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Made in gb
[DCM]
Master Engineer with a Brace of Pistols






I’m spinning this topic off from the main discussion thread because I think it warrants its own thread. So, balancing AoS...how do we do it? And what do we even mean by balance?

I suppose I’m talking about both external balance (faction v faction) and internal balance (different builds within a faction). I want any faction within this game to stand a reasonable chance of defeating another in matched play. No one should suffer an inheriantly weak force that’s doomed to failure before the first unit is even deployed. It’s not right. And as for the second point, every faction should have multiple viable builds. Every unit deserves a decent look in.

Personally I would start by looking at the top three most powerful factions and seeing what makes them so powerful in the first place, then I’d look at the three weakest factions and see what they need. For the top three; I suppose that would be FEC, DoK and...who? The bottom three; Ironjawz, Beastclaw Raiders and KO. Definitely KO.

Also, I’m not really one for nerfing things. I’ve been on the receiving end of nerfing, and it sucks. I’d rather balance out things by increasing the power of underperforming units, whilst adjusting the prices of overpowered ones. Price adjustments are a key part of this I think.

So, what do you guys think?

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/03/10 03:49:53


 
   
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Auspicious Aspiring Champion of Chaos





You examine the points, and you adjust them accordingly. Just like the community comps did before GHB, and in those days every faction was viable because we did it that way.

First you establish your baseline. For me when I did Azyr that was calculating a selection's average offensive output (expected wounds vs every save in the game) and their average defensive capability (how many wounds they really had before dying, taking saves vs all the rends and mortal wounds into account) to get a baseline score.

Then you sort every unit by that score. Then you have range bands and from those range bands you come up with points costs.

I treated heroes separately because they are force multipliers in many cases so you couldn't just look at their offense and defense, you had to look at how much of a multiplier they were.

At that point you have a bell curve and a standardized baseline to work with and you tweak here and there as needed.

Since I upkept Azyr I have kept up with the current models and the bell curve was shattered a few times. Lately by the FEC book.

The goblin book largely fell within the bell curve so was mathematically pretty balanced overall.

The FEC book has builds that shifted the entire bell to be more narrow which made a lot more builds useless.

A side effect of the FEC book was that things like evocators suddenly fell into the bell curve instead of being broken over the bell curve.

However there is a huge amount of units that are never going to be seen because the bell curve is currently so narrow and quite frankly extreme.

From there you can look at factions overall and get their average outputs and defense and see what factions are hurting and those need boosts on their scrolls mostly. Points can only fix so much.




Automatically Appended Next Post:
Last on summoning, if the community and designers are going to insist on this vapid direction of free summoning, then all armies need some form of free summoning and all factions should be comparable at it. Otherwise it can in the non tournament sense swing far too much over to the summoning side.

Yes from a tournament powergamer sense its not that big a deal because as a powergamer, one will be maxing out damage outputs and the summoning is a form of buffing up your defensive stats to overcome the min/max output of the offensive score of the powergamer's min/max build.

From a casual / campaign stance, either min/max output or summoning are busting the game.

At least give all factions equal tools. Let them max out output or max out summoning. Don't give us garbage factions that can't do either and just lose by virtue of showing up.

Thats inexcusable.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/03/07 23:18:40


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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Tampa, FL

Well firstly I think balance means many things to many people, but to me it's the idea that:

A) Every faction can, in theory, and with an equal setup, do well against any other faction; i.e. there is no case where a faction "auto loses" against another faction simply because they lack the tools to deal with something.

B) In a faction itself, every unit should have a viable role and potential synergies that give it a reason to be used; i.e. there should never be a case where Unit B does the same thing as Unit A but better/cheaper, thereby invalidating Unit A. A player should never feel "punished" for liking Unit A over Unit B and there should be ways they can make Unit A operate well enough for it to not reduce their chance of winning a game *only* because they didn't take Unit B.

This doesn't mean that there won't be units that are slightly better or slightly worse, but it's always a choice that you can make work. Even if Unit A isn't as good as Unit B there needs to be options that you can take with Unit A that will make up for it (for example, if you take this character model and this other unit, either of which could also not be great on their own, the synergy between them and Unit A will make Unit A a viable choice)

Now, I don't think Warhammer *CAN* be balanced, because the design team (despite seemingly being made up of UK tournament players who should be wanting balance) have no desire to actually follow A or B above. I'm not sure if this is intentional or due to tight deadlines placed on them by sales and marketing (which, let's be honest here, still drive the company. And no, before anyone brings it up this is not because "they're a business and need to make money" this goes far beyond that) or simply because they have no desire to actually play a balanced game, but it's clear that Warhammer has never and will never care about A or B.

Warhammer players, perhaps more so than players of any other wargame, see to want almost 100% of the "skill" to be in list building and finding that broken combo or insane synergy that lets you just completely crush your opponent. Whether this is picking undercosted units so that your 2000 point list behaves like 3000 points or blatant min-maxing like stacking buffs to get some insane ability (pre-Wrath and Rapture Bloodletter Bomb springs to mind where it was something like you could do mortal wounds on a 3+ with the right buffs), Warhammer players and apparently the designers themselves seem to find nothing wrong with having "must take" and "never take" choices or having choices that completely invalidate other choices within the same book They are okay with combos that can make entire factions nonviable for play because they have no way to deal with them.

That's bad design, but without a fundamental shift in how GW writes rules (which we have been waiting almost 30 years for it to happen), there's no possible way that Warhammer can be balanced because there's no desire to. The crazy combos and units that are just better than other ones and emphasis on winning the game before it begins with an "uber list" are too prevalent across the player base and the design team.

This is why I point to a game like Warmachine MK2 as a good example of this, although it had some issues. There were very few units that were really "bad". Almost everything had *some* way to become viable or even good, you just had to put a certain level of effort into building the right synergies. But there was almost never a case like you see in Warhammer where someone would ask "I like Unit X, how do I make it work" and the answer was "You don't. Take Unit Y instead." You almost always had a way to make Unit X work decently enough for the majority of play (except for major tournaments) if you took things that worked with it.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2019/03/07 23:50:27


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The real core issue here is that GW games gameplay is so shallow that list building is rarely more involved than just finding stuff with the best damage output/soak ratio for the points. When that is your only consideration, of course there will be a most efficient unit.

One half of the problem is the unified way units are treated, where there's little functional difference between a dragon and a mob of grots of equal points. They're going to deal similar damage, soak similar damage and degrade at a similar rate no matter what you hit them with. About the only other factor in a unit's statline is speed, which feeds into the second half of the problem:

All the scenarios are about standing on points and preventing your enemy from standing on points. This feeds back into damage/soak being the only meaningful measure of a unit after the initial scramble to reach those points, which is usually decided by who goes first.

Bottm line, the game has no battlefield roles besides "be killy" and "be tanky". If you needed different types of units to accomplish different things then there would be a bigger requirement to make a varied, yet coherent, army list, rather than just taking the most undercosted unit since they all do the same thing anyway.

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All the scenarios are about standing on points and preventing your enemy from standing on points.


You don't always have to stand on points in Age of Sigmar after you claim it. Depends on the mission. Very often you can claim an objective and then move out from it to both defend from incoming forces or attack other objectives.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Bottm line, the game has no battlefield roles besides "be killy" and "be tanky". If you needed different types of units to accomplish different things then there would be a bigger requirement to make a varied, yet coherent, army list, rather than just taking the most undercosted unit since they all do the same thing anyway.


You also need mobility. That is a role in itself. You really don't take Khinerai for their damage output, but you do take them for the mobility and deep-strike ability.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Don't give us garbage factions that can't do either and just lose by virtue of showing up.


I assume you are referring Kharadron Overlords. Many of the older tomes are losing out on old design principles and KO probably suffer the most there. The big problem GW has always had is that when they go on a release schedule they often take years to finish their cycle and in that time designers may get new ideas, new ambitions, or get new writers, and this always creates a mismatch between factions. It's also why some people like the index idea of Warhammer 40k as it is one time where it appeared GW approached all factions at the same time.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Last on summoning, if the community and designers are going to insist on this vapid direction of free summoning, then all armies need some form of free summoning and all factions should be comparable at it


Summoning is weird and I feel it was a mistake for GW to approach summoning like this. Free points means armies must be balanced with those "free" points in mind which in turn makes summoning a requirement for a matched army. It's an approach that kinda locks factions into very singular approaches.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2019/03/08 08:58:05


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I think summoning as a whole causes potentially the most balance changes.

We've had free, reserving points for it, summoning that Is "not summoning" etc.
Then, only certain armies can summon and all to a differing degree.

It's always been a core part of the game and mostly with the old undead, so it's really not going to go anywhere any time soon.
The issue is, it's a huge aspect of the game that causes endless balance issues.

The original free summoning was just a mess.
The second someone took Nagash you knew that by turn 3 the army you were fighting, despite damaging it is now 3 times larger than at the start.

I personally liked the idea of having to reserve points to summon.
It allowed some flexibility in an army and made it different.

This however all died when we got summoning that wasn't counted as summoning.
This meant some armies were returning dead models endlessly while some had to use points and other just simply couldn't do either.



Now I understand there are alot of rules issues, but I feel summoning is potentially the biggest for causing imbalance.
I'd like to see the reserve points system again and none of the free crap.
All the time summoning is free, it will simply be abused and push up the power level of that army.
   
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The summoning in whfb is about 1/10th of what AOS summoning is.

Summoning in whfb could be dispelled. AOS summoning cannot be stopped at all.

Summoning in whfb scaled up with difficulty. You were adding d6, 2d6, or 3d6 models but to cast those spells they got progressively harder to cast.

AOS summoning you get full strength units or bring back entire dead units at full strength. By drawing air into your lungs and stating you are going to do it.

Summoning is indeed one of the biggest issues in today's game as far as balance is concerned. Apparently not at the powergamer tournament level, but definitely in the casual for fun campaign level.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
I assume you are referring Kharadron Overlords


There are many factions that fall into that category. Khorne mortals fall into that as well and their book is not super old. Any faction that does not have a book is this.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2019/03/08 12:45:18


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. 
   
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Regular Dakkanaut





auticus wrote:
The summoning in whfb is about 1/10th of what AOS summoning is.

Summoning in whfb could be dispelled. AOS summoning cannot be stopped at all.

Summoning in whfb scaled up with difficulty. You were adding d6, 2d6, or 3d6 models but to cast those spells they got progressively harder to cast.

AOS summoning you get full strength units or bring back entire dead units at full strength. By drawing air into your lungs and stating you are going to do it.

Summoning is indeed one of the biggest issues in today's game as far as balance is concerned. Apparently not at the powergamer tournament level, but definitely in the casual for fun campaign level.



Having it count as magic would go a long way.
As it's then able to be dispelled, it makes it alot harder to fire off 5 summons a turn or so.
But I agree, WHFB summoning was very minor in comparison and could easily be controlled.
AoS summoning has just gone to the point of insanity.
How can you balance something when it gives free points to an army and isn't available to all?
   
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How can you balance something when it gives free points to an army and isn't available to all?


You don't. The populate myth is that GW has baked in extra points to these units to make them more expensive than they should be to make up for it.

But that is laughable. It is mathematically and objectively laughable. I can take say a FEC Adepticon army and get its overall score based on its average damage and average defensive ability, and compare that to my blood bound mortal army, or a beastman army, or a slaves of darkness army, or a bunch of any other army, and without summoning the two armies are still not in the same league really. Its somewhat playable but there's already a schism between the two scores. Now add FEC summoning into the mix and that score goes into the stratosphere. At that point in the playtesting cycle I would stop and say "hold on, this is not just a little bit OP, this is game breaking OP." As opposed to what GW does which is "ship it!" and the community goes "oh come on its not THAT bad, git gud!"

Some units indeed like horrors this is a true statement. And you will also notice no one takes them. Because for summoning to be used people have to feel its free or at a very low cost.

Now how it works at the powergamer level is that armies that aren't summoning also do hideous and obscene amounts of damage so they are killing a whole slew of models and the summoning player is basically trying to replace those.

So at that level "its not that bad".

A casual or for fun army is not going to have hideous and obscene amounts of damage, so the summoning is quickly oppressive and a game-ender.

If I were the one doing that ruleset there would be no free summoning on that level #1. It would be something you had to earn (kind of like blood tithe) and what you could summon would be very small utility units. Not free blood thirsters.

Recycling dead units would also come with a cost somewhere.

#2 because I would have the output list of every unit in the game in front of me, I would make it a mission to stick to the bell curve of output and also point things appropriately. There would be none of this spamming mortal wounds garbage.

Those two things by themselves would start reigning in the extreme ends of the system and by default bring factions on the other end of the spectrum (the garbage spectrum) into playability again.

OR

I would have my team write a book for every faction in the game that did not have current rules so that everyone was up to date and release that. If spamming mortal wounds and loads of free summoning is the hill that they want to die on, then fine. Give every faction the same ability in some fashion.

The staggered release that they do is definitely something they do to maximize their business, which I understand, but its also the #1 reason why their games are a joke in terms of balance and why you have to just accept chasing the meta around.

This message was edited 4 times. Last update was at 2019/03/08 13:02:12


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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There are many factions that fall into that category. Khorne mortals fall into that as well and their book is not super old. Any faction that does not have a book is this.


It's not super old, but it is 2 years old and belongs to an older edition, same as Kharadron. I've said it before but there is an evident design paradigm shift from Maggotkin and up. With factions that haven't gotten a book you can't really count them as they've never been properly addressed and can barely be considered legit factions at this point. For all we know these factions could be squatted any moment now.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
The staggered release that they do is definitely something they do to maximize their business


It is their approach as it allows them to meet quarterly earnings and whatnot. It's one of the imbalanced features of capitalism.

Personally I think they just need to move their entire thing to digital and charge subscription(like Azyr, but keep it full featured akin to a book). That way they can address things faster and just make a better game. FFG is kinda doing this already(except no subscription I think).

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/03/08 13:09:13


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Regular Dakkanaut





The staggering is a very good point.
By the time say book 12 is released, book 1 is severely under power by comparison.
I fear this will get worse the more they add factions aswell.
We have alot more books to come I'd say and this will only make that issue worse.

I think the core of it though is due to releases.
They want new models with these books, so design time plays a big part in it.
They don't have a dev team working on all armies at once so this will always be the case sadly.




On summoning, I'd like to see it costing points again.
Or, culled as you said so we aren't seeing a greater daemon pop up for free.
I'd also like to see points factored into units that can return dead models to make up for this, just as horrors have.
   
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Tampa, FL

The issue with the staggering has existed forever, just back then it was you had to wait until a new edition and hope your book was on the schedule (see armies like Bretonnia, may they rest in peace, that had like what maybe 3 updates during their entire lifetime?).

But it is frustrating when the designers have a cool idea midway through, and never go back to retroactively apply it to older factions just add it to the new ones so the old ones get further and further behind and then you have to hope that they decide to update. Like how they are updating Blades of Khorne again to give them endless spells, but there are still battletomes from before even having army specific abilities that haven't even gotten a second book, let alone a third.

- Wayne
Formerly WayneTheGame 
   
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But it is frustrating when the designers have a cool idea midway through, and never go back to retroactively apply it to older factions just add it to the new ones so the old ones get further and further behind and then you have to hope that they decide to update. Like how they are updating Blades of Khorne again to give them endless spells, but there are still battletomes from before even having army specific abilities that haven't even gotten a second book, let alone a third.


The question there is twofold: Do GW look at Blades of Khorne as an iconic army that needs a revisit, or are they just viewing it as a low-hanging fruit? Because if it is the latter they could be trying to organize something larger with other books in comparison whereas low-hanging fruits can be shot out to get a little money in the bank. Could also be that they consider Khorne such a large faction(because they were in the original starter) that they feel obligated to update it in fear of losing out all those who bought into AoS at original release.

Because of all the factions I think Destruction needs a lot of new units to bulk up their forces and if GW thinks the same they might want to make a bigger splash release out of it. We of course won't know until they do of course. I can't even remember many Destruction armies in the field except the new Gloomspites who got a large release.

There is also the thing we've all wondered(and feared) which is whether they want to continue certain armies or not due to how they want to build their AoS landscape. Greenskinz are currently out so one has to wonder who might be next.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/03/08 13:33:16


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On that last note, I suspect they have backtracked from having loads of tiny factions and we'll see more combined. Like I fully expect to see the remaining (A)elves rolled up into one, maybe with a Light/Dark style tome split. It's a possibility BCR will be rolled back into Ogor Kingdoms with Gutbusters. Duardin is likely as well, maybe incorporating Fyreslayers (but maybe not).

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Now here is how I have addressed these balance issues in my campaigns, which are public events. I have 24-30 players in my campaigns on the regular, and while I have to combat the TFG powergamer guys that don't believe you should ever tone down, my numbers stay high BECAUSE I'm giving attention to something other than LVO or Adepticon power lists.

I don't like having to say "you can't do that". I don't like saying "you can't take those things in your army". So instead of saying no, I try to say "thats fine", and then have scenarios that enforce balance instead.

So I have implemented the sudden death system, which is part of the core rules actually so is not a house rule. I'm taking an existing rule and using it in my scenarios.

For my scenarios, if you at anytime summon or recycle or gain free units that exceed 25% of the game point value (500 points in 2000 points) your opponent gets a sudden death victory condition from the core rules.

If at any time you push out 20 or more mortal wounds in one turn, your opponent gets a sudden death victory condition from the core rules.

If at any time a player has a sudden death victory condition AND THEN also summons 500 or more points or does 20 or more mortal wounds, they lose the sudden death condition.

What this does is at least give players playing a book or faction that is garbage a fighting chance to win scenarios.

Now this has in my powergamer meta about a 75% approval rating. About a quarter of the players that play AOS hate this because they feel I'm invalidating their power army and they don't feel that should ever happen, but I'm ok with that because it does make the lists in our campaigns more diverse and people have honestly had a lot more fun with it, without pushing house rules (I don't see playing narrative style mode to play incorporating existing rules structures in the core rulebook like sudden death as house ruling, its just not pure matched play which my events are not anyway)

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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Tampa, FL

As far as balance itself goes I really think it would require a fundamental change in mindset from GW which will never happen (it's had 30 years to happen and really never did already).

They just aren't interested in it. Why I couldn't say. Whether it's sales based or just ignorant/incompetent or the idea that it actually makes the game more interesting I don't know but it's as much a part of Warhammer as anything else.

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No they, and the people that love AOS and 40k, are not really interested or care about balance. However if you care about balance, you're going to have to take some matters into your own hands, so this is a good discussion on how to do that.


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 is
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Iceland

Ultimately I'd just like to see summoning reigned in a bit and certain things(like Endless spells) banned/limited under certain point costs. I have seen some brutal battles where one player wins the game on the first round because of wonky Endless Spells on the first round. We have an escalation league that only allowed certain things on a higher point level, but even then we had issues with some of the things at 1000 points.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/03/08 14:45:35


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 Eldarsif wrote:
Ultimately I'd just like to see summoning reigned in a bit and certain things(like Endless spells) banned/limited under certain point costs. I have seen some brutal battles where one player wins the game on the first round because of wonky Endless Spells on the first round. We have an escalation league that only allowed certain things on a higher point level, but even then we had issues with some of the things at 1000 points.


Well, part of the issue with summoning is that before when it cost points it was useless and you never really saw it.

What might work is allow you to recycle but not create new. So if you had a unit destroyed you could summon to bring it back, but not add points to your list over the cap. People would still complain, but I don't think it would be quite as broken.

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Formerly WayneTheGame 
   
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Yeah scale has always been something of a joke. The game is pretty much written for 2000 points. Deviation from that brings problems.


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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Future War Cultist wrote:I suppose I’m talking about both external balance (faction v faction) and internal balance (different builds within a faction). I want any faction within this game to stand a reasonable chance of defeating another in matched play. No one should suffer an inheriantly weak force that’s doomed to failure before the first unit is even deployed. It’s not right. And as for the second point, every faction should have multiple viable builds. Every unit deserves a decent look in.

That is a nice and workable definition. Props.

Wayniac wrote:
Warhammer players, perhaps more so than players of any other wargame, see to want almost 100% of the "skill" to be in list building and finding that broken combo or insane synergy that lets you just completely crush your opponent. Whether this is picking undercosted units so that your 2000 point list behaves like 3000 points or blatant min-maxing like stacking buffs to get some insane ability (pre-Wrath and Rapture Bloodletter Bomb springs to mind where it was something like you could do mortal wounds on a 3+ with the right buffs), Warhammer players and apparently the designers themselves seem to find nothing wrong with having "must take" and "never take" choices or having choices that completely invalidate other choices within the same book They are okay with combos that can make entire factions nonviable for play because they have no way to deal with them.

I think those players don't actually care about skill, they just say they do (to not look like donkey-caves and/or stroke their own egos). They care about winning before all, not the challenge of the game, not about their opponent enjoying the game; winning by as much as possible is what is important.
NOTE, not saying all or even many Warhammer players are like this, but poor balance in a game attracts that kind of player because they can win without having to do the hard part. They then add toxicity and their kind of "competitive play" to the community and make it difficult or even more unpleasant to not take part in at least a small degree and turn the whole apple crate bad.


That's bad design, but without a fundamental shift in how GW writes rules (which we have been waiting almost 30 years for it to happen), there's no possible way that Warhammer can be balanced because there's no desire to. The crazy combos and units that are just better than other ones and emphasis on winning the game before it begins with an "uber list" are too prevalent across the player base and the design team.

Mostly my take too. I don't think the design team is part of that though. I think their part is either naively believing that players will be nice and want their opponent to have fun (to be fair, the most balanced games of either Warhammer I ever played were no points AoS) or part GW's business practice.

lord_blackfang wrote:The real core issue here is that GW games gameplay is so shallow that list building is rarely more involved than just finding stuff with the best damage output/soak ratio for the points. When that is your only consideration, of course there will be a most efficient unit.

One half of the problem is the unified way units are treated, where there's little functional difference between a dragon and a mob of grots of equal points. They're going to deal similar damage, soak similar damage and degrade at a similar rate no matter what you hit them with. About the only other factor in a unit's statline is speed, which feeds into the second half of the problem:

All the scenarios are about standing on points and preventing your enemy from standing on points. This feeds back into damage/soak being the only meaningful measure of a unit after the initial scramble to reach those points, which is usually decided by who goes first.

Bottm line, the game has no battlefield roles besides "be killy" and "be tanky". If you needed different types of units to accomplish different things then there would be a bigger requirement to make a varied, yet coherent, army list, rather than just taking the most undercosted unit since they all do the same thing anyway.

Yes, more meaningful on table tactical decisions would help.
AoS is largely about big stompy things and epic abilities, which do make it significantly more difficult to balance. A system of stacking buff makes it even worse. Add a company that doesn't even seem to try and this is what you get.

auticus wrote:The staggered release that they do is definitely something they do to maximize their business, which I understand, but its also the #1 reason why their games are a joke in terms of balance and why you have to just accept chasing the meta around.

I would argue that the staggering itself isn't the issue, it's the powercreep. Each new thing is more powerful. It is difficult not to be cynical and explain it as a gakky business practice to sell more of the new releases to take advantage of people willing to chase the meta.
Corvus Belli releases new lists, with entirely new rules and concepts several times a year and they don't have this problem. With the exception of the handful of sectorials (subfactions) that have holdovers from last edition; any list can stand up to the newest thing and reasonably expect to win (baring the new stuff catching one off guard the first time ). Including the sectorials that are OOP! Those got a list update before the mini's were retired.

That balance thing combined with terrible rules writing (most rules arguments would go away if GW just defined and consistently used terms ), then re-actively changing rules to counter "broken lists" and then charging money for books that mostly throw the armies at the back of the powercreep a bone is why I just don't play GW games anymore.

Edit: Excuse me! That turned into a bit of a angry/salty rant. I am that disillusioned with GW though and I don't think GW is going to do better (i know, the next edition/battletome or FAQ will fix things; just like you thought the last one would). There I go again.

Will leave it up though; not sure it it's a glimmer of hope that GW might listen if enough of us speak up or if it's because I hope others will learn that there are other games produced by companies that don't do this gak.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/03/08 14:54:11



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Mostly my take too. I don't think the design team is part of that though. I think their part is either naively believing that players will be nice and want their opponent to have fun (to be fair, the most balanced games of either Warhammer I ever played were no points AoS) or part GW's business practice.


The GW design team for AOS are all tournament players that play in many tournaments a year, to include the big daddy ones in the UK. They know all about tournament player behavior because they themselves are tournament players and they know the iintent of tournaements is to break the game.

In fact a couple years ago it was postulated heavily that because the design team were all tournament players that this would usher in an era of balance never seen before and that the community efforts to comp were not needed. This was a massive talking point on twitter, on the tga forums before i got banned from them (as i participated heavily iin that conversation) and to an extent on dakka in these forums.

And to an extent they were right. The tournament scene sees a fairly diverse list of armies in the top 10. Which I have found is what they mean when they say balanced. When they and the community that love AOS and 40k say balanced what they are looking for is not game-wide balance, they are looking for tournament balance where the top 10 are diverse enough and not the same 2-3 armies. Its generally accepted by they and the community that you need to cycle your army out to whats strong to play the game. When we talk about all factions being balanced and having an equal viable foothold, that is waived off as naive, not possible, or not a priority.

In short, game-wide balance is not something that the tournament community, and therefore the design team, care much about, if at all and is not a metric that they use or even consider.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
I also wager most communities are competitive-bent and this is why it seems that only a few of us are standing on this mountain willing to die on it waving the balance flag, because the competitive-bent communities all understand that as long as tournaments are diverse, they are happy.

The casual campaign for fun players aren't on their radar or its not their problem.

I base that on many interactions daily for years with people from all over the world that all claim their areas are mostly competitive. My input is overwhelmingly in favor of that mindset.

This message was edited 4 times. Last update was at 2019/03/08 15:18:17


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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What might work is allow you to recycle but not create new. So if you had a unit destroyed you could summon to bring it back, but not add points to your list over the cap. People would still complain, but I don't think it would be quite as broken.


It would be better. It would at least give you breathing room to attempt to kill the hero before it resummons a dead unit.

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Summoning is most definitely a major issue with the game.

If it was up to me, summonable units would be treated a bit like endless spells...you have to pay for them, and they can either be deployed as normal or be called in by successfully casting them, which also means that they can be dispelled. And they can also be ‘banished’...as in an enemy unit that can attempt dispells can roll against their casting value in place of casting a spell, and if they beat it, the unit takes mortal wounds. But if the unit is destroyed then you can always attempt to bring it back by casting them.

I suggest this because as powerful as endless spells are, they have never seemed op to me. And the fact that they are fully paid for might have something to do with it.
   
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You are talking about the reserve system which GW already tried. Summoning used to go off of reserve points. And none of the players ever used it. Because to the community at large if summoning isn't free then it isn't really a bonus and that just means part of your army isn't deploying and you are smaller and therefore easier to kill.

Thats why the desiign team changed it. Because no one was using reserve points pretty much ever.

Or "its not FUN if it isn't also FREE"

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/03/08 15:43:15


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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auticus wrote:
You are talking about the reserve system which GW already tried. Summoning used to go off of reserve points. And none of the players ever used it. Because to the community at large if summoning isn't free then it isn't really a bonus and that just means part of your army isn't deploying and you are smaller and therefore easier to kill.

Thats why the desiign team changed it. Because no one was using reserve points pretty much ever.

Or "its not FUN if it isn't also FREE"


Which to be fair is not wrong. 40k still uses reinforcement points and you rarely, if ever, see summoning there as well.

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auticus wrote:
Mostly my take too. I don't think the design team is part of that though. I think their part is either naively believing that players will be nice and want their opponent to have fun (to be fair, the most balanced games of either Warhammer I ever played were no points AoS) or part GW's business practice.


The GW design team for AOS are all tournament players that play in many tournaments a year, to include the big daddy ones in the UK. They know all about tournament player behavior because they themselves are tournament players and they know the iintent of tournaements is to break the game.

In fact a couple years ago it was postulated heavily that because the design team were all tournament players that this would usher in an era of balance never seen before and that the community efforts to comp were not needed. This was a massive talking point on twitter, on the tga forums before i got banned from them (as i participated heavily iin that conversation) and to an extent on dakka in these forums.

And to an extent they were right. The tournament scene sees a fairly diverse list of armies in the top 10. Which I have found is what they mean when they say balanced. When they and the community that love AOS and 40k say balanced what they are looking for is not game-wide balance, they are looking for tournament balance where the top 10 are diverse enough and not the same 2-3 armies. Its generally accepted by they and the community that you need to cycle your army out to whats strong to play the game. When we talk about all factions being balanced and having an equal viable foothold, that is waived off as naive, not possible, or not a priority.

In short, game-wide balance is not something that the tournament community, and therefore the design team, care much about, if at all and is not a metric that they use or even consider.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
I also wager most communities are competitive-bent and this is why it seems that only a few of us are standing on this mountain willing to die on it waving the balance flag, because the competitive-bent communities all understand that as long as tournaments are diverse, they are happy.

The casual campaign for fun players aren't on their radar or its not their problem.

I base that on many interactions daily for years with people from all over the world that all claim their areas are mostly competitive. My input is overwhelmingly in favor of that mindset.



In regards to the last points there, players can be both.
I attend a fair few tournaments each year, but I also love casual play.
Some sadly can't differentiate between the 2.
My local meta isn't too bad, but that's because there's a general understanding that it's casual lists unless we have a tournament, then it's just pure brutality.

I'd love to be able to run a fluffy list in tournaments, but most fluffy lists are going nowhere.
Kind of annoyed as my skryre were my pride and joy and I played them a ton, and then the 1st GHB happened and they became broken and no fun to use casually.
Even a poorly built skryre army caused heavy damage.

Then on the flipside, I'm now building a moulder army and even in casual play, it will struggle alot.


The issue with going for as best balance as possible is that you do away with competitive and casual play, it just becomes a game.
So I can see that too muchbalance e can hamper it to a degree, but it currently needs alot more.
   
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For my money, there shouldn't be a "tone down" at all. The rules should indicate what a valid list is and you should operate within those confines.

Thats how I play kings of war, battletech, warlords, and any other game I've ever played and its largely been ok.

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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Thing is though, I the old system, did you have to pay points for a single unit and that’s that? Because in my system you pay the points for the unit, but you can keep bringing it back as many times as you want. Like an endless spell.

You pay 120pts for a unit of plague bearers, deploy it or summon it, it fights, it’s destroyed, you summon it again, and so on and so forth. Contagion points are used to return dead demons to the unit, even beyound it’s starting number. So it’s like a slight hybrid of the systems.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/03/08 15:59:00


 
   
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auticus wrote:
For my money, there shouldn't be a "tone down" at all. The rules should indicate what a valid list is and you should operate within those confines.

Thats how I play kings of war, battletech, warlords, and any other game I've ever played and its largely been ok.



That's the issue though.
Alot of people like that the same game can go from highly competitive to a beer and pretzels type of game just by altering lists.
If you remove any form of that and leave only a single way to play, alot of people will dislike it.

Now that's not because they are a WAAC power gamer or a casual only player, but it's because there is simply no variety in it anymore.
I think that's one reason GW has alot of success despite wonky rules.
   
 
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