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Rihgu wrote:


That doesn't impact the scope, though. I brought it up because a lot of posters are saying the scope of what 40k covers is too much for the game to be reasonably balanced.
I think that as long as each faction has ways of meaningfully dealing with each tier of scope the game can be balanced. What I mean by that is not every faction needs light infantry, heavy infantry, light vehicles, heavy vehicles, flyers, etc. But they do need something that can fight all of those targets.
So I think a game can exist with both grots and warhound titans and be balanced but I don't think a game where 1 faction has only grots and 1 faction has only warhound titans can be balanced, if that makes sense. Give those grots void grenades though... now we're talking!


I think it's a difference in how that scope is handled as well though. In 40k you have a squad between 5 and 10 tau firewarriors in a squad each an individual model equipped with individual weapons and equipment paid for individually in points. and they are fighting alongside a stormsurge that is also equipped with multiple different weapons each paid for individually.

In Battletech you have a single model with represents a full squad infantry and their transport vehicle and they are all assumed to be equipped with the same weapons and equipment which is all consolidated into a single attack stat. The only time granularity of equipment comes into play is with your mech loadouts.

When talking about balance and scope of play. If your scope is "Massive combined arms battles" its a lot easier to balance when only the "big" stuff like tanks/planes/mechs actually have choices in how they are equipped vs 40k where the equipment of the grot that gets killed before your first activation is taking up just as much planning consideration as the knight's second arm weapon.


Also, most people mentioning "scope" are referring to faction scope where things like "Inquisition" are considered just as viable of factions as "Astra Militarum" despite one literally being a planetary defense force and the other being a covert police force essentially. Remember in previous editions Harlequins were just units that eldar could take. So they didn't have to be balanced on a faction scale. They were just another tool in the toolbox.
   
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Blackie wrote:
shortymcnostrill wrote:


Although I'd be happy to see the other issue addressed in some way too; in my (casual) group I face an all-vehicle army, a fast horde infantry army and a dark angels player focussing on bringing the most durable multi-wound, inv save stuff they can. And then there's me, trying to build a tac list that can somehow handle all of this and not simply have the effective parts for the match-up singled out and ganked asap.

But then again, I wouldn't want my standard infantry easily killing tanks ("balanced"), and I wouldn't want to limit my opponent's or (my own) ability to play a force they want to play. I don't know how I'd solve this one.


If you play only vs optimized skew lists it's very hard, if not flat out impossible, to build a TAC list and expect to compete with your opponents. Unless your army is overpowered to the core.

When you have access only to a very selected player base and those players refuse or maybe can't change their lists frequently it has always been hard to get balanced games of 40k. That's why I always suggest players who mostly (if not entirely) play within a restricted pool of friends to play with up to 50-75% of the players' collections: substantial changes to organize more balanced games would be immediately possible this way.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Just Tony wrote:
 Da Boss wrote:
However, I think FOC will never come back...


Which means there will never be true balance and the game will most assuredly be a game of pay to win, plunk down for the new hotness, delete and get the NEW new hotness when the old new hotness is obsolete.


40k has been unbalanced in the past, even with the the FOC in play.


But it HAS BEEN BALANCED in the past with it, so why disregard it out of hand because they dropped the ball once?

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 CthuluIsSpy wrote:
Its AoS, it doesn't have to make sense.
 
   
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8th has also been in a fairly balanced state without it until they called exterminatus on the whole thing with Space Marines 2.0.

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 Jidmah wrote:
8th has also been in a fairly balanced state without it until they called exterminatus on the whole thing with Space Marines 2.0.


only after having to nerf some other ISSUE candidate, that generally has nothing lost in a standard FOC.

but yeah, i agree. 8th was overall balance wise one of the "better" editions, except rulesbook wise in regards to price , it was still meh.

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 Just Tony wrote:


But it HAS BEEN BALANCED in the past with it, so why disregard it out of hand because they dropped the ball once?


Because units, if not whole armies, changes through editions, even if they rely on the same codex. You can't expect to play with the same list forever.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 VladimirHerzog wrote:


i think there is a false assumption that tournament/competitive players represent the majority of 40k. Its the complete opposite. Casual players that buy the models they think look good are the majority and these are the ones that don't necessarily buy models because of their performance on the tabletop.


Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. SM are OP mostly in casual games because a random chunk of models is already close to a competitive list. I think giving them a powerful codex in conjunction of a couple years of massive releases is a bad move for the most popular army. SM would buy anyway, but if they are broken too many people will buy them, to the point that mirror matches could become very hard to avoid.

I'm not saying that SM should suck forever, only that in an age in which their entire huge cataloge is in the process of being re-done GW shouldn't have incentivized SM even more with lots of cheesy rules. In competitive gaming, they're far less problematic.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/01/15 08:21:52


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 Blackie wrote:
 Just Tony wrote:


But it HAS BEEN BALANCED in the past with it, so why disregard it out of hand because they dropped the ball once?


Because units, if not whole armies, changes through editions, even if they rely on the same codex. You can't expect to play with the same list forever.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 VladimirHerzog wrote:


i think there is a false assumption that tournament/competitive players represent the majority of 40k. Its the complete opposite. Casual players that buy the models they think look good are the majority and these are the ones that don't necessarily buy models because of their performance on the tabletop.


Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. SM are OP mostly in casual games because a random chunk of models is already close to a competitive list. I think giving them a powerful codex in conjunction of a couple years of massive releases is a bad move for the most popular army. SM would buy anyway, but if they are broken too many people will buy them, to the point that mirror matches could become very hard to avoid.

I'm not saying that SM should suck forever, only that in an age in which their entire huge cataloge is in the process of being re-done GW shouldn't have incentivized SM even more with lots of cheesy rules. In competitive gaming, they're far less problematic.


Yes I can. I've run seven armies (8 if you count Legion of the Damned) spanning 3rd Ed. to 6th when I dropped out of modern gaming completely. Despite that, I've followed the rules waiting fruitlessly for the game to return to a semblance of lunacy and balance. DESPITE that, NONE of my armies were invalidated by any edition or Codex change. None of my models were made obsolete by the changes. I could literally have run all 7 (8) of those armies clear up to modern rules without having to swap anything.

The BEST thing GW could do for balance is not change out the foundation of the house every 3 years.

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 CthuluIsSpy wrote:
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 Just Tony wrote:

The BEST thing GW could do for balance is not change out the foundation of the house every 3 years.

Absolutely this. The constant churning of rules an upheaval is always going to result in imbalance.
The need for each new model or book to have more interesting rules than the last is often going to result in OP rules. It only takes one outlier to kick off an arms race (see 7th for how that works out).

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/01/15 10:50:54


 
   
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 Just Tony wrote:


Yes I can. I've run seven armies (8 if you count Legion of the Damned) spanning 3rd Ed. to 6th when I dropped out of modern gaming completely. Despite that, I've followed the rules waiting fruitlessly for the game to return to a semblance of lunacy and balance. DESPITE that, NONE of my armies were invalidated by any edition or Codex change. None of my models were made obsolete by the changes. I could literally have run all 7 (8) of those armies clear up to modern rules without having to swap anything.

The BEST thing GW could do for balance is not change out the foundation of the house every 3 years.


You still can actually. They just won't be competitive. The SW lists I play are very 5th-7th edition oriented, in fact I haven't bought a single model of that faction after 7th. "Invalidated" is a big word, unless you play some FW factions. Nothing has been actually invalidated, on the contrary the modern lists can avoid all the restrictions that came with the old FOC. And unless you're SM the foundation of every houses is mostly the same since 20+ years.

You've probably have been lucky in the past. I had to make significant changes to my favourite orks lists in the updating process from the 3rd codex to 4th-5th edition one just to play fairly balanced games against friends. There's a ton of examples of units that were completely re-written, removed, or changed significantly in stats and/or points cost with the launch of the new codex even in older editions.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/01/15 12:18:33


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Yeah, my point about scope isn't that there's a Guardsmen who can individually try to bayonet the Warlord Titan (though that IS a problem), but rather the breadth of factions.

Units/armies like the Inquisition, Custodes, Sisters of Silence, etc used to be fluff elements or folded into larger and wider armies as options within a greater context.

To use the analogy again: Custodes vs Harlequins with allied CWE on Martian terrain is basically the Secret Service entering a pitched battle with the Screen Actors Guild with allied German tank battalions somewhere in Peru.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/01/15 14:43:36


 
   
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 Blackie wrote:
 Just Tony wrote:


Yes I can. I've run seven armies (8 if you count Legion of the Damned) spanning 3rd Ed. to 6th when I dropped out of modern gaming completely. Despite that, I've followed the rules waiting fruitlessly for the game to return to a semblance of lunacy and balance. DESPITE that, NONE of my armies were invalidated by any edition or Codex change. None of my models were made obsolete by the changes. I could literally have run all 7 (8) of those armies clear up to modern rules without having to swap anything.

The BEST thing GW could do for balance is not change out the foundation of the house every 3 years.


You still can actually. They just won't be competitive. The SW lists I play are very 5th-7th edition oriented, in fact I haven't bought a single model of that faction after 7th. "Invalidated" is a big word, unless you play some FW factions. Nothing has been actually invalidated, on the contrary the modern lists can avoid all the restrictions that came with the old FOC. And unless you're SM the foundation of every houses is mostly the same since 20+ years.


I've got you beat on not updating a SW force.
Until 2018 my 2e era army had been static since before 3rd ed arrived.
Other than decretive bits (bases, sculpted shoulder pads, SW specific backpacks) & occasionally having to swap a weapon from one guy to another, nothing added.
What changed?
1) Well, for 8e I had to add a third Greyhunter pack in order to have the option of fielding a Battalion. So I went & tracked down a 2e GH box. They get referred to as "New Squad" & used as infrequently as possible.
2) I replaced my 2e era Armor Cast drop pods with the much more transport friendly kits from GW.
The only model to have ever been invalidated? My Ragnar since there's now no 9e option to field a non-primarisized version of him. (but I'll just use him as a generic Wolf Lord)
Other than that? I'm playing the exact same SW models/list I've been using since 2e.
   
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 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Yeah, my point about scope isn't that there's a Guardsmen who can individually try to bayonet the Warlord Titan (though that IS a problem), but rather the breadth of factions.

Units/armies like the Inquisition, Custodes, Sisters of Silence, etc used to be fluff elements or folded into larger and wider armies as options within a greater context.

To use the analogy again: Custodes vs Harlequins with allied CWE on Martian terrain is basically the Secret Service entering a pitched battle with the Screen Actors Guild with allied German tank battalions somewhere in Peru.


Except in this case, there's more than one planet with "red dirt", the Secret Service has weapons that can rip through German Tanks and the Screen Actors Guild can not only leap over buildings and dodge bullets but have weapons that penetrate all but the strongest of armor and fill the juicy organs underneath with monomolecular wire... you know what, I'm not sure this analogy really works out too well.

Also, Inquisition, Assassins and Sisters of Silence at least are folded into wider armies as options within a greater context, by way of their special rules that allow them to be added into other armies without breaking detachment bonuses. Custodes have been expanded out to a full force that engages in battles of tabletop scale on their own, though.

I went into this post ultimately agreeing with your main point but disagreeing with the use of the analogy and then as I thought about it more I realized that most of these armies have been set up to be primarily a small part of a larger force or have been expanded in fluff and rules to be a capable force on their own. Oops.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/01/15 15:59:40


 
   
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 Unit1126PLL wrote:
To use the analogy again: Custodes vs Harlequins with allied CWE on Martian terrain is basically the Secret Service entering a pitched battle with the Screen Actors Guild with allied German tank battalions somewhere in Peru.


Ya know, that's why I replaced my Kroot with Ork shoota boyz - they function just fine in vacuum.

@ OP: I don't expect 40k to be balanced, but I expect to be surprised every now & then.

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ccs wrote:


I've got you beat on not updating a SW force.
Until 2018 my 2e era army had been static since before 3rd ed arrived.


omg - there's more of us! I'm in the same boat.

I think I have the entire line up of metal SW models from the 2nd edition era. This includes:

30 grey hunters/blood claws
6 wolf guard terminators
6 wolf scouts
5 long fangs + sergeant
assorted wolf guard in power armor
Bjorn dreadnaught
Characters: Ragar, Njal, Ulrik, rune priest, rune priest in termi armor, iron priest

I have a list using all the above still in 9th edition (alongside land speeders and drop pods). Still usable!

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/01/15 17:54:23


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Yeah, with the exception of few models the bulk of the GW line lasts for decades. And most factions are still ok playing lists that aren't that different to what they used to bring 15-20 years ago.

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 Da Boss wrote:
There really should be a disclaimer at the start of the thread that we all understand that perfect balance is unattainable and are talking about improving balance or having "close enough" balance.
Do we all though? Or specifically, are we all aware of the massive difficulty in getting anywhere near close balance in a game as expansive (sprawling?) as 40k?

I must confess that even as a seasoned gamer, with a good grasp of writing rules, I had overlooked a lot of subtle factors and even one or two few major ones. Until I started researching it extensively a few years ago. Now I'm aware of the complexities, but wreck my head trying to account for them. Fun and frustrating in equal measure.

I think the most crucial step in achieving any semblance of balance in the game is to limit synergies and buffing and avoid snowballing. In particular its so difficult to establish the worth of AOE abilities, to say nothing of bonuses that effect a whole army.

This message was edited 6 times. Last update was at 2021/01/15 22:33:58


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 kirotheavenger wrote:
The idea behind the FOC is that building a skew list would become impossible, as you cannot physically fit enough of anything to make it skew.
You are, in effect, forced to take a balanced TAC list as that's all that will fit within the confines of the FOC.

Personally I don't think the old FOC achieved this particularly effectively, as a units classification really had very little to do with actual tabletop performance.
But it's a solid concept.


I dont really think you need a FOC so much if things are well planed. Warmachine does not have one(but the way the warcaster group works may be close, as well as themes in a way.) , but in the way the army is built its rare for truly Skew lists to be pushed. Since often even if you go heavy into builds you want there support elements as well, with assassination this also gives a powerful out even if you are running a sub optimal army.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/01/16 06:12:12


 
   
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There's currently no competitive skew list that wouldn't fit the old FOC though. Marines, Harlequins, Orks, Daemons, etc.. all fit the max 3x FA, HS, Elites limitations that the old FOC had.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/01/16 09:17:19


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 Blackie wrote:
There's currently no competitive skew list that wouldn't fit the old FOC though. Marines, Harlequins, Orks, Daemons, etc.. all fit the max 3x FA, HS, Elites limitations that the old FOC had.


With the caveat that some of these factions allready undermined the FOC via squads / squadrons.

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Not Online!!! wrote:
 Blackie wrote:
There's currently no competitive skew list that wouldn't fit the old FOC though. Marines, Harlequins, Orks, Daemons, etc.. all fit the max 3x FA, HS, Elites limitations that the old FOC had.


With the caveat that some of these factions allready undermined the FOC via squads / squadrons.


That's true. Although units like artillery, dreads, buggies were close to centerpiece models in 3rd-5th edition while now we have bigger tanks/walkers, superheavies, flyers, primarchs, infantries with T5 3W, etc... so fielding those units as single models instead of squadrons wouldn't make any sense for some armies anymore.

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 Blackie wrote:
Not Online!!! wrote:
 Blackie wrote:
There's currently no competitive skew list that wouldn't fit the old FOC though. Marines, Harlequins, Orks, Daemons, etc.. all fit the max 3x FA, HS, Elites limitations that the old FOC had.


With the caveat that some of these factions allready undermined the FOC via squads / squadrons.


That's true. Although units like artillery, dreads, buggies were close to centerpiece models in 3rd-5th edition while now we have bigger tanks/walkers, superheavies, flyers, primarchs, infantries with T5 3W, etc... so fielding those units as single models instead of squadrons wouldn't make any sense for some armies anymore.


also squadrons were quite often counterproductive for vehicles. So in a way it was better balanced.

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The recent Death Guard codex has people up in arms over some options in load outs being limited in ways that make some popular unit builds illegal. I feel this is a smart move for balance without actually removing any given option from viability. How do our balance focused posters feel about this change?
   
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 Canadian 5th wrote:
The recent Death Guard codex has people up in arms over some options in load outs being limited in ways that make some popular unit builds illegal. I feel this is a smart move for balance without actually removing any given option from viability. How do our balance focused posters feel about this change?
If it was made with balance in mind, I'd be happier. But it was made because "that's what's in the kit."

Furthermore, with what GW actually does and given their track record at balance, the best we can probably hope for from GW is customization. The ability to really make your dudes, YOUR DUDES. This goes against that, and barely affects balance.

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 Canadian 5th wrote:
The recent Death Guard codex has people up in arms over some options in load outs being limited in ways that make some popular unit builds illegal. I feel this is a smart move for balance without actually removing any given option from viability. How do our balance focused posters feel about this change?

I see this argument again and again and it makes no sense. People ran their PM in those ways because it gave each unit a purpose and made sense. Rest assured no DG player who was power gaming was ever running big/many PM squads to begin with. So balance has nothing to do with it, in fact if you were so inclined 10-man units actually get MORE special weapons now than ever before. It is just people that ran 6-9 man squads that get boned now. Now you can try and defend this change for a number of reasons (all of which I disagree with) but balance had nothing to do with it.
   
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 JNAProductions wrote:
If it was made with balance in mind, I'd be happier. But it was made because "that's what's in the kit."

I'm sure you can back this up with evidence... right?

Furthermore, with what GW actually does and given their track record at balance, the best we can probably hope for from GW is customization. The ability to really make your dudes, YOUR DUDES. This goes against that, and barely affects balance.

In Codex: Death Guard GW has directly nerfed the army's ability to maximize the board control advantage its raw toughness would otherwise afford it. No OBSEC on cultists, one secondary specific action for Poxwalkers, and a nerf to the potency of 5-man PM units. This could all be a coincidence, but taken as a whole it seems like an honest effort to proactively balance DG.

 Castozor wrote:
I see this argument again and again and it makes no sense. People ran their PM in those ways because it gave each unit a purpose and made sense. Rest assured no DG player who was power gaming was ever running big/many PM squads to begin with. So balance has nothing to do with it, in fact if you were so inclined 10-man units actually get MORE special weapons now than ever before. It is just people that ran 6-9 man squads that get boned now. Now you can try and defend this change for a number of reasons (all of which I disagree with) but balance had nothing to do with it.

Doesn't this also pull a special weapon from a 5-man unit of PMs as well? Also, see my reply to JNA above for why I think this was expressly targeted as a balance change.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/01/18 23:30:40


 
   
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 Canadian 5th wrote:
 JNAProductions wrote:
If it was made with balance in mind, I'd be happier. But it was made because "that's what's in the kit."

I'm sure you can back this up with evidence... right?...


Inference, certainly. How likely is it that game balance happens to require those specific restrictions and no others? If balance requires that Plague Marines be only able to carry weapons that ship in exactly one box of Plague Marines why is the same not true of, say, Retributors (you need two boxes to field four of the same gun, which five models are allowed to do)? Going the other way a Tactical Squad box ships with four special weapons but they can only use one, why would balance require that Plague Marines be able to field all the guns in the box but Tactical Squads can't?

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/01/18 23:38:55


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Yeah 5-man also got hit, my bad. But really ye they did target our board control but balance wise how much board control does a small 5" movement crew even get you? PM are to expensive to spam and this "re balancing" as you seem to think it is doesn't even make sense. You can still take 2 plasma and a blightlauncher in a 5-man squad but not 2 blightlaunchers and 1 plasma for some reason. Not too mention melee squads got hit the hardest, who only offer damage in melee as supposed to other smaller PM squads who can squat on an objective and offer firepower down range.
   
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 AnomanderRake wrote:
Inference, certainly. How likely is it that game balance happens to require those specific restrictions and no others? If balance requires that Plague Marines be only able to carry weapons that ship in exactly one box of Plague Marines why is the same not true of, say, Retributors (you need two boxes to field four of the same gun, which five models are allowed to do)? Going the other way a Tactical Squad box ships with four special weapons but they can only use one, why would balance require that Plague Marines be able to field all the guns in the box but Tactical Squads can't?

It could easily line up that a balance change and another desired change happened to line up.

There's also the fact that we see a distinct change in weapons options between mono-pose models and multi-pose models which is likely what's making the divide between DG and SM right now. If we see another codex drop that has the same type of mono-pose kits as DG use that don't have these restrictions I might be swayed but as things stand it's in my belief that this is an alignment between the axes of balance and practicality.
   
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Do you regard Battle Sisters as less mono-pose than Plague Marines?

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 AnomanderRake wrote:
Do you regard Battle Sisters as less mono-pose than Plague Marines?

Do they have a 9th edition codex?
   
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In theory it facilitates balance if you assume certain weapons are always going to be better than others (for at least a certain period of time until the pendulum swings.)

I.E. if 5 Blightlords with combi-plasma are just *better* than any other loadout, the bar between someone who is willing to spend the time and money accumulating them (assuming strict adherence to WYSIWIG) and someone who isn't is removed.

In terms of pure balance its obviously easier if the loadout of all units is set in stone - and so you don't have optimal/suboptimal loadouts. Same reason arguably why chapter tactics are bad - how do you balance for picking the good ones or picking the bad ones?

In practice though, I'm not sure this trade off in losing customisation is good for the hobby. In terms of gameplay, I'm also not sure its worth the time loss in having to roll every model individually. I.E. if you ran 5 melee Plague Marines you'd now have a guy with two knives, a guy with an axe and a knife, a guy with an axe and a mace, a guy with a flail and a guy with a cleaver. All of these would have to be rolled separately. Which is just going to eat up time.

Admittedly nothing stopped you doing this before - but making it mandatory seems a step back.
   
 
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