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What should be the primary method of balance for 40k?
Unit vs Unit (Tactical Marines vs Guardians)
Army vs Army (Space Marines vs Craftworlds)
Faction vs Faction (Imperium vs Aeldari)

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Made in us
Thrall Wizard of Tzeentch




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/01/01 04:26:06


 
   
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 Crimson wrote:

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

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

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

This message was edited 6 times. Last update was at 2019/01/01 04:41:34


 
   
Made in us
Second Story Man




Astonished of Heck

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

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

Are you a Wolf, a Sheep, or a Hound?
Megavolt wrote:They called me crazy…they called me insane…THEY CALLED ME LOONEY!! and boy, were they right.
 
   
Made in us
Douglas Bader






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

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

There is no such thing as a hobby without politics. "Leave politics at the door" is itself a political statement, an endorsement of the status quo and an attempt to silence dissenting voices. 
   
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Under the couch

 admironheart wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/01/01 09:33:12


   
Made in gb
Instigating Incubi




The dark behind the eyes.

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

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


This definitely seems like the way to go.

Akiasura wrote:
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 Andilus Greatsword wrote:

"Prepare to open fire at that towering Wraithknight!"
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 insaniak wrote:

You're not. If you're worried about your opponent using 'fake' rules, you're having fun the wrong way. This hobby isn't about rules. It's about buying Citadel miniatures.

Please report to your nearest GW store for attitude readjustment. Take your wallet.
 
   
Made in fi
Furious Raptor



Finland

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/01/01 11:01:24


 
   
Made in ch
Monstrously Massive Big Mutant





 insaniak wrote:
 admironheart wrote:

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

   
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Furious Raptor



Finland

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

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

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





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


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

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

   
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Longtime Dakkanaut




The issue is player freedom.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Finland

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

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

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

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2019/01/01 13:50:47


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

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

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

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

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2019/01/01 14:54:11


 
   
Made in fi
Chaplain with Hate to Spare






dhallnet wrote:

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

It's playstyle. They play differently.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Automatically Appended Next Post:
w1zard wrote:

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

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

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/01/01 15:20:59


Only the insane have strength enough to prosper. Only those who prosper may truly judge what is sane. 
   
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 Lobukia wrote:
A.T. wrote:
 Lobukia wrote:
Sisters shouldn’t have all the tools available to match one to one against craftworld Eldar... but, Necrons vs CSM should be a fair fight.
So you propose that some factions should just be arbitrarily crippled? Why?


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

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

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

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

It's playstyle. They play differently.

Okay.

 Crimson wrote:

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

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

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


 Crimson wrote:

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

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

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

 Crimson wrote:

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

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

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

 Crimson wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/01/01 17:33:53


 
   
Made in fi
Chaplain with Hate to Spare






dhallnet wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

You balance units for a the game as a whole.

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Not Online!!! wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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your mind

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

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/01/01 20:24:10


   
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 Crimson wrote:
dhallnet wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Crimson wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Crimson wrote:

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

You balance units for a the game as a whole.

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

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/01/01 20:28:29


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

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

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

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dhallnet wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

No, it isn't fine.

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

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


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

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

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

No. Bad units shouldn't exist.

I'll repeat my Kroot example:

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

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

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

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

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 insaniak wrote:
 admironheart wrote:

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

 koooaei wrote:
We are rolling so many dice to have less time to realise that there is not much else to the game other than rolling so many dice.
 
   
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On the other hand, you have Starcraft, and they're still working on pulling out the best in that game, and the unit types are so diverse it is ridiculous.

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

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U.k

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No, it isn't fine.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

No. Bad units shouldn't exist.

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

 Crimson wrote:

I'll repeat my Kroot example:

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

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

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

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

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

Have fun.

This message was edited 8 times. Last update was at 2019/01/02 00:41:54


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

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

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

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/01/02 00:58:28


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

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

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

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