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Made in gb
Wing Commander





Bristol (UK)

I know, I've hardly given GW anything either, and certainly not directly.
However, that's definitely not a universal solution. If you want to play anywhere officially GW sanctioned, like a store or tournament, 3rd party models aren't going to cut it.
And in general things like pirating rules and cheap low quality proxies is generally frowned upon.
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut




I'm afraid I'm suspect on this well-worn idea that two new players can buy up a list and then one will win 100% of the time versus the other. I suspect what you really have is that one player does know *more* than the other, even if you don't perceive it to be the case.

I wouldn't be surprised if there was a 60/40 relationship - which would be bad *if they play enough games for this to actually be clear* - but its a fair distance from 100%/0%.

Its like Tau are bad. Why? Because across a games and number crunching since 9th launched they have a 40% win rate. They should be buffed. Its worth emphasising though those stats do however still mean they win 40% of their games. Its not like they lose every single one - which you might be meant to believe according to the forums. (It could for example be that Tau only have a 25%~ versus Harlequins/Marines/Sisters - but as a result a 50% chance versus everyone else.)

Whisper it - but I actually increasingly think 40k's problem is that there is a lot of "skill" in it, and so getting two players who are genuinely of equal ability/knowledge is very rare. As a result you get circles of friends where player X seemingly always beats player Y (who loses to everyone) but then always seems to lose to player Z (who seems to beat everyone, cos whatever he is playing is overpowered, and it often is cos more serious about the game).
   
Made in gb
Wing Commander





Bristol (UK)

Perhaps not "skill", but I definitely think people take different approaches.
Some people really like optimising their lists. They put their effort and money into finding, buying, and using the best combos they can. Fair enough.

Other this attitude makes my stomach turn, and other people are the same. We derive our enjoyment from forging a narrative with awesome conversions, cool paint jobs, fluffy army compositions, etc.
These armies rarely come out optimised competitively and playing games against the first person I mentioned just isn't that enjoyable.

For me, balance means that the sorts of armies the second group comes up with aren't bad, unless it's something ridiculous. Likewise the lists that the first group comes up with shouldn't on an entirely different level.
   
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Decrepit Dakkanaut







Yeah. Generally when we say balanced, we mean that dividing the game between "competitive" and "non-competitive" lists is difficult if not impossible.

It's a subjective thing though; obviously every game will have competitive and non-competitive lists in the sense that silly lists exist that will never and should never be as good as a deliberately built list (e.g. 100% cultists with the HQ choices being Warpsmiths).

But there is a degree to which a list is "reasonable" and "fluffy" and lists that meet these (admittedly subjective) criteria should not be further divisible into "competitive" and "non-competitive." For example, a list with lots of Leman Russes isn't really a competitive list right now, but it is reasonable and fluffy.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/01/06 15:07:00


 
   
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Longtime Dakkanaut




Annandale, VA

Tyel wrote:
Its like Tau are bad. Why? Because across a games and number crunching since 9th launched they have a 40% win rate. They should be buffed. Its worth emphasising though those stats do however still mean they win 40% of their games.


Tau and Astra Militarum have a go-second win rate of 29%. Their go-first winrate is closer to balanced, but I don't think you can look at a situation where a flip of the coin means you more than twice as likely to lose as win as reasonably balanced. It's better than it has been in the past, but that's a real low bar.

More importantly, these winrates are in a tournament environment, where people are taking the most competitive, powerful lists they can. Rough parity in winrates would tell us that the top-tier lists these armies can field are roughly equivalent, but it tells us nothing about their internal balance. Right now Tau depend on crutches like Riptides and millions of shield drones to be at all competitive. So yeah, maybe in tournament play the overall winrate for Tau isn't that far off from Marines... but if you put a fluffy Tau list with Kroot and Hammerheads up against a fluffy Marine list, the Tau get stomped bad.

And I think that's a much more relevant concern. We could reach a state where every faction has exactly a 50% winrate in tournament play, but still have un-fun, lopsided casual play games because Player A brought the A-tier units in their book and Player B brought the C-tier ones in theirs. Tournament results tell us what someone who understands and listbuilds to the meta can expect to achieve, not what two new players making purchasing decisions based on fluff or looks will achieve.

I don't really buy when people say that 9th Ed requires no skill or thought, or that it's won or lost in listbuilding. But it is less about ingame skill and more about listbuilding than most other games I've played, and in large part that comes down to imbalance within each codex. If internal balance can be improved it will translate to better external balance, and in turn mean fewer pitfalls and less meta knowledge needed to have an effective army.
   
Made in gb
Last Remaining Whole C'Tan






 Unit1126PLL wrote:
I will say that I don't think GW can balance 40k without some drastic changes, and I also don't think they will make those changes.

So I don't 'expect' it to be balanced - in the sense that in my estimation of the future it won't be balanced.

HOWEVER

I do think a balanced game is a better game, if there are multifactions involved. How long would an MMO last if only one faction crushed all the others even 65% of the time in PVP? That's too high of an imbalance.

So I expect 40k to be balanced. Here I am using expect in the moralizing way, rather than the anticipatory way.

In other words, a balanced game is better and more fun. 40k could be more balanced, therefore it could be better and more fun. However, the game designers have shown time and again that the required changes are not a priority, and so 40k will be less good and less fun (while still having a degree of fun that means playing it isn't a chore).


There are also a stupendous amount of units, armies, rules and interactions to factor in.

Compare to say, Adeptus Titanicus and Underworlds.

AT has essentially a single faction. Maniples can be used to theme a collection, and Legion specific rules can add further themeing. But for all that, a Warlord largely remains a Warlord and so on and so forth. As a result, the game is pretty well balanced. Provided the points value between chassis and weapons is about right, there’s not a huge amount to balance out.

Underworlds benefits from a “best of three” rounds, and fixed Warbands. Now I’m not terribly familiar with the game, but it does seem to be well regarded in terms of player feedback. And I’m not aware of a given Warband being noticeably more powerful than the others. This also features the victory conditions, where it’s not just “smash the opponents face in as quick as possible”.

So it seems GW can, when they want, produce well balanced games.

But 40k is a very, very different beast. Armies have lots of units. Different units have different options. Different builds favour certain units and certain weapon combinations. A codex needs to be internally balanced (so no unit is objectively completely useless), and balanced against the wider game system.

When you think about it in those terms, and through that lens? The level of balance they have achieved is pretty remarkable. Yes improvements are needed (oh hai Grey Knights!), but for the most part, most armies can go toe to toe and produce an enjoyable game.

Remember. Meta Lists are the result of hours of play, and hard number crunching. And even then they’re not always what they’re cracked up to be, as they still need the tactical know how and in-game experience to make them work.

Theory and Math Hammer also often fall down, because they don’t factor in variables, or revolve solely around averages. Now, the latter is definitely a useful and unavoidable part of the game. But it is not in itself a deciding factor. We’ve all had the game specific equivalent of Rubber Lance Syndrome, and I dare say we’ve all pulled off one in a million shots far more often than one in a million times.

Yet both are often used to ‘prove’ imbalance. Math Hammer in particular falls down here. Sure (numbers purely for demonstration) strictly statistically, a blob squad of 30 Guardsman might only do 2.3 wounds to Intercessors. But as I mentioned above, Math Hammer all too often seems to simply ignore the potential wounds, treating Likely as sacrosanct and unchanging, the result you will only ever roll.

If that is the deciding factor in all your tactical thinking? You’ll miss out on the riskier shots, because you’ve already convinced yourself it can’t work because statistics. Compare that to say, your Assault Squad, with a charge lined up, taking pot shots at a tank which they could finish off. If you take that risk, and it pays off, you’re in a better position than leaving the tank be because statistics. Even if you take it an fail? Well, depending on the situation, it could be a “so what” outcome. And any such successes have a decent chance of wrong footing your opponent, because they didn’t think you’d even try it, let alone pull it off.

There’s also a tendency to only use The Right Tool in people’s strategies. Now of course, if given the choice I’d rather shoot a LasCannon at a Leman Russ than a Heavy Bolter, so having a decent mix of weapons (or super specialising and accepting the risks therein) is important, as is knowing your Math Hammer as to which is which. But that doesn’t mean the Heavy Bolter won’t make the difference you need.

You don’t have to go pants on head crazy. That is not what I’m espousing here. But you should keep an open mind, and run the right risk at the right time.

Well....I’ve Wimbrelled. But yeah. 40k has a stupendous number of variables to balance. Like, thousands. And it often feels people are overly restricting their thinking when it comes to their tactical and strategic options.

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Decrepit Dakkanaut







I don't disagree, Mad Doc, but the stupendous amount of options isn't a good reason not to chase balance. It's a good reason not to have a stupendous amount of options.

The game is a designed, artificial thing. Those options can arrive and be taken away at will. GW clearly choses to take away some options (the entire Renegades and Heretics army list) while adding other options (17 Space Marine captain datasheets).

One could make a good argument that 40k has grown bigger than its britches. It's a mass battle game where you and your opponent are engaged in galactic war, but I can bring an army of Deathwatch or Sisters of Silence.

That'd be like playing a World War 2 game and bringing an "army" of OSS agents or the Bletchley Park decoding team (+5ppm to give them Walther pistols!), and my opponent has the 502. Schwere Panzerabteilung. There miiiiiiiight be a bit of a problem with this WWII game's scoping and scaling...

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/01/06 15:18:31


 
   
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!!Goffik Rocker!!






Nuremberg

I think it is also bigger than flat win rates. Those win rates might involve lists which are extremely narrow and exclude a lot of choices.
Like if I like the idea of Tau as a multi-species coalition and I want to bring Kroot and Fire Warriors and Vespid and so on, can I do that or will my list immediately be less good than a list that takes some other combination?
That is why balance is important, it frees you up to play with the stuff you think is cool without worrying too much that you are wrecking your chances of ever winning a game.

The conversation sort of assumes we are gonna read through the rules and build a list that avoids the "trap" options. But in a game that also involves collecting, modelling and painting miniature figures with a story behind them, being able to just use the ones you think are cool is a huge part of the game that is completely left high and dry for some factions who have a very narrow choice if they want to compete with even a casual list from a faction that has more viable variety.

That is probably why all "tactics" discussion ultimately boils down to list building, and that is the biggest "skill" in 40K. The other skills like target priority, movement and resource usage are not very complex.

   
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Junior Officer with Laspistol





London, Ontario

I agree that a balanced game is optimal, and provides the best experience for competitive and non-competitive players. Particularly when they are gaming together.

Heuristically speaking (scenario with a reasonably small investment of effort resulting in a "pretty good" solution) I am happy with a 60/40 victory split in a given matchup. That's as close to balanced as a single "extra" win for either side would result in, in a 10 game series. Having just started Tau in 9th edition, I think I have a bit of an uphill battle, just based on the mission parameters, but I don't feel I'm "locked out" of a win by choice of faction.

But again, GW doesn't "owe" anyone a well balanced game. I think there could be financial benefits to them for doing so, but they seem to have a business model that tends towards flavour of the month and that's ok too. It's their business and they can run it how they choose.
   
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!!Goffik Rocker!!






Nuremberg

60/40 would be pretty decent, I would consider that balanced for a complex tabletop game. I would be okay with 70/30 as well, go any lower than that and you are in "feels bad" territory.

But within that you want to feel like everything is contributing in your games.

I fully agree they don't "owe" people a balanced game but I also think if they charge money for product then people have the right to voice their opinions on it if it is crap. Hell, they have that right even if it is something they put out for free!

   
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Decrepit Dakkanaut







I could be convinced to settle for 60/40, but flat winrate isn't everything. An army might be 40/60 against another army, but equipped with very narrow builds or a specific wombo-combo, while the other army can do whatever.

70/30 is probably a game I wouldn't play, if I was the 30. It's just not worth my time and brainpower to fight those uphill odds and then try to write a narrative about it. (unless we deliberately prearranged the game to be a last stand or something).
   
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Ancient Chaos Terminator




The dark hollows of Kentucky

Can 40k ever be truly balanced? No, too many units and options, and for the record I don't want those options curtailed for the sake of balance. But could 40k be more balanced? Definitely. And it starts with gw not playing favorites among the various factions when writing their rules. All those different units and options need to be at least viable, that's why balance starts with good internal balance for every faction. Just because a faction has a couple good tournament lists doesn't mean its codex is balanced. Every codex should support multiple types of armies, maybe not at tournament level, but definitely at a casual level, and without negotiating lists.
   
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Last Remaining Whole C'Tan






 Gadzilla666 wrote:
Can 40k ever be truly balanced? No, too many units and options, and for the record I don't want those options curtailed for the sake of balance. But could 40k be more balanced? Definitely. And it starts with gw not playing favorites among the various factions when writing their rules. All those different units and options need to be at least viable, that's why balance starts with good internal balance for every faction. Just because a faction has a couple good tournament lists doesn't mean its codex is balanced. Every codex should support multiple types of armies, maybe not at tournament level, but definitely at a casual level, and without negotiating lists.


Another important factor here? Try to avoid situations like the 3.5 Chaos Codex.

The bloke who wrote that was an Iron Warriors player. Let’s just say that shone through!

A Codex should absolutely have someone with an interest driving it, but that needs to be tempered correctly.

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Sure Space Wolves Land Raider Pilot





Canada

 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:


Underworlds benefits from a “best of three” rounds, and fixed Warbands. Now I’m not terribly familiar with the game, but it does seem to be well regarded in terms of player feedback. And I’m not aware of a given Warband being noticeably more powerful than the others. This also features the victory conditions, where it’s not just “smash the opponents face in as quick as possible”.


I have played Underworlds Competitively since season 1. It's a fantastic game, and with the Forsaken/Restricted card list, it's very well balanced. Some of the season 1 warbands have weaker faction specific cards than those from more recent seasons, but I've won Beastgrave (season 3) tournaments with Season 1 warbands. It's probably the best game GW has if you want to play tournaments. You create your own win conditions for your warband, so there are multiple ways to play and win. Best of 3 really helps mitigate loosing a game from a run of bad dice, or dead cards in hand. I can't say enough good things about the game.


This message was edited 4 times. Last update was at 2021/01/06 15:53:20


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Made in gb
Wing Commander





Bristol (UK)

I'd love to play Underworlds, but having to buy essentially every warband to get the best cards from each scuppered any desire I had.
The models are cracking though.

I think the scope and general setup of 40k is just too vast to have truly balanced.
Which is why I think any balance should focus around "sane" lists, and punishing everything else competitively.
Spamming conscripts could be fun, but it shouldn't be competitive.
   
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Ancient Chaos Terminator




The dark hollows of Kentucky

 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
 Gadzilla666 wrote:
Can 40k ever be truly balanced? No, too many units and options, and for the record I don't want those options curtailed for the sake of balance. But could 40k be more balanced? Definitely. And it starts with gw not playing favorites among the various factions when writing their rules. All those different units and options need to be at least viable, that's why balance starts with good internal balance for every faction. Just because a faction has a couple good tournament lists doesn't mean its codex is balanced. Every codex should support multiple types of armies, maybe not at tournament level, but definitely at a casual level, and without negotiating lists.


Another important factor here? Try to avoid situations like the 3.5 Chaos Codex.

The bloke who wrote that was an Iron Warriors player. Let’s just say that shone through!

A Codex should absolutely have someone with an interest driving it, but that needs to be tempered correctly.

Heh, I think gw seems to have a "thing" for any Legion/chapter with "Iron" in their name. I love the 3.5 CSM codex, but it wasn't internally balanced very well. When people complain about 3.5, they definitely aren't complaining about Night Lords.
   
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Sure Space Wolves Land Raider Pilot





Canada

 kirotheavenger wrote:
I'd love to play Underworlds, but having to buy essentially every warband to get the best cards from each scuppered any desire I had.
The models are cracking though.


You don't need them all for championship format, only the most recent two seasons. For Vanguard format, you only use the most recent, so it's not too bad.

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Nuremberg

 Unit1126PLL wrote:
I could be convinced to settle for 60/40, but flat winrate isn't everything. An army might be 40/60 against another army, but equipped with very narrow builds or a specific wombo-combo, while the other army can do whatever.

70/30 is probably a game I wouldn't play, if I was the 30. It's just not worth my time and brainpower to fight those uphill odds and then try to write a narrative about it. (unless we deliberately prearranged the game to be a last stand or something).


I've had a 70/30 winrate with my Orks at the end of the old 3e codex lifespan when I was up against a lot of stuff that was just better than what my book or model collection could provide. I didn't love it, but winning just under a third of my games was okay. I felt like I had a chance in each game.

Later in 5e I was able to get my win rate just up above 50%, and I really had a lot of fun then. Lots of close games, felt like I had a chance every game.

But the bigger issue became being forced into certain builds to compete. I had all these big shootas I was never gonna use, certain units that you just knew you wouldn't bother with and so on. That's why balance within a faction is nearly as important as balance between factions.

Very hard to do in a game like 40K that routinely has squads of basic grunts going up against super heavies like Titans or flyers.

   
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Longtime Dakkanaut




 Da Boss wrote:
That is probably why all "tactics" discussion ultimately boils down to list building, and that is the biggest "skill" in 40K. The other skills like target priority, movement and resource usage are not very complex.


I don't think this is true.
Target priority, movement, resource management etc are not that easy to do in the heat of the moment.
If so, why do people at FLGS and Tournaments all over the world make fairly obvious mistakes?
I think "knowing and remembering things" is the key skill in 40k. But its hard to discuss that online - because it sort of boils down to "get good". And the main solution is practice.

I think for example there's a debate which could be had on how to move onto the mid board versus say Harlequins - because I think their very strong going second win rate is facilitated by their opponents giving easy charges. Unfortunately if you don't, they'll just go sit on the objectives and you lose that way - but still, it would be worth thinking about.

I think for the above comments, most Tau lists would actually *benefit* from having some blobs of kroot, rather than it being an insta-loss. I think this is because that pre-game move allows them to threaten the mid objectives (with obsec) in a way that Fire Warriors never will. But I don't practice what I preach, and I'm not going to buy 30-60 ancient kroot models to play with, baring in mind their rules could be changed completely - and there could be a new much shinier kit in the works (press X for doubt).
(I continue to theorise the best Tau list right now would be 6 commanders+170~ kroot and shapers, abusing character protection, not overly sweating on Thin Their Ranks and just flooding the board with crap - but see above for why I'm not running it.)
Same reason for why I'm not buying 120 Acolytes for GSC, even though I think that's been the competitive way to run them for a year or so. I don't want to spend £500-600 on a skew that could be nerfed into oblivion were GW to notice it was "a bit good" - which results in me having 60-80 Acolytes sitting on a shelf to never see the table again.

TL/DR I feel talking about *how* you should play is difficult - especially without a lot of pictures to demonstrate.
By contrast its very easy to have discussions over whether unit X or Y is better in a given list - or show that Space Marines (and Sisters tbh, but I like them) get far too many buffs compared with other factions. Which is why most tactical discussion turns into it.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/01/06 17:20:04


 
   
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!!Goffik Rocker!!






Nuremberg

I don't know much about how tau play, I was just using the list as an example.

I guess I will accept it is debatable, but I don't think "Don't move close enough to let them charge you" or "use screening units" and so on are particularly complex ideas.

They have less influence on the game generally than list choice because most people understand the basics pretty easily.

But I agree, list talk is easier so that is what most discourse goes down to. But it is also the issue that list choice is actually very significant because of how the game is made. Those people are right, you do need a good list to compete and making a bad list is gonna really screw you over even if you play well.

   
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Annandale, VA

I think there's definitely a fair amount of tactical decision-making in 40K, particularly when it comes to the objectives.

What I think the game currently lacks are tactical force multipliers that can swing the odds. Typical wargame examples are cover (beyond just +1 to a save), armor facings, crossfire rules, spotting, suppression, and other mechanics that contribute to combat and originate purely from tactical decisions made on the table.

Your force multipliers instead come primarily from unit synergies, which makes it much easier to accidentally screw yourself with listbuilding. If your list doesn't have much anti-tank, you can't make the most of what you have by flanking to hit vulnerable rear armor, or using terrain to get your infantry in close enough for assault. Without that ability to dynamically shift matchups in your favor, the list ends up driving capabilities to a more significant degree.

I remember WHFB players talking about this sort of stuff a lot more. Beyond listbuilding, it was important to properly manage maneuver and strategy, and you could potentially wipe out Chaos Warriors with Clanrats if you outflanked them. But there is basically no way I can get Conscripts to beat Intercessors- unless I have other things in my list that can amp them up.

That's the sort of non-listbuilding skill element that I feel 40K is currently light on. It's not that there isn't skill to 40K, but the non-list-related elements (eg spacing, screening, tripointing) are pretty simple, and then the more complex elements come down to optimally employing your list. I've played other games with comparable levels of imbalance in the army lists themselves, but the depth of gameplay provided tools for a good player to overcome that imbalance, and ultimately that made the outcome more skill-driven and the games feel more balanced.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/01/06 18:38:25


 
   
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Longtime Dakkanaut




Tl;Dr- no. I don't expect it to be balanced. Especially out of the box, or with any kind of 'universal' game/mission types. No ttg has ever achieved this. Its an unsolvable equation.

In depth, I don't think it can be balanced. 'A balanced game' is a myth, and frankly, unobtainable. Ttgs are extremely limited systems and can't hold much weight. The best you can reasonably expect in my opinion is some things match up well against some other things, at least some of the time.and even then with the caveat that you might need to front-end the game yourself.

Now, can the game be better balanced? Maybe, but I think it misses the point too. How much 'better' is 'good enough'. I think 'better' is as much of a unicorn as 'balanced. I don't think any amount of 'better' will be good enough, especially for the competitive expression of the game. I suspect any amount of problems, loose ends or imbalances will be seized on to the exclusion of whats positive, making 'better' simplistic pointless.


It seems to me often online there is a simplistic explanation of 'something something incompetence' and an equally simplistic expectation of some kind of magic solution along the lines 'if only things were costed correctly' as though this was the main lever to pull. When you talk about actual nitty gritty fixes (multiple win conditions, multiple lists, smaller scale/scope), you quickly realise it's not that simple, the tools that impose the illusion of balance also create as many problems as they solve and as soon as people realise some of the consequences and costs of these solutions, they go quiet and jump back to magic unicorn answers. I've not seen any of these 'solutions' in other games,especially cb or pp, not generate rage online, and fully expect any of these to be magnified like crazy when exposed to the much larger 40k community.

Honestly, in my opinion, any expectation of 'balanced, or of having a 'fair game' requires a front ended game building approach, and more than a bit of collaboration from the players as well, and cannot be expected out of the game box.

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 catbarf wrote:
I think there's definitely a fair amount of tactical decision-making in 40K, particularly when it comes to the objectives.

What I think the game currently lacks are tactical force multipliers that can swing the odds. Typical wargame examples are cover (beyond just +1 to a save), armor facings, crossfire rules, spotting, suppression, and other mechanics that contribute to combat and originate purely from tactical decisions made on the table.

Your force multipliers instead come primarily from unit synergies, which makes it much easier to accidentally screw yourself with listbuilding. If your list doesn't have much anti-tank, you can't make the most of what you have by flanking to hit vulnerable rear armor, or using terrain to get your infantry in close enough for assault. Without that ability to dynamically shift matchups in your favor, the list ends up driving capabilities to a more significant degree.

I remember WHFB players talking about this sort of stuff a lot more. Beyond listbuilding, it was important to properly manage maneuver and strategy, and you could potentially wipe out Chaos Warriors with Clanrats if you outflanked them. But there is basically no way I can get Conscripts to beat Intercessors- unless I have other things in my list that can amp them up.

That's the sort of non-listbuilding skill element that I feel 40K is currently light on. It's not that there isn't skill to 40K, but the non-list-related elements (eg spacing, screening, tripointing) are pretty simple, and then the more complex elements come down to optimally employing your list. I've played other games with comparable levels of imbalance in the army lists themselves, but the depth of gameplay provided tools for a good player to overcome that imbalance, and ultimately that made the outcome more skill-driven and the games feel more balanced.


This is a fantastic post, and I wish I could exalt it more than once.
   
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Exalted Beastlord




 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
Voss wrote:
Sure. But game balance isn't snap-your-fingers magic and the developers don't live in the same world as the rest of us.

Their world has constantly shifting draft versions and deadlines, for one thing. For another, what they think of as normal amongst their tiny group has no relationship with how other people (ie, customers) play the game.

That they're still surprised that people use the rules in the books as opposed to what's in their heads is a little sad, but not very surprising at this point. Especially after the opening paragraphs of several codex supplement FAQs. They're just that disconnected from external 'states of play'


One can also make the argument that given GW haven’t tried to design 40k as a strictly competitive game, those expecting it to be so will always be disappointed.


One could. But those arguments are usually sheer sophistry about how playing a game to win is BadWrongFun and shouldn't be allowed.

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Voss wrote:


One could. But those arguments are usually sheer sophistry about how playing a game to win is BadWrongFun and shouldn't be allowed.


Not necessary. He is not wrong. I.could have a corn flake eating contest with my wife. Is that meaningful? Gradients, not lines in the sand. Wanting to win is all well and good, and despite what you say, I doubt that more than a handful of people (the mythical casual at all cost scrub- in all my time here, I've identified one who would fit this description) would flat out state this as 'badwrongfun', but wanting to win has a price and it is realistic to acknowledge there is a point where the desire for this win, can become toxic and can damage everything around it.

While you are not not necessary wrong that achieving victory is a goal, is it or should it be considered the only goal, should it supercede all other aspects of someone's enjoyment to the point of detriment? How much should be sacrificed on the altar of competitive play in order to.summon this 'goal of winning? And how much does it really count for in an game as utterly breakable and poorly designed as 40k?

Truth is, it's a social hobby and context matters.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/01/06 20:34:47


greatest band in the universe: machine supremacy

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Deadnight wrote:
Voss wrote:


One could. But those arguments are usually sheer sophistry about how playing a game to win is BadWrongFun and shouldn't be allowed.


Not necessary. He is not wrong. I.could have a corn flake eating contest with my wife. Is that meaningful? Gradients, not lines in the sand. Wanting to win is all well and good, and despite what you say, I doubt that more than a handful of people (the mythical casual at all cost scrub- in all my time here, I've identified one who would fit this description) would flat out state this as 'badwrongfun', but wanting to win has a price and it is realistic to acknowledge there is a point where the desire for this win, can become toxic and can damage everything around it.

I've seen it a lot. I've seen the toxicity a lot less (except in crafted hypotheticals, and always, always only online, which to me means it has nothing to do with playing the game itself). Playing the game and socializing aren't even vaguely at odds and don't come into conflict with each other- you can't really play the game without socializing to some degree. So nothing needs to be sacrificed to the 'goal of winning,' any more than you need to sacrifice swimming to winning in a swimming event.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2021/01/06 20:43:12


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Voss wrote:
[
I've seen it a lot. I've seen the toxicity a lot less (except in crafted hypotheticals, and always, always only online, which to me means it has nothing to do with playing the game itself). Playing the game and socializing aren't even vaguely at odds and don't come into conflict with each other- you can't really play the game without socializing to some degree. So nothing needs to be sacrificed to the 'goal of winning,' any more than you need to sacrifice swimming to winning in a swimming event.



And yet plenty folks get driven out of, or walk away from games because of a competitive, or sometimes hyper competitive community that cannot, ot refuses to rein itself in. Look at warmachine now for example. Often it just takes one over the top player.

I've found the same as you, more or less in real life- most folks are decent. However you can rank up the competitive to the point where it impacts on the enjoyment of other people. Neither is necessarily wrong, but the consequences for the other person are more negative. I don't necessarily see that as a good thing.

And you can sacrifice a lot to swim better. Time, relationships, other hobbies, your health, yoy own personal enjoyment of said swimmimg etc . I've done reasonably high level wargaming when I was an active player. In wmh The time commitment was huge, it took from a lot of other things I also enjoyed and frankly, in the end I wasn't actually enjoying the games I was playing or the lists the competitive meta obliged me to use. For what it's worth some of my friends are fairly highly ranked amateur athletes. The cost to be at that level is huge and too often, it becomes an obsession, rather than an enjoyment, to the point where their health seriously deteriorated (I'm talking hospitalizations etc). Being at the other end of (or even the proximity) of someone that dedicated can come at a serioud cost. imagine being my wife, if I'm away several times a week until late in the evening/night playing toy soldiers. Its hardly cool for her, is it?

Frankly, it's not always worth it, which is why I am so wary of statements that winning is fine (hence, to what extent) and hyperbole that disagreement is akin to claiming 'badwrongfun'. You're not necessary wrong. Thing is, neither are they. Sometimes it's OK to want your hobby to be relaxing and casual, and not too serious, and that hyper competitive player sometimes is actually a jerk thats ruining it for everyone else.

Look,again, you're not wrong. Just... just keep what I said in mind that someone else's perspective might differ. You don't have to be a bad person or tfg to be the villain in someone else's story.

This message was edited 6 times. Last update was at 2021/01/06 21:34:09


greatest band in the universe: machine supremacy

"Punch your fist in the air and hold your Gameboy aloft like the warrior you are" 
   
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London, Ontario

(Off topic)

I like the way you put that at the end, not necessarily being a "bad person" to be the villain in someone else's story.

Kudos, Deadnight.
   
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 Unit1126PLL wrote:
 catbarf wrote:
I think there's definitely a fair amount of tactical decision-making in 40K, particularly when it comes to the objectives.

What I think the game currently lacks are tactical force multipliers that can swing the odds. Typical wargame examples are cover (beyond just +1 to a save), armor facings, crossfire rules, spotting, suppression, and other mechanics that contribute to combat and originate purely from tactical decisions made on the table.

Your force multipliers instead come primarily from unit synergies, which makes it much easier to accidentally screw yourself with listbuilding. If your list doesn't have much anti-tank, you can't make the most of what you have by flanking to hit vulnerable rear armor, or using terrain to get your infantry in close enough for assault. Without that ability to dynamically shift matchups in your favor, the list ends up driving capabilities to a more significant degree.

I remember WHFB players talking about this sort of stuff a lot more. Beyond listbuilding, it was important to properly manage maneuver and strategy, and you could potentially wipe out Chaos Warriors with Clanrats if you outflanked them. But there is basically no way I can get Conscripts to beat Intercessors- unless I have other things in my list that can amp them up.

That's the sort of non-listbuilding skill element that I feel 40K is currently light on. It's not that there isn't skill to 40K, but the non-list-related elements (eg spacing, screening, tripointing) are pretty simple, and then the more complex elements come down to optimally employing your list. I've played other games with comparable levels of imbalance in the army lists themselves, but the depth of gameplay provided tools for a good player to overcome that imbalance, and ultimately that made the outcome more skill-driven and the games feel more balanced.


This is a fantastic post, and I wish I could exalt it more than once.
I will add my own exalt to yours.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Canadian 5th wrote:
I'm curious, do our forum members actually expect a balanced game from Games Workshop? I'm not going to include a poll because I don't want a simple yes or no answer.

Do you think Games Workshop tries to balance 40k and our current game is the result of that or do you think they aim for just enough balance that it takes some investment to see if it's balanced at all and use that imbalance for some other purpose? As a follow-up, regardless of your thoughts on the previous question, would it be morally wrong for GW to intentionally create an imbalance to sell more models or even just so they can more easily shake up the meta?

I expect 40K should be roughly balanced in a way that makes every faction capable of offering up a reasonable solution for defeating most/all potential armies they could face.
I do not expect that every army will be capable of defeating any other army of a same point value.
I do not expect 40K units to be "balanced" because I expect that different units will have much different values based on context. Some units will be far better in dense terrain than others, for example.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/01/06 21:27:04


And They Shall Not Fit Through Doors!!!

Tyranid Army Progress -- With Classic Warriors!:
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 greatbigtree wrote:
(Off topic)

I like the way you put that at the end, not necessarily being a "bad person" to be the villain in someone else's story.

Kudos, Deadnight.


Off topic, but...

It's kind of my own philosophy - im keenly aware of perspective. We all see the world differently. We all want slightly different things. no one,bar malcolm Reynolds plans to be a bad guy(and even then, he's not really...). We all justify our actions to some extent and we all see ourselves,not wrongly, as the heroes of our own story.

Thing is, everyone has a story and while you may not wish it, just because you don't aim to be the bad guy in your story doesn't mean you're not the villain in someone else's.

Cheers.

greatest band in the universe: machine supremacy

"Punch your fist in the air and hold your Gameboy aloft like the warrior you are" 
   
 
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