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Made in ch
Anointed Dark Priest of Chaos





catbarf wrote:
Breng77 wrote:
while it may be possible to make it so that all of one thing cannot dominate, having no restriction on number of models leads to one of 2 things.
1.) Models that are very bland.
of
2.) models that are very points expensive.

If you have super type units that are meant to be powerful on the table, they would need to be very cost prohibitive of taking multiples, which often makes them not all that viable. OR They don't exist and everything is pretty similar.

IT is very difficult to get all options to be equal. IF they are not equal, then taking more of the best choice is the best option.


Or you write a ruleset that gives distinct roles to different types of units, so that any single super-unit can't be good at everything. Take an army of all Tigers into bocage country in a competently-written WW2 wargame and you're going to have a bad time. Build an army of all artillery in a Napoleonic and cavalry will ruin your day. All-knights runs into trouble when the enemy has pikemen. Battleships are great until the enemy has torpedo boats. And so on and so on.

40K suffers greatly from its design space coming down to firepower/durability/mobility and little else. There's no real sense of combined arms or niches for unit types, which in other games (and real life!) forces a more balanced composition to shore up weaknesses and provide mutual support.


Or you just stop producing rules for units that are WAAY too effective. Like Obliterators were for most of their existence. Are Scatbikes, etc.

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catbarf wrote:
Breng77 wrote:
while it may be possible to make it so that all of one thing cannot dominate, having no restriction on number of models leads to one of 2 things.
1.) Models that are very bland.
of
2.) models that are very points expensive.

If you have super type units that are meant to be powerful on the table, they would need to be very cost prohibitive of taking multiples, which often makes them not all that viable. OR They don't exist and everything is pretty similar.

IT is very difficult to get all options to be equal. IF they are not equal, then taking more of the best choice is the best option.


Or you write a ruleset that gives distinct roles to different types of units, so that any single super-unit can't be good at everything. Take an army of all Tigers into bocage country in a competently-written WW2 wargame and you're going to have a bad time. Build an army of all artillery in a Napoleonic and cavalry will ruin your day. All-knights runs into trouble when the enemy has pikemen. Battleships are great until the enemy has torpedo boats. And so on and so on.

40K suffers greatly from its design space coming down to firepower/durability/mobility and little else. There's no real sense of combined arms or niches for unit types, which in other games (and real life!) forces a more balanced composition to shore up weaknesses and provide mutual support.


This is the design space that I prefer as well. If knights are super effective, thats fine. But if you load up on knights and your opponent brings pikes that shred them, that will force composition to be more balanced.

This is also a design space that GW has never wanted to operate within. Because that would eliminate churn and burn. Tournament players wouldn't need to buy new armies every season with the newest FAQ if this were how they developed games.

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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catbarf wrote:
Breng77 wrote:
while it may be possible to make it so that all of one thing cannot dominate, having no restriction on number of models leads to one of 2 things.
1.) Models that are very bland.
of
2.) models that are very points expensive.

If you have super type units that are meant to be powerful on the table, they would need to be very cost prohibitive of taking multiples, which often makes them not all that viable. OR They don't exist and everything is pretty similar.

IT is very difficult to get all options to be equal. IF they are not equal, then taking more of the best choice is the best option.


Or you write a ruleset that gives distinct roles to different types of units, so that any single super-unit can't be good at everything. Take an army of all Tigers into bocage country in a competently-written WW2 wargame and you're going to have a bad time. Build an army of all artillery in a Napoleonic and cavalry will ruin your day. All-knights runs into trouble when the enemy has pikemen. Battleships are great until the enemy has torpedo boats. And so on and so on.

40K suffers greatly from its design space coming down to firepower/durability/mobility and little else. There's no real sense of combined arms or niches for unit types, which in other games (and real life!) forces a more balanced composition to shore up weaknesses and provide mutual support.


That works to an extent but in general you still end up with people taking the best in class units, and there are not enough roles in 40k, or things that are good at one thing are good at another. You need far more rules that are available in 40k to make something like Rock Paper Scissors work at a unit level.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
For instance if you “classed 40k units” as light infantry, medium infantry, cavalry, light vehicle/monster, medium vehicle/monster, heavy vehicle/monster. You would need to design weapons in such a way that they are only good against 1 or 2 of these classes. So for instance high rate of fire weapons would need to be next to useless against heavy units, so they would need something like 2+ re-rollable saves, then you have low rate of fire weapons that ignore that save.

The problem with a game like that is it becomes about gambling in list design and having the means to take out opposing threats early.

So in the case of knights and spearmen. If you are running knight heavy you include enough to kill spearmen in cases where your opponent brings a balanced list, kill them first and win. Then you hope not to run into they guy running all spearmen. People think that style of RPS leads to balanced armies in competitive play but it doesn’t because skew lists still give you the best chance of winning, and the meta still cycles. Restrictions on units is far more likely to force balanced list building.

The only way the RPS style works is if each type of unit is only good at killing one other type and sucks at everything else.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/08/09 13:35:45


 
   
Made in ca
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Halifax

catbarf wrote:
40K suffers greatly from its design space coming down to firepower/durability/mobility and little else. There's no real sense of combined arms or niches for unit types, which in other games (and real life!) forces a more balanced composition to shore up weaknesses and provide mutual support.

I've bolded the part where catbarf hits on the problem, as it were, with Warhammer. Even when you try to factor in stuff like mobility to take objectives, it comes down to whether the unit is durable enough to hold the objective, or your opponent has the firepower to kill that unit. Warhammer lacks options for units to do beyond 'kill the other guy first,' or 'help kill the other guy more reliably first,' like live-options that don't have an expected utility lower than killing the other guy first. There's also the snow-ball effect, whereby killing the other guy first gives you a straight-up advantage because they have less material to respond with, so even if both players bring 2000pts the guy going second will only be able to reply with less than 2000pts (and even less if they left units in reserve, tacitly accepting a handicap equal to the points of their reserved units).

It makes me understand why you get games like Warma-Hordes with a caster-kill victory condition like in Chess, because in theory the opportunity to win by check-mate before you've eliminated all an opponent's material disrupts that Checkers-like optimal resolution.
   
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Breng77 wrote:
That works to an extent but in general you still end up with people taking the best in class units, and there are not enough roles in 40k, or things that are good at one thing are good at another. You need far more rules that are available in 40k to make something like Rock Paper Scissors work at a unit level.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
For instance if you “classed 40k units” as light infantry, medium infantry, cavalry, light vehicle/monster, medium vehicle/monster, heavy vehicle/monster. You would need to design weapons in such a way that they are only good against 1 or 2 of these classes. So for instance high rate of fire weapons would need to be next to useless against heavy units, so they would need something like 2+ re-rollable saves, then you have low rate of fire weapons that ignore that save.

The problem with a game like that is it becomes about gambling in list design and having the means to take out opposing threats early.

So in the case of knights and spearmen. If you are running knight heavy you include enough to kill spearmen in cases where your opponent brings a balanced list, kill them first and win. Then you hope not to run into they guy running all spearmen. People think that style of RPS leads to balanced armies in competitive play but it doesn’t because skew lists still give you the best chance of winning, and the meta still cycles. Restrictions on units is far more likely to force balanced list building.

The only way the RPS style works is if each type of unit is only good at killing one other type and sucks at everything else.


You're still thinking too much along the lines of the 40K design space, where everything is defined by its ability to kill other things largely in a vacuum.

The all-Tiger army isn't going to be countered by a combined arms force in bocage just because some specific element of it is disproportionately good against Tigers. It's going to be countered because infantry in dense terrain beat the snot out of tanks, and Tigers are not the sort of vehicle that can dig them out. The context of terrain is what makes infantry effective, and if you have no answer to infantry in built-up terrain, you're going to lose.

Cavalry in a Napoleonic game are your #1 means of destroying disordered infantry. But against well-ordered infantry in square formation, cavalry can do basically nothing. If you have no way to disorder the infantry so that the cavalry can drive the charge home, you're going to lose. You'll throw your expensive cuirassiers into combat against prepared infantry that cost a fraction of what the cuirassiers do, and suffer massive casualties.

French knights during the Renaissance cannot simply grind down a formation of Swiss pikemen in good order, and then work on the rest of the army. It might be possible if you can flank them and catch them on two sides simultaneously, which will require some strategic thinking. Even then, you're still at a disadvantage if your army contains nothing that can disrupt them before you drive the charge home.

These battlefield roles are not only defined by the units themselves and their equipment, but also emergent properties like terrain, morale, maneuver, and formations. In real warfare, you can get particular combinations of unit types, terrain, and other conditions which can hard counter one another to the point where a single unit is nigh-undefeatable.

Basically: Real warfare, and wargames that appropriately mimic it, have significant stacking modifiers. Not only might a unit be the rock-paper-scissors counter to another, but the particular circumstances of their engagement can further skew the results, to the point where our high morale, in good formation, supported, on high ground Swiss pikemen don't have a 2:1 or even 3:1 advantage over the knights, it's a 5:1 or 10:1 advantage and the knights will bleed themselves dry trying to win through attrition. Even if the pikemen are a small part of the army, they alone are capable of winning against a homogeneous army of knights if employed intelligently.

In 40K? Cover has minimal effect. Terrain doesn't matter, except for blocking LOS. Facing doesn't matter. Morale doesn't (really) matter. Weapons and units have their optimal matchups, but can still work in others in a pinch. Lacking this kind of contextual dynamic reduces everything to static, predictable measures of offensive fire and survivability, so taking out your army's ostensible 'hard counter' doesn't require tactical finesse, just attrition and unfavorable trades until it's gone. Nobody's afraid to send their tanks into urban terrain, because you already know exactly which alleys conceal short-ranged anti-tank weapons, and of course you can move up and wipe them out before they can respond. Nobody needs artillery to soften up a prepared position before sending your troops across open terrain, because all that bunker gives them is a +1 to their save and artillery doesn't cause pinning anyways, so better to have spent those points on more troops. Nobody needs a quick-reaction element alongside their heavy-hitters to flank the enemy, mitigate their cover, catch them in a crossfire, and break their morale so that you can run down the survivors, because these mechanics simply don't exist.

When the entire decision space comes down to optimizing weapons against particular target types, then it's natural that spamming a single unit type to render some portion of the enemy's weapons sub-optimal is the winning strategy. But there is room for so much more than that with a modestly more complex ruleset, focusing more on tactics and the battlefield than on unit abilities and combos.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Put another way, consider the Omaha beach landings at D-Day. A small number of German machine gunners, in prepared positions, covering open beach with no cover, facing mostly infantry whose movement was bogged down by the ocean, with secondary obstacles (wire, walls) to prevent the Americans from moving, and with the Americans deploying haphazardly.

The casualty ratio was astronomical, and the Americans needed specialized units (bangalores, flamethrowers, demolition charges, Rangers) to secure a foothold.

What happens if you try to replicate this in 40K? All the attackers deploy exactly where they want, simultaneously, with no scatter. They are unhindered in their movement. As soon as they reach their maximum range (which will be turn 1, because the board is so small), they'll fire with full effectiveness (because no range modifiers) on the defenders, whose sole benefit to their prepared position is a +1 to their save. Thanks to IGOUGO, there's even a good chance that the attackers will be shooting before the defenders do.

And if the attacker is smart, they'll bring all tanks.

D-Day straight up doesn't translate to 40K. The game lacks the mechanics that contextually made the German defense the rock to the Americans' scissors, incurred such heavy attrition, and required the use of specialist units, equipment, and flanking to succeed.

Kill Team's use of range and cover as to-hit modifiers is a step in the right direction, but 40K has a long way to go to be more of a wargame than a CCG with models.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2019/08/09 16:19:31


 
   
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Sadly, that will never happen. Because as the 40k and AOS forums echo - those things are "unfun" and extreme abstraction and streamlining is the order of the day and what is demanded from the customer base.

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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Additionally, there are perfectly good war-games that allow you to re-play Normandy or the Battle of the Bulge, or whatever. I'm not sure replaying it with Space Marines and Orks or whatever really improves the experience. The problem with war as a game is that war is never a fair fight if you can help it, and games kinda should be.

Furthermore, going the RCP route isn't that great. What made Epic Armageddon great wasn't its division of ranged weapons into Anti-Infantry, Anti-Tank, Anti-Air, and Macro weapons, but the way that the board developed, and that units gained bonuses from position (either crossfire when shooting, or supporting fire in engagements). Despite everything, having both a well-developed cycle of what could kill what, it still came down to the side that could best inflict and survive damage won.

I hold there's a core-rules issue with unit-action kind of being on a rail, rather than a set of interesting options. Being able to move and shoot and charge and fight, and only being able to do those things is kind of boring. Games like Pulp Alley and Shoot'n'Skedaddle are more interesting because you have other things you can do besides kill the other guy.

In terms of levers that we have to correct the issue, we're kind of stuck with mission design. I think there's something to be said for selecting x number of missions from the Maelstrom deck, of one type or another, but stuff like ITC and ETC are pretty invested in the whole 'kill the other guy first.'

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/08/09 17:02:03


 
   
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@catbarf- sure if you are doing recreation those things work, but what happens when the terrain doesn’t favor your units in a way where you can set up for advantage? I also said if pikemen in cover are your Achilles heel you bring enough of whatever counters them to clear them out so your knights can win and hope to avoid the game where someone brings all pikemen. Sure you can add a ton of depth etc, but then we aren’t playing the same game anymore, and the balance in the game is dictated by factors beyond player control unless players are allowed to bring their own terrain to games as part of their army. I’m not saying one model dominates it never has been armies of only one model type it is that effective model spammed backed up by things that cover its weaknesses.
So sure you could write an entirely different game using the 40k lore that works around simulating battles on known terrain and allow armies to be built knowing the objective of the battle and the terrain. But that isn’t a pickup style game as we currently have, nor are units really balanced it is just that they can be used if you have a purpose for them. And that is fine, but it is not what 40k has ever been.
   
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Well, it has to be a bit stressful for competitive players. This could be a BIG change in their meta. All those netlists could fall apart, etc. Some folks love that churn, but I bet a lot more are completely stressed out about the impact on their lists.

It's why narrative is so much more enjoyable. I can just buy the models that look awesome and work with my opponent on how competitive we're going to play.

A good, well matched game is so much more enjoyable than trust trying to melt face with some absurd group of combos! It's like football, a 70-0 game is a snooze fest. Good or bad teams, give me the game that is neck and neck to the end.
   
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Breng77 wrote:
Sure you can add a ton of depth etc, but then we aren’t playing the same game anymore, and the balance in the game is dictated by factors beyond player control unless players are allowed to bring their own terrain to games as part of their army. I’m not saying one model dominates it never has been armies of only one model type it is that effective model spammed backed up by things that cover its weaknesses.
So sure you could write an entirely different game using the 40k lore that works around simulating battles on known terrain and allow armies to be built knowing the objective of the battle and the terrain. But that isn’t a pickup style game as we currently have, nor are units really balanced it is just that they can be used if you have a purpose for them. And that is fine, but it is not what 40k has ever been.


You and catbarf have provided a very nice answer to an earlier question by Horst about ways that competitively focused ruleset hurts narrative players. But you are very wrong in the last sentence of yours. 2nd ed had a huge simulation/recreationism potential with facings on everything, stay-in-game grenade rules, "endless spells", meaningfull terrain rules, vehicle rules and other bells and whistles, and then it got replaced by absurdly bland 3rd ed, but which was far better suited for competitive play. And before anyone invokes raging imbalances of 2nd ed - imbalance rarely hurts narratives, there are just so many mission/composition variables to be set to overcome those...

In another thread BCB coined a handy phrase "bloat for the bloat god, rules for the rules throne" - but what competitive players call bloat, narrative players embrace as an exploration space. The more exploration space provided by the game itself, the less time we have to spend writing houserules to support interesting narratives, but the more competitive players cry about unwieldiness of the game. GW did introduced three ways to play for a reason - not everything benefiting competitive players is good for narratives and much of content benefiting narrative players hurts competition. Those worlds should be separated. What cannot be separated are core rules and those, again, don't suit both sides equally. Competitive players may cherish things like homogenisation of vehicles and monstrous creatures or limited detail of rules for e.g. transports, vehicles or flyers, but narrative players often find themselves in position of having to invent more detailed interactions that will enable cinematic moments. "Snowflake rules" and exceptions actually benefit narrative players with more flavor - more unique interactions means more ways for story to develop in ways different than plain mathhammer efficiency.

@catbarf: some very nice points in your long post. What is missing is the realisation, that such mechanisms can be used not only to stack advantages for simulation/recreation purposes, but also as ways to enable balance by allowing everything hurt everything BUT only in certain attainable battlefield situations. Carefully designed system could overcome limitations and emergent flaws of RPS based balance. But as you can see in replies above, anything that involves more terrain and in-game manouvers simply does not fit current CCG like, combo stacking trends in game design.
   
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Breng77 wrote:
but what happens when the terrain doesn’t favor your units in a way where you can set up for advantage?


In tournament play, typically there is an expected terrain distribution, which may differ per-board but not too far from the baseline. If I go to a WW2 event, I don't know what the terrain will look like, but I can expect that there will be some mix of open and built-up areas (but not exclusively one or the other), and construct my army accordingly. If I take exclusively long-ranged armor units on the expectation that I'm going to have open sight lines, though, I might be in for a rude shock if I get a table that skews more towards urban. In that case, I'll be facing an uphill battle on account of my decision to overspecialize.

This is related to part of why I dislike the ITC ruleset- the ability to select objectives allows players to tailor the victory conditions to suit their armies, rather than needing to bring armies that can flexibly achieve whatever the objective might be. It makes it much easier to min/max when you can decide exactly what your army needs to do in order to win.

Breng77 wrote:
I also said if pikemen in cover are your Achilles heel you bring enough of whatever counters them to clear them out so your knights can win and hope to avoid the game where someone brings all pikemen.


Then you have taken a mix of units to shore up the weaknesses of your primary focus, and thus have achieved a more balanced army which provides mutual support in distinct tactical roles, rather than spamming the most effective unit as much as possible. But even then you might be taking a gamble, because if I see that you've only got one or two units that you're counting on to perform this critical task, I'm going to target them first. Specialize at your own risk.

@nou I think you've understood me perfectly. If the battlefield and maneuver have a significant impact on the effectiveness of units, then you get a lot more depth to the game than just 'line up the dudes and see whose list is more optimal'. A good player should have decision space to shape confrontations in his favor; either to mitigate an unfavorable matchup or to maximize a favorable one.

This message was edited 4 times. Last update was at 2019/08/10 00:24:49


 
   
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It makes it much easier to min/max when you can decide exactly what your army needs to do in order to win.


Which is precisely why the ruleset is what it is. Thats a feature not a bug lol.

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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nou wrote:
In another thread BCB coined a handy phrase "bloat for the bloat god, rules for the rules throne" - but what competitive players call bloat, narrative players embrace as an exploration space.


This is absolutely false. Stacking auras to re-roll 1s to hit and 1s to hit and so on is not narrative space, it's just rules bloat. The events on the table are still the same and still tell the same story, you're just rolling more dice and spending more time flipping through rulebooks to figure out how a whole pile of special rules interact. It seems like you have fallen into the GW trap of assuming that piling on more rules makes the game more casual/narrative and failed to understand how an elegant ruleset allows you to focus on the story instead of trying to figure out the best way to use all of the special rules?

Competitive players may cherish things like homogenisation of vehicles and monstrous creatures or limited detail of rules for e.g. transports, vehicles or flyers, but narrative players often find themselves in position of having to invent more detailed interactions that will enable cinematic moments.


But why? Why do you need all of these rules when they have so little impact on how the game plays, and in many cases create blatantly un-cinematic moments? For example, having armor facings in an IGOUGO game creates absurd situations where a tank is attacked from behind but has to sit there helplessly and take the shot on rear armor instead of turning to face the new threat. Abstracting away armor facings into a single stat line is arguably bad for competitive play (since it reduces strategic interactions and choices) but it allows the narrative to assume that, regardless of the limitations of moving physical models around on a table in a turn-based game, the tank crew in the story is not a bunch of hopeless idiots and maneuvers their vehicle to present its best armor to the biggest threats.

But as you can see in replies above, anything that involves more terrain and in-game manouvers simply does not fit current CCG like, combo stacking trends in game design.


And now you contradict yourself! You criticize CCG-like design, but CCG-like design is exactly what is being criticized with "bloat for the bloat god, rules for the rules throne". All these special rules create a game where the most important factor in who wins and what choices you make is how to optimize the use of your special rules/stratagems/etc, rather than basic military tactics and actions by the units. After all, why care about in-game maneuvers when you have page after page of rules bloat giving you better special rules than your opponent?


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Tarkh wrote:
It's why narrative is so much more enjoyable. I can just buy the models that look awesome and work with my opponent on how competitive we're going to play.


Only if you put the entire burden of setting the power level on your opponent and expect to be able to bring your exact choice of models while your opponent is obligated to come up with a list that matches it. If you both have an equal obligation then you're going to have to keep buying models just like the competitive players. And of course if you ever want to tell a story involving any other armies have fun buying an entire new army just like a meta-chasing competitive player.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/08/10 02:51:22


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your mind

 Peregrine wrote:
nou wrote:

Competitive players may cherish things like homogenisation of vehicles and monstrous creatures or limited detail of rules for e.g. transports, vehicles or flyers, but narrative players often find themselves in position of having to invent more detailed interactions that will enable cinematic moments.


But why? Why do you need all of these rules when they have so little impact on how the game plays, and in many cases create blatantly un-cinematic moments? For example, having armor facings in an IGOUGO game creates absurd situations where a tank is attacked from behind but has to sit there helplessly and take the shot on rear armor instead of turning to face the new threat. Abstracting away armor facings into a single stat line is arguably bad for competitive play (since it reduces strategic interactions and choices) but it allows the narrative to assume that, regardless of the limitations of moving physical models around on a table in a turn-based game, the tank crew in the story is not a bunch of hopeless idiots and maneuvers their vehicle to present its best armor to the biggest threats.


Not cinematic? Not to defend any turn sequence, adding to the realism adds to the suspense, in my experience.
Marching specialized infiltrators up behind a tank,
because it is a tank and rear armor matters,
surprised crews matter,
and having the facing of that tank matter,
maybe with the opposing player unable to pivot the tank in time,
or struggling with the notion to risk the attack on the rear armor
for one more turn of heavy indirect support fire in support of friendly units
on the other side of the theater that is the table,
this matters.

This is why a wargame the play dynamics of which are governed by pre-fab power-ups
is not cinematic, in the least, to the point where we have people in this thread
wondering why these top-down live video feeds of so-called competitive 40k
bother with models at all.

A bunch of expensive plastic tokens spray painted black
with paintball barricade style "terrain" -
just put the "list" through a math hammering computer program,
compare scores,
and declare a winner.
better for the environment.
send the prize support in the mail.
easy enough because it might as well be a card.





 Peregrine wrote:
nou wrote:
But as you can see in replies above, anything that involves more terrain and in-game manouvers simply does not fit current CCG like, combo stacking trends in game design.


And now you contradict yourself! You criticize CCG-like design, but CCG-like design is exactly what is being criticized with "bloat for the bloat god, rules for the rules throne". All these special rules create a game where the most important factor in who wins and what choices you make is how to optimize the use of your special rules/stratagems/etc, rather than basic military tactics and actions by the units. After all, why care about in-game maneuvers when you have page after page of rules bloat giving you better special rules than your opponent?


This is confused and confusing.

Levels of realism increase granularity of control over on-table events,
and this means more finely written - and ideally elegantly conceived, systematic - rules.
some may see this as 'bloat' if the realism is unwanted, unwarranted, or not so elegantly conceived.

Bloat more typically seems associated with
arbitrary associations between rules,
redundant rules (for instance, what seems to have happened since the advertised aversion to USRs is the same rule written differently for different factions with different names, but effectively the same or similar dynamic),
and iteration 8.1, 8.2, 8.3 ... codices for every faction, indexes, units here and there because of idiot IP ridic corporate greed,
leading me and the rest of us with 5 armies to either buy or borrow 14 books to play this one game, and now there will be another new marines book after the index and the codex and cards and ... yeah, this is the rules bloat that is a problem. has zip to do with tanks and facing and realism and everything to do with lack of vision and offering the lowest hanging fruit to the lowest common denominator as a rule of marketing.


 Peregrine wrote:
Tarkh wrote:
It's why narrative is so much more enjoyable. I can just buy the models that look awesome and work with my opponent on how competitive we're going to play.


Only if you put the entire burden of setting the power level on your opponent and expect to be able to bring your exact choice of models while your opponent is obligated to come up with a list that matches it. If you both have an equal obligation then you're going to have to keep buying models just like the competitive players. And of course if you ever want to tell a story involving any other armies have fun buying an entire new army just like a meta-chasing competitive player.


Peregrine, sometimes I really wonder about some of the things that you post.
This is not true, because the attitude is different.

People take up the hobby, put expectations to the test, and see how things pan out.
Reasonable people discuss how the game system fails to meet expectations.
In my case, i say up front that I refuse to play with 8th edition rules for cover and terrain.
I have not played cities of death, but need to find time this Fall somehow, as I am interested,
but this is beside the point.
Now, I should buy that, too?
Just to get terrain rules that work?
We aren't chasing plastic dragons, we are looking for a different sort of satisfaction.

Anyone I would ever play a game with twice, in such a scenario as you describe,
would likely buy whoever needs a unit to keep up
a new kit just to keep them in the game.

I have 30 stormtroopers all painted to the 9s.
You have a based grey baneblade?
Sure, let's see if we can't plant that melta bomb!
But 10 minutes later we will be talking about how you are gonna paint that thing,
and that would be the last I would play against it until it was painted.

See, the expectations that you project,
and the reality on the other side of the fence,
are much different.
What you write here is just plain wrong.




2nd edit comment - changed is to are last paragraph.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2019/08/12 06:55:30


   
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@jeff white: just to add to your post and to better define why „bloat” was the word to use in the context of my post: both index 3rd and index 8th were praised by many as flavoured enough so that all suplemental faction/subfaction rules were unnecessary „bloat”. There were numerous threads in the past wishlisting which factions to remove from the game to reduce unwieldy bloat (not only Imperial Knights). Editions prior to 8th did not have three ways to play and as such old equivalents of Cities of Death or Planetsrike and thematic rules like psychic storms or battlescapes from Gathering Storm were considered unnecessary, just rising unwieldyness of the game. Their current iterations aren’t only because many competitive players don’t even bother reading sections of the books not labeled Matched Play and some even refuse to acknowledge their existence and impact on the gameplay. 7th ed Forgeworld rules like Pale Courts were considered abusable bloat, while Zone Mortalis and Forgeworld campaigns as not worthy the paper they were printed on and viewed only as price tax on those few units stats pages. The same applies to huge parts of CAs, which some people expected to be free pdfs because „they were only points erretas”...
   
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nou wrote:
@jeff white: just to add to your post and to better define why „bloat” was the word to use in the context of my post: both index 3rd and index 8th were praised by many as flavoured enough so that all suplemental faction/subfaction rules were unnecessary „bloat”. There were numerous threads in the past wishlisting which factions to remove from the game to reduce unwieldy bloat (not only Imperial Knights). Editions prior to 8th did not have three ways to play and as such old equivalents of Cities of Death or Planetsrike and thematic rules like psychic storms or battlescapes from Gathering Storm were considered unnecessary, just rising unwieldyness of the game. Their current iterations aren’t only because many competitive players don’t even bother reading sections of the books not labeled Matched Play and some even refuse to acknowledge their existence and impact on the gameplay. 7th ed Forgeworld rules like Pale Courts were considered abusable bloat, while Zone Mortalis and Forgeworld campaigns as not worthy the paper they were printed on and viewed only as price tax on those few units stats pages. The same applies to huge parts of CAs, which some people expected to be free pdfs because „they were only points erretas”...


Thanks for that.
I missed a lot of that - I learned 2nd, bought and read RT,
remember the 3rd ed,
came back in 2003 or 4 for a couple years,
and again out until end 7th -
was looking forward to 8th.
Now looking forward to either that elegant realism from GW
or a 41st Age -

I am following this thread because
and I am serious
I think that wargames like 40k could be and were more than games
(at least have been for me).
They teach more than gameplay, and more than civility, hobby, patience, economy...

I think that this hobby teaches meta-level discussion and reasoning skills
that are very important when the object is fairness or justice
and one's own interests are at stake.

Importantly, I see very few other opportunities to practice these skills.

It is a skill to be able to step outside of one's interests
and see the big picture, especially if this picture is a model reality.

I sometimes talk about this in terms of being competitive under a cooperative umbrella.
You can have many layers of umbrellas.
For instance, take sports.
Players compete for positions within team rosters,
but do so under an umbrella of cooperation,
in the interests of the team,
because to do otherwise is to reduce team performance during gameplay,
but also because it doesn't feel right.
People have fairness in our cognitive dynamics - it is just plain normal.

Gameplay at the level of teams also appears to be competitive,
but also proceeds under a cooperative umbrella,
in the form of rules that are followed, salary caps respected, and so on like that.

Without cooperation, nothing works.
This also seems to be way language communities are most often successful with a certain critical mass density of use,
nothing to do with language and everything to do with its role in holding cooperative performances together.

40k's cooperative umbrella has holes in it,
and this is supposed to be the point?

Again, there are a lot of very smart people in competitive 40k.
Why not turn that math into live points adjustments or handicaps in this and other ways, e.g. unit limits, combo bans,
and use this info to 'balance' tourneys as well as casual gameplay?

For example,
people spamming eldar jetbikes with scatter lasers, so called scat bikes (ick)?
Easy fix.
This should show up in the math, as so many points/units selections and even VPs, votes for most valuable unit, etc.,
should show that the units are being used due min-max player choice to exploit some loophole.

Human experts look at the matter,
and make a decision to handicap these units,
maybe with a running storyline something like
"...an eruption from the warp has interfered with all wraithbone construction.
Eldar jetbikes now cost +X points", and/or "only 2 units of eldar jetbikes may be used...).

This could all be voluntary.
Just fun, and in the interests of fairness,
rather waiting to pounce on GWs next gaff
to exploit some loophole
and "gotcha" that next noob.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2019/08/12 07:21:20


   
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 auticus wrote:
Sadly, that will never happen. Because as the 40k and AOS forums echo - those things are "unfun" and extreme abstraction and streamlining is the order of the day and what is demanded from the customer base.
This seems inconsistent with your stance against 2+ rerollable saves in AoS, which would surely create an element of RPS. Can you elaborate on your position?

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

Imagine three people with the same set of values but radically different emotional states, each of them believes their position is more valid than the other two, they all post using the same account, and your job is to make it coherent. 
   
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catbarf wrote:
Breng77 wrote:
but what happens when the terrain doesn’t favor your units in a way where you can set up for advantage?


In tournament play, typically there is an expected terrain distribution, which may differ per-board but not too far from the baseline. If I go to a WW2 event, I don't know what the terrain will look like, but I can expect that there will be some mix of open and built-up areas (but not exclusively one or the other), and construct my army accordingly. If I take exclusively long-ranged armor units on the expectation that I'm going to have open sight lines, though, I might be in for a rude shock if I get a table that skews more towards urban. In that case, I'll be facing an uphill battle on account of my decision to overspecialize.

This is related to part of why I dislike the ITC ruleset- the ability to select objectives allows players to tailor the victory conditions to suit their armies, rather than needing to bring armies that can flexibly achieve whatever the objective might be. It makes it much easier to min/max when you can decide exactly what your army needs to do in order to win.


AMEN. Been saying that about the choose-your-objectives formats for years now.

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 NinthMusketeer wrote:
 auticus wrote:
Sadly, that will never happen. Because as the 40k and AOS forums echo - those things are "unfun" and extreme abstraction and streamlining is the order of the day and what is demanded from the customer base.
This seems inconsistent with your stance against 2+ rerollable saves in AoS, which would surely create an element of RPS. Can you elaborate on your position?


I was responding to a role based design where the nature of the roles meant if you overloaded one role you put yourself at extreme risk for getting bounced.

The AOS problem is that its rock/paper/nothing. You take a bunch of mortal wounds (counters the 2++), you spam a bunch of free summoning (counters the mortal wounds), and then you pick the army list that can do one or both of these things the best so that you retain a mathematical odds advantage.

I used to think I was against rock paper scissors roles. Then as years went on I realized it was more I hate the GW implementation of rock paper scissors because their version is rock beats scissors, unless scissors rolls a 3+. Then scissors beats rock, and auto beats paper too. Until FAQ season, then rock gets boosted to beat scissors always and can beat paper on a 4+ so that you have to go buy rock. Then the next FAQ season comes, rinse repeat.

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:
 NinthMusketeer wrote:
 auticus wrote:
Sadly, that will never happen. Because as the 40k and AOS forums echo - those things are "unfun" and extreme abstraction and streamlining is the order of the day and what is demanded from the customer base.
This seems inconsistent with your stance against 2+ rerollable saves in AoS, which would surely create an element of RPS. Can you elaborate on your position?


I was responding to a role based design where the nature of the roles meant if you overloaded one role you put yourself at extreme risk for getting bounced.

The AOS problem is that its rock/paper/nothing. You take a bunch of mortal wounds (counters the 2++), you spam a bunch of free summoning (counters the mortal wounds), and then you pick the army list that can do one or both of these things the best so that you retain a mathematical odds advantage.

I used to think I was against rock paper scissors roles. Then as years went on I realized it was more I hate the GW implementation of rock paper scissors because their version is rock beats scissors, unless scissors rolls a 3+. Then scissors beats rock, and auto beats paper too. Until FAQ season, then rock gets boosted to beat scissors always and can beat paper on a 4+ so that you have to go buy rock. Then the next FAQ season comes, rinse repeat.
Ah, that makes sense. Thanks mate.

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

Imagine three people with the same set of values but radically different emotional states, each of them believes their position is more valid than the other two, they all post using the same account, and your job is to make it coherent. 
   
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Anytime. Some time away from GW rules and spending time with my own projects and with other games like Kings of War or Conquest have helped evolve my standpoint and help clarify the things I didn't like with a little more clarity. That and the discussion forums and getting other perspectives.

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:
Anytime. Some time away from GW rules and spending time with my own projects and with other games like Kings of War or Conquest have helped evolve my standpoint and help clarify the things I didn't like with a little more clarity. That and the discussion forums and getting other perspectives.


IMHO only working on an own project (based on knowledge about other existing systems of course) can give you (general you) enough insight into how different mechanics or design principles work and what are their limitations and where best to apply them. Discussions are great for getting to know what systems there are and to what ends people like/dislike them, but discussions often tend to get burried under peculiarities too much or become dominated by singular perspectives and as such rarely get to the true boundaries of application of available game design tools. Also, people tend to have their "pet ideas" and will advocate for them in ways that can blur true value of those ideas from game designer perspective. It is really the same as with any other craft - theory can only take you so far...
   
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There's also lots of designer discussion out there. Podcasts like Ludology, for instance, can give you more insight into what it is about games you want.
   
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I'm a games dev and I get to attend a few conferences a year. Have been doing that for a while now, and its always interesting to see those perspectives come to light.

I remember during my warhammer break, so probably 2008 or so, I was at a conference and the topic being discussed was how to integrate games like Magic into board games and tabletop games.

Yeah. Because marketing was showing that games like Magic (CCGs) were insanely popular and that at that time studies had shown that implementing it into tabletop board games was showing great signs of success (and here we are today where that is basically the glut of the market right now so you can see that it worked)

That discussion lol. (I have had my hand in a few tabletop games but I am mainly a video game designer / dev, but the principles often parallel each other)

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/08/13 12:11:26


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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Nurglitch wrote:
There's also lots of designer discussion out there. Podcasts like Ludology, for instance, can give you more insight into what it is about games you want.


I agree, designer discussions are an entirely different beasts - where all participants already have an insight of craft practitioners (but the point about "pet ideas" still stands, at least from my experience). I was referring to typical dakka/fb shouting fests.
   
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The core principles of Magic are pretty phenomenal when you get down to it. Pack opening and rarity and such are definitely its dark side, but the core mechanics of expending and recharging resources that escalate the game state is just a really solid design. It can certainly be improved upon, but its definitely a design that any designer should spend some time taking apart and understanding how it works.
   
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The other dark side of CCG mechanics in wargames at least is that it turns the game into a listbuilding exercise where gameplay is secondary to what list you brought with you, if taken too far (and I believe GW cranked that knob to 11).

I like some of the aspects and agree that some synergies are fun. But removing most of the core tenants of wargames in exchange for a fantasy or sci fi miniatures game that is at its root a card game only with models I think needs dialed back a couple notches.

Somewhere in the middle ground I think a great game that appeals to more than just the listbuilding people can be had.

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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To me that always seems to be a product of people desiring less restrictive list construction as much as it is a product of combos or CCG elements. If you can bring anything you want list building will always be of great importance because it is far easier for people to min/max it is also far easier for people to make bad list building decisions. IF I really like the look of say Pyrovores and bring 20 of them because i think it is cool I'm going to lose.

Now I think poor balance makes this harsher as there are some things that likely should be reasonable list design choices that are not good when compared to better choices. But often as not I find that again to go back as much to people not want limits on anything.

I think this is made worse by things like aura powers that encourage certain types of builds that maximize those bonuses. However if list building was more restrictive you would have less issue with list building being a big deal.
   
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Perhaps. Right now GW list building is off the chain and it creates immensely powerful negative play experiences in most corners of the game barring the people who enjoy actively breaking the game's balance and limits.

I can go back to the end of WHFB 6th and 7th and there were list restrictions there that were lol'd because even though restrictions were present, the balance was really really awful with certain books that broke the game. So I'm not sure restrictions are the fix so much as badly pointed items that have no downside are in either a restricted or unrestricted environment.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/08/13 14:31:41


GW points don't bring balance. They exist purely for structure. You can get more balance from no points than you do from GW points. You however can get no structure in your game without points. 
   
Made in us
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I guess it depends on what you refer to as CCG mechanics. What aspects are you referring to? I think there's a lot of big ideas that originated in or at least were popularized by Magic that I don't really consider to be a core to the CCG genre. A lot of the resource and synergy based gameplay has roots in RPGs and other team based games.

A lot of what relates to the CCG comes down more to having a constantly expanding system and the challenges created by adding new elements to a relatively stable ecosystem. I guess I'm not sure what you think of as a core tenant of a wargame, as honestly, even going back and playing old historicals; a lot of them play way more like 40k than anything else. Tables and books may have been largely replaced with cards, but that's more an interface change than a mechanical one.
   
 
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