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Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




Legitimate question here. Now your definition of playtest might be different then mine but when I hear "tested" I assume they mean rigorously tested or at the least tested enough to work out most issues. Going by my index army though I have to question this. The list of unplayable units is rather large and the list of uncompetitive units is even bigger. The fact that GW went even further with CA and have the strategy "Dakka Dakka Dakka" shows how little they understand their own game. Spend 1CP to get an extra shot on all 6s. For some armies that would be nice...like SM armies who hit on 3s. For Ork armies though, who hit on 5s, not so much. If you fielded 9 lootas and got the average rolls you would get a grand total of .33 extra unsaved wounds against a SM.

As far as individual units go. Look no further then deff koptas to see how ridiculous GW is with pricing.

2 deff koptas cost 130pts. They are T5, 4 wounds each and have a 4+ save. You also get 12 S5 shots at BS5+

For 8pts more you can take a Dakkajet T6, 12 wounds 4+ save and -1 to hit, with 5 Supa Shootas for a grand total of 15 S6 -1AP shots at BS4+.

Guess which of these is considered an auto include? Neither. The dakkajet is still trash but compared to the Koptas it's gold.


These are all simple things which should have been easy to catch by play testers so the obvious question is; Does GW actually playtest or do they do the minimum and claim the title of "Play tested"?

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Something can be playtested to the Nth degree, doesn't remotely mean that changes are going to be made based on the test results.
   
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Pretty much minimum. Clearly they don't do any mathhammering and even the playtesting they do is likely to be on their own style and meta that consists more of white dwarf style armies(ie 2 tac squad, dreadnought,termi squad, rhino, devastator squad, assault squad, HQ) rather than anything even semi-competive.

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They don't min/max powergame waac playtest.
   
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GW hates (or at least does not understand) orks. It does nto help that influential community members like Reese (I like FLG and enjoy watching Reese's battle reports quite a lot) but as they say more and more that orks are fine and that things like chapter approved were strong (he even tries to justify dakka dakka dakka on one video as a situational/ useful thing which was particularly hilarious) I have very little hope for a codex that will let me put down my orks and not have to play a flawless game plus have my dice be hot, my opponents dice be cold, and make several exploitable mistakes to pull off a win with the green boys

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East Bay, Ca, US

 auticus wrote:
They don't min/max powergame waac playtest.


This, right here.

But math should have caught some of these issues.

And i don't see how you playtest Grey Knights, and their codex, and draw the conclusion it's anything but complete garbage.

To compute the probability of a specific outcome on N DK dice, use the generating function F= (x+ x^2 + x^3 + . . . + x^k-1 + x^k)^n

 Galas wrote:
I remember when Marmatag was a nooby, all shiney and full of joy.
How playing the unbalanced mess of Warhammer40k in a ultra-competitive meta has changed you

 
   
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 Imateria wrote:
Something can be playtested to the Nth degree, doesn't remotely mean that changes are going to be made based on the test results.
^
Half those day zero bugs in games people complain about? QA found 'em, but Dev either chose not to do anything about them or didn't have the resources to before the management decreed launch date.


As for GW, I doubt they do any meaningful testing. There's still stuff that makes it through that is plainly over or underpowered, stuff that people can look at and instantly know is not terribly good or is a must-take. Stuff that shouldn't make it through even the most casual of playtesting, without any real reason to avoid addressing.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2017/12/21 19:33:32


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Lmao the FLG Reese comment got me.

I'm sure he is a great guy to play with and to hang out with but when it comes to determining unit strength he is useless. He said that the Stompa was good and that Kanz were going to be great this edition, that alone made me think he had no idea what he was talking about. Someone even messaged him and got him to come to the Ork forum here and talk about units.

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I think part of the problem is that 8th is quite balanced if you just play a casual game. Once you start to factor in a competitive environment then the system has issues. GW were supposed to have had tournament players and organisers like the ITC play test these rules and indexes and I can see where I think we have that. However I don't see it in the codex releases anywhere near as much and I would have thought that GW would continue to use these players to play test each further iteration of each army/codex and I think they have just reverted to putting out their own ideas rather than listening to what was done under the initial play test.

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GW playtesting orks: Line up 2000 points of orks. The non-ork player resigns, claiming orks are too strong. Then orks get nerfed.
   
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Tampa, FL

They do, but I wager it's either very minimal or in a very casual/laid back environment. They don't try to break the game, which is usually what you expect playtesting to do (to better figure out flaws that need to be addressed).

Nobody knows for sure. We know they do test things, just not the level we probably expect. We also don't know how much has been overruled by management. There was an AMA recently with an ex-GW designer who said in 7th edition they playtested the Wraithknight and it ended up being about 450 points. Some upper manager (who he said was no longer there) said keep the power, but don't increase the points cost. Thus we had the criminally-undercosted Wraithknight in 7th edition; the designers apparently used some kind of testing with the weapons it had (D-Weapons etc.) but were overruled by management to not increase it's points cost. That was "old" GW, however.

There was also a video maybe a year ago now with a GW designer (Simon Grant, I think) who basically stated they do not use math or formulas to stat things.

The fact you have people like Reece spout out stuff like Orks are going to be great, Necrons are great, etc. and then have them build absolutely filthy (understood however) lists to showcase, along with ITC basically removing the random elements of a game (which, as crazy as it sounds I think are actually part of the balance), and you have the cesspit that is competitive 40k now; arguably I think it's even worse than 7th edition since while in 7th edition you had broken formations, now you have just finding the "best" unit and options and spamming them as much as you can. At least many formations had variety.

But yeah, I'm pretty sure their playtesting is like the battles you see in white dwarf. Very balanced forces with a lot of variety, not min/maxed in the slightest, not even down to weapon options. You would almost never see the same special or heavy weapon taken more than once.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2017/12/21 20:53:11


- Wayne
Formerly WayneTheGame 
   
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Dublin

Points are at best a very rough measure of the power of units because there's so many variables that skew the effectiveness of units, many of which can't even be quantified, like terrain placement. Rick Priestley addresses it in his Tabetop Game Design book stating that points are expected as "A net of assurance" for competitive players. Several modern systems that are more narrative / campaign oriented, like Tomorrow's War, have abandoned them altogether for this reason.

All that said, GW have long had a reputation for doing a substandard job with points balancing, and this is presumably at least partially down to inadequate testing.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2017/12/22 00:31:12


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Found your problem.


Also, what is this thing with playtesting? Do you think this is a game?

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2017/12/21 20:47:33


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Longtime Dakkanaut




They could playtest the game for ten years, and the game would still need rebalancing after 24 hours in the hands of the powergaming public.The only way to go, is to release the game and then fix it incrementally, and also accept that this is a never ending process. In this GW is moving very slowly in the right direction.

With regards to the DakkaDakkaDakka stratagem: It is painfully obvious that a lot of half-assed material was included in Chapter Approved in order to justify charging for a relatively short list of point-changes. It sucks.
   
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I wonder if they could get away with something like how Privateer Press did with warmachine mk2, a public open beta. I mean, that had its own set of issues, but people could at least see the rules before the final product and could give legit feedback to GW after games; the powergamers would quickly find what was broken and let GW know to fix it. They would have to control the way feedback is given to avoid the common "nerf paper, scissors are fine, signed rock" thing.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2017/12/21 21:39:25


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The fact that the falling mechanic back mechanic exists as is (without any chance to fail, and often times with minimal/non-existent penalties), is a pretty clear indicator that they do not.

And while it's not exactly game-breaking, my go-to example of unfair points costs is kustom shootas v. storm bolters. Storm bolters effectively became twin linked, for free, for no reason. Kustom shootas, which were already twin linked, doubled in cost with no benefit, also for no reason.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2017/12/21 22:00:53


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 Kap'n Krump wrote:
The fact that the falling mechanic back mechanic exists as is (without any chance to fail, and often times with minimal/non-existent penalties), is a pretty clear indicator that they do not.

And while it's not exactly game-breaking, my go-to example of unfair points costs is kustom shootas v. storm bolters. Storm bolters effectively became twin linked, for free, for no reason. Kustom shootas, which were already twin linked, doubled in cost with no benefit, also for no reason.
IG exterminator Russ tanks were Twin Linked...but lost their rerolls and gained no extra shots.

GW's design criteria are quite puzzling...

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Nottingham

They definitely have playtesters. A number of employees in Nottingham have it as an additional role to their day job. They are all (at least the few that I know personally) hard core gamers, who play the game seriously, and aren't a part of the studio. I have no idea what quality feedback they give, or what is done with that feedback, but they are definitely there.

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Haven't GW announced some schedule that releases a FAQ/Errata within 2 weeks of posting a codex? That pretty much tells me it hasn't been fully playtested or proof-read at all. There will obviously be combos that crop up when the min/max crowd really get to work, but surely these type of people should be playtesting it.

As an aside, I currently find the editors/proof readers working in the wargaming industry dire. Usually I pick up a rulebook and spot a typo within the first 30 seconds. I'm lousy with English, but I'm not paid to read/write. Yeah... errors in books that have been "proof-read" really winds me up.

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I don't think GW is bad at codex writing I just think the team doesn't give a zog about certain factions. I had a GW employee on Facebook tell me that there is no team per codex and that there is only one team who works on all the codecies at once. Now you can't tell me that the people who wrote the amazing IG codex and tyranid codex put the same effort into the GK and Admech codex! ( I'm not saying either is or isn't competitive but they clearly had less effort invested into them). CA makes me super scared for orks! There was zero! ZERO! Effort or creativity into what I would say is the most creative race in 40k in CA! And I fear that the Ork Codex will be a bland unbalanced mess where we end up just being the target for other factions to stomp on to feel good.
   
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"In a company the size of GW (which, I'll make clear, is not a big company by any means, but in terms of this industry it's monolithic) there are a lot of considerations. Everything that's done needs to be worthwhile, and needs to make a profit. When producing a game for GW, the sad truth is that quality of rules has very little impact on sales. Obviously you don't want the rules to be bad, but there's a real diminishing returns thing going on; the difference between a set of rules that's 60% perfect and one that's 70% perfect is going to be fairly significant, but the difference between 70% and 80% less so. And 80% to 90% even less.

So, as a designer, you're always pushing for more time. Any game design project has several stages - you do your R&D, your preparation, your grunt work (actually writing the thing), and your polish / testing / proofing. Management are always going to squeeze your deadlines, because they know that your instinct is to push for a good game, but they know that from a business point of view it only needs to be good enough to sell. Unfortunately, the grunt work is the bit that needs to happen, so the bits that get trimmed are R&D (which make things interesting and well-thought-out) and polish (which makes sure there are no mistakes).

That said, it's getting better. When I first started, playtesting was a bit of a dirty word; there was a real disdain for "balance" among the higher echelons of management. Silver Tower, for example, was playtested almost entirely in my own time, unpaid, using unpaid volunteers. But now, the are increasing numbers of external playtesters, and it's getting better. Thing is, no matter how rigorously the internal testing is, you're never going to find all the issues; it might seem shocking that a book comes out and the internet finds a dozen errata on day one, but remember that more people are seeing it in that one day than saw it throughout the entire production cycle. The only way to deal with it would be to have open playtesting, getting thousands of people to read the rules before they go to print, and sure enough that's what Forge World sometimes do - but it's not practical for main-range GW, because of their confidentiality rules and that kind of thing. "

from James Hewitt ama.

Basically the rules team try but the rest of the company isnt going to wait for them.


 Unit1126PLL wrote:
 Scott-S6 wrote:
And yet another thread is hijacked for Unit to ask for the same advice, receive the same answers and make the same excuses.

Oh my god I'm becoming martel.
Send help!

 
   
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Wayniac wrote:
I wonder if they could get away with something like how Privateer Press did with warmachine mk2, a public open beta.


By releasing the indexes first and then moving on to the codices, they kind of had a public open beta.
   
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pismakron wrote:
Wayniac wrote:
I wonder if they could get away with something like how Privateer Press did with warmachine mk2, a public open beta.


By releasing the indexes first and then moving on to the codices, they kind of had a public open beta.


I think with GHB and CA the entire game is eternally a "beta" the concept is living rulesets that can self correct with feedback.
   
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The problem for GW is that they cannot control all the variables in any given game of 40k. They cannot control the size of the board you play on. They cannot control the amount of terrain you use. They cannot control the type of terrain you use. They cannot control your dice rolls, nor your opponent's dice rolls. If you cannot control factors within the game as it is played, how can you effectively playtest everything?

Think about it this way. There are people who are paid to playtest video games. They put them through their paces, spend thousands of hours trying to break the game in every conceivable way so any bugs and glitches can be fixed before launch. Even so, bugs will be found in every video game within hours of launch, without fail. And that is in a game where the developers have complete control over everything you do and experience (what weapons you can access, where you can go, etc.). It should not be surprising that a game where the designers have far less control over how your game is played are going to have a much tougher time balancing and playtesting everything.

At the end of the day, the countless people who play this game will, given infinitely more time and hundreds of thousands more eyeballs digging through every release, find gaps and holes that the designers could not find or did not think of. Its inevitable. It sucks, but its inevitable. And as Desubot pointed out, it is getting better. Will it ever be perfect? No, it will not. Can it be better? Yes. Should it be better? Yes. But until the day that GW tells you exactly how to set up the terrain on the table, exactly what army lists to take, and ensure that you get the same dice roll results every time, this game cannot be perfectly balanced. Such is life.

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I'd say that they do a bit of playtesting, but not enough. I think they should be more thorough. This is easier said than done, of coarse.
The problem for orks is that there aren't many GW rules writers that have much of a passion for orks. These days most of them are more interested in the other armies, like SM and IG. The xenos don't get as much attention because of this.

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McCragge

 G00fySmiley wrote:
GW hates (or at least does not understand) orks. It does nto help that influential community members like Reese (I like FLG and enjoy watching Reese's battle reports quite a lot) but as they say more and more that orks are fine and that things like chapter approved were strong (he even tries to justify dakka dakka dakka on one video as a situational/ useful thing which was particularly hilarious) I have very little hope for a codex that will let me put down my orks and not have to play a flawless game plus have my dice be hot, my opponents dice be cold, and make several exploitable mistakes to pull off a win with the green boys


That is not what they said - what they said is they got something for now to help and that is better than nothing. But yeah Orks are just awful as of now.

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Yes they have internal playtesters that test changes in a daily build style, they also have a group of external testers under NDA which I believe is a club somewhere in the South who test changes over a longer period.
   
Made in au
Regular Dakkanaut




Alternative take: playtesting has strength in numbers.

I was discussing this recently with the guy who runs Objective Secured, who effectively ‘run’ most of 40k in Western Australia. It was during a tournament for which he was TO. 60ish players, 6 games over a weekend. That’s 180 unique games played. At around 3 hours each including all setup and everything, that’s over a thousand man-hours of gaming. This TO does a thorough job of going around the room, asking players how they’re going, how different units are performing, what works and what doesn’t work. He compiles this information in his head and regularly gives detailed feedback to both GW and the ITC.

In the three tournaments he had TO’ed in the handful of months since 8th had been released, he had personally collected feedback from over three thousand man-hours of competitive 40k. Not counting all of the practice games, theoryhammer and mathhammer that the players had done before coming to the tournament. If GW had two employees whose full-time job was to do literally nothing but play games - not even writing lists or theorycrafting, just actual solid gaming 9-5, it would take them nine months to log the same number of hours as three weekends’ worth of these tournaments. Incidentally, 9 months is actually probably not a bad guess of how much time GW had for playtesting.

We know that GW doesn’t have people who do nothing but playtest - it’s been said by their designers to be an ad-hoc thing squeezed in here and there, and it’s likely they don’t have the resources. Think about that - GW can’t afford to keep up with one TO in one small city running three tournaments in their entire playtesting budget. That’s without even considering the tournaments played in cities all over the world (I mentioned 60 players; GW mentioned that their recent survey had over a hundred thousand responses), the big ITC circuit games, the practice games and literally millions of hours discussing, theorycrafting, mathhammering and forum posting going on in just the first handful of months post release. And that’s just tournaments! What about the equally large group of casual and narrative gamers?

People love to point the finger at GW and say ‘you can’t have playtested this, you missed x, y and z which are super obvious’. To those people I would ask, the moment you opened the Index books for the first time, before you were exposed to forums, did you instantly pick up on Conscript Spam all by yourself? And Razorwing Spam? And Brimstone Spam? And Stormraven Spam? And Smite Spam? And Malefic Lords? And Guilliman’s Assbacks? And Assassin Spam? And Monster Mash? And everything else overpowered? And, for that matter, everything underpowered? If you did, well, go work for GW. Or a stock broker or a major bank or something, because you’re clearly a walking god of numerical comprehension. If not, then consider this: expecting one or two people to be able to spot every single one of those interactions by themselves without having access to a forum to discuss these things is holding GW to an impossible standard.

Also consider the huge number of these kinds of OP/UP things that the playtesters already picked up, considered and fixed before you even had a chance to look at the game. Maybe near the beginning Hormagaunts were horrifically overpowered, and we only got to see a version of them that had already been fixed. We don’t know, and we never will.

Since release they’ve had a chance to address more issues with FAQs and Chapter Approved. As time goes on though, the lead the community has on GW in terms of playtesting time grows. GW is doing the smart thing and taking community feedback, but remember half of that feedback is ‘my friend’s Riptide killed my Land Raider in two turns! Nerf Riptides!!’. Sifting through the reams of wasted text to ferret out the nuggets of actual genuine issues is a Herculean task undertaken, again, by a tiny number of people. These poor buggers also have to contend with lead times and imposed deadlines - which is what I suspect led to the triple-nerf for Conscripts.

(That being said, I’m wondering whose feedback they were listening to nuke the ForgeWorld superheavies from orbit in Chapter Approved since that just boggles the mind. I suspect something else is at play there.)

It’s patently unfair to accuse GW of being incompetent at playtesting when you’re coming from a position of having the accumulated knowledge of a community that logs more man-hours per hour than GW as a company likely logs per year.
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut






kombatwombat wrote:
Alternative take: playtesting has strength in numbers.

I was discussing this recently with the guy who runs Objective Secured, who effectively ‘run’ most of 40k in Western Australia. It was during a tournament for which he was TO. 60ish players, 6 games over a weekend. That’s 180 unique games played. At around 3 hours each including all setup and everything, that’s over a thousand man-hours of gaming. This TO does a thorough job of going around the room, asking players how they’re going, how different units are performing, what works and what doesn’t work. He compiles this information in his head and regularly gives detailed feedback to both GW and the ITC.

In the three tournaments he had TO’ed in the handful of months since 8th had been released, he had personally collected feedback from over three thousand man-hours of competitive 40k. Not counting all of the practice games, theoryhammer and mathhammer that the players had done before coming to the tournament. If GW had two employees whose full-time job was to do literally nothing but play games - not even writing lists or theorycrafting, just actual solid gaming 9-5, it would take them nine months to log the same number of hours as three weekends’ worth of these tournaments. Incidentally, 9 months is actually probably not a bad guess of how much time GW had for playtesting.

We know that GW doesn’t have people who do nothing but playtest - it’s been said by their designers to be an ad-hoc thing squeezed in here and there, and it’s likely they don’t have the resources. Think about that - GW can’t afford to keep up with one TO in one small city running three tournaments in their entire playtesting budget. That’s without even considering the tournaments played in cities all over the world (I mentioned 60 players; GW mentioned that their recent survey had over a hundred thousand responses), the big ITC circuit games, the practice games and literally millions of hours discussing, theorycrafting, mathhammering and forum posting going on in just the first handful of months post release. And that’s just tournaments! What about the equally large group of casual and narrative gamers?

People love to point the finger at GW and say ‘you can’t have playtested this, you missed x, y and z which are super obvious’. To those people I would ask, the moment you opened the Index books for the first time, before you were exposed to forums, did you instantly pick up on Conscript Spam all by yourself? And Razorwing Spam? And Brimstone Spam? And Stormraven Spam? And Smite Spam? And Malefic Lords? And Guilliman’s Assbacks? And Assassin Spam? And Monster Mash? And everything else overpowered? And, for that matter, everything underpowered? If you did, well, go work for GW. Or a stock broker or a major bank or something, because you’re clearly a walking god of numerical comprehension. If not, then consider this: expecting one or two people to be able to spot every single one of those interactions by themselves without having access to a forum to discuss these things is holding GW to an impossible standard.

Also consider the huge number of these kinds of OP/UP things that the playtesters already picked up, considered and fixed before you even had a chance to look at the game. Maybe near the beginning Hormagaunts were horrifically overpowered, and we only got to see a version of them that had already been fixed. We don’t know, and we never will.

Since release they’ve had a chance to address more issues with FAQs and Chapter Approved. As time goes on though, the lead the community has on GW in terms of playtesting time grows. GW is doing the smart thing and taking community feedback, but remember half of that feedback is ‘my friend’s Riptide killed my Land Raider in two turns! Nerf Riptides!!’. Sifting through the reams of wasted text to ferret out the nuggets of actual genuine issues is a Herculean task undertaken, again, by a tiny number of people. These poor buggers also have to contend with lead times and imposed deadlines - which is what I suspect led to the triple-nerf for Conscripts.

(That being said, I’m wondering whose feedback they were listening to nuke the ForgeWorld superheavies from orbit in Chapter Approved since that just boggles the mind. I suspect something else is at play there.)

It’s patently unfair to accuse GW of being incompetent at playtesting when you’re coming from a position of having the accumulated knowledge of a community that logs more man-hours per hour than GW as a company likely logs per year.


maybe my perspective here is skewed, but of the half dozen or so games I play that are not GW, I do not run into any of the problems that are infesting the boards about GW games. I dont see it as unfair to call a company incompetent at playtesting their own product when there are so many deliberate gaps. Much smaller companies have done a much better job at making their games balanced.
   
Made in ca
Dakka Veteran






Based on the fact that we got games like AoS, I'm going to go with no...

Included in terrible game design of 8th ed. 40K:

-Flyer rules not included in the main rules section and standardized for everyone
-Characters not joining units. Theres no reason or point to not allowing characters to join units, it simply complicates the game more. Hence the stupid targeting rules on characters.
-Morale Phase. Could have made the game more tactical, but now we have marines gaking their pants and running away when a squad member dies.
-Psychic Phase. More all or nothing, absolutely no skill required to use or any kind of dice management or scaling power system.
-This new way of using modifiers to hit/wound that makes absolutely no sense at all. The old way is much better and intuitive.
-The cover system
-Rules for terrain
-Various terrible codex's like Grey Knights etc.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2017/12/22 01:12:31


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