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What I have been wondering is do GW have a formula or a system for the way the game works which is an attempt to create, at least mathematically, a level of balance.

So if you write a stat line for a new unit will that stat line determine the points, mathematically. And so if you had 2 units from different armies with the exact same stat lines they would have the same points cost.

And if a unit has an aura that give units within 6 inches +1 save is 6 inches worth c point and +1 save worth x points?
   
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I doubt it.



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I very much doubt GW has anything like that and people who have tried to develope one based on GWs points don't find that it generally works.

The issue is that things only have a value in relation to other things.

The best example I can give you is durability to impact on the table. Durability is not valuable in and of itself. A nigh invulnerable model that has no weapons, no auras, slow movement etc etc.. it just isn't worth very much. But if you put that same durability on a model with a 72" range gun that can ignore LoS and has high str and high dmg that durability becomes game breakingly powerful. A model with no durability and that gun would STILL have a good cost. But nowhere near as high as having that durability with it.

As an example consider the Biovore. Yeah they have a couple of wounds. But a pretty average toughness and a not great save. Their mobility is hampered by their long range mortal wound throwing gun. 30+ ppm. Now give them a 2+ sv with a 5++ invul.

Even +1 W becomes more valuable on a model with a 2+ Sv then it is on a model with a 6+ Sv.

So what algorithm are you writing to calculate the value of a wound/Sv/T to compensate for the variable nature of it's value when compared to other attributes including weapon options?


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GW have explicitly stated that exactly such a system exists.

Of course, after that, they still adapt the points. An identical model surrounded by different units which it can buff or be buffed by will have different value to one surrounded by very different units.

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Theres a very basic formula that they use to calculate a "starting" cost, but from there they adjust the points (often quite liberally) based on playtesting and feedback. The fomula itself is basically useless because as Lance pointed out any attempt to calculate a balanced point level based on stats alone is doomed to fail as the relationships between stats and abilities will often have a multiplicative effect on one another, rather than just a simple additive one.

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I think the GW doesn't care about that, but you can use the statistic to balance the various units. Obviously in this way you can't value the importance of certain special rules (like the infiltration) or equipments (like the jump pack), but you can have a preliminary balancing of the various kind of troops compared to another troop take as reference.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/11/18 13:05:20


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 Fifty wrote:
GW have explicitly stated that exactly such a system exists.

Of course, after that, they still adapt the points. An identical model surrounded by different units which it can buff or be buffed by will have different value to one surrounded by very different units.


GW says a lot of things.



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Norn Queen






If a unit is new, it'll have OP rules/too low a points cost. They then will nerf it once they've sold enough. Only for Marines though, NPC races still get nothing.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/11/18 13:33:52


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There used to be, now they just use (from their podcast they loosely talked about it) more of a spread sheet as to what they can and can't do them base points off that.

Back in 2nd or 3rd can't remember, they actively gave out their formula in a WD/Core rule book. You should still be able to find it if you look hard enough.

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Decrepit Dakkanaut







Probably not. In fact, I'd say definitely not - the game doesn't seem to adhere to anything. Not the lore/background, not some mathematical formula (which wouldn't work anyways as Lance pointed out), not some other paradigm that I can identify.

GW feels a bit like Frankenstein's Monster, just stumbling around and convulsing wondering why no one will give it a hug.
   
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Longtime Dakkanaut






I find it funny that people always doubt they'd have one when they have explicitly stated through the years that they do. This isn't in any way new either, the rulebooks in the 80's had basic statline costs visible to the players there.

If anyone is wondering on the source, Jervis Johnson shows some parts of their AoS version in WD 457. It's a web of spread sheet formulas where you can take into account base stats, durability, whether the model has special rules or casts powers and so on. They also have never claimed it would be a precise science that isn't then reviewed by a human, even if the resulting numbers occasionally raise quite a few eyebrows.

It's not that GW doesn't use such tools, it's more about their 40k team in general stumbling around in the dark without a unifying vision.

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 Sherrypie wrote:
I find it funny that people always doubt they'd have one when they have explicitly stated through the years that they do. This isn't in any way new either, the rulebooks in the 80's had basic statline costs visible to the players there.

If anyone is wondering on the source, Jervis Johnson shows some parts of their AoS version in WD 457. It's a web of spread sheet formulas where you can take into account base stats, durability, whether the model has special rules or casts powers and so on. They also have never claimed it would be a precise science that isn't then reviewed by a human, even if the resulting numbers occasionally raise quite a few eyebrows.

It's not that GW doesn't use such tools, it's more about their 40k team in general stumbling around in the dark without a unifying vision.


I'm not sure that's true for 40k, and if it is they need to reconsider how many changes they make after-the-fact, since the formula cannot be backwards-derived at the moment (so either it's so incredibly arcane and complex that the people who have tried have failed, or it's results dissolve in the fudge factor that humans apply which renders it of questionable utility anyways).
   
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 Amishprn86 wrote:
There used to be, now they just use (from their podcast they loosely talked about it) more of a spread sheet as to what they can and can't do them base points off that.

Back in 2nd or 3rd can't remember, they actively gave out their formula in a WD/Core rule book. You should still be able to find it if you look hard enough.


Warhammer Fantasy 3rd edition had the formula.

For 40k, Rogue Trader had it. Pages 58-60. It starts at 5 points for a guardsman profile, and adjusts by fractions (WS is a 1/2 point, BS is a quarter point, S & T a full point, W & A 4 points). If the final value is greater than 10, there is an additional multiplier
Then a page and a half for gear values
With basic points for a lot of creatures and critters already worked out

The 9th edition 'Munitorum Manual' points are shockingly similar for quite a few factions, though some adjustments have taken place over the years (including losing the extra mental stats- WP, Cl, Int)
(Example: an RT-era space marine with bolter and power armor is 8+2+6=16 points, 17 if you adjust for toughness 4 rather than the original T3. The Manual has a tactical marine at 15 points, so something of a discount)

I'd be _very_ surprised if they weren't using a variant of the original formula. But their 'adjustments' for the absolute bevy of special rules likely swamp it.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/11/18 16:37:16


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 Unit1126PLL wrote:
 Sherrypie wrote:
I find it funny that people always doubt they'd have one when they have explicitly stated through the years that they do. This isn't in any way new either, the rulebooks in the 80's had basic statline costs visible to the players there.

If anyone is wondering on the source, Jervis Johnson shows some parts of their AoS version in WD 457. It's a web of spread sheet formulas where you can take into account base stats, durability, whether the model has special rules or casts powers and so on. They also have never claimed it would be a precise science that isn't then reviewed by a human, even if the resulting numbers occasionally raise quite a few eyebrows.

It's not that GW doesn't use such tools, it's more about their 40k team in general stumbling around in the dark without a unifying vision.


I'm not sure that's true for 40k, and if it is they need to reconsider how many changes they make after-the-fact, since the formula cannot be backwards-derived at the moment (so either it's so incredibly arcane and complex that the people who have tried have failed, or it's results dissolve in the fudge factor that humans apply which renders it of questionable utility anyways).


It is not easily reverse-engineerable, no, because it seems to be a reasonably compex set of if-else listings that cross-correlate with various factors like army composition restrictions and thematic weigths on top.

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 Sherrypie wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
 Sherrypie wrote:
I find it funny that people always doubt they'd have one when they have explicitly stated through the years that they do. This isn't in any way new either, the rulebooks in the 80's had basic statline costs visible to the players there.

If anyone is wondering on the source, Jervis Johnson shows some parts of their AoS version in WD 457. It's a web of spread sheet formulas where you can take into account base stats, durability, whether the model has special rules or casts powers and so on. They also have never claimed it would be a precise science that isn't then reviewed by a human, even if the resulting numbers occasionally raise quite a few eyebrows.

It's not that GW doesn't use such tools, it's more about their 40k team in general stumbling around in the dark without a unifying vision.


I'm not sure that's true for 40k, and if it is they need to reconsider how many changes they make after-the-fact, since the formula cannot be backwards-derived at the moment (so either it's so incredibly arcane and complex that the people who have tried have failed, or it's results dissolve in the fudge factor that humans apply which renders it of questionable utility anyways).


It is not easily reverse-engineerable, no, because it seems to be a reasonably compex set of if-else listings that cross-correlate with various factors like army composition restrictions and thematic weigths on top.


You give them too much credit. They do some pretty simple math and then arbitrarily add/deduct quantities to get it in line with their expectations of performance.

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As others have said, no there isn’t.

To keep it short, there are a helluva a lot of variables in play.

Size of game, the exact composition you choose, mission parameters, types, variety and density of terrain are all distinctly ‘x’ factors which will be different game to game, venue to venue etc.

Then we need to acknowledge that unit categories are exceptionally vague. Consider light infantry.

That could be a Guardsman, a Conscript, a Grot, a Guardian, a Gaunt or Dark Eldar Warrior - here unified by T3, a single wound, and a save no better than 5+.

One might think that in terms of surviability, they’re all much of a muchness. None particularly stand out from the others. And to a certain extent, that’s correct.

But it’s how they interact with the rest of their Codex that makes things far trickier.

Guardians are a more reliable troop than the others based on their stat line and Shuriken Catapults. 12” range aside (why GW, why? It’s been 22 years and I’m still aggrieved, despite not even playing Eldar), they’re a pretty pokey unit for Light Infantry, and anything in range is in for a fairly hard time.

Grots are probably the most combat laughable of the bunch. But between relative cheapness, and their diminutive size, they’re pretty solid objective holders. And when the rest of your army is wanting to get in closer to krump stuff, that is a power unto itself.

Hypothetical? Let’s say in their next Codex, Knights get light infantry squads - either Secutarii or Men at Arms types. Those would radically change how a Knight army works, as they’re no longer solely reliant on keeping the enemy off objectives, as they’ve a native method for taking and holding.

That would also mean my opponent has far more to focus on than just taking down my Knights.

So such hpyothetical Light Infantry would likely be pointed higher than someone directly comparable, such as Guardsmen.

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chaos0xomega wrote:
 Sherrypie wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
 Sherrypie wrote:
I find it funny that people always doubt they'd have one when they have explicitly stated through the years that they do. This isn't in any way new either, the rulebooks in the 80's had basic statline costs visible to the players there.

If anyone is wondering on the source, Jervis Johnson shows some parts of their AoS version in WD 457. It's a web of spread sheet formulas where you can take into account base stats, durability, whether the model has special rules or casts powers and so on. They also have never claimed it would be a precise science that isn't then reviewed by a human, even if the resulting numbers occasionally raise quite a few eyebrows.

It's not that GW doesn't use such tools, it's more about their 40k team in general stumbling around in the dark without a unifying vision.


I'm not sure that's true for 40k, and if it is they need to reconsider how many changes they make after-the-fact, since the formula cannot be backwards-derived at the moment (so either it's so incredibly arcane and complex that the people who have tried have failed, or it's results dissolve in the fudge factor that humans apply which renders it of questionable utility anyways).


It is not easily reverse-engineerable, no, because it seems to be a reasonably compex set of if-else listings that cross-correlate with various factors like army composition restrictions and thematic weigths on top.


You give them too much credit. They do some pretty simple math and then arbitrarily add/deduct quantities to get it in line with their expectations of performance.


Mh, that's an often repeated line of thought, but I don't think it's true. GW's expectations on how units ought to perform and how the playerbase breaks them might not at times see eye to eye, but the notion that there's no system or that it's just some simple arithmetic is not in accordance with the fact that Jervis and others have been at it for ages. Reverse engineering simple math would be reasonably easy with some effort, but the system they have demonstrated is denser than that. Still doesn't mean the people at the helm use it well, necessarily.

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Denser or just less qualitative and more reliant on human judgement (and therefore capable of error)
   
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Creating a baseline points system should be relatively simple. Determine quantifiables, like effective range, offensive capability, and defensive capability.

Multiply the factors together, and you'd have a baseline. Creating the formula is less challenging than populating the variables. Infantry in the game seems based around the MEQ statline.

M6, Effective range 30" (move and fire most weapons). Give that a base of 10.

Bolter and Upgrade weapons for range and melee. Base 10.

T4, 3+ save, Base 10.

Multiply them all together = 1000

Sumarily, divide by 66.667 = 15 points base.


Guardsman: M6, Effective range 30" - 10
S3 basic guns, less BS, ranged upgrades and weak melee upgrade - 7
Defense - T3, 5+ save - 5

400 total, divide by 66.667 = 6 points base (probably correct)


Ork Boy M6, Effective range 24" Base - 8
S4 basic Guns, way less BS, strong Melee Upgrade - 7
Defense - T4, 6+, "Large Numbers" - 7

392 total, divide by 66.667 = 6 points base (probably correct)


Fire Warrior M6, Effective Range 36" - 12
S5 basic Gun, less BS, no melee upgrades - 8
Defense T3, 4+ save - 7

672 total, divide by 66.67 = 10 pts (off by 1 point)


I acknowledge this is entirely arbitrary... but so are all systems of measurement.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/11/18 21:59:42


 
   
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 greatbigtree wrote:
Multiply the factors together, and you'd have a baseline.


They're almost certainly using an additive system, not a multiplicative one, because they're not interested in balance.
   
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I'd say gw almost definitely uses a system to calculate a units price based on its datasheet. The problem is that they don't further factor in things that alter its stats and abilities like faction/subfaction rules or strategems (see anything loyalists), or do and price the unit assuming it will almost always be using the optimal set of buffing rules (see Obliterators being priced as if they are all marked Slaanesh and getting Cacophony/votlw slapped on them every turn). So basically they start out reasonably balanced (at least until they start fudging numbers for whatever reason), but then all those additional rules throw that balance out the window.
   
 
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