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ColdWind
04-02-2009, 07:20
Apologies if this has been batted around before, but I haven't seen it covered, so I thought I'd bring it up.

Has anyone ever tried a game in which both armies are identical, down to the point? Given the vast array of choices you have in a given codex, even a low option one like Necrons, I doubt this would happen by chance, but has anyone tried it on purpose. Obviously you would need to 'counts as' a few things, but I think I could probably match up a few of the marine armies in my FLGC based on the troops available.

The main reason for it - a true test of tactical ability, matching your ability to play a given force against your opponent, with all army based variables removed. Think of it as the closest you will ever get in 40k to a game of Chess.

The vast majority of tactics and advice I see tends towards the 'pick this combo of gear on this unit, and pair it with this unit' or more simply 'here is how you max out this particular unit'. For a game with the depth and scope of 40k, outside of the lists, there seems to be very little attention payed to the concepts of inter-unit support and coordination, effective maneuvering in sparse and dense terrain, combined fire tactics, and other core infantry combat principles. I'm not saying you can't find it, and I have certainly read some fantastic posts and articles on it, but most players seem to spend much more time tweaking and adjusting their list, seeking the 'perfect' beat all comers load out, with little appreciation for the fact that some units just don't work well in the wrong terrain, or without the right kind of support. If the force you are fighting is a mirror of your own, you will start to appreciate the difference these other factors make much more.

Another advantage of this would be simple - sometimes the best way to see weaknesses in an army is to play against it. Now this can be achieved by simply swapping armies with your opponent the next time you play, but playing the same army would let you 'see it from both sides' at the same time.

This is just an idea - I haven't tried it, but I am going to bring it up this weekend when my group gets together to see if anyone is interested.

Bathawk
04-02-2009, 07:55
not a bad idea, if you have the armies for it

This is an expensive hobby and those that can't afford it are going to have very specific ideas for how they want their forces filled out, so finidng those that "match" may be difficult

Alos make sure you can tell difference between the players, Eldar Aspect warriors are the same color regardless of theier craftword. And even with 30+ chapters of space marines there are always a couple who are fielding the Blue and white ultramarines


other than that go for it, I agree with you on the "see who's the best strategist" thought

willydstyle
04-02-2009, 08:07
I find that the players who spend endless time over list details are generally mediocre players trying to make up for it by taking the "best" list. Sekhmet (I think that's his name) put up a pretty good strategy rundown in the tactics forum.

the1stpip
04-02-2009, 08:56
It is a nice idea for a one off game.

Enderel
04-02-2009, 09:21
Not really sure it would actually show all that much to be honest. There are a number of other variables that would influence the game even with identical lists.

Dice rolls would be the major one, even a supreme strategist has bad dice rolling days.

To mitigate this you could play it by the probabilities. e.g. do not roll any dice at all. for every three marine shots two will hit, one will miss.

Would require absolute honesty from the players when assigning the values though.

Ravenheart
04-02-2009, 09:24
Maybe for one game or so.

I already find it really dull, to play against Marines mostly (with my own marines no less!), even though the lists are quite different.

While it's a good test which player has got the skillz, Warhammer is still a game of chance (at least partly).

ColdWind
04-02-2009, 09:36
Not really sure it would actually show all that much to be honest. There are a number of other variables that would influence the game even with identical lists.

Dice rolls would be the major one, even a supreme strategist has bad dice rolling days.

To mitigate this you could play it by the probabilities. e.g. do not roll any dice at all. for every three marine shots two will hit, one will miss.

Would require absolute honesty from the players when assigning the values though.

Ah, but you see this is my point - the other variables are, imho, the main cause of success and failure in most games - dice rolls, terrain and positioning, unit cooperation and coordination, etc. Personally I think taking dice rolls out of the equation would actually have the opposite effect to what I'm trying to achieve - a battle independent of the 'list and balance issues' that every tenth thread on Warseer seems to obsess over.

And I'm talking about a one-off game as an intellectual exercise, not an ongoing way of playing - it would get pretty dull unless both lists were changed each time - and that would be expensive and time consuming from a hobby standpoint.

Enderel
04-02-2009, 09:50
I can see what you are getting at (having just read Shkmet's thread as well) but extreme variance in variables means that unless you exclude them as well you might get skewed results.

e.g. a squad of tactical marines charges another squad of tactical marines, the chargers have more attacks so should inflict more wounds and win the combat. How often have you seen the opposite, is that strategy or sheer luck of the dice?

I can understand positioning, terrain advantages, combined forces etc being valid reasons to show you are a better strategist but dice rolls are not in my opinion.

Adra
04-02-2009, 09:59
Its an interesting way to play a game and does reduce some of the random chance but really the entire game is one of dice and no tactic survives contact with the enemy or the dice gods. It can be alot of fun however just to see how each player uses each squad. I find that orks and guard are alot of fun to do this with.

Bunnahabhain
04-02-2009, 11:58
I've done it.

At a club night, we had an odd number of armies, and spare players. I'd brough two lists- infantry and mechanised guard, so had the points, and therefore created two identical Guard armies out of it. Great fun.

It's nice to see manoeuvre on foot being possible without some super fast skimmer zipping around you,a nd lasguns being useful.

Sir_Turalyon
04-02-2009, 12:18
I suspect most often it will be reduced to "whoever has the first turn wins" . Perhaps not literaly, but this die roll will be single most decisive factor.

The_Outsider
04-02-2009, 12:36
I suspect most often it will be reduced to "whoever has the first turn wins" . Perhaps not literaly, but this die roll will be single most decisive factor.

I agree, there is only so much tactical flexibility one can use when the forces in question are identical - the random nature of dice will be the biggest contributing factor to the outcome of the battle.

That said, an identical chaos versus chaos or marine versus marine list change that simply because both flavours of marines can do assault and shooting with equal skill (so a careful player isn't put at an inherent disadvantage running at the other who is shooting).

Sceleris
04-02-2009, 12:40
We used to do this a lot playing Epic, especially early on when we had pretty similar collections, and it used to be quite fun - we also had a few games with identical armies and symetrical terrain. Have had the odd 500pt game with identical armies.

Taking out the issue of whose army list was "better" leaves it down to deployment, tactics and, of course, luck of the dice.

ColdWind
05-02-2009, 04:24
...a squad of tactical marines charges another squad of tactical marines, the chargers have more attacks so should inflict more wounds and win the combat. How often have you seen the opposite, is that strategy or sheer luck of the dice?


See, that would be an excellent example of effective tactics - you know that whoever gets the charge will have the advantage, so care and consideration when moving your units plays a much bigger part. You really want to take and keep the initiative - having first turn may play some part, but it's not unrecoverable - often it just changes the point at which you choose to advance.

If your average type of 40K game is "rush everything across the table til you hit the enemy" this will be a relatively pointless exercise, but against players who understand the finer points of move and fire tactics, it would make for a challenging game. WRT dice roles - I think that, although the odd dice roll can cause chaos, I have never lost a game due to bad dice in which I could not point to bigger tactical mistakes I have made. Anyone who thinks they have lost purely due to bad dice is not looking long and hard enough at their playing style and tactics.

I note that only two people (one 40K) have actually tried it - glad to hear someone has, and that it was fun. I'm certainly going to try it.

Vaktathi
05-02-2009, 08:51
I find that the players who spend endless time over list details are generally mediocre players trying to make up for it by taking the "best" list. Sekhmet (I think that's his name) put up a pretty good strategy rundown in the tactics forum.

To be fair, list building is a huge part of the game. Once you have a list, how you use it is extremely important, but if you don't bring the right tools to effectively deal with an opponent, no amount of strategic brilliance will help you if you don't have anything to counter them with. Once one has a solid list, then the strategy of actually running the army comes in, but if your army is lacking in some key area(s), then there may be some things that you just can't do anything about. Lasguns and Autocannons just can't hurt Land Raiders. Lascannons aren't exactly effective against a mob of boyz.

If you've got nothing but boltguns and flamers, don't expect to deal with a mechanized army very well. If you've got nothing but lascannons and meltaguns, expect to get overrun by Orks. If all you have for anti-tank is 2 meltaguns and the enemy army has 8 tanks, 3 of which are AV14, you are probably pooched.


If a commander in the field doesn't have the resources or equipment to deal with a threat, then any strategic brilliance on their part is typically best put to use on how to effectively disengage, one can only do so much with the tools available. It is the players job to make sure they have the tools available to deal with any threat.