battles with Chaos Knights? Trying to balance that while maintaining a flavor of what each force is intended to be, is mind bogglingly awkward, particularly when half those matchups have no business being balanced in any fluff/realistic sense.


This.

Currently, 40k has 3 (official) modes of play - two of which are basically pointless.

Rather than splitting it into nonsense like Matched Play vs. Narrative vs. Unbound, it would make much more sense to split it into different scales of game - with models like fliers, baneblades, primarchs and knights being Apocalypse-only.

As it is, the 40k rules are still ultimately based on those of a skirmish game. And trying to include super-tanks and mechas causes no end of issues for balance and design.


One thing that could help account for the insanely disparate power levels of Knights vs infantry (as an example) is to add some sort of friendly fire mechanic. As it stands, the massively powerful weapons on TITANIC units can still be used with surgical accuracy. When you bring a Knight or super-heavy tank to the 'soccer field', it should become really hard to use effectively as most enemy units would essentially already be inside its minimum effective range and hailstorms of missiles should be dangerous to use to all units on the field. [/bandying about random ideas]


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/02 17:47:37


Post by: happy_inquisitor


 Jidmah wrote:


I thoroughly explained what I want. A speed freaks is no more "themed" than any other army, including imperial gunlines, eldar jetbikes, daemon hordes and infantry marines. It's a major aspect of the ork army and thus should be able to generate a list that has a decent win quote in any eternal war and maelstrom mission.

Since you repeated your statement of "speed feaks = fluffy fun army", you have cemented that you have no fething clue what you are talking about. You should do some research before continuing to make a fool out of yourself.


I don't think we are talking about the same sort of balance.

I am satisfied if every faction can be built to a mission set so that they get a reasonable set of results from the resulting games.

You want any given list archetype to do just as well in a mission set as one which was carefully designed for those missions. With any sort of fixed mission design I think that is impossible unless the unit selections are almost entirely cosmetic and make no difference to the way the army plays.

I think what you need is a radical change in mission design - something more close to the Underworlds game design where you sort of design your own missions to fit your archetype by deckbuilding. A vastly more flexible approach to secondaries in ITC might conceivably achieve what you want although I doubt that would ever be a big enough change for every archetype we could come up with and consider valid.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/02 17:59:12


Post by: Karol


Not Online!!! wrote:
 JNAProductions wrote:
An idea I've had is that you score objectives at the end of your OPPONENT'S turn.

So your opponent always has at least one turn to kill you off an objective or take it from you or something. Wouldn't work with stuff like Blood and Guts, but it'd make "Secure Objective X" more interesting.


It would atleast give the opposing player one turn of initiative (in a battle sense ) to react.

actually why isn't that a thing?

Well armies that can clear stuff off an objective every turn, would be wiping out stuff for 2-3 turns, and then waltz on to objectives that can't be contested. As a counter skew to this, there would probably some lists that run 300-400 models that just choke objectives doing nothing with most of their army, while plinking too kill stuff with something like a knight or an Ahriman. It could create a very toxic game situation, specialy if someone tries to play with a "normal" list.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/02 18:06:33


Post by: balmong7


Snugiraffe wrote:


One thing that could help account for the insanely disparate power levels of Knights vs infantry (as an example) is to add some sort of friendly fire mechanic. As it stands, the massively powerful weapons on TITANIC units can still be used with surgical accuracy. When you bring a Knight or super-heavy tank to the 'soccer field', it should become really hard to use effectively as most enemy units would essentially already be inside its minimum effective range and hailstorms of missiles should be dangerous to use to all units on the field. [/bandying about random ideas]


I feel like that would end up punishing melee armies more than shooting armies though. and the melee/shooting balance is kind of the biggest thing right now that needs to be fixed.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/02 18:49:22


Post by: PenitentJake


 Grimtuff wrote:
 Brother Castor wrote:
 Da Boss wrote:
Though, I will say, puttng Knight sized models and fliers into the game was a mistake that changed the scale and scope of the game in a way that makes balancing it very difficult now for these all rounder forces, and it may just be pretty broken as long as those things are allowed in the game. They make very little sense on a 6x4' table outside of special scenarios in any case, and their introduction was really what made me lose interest in 40K.

They're certainly difficult to balance, but powerful units like greater daemons have always been in the game from 1st edition. It's actually one of the things I really like about 40k - that you can play out battles where greater daemons or massive war machines and infantry share a table. In casual play it shouldn't really be an issue assuming players discuss it before preparing lists. I certainly always encourage my opponent to bring suitable units to take on my chaos knights when I play them, and actively avoid bringing TITANIC units in lower points games. At the end of the day, even with equal points costs, an anti-tank army is going to do better against tanks than an anti-horde army (and vice versa). Unless you constrain the types of units that both players bring, some lists will have advantages against others. But being able to bring the units you like is a huge part of 40K, and I'd rather keep that than have perfect balance for armies that shouldn't be well matched. What's that saying about bringing a knife to a gun fight?


They're not really comparable though. Yes, that one powerful lynchpin unit/model has been part of the game for a while, but they were restricted. You couldn't have a whole army of Bloodthirsters. You couldn't reasonably take 3 Monoliths without gimping yourself with phase out as they were nearly (or exactly) half your army's points. I shouldn't need to discuss with my opponent what is and isn't allowed in lists to ensure I have a good game. In just about any other game, you can rock up to the store for a PUG with no other discussion to be had. 40k is the sole exception to this.

All of the Apocalypse only units should have stayed Apoc only. This is 40k's event horizon point, where they decided to put them into regular play circa 6th ed. Which is also the time the game went down the toilet funnily enough. Now, they've crossed that proverbial Rubicon and don't want to go back for fear of pissing off their whales that bought a lot of these kits. Sorry GW, for the health of your game you've got to make these types of units restricted to Apocalypse again. I know people won't like it, but tough gak. It's for a greater good.


Regarding the first premise, ie. discussing the game in advance:

The reason that this is necessary in 40k and not other games is that no other game offers the breadth of possibilities for play as this one. I don't play other mini games because they don't offer play on so many scales within so many factions and so many combinations, from playing within different historical eras, incredibly diverse campaign systems vs. stand alone event support and world wide interactive group play that influences an evolving storyline.

I like this game BECAUSE we need to talk before we play. If we didn't need to talk before we played, it wouldn't be broad enough to interest me.

Regarding the second premise, ie. keeping fliers and LOW in Apocalypse games:

I would have been okay if they had opted to do this, because I would still have the capability to include those units if I wanted. But I think it was good for the model range to include those things in the main rules; development of this kits is only economically viable if they are an option in the core rules. But I'll counter with an option that has been thrown out in a few other threads. Kill Team has an Arena version, which places more restrictions on game play in the name of balance. I think a 40k arena rule set might go a long way to solving some legitimate complaints about balance without taking away everyone else's sand box.

Because sales of this game have never been better, so obviously players want a sandbox. GW doesn't HAVE to do anything to make YOU happy, because people are voting with their wallets. It ain't broken, it just no longer meets your needs. It's okay to just play any of the other games that you seem to want this game to become.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/02 22:38:16


Post by: catbarf


happy_inquisitor wrote:
I am satisfied if every faction can be built to a mission set so that they get a reasonable set of results from the resulting games.

You want any given list archetype to do just as well in a mission set as one which was carefully designed for those missions.


Uh, no, he pretty clearly wants a list archetype that is common in the background, and represents roughly a third of the codex, to be reasonably viable as a take-all-comers list. Yeah, Speed Freeks are probably going to be better at some missions than others, but on the whole it should even out, and right now it doesn't.

Knights represent the same problem from the other perspective. In theory an all-Knights army should suffer in any mission that requires objective control. In practice their ability to survive any list not geared towards killing them nullifies that disadvantage, and they're very frustrating for a take-all-comers list to play against.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 06:54:17


Post by: happy_inquisitor


catbarf wrote:
happy_inquisitor wrote:
I am satisfied if every faction can be built to a mission set so that they get a reasonable set of results from the resulting games.

You want any given list archetype to do just as well in a mission set as one which was carefully designed for those missions.


Uh, no, he pretty clearly wants a list archetype that is common in the background, and represents roughly a third of the codex, to be reasonably viable as a take-all-comers list. Yeah, Speed Freeks are probably going to be better at some missions than others, but on the whole it should even out, and right now it doesn't.

Knights represent the same problem from the other perspective. In theory an all-Knights army should suffer in any mission that requires objective control. In practice their ability to survive any list not geared towards killing them nullifies that disadvantage, and they're very frustrating for a take-all-comers list to play against.


All knight lists are mediocre at best in the GW tournaments, not well suited to the missions. They do well enough in ITC because of the mission design.

I understand what he wants, the only answer would be a radical overhaul of mission design and a move away from fixed predefined missions. I am extremely doubtful that there is much appetite for that in the wider competitive community.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 07:06:03


Post by: Karol


The reason that this is necessary in 40k and not other games is that no other game offers the breadth of possibilities for play as this one. I don't play other mini games because they don't offer play on so many scales within so many factions and so many combinations, from playing within different historical eras, incredibly diverse campaign systems vs. stand alone event support and world wide interactive group play that influences an evolving storyline.

now my expiriance with other then GW is extremly limited, mostly to seeing other people play infinity. And that games seems to have a lot of different scenarios and a lot more in game interactions durning each players turn, then w40k, and the people playing it don't seem to require long talks about what to play. Plus the situation you describe only happens, when two player have over 2000pts and maybe multiple factions owned. When two people have two normal armies, what talk is there to be made? Player A tells player B, that mission X is going to wreck him, if they try to play it. And what next, only option to fix it is not to play the game.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 07:41:17


Post by: Jidmah


happy_inquisitor wrote:
catbarf wrote:
happy_inquisitor wrote:
I am satisfied if every faction can be built to a mission set so that they get a reasonable set of results from the resulting games.

You want any given list archetype to do just as well in a mission set as one which was carefully designed for those missions.


Uh, no, he pretty clearly wants a list archetype that is common in the background, and represents roughly a third of the codex, to be reasonably viable as a take-all-comers list. Yeah, Speed Freeks are probably going to be better at some missions than others, but on the whole it should even out, and right now it doesn't.

Knights represent the same problem from the other perspective. In theory an all-Knights army should suffer in any mission that requires objective control. In practice their ability to survive any list not geared towards killing them nullifies that disadvantage, and they're very frustrating for a take-all-comers list to play against.


All knight lists are mediocre at best in the GW tournaments, not well suited to the missions. They do well enough in ITC because of the mission design.

I understand what he wants, the only answer would be a radical overhaul of mission design and a move away from fixed predefined missions. I am extremely doubtful that there is much appetite for that in the wider competitive community.


How is a speed freaks army any different from an craftworld jetbike army? Or a harlequin army? Or drukhari lists based around their bikes and transports? Because those do well in all kinds of missions, which means there is at least one example to prove your theory wrong.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 07:59:28


Post by: Not Online!!!


Spoiler:
 Jidmah wrote:
happy_inquisitor wrote:
catbarf wrote:
happy_inquisitor wrote:
I am satisfied if every faction can be built to a mission set so that they get a reasonable set of results from the resulting games.

You want any given list archetype to do just as well in a mission set as one which was carefully designed for those missions.


Uh, no, he pretty clearly wants a list archetype that is common in the background, and represents roughly a third of the codex, to be reasonably viable as a take-all-comers list. Yeah, Speed Freeks are probably going to be better at some missions than others, but on the whole it should even out, and right now it doesn't.

Knights represent the same problem from the other perspective. In theory an all-Knights army should suffer in any mission that requires objective control. In practice their ability to survive any list not geared towards killing them nullifies that disadvantage, and they're very frustrating for a take-all-comers list to play against.


All knight lists are mediocre at best in the GW tournaments, not well suited to the missions. They do well enough in ITC because of the mission design.

I understand what he wants, the only answer would be a radical overhaul of mission design and a move away from fixed predefined missions. I am extremely doubtful that there is much appetite for that in the wider competitive community.


How is a speed freaks army any different from an craftworld jetbike army? Or a harlequin army? Or drukhari lists based around their bikes and transports? Because those do well in all kinds of missions, which means there is at least one example to prove your theory wrong.


Orkz are not supposed to work, didn't you get the Memo?


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 10:40:48


Post by: Jidmah


Not Online!!! wrote:
Orkz are not supposed to work, didn't you get the Memo?


Tracking shows the memo is currently at the delivery center on Cadia and will be delivered soon.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 12:30:27


Post by: Amishprn86


100% yes, balance = more options and the players shifts the meta on its own without point changes.

If the game was (its impossible tho) perfectly balanced, you'll see many different lists all the time.

But note balance mean equal points for equal levels of power, balance doesnt mean a tough transport tank can shoot as well as a one made to shoot, it means the options to transport units is equally desirable as to have a tank shooting and if you had a Gunline of tanks vs a Rhino rush army, each would be equally viable and able to win.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 13:14:11


Post by: catbarf


happy_inquisitor wrote:
I understand what he wants, the only answer would be a radical overhaul of mission design and a move away from fixed predefined missions. I am extremely doubtful that there is much appetite for that in the wider competitive community.


I don't think you understand what he wants at all. 'Make Ork bikes, buggies, transports, and tanks not horrendously overcosted for what they are' has nothing to do with mission design.

They are not poor units because they are suited for specific missions. They just don't offer enough on the table to justify their cost.

Right now the only tournament-viable Tyranid list is Swarmlord, Flyrants, a unit of Hive Guard, and as many Genestealers as I can take, under the Kraken hive fleet. That's it. If I want to take Hormagaunts, Termagants, Warriors, or Carnifexes- you know, the basic units of the army that are staples in the fluff- am I building an overly-specialized fluffy army that deserves to lose in take-all-comers games? What's the niche mission that this army composition is tailored to win?

This tournament mindset that it's balanced if each codex has just one viable build is hurting the game. There are standout units and a lot of crap- not 'only useful for a specific mission type', but actually never worth taking- and it diminishes the idea of meaningful choice in listbuilding.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 13:20:12


Post by: Nurglitch


I figure horde-stuff like Tyranids, Orks, and so on needs to be able to recycle models/units back onto the table. It de-values the super-OMG-elite stuff in SM, CSM, and Aeldari to make it better, and making it cheaper is ludicrous when it's so damned expensive. I think the Mek Gun is the most expensive model per point in the game, for example. Plus the tables aren't big enough. Better to have a horde constantly recycling back onto the board.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 13:50:07


Post by: aka_mythos


I think asking people if they want "balance" is like asking if they want "world peace"; everyone wants it but it means different things to different people.

Before you can really discuss wanting 'balance' I think you have to actually define it. Some think balance is 1:1 equivalency, either in points or some other measure. However in a lot of ways its a lot more abstract and should be thought of as less exacting and more of a tolerance or some measure of acceptable variability. Two nearly identical units don't need to be exactly the same number of points to the exact decimal point they just need to be a hypothetical nominal value +/- some percentage of that nominal value and you have 'balance'.

The balance of the game can then be visualized as a distribution curve taking stated cost and performance into consideration, where the smaller the standard deviation the more balanced the game is.

I think the greatest difficulty in imposing balance on the game is that people want point efficiency. Point efficiency is in direct opposition to a balanced system. Point efficiency is indicative of a greater than normal deviation from the nominal value of the unit. And any manipulation of point values by game developers that intentionally puts units on the less efficient extreme while simultaneously putting similar units at the efficient extreme, to sell more, creates greater deviation, variation, and imbalance. You have to eliminate any intentional point efficiency to achieve balance.

This issue of balance is most problematic where you have rules that have no point cost associated with them as it imposes a greater abstraction between what units do and their point costs.

Expecting that 400 points of guard should perform similarly well to 400 points of Imperial Knight is kinda at the heart of it. However where the balance of the system is strained the most is where you a lot of very similar units with point unaccounted rules being priced similarly. This sort of cramming into a point value creates greater variability and standard deviation between their point costs and nominal point costs. MEQs are a good example of that. The game was designed around the Marines because they're the protagonists and so ubiquitous relative to other armies. The nature of the point system forces rounding on a low level and on a higher level it can quickly translate to two armies more significantly apart than their stated point values would imply.

This comes down to two types of granularity, one in the capability of units and one in point values. The granularity of units is simple, being based on a game that uses d6 with stats in a particular range means their is statistically a point where unit can't get any weaker relative to what they can achieve. You see it with the horde units like Guard, Cultists, etc... where even if you make them weaker after a given point they really don't get any worse.

You then have the granularity of the point system in general, where significance is rounded to the nearest whole point. This is where point efficiency, the glut of like units, and the relative cost of the weakest units really start to compound. All this is the long term consequence of GW dropping point values to get us to play larger games. We still typically play 1800-2000 pt games after all these editions using a system rooted and built off of earlier editions of the game that would have valued our current armies as ~3000pts. 3000pts is now 2000pts and 2000pts is now 100PL... but what is 1PL what is 1pt? For the game to be 'balanced' it means up to the point deviation can be reigned in, the smallest significant element should be accounted for.

As made apparent with horde units, that simply isn't the case. The first step to balancing the game would thus be to rebase the entire point system around the weakest model and base all other point costs relative to that, where in the past the game has been costed and 'balanced' around the more ubiquitous MEQ.

Asymmetrical balance is either going to be by feel and prone to bias or it has to be based on some sort of statistical modelling and a more direct relationship between point costs and unit performance... with an acceptable and unmanipulated tolerance. That tolerance as whole could be dialed in based on feel but once set any manipulation would make it necessary to redetermine all point costs.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 13:53:35


Post by: auticus


I used to think the players wanted balance. That seemed obvious to me.

Oh how wrong I was.

I had the privilege of writing one of the Age of Sigmar fan comps that was used by a good many tournaments before GW official points killed all of the fan projects off.

One of the biggest complaints sent to our playtest group was that the points were way too boring because they were too balanced and list building didn't mean as much.

That list building didn't mean as much.

List building.

You can't have list building be impactful if the game is also balanced, because if you look at balanced, you see multiple load outs would be equal in value, which removes the value of list building.

People attracted to GW games want list building to be a major impact.

Which means you require less balance to pull off.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 13:55:46


Post by: Jidmah


catbarf wrote:
This tournament mindset that it's balanced if each codex has just one viable build is hurting the game. There are standout units and a lot of crap- not 'only useful for a specific mission type', but actually never worth taking- and it diminishes the idea of meaningful choice in listbuilding.


I don't think this is intentional. You need some sort of measuring stick to check whether you have balance or not. Getting one viable build for every army is a good start since you can't really compare units across codices - no matter how much some people want to.
Once you have one viable build, you can identify and adjust other archetypes to match the performance of that build. I think the Space Marines codex tried to do this by nerfing the Gulliman gimic and improving other chapters and options.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 14:23:13


Post by: Not Online!!!


 auticus wrote:
I used to think the players wanted balance. That seemed obvious to me.

Oh how wrong I was.

I had the privilege of writing one of the Age of Sigmar fan comps that was used by a good many tournaments before GW official points killed all of the fan projects off.

One of the biggest complaints sent to our playtest group was that the points were way too boring because they were too balanced and list building didn't mean as much.

That list building didn't mean as much.

List building.

You can't have list building be impactful if the game is also balanced, because if you look at balanced, you see multiple load outs would be equal in value, which removes the value of list building.

People attracted to GW games want list building to be a major impact.

Which means you require less balance to pull off.


I'd like something like that for 40k.

But then all the meta chasers would burn me


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 14:34:41


Post by: Amishprn86


 auticus wrote:
I used to think the players wanted balance. That seemed obvious to me.

Oh how wrong I was.

I had the privilege of writing one of the Age of Sigmar fan comps that was used by a good many tournaments before GW official points killed all of the fan projects off.

One of the biggest complaints sent to our playtest group was that the points were way too boring because they were too balanced and list building didn't mean as much.

That list building didn't mean as much.

List building.

You can't have list building be impactful if the game is also balanced, because if you look at balanced, you see multiple load outs would be equal in value, which removes the value of list building.

People attracted to GW games want list building to be a major impact.

Which means you require less balance to pull off.


List build and balanced points are 2 different things tho.

Lets say everything is equally perfect in balance with regards to points. That means you can make a viable melee army, a viable mix army, a viable shooting army, a viable tanky army, a viable horde army, etc.. etc.. That means you have MORE list building options.

But players like uniqueness with that list building, if you are just raw stats and points then yes it is boring, but having characters buff melee, then some buff shooting, some give 0 buffs and are just cool (like Sly Marbo for example) or some are just beat sticks (like Smash Captains) then players, also players needs to bee able to put something personal into it, something they like.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 14:39:37


Post by: auticus


List building and balanced points are indeed two different things, but they conflict with each other.

You cannot have both meaningful list building and truly balanced points at the same time. You have to sacrifice from one to get the other.



Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 15:07:26


Post by: A.T.


 auticus wrote:
You cannot have both meaningful list building and truly balanced points at the same time. You have to sacrifice from one to get the other.
Why do you think that?

The decision to take adequate screening units for artillery, or to take complimentary units that can move at the same speed to work together, or the choice between generalist and specialist units are just a few examples. Unless you consider list building to equate to taking purely the most points efficient units.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 15:13:35


Post by: auticus


Because in every instance of my life where points have been very close to balanced (in a variety of games) the #1 complaint is always that that level of balance is boring and that it negates list building, and that list building is what those people desire most.

This same phenomenon happens in video game design as well, where several projects that I have had to work on had a lot of user complaints of "its boring because everything is balanced and we dont want chess."

For many, meaningful list building means that if you don't take the most optimal list, that you should be at a significant disadvantage over someone that does.

The more lists you can build, the more unhappy those people get because you are lessening what they consider to be impactful choices. If I can make 10 different competitive builds from a codex, then the most optimal list isn't as powerful.

Now I'm not saying everyone thinks this, but I have found a great number of people feel this way in both tabletop gaming and video gaming when it comes to building forces.

If 2000 points really meant 2000 points, it would cause a lot of angst. It causes angst in games that get close to that mark, caused angst in the fan comp days of AOS, and causes angst in the video game world for similar reasons.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 15:18:24


Post by: Slayer-Fan123


Yeah no. "I can take three broken units instead of two" is not "impactful" decision making no matter how you want to spin it.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 15:24:44


Post by: auticus


Well to some people that is precisely what impactful listbuilding is.

I don't like or agree with that personally but there are a lot of people that do.

More pointedly, rooting out the broken units themselves is what they find to be fun, figuring out that they are optimal / undercost is what they find to be fun, and building a list that gets the most juice for the squeeze is why they play.

Balanced points ruins that.

The question that we cannot answer is just what is the ratio of people that want that vs the people that want real points balance.

I cannot answer that question and localized polls won't give you the answer either. The only one that could answer that would be GW in their annual global polls, and they don't share their data.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 15:50:24


Post by: Amishprn86


I think you are thinking about it the wrong way, you are not talking about real balance, you are still talking about netlists that has a clear winning list, that is still not balanced.

We havent seen true balance in 40k, and we never will, its impossible. But look at other games like Chess and Go, their are what some masters call "Life time knowledge of strategy" and they still study other players b.c each person has a different way of playing, and yet those games are as balance as you can make a game.

So no, i completely disagree with that you are saying and a perfectly balance game will make MORE fun and viable lists, it will make even more meaning full list building, especially when a player can make his army literally HIS WAY, if he wants all bikes, its viable, if they want all flyers, its viable, etc...

And rooting for the underdog units might be a few peoples idea of fun, but thats still not the same thing, that is making the game more challenging or being know as "that guy that won with the bad units" i dont agree that is part of list building fun, ut more for social recognition. If someone truly wanted to be challenged in a balanced game they would go after better players like what all sports do.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 15:59:12


Post by: auticus


Well that still doesn't address the numerous complaints from more balanced games or past fan comps of

"the points are too balanced that they are boring and make list building not as important". which were numerous enough to make us have to rethink how we were doing things, and is something that game design in the videogame sphere has to also wrestle with.



Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 16:10:34


Post by: Amishprn86


What more balanced games have complaints? What are you talking about?



Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 16:11:35


Post by: Snugiraffe


 Amishprn86 wrote:
I think you are thinking about it the wrong way, you are not talking about real balance, you are still talking about netlists that has a clear winning list, that is still not balanced.

We havent seen true balance in 40k, and we never will, its impossible. But look at other games like Chess and Go, their are what some masters call "Life time knowledge of strategy" and they still study other players b.c each person has a different way of playing, and yet those games are as balance as you can make a game.

So no, i completely disagree with that you are saying and a perfectly balance game will make MORE fun and viable lists, it will make even more meaning full list building, especially when a player can make his army literally HIS WAY, if he wants all bikes, its viable, if they want all flyers, its viable, etc...

And rooting for the underdog units might be a few peoples idea of fun, but thats still not the same thing, that is making the game more challenging or being know as "that guy that won with the bad units" i dont agree that is part of list building fun, ut more for social recognition. If someone truly wanted to be challenged in a balanced game they would go after better players like what all sports do.


Yes, but auticus's point is precisely that - if you have a huge variety of viable lists, you won't be able to make accurate predictions of your chances at winning a game simply by building a list and comparing it on paper with the various viable lists an opponent might bring. And that's what a fair share of players seem to want listbuilding to be: a means to produce as much control over the game as possible before the armies have even hit the table. If list A is viable as lists B through P, your impact on the game doesn't really start until you're actually deploying units.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 16:12:35


Post by: Xenomancers


I want balance in so far as we don't have 2 units that do exactly the same thing with one being so much obviously better while even being cheaper...that is just unacceptable. I am okay and actually want for some imbalance to exist...Like certain factions should have better premier units that go with their main idea ie - Eldar should be the fastest/ tau should be the shootiest.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 16:26:54


Post by: Amishprn86


Snugiraffe wrote:
 Amishprn86 wrote:
I think you are thinking about it the wrong way, you are not talking about real balance, you are still talking about netlists that has a clear winning list, that is still not balanced.

We havent seen true balance in 40k, and we never will, its impossible. But look at other games like Chess and Go, their are what some masters call "Life time knowledge of strategy" and they still study other players b.c each person has a different way of playing, and yet those games are as balance as you can make a game.

So no, i completely disagree with that you are saying and a perfectly balance game will make MORE fun and viable lists, it will make even more meaning full list building, especially when a player can make his army literally HIS WAY, if he wants all bikes, its viable, if they want all flyers, its viable, etc...

And rooting for the underdog units might be a few peoples idea of fun, but thats still not the same thing, that is making the game more challenging or being know as "that guy that won with the bad units" i dont agree that is part of list building fun, ut more for social recognition. If someone truly wanted to be challenged in a balanced game they would go after better players like what all sports do.


Yes, but auticus's point is precisely that - if you have a huge variety of viable lists, you won't be able to make accurate predictions of your chances at winning a game simply by building a list and comparing it on paper with the various viable lists an opponent might bring. And that's what a fair share of players seem to want listbuilding to be: a means to produce as much control over the game as possible before the armies have even hit the table. If list A is viable as lists B through P, your impact on the game doesn't really start until you're actually deploying units.


But you are missing my point, if everything is equally balanced then only skill matters, it doesnt matter what your opponent brings only that you have your movements/turn/target priorities right for his list/mission.

If players wnat to list tailor then they dont want a game, thats not a player that cares about balance, fun, or rules, they only want to win, and then it doesnt work out all the time anyways.

The Meta isn't the same everything b.c it shifts all the time, within my own local tournament of the same 20 people, they all bring something different each time to focus on that "one" player that got 1st or beat them, but that 1 player isn't always taking the same list, or isn't always going to be their opponent.

We see this at tournaments all the time, someone makes a counter meta list and doesnt go against any of those list, b.c believe it or not, not all players play netlists, then they get mad and say they are underpower or the opponent is over power and come onto the internet to complain when it was their own fault.

The meta shifts on its own, that is my point, when all units are balanced equally you'll still have players will a more balance list put together (AKA not all walking slow troops with no melee) you'll still have tac lists and still need to focus o the missions, but with the units being equal you dont need to worry if your opponents biker is stronger than your biker, they might have different roles, aka his is a shooting biker (SM) and mine is a melee biker (Orks) at least you feel good in knowing they are equal in power level and it comes down to who players better.



Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 16:27:00


Post by: auticus


 Amishprn86 wrote:
What more balanced games have complaints? What are you talking about?



I have heard that the game / points are too balanced and therefore boring because listbuilding is not as important in fan comp for AOS before official points, in Kings of War regularly, in Saga, Warlords of Erehwon, and in Antares. I have also seen it many times in 40k forums, though only in discussions about balance (since 40k has never had balanced points).


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 16:31:09


Post by: Slayer-Fan123


 auticus wrote:
 Amishprn86 wrote:
What more balanced games have complaints? What are you talking about?



I have heard that the game / points are too balanced and therefore boring because listbuilding is not as important in fan comp for AOS before official points, in Kings of War regularly, in Saga, Warlords of Erehwon, and in Antares. I have also seen it many times in 40k forums, though only in discussions about balance (since 40k has never had balanced points).

Find those posts because that's a load of crap.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 16:36:07


Post by: auticus


Yeah I'll get right on that for you tough guy.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 16:43:13


Post by: Slayer-Fan123


 auticus wrote:
Yeah I'll get right on that for you tough guy.

You're the one that made the claim, not me. If this is a rampant train of thought people have, and is happening a lot, it should be easy to find LOTS of examples of it.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 16:47:30


Post by: auticus


You're a professional trash talking contrarian. Getting into a mixup with you is like trying to nuke a hurricane and expect it to do anything. You move goalposts everywhere.

I provide an example, you say its not enough.

I provide multiple examples, you come back and pedantically argue that it could mean something else - to the contrary for the sake of being to the contrary.

I pay my mortgage off of game design. This is a topic that game designers have to wrestle with because its a recognized thing.

Thats all I have to say to you, because no matter what I can come up with, you're going to have something to say on the contrary. There are certainly a lot better ways to spend time doing than trying to argue with a contrarian who has boasted in the past about enjoying being a contrarian.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 16:52:44


Post by: Da Boss


Just chiming in to say I have seen versions of what Auticus describes over the years, particularly in Kings of War when compared to Warhammer Fantasy, and more recently to some extent in the thread about competitive 40K.

People like the listbuilding phase as a puzzle to solve, it is also a solo activity that you can do without any hobby materials other than the book. I get why it is popular. I used to do a lot of messing around with lists in 5e. No judgement from me on those people that enjoy it.

Now I am more interested in getting a reasonably fair game out of any models I choose to use (given a bit of effort toward making a combined arms force). 40K seems like a bit of a crapshoot and a lot of money and effort for that, so I am looking elsewhere.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 17:12:28


Post by: A.T.


 auticus wrote:
This same phenomenon happens in video game design as well, where several projects that I have had to work on had a lot of user complaints of "its boring because everything is balanced and we dont want chess."
Not much you can do about this - some people want a level playing field, some don't. Can't please them both.


 auticus wrote:
For many, meaningful list building means that if you don't take the most optimal list, that you should be at a significant disadvantage over someone that does.
Optimal list building should be about taking a sensible selection of units to carry out a playstyle, choosing how much outright power to sacrifice for redundancy, picking areas to be weaker in order to have areas where you are stronger, fitting your unit selection to your playstyle, to the game objective structure, and to other factors such as turn time limits and list building restrictions.

Of course all of that actually requires someone who wants meaningful list building in the sense that their choices are meaningful, rather than those who want 'meaningful' list building in the sense some unit or another is poorly balanced enough to give them a meaningful advantage.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 17:53:26


Post by: Vankraken


A.T. wrote:
 auticus wrote:
This same phenomenon happens in video game design as well, where several projects that I have had to work on had a lot of user complaints of "its boring because everything is balanced and we dont want chess."
Not much you can do about this - some people want a level playing field, some don't. Can't please them both.


While this is true, there is a difference between asemetrical balance (StarCraft is a good example of this) vs homogenizing everything to being closer copies of the same thing (see the class iterations over a few expansions in WoW). 8th did a lot of that when everything went to the indexes and you end up with a lot of weapons, units, abilities that are different basically in name only with extremely similar if not exactly the same stats, rules, etc.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 18:13:39


Post by: G00fySmiley


Its not bad to have units that have different purposes. The issue is when some units are just plain better than others. when you look at a codex adn say well X Y and Z will make oturnamnt lists, A, B, and C have some limited use, meanwhile Units L, M ,N, and O tough luck maybe they will get better rules in another 12 months during chapter approved, until then they are garbage and will not see play.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 18:18:46


Post by: Overread


It's also important to note that some people like unbalanced situations only so they can build the power list and feel like they can get continual easy wins from the game. They are the same kind of player who will complain endlessly if their army isn't the most powerful broken army in the game (or they jump ship continually between armies to keep ahead of the game - which isn't always to GW's benefit because they often have a low value on the models so will second hand buy wherever they can).

So sometimes what people want has to be translated and then extrapolated to work out if its really of benefit for the community as a whole.

this group also misses out on the fact taht if the whole game is imbalanced then at some point people will gravitate toward the imbalanced forces more and more; so the difference in imbalance actually levels out once again. Either resulting in a game balanced at a certain level with certain combos; or resulting in a situation of whoever gets to combo-first wins. That can be ok in something like Magic where you've a lot more random and games are faster; but in wargames the random is a touch less (you don't ramdom draw your army for the table) and the games far longer.



In general I think many are happier with more even pitched games even if they want an easy cheat option to win


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 18:27:29


Post by: Kaiyanwang


 Overread wrote:
It's also important to note that some people like unbalanced situations only so they can build the power list and feel like they can get continual easy wins from the game. They are the same kind of player who will complain endlessly if their army isn't the most powerful broken army in the game (or they jump ship continually between armies to keep ahead of the game - which isn't always to GW's benefit because they often have a low value on the models so will second hand buy wherever they can).

Also "the codex is fine because this single broken build. Does not matter it will be nerfed in 3 months, I will have sold my greytide and bought the new hotness by then".
This is what back then contributed to kill WHFB in my area.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 18:40:37


Post by: Daedalus81


 G00fySmiley wrote:
Its not bad to have units that have different purposes. The issue is when some units are just plain better than others. when you look at a codex adn say well X Y and Z will make oturnamnt lists, A, B, and C have some limited use, meanwhile Units L, M ,N, and O tough luck maybe they will get better rules in another 12 months during chapter approved, until then they are garbage and will not see play.


The differences are far more marginal than the internet would have you believe. I mean we haven't even had a 30 page debate about IS in quite some time.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 18:44:17


Post by: Apple fox


 auticus wrote:
I used to think the players wanted balance. That seemed obvious to me.

Oh how wrong I was.

I had the privilege of writing one of the Age of Sigmar fan comps that was used by a good many tournaments before GW official points killed all of the fan projects off.

One of the biggest complaints sent to our playtest group was that the points were way too boring because they were too balanced and list building didn't mean as much.

That list building didn't mean as much.

List building.

You can't have list building be impactful if the game is also balanced, because if you look at balanced, you see multiple load outs would be equal in value, which removes the value of list building.

People attracted to GW games want list building to be a major impact.

Which means you require less balance to pull off.


That actuly makes the game sound like a very bland experience, rather than a issue with balance itself. SInce even with as best posible balance, units in Age of Sigmar interact and buff each other. So list building would be a thing that players have to think about. At least over just throwing out units to make up there points quota.



Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 18:47:50


Post by: auticus


I think it was put very well on the prior page. A lot of people approach the game like a puzzle and want to "solve it" with the most potent list.

Those people are not as excited by games where you don't solve them in the list building phase.



Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 18:48:13


Post by: Overread


We also have to remember more people complain than compliment (dakka is a good showcase for this - despite most of the membership happily playing the game there is WAY more complaining than complimenting going on).

So sometimes you've got to filter things. I also think that sometimes people mistake things. They mistake army building for finding that broken power list. It takes time for such a mentality to change and it will only change with a rules set that plays outa balance system.


In theory balanced games make FAR more interesting army building because now the gains and losses are far more subtle and harder to spot for the power builders. Whilst at the same time there are far more overall choices for armies; esp armies iwth more unit variety. This means more chance to put the toys on the table rather than only one subset. For GW as a company having balanced armies means more increase of sales because now you've got more reason to build more than one working list. You don't just stop with one.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 auticus wrote:
I think it was put very well on the prior page. A lot of people approach the game like a puzzle and want to "solve it" with the most potent list.

Those people are not as excited by games where you don't solve them in the list building phase.



You know another thought is that online we don't actually talk about tactics all that much. Those people might well lack many if any game skills because we don't really talk about it much. List building is ALL anyone really talks about in any depth. Try striking up a chat about flank attacks and deployment strategy or such and its a DARN hard thing to get more than a couple of replies or keep things focused on the game iwthout falling into list building discussion. Even lets-play videos and twitch don't really focus on it and commentators don't really look at the strategy either.

It's a huge gap which results in gamers who are focused on the list building phase and who lack skills, language, understanding and key concepts of the actual "game" itself. So to me its no surprise they get hooked on the list building because its something they can learn and interact with and get feedback on. The rest of the game its far harder to overlooked in a huge way even to the point where many say "Oh there's no tactics its just whoever brings the best list who wins" and "Oh eh I don't know about that; we just play all lined up and see who wins first in the shooting"


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 18:58:58


Post by: auticus


You know another thought is that online we don't actually talk about tactics all that much.


Thats very true and in the whfb days on warseer (and before that portent) I used to run a site with tacticals and battle reports which turned into video reports as the internet wore on.

The thing is, there isn't really much to talk about past the first couple videos.

Especially with 40k.

40k is mostly target priority, understanding what to target, and how to get into objectives without losing focus on what your objectives are in the first place.

Its a lot easier to say "ok this army has these two busted units so take as many as you can and then max CP so you can take this busted command ability" than it is to put up a series of diagrams that take a few hours to create, which is why you hardly ever see any meaningful content when it comes to actual tactics.

Though I would love to see someone resume doing videos of that nature that weren't also behind a pay wall.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 19:02:39


Post by: jeff white


 auticus wrote:
I think it was put very well on the prior page. A lot of people approach the game like a puzzle and want to "solve it" with the most potent list.

Those people are not as excited by games where you don't solve them in the list building phase.





Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 19:05:14


Post by: Overread


Thing is even target priority is a lesson for many people. They might get a very basic "this is my anti tank rocket I shoot it at the tank" until someone throws a skimmer army at them and suddenly the accuracy of that 1 rocket fails against the skimmers and they are left floundering.

There's a good chunk of content to cover, but then it needs repeating over and over. Because the market is always moving. It's like a magazine subscription. Anyone who reads hobby magazines often spots the same articles going around and around every single year. That' the magazine focusing a new year on the new generation coming through for whom its all fresh.

Yet they wrap it up in a fresh article each time because that also engages the intermediates who might pick up a little tip each time and don't know it "all" yet, but know enough to get started.



I agree that it would be great to see, but so far its never really caught on in a big way. I figure its because its a lot of work to produce quality video and written articles on the subject andm any of those with the skill to do it well and teach it well don't have the time/money to devote to it. One might hope that a well put together initial series of videos and articles could jumpstart something running through something like patreon - trickle feeding in a good budget through mass appeal and tiny support per person .


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 19:08:53


Post by: jeff white


 Overread wrote:
We also have to remember more people complain than compliment (dakka is a good showcase for this - despite most of the membership happily playing the game there is WAY more complaining than complimenting going on).

So sometimes you've got to filter things. I also think that sometimes people mistake things. They mistake army building for finding that broken power list. It takes time for such a mentality to change and it will only change with a rules set that plays outa balance system.


In theory balanced games make FAR more interesting army building because now the gains and losses are far more subtle and harder to spot for the power builders. Whilst at the same time there are far more overall choices for armies; esp armies iwth more unit variety. This means more chance to put the toys on the table rather than only one subset. For GW as a company having balanced armies means more increase of sales because now you've got more reason to build more than one working list. You don't just stop with one.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 auticus wrote:
I think it was put very well on the prior page. A lot of people approach the game like a puzzle and want to "solve it" with the most potent list.

Those people are not as excited by games where you don't solve them in the list building phase.



You know another thought is that online we don't actually talk about tactics all that much. Those people might well lack many if any game skills because we don't really talk about it much. List building is ALL anyone really talks about in any depth. Try striking up a chat about flank attacks and deployment strategy or such and its a DARN hard thing to get more than a couple of replies or keep things focused on the game iwthout falling into list building discussion. Even lets-play videos and twitch don't really focus on it and commentators don't really look at the strategy either.

It's a huge gap which results in gamers who are focused on the list building phase and who lack skills, language, understanding and key concepts of the actual "game" itself. So to me its no surprise they get hooked on the list building because its something they can learn and interact with and get feedback on. The rest of the game its far harder to overlooked in a huge way even to the point where many say "Oh there's no tactics its just whoever brings the best list who wins" and "Oh eh I don't know about that; we just play all lined up and see who wins first in the shooting"


I think so too, and saw it as a mutation induced by MtG and CCG bleed into a more recent boardgame resurgence, generational due, well, the fact that my generation was less affected (being born earlier and raised during less of a snow-flaky reboot era) and regardless of age due to exposure to certain other influences, for instance having grown up with guns, or playing in the chess leagues...


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 19:12:03


Post by: skchsan


While I understand the argument regarding the "fun" of list building, I fail to see the validity of this argument.

This is like saying "The most fun thing about starcraft/warcraft/any other RTS is base building and max unit accrual. Actually going to battle is not as fun because I can already determine my chances of defeating my opponent solely based on how I've created the best possible army composition."


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 19:15:57


Post by: Overread


 skchsan wrote:
While I understand the argument regarding the "fun" of list building, I fail to see the validity of this argument.

This is like saying "The most fun thing about starcraft/warcraft/any other RTS is base building and max unit accrual. Actually going to battle is not as fun because I can already determine my chances of defeating my opponent solely based on how I've created the best possible army composition."


As I noted above I think its because many gamers understand list building but not the game itself. The community feeds this by focsuing on list building more and more. There is loads of talk on it but so little of actually how to make those lists work on the table. So they build toward power-lists where you put down a combination or unit that is so overpowered that it requires no finesse or control to use. You just point it forward and win. I think if the community had a flipover and focused away from lists and into game tactics the "demand" would shift as more people would be able to get the puzzle solving in the game itself.

Rightnow they see it as boring because they don't understand the potential to do stuff on the table. Of course tables with almost no terrain and no line of sight blocking terrain directly feed into this "lack of choices/thinking" in the tabletop side of things.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 19:28:40


Post by: skchsan


 Overread wrote:
 skchsan wrote:
While I understand the argument regarding the "fun" of list building, I fail to see the validity of this argument.

This is like saying "The most fun thing about starcraft/warcraft/any other RTS is base building and max unit accrual. Actually going to battle is not as fun because I can already determine my chances of defeating my opponent solely based on how I've created the best possible army composition."


As I noted above I think its because many gamers understand list building but not the game itself. The community feeds this by focsuing on list building more and more. There is loads of talk on it but so little of actually how to make those lists work on the table. So they build toward power-lists where you put down a combination or unit that is so overpowered that it requires no finesse or control to use. You just point it forward and win. I think if the community had a flipover and focused away from lists and into game tactics the "demand" would shift as more people would be able to get the puzzle solving in the game itself.

Rightnow they see it as boring because they don't understand the potential to do stuff on the table. Of course tables with almost no terrain and no line of sight blocking terrain directly feed into this "lack of choices/thinking" in the tabletop side of things.
Regarding the underlined - the issue is that these "overpowered" units generally tends to ignore all the core mechanics of the game (i.e. firing heavy weapon after moving, moving through other units, shoot while within 1" of enemy unit, fall back and shoot). In this aspect, I do agree with the OP in that the creators aren't truly thinking about how these cool, shiny new toys fit into the given sets of rules (apart from the fact they outright ignore them) and instead are provided as "IWIN" buttons until sales start to decline (or they've reached the required margin of return and don't care about pushing sales for that particular item any longer).

Within a balanced set of rules, each individual units need to have their strong suit and intrinsic weakness. Balance is unattainable if select few units are strong in all aspects and weak to none.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 19:29:45


Post by: Da Boss


 skchsan wrote:
While I understand the argument regarding the "fun" of list building, I fail to see the validity of this argument.

This is like saying "The most fun thing about starcraft/warcraft/any other RTS is base building and max unit accrual. Actually going to battle is not as fun because I can already determine my chances of defeating my opponent solely based on how I've created the best possible army composition."


I mean I kinda get what you mean, but it isn't like the list building is the only thing people who are into it do. They also play, and generally enjoy their games. For me, when I was into this, it was like a little experiment each time to see how my list would work. But I might have spent a lot of time beforehand doing the maths, trying to come up with interesting and powerful combinations, more time than was spent gaming. And sometimes the list only got used once, to test an idea, and was then shelved, so the time spent planning the list was much more than the time spent using it.

I just enjoyed both periods of time, in a different way. The list building was something for me to do while working a boring job with basically no mental stimulation (I was a security guard in a pretty quiet womens clothes shop). I played in a group with likeminded people who also enjoyed the puzzle aspect and liked to test their lists against similarly hardcore lists.

I think it is a perfectly valid way to have fun, but I think it is overall not good for the hobby for the game to be designed to feed into that, particularly when entire factions get left out in the cold because the designers are unprofessional and do not make an effort for all factions.
Now, I am mostly in the mood to throw down some models and get a game in, and I want a game that lets me do that with whatever part of my miniature collection strikes my fancy without having to worry too much about having an unfun game. I essentially do not want to have to spend that time I previously enjoyed on list building because I have a lot of other stuff occupying my time, and I would rather just play some fun games with some models I think are cool. Am I a "better" player now than before? No, but I think I am closer to what a lot of people who play the game "casually" are like, just because they are kids just getting into it and have not even considered anything other than buying the coolest miniatures, or they are old farts like me with demanding jobs who do not want to engage too deeply with the listbuilding outside of the game for whatever reason.

That said, as Auticus points out, there are plenty of people who are like me 10 years ago who love this puzzle-list stuff and they tend to be very active, very engaged and sometimes very vocal. They are also important to the game.

I dunno, I don't think there is an obvious answer to all of this. I find all the stuff about Command Point farming and so on super offputting, and I want to be able to use the models I own without too much stressing out about effectiveness. Grimdark Future seems to give me what I want, so I am gonna start a wee club (third time in my life doing that) to teach some people how to play. YMM, as always, V.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 19:37:04


Post by: skchsan


 Da Boss wrote:
 skchsan wrote:
While I understand the argument regarding the "fun" of list building, I fail to see the validity of this argument.

This is like saying "The most fun thing about starcraft/warcraft/any other RTS is base building and max unit accrual. Actually going to battle is not as fun because I can already determine my chances of defeating my opponent solely based on how I've created the best possible army composition."


I mean I kinda get what you mean, but it isn't like the list building is the only thing people who are into it do. They also play, and generally enjoy their games. For me, when I was into this, it was like a little experiment each time to see how my list would work. But I might have spent a lot of time beforehand doing the maths, trying to come up with interesting and powerful combinations, more time than was spent gaming. And sometimes the list only got used once, to test an idea, and was then shelved, so the time spent planning the list was much more than the time spent using it.

I just enjoyed both periods of time, in a different way. The list building was something for me to do while working a boring job with basically no mental stimulation (I was a security guard in a pretty quiet womens clothes shop). I played in a group with likeminded people who also enjoyed the puzzle aspect and liked to test their lists against similarly hardcore lists.

I think it is a perfectly valid way to have fun, but I think it is overall not good for the hobby for the game to be designed to feed into that, particularly when entire factions get left out in the cold because the designers are unprofessional and do not make an effort for all factions.
Now, I am mostly in the mood to throw down some models and get a game in, and I want a game that lets me do that with whatever part of my miniature collection strikes my fancy without having to worry too much about having an unfun game. I essentially do not want to have to spend that time I previously enjoyed on list building because I have a lot of other stuff occupying my time, and I would rather just play some fun games with some models I think are cool. Am I a "better" player now than before? No, but I think I am closer to what a lot of people who play the game "casually" are like, just because they are kids just getting into it and have not even considered anything other than buying the coolest miniatures, or they are old farts like me with demanding jobs who do not want to engage too deeply with the listbuilding outside of the game for whatever reason.

That said, as Auticus points out, there are plenty of people who are like me 10 years ago who love this puzzle-list stuff and they tend to be very active, very engaged and sometimes very vocal. They are also important to the game.

I dunno, I don't think there is an obvious answer to all of this. I find all the stuff about Command Point farming and so on super offputting, and I want to be able to use the models I own without too much stressing out about effectiveness. Grimdark Future seems to give me what I want, so I am gonna start a wee club (third time in my life doing that) to teach some people how to play. YMM, as always, V.
Right. I'm not saying list building shouldn't be a large part of the game. Rather, to say that the codex shouldn't be better balanced internally as to produce more than one or two tourney winning archtype lists because it ruins the fun of list building due to the reduced predictability of your opponents during match ups is disingenuous argument.

The way in which the strengths & weaknesses of different armies are set up, it's impossible to have a "chess-like" match ups unless it's a mirror match. In fact, it's more "chess-like match up" in the current state of affair due to lack of variety within the set of min-maxed lists.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 19:40:53


Post by: G00fySmiley


 Daedalus81 wrote:
 G00fySmiley wrote:
Its not bad to have units that have different purposes. The issue is when some units are just plain better than others. when you look at a codex adn say well X Y and Z will make oturnamnt lists, A, B, and C have some limited use, meanwhile Units L, M ,N, and O tough luck maybe they will get better rules in another 12 months during chapter approved, until then they are garbage and will not see play.


The differences are far more marginal than the internet would have you believe. I mean we haven't even had a 30 page debate about IS in quite some time.


to an extent sure. like when people always insisted Tactical marines were somehow the worst unit in the game at 13 points each. They were not particularly great but they were not the worst units one could even take int the marine codex.

by that same token even the arguments some are saying about newer models being more effective. The ork buggies some are ok but some (like the squigg buggy for example) are jsut terrible for the points and really not very useful in general. mayeb chapter approved will fix it, but for now a squig buggy and to a lesser but still significant effect the snazzwagon seem like obvious wastes of points. the only reason they ever see play by me is A) I painted them so want to sometimes use them, and B) if I am purposefully down scaling my lists power due to facing a lower power army liek grey knights

speaking of grey knights... basically the whole codex even vs pre new codex marines is just bad.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 19:50:25


Post by: happy_inquisitor


catbarf wrote:
happy_inquisitor wrote:
I understand what he wants, the only answer would be a radical overhaul of mission design and a move away from fixed predefined missions. I am extremely doubtful that there is much appetite for that in the wider competitive community.


I don't think you understand what he wants at all. 'Make Ork bikes, buggies, transports, and tanks not horrendously overcosted for what they are' has nothing to do with mission design.

They are not poor units because they are suited for specific missions. They just don't offer enough on the table to justify their cost.

Right now the only tournament-viable Tyranid list is Swarmlord, Flyrants, a unit of Hive Guard, and as many Genestealers as I can take, under the Kraken hive fleet. That's it. If I want to take Hormagaunts, Termagants, Warriors, or Carnifexes- you know, the basic units of the army that are staples in the fluff- am I building an overly-specialized fluffy army that deserves to lose in take-all-comers games? What's the niche mission that this army composition is tailored to win?

This tournament mindset that it's balanced if each codex has just one viable build is hurting the game. There are standout units and a lot of crap- not 'only useful for a specific mission type', but actually never worth taking- and it diminishes the idea of meaningful choice in listbuilding.


Have you actually tried playing different missions?

I played some city fight missions with my Tau and found that in those missions my Vespid were the stars of the codex. In a more typical tournament mission they are mediocre and will not make the cut but in those missions they were stellar performers.

The US tournament crowd in particular vocally regard some things as utter trash that do absolutely fine in non-ITC mission sets. I was actually told by someone doing unit reviews that it was a waste of time reviewing a unit I suggested because it was utter garbage; a unit that had been the core of my tournament list for the previous 6 months in which I had two 1st places without losing a single game in that whole period. I am afraid I am rather at the point of not believing online opinion about "this thing is unplayable trash" because the received internet opinion is usually what is trash.

I think I will just let you carry on with your debates and your opinions. Its not like anyone is ever going to change their mind about anything anyway.





Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 19:56:34


Post by: skchsan


happy_inquisitor wrote:
Have you actually tried playing different missions?

I played some city fight missions with my Tau and found that in those missions my Vespid were the stars of the codex. In a more typical tournament mission they are mediocre and will not make the cut but in those missions they were stellar performers.
Vespids are the unsung heroes of 8th ed Tau codex. They are hands down the most underrated unit in the codex for all types of games and not just specifically city fights.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 19:57:30


Post by: Saturmorn Carvilli


 Overread wrote:
 skchsan wrote:
While I understand the argument regarding the "fun" of list building, I fail to see the validity of this argument.

This is like saying "The most fun thing about starcraft/warcraft/any other RTS is base building and max unit accrual. Actually going to battle is not as fun because I can already determine my chances of defeating my opponent solely based on how I've created the best possible army composition."


As I noted above I think its because many gamers understand list building but not the game itself. The community feeds this by focsuing on list building more and more. There is loads of talk on it but so little of actually how to make those lists work on the table. So they build toward power-lists where you put down a combination or unit that is so overpowered that it requires no finesse or control to use. You just point it forward and win. I think if the community had a flipover and focused away from lists and into game tactics the "demand" would shift as more people would be able to get the puzzle solving in the game itself.

Rightnow they see it as boring because they don't understand the potential to do stuff on the table. Of course tables with almost no terrain and no line of sight blocking terrain directly feed into this "lack of choices/thinking" in the tabletop side of things.


@skchsan,

This isn't exactly the same, but one of the things I didn't like about Warcraft III over Warcraft II and Starcraft was the focus on fighting part over the base/army building part. I was never very good at RTS games. I could brute force the single player stuff with numbers in previous games where Warcraft III didn't really allow that abuse if I remember correctly. Kinda sounds familiar to what is being discussed here.

I am becoming a worst and worst miniatures wargamer when it comes to effective playing. I just don't care about winning as much as I used to compared to having a fun game. I will probably always be a bad player in 40k because of that and I find the game far too silly to but the paralegal research and quiz show knowledge to get good at it. I am aware of that the only way I am going to consistently win is to be playing with a stacked deck of a better army. I am not so sure many 40k players know that about themselves.

@Overread,

I think you are right. I don't really care too much for list building, but I do sometimes want to make the best of ________ unit. I am currently, trying to get my all out of Primaris Reivers, and I was a little surprised how few dakkanauts could go further than they are a bad unit. I know they aren't good (but I think they are better than most of Dakka gives them credit for), but I am fielding them because I like them. Ultimately, I did get a couple of useful tips mainly to consider holding them in deep strike longer than I had been.

There does sometimes feel like their is a big divide between people that really only know the theoretical (mathhammer) and those who have actually experimented (actual play). Granted there are a fair number of units that I think don't need to be fielded to know that they aren't the most powerful option. It does seem to me that only fielding the most powerful option would be rather boring as I can see armies falling into rather predictable play patterns game after game.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 19:59:12


Post by: Da Boss


 skchsan wrote:
 Da Boss wrote:
 skchsan wrote:
While I understand the argument regarding the "fun" of list building, I fail to see the validity of this argument.

This is like saying "The most fun thing about starcraft/warcraft/any other RTS is base building and max unit accrual. Actually going to battle is not as fun because I can already determine my chances of defeating my opponent solely based on how I've created the best possible army composition."


I mean I kinda get what you mean, but it isn't like the list building is the only thing people who are into it do. They also play, and generally enjoy their games. For me, when I was into this, it was like a little experiment each time to see how my list would work. But I might have spent a lot of time beforehand doing the maths, trying to come up with interesting and powerful combinations, more time than was spent gaming. And sometimes the list only got used once, to test an idea, and was then shelved, so the time spent planning the list was much more than the time spent using it.

I just enjoyed both periods of time, in a different way. The list building was something for me to do while working a boring job with basically no mental stimulation (I was a security guard in a pretty quiet womens clothes shop). I played in a group with likeminded people who also enjoyed the puzzle aspect and liked to test their lists against similarly hardcore lists.

I think it is a perfectly valid way to have fun, but I think it is overall not good for the hobby for the game to be designed to feed into that, particularly when entire factions get left out in the cold because the designers are unprofessional and do not make an effort for all factions.
Now, I am mostly in the mood to throw down some models and get a game in, and I want a game that lets me do that with whatever part of my miniature collection strikes my fancy without having to worry too much about having an unfun game. I essentially do not want to have to spend that time I previously enjoyed on list building because I have a lot of other stuff occupying my time, and I would rather just play some fun games with some models I think are cool. Am I a "better" player now than before? No, but I think I am closer to what a lot of people who play the game "casually" are like, just because they are kids just getting into it and have not even considered anything other than buying the coolest miniatures, or they are old farts like me with demanding jobs who do not want to engage too deeply with the listbuilding outside of the game for whatever reason.

That said, as Auticus points out, there are plenty of people who are like me 10 years ago who love this puzzle-list stuff and they tend to be very active, very engaged and sometimes very vocal. They are also important to the game.

I dunno, I don't think there is an obvious answer to all of this. I find all the stuff about Command Point farming and so on super offputting, and I want to be able to use the models I own without too much stressing out about effectiveness. Grimdark Future seems to give me what I want, so I am gonna start a wee club (third time in my life doing that) to teach some people how to play. YMM, as always, V.
Right. I'm not saying list building shouldn't be a large part of the game. Rather, to say that the codex shouldn't be better balanced internally as to produce more than one or two tourney winning archtype lists because it ruins the fun of list building due to the reduced predictability of your opponents during match ups is disingenuous argument.

The way in which the strengths & weaknesses of different armies are set up, it's impossible to have a "chess-like" match ups unless it's a mirror match. In fact, it's more "chess-like match up" in the current state of affair due to lack of variety within the set of min-maxed lists.


Aha, yes. Sorry, I agree with you, misunderstood your first post.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 20:24:15


Post by: Snugiraffe


 skchsan wrote:
Spoiler:
 Overread wrote:
 skchsan wrote:
While I understand the argument regarding the "fun" of list building, I fail to see the validity of this argument.

This is like saying "The most fun thing about starcraft/warcraft/any other RTS is base building and max unit accrual. Actually going to battle is not as fun because I can already determine my chances of defeating my opponent solely based on how I've created the best possible army composition."


As I noted above I think its because many gamers understand list building but not the game itself. The community feeds this by focsuing on list building more and more. There is loads of talk on it but so little of actually how to make those lists work on the table. So they build toward power-lists where you put down a combination or unit that is so overpowered that it requires no finesse or control to use. You just point it forward and win. I think if the community had a flipover and focused away from lists and into game tactics the "demand" would shift as more people would be able to get the puzzle solving in the game itself.

Rightnow they see it as boring because they don't understand the potential to do stuff on the table. Of course tables with almost no terrain and no line of sight blocking terrain directly feed into this "lack of choices/thinking" in the tabletop side of things.


Regarding the underlined - the issue is that these "overpowered" units generally tends to ignore all the core mechanics of the game (i.e. firing heavy weapon after moving, moving through other units, shoot while within 1" of enemy unit, fall back and shoot). In this aspect, I do agree with the OP in that the creators aren't truly thinking about how these cool, shiny new toys fit into the given sets of rules (apart from the fact they outright ignore them) and instead are provided as "IWIN" buttons until sales start to decline (or they've reached the required margin of return and don't care about pushing sales for that particular item any longer).

Within a balanced set of rules, each individual units need to have their strong suit and intrinsic weakness. Balance is unattainable if select few units are strong in all aspects and weak to none.


This.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/03 22:05:53


Post by: Karol


 Overread wrote:


this group also misses out on the fact taht if the whole game is imbalanced then at some point people will gravitate toward the imbalanced forces more and more; so the difference in imbalance actually levels out once again. Either resulting in a game balanced at a certain level with certain combos; or resulting in a situation of whoever gets to combo-first wins. That can be ok in something like Magic where you've a lot more random and games are faster; but in wargames the random is a touch less (you don't ramdom draw your army for the table) and the games far longer.




I don't think that the existance of pre nerf Inari, eldar flyer lists, all imperial or chaos soups helped to even out the playfield for any people that are not playing them. W40k isn't much about combos, it is more like some people play with 60 cards, with draw mechanics, overlaping synergies etc while others have 20 cards and half of them are basic lands.


Regarding the underlined - the issue is that these "overpowered" units generally tends to ignore all the core mechanics of the game (i.e. firing heavy weapon after moving, moving through other units, shoot while within 1" of enemy unit, fall back and shoot).

It is not like there is a ton of units that ignore the rules of the other game, by being revers overpowered. In w40k you can be fast and good at shoting or melee, can be resilient and good at shoting or melee, can be a tank type of unit. Or all those at the same time, but there is also a ton of units that are weak in melee, weak in shoting, slow and on top of it not resilient. It is the gap that is the problem, because GW has this strange idea, whey they add point value to units for "cool" stuff they can do in one in a milion game, or make people pay for upgrades those units are never going to use, because they will never be in range or they will be dead too fast.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/04 07:33:13


Post by: Tyel


I tend to take a mathhammer approach to balance.

If your unit can't do X% damage (based on most units) for its points - or gives up more than X% damage (based on most units) for its points - its probably a bad unit. Movement abilities, buffs and so on then apply on top of this. Some of these can be mathed out, some not.

Historically GW has just piled abilities and stats onto units so there has been blatant codex creep. WHFB was broken twice - by Skaven and then later by Chaos Daemons - where those armies could plausibly defeat twice the points worth of opposing armies. They were not fixed and caused a new edition to be added.

7th Ed 40k was another example of this. By the end you had a small pool of viable builds, and a vast array of units in the game that were laughably bad. This wasn't fun, or balanced. Ynnari was arguably a good example of "end of edition" madness, that shouldn't be in a game built around buying expensive models and playing 2~ hour games.

8th by contrast has seen them try to bring units into line - by a few nerfs, and more buffs. Grey Knights remain bizarrely overcosted, but most other underperforming factions have been boosted. This doesn't mean there are not "worse" choices, but there are less out and out traps you should never take on a rational basis.

Getting things close is good enough.

Meta balance is completely different. If you bring a list stuffed full of lascannons and melta, and I turn up with 100+ Tau Fire Warriors or Ork Boys or something, then yeah, you are probably in trouble. But I don't see how you can fix that without getting a very boring/shallow game where everything is as good against everything.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/04 09:45:57


Post by: Karol


Well the problem with GW "math hammer " is that they try to go "safe" sometimes and overcost on models, units or whole armies, or add point cost for lets say deep strike mobility. But 8 months later they remove the option to deep strike from the game, but they do not adjust the point cost of the entire army or the way it is suppose to be played.

Can't have a balanced army based the idea, that most of the army is going to be deep striking turn one. And then make deep strike turn 2 only, and you can only deep strike half your points on to the table.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/04 10:27:41


Post by: A.T.


Tyel wrote:
Meta balance is completely different. If you bring a list stuffed full of lascannons and melta, and I turn up with 100+ Tau Fire Warriors or Ork Boys or something, then yeah, you are probably in trouble. But I don't see how you can fix that without getting a very boring/shallow game where everything is as good against everything.
The original FoC mostly dealt with that when units were being properly attributed.

Troops could be spammed but were also vulnerable to every basic weapon in the game. Anything that could blitz you was in fast attack (including for slower armies units that simply took a transport), anything heavily armoured and/or armed was heavy support, anything with shenanigans was elite, and the rank and file were mission vital.

It was not so much to limit the extent to which you could sabotage yourself, but rather to limit what you would be facing.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/04 10:31:04


Post by: Ishagu


Building a balanced army is party of the 40k skill set.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/04 11:11:24


Post by: Chaospling


@auticus
Are we sure that the complainers know the exact reason to why, they're unhappy with said ruleset/codex/points cost?

Let's say that the points are "balanced" to a certain degree and the units do not interact or affect each - then I agree that it's rather transparent and rather easy to predict (not saying that you can predict the exact game turn and what your opponent will bring and do) the battle itself, but if there's a myriad of ways to boost or otherwise affect your units through the battle, based on the selected units, then won't this puzzle of list building and boosts be fun and interesting to work out no matter how balanced?


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/04 11:21:13


Post by: Jidmah


Karol wrote:
Well the problem with GW "math hammer " is that they try to go "safe" sometimes and overcost on models, units or whole armies, or add point cost for lets say deep strike mobility. But 8 months later they remove the option to deep strike from the game, but they do not adjust the point cost of the entire army or the way it is suppose to be played.

Can't have a balanced army based the idea, that most of the army is going to be deep striking turn one. And then make deep strike turn 2 only, and you can only deep strike half your points on to the table.


It's in general difficult to balance an army that hinges on a single gimmick. Gulliman was such a gimmick, as is da jump for orks, allaitoc for eldar or the swarmlord for nids. Basically the whole army is balanced around those - if you take away that gimmick without compensation it obviously falls apart.

The right thing would be to avoid implementing powerful rules that warp an entire army around it, but often it's easier to toss some weak army a bone than reworking the entire thing.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/04 11:30:13


Post by: Overread


Slaanesh in AoS is also built around the depravity concept.

It's annoying because it means any effective army pretty much has to load up on 6 full commanders for every game (assuming 2K points). Which easily makes half or more of your army in leaders. It also makes you want to summon more leaders to get more depravity each turn.

The result is units like fiends, which are costly but good, get pushed down because you'd rather take a leader than fiends; whilst army options like a chariot force or a seeker or deamonette heavy force also get pushed down. Each one is taking points you could be putting into leaders to summon more units to the battlefield.


Though it gets worse because you don't just want leaders, but leaders with a high number of attacks and a high wound counter. Which pushes you toward the Keepers a lot.


In the end it makes fo ra poor internal balance for the army because there's a clear overriding mechanic that pushes army construction down a very niche pathway.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/04 11:34:17


Post by: auticus


Chaospling wrote:
@auticus
Are we sure that the complainers know the exact reason to why, they're unhappy with said ruleset/codex/points cost?

Let's say that the points are "balanced" to a certain degree and the units do not interact or affect each - then I agree that it's rather transparent and rather easy to predict (not saying that you can predict the exact game turn and what your opponent will bring and do) the battle itself, but if there's a myriad of ways to boost or otherwise affect your units through the battle, based on the selected units, then won't this puzzle of list building and boosts be fun and interesting to work out no matter how balanced?


The people that complain about it would need to go into detail. The summaries I have heard over the years are "balanced games are boring, if you want balance go play chess (thats probably something I read once a week either on an AOS player's twitter account or a facebook thread), and listbuilding should have a large impact on the game or else the game is boring because then you can just field 2000 points and it will be just as good as someone else's 2000 points".


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/04 11:56:47


Post by: Jidmah


Did you ever consider that list building can have an impact despite the game being balanced?

If it doesn't matter whether you bring intercessors, a predator or a storm raven, of course, the game will be boring.

Best case would be if your army brings anti-tank, anti-infantry, screening units, scoring units and some CP generating units, it should measure up to an army that does the same, while an army that focuses on nothing but anti-infantry should get its but handed.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/04 12:00:19


Post by: auticus


I suppose when I hear someone talking about list building I am hearing them talking about breaking the game and bending it and running an OP gimmick or searching for the OP gimmick.

I know 100% in regards to the complaiints to our AOS points packet that that was the case (because AOS didn't really have roles it was all about finding the undercost units and spamming them)

The best games to me would be the game where you have roles and you need all of the roles present in your army or you will lose (like what you have referenced above).

I guess technically thats list building but not in the sense that I hear a lot of people talk about it. The people that play the game as a puzzle to solve certainly wouldn't want a game where you just have to make sure all roles are in your list, because thats easy to ensure.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/04 12:08:29


Post by: Karol


 Jidmah wrote:
Did you ever consider that list building can have an impact despite the game being balanced?

If it doesn't matter whether you bring intercessors, a predator or a storm raven, of course, the game will be boring.

Best case would be if your army brings anti-tank, anti-infantry, screening units, scoring units and some CP generating units, it should measure up to an army that does the same, while an army that focuses on nothing but anti-infantry should get its but handed.


Makes sense. There is of course problem of some armies lacking most of the stuff. Per se it isn't bad, can be even very characterful. And army for example has anti tank and anti horde, has good scoring units, but doesn't screening or CP generation stuff. Lacking some aspect of the game can make an army more interesting, maybe even more fun to play with. The hurdle starts when your army can't anti tank, struggle to do anti infantry, has no chaff or good scoring units. Then if the other army is even halfbaked the game is not very fun for either side.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/04 12:10:11


Post by: Not Online!!!


 auticus wrote:
I suppose when I hear someone talking about list building I am hearing them talking about breaking the game and bending it and running an OP gimmick or searching for the OP gimmick.

I know 100% in regards to the complaiints to our AOS points packet that that was the case (because AOS didn't really have roles it was all about finding the undercost units and spamming them)

The best games to me would be the game where you have roles and you need all of the roles present in your army or you will lose (like what you have referenced above).

I guess technically thats list building but not in the sense that I hear a lot of people talk about it. The people that play the game as a puzzle to solve certainly wouldn't want a game where you just have to make sure all roles are in your list, because thats easy to ensure.


basically build an armored colon and forgetting AA and get punished.

Or another exemple build a speed freaks waagh and propperly balance between transports tanks and buggies for maximum effect and concentration?


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/04 12:19:15


Post by: flandarz


I'd think list-building in an unbalanced game would actually be MORE boring than in a balanced one. I'm not talking "every unit can do everything exactly the same" balance, but rather a balance where every unit has something to offer to the game. For example, I believe Burna Boyz and Boy Mobz should both be equally good at dealing with infantry (but in different ways), but under the current rules, Boyz are far superior to Burnas in every way.

In other words, how is list-building where every list for a Faction is pretty much identical due to imbalance more interesting than list-building where you have multiple options for each "role" on the battlefield?


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/04 12:25:31


Post by: Karol


Maybe if units were different enough it could work. Although this can be hard with how cheap in points most stuff in w40k is.

The difference in rules has to be substential, and both units have to be good for both to be taken. For example, I think that 12pts tac marines and 11pts scouts can have a place in game. If marines had troop choice in form of 11pts scout, 20pts primaris and 16pts tact, then it would be exactly like you say it. Technicaly 3 options for troops, but in reality only scouts would be run.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/04 12:29:54


Post by: Chaospling


 auticus wrote:
Chaospling wrote:
@auticus
Are we sure that the complainers know the exact reason to why, they're unhappy with said ruleset/codex/points cost?

Let's say that the points are "balanced" to a certain degree and the units do not interact or affect each - then I agree that it's rather transparent and rather easy to predict (not saying that you can predict the exact game turn and what your opponent will bring and do) the battle itself, but if there's a myriad of ways to boost or otherwise affect your units through the battle, based on the selected units, then won't this puzzle of list building and boosts be fun and interesting to work out no matter how balanced?


... and listbuilding should have a large impact on the game or else the game is boring because then you can just field 2000 points and it will be just as good as someone else's 2000 points".


So when it's not boring, it's because they assume they have worked out the puzzle and the opponent has not and so they have an advantage from the start. I've made my own ruleset and made a virtue out of balancing the points cost and were I to meet such a response, I'd say that that is a coward's way to avoid a fair fight and that I would have no need to attract such players.

Furthermore, do such players play actual battles? Maybe certain broken lists could be made, but as everybody have access to the same information, the opponent could make an equal broken list, and so the game is balanced anyway - the optimal lists have just been narrowed down.

Don't get me wrong, I completely respect your professional experience, but the complaints do not seem rational or consistent with what a person, who actually played the game, would want.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/04 12:44:49


Post by: G00fySmiley


 auticus wrote:
I suppose when I hear someone talking about list building I am hearing them talking about breaking the game and bending it and running an OP gimmick or searching for the OP gimmick.

I know 100% in regards to the complaiints to our AOS points packet that that was the case (because AOS didn't really have roles it was all about finding the undercost units and spamming them)

The best games to me would be the game where you have roles and you need all of the roles present in your army or you will lose (like what you have referenced above).

I guess technically thats list building but not in the sense that I hear a lot of people talk about it. The people that play the game as a puzzle to solve certainly wouldn't want a game where you just have to make sure all roles are in your list, because thats easy to ensure.


in an ideal world sure... but this is 40k. a tournament list somehow has to be abel to contend with both the possibility of a pure horde ork boyz list and a pure imperial knights list.

The problem for some armies though is their codex does great against some builds but get wrecked against others. I think part of this has to do with GW deciding to simplify points and give a piece of wargear a set amount of points. simply put a fusion gun on a autarch is worth more than a fusion fun on a fire dragon. a cyclic ion blaster is better on a commander than it is on a crisis battlesuit... and it can take more of them. that is even before the character protection. Another example on my orks... why is the power claw on the nob the same price as a warboss's claw? more attacks, tougher, character protection and higher str. I hoep the enw space marine codex happens to everybody in chapter approved where nob/sargent equivilents get a discount on equipment compared to the HQs. ditto regular crisis suits vs comanders in crisis suits. currently in the crisis suit side there just is not really a reason to take them.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/04 12:45:42


Post by: Chaospling


I think I have to add the following:
I recognize that we all seek an advantage over our opponent, but list building should just be a part of it. List building and strategy made before the battle need to be carried out and executed in the actual battle, which also takes a lot of thought and (here's the point again) if a player wants the process, which happened pre-battle, to be all that matters, then such a player would not need to play - why listen to what they have to say, if they do not want to play the game on the board?


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/04 12:49:04


Post by: auticus


Don't get me wrong, I completely respect your professional experience, but the complaints do not seem rational or consistent with what a person, who actually played the game, would want.


It was an eye opener for me as well. The only question I have is how prevalent is that opinion really. While I see it often that doesn't mean that its hugely prevalent, just more "vocal". However I have no way to really gauge how predominant it is to the general population since forums and facebooks and twitters are only slices of the population as a whole (and some facebooks heavily lean towards one paradigm over the other giving an impression its an overall value as opposed to just a fraction)


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/04 13:00:30


Post by: Wayniac


Some level of balance yes. GW's level of balance no. There can never be a perfect balance (and that would be incredibly boring anyways), but there can and should be the expectation that people won't get curbstomped for picking something that is thematic and should be able to work.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/04 13:32:52


Post by: Talizvar


 auticus wrote:
Chaospling wrote:
@auticus
Are we sure that the complainers know the exact reason to why, they're unhappy with said ruleset/codex/points cost?
Let's say that the points are "balanced" to a certain degree and the units do not interact or affect each - then I agree that it's rather transparent and rather easy to predict (not saying that you can predict the exact game turn and what your opponent will bring and do) the battle itself, but if there's a myriad of ways to boost or otherwise affect your units through the battle, based on the selected units, then won't this puzzle of list building and boosts be fun and interesting to work out no matter how balanced?
The people that complain about it would need to go into detail. The summaries I have heard over the years are "balanced games are boring, if you want balance go play chess (thats probably something I read once a week either on an AOS player's twitter account or a facebook thread), and listbuilding should have a large impact on the game or else the game is boring because then you can just field 2000 points and it will be just as good as someone else's 2000 points".
What makes a game "balanced" is also accounting for how impactful certain units are in the game in certain situations.
In fantasy battle it was a big deal if you had a unit hit another unit from the side so fast moving units (better positioning) helped get you there to make use of that "bonus".
40k is rather lacking in some more complex bonuses/advantages for positioning: there is no difference in attack or defense when attacking from front or rear of a unit (and there is no such thing effectively).
Normal Napoleonic battles you can change infantry formation: column for fast movement, line for effective fire and square to present no flank or rear to the predations of cavalry.

Deep-strike is all about how to "assassinate" a given unit (character model is "closest") or getting harder hitting short-range weapons to their targets (melta, rapid-fire for a particular infantry unit).
Drop pods are useful again by being able to "hide" units for deepstrike and not have them count as units points in reserve.
Warfare has always been a form of rock/paper/scissors: If your enemy is good at short-range, use artillery, if your enemy has mainly artillery you air-strike or air-drop in troops...

Any time rules create some "goofy" looking applications to models, it always seems to prompt the "broken" comment.
We are looking for a somewhat "accurate" representation of warfare that makes some measure of sense.
<edit> By rights the more powerful all-around effective unitt should always be your troop unit (or why would they be your most fielded unit otherwise?).
Spam should only be effective against the one thing they are strongest against and precious little else (I rarely hear a horde of troops being referred to as spam'ed oddly enough).
Some measure of balance is needed in a force or you get thumped the majority of the time by not being adaptable to varying battlefield conditions (open field, congested city streets, underhive, forests, blasted ruins...)


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/04 13:58:06


Post by: Jidmah


 auticus wrote:
I suppose when I hear someone talking about list building I am hearing them talking about breaking the game and bending it and running an OP gimmick or searching for the OP gimmick.

I know 100% in regards to the complaiints to our AOS points packet that that was the case (because AOS didn't really have roles it was all about finding the undercost units and spamming them)

The best games to me would be the game where you have roles and you need all of the roles present in your army or you will lose (like what you have referenced above).

I guess technically thats list building but not in the sense that I hear a lot of people talk about it. The people that play the game as a puzzle to solve certainly wouldn't want a game where you just have to make sure all roles are in your list, because thats easy to ensure.


My serious opinion? You probably did a great job with your AOS points and some people were just bitching about no longer getting easy wins in the list building phase.
I had a player drop out of P&P group because I denied him an invincible character build that was based on a series of generous interpretations of unclear rules. There are people on these forum complaining that their taudar armies don't work anymore.
Human nature has it that less people will send you a "thank you, your points are awesome" than they will send you complaints.

Then again, once you reach a stable position with your balance, little is going to change anymore, but your playerbase is used to stuff changing all the time. Naturally the game will feel stale - gaming companies who reach this point start shaking up the game on purpose, to start the balancing loops again, just to keep things fresh. Riot games has admitted doing this to keep LoL interesting for players. No one wants to play the very same game for years.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/04 14:00:02


Post by: auticus


My serious opinion? You probably did a great job with your AOS points and some people were just bitching about no longer getting easy wins in the list building phase.


That could be and is something we considered. It was just a numerous complaint from over a hundred posters.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/04 14:01:35


Post by: Overread


To be fair games like LoL also encourage you to play EVERY single day and sometimes multiple times a day. So the game gets stale a lot faster. Plus a lot of that ilk of games are often pretty light on the tactical elements once you master the mechanics of the game - its mostly a rinse and repeat gameplay pattern. It's designed to be simple and basic so that teams can work together with minimal communication.

For them its the other coin in that gamers likely get way too many games for their own good and eventually you've got people iwth 800 hours playtime and more complaining about the game getting sale.


Warhammer games you don'tget anywhere near the volume of matches.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/04 14:02:39


Post by: pm713


 auticus wrote:
My serious opinion? You probably did a great job with your AOS points and some people were just bitching about no longer getting easy wins in the list building phase.


That could be and is something we considered. It was just a numerous complaint from over a hundred posters.

Out of how many total?


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/04 14:08:45


Post by: auticus


We had a user base of a little over 1,100 players.

Towards the end we started losing players to the SCGT comp (what became the foundation for gw official points) because our system (and a couple of the other systems) were "too balanced" and the SCGT at the time openly made things like monster units cheaper than they should because they wanted to encourage people to take more monsters, and that was what a lot of people thought was fun (and because SCGT was based in the UK close to GW, we all knew that if any point system was going to be adopted it would be a UK-based one and people wanted to back that horse).

When you do an online points system for a game that has none, and it becomes popular, you will get a lot of feedback. At our peak we were hitting almost 100 emails or posts a day for a solid month.

The "too balanced" complaint was the top complaint, the rest were shot gunned into a bunch of different little categories (such as "unit x is too cheap for what it does!" followed by another poster saying "unit x is way too expensive for what it does!" -> those were my favorite)

GW has professional game designers on staff, I know they can balance 40k and AOS. The fan comps did a pretty good job (nothing was perfect, nothing can be perfect, but they were many times closer than what gw official does) so I know if fan comps can do it, that GW can do it. GW chooses not to do it for whatever reason they choose not to do it.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/04 14:09:00


Post by: Jidmah


 Overread wrote:
To be fair games like LoL also encourage you to play EVERY single day and sometimes multiple times a day. So the game gets stale a lot faster. Plus a lot of that ilk of games are often pretty light on the tactical elements once you master the mechanics of the game - its mostly a rinse and repeat gameplay pattern. It's designed to be simple and basic so that teams can work together with minimal communication.

For them its the other coin in that gamers likely get way too many games for their own good and eventually you've got people iwth 800 hours playtime and more complaining about the game getting sale.


Warhammer games you don'tget anywhere near the volume of matches.


Yeah, but that's completely irrelevant to the fact that balance stagnation exists. At their current pace, GW will probably need decades to get there, both because of missing data and slow iterations. But in general, balancing both games works the same, just at different paces.

If you were hinting at the "WH40k is complex" myth - if would automate all the dice rolling, measuring, auras and whatnot and have a software support your deployment, movements, pile-ins and powers, a game of WH40k would be no more complex than an average strategy game on your phone and could be finished within 20 minutes.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/04 14:17:55


Post by: skchsan


 auticus wrote:
The summaries I have heard over the years are "balanced games are boring, if you want balance go play chess (thats probably something I read once a week either on an AOS player's twitter account or a facebook thread), and listbuilding should have a large impact on the game or else the game is boring because then you can just field 2000 points and it will be just as good as someone else's 2000 points".
The issue is that not every army's A tier list is equal to another's A tier list. This is the balance issue the post is about and not a call for system for homogenizing all armies to the point where they have same rules but different models.
 auticus wrote:
I suppose when I hear someone talking about list building I am hearing them talking about breaking the game and bending it and running an OP gimmick or searching for the OP gimmick.

I know 100% in regards to the complaiints to our AOS points packet that that was the case (because AOS didn't really have roles it was all about finding the undercost units and spamming them)

The best games to me would be the game where you have roles and you need all of the roles present in your army or you will lose (like what you have referenced above).

I guess technically thats list building but not in the sense that I hear a lot of people talk about it. The people that play the game as a puzzle to solve certainly wouldn't want a game where you just have to make sure all roles are in your list, because thats easy to ensure.
And the issue is that some armies have a highly point efficient all-rounder units which others do not. Some armies don't even have units that fill a particular role, let alone be it in point efficient manner.

The armies/factions need to be balanced in a way where their pro's and con's make them unique to each other while maintaining overall power level between the units and the armies/factions.
 auticus wrote:
List building and balanced points are indeed two different things, but they conflict with each other.

You cannot have both meaningful list building and truly balanced points at the same time. You have to sacrifice from one to get the other.
This is true only if "list building" actually meant the practice of breaking the game & it's systems. It's like those video game players who exploit hacks and code manipulations to achieve the means - speed running video games come to mind.

List building is (and if not, needs to be) about how to compose your army according to your play style & focus. You may want to focus your army on deep striking, so you put it some durable transports and maximize your single model units in order to put more units into reserves. You may want to focus on sitting back and gunning things down with big guns - so you fill your list with many multi-hit heavy weapons and some cheap troops for screen and CP. You may want to take a balanced approach so that you can tailor to many different kinds of opponents - so you take a bit of anti armor, a bit of anti horde, and some anti-knight weapons.

Here's the issue - weight of dice is a hard counter to everything in the game, which makes specialization pretty much useless. Whoever can bring the most shots within the given points limit generally wins the game. And I say general because it's a chance based game. Currently, it's possible to generate a list where it's mathematically impossible to fully wipe.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/04 14:23:56


Post by: auticus


The issue is that not every army's A tier list is equal to another's A tier list. This is the balance issue the post is about and not a call for system for homogenizing all armies to the point where they have same rules but different models.


Whenever any balance thread comes up, it seems to mean different things to different people.

Not all armies even have an A tier list. Hell in AOS there are armies that don't even have a B tier list.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/04 14:33:49


Post by: skchsan


 auticus wrote:
The issue is that not every army's A tier list is equal to another's A tier list. This is the balance issue the post is about and not a call for system for homogenizing all armies to the point where they have same rules but different models.


Whenever any balance thread comes up, it seems to mean different things to different people.

Not all armies even have an A tier list. Hell in AOS there are armies that don't even have a B tier list.
Right. If its a matter of "should all thematic armies be just as competitive as a min-maxed meta tourney list", then the answer is obviously no. By taking a thematic list, you, as the list builder, have foregone specific 'balance' in your list in order to achieve that "theme".

The issue here is the question "should all TAC lists be just as competitive as another TAC list?" or "should all min-maxed meta tourney lists be just as competitive as another min-maxed meta tourney list?" or better yet - "should this army's only viable list be just as strong as one of that army's viable list?" Not all TAC lists are made equal and not all meta lists are made equal. Some are simply mathematically superior lists, and only certain faction/army has access to them.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/04 14:42:26


Post by: auticus


I would say, for my money, that balance in a game would dictate that the ability to min/max would be lessened overall (you can't completely remove it, that would be impossible).

So long as min/max lists remain as staggeringly powerful as they are, to the exclusion of 90% or so of the game, I wouldn't consider the game to be balanced.

That leads down the path of "are you ok with chasing the meta and having to buy/sell armies on the regular to make sure you have a powerful enough army to have a chance of winning your games". Some people will say yes, others will say no.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/04 21:26:49


Post by: Snugiraffe


Not Online!!! wrote:


basically build an armored colon and forgetting AA and get punished.



But at least an 'armored colon' would make getting shafted less painful


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/04 21:34:34


Post by: Not Online!!!


Snugiraffe wrote:
Not Online!!! wrote:


basically build an armored colon and forgetting AA and get punished.



But at least an 'armored colon' would make getting shafted less painful

Funny, happens when you are multilingual and had to talk french for 3 hours.

Also shouldn't you have learned by now that slapping armor on something does not make it better? Especially not against aircraft?




Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/04 21:34:54


Post by: jeff white


 auticus wrote:
I suppose when I hear someone talking about list building I am hearing them talking about breaking the game and bending it and running an OP gimmick or searching for the OP gimmick.

I know 100% in regards to the complaiints to our AOS points packet that that was the case (because AOS didn't really have roles it was all about finding the undercost units and spamming them)

The best games to me would be the game where you have roles and you need all of the roles present in your army or you will lose (like what you have referenced above).

I guess technically thats list building but not in the sense that I hear a lot of people talk about it. The people that play the game as a puzzle to solve certainly wouldn't want a game where you just have to make sure all roles are in your list, because thats easy to ensure.


Yup...


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Not Online!!! wrote:
armored colon


I have wished for one.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/04 21:50:33


Post by: Snugiraffe


 jeff white wrote:

Not Online!!! wrote:
armored colon


I have wished for one.


I hear you. In the grim darkness of... but perhaps this is neither the time nor the place.

Not Online!!! wrote:
Spoiler:
Snugiraffe wrote:
Not Online!!! wrote:


basically build an armored colon and forgetting AA and get punished.



But at least an 'armored colon' would make getting shafted less painful

Funny, happens when you are multilingual and had to talk french for 3 hours.

Also shouldn't you have learned by now that slapping armor on something does not make it better? Especially not against aircraft?


I regularly have to speak French for considerable lengths of time to my mother-in-law. Which is when I most ardently wish for both armour and aircraft. Now, there's a lack of balance if ever I saw one...


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/04 21:52:09


Post by: Not Online!!!


Jesus fucken chriest is the grammar Gestapo out today in force?!!
Ones even a covert dutch operative!

I regularly have to speak French for considerable lengths of time to my mother-in-law. Which is when I most ardently wish for both armour and aircraft...


Course you would.

Now be a nice german flatland yokel and build something instead of bothering me.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/04 22:08:00


Post by: slave.entity


Listbuilding with the aim of improving your chances at winning is totally a puzzle-solving aspect of 40k. What is listbuilding, if not puzzle gameplay?


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/04 22:11:33


Post by: Racerguy180


CH jokes now, nice.

The Swiss are better at german humor than germans.

What's next? High vs Low German 40k smackdown?

in the grim darkness of the 41st millennium, there is only, GERMAN humor.

now that's funkin scary.


Do you actually want balance in 40k? @ 2019/09/04 22:50:52


Post by: Snugiraffe


Racerguy180 wrote:
CH jokes now, nice.

The Swiss are better at german humor than germans.

What's next? High vs Low German 40k smackdown?

in the grim darkness of the 41st millennium, there is only, GERMAN humor.

now that's funkin scary.


Everyone's better at German humour than the Germans

Of course, the best thing about it is that I'm a Brit!
But I'll cease further off-topic commentary in this thread lest I incur the admins' wrath.