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Made in ca
Junior Officer with Laspistol





London, Ontario

I also consider myself to be conscious of differing perspectives, and try to be respectful of them. *internet-based, COVID-safe Fist-bump*

And so as to not be entirely off topic... how about a throw away line about differing opinions on what balance means to an individual making a balanced game difficult to define and thus difficult to create?

Yup, vaguely on topic so less spammy.

For example, my sense of balance in the game is an emotional experience and not an empirical one. For me, balance is the feeling that when I play a game against a similarly skilled opponent, that we both have a reasonable chance to win. A highly subjective quality at best... what’s reasonable?

By extension, “balance” isn’t a yes/no , but a shade of grey. I would arbitrarily set my experience of sense of balance for 9th as being 7/10... highly acceptable. My experience with 8th edition circa Index era was about 9/10... notable failing with Guard balance that I was able to correct by playing at a handicap. Compared to later 7th edition where I’d rank balance at 2/10... it could hypothetically have been worse. I was considering selling my model collection, utterly unacceptable.

I’m also pragmatic by nature. I can accept a handful of flaws, especially if I can easily correct them, so long as the overall experience is positive. So in that regard I’m satisfied in my personal experience with the degree of balance in the game.
   
Made in ca
Secretive Dark Angels Veteran




Vancouver, BC

 greatbigtree wrote:
I also consider myself to be conscious of differing perspectives, and try to be respectful of them. *internet-based, COVID-safe Fist-bump*

And so as to not be entirely off topic... how about a throw away line about differing opinions on what balance means to an individual making a balanced game difficult to define and thus difficult to create?

Yup, vaguely on topic so less spammy.

For example, my sense of balance in the game is an emotional experience and not an empirical one. For me, balance is the feeling that when I play a game against a similarly skilled opponent, that we both have a reasonable chance to win. A highly subjective quality at best... what’s reasonable?

By extension, “balance” isn’t a yes/no , but a shade of grey. I would arbitrarily set my experience of sense of balance for 9th as being 7/10... highly acceptable. My experience with 8th edition circa Index era was about 9/10... notable failing with Guard balance that I was able to correct by playing at a handicap. Compared to later 7th edition where I’d rank balance at 2/10... it could hypothetically have been worse. I was considering selling my model collection, utterly unacceptable.

I’m also pragmatic by nature. I can accept a handful of flaws, especially if I can easily correct them, so long as the overall experience is positive. So in that regard I’m satisfied in my personal experience with the degree of balance in the game.


That seemed perfectly on-topic to me. My questions were all asked to provoke this discussion and I'm grinning ear to ear at how civil it is.
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





 VladimirHerzog wrote:
 kirotheavenger wrote:
The problem with voting with your wallet is that there's often other pressures to participate beyond what you personally like.
Wargames are very geographically limited, and expensive in terms of money and time.
If everyone around you is sticking to 40k, you'll either have to do without wargames or play 40k. Similarly if you can't afford to buy in to a new system.

That doesn't mean I don't agree with you to a point, GW has n o obligation to make a good game.
But I do think 40k has reached a critical mass of self-sustaining size where it will continue to attract and retain players in spite of anti-consumer decisions by GW. Which is helped enormously by the extreme loyalty of much of the fanbase.


i havnt bought anything from GW for my last two armies... there are ways to keep playing while not giving GW money.


That is only available if you will pirate books and/or play with others who never expand their collections. Otherwise you will sooner or later have to spend some money to GW. Like for me, I accept the game for what it is, do I wish my group would maybe expand to other things ? Yes but as they won't it's either play GW or not play a mini war game based on my area. As was said GW by size of market self sustains, unless they do another first drift of AoS for 40k that will happen and even AoS on first release had people supporting it blindly as a marvel of amazing rules design, GW was so large even that fiasco took awhile to kill off interest and that was a huge mess of a terrible idea.
   
Made in us
Confessor Of Sins




Tacoma, WA, USA

Strictly speaking, 40K and any game like it are impossible to balance. There are too many variables to balance all possible permutations of the game.

That being said, I expect 40K to be reasonably balanced between reasonable list. GW should continue to work to smooth out any balance issues between and within armies.

For example, it can be safely said GW needs to do something about Eradicators. They are simply an unbalanced unit that messes with nearly any battlefield it appears on. It is too efficient to not be used and that impacts both Space Marine and non-Space Marine list alike. It is the type of issues GW needs to deal with.

Much less important is how to make place for AM Conscripts as opposed to AM Infantry Squads. Ideally, both units would have a place in the game, but it is darn hard to balance between those two.
   
Made in ca
Secretive Dark Angels Veteran




Vancouver, BC

 AngryAngel80 wrote:
That is only available if you will pirate books and/or play with others who never expand their collections. Otherwise you will sooner or later have to spend some money to GW. Like for me, I accept the game for what it is, do I wish my group would maybe expand to other things ? Yes but as they won't it's either play GW or not play a mini war game based on my area. As was said GW by size of market self sustains, unless they do another first drift of AoS for 40k that will happen and even AoS on first release had people supporting it blindly as a marvel of amazing rules design, GW was so large even that fiasco took awhile to kill off interest and that was a huge mess of a terrible idea.

Untrue. You can always buy both books and models second hand and not give GW anything.
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut




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

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


Maybe I guess but I'm not sure. Maybe its just that once you move beyond a certain level, most people bring *good* (or at least *not awful*) lists. So the view that the game is all about list building is bit weird. You don't even have to learn it - just google a list that won a tournament last week and run that.

This is easier think than knowing "how to screen optimally" or even "which models should you remove as casualties (now further complicated by coherency)" and so on. "Target the right thing" is easy - but "the right thing" changes depending on how other units and whole turns have gone.
The problem is more if you've got a bad faction you are screwed (largely full stop, the end, until there is a re-write) - and frankly if you have a bad army even in a good faction it may be expensive to make it into a good one.

To go with your examples - and its hard to do without pictures - I feel a lot of flanking etc in older 40k or WHFB just didn't... happen. I mean yes *in theory* you could sandwich a chaos warrior unit with two blocks of clan rats. But the Chaos player presumably saw the clan rats so if he ends up in that position, he made a mistake (which I think is implied you shouldn't make). Or rather than making a mistake, he may have gambled and lost (i.e. failed a charge, or charged but didn't break the unit when you would have expected to etc etc).

In the same way if you spent 3 turns creeping forward with a melta gun to get into the rear arc of a tank and the tank-player did nothing about it... well, they should have? They saw the melta unit moving towards them - you can't hide it. The reality more often was "I'm going to deep strike in the tank's flank (or rear, if they didn't just backline to a board edge) and hope I don't massively scatter". Which the tank player couldn't do anything about. So I'm not really sure you can call it "skill" exactly - beyond what I feel you have now. Position it in the right place and hope the dice don't screw you over.

I'm not totally against the principles. I would love a 40k meets Infinity game which had reactive turns (or something of that ilk). But I don't know how you do it without really messing up things I do like about 40k.

I much rather just get to the point where all units are reasonable in their own terms - and you got rid of autotakes and nevertakes. Which I don't think is impossible - I'm just not sure GW will ever do it because of the way their release cycle works.

I guess I'm banking a lot on the next two codexes.
   
Made in ca
Quick-fingered Warlord Moderatus






 AngryAngel80 wrote:
 VladimirHerzog wrote:
 kirotheavenger wrote:
The problem with voting with your wallet is that there's often other pressures to participate beyond what you personally like.
Wargames are very geographically limited, and expensive in terms of money and time.
If everyone around you is sticking to 40k, you'll either have to do without wargames or play 40k. Similarly if you can't afford to buy in to a new system.

That doesn't mean I don't agree with you to a point, GW has n o obligation to make a good game.
But I do think 40k has reached a critical mass of self-sustaining size where it will continue to attract and retain players in spite of anti-consumer decisions by GW. Which is helped enormously by the extreme loyalty of much of the fanbase.


i havnt bought anything from GW for my last two armies... there are ways to keep playing while not giving GW money.


That is only available if you will pirate books and/or play with others who never expand their collections. Otherwise you will sooner or later have to spend some money to GW. Like for me, I accept the game for what it is, do I wish my group would maybe expand to other things ? Yes but as they won't it's either play GW or not play a mini war game based on my area. As was said GW by size of market self sustains, unless they do another first drift of AoS for 40k that will happen and even AoS on first release had people supporting it blindly as a marvel of amazing rules design, GW was so large even that fiasco took awhile to kill off interest and that was a huge mess of a terrible idea.


I legit got 2 full armies with 0$ going to GW's pockets. You just gotta know where to look.

Admech Lucius
Drukhari
Craftworld Yme-Loc
Thousand sons
Tzeentch Demons
Slaanesh Demons
Night Lords
Imperial knights

 
   
Made in us
Humming Great Unclean One of Nurgle






I think GW feels the short term benefits of an unbalanced game state outweigh the long term benefits of a balanced one. Specifically, they do so enough that they do not want to invest additional resources into balancing it. This is the apathy.

But are GW bad at balance? Yes, obviously. Balance is difficult to get right, even when not talking about the straw man of 'perfect balance' often brought up by individuals without an understanding of the subject. But there are things so egregiously out of whack that the community spots them literally within minutes. Things that don't make sense on a basic mathematical level, or a mechanical one. This is the incompetence.

The reason GW gets away with this combination is they have the momentum of being the biggest name on the market. Ditto for some of the pricing; while much of what they produce is very appealing and high quality I think we can all agree it isn't so good that they would be able to sustain the level of prices they do without the popularity factor.

It is what it is. I enjoy the game for what it costs me personally and if that stops being true I will quit and wait to come back when things get fixed up. Though the caveat is I have phased out doing matched play almost completely.
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut




It's morally wrong if you're gonna be one of those players that won't let their opponents proxy because they chose the wrong paint scheme.

CaptainStabby wrote:
If Tyberos falls and needs to catch himself it's because the ground needed killing.

 jy2 wrote:
BTW, I can't wait to run Double-D-thirsters! Man, just thinking about it gets me Khorney.

 vipoid wrote:
Indeed - what sort of bastard would want to use their codex?

 MarsNZ wrote:
ITT: SoB players upset that they're receiving the same condescending treatment that they've doled out in every CSM thread ever.
 
   
Made in us
Humming Great Unclean One of Nurgle






I don't think anyone has done that, ever.
   
Made in au
Longtime Dakkanaut




Yes, I do expect it to be balanced to a reasonable point.

But I don’t expect GW to ever be capable of putting something out that is more than Avg at best at it.

I don’t even thinks it entirely the rules writers, but more management incompetence and letting the other teams run the show.

Right now there are factions that cannot interact with entire phases and design ideas of the game.
So the rules have to try and accommodate that and push them into design holes that reasonably they should have looked to address years ago.
With smart planing some of them only needed minimal investment and thought.

Instead we end up with a bland, surface level excitement lacking much real depth and a over reliance on the pregame set up.
   
Made in us
Grumpy Longbeard





washington state USA

On the title question-

Short answer-NO

I think the balance i look for is-do both players have a chance at winning?

The deeper answer is as a lore based player not driven by tournaments or e-sport style ideals i play 40K for immersive in universe appeal.
This is most clearly shown in the love for the 3.5 chaos codex where an army could be both capable of winning but also have rules and restrictions that made it play to the lore.

Every faction used to have it's faults and strengths based in the lore and it was up to the players to use them to their best ability on the table to pull off a victory.

Eldar for example were the specialist army. relying on specific aspect warriors, speed and advanced tech to make up for weaknesses in strength toughness and numbers

Guard by comparison were just as weak and squishy as eldar, but they lacked the speed, tech, and focus advantage. they countered it with sheer numbers and (less accurate) overwhelming firepower

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/01/07 06:43:28




GAMES-DUST1947/infinity/B5 wars/epic 40K/5th ed 40K/victory at sea/warmachine/battle tactics/monpoc/battletech/battlefleet gothic/castles in the sky,/heavy gear 
   
Made in pl
Fixture of Dakka




 NinthMusketeer wrote:
I don't think anyone has done that, ever.


If there is something that screws other people over, there is a 100% chance that someone has done it in the past.



If you have to kill, then kill in the best manner. If you slaughter, then slaughter in the best manner. Let one of you sharpen his knife so his animal feels no pain. 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





 Canadian 5th wrote:
 AngryAngel80 wrote:
That is only available if you will pirate books and/or play with others who never expand their collections. Otherwise you will sooner or later have to spend some money to GW. Like for me, I accept the game for what it is, do I wish my group would maybe expand to other things ? Yes but as they won't it's either play GW or not play a mini war game based on my area. As was said GW by size of market self sustains, unless they do another first drift of AoS for 40k that will happen and even AoS on first release had people supporting it blindly as a marvel of amazing rules design, GW was so large even that fiasco took awhile to kill off interest and that was a huge mess of a terrible idea.

Untrue. You can always buy both books and models second hand and not give GW anything.


Only if you are buying old copies of things. If its a new unit it can be quite hard to get them second hand. If you are buying from a store not GW, GW still got paid, just not directly. If its a new codex, it's hard to find that right away as second hand, and that is what I mean. Sure by second hand for cheaper prices as much and as often as you can but if its from new boxes GW put out, GW already got your money no matter how many ways you try and slice it.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 VladimirHerzog wrote:
 AngryAngel80 wrote:
 VladimirHerzog wrote:
 kirotheavenger wrote:
The problem with voting with your wallet is that there's often other pressures to participate beyond what you personally like.
Wargames are very geographically limited, and expensive in terms of money and time.
If everyone around you is sticking to 40k, you'll either have to do without wargames or play 40k. Similarly if you can't afford to buy in to a new system.

That doesn't mean I don't agree with you to a point, GW has n o obligation to make a good game.
But I do think 40k has reached a critical mass of self-sustaining size where it will continue to attract and retain players in spite of anti-consumer decisions by GW. Which is helped enormously by the extreme loyalty of much of the fanbase.


i havnt bought anything from GW for my last two armies... there are ways to keep playing while not giving GW money.


That is only available if you will pirate books and/or play with others who never expand their collections. Otherwise you will sooner or later have to spend some money to GW. Like for me, I accept the game for what it is, do I wish my group would maybe expand to other things ? Yes but as they won't it's either play GW or not play a mini war game based on my area. As was said GW by size of market self sustains, unless they do another first drift of AoS for 40k that will happen and even AoS on first release had people supporting it blindly as a marvel of amazing rules design, GW was so large even that fiasco took awhile to kill off interest and that was a huge mess of a terrible idea.


I legit got 2 full armies with 0$ going to GW's pockets. You just gotta know where to look.


Yet again, it's possible, I've gotten plenty of models second hand. However, if its a new unit, that market is much drier, if its a strong unit, same thing. As well second hand you may be spending near just as much and have to put more time into it as well and time can be more precious than the cash at certain stages. So yes can you ? Sure, but new rules and new units make that near impossible to do. Unless you are saying just don't buy directly from GW and somehow that doesn't equate to GW already got their money either way.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Karol wrote:
 NinthMusketeer wrote:
I don't think anyone has done that, ever.


If there is something that screws other people over, there is a 100% chance that someone has done it in the past.




I am near 100% sure the paint scheme issue will be placed in actual rules sooner or later.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/01/07 07:21:28


 
   
Made in it
Gargantuan Gargant




Italy

Slayer-Fan123 wrote:
It's morally wrong if you're gonna be one of those players that won't let their opponents proxy because they chose the wrong paint scheme.


Absolutely. I started painting my orks with the Deathskullz colours during 3rd edition era, then 17 years later colour scheme matters for the rules! Even if I've mostly played Deathskullz since 8th anyway, forgive me if sometimes I play orks with the klan rules I want to try regardless of how they are painted .

Orks 7000
Space Wolves 4000
 
   
Made in us
Humming Great Unclean One of Nurgle






People misinterpreted the rules pretty often anyways. All it meant was that if you had an army painted as a specific faction with rules you could not use it as another specific faction with rules. You could not use models painted as White Scars to be Salamanders. You could not use Iron Warriors as Word Bearers. Which is really a bit unsportsmanlike to spring on someone without asking ahead of time anyways. If you painted up your army with a custom scheme (or one without rules support) you could call them anything you wanted.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Karol wrote:
 NinthMusketeer wrote:
I don't think anyone has done that, ever.


If there is something that screws other people over, there is a 100% chance that someone has done it in the past.
That would mean we could never discover new ways to screw other people over since anything that is possible will already have been done!

Besides, it's not like GW wrote these rules at the same time they were using them to screw someone over. There is a period between a method becoming possible and it being exploited to screw.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/01/07 09:11:10


 
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut




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

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



To go with your examples - and its hard to do without pictures - I feel a lot of flanking etc in older 40k or WHFB just didn't... happen. I mean yes *in theory* you could sandwich a chaos warrior unit with two blocks of clan rats. But the Chaos player presumably saw the clan rats so if he ends up in that position, he made a mistake (which I think is implied you shouldn't make). Or rather than making a mistake, he may have gambled and lost (i.e. failed a charge, or charged but didn't break the unit when you would have expected to etc etc).


Don't want to go too far down the rabbit hole of discussing the ins and outs of a dead game, but this point above is a good representation of what Catbarf was talking about with in-game strategy and list building. One of the weaknesses of Chaos Warrior armies was they didn't have the chaff units other armies had access to. You got warhounds but they were easy to remove for most armies. They also had very little ranged firepower so they had to engage in close combat to win. That meant the army was vulnerable by design against masses of much weaker blocks of infantry. At a very basic level it would be a mistake to allow your Warrior block to be flanked, but your army design made that more likely so it became a constant threat you had to work around as a Chaos player to make the trade-off between over-committing while actually engaging the enemy so you could win the game. You then need to develop strategies to manage this trade-off, but they're not so much list building strategies as they are play style ones.

The biggest problem with this type of discussion is it's really difficult to properly describe and discuss on a forum. It's easy to say things just shouldn't be allowed to happen by a competent player but part of the skill of a lot of wargames is engineering situations where all your opponent's options are bad. Sot he move that loses the game may be the decision to charge but the reason that was game-losing is because of the specific scenario that was set up in previous turns. Sometimes it's a gradual build-up of lots of small decisions over 2-3 turns. By contrast, list building is a really easy discussion to have online because it's relatively easy to spot powerful units and discuss idealised scenarios without having to get too in-depth about tactics on the board.
   
Made in es
Wicked Wych With a Whip





I expect that my army is capable to put up a fight if I play correctly with it, and that my Codex is internally balanced.

I don't want half my models in a shelve for 3 years because they put 0 effort on the rules and they're absolutely unplayable. Not because I want to win, but because I want to play the models I love without handicapping myself.

The Bloody Sails
 
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut




 Denegaar wrote:
I expect that my army is capable to put up a fight if I play correctly with it, and that my Codex is internally balanced.

I don't want half my models in a shelve for 3 years because they put 0 effort on the rules and they're absolutely unplayable. Not because I want to win, but because I want to play the models I love without handicapping myself.


That's the key for me. I don't think perfect balance is achievable. I want every unit in the army to have some chance of being useable in an appropriate army list and I want a list that conforms to the background of the army to be effective. One of the worst things to see in a new player is someone who's absorbed the background for their army and has a real passion for it, has put together a list base don the background, and then gets utterly crushed not because they're new to the game but because their army doesn't work the way it should.

The inverse of that was my primary problem with the 8.5 SM Codex. I saw some players just get totally disheartened because they'd chosen some xenos faction while the other new player had chosen SM and no matter what the xenos player did they couldn't win. More than one of those players never showed up again. I think that's where you see the real impact of truly terrible balance. Established players may have the models in their collection to do something to combat the truly broken armies, but for new players it just seems totally unfair and insurmountable. In practical terms it often is.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/01/07 09:52:51


 
   
Made in fr
Stabbin' Skarboy






Slipspace wrote:
 Denegaar wrote:
I expect that my army is capable to put up a fight if I play correctly with it, and that my Codex is internally balanced.

I don't want half my models in a shelve for 3 years because they put 0 effort on the rules and they're absolutely unplayable. Not because I want to win, but because I want to play the models I love without handicapping myself.


That's the key for me. I don't think perfect balance is achievable. I want every unit in the army to have some chance of being useable in an appropriate army list and I want a list that conforms to the background of the army to be effective. One of the worst things to see in a new player is someone who's absorbed the background for their army and has a real passion for it, has put together a list base don the background, and then gets utterly crushed not because they're new to the game but because their army doesn't work the way it should.

The inverse of that was my primary problem with the 8.5 SM Codex. I saw some players just get totally disheartened because they'd chosen some xenos faction while the other new player had chosen SM and no matter what the xenos player did they couldn't win. More than one of those players never showed up again. I think that's where you see the real impact of truly terrible balance. Established players may have the models in their collection to do something to combat the truly broken armies, but for new players it just seems totally unfair and insurmountable. In practical terms it often is.


Which is why someone starting 40K should check the netlists online before buying stuff. But honestly most imperial factions are good to go aside from our beloved imperial guard (Astra Militarum sorry), everything works to some extent. Some blade guards and eradicators for marines, exorcist tanks and repentia + rhinos for sistas, cavalry + skorpius tanks for ad mech...
But for xenos or chaos then yes, a new player really should check online for winning lists. Not copy these winning lists, but to think "hey, this units no one brings. I like the model but should I really be buying that right now, as I am starting and learning to play ?"
I don't have kids so I don't really know how they think things through when starting such a complex game, but surely they look online a bit no ? Or do they approach it like they would a simple boardgame ?

Ere we go ere we go ere we go
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Made in gb
Last Remaining Whole C'Tan






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

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

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


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


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


They’re more “you can’t buy a Ford Focus, and expect it to be a race car”. The game, for better or worse, isn’t designed with competition play in mind. This why we have “three ways to play”, and a seemingly endless provision of campaign books, new missions and different victory conditions.

Whether a given player agrees with that or not, that’s the game GW wants to produce.

Tournaments are often painted in the worst possible light. I dunno if you were around at the time, but perhaps The Wrecking Crew might ring a bell? A group of self proclaimed “elite” 40k players. They got up to various shenanigans (including using smaller than required bases etc). To my mind, such behaviour represents the worst elements of the Tournament scene - the sort of player to whom winning is everything, and damn the other player’s enjoyment.

But that of course is far from the whole picture. The handful of tournaments I’ve taken part in have for the most part been fun. Yes, I’ve had the odd poor sport opponent, but that is solely on them. Such experiences are the happy majority. People go to get new challenges against different players. You might come up against armies and lists you’ve never seen before after all.

Yet the fact remains the game isn’t and hasn’t been designed with the “Bad Sort” in mind. And for my money, nor should it. Give me my options. The more the merrier. Why? Because the “Bad Sort” will find a way to get their jollies regardless. They’ll find some angle to stoke their own egos at the expense of a mutually enjoyable game. Consider the ITC. They do a pretty bang up (and unpaid) job of getting things organised. Their efforts include their own attempts to tweak things to a more enjoyable format for tournament play. Yet we still see the “Bad Sort” trying to work the system, because that’s what they do. It doesn’t make them bad people, but it does make them bad opponents,

Even if GW moved to better balance? The “Bad Sort” would still exist. Exactly what their army looks like would change, but their approach and attitude wouldn’t.

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Pfizer vaccine administered 13:40pm 18 Feb 21. Still no second head. 
   
Made in pl
Fixture of Dakka




 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:


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


They’re more “you can’t buy a Ford Focus, and expect it to be a race car”. The game, for better or worse, isn’t designed with competition play in mind. This why we have “three ways to play”, and a seemingly endless provision of campaign books, new missions and different victory conditions

For something not build with competition in mind, GW is selling a ton of rules, rules updates etc If they were a model collector driven company, one would expect the rules to either not exist, be fan made or be a free download bonus on their site. But GW has clearly in the past and present, made units with rules to drive the models sells. You don't make something like a Wraight Knight and then under cost it by 1/3, just for people collecting that model
or those who want to paint it. We have had what 80+pages of people being unhappy that marines are good in game. If tw40k wasn't about gaming, but playing we wouldn't be getting threads like that. Only 80+ stuff about painting and converting.

If you have to kill, then kill in the best manner. If you slaughter, then slaughter in the best manner. Let one of you sharpen his knife so his animal feels no pain. 
   
Made in gb
Wing Commander





Bristol (UK)

All games need to be nominally balanced, it's just more fun that way.

Where I would say competitive design comes in is eliminating the outliers.
In a casual game, specific combinations of stuff being OP isn't an issue. It is in a competitive game.

Soo 40k not being a competitive game is no excuse not to have a balanced game.
Although, in general I'd argue the premise that 40k isn't intended for competitive play is false. GW sure puts a lot of effort into facilitating tournament play.
   
Made in pl
Fixture of Dakka




I think it is the revers actualy, and that makes it a real problem. Power unbalanced doesn't matter that much in tournaments. Because in tournaments people play to win with the best armies, and if someone is crazy enough to go with something like tau it is their own foult, or they are going for something like a faction best player etc. Where big imbalances are a real problem is in casual games.

If four friends play at store or home with their 2000pts collections of models, and suddenly a codex or edition changes turns one army in to 2.0 Iron Hands or 9th ed tau, then those 4 people are in trouble. Specially if they live in a place where they can't just buy a new army in 2-3 months. I mean if a tau player would want to play the game right now and his 3 friends played even mid tier armies, there is no ways of fixing the quality of games the tau player will have. Same the other way around, if there is 3 casual players and the 4th is a harlquin player with an army from 8th, which over night became a almost clone of GT winning armies, the other 3 will may no longer want to play with him. And what is worse, it is not like the harli player had a good time in 8th with the rule set he had back then.

If you have to kill, then kill in the best manner. If you slaughter, then slaughter in the best manner. Let one of you sharpen his knife so his animal feels no pain. 
   
Made in de
Ork Admiral Kroozin Da Kosmos on Da Hulk






Slipspace wrote:
 Denegaar wrote:
I expect that my army is capable to put up a fight if I play correctly with it, and that my Codex is internally balanced.

I don't want half my models in a shelve for 3 years because they put 0 effort on the rules and they're absolutely unplayable. Not because I want to win, but because I want to play the models I love without handicapping myself.


That's the key for me. I don't think perfect balance is achievable. I want every unit in the army to have some chance of being useable in an appropriate army list and I want a list that conforms to the background of the army to be effective. One of the worst things to see in a new player is someone who's absorbed the background for their army and has a real passion for it, has put together a list base don the background, and then gets utterly crushed not because they're new to the game but because their army doesn't work the way it should.

The inverse of that was my primary problem with the 8.5 SM Codex. I saw some players just get totally disheartened because they'd chosen some xenos faction while the other new player had chosen SM and no matter what the xenos player did they couldn't win. More than one of those players never showed up again. I think that's where you see the real impact of truly terrible balance. Established players may have the models in their collection to do something to combat the truly broken armies, but for new players it just seems totally unfair and insurmountable. In practical terms it often is.


Yeah, this. I have been bringing people to the game for years, and the one thing that drives most away is picking an underpowered army and losing all the time because of that.
During 5th there was this store event thing where GW gave you free stuff if you bought units following an upgrade path starting with AOBR, but you really ended up with a horrible marine army if you did. Out of six (or maybe seven?) players who did that only one is playing today - because he was the lucky guy who picked space wolves whose long fangs were really good units back then.

This is also my main drive for being so active in dakka's ork community. Orks are an army that is really easy to play wrong, and I've often met ork players in stores who were totally enthusiastic about orks and playing them, but then started to come less often and eventually disappear when their lose streaks were starting to get to two digits. Incompetent GW staff members or marine players giving bad advice only sped up this process, because then they keep losing despite spending more money. When you help them with building their army into something decent though, you at least have a 50-50 chance of them sticking around longer.
I even got into a fight with a store manager because I intervened when he was trying to push the usual junk (kanz, nobz, bikes, dreads) onto a player who had just lost a game, when he really just needed a proper army core first.
He ended up buying four boxes of boyz, two boxes of lootas and a metal KFF mek, so the manager really had no reason to be pissed at me. Sadly, I've never met the guy again, so no idea how that worked out for him.

I imagine a player starting tau, eldar or TS these days won't even last until their codex drops.

On topic:
Do I want the game to be balanced? Hell, yes. Not bringing three different power levels of lists to compensate for my opponent's collection size and codex power would be so awesome.
Ideally, at a semi-competitve level every codex should be able to build an army of similar power for every archetype it supports. Perfect balance is neither possible nor needed to reach that goal. It's still a game of chance and player skill often doesn't match up. At the top of competitive gaming, a single powerful build per codex should be sufficient.
Within each codex, there should be no dead units, and no units that fail to perform their primary role, nor should any unit be strictly worse than another one. Just shoving an incoherent mass of models into a pile won't always result in a usable army, but an army should just fail to perform because you brought squig buggys and snazzwagons instead of scrapjets and shokk-jump dragstas. Right now they do.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/01/07 10:46:03


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Orks are not a melee army
Stand up for science!
 
   
Made in de
!!Goffik Rocker!!






Nuremberg

 addnid wrote:
Spoiler:
Slipspace wrote:
 Denegaar wrote:
I expect that my army is capable to put up a fight if I play correctly with it, and that my Codex is internally balanced.

I don't want half my models in a shelve for 3 years because they put 0 effort on the rules and they're absolutely unplayable. Not because I want to win, but because I want to play the models I love without handicapping myself.


That's the key for me. I don't think perfect balance is achievable. I want every unit in the army to have some chance of being useable in an appropriate army list and I want a list that conforms to the background of the army to be effective. One of the worst things to see in a new player is someone who's absorbed the background for their army and has a real passion for it, has put together a list base don the background, and then gets utterly crushed not because they're new to the game but because their army doesn't work the way it should.

The inverse of that was my primary problem with the 8.5 SM Codex. I saw some players just get totally disheartened because they'd chosen some xenos faction while the other new player had chosen SM and no matter what the xenos player did they couldn't win. More than one of those players never showed up again. I think that's where you see the real impact of truly terrible balance. Established players may have the models in their collection to do something to combat the truly broken armies, but for new players it just seems totally unfair and insurmountable. In practical terms it often is.


Which is why someone starting 40K should check the netlists online before buying stuff. But honestly most imperial factions are good to go aside from our beloved imperial guard (Astra Militarum sorry), everything works to some extent. Some blade guards and eradicators for marines, exorcist tanks and repentia + rhinos for sistas, cavalry + skorpius tanks for ad mech...
But for xenos or chaos then yes, a new player really should check online for winning lists. Not copy these winning lists, but to think "hey, this units no one brings. I like the model but should I really be buying that right now, as I am starting and learning to play ?"
I don't have kids so I don't really know how they think things through when starting such a complex game, but surely they look online a bit no ? Or do they approach it like they would a simple boardgame ?


Nah, I think people tend to assume the expensive game they are buying will be reasonably balanced, and that buying minis you think look cool is the point? Like, they will overwhelmingly be guided by aesthetics as that is the draw of the game, perhaps by fiction they have read or a video game they played where they liked one faction or other.
Since most fiction and games are ALSO about Space Marines, no doubt a lot of them will be fine as they will be in the nice Space Marine environment where they are well looked after.
But if they liked some currently down on it's luck Xenos faction then they are screwed.
And I don't even think this is a kid specific problem, most people getting into a game like this assume the company did it's job and produced a reasonably (I have to add this all the time to stop people going "Aha, but perfet balance is impossible!", god damnit) balanced game and they can pick what they like.

And honestly, why shouldn't it be like that?

   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut




 addnid wrote:


Which is why someone starting 40K should check the netlists online before buying stuff. But honestly most imperial factions are good to go aside from our beloved imperial guard (Astra Militarum sorry), everything works to some extent. Some blade guards and eradicators for marines, exorcist tanks and repentia + rhinos for sistas, cavalry + skorpius tanks for ad mech...
But for xenos or chaos then yes, a new player really should check online for winning lists. Not copy these winning lists, but to think "hey, this units no one brings. I like the model but should I really be buying that right now, as I am starting and learning to play ?"
I don't have kids so I don't really know how they think things through when starting such a complex game, but surely they look online a bit no ? Or do they approach it like they would a simple boardgame ?


For me, that's a totally backwards way of looking at things. The game should be reasonably well balanced enough that you should be able to buy most things and make a decent army out of it. Not literally any combination of units, but if you put a little thought into you army and go by the background you should be able to get a good balanced game against most opponents and have a solid starting point for a good army.

As for how new players behave, my experience is it's nothing like you think. You have to remember Dakka members probably make up, at most, 5% of the player base, and they're - by definition - among the most enthusiastic and invested players of the game. You'd be surprised how many new players aren't even aware that tournaments exist, so the chances of them checking out netlists and copying them are pretty slim. Mostly, they buy in to GW's marketing about what armies should look like or assume the game is fairly balanced to begin with. Even among those who do a bit more research I've witnessed the surprise first-hand at how bad it can actually be. If you contrast that with games that are better balanced the new player experience is very different because you rarely have to tell someone they've wasted their money and time buying and painting a bunch of units that are really bad.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/01/07 11:16:35


 
   
Made in de
!!Goffik Rocker!!






Nuremberg

As an example, I started playing Hordes around the start of Mk2. I liked the Dire Troll Mauler and the Earthborn Dire Troll Sculpts, so I picked those up. I got an Axer and Impaler half price at a con, as well as some scattergunners. Due to supply problems (it was hard to get the full line in Ireland) I could never get the Krielstone, even though everyone said it was key to Troll lists. I picked up Grim Aengus and a unit of Kriel Warriors because I thought the Warriors looked better than the Champions.

I played games with these guys throughout Mk2, added maybe a solo here or a light warbeast there, based on what I could find in the local shop. I won tournaments with this fairly random selection of models, a lot of which was not what the net lists would have told you to take (krielstone, Champions etc).

But I just had fun. I always felt I had a decent chance of winning any game I played, and I was able to easily swap in and out leaders for my force (I got Kegslayer, Doomshaper and so on) and eventually added Mulg because I loved his model too.

That is the ideal to me - grab a bunch of units, make maybe some minor concessions to list building to make a cohesive force, and have a fair shot at winning your games because you know how to use the strengths and weaknesses of your models.

Ironically, Privateer Press changed army set ups in Mk3 to heavily punish that sort of approach with Theme lists, and I dropped out of the game at that point. But Warmachine and Hordes was a very complex game too, with lots of different variables and they managed (mostly) to let people buy whatever they felt looked cool and make lists that could compete pretty well.

There have been times that GW achieved nearly that level of balance, but never for an entire edition of the game. There is always a lack of discipline from one or other designer that messes things up eventually in each edition. Only 6e and 7e were broken by the core rules (in my view).

   
Made in it
Gargantuan Gargant




Italy

 addnid wrote:


Which is why someone starting 40K should check the netlists online before buying stuff.


I disagree with that. Meta shifts very quickly, someone that starts the hobby should only focus to get familiar with the hobby. How to assemble and paint the models, how to play the game, learn own army's mechanics, etc.

I've seen plenty of newbies starting with armies that were on par at the moment of buying them but just a few months later, with a large portion of the models still unpainted, games were already one sided, with the sad consequence of a guy abandoning the hobby. Say a dude wants to play drukhari and his buddy wants SM: should I suggest the former to get a skew coven oriented list and the latter a chunk of mediocre units to get balanced games against each other? Of course not. What happens if suddenly a couple of coven units (basically 50% of the roster) get nerfed? What happens if the SM player wants to play against someone else and his army sucks?

Say a dude wants to start orks: I may suggest to have a look at a Goff greentide but by the time he has bought, assembled, painted the models and learned how to play that list could have already become unplayable and being a skew list there's little he could do about it but buying, assembling and painting (tons of) other models.

My only suggestion to people that start the hobby is to focus on every part of it and play with half or two thirds of their collection. This way they can always update their lists without buying anything else after the inevitable changes to their armies. And to avoid skew lists starting with un-optimized armies with a bit of eveything.

Orks 7000
Space Wolves 4000
 
   
Made in de
!!Goffik Rocker!!






Nuremberg

My advice is, rules come and go but models are forever, so make sure you get the ones you like the look of first and foremost. At worst you can use them for other games with better rules.

   
 
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