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Made in us
Auspicious Aspiring Champion of Chaos





Im working on expanding narrativewargaming.com to include cinematic battles. Not sure how successful that will be but we will see

GW points don't bring balance. They exist purely for structure. You can get more balance from no points than you do from GW points. You however can get no structure in your game without points. 
   
Made in us
Insect-Infested Nurgle Chaos Lord






Count me in the 'nostalgia for fan comp days' crowd. A big part of why I am so critical of GW balance. Don't get me wrong--GW has added a ton of content to the game that I am really happy with and is great fun, but the game could be balanced as well if they cared to do so.

"Putting a statement in quotations makes it seem more legitimate."
--Bette R. Withname

Imagine three people with the same set of values but radically different emotional states, each of them believes their position is more valid than the other two, they all post using the same account, and your job is to make it coherent. 
   
Made in be
Longtime Dakkanaut





Belgium

They do care about trying to update points more often, though, otherwise they wouldn't bother with putting that July update

Thing is, balance tends to be a different thing depending on who's talking - and it doesn't help it shifts with the context as well. I mean, it's true the Keeper of Secrets is very interesting to say the least when taken in a Hedonist of Slaanesh army, but if he's taken in a Chaos Great Alliance Army ? Losing his summoning mechanic and all shenanigans with Slaanesh allegeance suddenly makes him less interesting for that cost in points, IMHO.

I don't think it's an easy task as well, while I do agree some things are quite obvious to abuse when you read it from the book the first few times.

Cuteness for the Cute Goddess! 
   
Made in ca
Death-Dealing Ultramarine Devastator






When balancing models and units, I don't think looking at it from it's Grand Alliance is worthwhile. I've never seen a real army (one WITH a battletome) ran under grand alliance, but my community also has nobody with multi-god chaos armies.

They'll always be most efficient when used in a proper battletome army, and I'd be confidant in saying that that is when models are used most of the time.

 Rippy wrote:
When you lose to a 7 year old, it's wise to not come and admit it and then try to blame the armies
 
   
Made in us
Horrific Hive Tyrant




Tampa, FL

My only issue with GHB vs. fan comps is that they picked essentially their buddies versions. Most of the big UK tournament players and GW's designers are mates. So they were already familiar with the guys who ran SCGT, despite it not being a great comp so they picked it anyways.

Despite most of the AOS team being UK tournament players, they still seem to be crazy with balance, but this makes sense when you consider the modern competitive gamer wants to have crazy combos and meta-chasing armies all the time, compared to the comp gamer of old who wanted actual balance so they could prove their superiority with tactics and not combos.

- Wayne
Formerly WayneTheGame 
   
Made in us
Insect-Infested Nurgle Chaos Lord






I think they just don't particularly care.

"Putting a statement in quotations makes it seem more legitimate."
--Bette R. Withname

Imagine three people with the same set of values but radically different emotional states, each of them believes their position is more valid than the other two, they all post using the same account, and your job is to make it coherent. 
   
Made in us
Auspicious Aspiring Champion of Chaos





It may not be “easy” but its certainly a lot easier than we like to give credit for. Its too hard to balance is an old excuse.

None of the fan comps were perfect but all of the top three or so used were many times better than ghb points.

Gw record is 100% unbalanced. Every. Time.

Fan comps were many times closer.

So what gives? I have been a games dev for a very long time. Its too hard to balance doesnt fly.

Either it is too hard for them and they are not competent... or churn and burn of a rotating power meta is very profitable.

That one seems easy to me.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2019/07/11 20:42:39


GW points don't bring balance. They exist purely for structure. You can get more balance from no points than you do from GW points. You however can get no structure in your game without points. 
   
Made in us
Insect-Infested Nurgle Chaos Lord






 Thadin wrote:
When balancing models and units, I don't think looking at it from it's Grand Alliance is worthwhile. I've never seen a real army (one WITH a battletome) ran under grand alliance, but my community also has nobody with multi-god chaos armies.

They'll always be most efficient when used in a proper battletome army, and I'd be confidant in saying that that is when models are used most of the time.
This is generally the case in my experience too. Though GW has shown some willingness to do different slices via the free city rules & more recently Defenders of Lethys. I like those options being a thing.

"Putting a statement in quotations makes it seem more legitimate."
--Bette R. Withname

Imagine three people with the same set of values but radically different emotional states, each of them believes their position is more valid than the other two, they all post using the same account, and your job is to make it coherent. 
   
Made in be
Longtime Dakkanaut





Belgium

I think their point of view is just different - though I believe it's slowly shifting as the new generation of designers is taking their job and the old guard being slowly replaced as time pass.

Jervis Johnson's point of view about the competitive scene is well known, after all. And he's still part of the studio about AoS, though Ben Johnson is clearly taking a big part now. And it is Ben Johnson who's pushing towards the competitive scene.

Also, they could certainly put more ressources and update the points/warscrolls on a faster pace, but what about the rest ? Would players be happy to buy a battletome that is obsolete merely a month after it is out ? You could tell them to download the FAQ for free on the website, but I'm not sure customers will be happy to go back too often there to have the most recent update just to be able to play. The 9th Age had a similar problem at a time, when they were changing rules way too fast for their community to follow up - and some players left confused about which version was actually the good version to play.

I think balance isn't the only factor out there. Still, that's not a justification.


About army faction rules, it is clear they are indeed intended to be more interesting than the Great Alliance. After all, it's "free". You can see with rules for mercenaries they are giving more tools to players to keep their precious army faction rules instead of having to take that less interesting Great Alliance rule and still having a broader choice of units. It's obviously made so that you keep using their battletomes, and I wouldn't be surprised if some tournaments decide to get rid of Great Alliances and accept battletomes/faction rules only in the future, when we'll have a broader choice of books and the Great Alliance books become obsolete as well.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2019/07/12 09:07:34


Cuteness for the Cute Goddess! 
   
Made in ca
Posts with Authority




I'm from the future. The future of space

I think they're going to continue to rely on the fan base to determine which subset of armies and which subset of units within those armies are "tournament viable" and not bother fixing everything. For some, list building is fun and getting an advantage by choosing the right stuff is the game for them as much as playing is.

I think Magic the Gathering has proven that you can make drastically different power level cards and have deck building be a valuable skill and the game can still be incredibly popular.

We may not want that, but I think it's the direction GW has settled on. Intentionally better and worse units and even armies and let the player base work it out as part of the development of a constantly shifting tournament meta. And those following the game and playing in competitive events can make new armies a couple times a year.

Balance in pick up games? Two people, each with their own goals for the game, design half a board game on their own without knowing the layout of the board and hope it all works out. Good luck with that. The faster you can find like minded individuals who want the same things from the game as you, the better. 
   
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Nuremberg

I think the Magic perspective does not work in a miniature game where people pick extremely expensive armies based on looks and themes, and then spend hours of their lives assembling and painting them and then bring them out to play, only to find out that they picked the faction with poopy rules or that the fickle and unprofessional design team is not interested in any more, and therefore they have broadly wasted their time and will not have fun. Magic is different, cards are just cards and making different decks is not as expensive or time intensive (not to mention the emotional investment).

I think of young kids playing who are using ALL of their disposable income on this hobby they are excited for, and it is a total crapshoot as to whether they will get an army that will be fun to play and stand a chance if they go deeper than open play with their friends. Add to that that the situation with "where do I find my rules" is crazy and not clear from the outside and I think it is very poor for an experienced game company with the resources GW has. They seem to not give a crap about player experience at all.

It genuinely makes me angry that people employed as full time rules writers would be that lazy and feckless. I do not think it is an impossible task to make each faction AT LEAST viable, even if balance is not perfect. Especially when you are charging for your rules.

If I was introducing kids to the game these days I reckon I would use the One Page Rules.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/07/12 11:09:37


   
Made in us
Auspicious Aspiring Champion of Chaos





I could guarantee you 100% right now that if you locked a handful of us into a project that in a month we could produce a points document and warscroll edits that would bring the game and every faction in the game into a 44/55 split (44-55% win/loss) and have it so its not just having to use that one uber build in a faction every time but having the choice between several builds per faction.

The big whine, as I learned in the past with azyr, would be that now the game is "boring" because listbuilding doesn't matter as much because there was a lot more viable combination patterns to choose from.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/07/12 11:07:18


GW points don't bring balance. They exist purely for structure. You can get more balance from no points than you do from GW points. You however can get no structure in your game without points. 
   
Made in de
Battlefield Tourist






Nuremberg

Yeah, I have come around to that argument too. People want to do their thinking in the list building part of the game, and the time they spend daydreaming about their build and thinking about it outside of game is important game time to them.

So perhaps I am barking up the wrong tree. But it seems wrong that a newbie could pick the cool steampunk dwarves faction, spend 500 euro or whatever on them, spend hours and hours assembling and painting them, and then find out that they just picked the wrong faction and they have to wait X years til someone at the design team takes an interest.

Maintaining this system of list builds and stuff should really take a back seat to making sure each faction is at least viable for someone to play with.

   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka




UK

I think the real issue is we've never been totally sure if GW's powerbuilds are the result of deliberate choice on their part to enable that style of play; or the result of poor balancing method which results in very over and underpowered builds slipping through the net.

Considering the builds they appear to use in their media and marketing I'd err closer to the latter than the former. We often see GW staffers not using power builds and building far more fluffy style armies. One would think if power-builds were a deliberate core part of their marketing and product design we'd see them market them, even if subtly, through their battle reports and the like.

A Blog in Miniature - now featuring reviews of many new Black Library books (latest Novellas) 
   
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 Da Boss wrote:


It genuinely makes me angry that people employed as full time rules writers would be that lazy and feckless. I do not think it is an impossible task to make each faction AT LEAST viable, even if balance is not perfect. Especially when you are charging for your rules.

.


I wouldn't call them lazy. I think it was Ben Johnson, in one of their stormcast episodes, who said that that there were effectively 4 or 5 people engaged with rules development, reviewing point balance, fluff writing, game playing etc.. Factor in management involvement and the result is there - too much work laid on a too small team. Again not factoring a possible management involvement or SCGT warping numbers to promote/retain certain builds...
Which makes me think that points should be left out of design's team schedule at all. At least until they can afford a bigger team. A dedicated group focused only on balance would be a lot more successful.

On top of that it would free some of the dev's time to do what they probably signed in to do - write cool rules for miniatures they like. I'm betting money that there are days when they look at the excel tables full of SCGT point submissions waiting to be reviewed and approved and moan "I didn't sign up for this..."

Alas the officially stamped points are there as was demanded...

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2019/07/12 12:03:44


 
   
Made in us
Horrific Hive Tyrant




Tampa, FL

it's pretty obvious that the players want to have list building be the most crucial pieces, so having actual balance now is "boring" (as auticus' feedback from Azyr Comp showed) when actual balance should be the most important thing so the better general wins.

But SCGT was from what I saw one of the worst comps, and that's the one they went with as I said above, presumably because they already knew the guys who were running it and they were local enough to go to GW HQ and talk about it.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/07/12 12:08:51


- Wayne
Formerly WayneTheGame 
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka




UK

Wayniac wrote:
it's pretty obvious that the players want to have list building be the most crucial pieces, so having actual balance now is "boring" (as auticus' feedback from Azyr Comp showed) when actual balance should be the most important thing so the better general wins.

But SCGT was from what I saw one of the worst comps, and that's the one they went with as I said above, presumably because they already knew the guys who were running it and they were local enough to go to GW HQ and talk about it.


Thing is I often see power-list building like that being in inherent into the game design for a wargame being more a product of bad consumer thinking.

Ergo the customer doesn't realise that what they are asking for isn't actually a good thing overall for the game. The sort of person asking is the type to buy armies on a whim; who can comission or play with greys; who is only going to be building the one power list and who just wants to win. They forget that if the game is built around shifting power builds they have to spend more on more armies to keep up; that they have to run the risk that if they meet an opposing power build they "will lose" without question adn the fact that "super easy wins" are actually not all that fun after a while for the majority of people.

Also for GW it's not a good thing because it means some models are going to sell really well, but others, which cost the same to develop, are going to sell really badly. That means less profit for them unless they assume all gamers are using their full budget on power builds only - which is not likely the case.


Also part of it is packaging the idea. A one or two power build approach is far more boring than having a few dozen potential power builds within each army. You just present it as "the most powerful army ever with the most varied choice of superbuilds" for every army.

A Blog in Miniature - now featuring reviews of many new Black Library books (latest Novellas) 
   
Made in us
Auspicious Aspiring Champion of Chaos





I think the real issue is we've never been totally sure if GW's powerbuilds are the result of deliberate choice on their part to enable that style of play; or the result of poor balancing method which results in very over and underpowered builds slipping through the net.

Considering the builds they appear to use in their media and marketing I'd err closer to the latter than the former. We often see GW staffers not using power builds and building far more fluffy style armies. One would think if power-builds were a deliberate core part of their marketing and product design we'd see them market them, even if subtly, through their battle reports and the like.


This goes back to the two option theory for me.

* they are incompetent and can't design rules properly
* it is intentional

We know Sam (bottle) is not incompetent. I know Ben Johnson is not incompetent. Erego this has to be intentional to appease the list building for life people.

We often see GW staffers not using power builds


Their lists in tournaments are the filth lists or competing with the filth lists so that is not entirely accurate. They may not advertise the filth lists but they certainly use them in the tournament events they attend. Ben Johnson and Ben Curry are also seemingly best buds and both have high prestige and influence in the gw universe and fanbase and both have commented to some extent on making AOS tournaments a form of esport spectacle, the same as the 40k fanverse is trying to make 40k.

But SCGT was from what I saw one of the worst comps


SCGT wasn't HORRIBLE. There were elements in my area that demanded to use it instead of Azyr because thats what the UK GT scene was using, and I messed with it. It was good in some spots, but the fact they intentionally undercost monsters encouraged spamming them and that bothered me.

I have a team put together that is working on a 40k re-write that is making a 40k game that we can enjoy that is more about modern battlefield tactics, to include repointing the game to work in the new system.

I have my AOS houserule pack (kingmaker campaign, posted in the forum) that lets me enjoy AOS, though I have been going back and forth with repointing and redoing warscrolls.

I have done a Tomb King rewrite and the Bretonnian rewrite (deus vult), I may bite it and do a slaves to darkness rewrite and rejig the warscrolls and points values to make them not a wet blanket anymore.

Thing is I often see power-list building like that being in inherent into the game design for a wargame being more a product of bad consumer thinking.

Its like Brawndo. Its got what plants crave. (idiocracy reference)

When tabletop game design started intentionally melding with collectible card game design, they attracted those type of players, which brought about the demand for deck building. The traditional wargamers that wanted battlefield tactics moved on to other games like Infinity or Spectre Operations or Kings of War or T9A.

If I'm being honest though its hard commercially to not notice magic and pokemon raking in wads of cash and the traditional wargames being niche. From a commercial standpoiint, meldiing with CCGs is smart business wise, because the gamer pool is dominated by people that enjoy listbuilding / deckbuilding over playing the game. That doesn't mean they don't enjoy playing the game at all (because people like to jump to extreme conclusions) it means that the primary draw for a lot of people is as whayne says... sitting around dreaming up combos that cannot be beaten. If your system treats points as actual points and not a structure to min/max within, that becomes harder to do and you lose sales.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2019/07/12 12:31:32


GW points don't bring balance. They exist purely for structure. You can get more balance from no points than you do from GW points. You however can get no structure in your game without points. 
   
Made in ca
Posts with Authority




I'm from the future. The future of space

Da Boss wrote:I think the Magic perspective does not work in a miniature game where people pick extremely expensive armies based on looks and themes, and then spend hours of their lives assembling and painting them and then bring them out to play, only to find out that they picked the faction with poopy rules or that the fickle and unprofessional design team is not interested in any more, and therefore they have broadly wasted their time and will not have fun. Magic is different, cards are just cards and making different decks is not as expensive or time intensive (not to mention the emotional investment).


I totally agree. But it's where things have shaken out. It sucks, but i think event attendance and the fact that people do chase the latest lists shows GW is on to something here. At least a portion of their customer base is very happy with the current state of affairs.

I think of young kids playing who are using ALL of their disposable income on this hobby they are excited for, and it is a total crapshoot as to whether they will get an army that will be fun to play and stand a chance if they go deeper than open play with their friends.


Maybe there's more depth to open play with friends than tournament games? Tournament games are going to use a minority of the units in a minority of the armies playing a small group of scenarios with the games pretty much always being the same size and equal points. Maybe the deep part of wargaming is all the stuff tournament players and equal points pick up game players neglect?

It genuinely makes me angry that people employed as full time rules writers would be that lazy and feckless. I do not think it is an impossible task to make each faction AT LEAST viable, even if balance is not perfect. Especially when you are charging for your rules.

If I was introducing kids to the game these days I reckon I would use the One Page Rules.


Free rules that fit on a page and are more balanced than GWs. Kind of lame that GW does worse than them.

Da Boss wrote:But it seems wrong that a newbie could pick the cool steampunk dwarves faction, spend 500 euro or whatever on them, spend hours and hours assembling and painting them, and then find out that they just picked the wrong faction and they have to wait X years til someone at the design team takes an interest.


It definitely is.

They could even take a super lazy approach and just do across the board points hikes to everything that's good enough to show up regularly in a tournament and things would probably get better. Like take the lists of top 8 finishes from the last year and just bump everything 10-20%. Then do it again after the next couple major events. While it would certainly not be an optimal solution it would certainly make it more likely that garbage tier armies become at least field-able than the current do nothing approach.

Overread wrote:I think the real issue is we've never been totally sure if GW's powerbuilds are the result of deliberate choice on their part to enable that style of play; or the result of poor balancing method which results in very over and underpowered builds slipping through the net.


I wonder if it matters? Is there really a difference between intentionally "pushed" broken things and accidentally broken things? It's kind of a sad state of affairs that we can't actually tell if things are just accidentally or intentionally broken.

Considering the builds they appear to use in their media and marketing I'd err closer to the latter than the former. We often see GW staffers not using power builds and building far more fluffy style armies. One would think if power-builds were a deliberate core part of their marketing and product design we'd see them market them, even if subtly, through their battle reports and the like.


I think the majority of GW customers simply don't play equal points matched play with strangers. The nature of online discussion is that people who are really passionate about something tend to talk about it, so I think social media and forums over represent tournament and pick up games as the norm. I think their average customer plays with friends at home. A quarter of a billion pounds in revenue in the last year and events get what? A few hundred for the largest major event and a few dozen for the typical tournament? And there's lots of repeat attendance where the names show up in ITC rankings and whatever? I think tournament players and those who rely on equal points matched play with strangers are a minority so GW doesn't put in the effort and lets the volunteer quasi-playtester tournament organizers get back to them on points. All the while they show off armies of sub-optimal units and combinations because they know most of their customers don't do the tournament thing.

The worst though is that when balance breaks down at the kitchen table. Thankfully though with combos and list craft being so important, and a truly small minority of units being actually included in tournament lists, it's less likely to happen by accident. Tournament level armies of a totally different level of power just don't happen by accident very often. They need to be crafted.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2019/07/12 12:29:24


Balance in pick up games? Two people, each with their own goals for the game, design half a board game on their own without knowing the layout of the board and hope it all works out. Good luck with that. The faster you can find like minded individuals who want the same things from the game as you, the better. 
   
Made in us
Auspicious Aspiring Champion of Chaos





I think the majority of GW customers simply don't play equal points matched play with strangers. The nature of online discussion is that people who are really passionate about something tend to talk about it, so I think social media and forums over represent tournament and pick up games as the norm


Anecdotally - in my area pickup games and tournament games make up about 85% of all games played based on who goes to the stores to buy product.

So 85% of the people that go to the store to buy product only play pickup games (primarily) or tournament games (secondarily) with my group's narrative campaign event encompassing about 15% of our area's players.

There is very little crossover. The guys that play in our campaigns are largely not playing tournaments though most all play pickup games regularly. The guys that play in our area's tournaments have (finally) moved away from seal clubbing the campaign players' fluff lists and primarily only play in tournaments and pickup games (there are a few notable exceptions but those guys also know when to tone things down in campaign play) but there is a huge renaissance of tournament play in the eastern US to include trying to push for professional 40k and this has really caught their attention and focus.

The only way the majority of my area are playing garagehammer out of sight is if they also do not ever come to the stores and get their product exclusively on the internet AND intentionally avoid any public discussion of the game whatsoever, which I am highly doubtful of.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/07/12 12:38:57


GW points don't bring balance. They exist purely for structure. You can get more balance from no points than you do from GW points. You however can get no structure in your game without points. 
   
Made in ca
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I'm from the future. The future of space

My local area has 2 independent shops and a GW store. Weekly in store gaming gets like 10ish people per store and tournaments get 30ish. The GW store is also a larger one with 3 staff members.

There's just no way the people who show up to these events can be buying enough to keep just the GW store open. The independent shops likely do the majority of their business in magic cards and board games and x-wing and the like.

I'm sure there are areas where those who play in public make up the majority of the sales, but in many cases they'd have to represent a tiny minority or be buying entire 2000 point armies every week in order to even cover the rent, let alone staff costs.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
If we consult GW's financial statements, we find that about 45% of sales is through independent stores, a third through their retail stores and the balance through their web store.

So if we just take GW stores and divide it by the 500 stores, each store sells on average about 170,000 GBP each year.

Just think about that number and count the number of people who play publicly. And now add two more thirds as GW's retail only makes up a third.

Oh and add another 75%+ to the trade sales numbers because they represent what the stores pay to GW, not the final retail price.

Matched play gamers of 40k and AoS are a minority who think they are the majority because they are the most vocal and visible. They just cannot come close to accounting for the monthly sales of even the third of GW sales that that happen through the company stores, much less the mammoth amount in MSRP once you add in trade sales (even at a discount).

Now look at the GHB2019 and notice just how much of that book is geared to games that fit on smaller tables like those people who have in their kitchens or dining areas. It's not an accident.

It becomes quite clear why GW can get away with pretty much no effort put into balancing when you realize the matched play scene is such a small portion of their customer base who happen to think they are the most important. The models they feature in their promotions, the amount sold per GW store, the barely functional level of balance, it all starts making a lot more sense when matched play is not the majority. if it's so easy for GW to balance things if they just put in a little bit of effort, and yet they don't, maybe it's because it's really not worth it to their bottom line because they know who their customers are better than those crying for balance?

This message was edited 4 times. Last update was at 2019/07/12 14:20:36


Balance in pick up games? Two people, each with their own goals for the game, design half a board game on their own without knowing the layout of the board and hope it all works out. Good luck with that. The faster you can find like minded individuals who want the same things from the game as you, the better. 
   
Made in be
Longtime Dakkanaut





Belgium

Don't forget there are GW customers who barely play if at all - they buy the miniatures and/or the paints, and just enjoy building/painting/collecting. Others buy the miniatures to play other games, or use them in RPGs. These people couldn't care less about balance in AoS for obvious reasons.

Talking purely about from a gamer's perspective, you can look at what the 9th Age does - this is indeed a team of fan players who also believed in being better than GW to make a perfectly balanced game. They're still working on it nowadays, and they changed quite a bit of versions since the beginnings. So I would be inclined to believe it's not that easy to do, even with passion, a team and spending a few years into it.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/07/12 15:07:34


Cuteness for the Cute Goddess! 
   
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I guess there is easy, and then there is very difficult.

Its not very difficult to push AOS where at the minimum every faction is viable.

Its more difficult to provide multiple builds within each faction as viable but again not VERY difficult.

With the 9th age, from what I have read and discussed, it wasn't that they have difficulty in just balancing, they have had difficulty in having a direction, they've had multiple chiefs pull in different directions, and they've for a time not really known what it was that they were creating beyond the base idea. Its been very chaotic on that team from day 1 and that makes a very difficult project platform to work from.

Not just that they were laser-focused and just couldn't achieve balance because it was hard.

GW points don't bring balance. They exist purely for structure. You can get more balance from no points than you do from GW points. You however can get no structure in your game without points. 
   
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I firmly believe that if GW were to push out a reasonably balanced Warhammer sales would improve. People who currently are not interested would be drawn in, and players who actually want imbalance... Will still be here. Where are they going to go? Warmachine?

Besides, the claim that balance makes listbuilding not matter has been and remains baseless at best. Personally I think a not insignificant portion of those who raise that complaint are doing so because "I need skill at playing to win now and I don't like that" doesn't sound good. The hard min-maxxers often tend to be surprisingly average at actually playing because when one's army crushes the competition easily there is little chance to develop that skill.

For listbuilding to not matter that would mean that a specifically built list would be even to a list where all selections were made completely randomly, and in turn even to a list that was specifically designed to lose. Obviously that will never be true. Even if all units are appropriately costed the army that is built without consideration for the right amount of characters, support, main line, etc will be inferior to one which has taken those into account.

In regards to the effort/laziness issue, I think it is apathy. I think they do not care to balance things better, be that because they desire the min-max friendly environment which results or otherwise. Because really, a ton of the broken elements are immediately apparent on reading. On the other hand if they were intentionally min-maxing I don't think we would see things like the Gloomspite book, or the gradual improvement of balance over time. Each GHB has improved things.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/07/13 04:46:47


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I would love to come back to the game, but I am in the stage of my life where I do not have a stable group at all and so I kinda rely on pick up games to make friends and find one. I have moved country and city a lot and I am gaming in my third language now. That makes negotiating house rules and balance even more difficult. I realise my situation is not common, but it is just an example that not all pick up games are because people want to test out their tournament list or whatever.

I started lurking these fora again because I got excited when people said the balance was better in AoS 2 and points and so on were back.
(I feel like going on a tangent here about how the "competative/narrative" dichotomy is bs, and I am a guy who chooses armies and lists based on narrative and visuals but still likes to know he has a chance to win the actual game, so the idea of some balancing mechanism making most choices viable is important to me. It really bugs me that you have to fit into one of the two camps, either you care about winning at all costs or you are a total fluffbunny who does not care at all. 99% of gamers are in between those two poles but online discourse makes out that the two extremes are all that exist sometimes, I guess because it makes discussions simpler and makes it easier to monster "the other side".)

But looking into it it became apparent that:
- The rules are not really balanced, there are trash armies and OP armies even worse than in old WFB.
- The release system is crazy and there is no consistent design across books
- I have to get my rules for pick up style games from a variety of constantly updated hardcover books that are quite expensive.
- People will expect me to rebase my old armies because GW made a system where they knew a large portion of the customer base was on different bases have bases with a significant in game effect (and that would be SO easy to avoid).

So is it apathy? Deliberate design for profit? Incompetence? I dunno but it is definitely crap game design and not what I would expect from the biggest company in the industry by far.

It is a shame because in terms of models they are doing a great job, and I think there is a pretty fun game at the heart of Age of Sigmar that can do some fun stuff. I want to like it!

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/07/13 10:32:13


   
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 Da Boss wrote:

- The rules are not really balanced, there are trash armies and OP armies even worse than in old WFB.
- The release system is crazy and there is no consistent design across books
- I have to get my rules for pick up style games from a variety of constantly updated hardcover books that are quite expensive.
- People will expect me to rebase my old armies because GW made a system where they knew a large portion of the customer base was on different bases have bases with a significant in game effect (and that would be SO easy to avoid).



1) Most of the "trash" armies are armies without any battletome or without a 2.0 battletome. Far as I'm aware none of the 2.0 Battletome armies are "trash". The lag time to getting all armies on the same rules edition is partly the result of AoS having a massivly messed up history and start in life. 2.0 is basically the launch state it should have come as. Don't forget at launch AoS was basically GW embracing "we make models not games" mantra into the extreme. They didn't really want to make a game, they just wanted to make models and sell bucketloads of them. It was born of a management who had their heads in the sand regarding marketing and market awareness and didn't properly review their consumer desires nor wants.
This isn't saying no one liked AoS, indeed it was very popular with "I want to write my own rules" people; but it meant it wasn't mass market appealing.

2) The books are consistent, just broken into 3 phases where not all armies got a book for each phase. The current phase of 2.0 rules and 2.0 Battletomes IS a line in the sand and all armies are getting updated. The earlier editions were more kneejerk reactions to get something out fast in reaction to dwindling sales. The 2.0 is much more measured release and introduces a fairly stable format of rules over all the battletomes.

3) Not really. Right now if your army has a Battletome you get that and a copy of the games core rules (which can be downloaded free form the GW site - picked up cheaply on ebay with the rules insert booklet which is the same rules just formally printed or in the "big rule book" as normal).
There are Errata and FAQ for books online which you can print off; the generals handbook 2020 can also give you updated points, but you can also get them off the free Warscroll Builder on the GW website
https://www.warhammer-community.com/warscroll-builder/
Each year there's a new GHB and GW is also intending to update points twice a year (roughly) in distinct phases. Other than that the core rules remain the same and the core battletome rules remain the same - again FAQ and Errata perform tweaks and balance adjustments, but by and large are small documents that amend or make things clearer - they are not wholesale changes. Plus you can pretty much ignore them when getting started.

4) yes and no. Most are not too worried in casual games, though as time goes on more and more will steadily rebase and more AoS players will be new with new armies and thus will already be on circle bases. Most competitive events do enforce it. so yes if you were keen on playing rebasing would likely be something you would do over time; but in general for casual pickup games in most places you'll be fine.

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Nuremberg

1) Yeah, I get that, but it does not change the fact that GW still has this weird system of updating one faction at a time over the course of 4 or 5 years, but not maintaining a consistent design paradigm over that time period so there is always a weird gulf between the early books and late books, particularly if they start designing the later books to be useable in the next edition. This has always been a problem and it is sad that they have not addressed it. I think it is worse with AoS because as you note the initial release was such a mess.
2) I still see this system as fundamentally flawed as long as the designers do not have the discipline to maintain a design paradigm for an edition.
3) This is still too complicated in my opinion, too many documents for one army. It used to be that you bought an army book and the core rules and that was it. Now you need so many different documents or access to the warscroll builder to do your army planning, I do not see this as an improvement, just laziness and an extension of "patch culture" seen in video games into the tabletop. Why bother designing it properly when you can just release patches for your bad design after people have had a sufficiently bad time with it?
4) I will never rebase my old armies. Not a chance in hell.

   
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Not all 2.0 books are solid against each other either. So yes the 2.0 books are better than the ones before, but there are still loads of factions waiting to get out of trash tier, and there are 2.0 armies that will get demolished by other 2.0 armies.

GW points don't bring balance. They exist purely for structure. You can get more balance from no points than you do from GW points. You however can get no structure in your game without points. 
   
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But they are maintaining the design, just only for the current 2.0 version of the game. That's why we've had half a dozen battletomes released thus far this year alone and likely another half dozen or more to be released. They are copying exactly what they did with 40K only last year. Releasing ALL the Battletomes one after the other for all the armies. You're just looking at AoS right now basically in the middle of this move, hence why it appears bitty because some armies are done and some aren't.
Grand Alliance Death is finished - every army has a Battletome
Grand Alliance Chaos is nearly finished - Slaves to Darkness+Everchosen (GW has placed both on the same store tab so likely 1 batteltome will cover both - great for Everchosen as prior it only had 3 models in its force); possibly Tzeentch (I get mixed feedback on how up to date that Tome is)
Grand Alliance Destruction needs some attention and currently only has one Battletome for 2.0.
Grand Alliance Order - has the most in need of updates or getting Battletomes; though most armies are safe save for the Aelf ones which are a bit of a confusing point as to what GW's long term plans are for them.

Also you're overlooking that we had FAQ documents in the past -we've had them for decades. The only difference is that in the past we got them once in a while and heck I recall one edition we got the edition FAQ/Errata about a month or so before the edition ended and GW released a new one. The only difference now is that GW is far more pro-active in releasing these documents. And again its support material designed to aid the clarity and balance of the core material.

The game is very much still Battletome + Rule book for the core of the game.

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They have been reasonably consistent in their battletome design IMO. The first battletomes had the same name but where just fluff--they weren't proper 'tomes as we know them. 0.5 if you will. 1.0 battletomes, starting with Sylvaneth and ending with Kharadron, are consistent with one another in their design direction. Even Kharadron, IMO, fit into this just fine with their difficulty being it was a totally new army with a lot of tricks and themes never touched before and so GW had a bit of trouble making it work.

Nurgle and LoN are the oddities, occupying a 1.5 spot that has a mesh of 1.0 and 2.0 design elements.

Everything else, including DoK and Idoneth, are 2.0 and have strong similarities.

What I personally see is a trend where they had one philosophy with 1.0, realized that they needed a new edition of AoS to really make the game work, and have now set to getting everything on-par with that system. I think Overread has a good point that in hindsight 1.0 AoS was really a beta/recovery period from Kirby ineptitude, and that 2.0 is it's 'true' launch. The point being that unless they announce a new edition the current design philosophy will likely stay as such.

"Putting a statement in quotations makes it seem more legitimate."
--Bette R. Withname

Imagine three people with the same set of values but radically different emotional states, each of them believes their position is more valid than the other two, they all post using the same account, and your job is to make it coherent. 
   
 
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