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imperial_scholar
15-01-2008, 04:27
I was bored and decided to see why Andy Chambers hasn't done any codex's lately. Well I was sad/happy to see he moved on. However... his new found independence concerns me in the way that 40k might lose it's cohesion.

I read on his site (or what I think is his site) that there was a past 'army list arms race' which I see in the new codexs. I kinda saw it in 3rd edition but always found myself very pleased with the Codexs that had Andy's hand in them... and I remember the dread of codexs released by Jarvis. Now I see the tables have turned. Could it be that this important cog in the machine is leaving 40k to fall apart? Major misprints in codex's? Each codex appearing stronger than the last? A continued over simplification of army lists? Am I just paranoid?

intellectawe
15-01-2008, 04:34
Am I just paranoid?

Yup. I think this best sums you up :)

Light of the Emperor
15-01-2008, 04:37
I think 40K is doing better. Almost all armies have gotten new models, new books and new tactics. We've seen Apoc and CoD which provide for many hours of entertainment. I'm just along for the ride...

sabre4190
15-01-2008, 04:46
I can say that Jervis has at the very least, given the greenlight to two awesome projects: CoD and Apoc. I loved these, and can't wait until planetstrike comes out.

However, I think armies are losing their character in exchange for balance. Case in point, the chaos book. I loved almost all the rule changes: Marines getting three weapons, princes being toned down, cheap transports etc etc. But, they lost legions! There is now one generic list with limited options for diversity.

What Andy did do was give personality to every project. His daemonic gift system gave the impression of a lord rising through the ranks, becoming stronger as the player continued. While most players abused this, I had alot of fun with it.


So, Im going to both disagree and agree with you. Jervis has done some great stuff, and possibly laid the foundations down for future diversity and greater things to come. In the process though, hes brutalizing the heart of the lists to create balance. Im not sure where a good middle ground lies, as it takes effort to make a characterful and balanced game. But as long as the models are still looking good, I guess Ill always be on board.

Vandur Last
15-01-2008, 05:12
To me Jervis is and always has been the genius behind GW games. When i heard that the future direction of 40K was to be placed in Jervis Johnsons hands i rejoiced. Indeed its one of the main things that brought me back into the hobby.

With Jervis at the helm we can safely expect a more mature game with more balanced rules, better and more background.

carlisimo
15-01-2008, 05:12
Andy Chamber's piece is here: http://www.redstargames.net/pdfs/Fanatic%20Rant.pdf

Their story with Epic 40,000, which was massively simplified from its predecessor because of an arms race that got out of hand, sounds a lot like the transition from 2nd edition 40k to 3rd. It was characterful and detailed, but it really did have a lot of madness to it and worked better as a story generator than a challenging game.

Dominatrix
15-01-2008, 09:39
With Jervis at the helm we can safely expect a more mature game

Yes because oversimplifying everything definitely makes this game more appealing to mature audiences... :rolleyes:, any simpler and 40K will start being used in zoos to give chimps something to do during the day.


better and more background.

You have not read the chaos codex have you?

If Jervis is the genius behind GW games it is no wonder that GW sales are taking a nosedive every year. Personaly I think he should have stayed at Fanatic magazine and leave the game alone.

Corax
15-01-2008, 09:44
I think that one of the main factors that has led to the blanding of the variety in the lists and the better balance in the Codexes has the shift in the focus of the game. In the past, the main focus of design was for fun and variety, hence, you had lots of rules and mechanics that had the potential to be abused, but were there to reflect aspects of the background and to create cool themed armies. In more recent times, the design focus has shifted more towards tournament play, where standardisation and balance are more important than cute themes (the prime example of this is the removal of the Legion rules for Chaos). The more standardised the rules are, the fewer rorts and glitches there will be. Consequently, while variety has suffered balance has improved. I don't know whether or not we can attribute this development to any particular individuals within the design team, or whether the change has simply occurred in response to the growing importance of GTs in the 40k community.

A13X
15-01-2008, 09:45
@sabre4190: what is this planetstrike you speak of?

If it's half as cool as it sounds I will be: :D, at least for another few months. CoD and Apoc were awsome.

Gorbad Ironclaw
15-01-2008, 09:46
But, they lost legions!


No they didn't. They lost the (IMO pretty bad) legion specific appendix at the back of the old book, but the Legions are not gone. There just isn't anyone telling you how to do it. It was the same thing with the 2nd ed book. No legion specific rules, but somehow people managed to make themed armies just the same. All the elements are there, it just requires you to put it together.


As for an arms race, or codex creep or whatever you want to call it. I don't buy it. True, books are not equally powerful, but there isn't anything you could call a steady increase in power, some or just better or worse.

Brother Loki
15-01-2008, 09:58
Something else to bear in mind is that the codexes producred under Jervis' "new vision" (DA, Eldar, Chaos, Orks, and the BA white dwarf list) aren't really for the current edition of 40k at all, they may be compatible, but really they're for the next one apparently due out next year. You can see this in the way they are missing certain things like retinues for characters and so on, and the way points values for some things have inexplicably risen (a predator annihilator with HB sponsons is suddenly a lot better if it can shoot separate targets).

Ronin_eX
15-01-2008, 10:00
No they didn't. They lost the (IMO pretty bad) legion specific appendix at the back of the old book, but the Legions are not gone. There just isn't anyone telling you how to do it. It was the same thing with the 2nd ed book. No legion specific rules, but somehow people managed to make themed armies just the same. All the elements are there, it just requires you to put it together.


As for an arms race, or codex creep or whatever you want to call it. I don't buy it. True, books are not equally powerful, but there isn't anything you could call a steady increase in power, some or just better or worse.

Thank you! I look at my 2nd edition Chaos Codex and it is still one of the best books created by GW to this day (and Jervis certainly played his part in it. In fact you can thank him for the concept of Daemon World armies and what we call today Lost and the Damned armies). It was likely the fluffiest Chaos book ever to be produced. In the army section there were no legion rules and despite this it had more character in its pinky than the 3.5th edition one had in its entirety. The legions were simply a theme you ran with and if anything the latest codex allows you to theme the forces even better (you can give all the squads icons of various gods to emulate marks, something you couldn't really do in 2nd).

What's more I heard many other complaints when the codex was just rumoured that made me laugh. Things like ancient enemies going away (Chaos marines never had animosity, only the daemons themselves. In 2nd a Slaanesh/Khorne force wasn't out of the question at all) and when it was rumoured that Lords could take multiple marks and people cried at how unfluffy it would be I laughed and remembered that you used to be able to do that in 2nd with Chaos Lords (though this rumour appeared to be untrue unfortunately). As far as I can tell Chaos got plenty of flavour in the new codex and managed to go back to their roots (other fun fact, did you know that there was only a single generic daemon weapon in 2nd edition? Why did we ever need nearly a dozen when the game known for wargear bloat only had one?).

As far as an arms race it seems to be under control this time around unlike 3rd where codices were rather random in power levels and levels of brokenness. This time around there seems to be a guiding vision rather than half a dozen guiding visions. I think this is certainly a good thing for the game and so far it seems to be working better than previous methods. While new lists still have some abusable combos they aren't nearly as bad as those prior and lists that aren't netlists still perform quite well with some thought and good play (just as they should).

lord_blackfang
15-01-2008, 10:06
Andy leaving (with his best buddy Pete Haines shortly after) was the best thing to happen to 40k.

Allow me to list just a few of Andy's sins:
-the recently retired Codex: Orks, uninspired and underpowered from the get go
-Chaos 3.5 and Tyranids 3.0, two utter trainwrecks of cheese, typos, bad layout and generally bad design concepts
-most importantly of all, the 3rd ed arms race of codex creep and the chapter-of-the-month Index Astartes series

Everything that Jervis gets blamed for now was far worse back when Andy was the 40k Overfiend.

EDIT:
Jervis also has a few lame Codexes to his name during early 3rd ed. But in the later half of 3rd ed, while Andy was busy turning the game into the WAAC tournament cheesefest it is now, Jervis was creating Epic: Armageddon, proably the best game ever produced by GW, and was the only designer ever to use public playtesting.

TheLionReturns
15-01-2008, 12:00
You have not read the chaos codex have you?


Have you read the old one? Joking aside I know it had the legion appendices at the back but I would hardly describe it as packed with flavour about the legions. Compare it to the level of background and flavour you get in the new DA codex and the legions are found particularly wanting. I understand the frustration about how things have changed but I don't think we should lose sight that the old codex had its flaws.

I felt the old dex was just a mess, trying to do everything and achieving nothing properly. The new dex brings some much needed clarity for me and I am in favour with one provision. That it serves as a baseline if you will. That it represents Chaos marines in general, and that the legions then get the treatment they deserve like the DA, Space Wolves, Blood Angels and Black Templars have. Codex Chaos Space Marines is to the legions what Codex Space Marines is to he above named chapters.


Thank you! I look at my 2nd edition Chaos Codex and it is still one of the best books created by GW to this day (and Jervis certainly played his part in it. In fact you can thank him for the concept of Daemon World armies and what we call today Lost and the Damned armies).


I liked the 2nd edition Chaos dex too, in fact a lot of what Jervis does I think is pretty good. I often read that people feel Jervis makes a mess of things but if you look at the rules he has designed such as bloodbowl and Epic Armageddon, I would have to say that they are seriously good and on the whole balanced systems. I have always had the impression that Jervis feels that 40K and Fantasy are more simulation/roleplay systems than competitive systems, and has been willing to forsake balance for the sake of flavour. The way I see 40K going is searching for balance amongst simplified army lists, with a lot of add-ons to bring flavour for the more experienced gamer.

There is no reason why more characterful lists cannot be part of that. The key is to make them if anything weaker than the standard lists. The relative weakness will not put off the experienced gamer who they are designed to appeal to because of the challenge and the modelling opportunities they present.

So to address the arms race thing directly, I think there will be a simplification and balancing for the core army lists with a combination of weaker specialised lists and add-ons like CoD etc for flavour. I do not fear Codex creep too much. GW have been doing this for so long now they should have worked out the problem.

Chaos and Evil
15-01-2008, 13:30
Jervis is a brilliant game designer, and impressed the heck out of me when I met him. Lay off the dude.

EVIL INC
15-01-2008, 13:31
Jervis I always saw as the big picture guy who was good with people while I always saw Andy as the genius who made it happen by being the creative aspect. Together, they were great, seperate Andy will come out ahead as he can always find someone to sponsor his ideas and make them make money. Jervis on the other hand is finding it much harder to replace andy then vice versa. This is not to say jervis is bad, just saying that without andies genius, he is falling behind and making up for the loss by making huge things like apocolypse to just sell more models and distract us as players from the loss. Of course, that is just my personal viewpoint.

Bloodknight
15-01-2008, 13:40
What Lord_Blackfang said. In fact, I think that Pete Haines going was a good thing for 40K. The guy had no feeling for balance (compare Chaos 3.5 with IG 3.5; one far on the upper scale, one far on the lower) but was great at overloading books with senseless additions which made or in case of IG makes playing the basic list a stupid move. I still begrudge him the Doctrine system. Yeah, you can do pretty fluffy stuff with it (incidentally most of the fluffy options are useless, overpriced and/or mathematically not viable, like Cyber Enhancement) but all you see is Iron Discipline, Veterans, Drop Troops.
Everything the normal list gets is access to more troops (for which a Doctrine army has to spend one of its Doctrine points), of which most are utterly bad so you do not want them anyway, such as Enginseers, Priests, Psykers and Ogryns.

If anything the 3.5 Guard Codex was the blandest Ig codex up today because most armies just consist of human units with a few tanks that all use the same special rules and the wacky imperial stuff is totally out of the question if you do not want to hamstring yourself (again: Priests and Psykers as a main example).

Acheron,Bringer of Terror
15-01-2008, 14:11
i quite like Jervis work - but i have to wait until 5th Edition until i make final judgment.

right now internal balance in the codices sounds broken [ie-troops are far worse than any other units in the book, some options are useless - plasma pistol and power weapon comes to mind].

we have to wait and see IMO.

5th can be very successful.

Ravening Wh0re
15-01-2008, 14:37
Jervis was creating Epic: Armageddon, proably the best game ever produced by GW
Naw, we all know that his finest game is Bloodbowl :)

I'm really liking these new types of codices. This new style will really shine once all races are done in this format. Here's hoping they don't change direction on these.

I have to admit I do sometimes miss Andy Chambers. He could come up with some fantastic rules for things. And Battlefleet Gothic is ace

imperial_scholar
15-01-2008, 15:55
hmmm.. thanks for the insights... I've been out of the game for a few years so I missed a lot.

The thing I did enjoy about 40k the most was the huge level of customization you could take. While I admit it is abused, I think you just have to avoid the WAAC gamers. I know some people are really into tournaments... but I think the point is to have fun... and most tournament winners (In my experience) are jerks anyways :P.

I still feel that 40k is losing its 'just for fun' factor. I am going to keep playing because the act of playing, modeling and making terrian is a lot of fun. But I truly miss the customization.

Edit:
Someone mentioned the 3rd edition ork codex. There was major codex creep in 3rd edition. I remember everyone freaking out because orks had the ability to modify the save of your armour. Then... Khorne berserkers could....
I also dread having to remodel my army again. The jump from 2nd edition to 3rd edition left me 2 months of remodeling my blood claws and Grey Hunters. Have I mentioned still no breath of a SW codex?

DoctorTom
15-01-2008, 18:45
Jervis I always saw as the big picture guy who was good with people while I always saw Andy as the genius who made it happen by being the creative aspect. Together, they were great, seperate Andy will come out ahead as he can always find someone to sponsor his ideas and make them make money. Jervis on the other hand is finding it much harder to replace andy then vice versa. This is not to say jervis is bad, just saying that without andies genius, he is falling behind and making up for the loss by making huge things like apocolypse to just sell more models and distract us as players from the loss. Of course, that is just my personal viewpoint.

Well, I can stand having him make huge things like Apocalypse. I don't think it was only to sell more models (though, of course, that's one of their primary functions - get the models out), it was to find a way to bring 'fun' back to 40k. I think it's been a breath of fresh air for the game. They should push more projects like that if it will help out the game.

I can see the point of some that the codexes are becoming more 'bland', but can see why they want to do what they're doing. Do I miss the special Trukk boyz rules? No, because the Ramshackle results look even more fun, and it's a rule now for the trukk, not the unit (so Nobs units and such can use it). There's specific things I miss (I'd like to see something like the Ranger Disruption table make a reappearance as a 40k datasheet, for example, and I really want the Lost and the Damned updated as it was a good "swiss army knife" list for counts-as armies like Squats, Rogue Traders or Adeptus Mechanicus), but I'll find a way to live without them.


EDIT: I am glad to see that they've reversed the Codex Creep that had been going on, and that can really be traced back to Jervis. You can compare the nerfing of Starcannons under his watch to the ramping up of the Assault Cannons before him as an example. If there was still codex creep, the Starcannon would probably have also become 4 shots with Rending. (And you can see how they're toning down cost/availablity of the assault cannons with the successor chapter codexes that Jervis put out.)

EDIT EDIT: Now, it might be interesting to see them to do a Horus Heresy gamebook with model lines to match. Yes, you wouldn't be able to do it for all armies (unless some are used as 'unknown assailant' types ;) ) but it could be fun to have the different setups for armies, and the different looks.

EmperorEternalXIX
15-01-2008, 18:53
Personally I would prefer to have them both. That aside, I think Jervis has done a pretty good job, all things considered.

Would be nice to have our options back, but at least the books aren't pouring with horsecrap combos and unbalanced lists.