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Elannion
12-12-2005, 23:49
Right another of my thinking points, i am not saying i agree with this or think that a certain army is unbalanced im just saying this as a thinking point (note im not saying they aren't either)

Right certain armys such as tomb kings and dark elves have been dubbed hard to play and similar statements have been made about certain units, These armys /units can be very powerful if used correctly but can be equally awful if not. Making things hard to play with but powerful if used correctly is prolly a good thing, it makes us think how to use them and plan properly, suddenly everything isn't just move and charge or whatever. However because they are hard to play with does that make them under powered or bad, i mean a monkey could charge a massive unit of choas warriors in and do massive damage to anyone (ok this prolly isn't true and is exagerated but i can't be bothered to think of a proper thing and i'm just trying to show my point) but get that monkey to command one of these awkward units and he gets smashed to pieces, so because of this does that make it worse? because you have to work soo much more and look so much further to get the same results does that make it worse? I mean afterall if we were to buy a hair dye (again i cant be bothered to think of a good example) that dyed our hair in one step and one that took ten steps wouldn't we say the first was better if they both came out with the same results?

Again to reitorate i don't nessisarily think this so don't moan at me saying i'm wrong, its just something i have been contemplating.

static-breed
13-12-2005, 00:02
I wouldn't say that such units are better. I mean there are peopel who love a challenging army such as me while others prefer to just have fun and not worry about thinking too much about the game (and no I'm not trying to insult anyone here). Certain units are better at different things. Tomb Kings have their strength such as a reasonably good magic phase and some cheap cavalry, but neither are the best and so they must work more for their points.

Honestly if one doesn't think a unit to be good then just don't use it.

SlaaneshSlave
13-12-2005, 00:05
A butterknife is a crappy screwdriver.

Knowing how to use a thing, helps in deciding if it is good or not.

So, what is the use of Empire Halberdiers?

zak
13-12-2005, 00:23
As a DE player I agree that it is a difficult army to use initially as they often will get punished for a mistake and you cannot afford to lose units as much as some other armies. I have seen several other people in my club who have never used DE borrow mine for a game and get creamed because they try and use them like their own army. I find the army is very unforgiving on new players and does require you to choose your fights a little more carefully.....but that's the whole idea behind the army. High Mov and WS but low armour and toughness. Hit hard and quick or your mush in a protracted fight!!

Hard to play...to an extent. Under powered? - NO!!!

adreal
13-12-2005, 00:44
Tomb Kings aren't that hard to play. Shocking but unless i activally help the other player to beat me (ie they are a n00b and I want them to beat me) i usually cream most people I play.

on another note, Tomb kings are bad as your first army as they have rules that go outside of the main rule book (their magic system for one) and shouldn't be used by an expierenced player to show a n00b how to play, it just confuises them

Wickerman71
13-12-2005, 02:07
Though I don't think the Tomb Kings are bad by any stretch, they are infact far less forgiving than thier Undead counterparts the Vampire Counts. Their Magic while relentless just does not offer the utility that Invocation of Nek does. The only real weakness I see in the list are some of the core choices. The Light & Medium cav. seems IMHO virtually useless; The Tomb Swarm is at best sub par.

Ever since the revision I've found Dark Elves a hard army to deal with. They have a very good selection of troops at their disposal. They also offer up some pretty good Magic items to tool up their heros. While the list may not be perfect by no stretch of the imagination would I consider DE under powered. I would also consider them currently the easiest of the 3 Elven armies to play.

Trunks
13-12-2005, 03:20
The difficulty of the learning curve on an army has absolutely no bearing on how powerful or weak the army is overall. Plain and simple.

shadowprince
13-12-2005, 03:37
Dark elfs are not underpowerd niether are tomb kings at 2000pts, Alot of it is the game is I believed balanced for 2000-2150 points, anyhting greater orless is supposed to be at least somewhat differently powered. a SAD army or Skaven in general at 500pts for example. Some armies are slightly no army is completly underpowered not even my high efs even though I will complain:) . It is just many armies are much less forgiving, the elfs and tomb ings come to mind.

sulla
13-12-2005, 06:41
What I found when learning my Dasrk Elves was not that they were underpowered, but rather that a selection of units was underpowered/overpriced/overspecialised in your average battle...

So, while I could win as often as not, my odds improved vastly when I dropped my fighter-heroes, executioners, rx-bowmen and hydra and added another RBT. Like HE, the DE list is primarily an infantry list but hampered by infantry being generally outclassed by heavy cav. Add to that, elite infantry's vulnerability to artillery and missile weapons and limited magic defense (due to high cost of elven magic users).

What this means is that I end up with an army list of the same 'power level' as other armies but shorn of half of it's choices or, if want a risky choice like a pair of manticores, I have to cut all the other risky units from my list.

Morph
13-12-2005, 09:34
People collect armies for a lot of reasons, and the immediate power factor is only a small part. I was collecting TKs before the army book even came out, just because I liked the imagery.

Now it took me a long time to get to grips with the TKs. I believe they have a steep learning curve. I was losing every game for a ages. So I'm pleased that after a long while I finally crafted an army that has turned out as one to be feared by my gaming group. People have said to me 'I thought Tomb Kings were underpowered until I faced your force.'

It's good to be winning, but it feels even better to be winning after a long period of losing with a force that is hard to get to grips with, with an army list that I worked long and hard on. Sure I could just get a Khorne army and charge or a SAD and shoot but where would be the fun? It would feel hollow without the effort involved.

Flypaper
13-12-2005, 11:27
The difficulty of the learning curve on an army has absolutely no bearing on how powerful or weak the army is overall. Plain and simple.
While I mostly agree with the above statement, there's probably a point at which it's naive to 100% discount the correlation.

Let's say army A is composed entirely of undercosted units. Army B has virtually identical units at idential prices, but the units are balanced out by having a certain disadvantage (such as Animosity).

Now, army B is clearly harder to play than army A. A Good General (tm) can almost certainly run army B in such a way as to completely negate its units' disadvantage... But that doesn't change the fact that army B is still objectively weaker than army A! Our Good General (tm) could probably kick some serious buttock if he transfered to army A. :p

Obviously, this is much harder to see when we look at actual examples. Is an undead horseman really worth five points less than his elven equivalent*? Are skirmishing scouts really 20% more valuable in an army which can support them with fast cavalry and cheap warmachines*? The answer to all these questions is obviously maybe, sometimes. ;)

I think, though, that we're deluding ourselves if we ignore all power discrepancies between army lists. And logically, any significantly weak army list is going to be harder to play competitively.

Final disclaimer: Often complexity can be a source of strength - the Undead special rules, f'rinstance. I'm not even going to start looking at those cases, though, or my head will explode. Suffice to say that they're the reason why you can't just draw a graph which equals "most complex" with "weakest" and vice versa. :wtf:

*made up numbers

Elannion
13-12-2005, 18:25
I agree with Flypaper pretty much, the fact that they are played as good as others means they probably aren't bad, but then anyone who spends ages learning weakness through losing alot or playing alot will be good at using them. but the fact that you do have to master them and they aren't as forgiving and you have to learn more about them surely does count for something making them abit worse. Even if you don't agree that they are less powerful (which i'm not saying they are) you do have to agree some things are harder to play with and so i would like to see the playing field leveled so that everyone has to think as much, because the fact that they are hard to play still counts for something.

I don't want this to become a debate as to whether tomb kings or whatever are broken though cause i'm using them as an example to show my point.

gondarion
13-12-2005, 21:56
The difficulty of the learning curve on an army has absolutely no bearing on how powerful or weak the army is overall. Plain and simple.

Absolutely right. Some armies have a steeper learning curve then other armies, nothing wrong with that, it is part of the flavour of the game. The power level of an army when it is played right has nothing to do with how long a player takes to figure it out.

samw
13-12-2005, 22:19
I would like to point out that playing an army that is harder to master, much like playing a game on 'hard' mode makes you a better player. We sometimes seem to talk as if there is this clique of elite generals out there who could go off and beat the world with SAD or RAF lists but choose to play elves for their own personal semi-masochism. The point is it was most likely playing a difficult force, learning the tricks, the capabilities, and precisely not being able to charge headlong into that block of chaos warriors that made you a better player. And, let's be clear here, a better player with that list. Just because someone has learned the ins and outs of TK doesn't mean they can pick up and play WE. You don't become a great general playing VC horde, empire gunline, or any other of the so called :cheese: 'cheesy' :cheese: lists. It's not that those lists that have been mentioned can only be played by decent players, it's that they force you to become a decent player.

Why not just go play skaven?
Why not just type "all your base are belong to us" ?:D

Insane Alex
13-12-2005, 22:24
Why not just type "all your base are belong to us" ?:D

Shhhhh! It's a secret!

>.>

<.<

night2501
13-12-2005, 22:58
mmm an analogy that you can hear a lot round this board (well maibe not that much), and that can put all this in a few words...
some armies are like a cristal sword, this cristal sword is even sharper than the stell sword but if you make one little mistake the sword brake, while the other resist, is the cristal sword less powerfull than the stell one? not really, is strongher? not rerally, is the cristal sword a lot harder to use properly than the stell sword? yes, one mistake and your sword shater into pieces...

Baindread
13-12-2005, 23:48
My definition of underpowered is when you manage to get the full advantage of a unit/army and then only just as good as other armies.

I really don't see anything being hard to play. That is just a poor description. An army can be different, take a while to get the hang off. Never hard to play. Hard to play is just another word for working harder to get the same result.

night2501
14-12-2005, 00:03
there I disagree, you just ignore thig s as how unforgiving the army is, some armies are easier to use, alow you to make more mistakes without ruining your whole game, other armies allow little to no mistake, some armies are straight forwards, others are intrincate, the analogy of the cristal sword is really acurate, and it does not anly aply to warhamer you know...

ho by the way once you reach a good level with those unforgiving armies, the ones you have to work more to get the same result you realize they can be even more powerfull that those straight forward armies...

Elannion
14-12-2005, 00:25
like night2501 wether the army is forgiving or not makes a big difference some people say armys like lizardmen are overpowerful prehaps because they can be soo forgiving. I dunno i suppose its a matter of opinion really as to whether this makes a difference and i suppose it also depends on your experience and playing style alot too as to whether you think it makes a difference. Certainly though it can be said that it does make a big difference to inexperienced players and certainly also anybody who is experienced playing a certain army, can play it very powerfully so the learning curve point that once you learn to use it you can do it well is kinda at a question.

RGB
14-12-2005, 16:40
ho by the way once you reach a good level with those unforgiving armies, the ones you have to work more to get the same result you realize they can be even more powerfull that those straight forward armies...

That is just pure assumption on your part. You don't KNOW that a fragile army in the hands of an expert is stronger than a straightforward army in the hands of an expert.

To co-opt your own analogy, the crystal sword is so fragile you HOPE it's better when you use it properly, but the Steel Sword is better anyway, because you can hone the blade to the point where it's sharper than the Crystal Sword, and can still take a few whacks.

I'd love an example to back your opinion up from you. Which army that's got a steep learning curve normally does extremely well in competetive environments? Which underpowered-looking army has those vaunted reserves of hidden strengths that can take apart all the usual suspects played by the expert generals of their own races?

None, that's what it is. Some armies really are inherently more robust, AND that makes them more effective, especially when an expert plays them.

That's my argument.

Cheers.

Baindread
14-12-2005, 16:59
there I disagree, you just ignore thig s as how unforgiving the army is, some armies are easier to use, alow you to make more mistakes without ruining your whole game, other armies allow little to no mistake, some armies are straight forwards, others are intrincate, the analogy of the cristal sword is really acurate, and it does not anly aply to warhamer you know...

ho by the way once you reach a good level with those unforgiving armies, the ones you have to work more to get the same result you realize they can be even more powerfull that those straight forward armies...


Some armies are different but no army is "hard to play", just worse than others so you have to work more to get an even chance of winning.

If an army allows fewer mistakes while giving no obvious advantage back for not making mistakes, it is just worse.

Like RGB said, if a steel sword is both sharper and more robust, isn't the steel sword always going to come out on top?

You base your entire argument on that armies which allows close to no mistakes are better than other armies because "once you get a good skill level" with that army, it is going to be significantly better than other armies which are more forgiving and thusly have a weaker high end performance?

I'm fully with RGB on this one. Please give us some example instead of just stating your opinion as if it is some kind of fact.


Bottom line here too. What I said was only my opinion and what I thought about the terms. There is no need to tell me how wrong I am.

GranFarfar
14-12-2005, 17:01
That is just pure assumption on your part. You don't KNOW that a fragile army in the hands of an expert is stronger than a straightforward army in the hands of an expert.

To co-opt your own analogy, the crystal sword is so fragile you HOPE it's better when you use it properly, but the Steel Sword is better anyway, because you can hone the blade to the point where it's sharper than the Crystal Sword, and can still take a few whacks.

I'd love an example to back your opinion up from you. Which army that's got a steep learning curve normally does extremely well in competetive environments? Which underpowered-looking army has those vaunted reserves of hidden strengths that can take apart all the usual suspects played by the expert generals of their own races?

None, that's what it is. Some armies really are inherently more robust, AND that makes them more effective, especially when an expert plays them.

That's my argument.

Cheers.

I agree fully on this statement.

There is in theory a difference between hard to play and underpowered. But in reality, this is rarely the case(if ever). Most armies are more or less balanced, but some are stronger and some are weaker, simple as that.
I would not consider any of the armies in Warhammer "hard to play", not in the right way that is.
Sure, HE infantry is hard to play - but that is because they are weak. This army will not become a super army in the hands of a skilled general - not more than any other army. (This is just my opinion, and I used it to make a point - not to start a discussion about HE. There is already and very active thread about this)

night2501
14-12-2005, 18:59
...you know the analogy stil lthe same no matter how much you want to brake it, and is prety nice, I could talk to you about materials and theyr behaviur but that would be out of place so please do not tri again to ruin a nice analogy, is just rude and unesesary...

now if you three are so sure some armies are harder to play because they ar eunderpowered, then I hav enothing to tell to you, you are convinced, and the only thing you say is that, underpowered = harder to play with.

there I donīt agree mi main army is WE, they are not an easy army to use (specially the stile I like to play), one mistake and mi whole army can fall, but the army is not underpowered at all, faced chaos lizarmen skavens, and with all of them I had fun and competitive games.
same goes for mi demonic legion slanesh army (some people think the demonic legion is overpowered, but when you start considering the cheapest thing in the army cost 15 points with T3 and a save of 5+, and can go poof with a bad rool, ho by the way I play with 1 unit of 12 to 18 demonetes and a second of 12, and the never let me down), one mistake and the army crumbles, ho and this army use rank and file infantry as an important part of it, again hard to play but powerfull.

basically I like hard to play armies, and nop, they are not weaker than the other armies, or if they are is nothing serius either, so yes for me there are armies hard to play that are not undepowered, so that should be a good counterargument for the hard to play = underpowered...

now I think that if you can have a competitive game then the power is more or less even, so no underpowered overpowered army...just harder/easier to use.

Latro
14-12-2005, 20:43
I look as it as the difference between (for example) a Kalashnikov assault rifle and a high-powered sniper rifle ...

- The Kalashnikov will always give a very dependable and good result. A trained person will obviously do better with it, but even a novice will be able to get a good result with it.

- The sniper rifle however will be absolutely crap in the hands of a novice, and at the same time an absolute killer in the hands of a pro.

Some equipment will always have a greater difference between minimum and optimum results depending on the training of the user ... usually known as specialist-equipment.

Some stuff will perform acceptably no-matter what, nuff said.


:cool:

Baindread
14-12-2005, 20:48
...you know the analogy stil lthe same no matter how much you want to brake it, and is prety nice, I could talk to you about materials and theyr behaviur but that would be out of place so please do not tri again to ruin a nice analogy, is just rude and unesesary...


Or the analogy is faulty? Ever thought of that?



there I donīt agree mi main army is WE, they are not an easy army to use (specially the stile I like to play), one mistake and mi whole army can fall, but the army is not underpowered at all, faced chaos lizarmen skavens, and with all of them I had fun and competitive games.


I don't consider WE hard to play with. I consider them different because if you get charged you are at an disadvantage, if you charge you get an upper hand. This is not the case of most "weak" races where if you get the charge you are at 50-50 and if you don't you're proper ****ed before ze germans get there.



same goes for mi demonic legion slanesh army (some people think the demonic legion is overpowered, but when you start considering the cheapest thing in the army cost 15 points with T3 and a save of 5+


5+ ward save. Big difference.



, and can go poof with a bad rool


You mean like every other unit 'cept undead?



basically I like hard to play armies, and nop, they are not weaker than the other armies, or if they are is nothing serius either, so yes for me there are armies hard to play that are not undepowered, so that should be a good counterargument for the hard to play = underpowered...



You consider some armies hard to play which I do not agree with. I consider WE and Daemon legion different from other races due to lots of skirmishers or very expensive though effective units. They are not hard to play, just different. Once you get a hang of them (In a game or two) they are evenly balanced or better than other races. They are never hard to play. The obstacle is you have to change your view somewhat from playing with RnF to skirmishers or a slight adjustment in pricing of the units. Is that hard? Is that something which impedes you every battle?



now I think that if you can have a competitive game then the power is more or less even, so no underpowered overpowered army...just harder/easier to use.

An army is harder because it is more difficult to win with. Why is it more difficult? Because you have to be better than your opponent. Why do you have to be better than your opponent? Because your units are worse than his and you therefore have to play better to win.

See the logic or is it totally lost?



And for the love of god stop saying HO!!!!!

Does it even mean something?!?!??!

aakurtz
14-12-2005, 20:51
this is something i posted in another thread, but i think it applies here.

"I agree that TK takes more learning and skill than chaos, but if you played chaos with half the skill taken to play TK you would destroy just about anything. the reason people think TK is an army that "takes skill" is cause thats the only way your going to win. Besides your phases being all changed up due to TK magic, its really not that complexe of an army. Because TK is so magic heavy, anyone i play doubles up on Dispell dice and the game is over pretty fast when you get one spell of a magic phase. I play both VC and TK and i just went back to VC due to the fact that its too easy to make an anti-TK list."

zak
14-12-2005, 21:48
I feel that some of you are missing the point made by night2501.

What he is saying is that some armies have the crystal sword (lightly armoured/low toughness quick armies) which need precise strikes at the right time and place, and will pay for getting in protracted fights.
Other armies have the steel sword and specialise in the straight hammer tactic and specialise in grinding down the enemy (med/heavy armoured/high toughness troops that are generally slower).

What he is getting at is that both swords need to be used in different ways. The steel sword CANNOT strike as fast or be as precise. But will crack if hit too many times to carry on the anology.

That said. I don't see either sword (army) being more difficult to use. They are simply different playing styles.

Elannion
14-12-2005, 22:05
i do think that hes kinda got it right but i am not sure really as to whether they can be any more powerful with the crystal sword than any other army thusly making the analogy pretty much obselete. As stated by aakurtz in the time you have the skill to play an army like this you can play other armys alot more competatively and thusly better at them. i dunno i keep changing my view on what this means really.

RGB
14-12-2005, 22:19
I feel that some of you are missing the point made by night2501.

What he is saying is that some armies have the crystal sword (lightly armoured/low toughness quick armies) which need precise strikes at the right time and place, and will pay for getting in protracted fights.
Other armies have the steel sword and specialise in the straight hammer tactic and specialise in grinding down the enemy (med/heavy armoured/high toughness troops that are generally slower).

What he is getting at is that both swords need to be used in different ways. The steel sword CANNOT strike as fast or be as precise. But will crack if hit too many times to carry on the anology.

That said. I don't see either sword (army) being more difficult to use. They are simply different playing styles.

Yes, that is what he probably means. But that does not change the fact that genrally speaking, some armies don't do the crystal-sword thing very well. And most importantly, that's not what the discussion is about.

Everyone, I hope, realises that an army can be a "steel sword" while playing differently from the Bretonnians. You can be a fast, skirmishing army and still be a steel sword. It's the robustness - if you're a mediocre general, have offended the dice gods, or just plain had too much wine with your warhammer, will your army make it out of there with its pride intact?

If not, then it's a crystal sword. It's not robust; to use what everyone else is, it's "unforgiving". Now the crystal sword can still be strong (like the sniper rifle analogy); but overall, few crystal swords will be stronger than a good steel sword; certainly not all "crsytal sword"armies at their best can match a "steel sword" army at its best.

I defined things this way since it's more relevant to the discussion. It's not a question about actual statslines, armour saves and playing styles. Just "learning curves", "robustness" and such things.

Cheers.

Baindread
14-12-2005, 22:38
The whole argument of the crystal swords Vs the steel swords is spot on if it had any relevance to the warhammer armies.

If a fragile army were able to hit their enemies very hard while avoiding taking damage, this would be true.

If a robust and forgiving army is easy to use (Read: Not that much to do and not taking much damage) but then suffering from not being able to hit back hard at their assailants, this would be true.

But as it stands now, and I guess this discussion revolvs around, is whether or not the "fragile" armies really can deliver a sucker punch when played right. While Night is trying to dribble his conversational adversaries with analogies and proverbs, he really can't deliver any reasonable or believable arguments except "They are good, people just whine" or just posts some unrelated but somehow to him logical statement that armies which are "hard to play" are supposed to be weak if you don't know what you are doing, but somewhere possess some extraordinarily powerful ability which allows them to easily beat their opponent as long as you have the "skill" to find that ability.

zak
14-12-2005, 22:42
I didn't say I agreed with what he was saying. What I was trying to do was to be fair to the original writer and explain what I thought he was trying to say against a barrage of criticism.

As for the two playing styles. I also didn't say one was more powerful than the other. It's just that some armies are better suited to one or the other playing style.

Baindread
14-12-2005, 22:48
I didn't say I agreed with what he was saying. What I was trying to do was to be fair to the original writer and explain what I thought he was trying to say against a barrage of criticism.

As for the two playing styles. I also didn't say one was more powerful than the other. It's just that some armies are better suited to one or the other playing style.

I understand that and I do not aim any criticism at all against you. I understand perfectly though what he is trying to say and I agree somewhere around 0% with that.

Nice btw to see someone stand up for someone else. :angel:

night2501
14-12-2005, 23:28
some people know the true, but donīt want to accept it...

miselve, I do not belive ther eis such unbalance of power, I do belive that there ar armies harder to use than other specially in the forgiveness department, if you have a 5+save and T3 coupled with hig cost, you better donīt make mistakes, as one could mean the end of all, your army brake.
still this dosnīt make the army more or less powerfull by itselve.
thatīs whi I donīt agree with the hard to play = underpowered, tought it might seem like that...

for you hard to play = underpowered, for me hard to play = unforgiving

about the arguments, neither you have given solid arguments, at least I try to give examples...

PS:
I realli liked the rifle/sniper rifle analogy ^^

RGB
14-12-2005, 23:48
some people know the true, but donīt want to accept it...

Since we have it on your authority, and it is so well articulated, it must be correct.


there ar armies harder to use than other specially in the forgiveness department

Is it next to the meat-and-cheese department or do I call the pope to fix me some? What is ths...forgiveness...department.

And yes, apologies, I'm an ass for having done that. But you left yourself so wide open.


, if you have a 5+save and T3 coupled with hig cost, you better donīt make mistakes, as one could mean the end of all, your army brake.still this (this) dosnīt make the army more or less powerfull by itselve.

I know what you're talking about; I have WE and they're an awesome army. So are the beasts. Yes, so far you're correct.


for you hard to play = underpowered, for me hard to play = unforgiving

For me a spoon is a spoon, for you it's an eating device. Underpowered is more valid since a competetive arena exists. WE are competetive. TK are competetive but perhaps less so. HE are competetive in only a few builds and not at all in others. I'm not an expert, so I must go by what other people say and yes, the winnign armies in competetive environements.


PS:I realli liked the rifle/sniper rifle analogy ^^

Of course you did, it says what you said was right; however, what you seem to not realise is that not EVERY sniper rifle would be capable of beating EVERY rifle if GW made them.

Some armies are both easier to use AND the most competetive. Some are hard to use and weak. Some are one and not the other. The end.

night2501
15-12-2005, 01:20
mmm donīt worry I do not care about small things...well you know wath I was tring to say aniway...
now you donīt want to draw the line betwen unforgiving and underpowered, but the line exist, and there are several examples of armies and armies builds that are unforgiving but competitive.
(if unforgiving and underpowered are the same then the above is not posible)

now about armies being competitive, I have played against most of the armies, and so far all of them are competitive unless they are in the wrong hands...and just a obsevation of a really small universe so this should not be taken seriusly, but HE seems to draw the worst players to them XD

PS:
I did not say I liked the rifle/sniper analogy because agree with me, but because is elegant and clear, come on I m not soo inmature to be unable to do something like that...

Flypaper
15-12-2005, 06:52
About the only example I can think of of an army with a steep learning curve which then becomes competitive at high levels is Dark Elves. You do see them place highly in tournaments, and it's only ever the race-specific experts who do so.

Note that this is different to how things work with High Elves: HE generals become competitive by eliminating a substantial portion of the army list and just playing with what works*. Top DE generals, though, genuinely exploit the power of combined arms and are a lot of fun to watch. :)

*gross generalisation which is not intended to start any arguments!

Aryakas
30-12-2005, 02:34
This is just my opinion (I mostly play 40k so forgive my ignorance) but I've found that at least some of my assumptions about races and units were based on the dice. Having a terrible/incredible run with something can sometimes change your opinion about it a little even if the reasoning isnt all that well founded. It might just be me but I think most people have had this happen at least once in their time playing.

Commissar von Toussaint
30-12-2005, 04:55
The difference between being underpower vs hard to play is in the intent of the game designer.

If the designer wanted a certain strategy or option to have a weak point, that is a "hard to play" situation.

If, on the other hand, certain units are simply not worth taking under almost any circumstances, we are dealing with an "underpowered" situation.

Example: Bretonnians are fearsome on the charge, but their flanks are vulnerable if you can stop them even for one round.

This is a classic "hard to play" situation: you have a set of tradeoffs that demand a certain skill level from the player, but which pay handsome dividends.

Another example: Empire detachments. Man for man, Empire troops are among the worst in the Warhammer world. But, if you used properly, detachments are unbeatable.

Counterexample: Phoenix Guard. It is true that these units can be used well, but examples are few and far between. The unit is clearly underpowered as there is no consistent doctrine for using them other than "try not to let them get hurt." :rolleyes:

The trick is that GW pretends that underpowered units never happen and will always try to spin them as "underpowered." Discerning gamers know better.

Ganymede
30-12-2005, 05:44
having not read the intervening posts, I will just jump in and answer the question.

I don't think tomb kings are an underpowered army by any stretch of the imagination. I will say that they are an incredibly intricate army with a steep learning curve though. You gotta know your stuff to compete with TK, but if you do, they are a nasty force.

Darius Rhiannon
30-12-2005, 07:26
but HE seems to draw the worst players to them XD

Why thank you Night2501 for such a stunning insight, and one made so well as to make all other second or third language speakers weep.

While it is true that many HE players complain about their army, allow me to illustrate why.

This is how GW advertises the HE in the Rulebook.


...The citizen-soldier regiments of Spearmen and Archers from deep and disciplined ranks, their mithril armour shining bright in their enemies eyes...

High Elf Spearmen form ranks of silver armoured, highly disciplined warriors, so strong is their determination that they are capable of withstanding even the fearsome charge of a unit of knights.

and now for the text from the Armybook


For the tactician there are few more satisfying armies to play than the proud and majestic High Elves. Deadly, swift and precise, the power of the High Elves lies in their ability to hit the enemy hard and where and when they choose it, with the support of their awesome sorcery and devastating missile fire (1). The High Elves are refined and well organised, and they march to war in perfect unity (2), armoured in strong (3) flexible scale coats and wielding fine weapons of the highest quality (4).

... A successful commander must use each of his precious units to their full potential (5), fulfilling their designated role to perfection and using each of them to support the rest of the army.

As a defensive force, the High Elves are without peer (6).... their archers and spearmen capable of holding off almost any foe (7)...

...The aim of any tactical High Elf commander is to strike hard and fast, dissecting the enemy and withdrawing before they have a chance to counter-attack while the stout defence of the High Elves is perfectly capable of holding out against any attack (8) .

Unfortuneatly GW does not advertise in my country. Because if there was an advertisement for HE featuring the above mentioned text I could take them to the advertising complaints commision and they (the ACC) would likely prevent the distribution of said pamphlet due it being false advertising, perhaps it would serve as a little wakeup call for GW. Their are 8 sentences in the above quoted text from the army book that I would regard as being lies.

Although number (5) might not be a lie, in that many players do utilise their SpearElves, Archers, Sea Guard, Pheonix Guard "fulfilling their designated role to perfection and using each of them to support the rest of the army" by leaving them on the shelf at home.

The quoted text is also why so many HE players complain. They start the army with a false image of what the army is capable of, and when the army cannot deliver they become, disenchanted .

In my opinion there are four types of armies.

1) Those that play well with all their builds, but best with one. Overpowered.
2) Those that play easily and well in a majority of their builds. + Balanced.
3) Those that play easily and well with some of their builds. - Balanced.
4) Those that are difficult to play with the majority of their builds, and only play easily with one specific build. Underpowered.

Some armies have a strict learning curve, for the player to adapt to play that army to its strenghts. Slanneshi Deamon Legion

Some armies have an easily learning curve for the player to adapt to. Bretonnian Lances.

Some armies have a strict learning curve and even under the direction of a competent general, will be held hostage in the hands of the dice gods. High Elves are an example of this.

To summarise. Some armies are hard to play because they need a certain style of thinking. Some armies hard to play because they were designed badly.

Flypaper
30-12-2005, 12:25
Thread necromancy just so people can whinge about High Elves? I must be in heaven! :evilgrin:

Darius, I don't see how points (2), (3), (4) or (5) can be called "lies" via any but the most willfully petulant leaps of the imagination. I'm also not sure what your problem with the rulebook-ad is - are you saying Mithril isn't shiny? Or that twenty spearmen will break from a frontal charge from five Empire knights?

As for the fluff, are you saying I should sue GW every time an army produces more power dice than my Lizardmen? 'cause the Lizzie army book specifically says that the Slann are unconditionally the most powerful spellcasters in the Warhammer world...

Seriously, what kind of non-cynic starts a $500+ hobby without (a)taking what the advertising copy says with a grain of salt, and (b)investigating the reality at ground level? It's not like you can't hear the continuous roar of dissatisfied Elves from space...

They start the army with a false image of what the army is capable of, and when the army cannot deliver they become, disenchanted .
...and unfortunately, rather than changing armies, they then tell us about how disenchanted they are. In luxurious detail!

Back on topic - for what it's worth - I largely agree with your categories, but think there's a fifth one you missed: the hypothetical "hidden depth" army. That is, one which performs as a (4) in your scheme, but which when played in certain non-obvious ways becomes powerful to the point of being broken (http://gatherer.wizards.com/?first=1&last=100&term=lion%27s+eye+diamond&Field_Name=on&Field_Rules=on&Field_Type=on&setfilter=Allsets&colorfilter=All&typefilter=All&output=summary&sort=name&x=42&y=26). Is there one amongst the WFB lists at the moment? I don't think so, but then I'm not a good enough player to tell! :eek:

...the best I can do is point to Dark Elves, again, as a list which is better than the sum of its parts. Who knows, maybe someone'll manage to get the revision revoked! ;)

SuperBeast
30-12-2005, 12:27
I think it comes down to style of play, entirely.
Its difficult, but I try not to think of units in terms of VP's gained/lost. (ie. "my 300pt unit of knights killed 200pts of infantry before they died, so THAT was a waste of points...").
WFB is an extremely complicated beastie once the dice start rolling.
Take my WE as an example. I have played 15, and lost 1 drawn 1.
Given that my opponents have been, in the main, experienced and competent players, it would be easy for people to say that the WE army is overpowered.
I don't believe so.
In any game between evenly matched/experienced opponents, the outcome (barring all but the most terrible luck) is generally decided by who used their units best.
WE just suit my 'natural' style of play far better than any other army I've tried to use.
Or, to put it another way, whoever made the least mistakes with their units overall wins.
With certain units (not armies), the game experience required to learn to use the unit properly is greater.
I have yet to take Great Eagles in any of my games simply because, as yet, I have been unable to think of a use for them that I'm lacking. But other people on these forums believe they are a no-brainer unit.
If someone, as an example, has a dozen or so games with the same army under their belt and decides that unit X is simply not worth taking because of reason Y, then that does not mean that Unit X necessarily useless. It just does not fit into the player's "victory model" for the army.
However, when a unit is regularly missing from "competitive" armies, then something needs to be looked at.

In that regard, I believe that "under-powered" is the same as "hard to play".
People in competitive environments will not take units that they cannot get to perform.

Commissar von Toussaint
30-12-2005, 15:37
Thread necromancy just so people can whinge about High Elves? I must be in heaven! :evilgrin:

Darius, I don't see how points (2), (3), (4) or (5) can be called "lies" via any but the most willfully petulant leaps of the imagination.

Let me spell it out for you.

The HE do not march to war in "perfect unity,"(2) they are the ONLY army that has infighting so bad that you don't know who the hell is the commander until the shooting starts.

The "strong" (3) armor is actually "average" since goblins have the same or better armor save. The word strong implies, well, strength, not average or below average.

If I say I am a strong runner, you'd expect me to at least place in the top half of the field, otherwise I would be pretty weak.

The "finest weapons" (4) implies that their weapons are better than everyone else's. The clue to that is the use of the superlative tense, not the comparative, but the superlative, that is, of all the weapons out there, theirs are the fineest.

Dwarves have fine weapons, but HE have the finest.

In GW's defense, they usually fill their army books with absolute garbage. I remember the 5th ed. Empire book which stressed their "stout" infantry and "mighty" cavalry, when in fact the Empire had the worst of both in the game. The winningest Empire armies back then used neither, instead relying on steam tanks, war wagons, hot pots, artillery and random magic trickyness.

But I digress. This thread isn't (or shouldn't be) another whine about High Elves (a topic that is stunningly dull, when you get down to it).

The problem is one of balance. I've thought a lot about it of late and as I'm nailing down my own system, it is foremost in my thoughts.

I recognize that all points-based systems are open to abuse and a certain amount of arbitrariness, but one thing I want to prevent is what is going on with WHFB right now. I want points to reflect what they do; I want each unit to be able to stand alone for comparison, so that people CAN make the direct contrasts that they can't in WHFB right now.

When people say "oh, you can't compare points from different lists," it's a cop out, a flaw in game design and one I'm trying very hard to avoid. I want my lists to be balanced by what they have, not how it fits in to a given army.

Wickerman71
31-12-2005, 02:20
:rolleyes: Ahh Fluff

Do keep in mind that pretty much every army book says pretty much the same thing about about the army it contains. I mean do you honestly expect "Elves clad in almost average armour can some times hold off some opponents". If you buy that fluff then any army is unbeatable.

Do High Elves suck; no
Is their List Sub par: yes

Flypaper
31-12-2005, 06:18
Yeah, sorry about my last post. I was in a bad mood, and when I saw the thread's unnecessary resurrection I figured we may as well all degenerate into farce. ;)

Not that any of the opinions I experssed were in any way incorrect... I just wasn't at my most diplomatic. :p

The fluff piece works fine as a description of He stats. (2) means high leadership, (3) doesn't necessarily refer to the infantry - how many goblins have a Silver Helm's 2+ save? - (4) is reflected by the elves' high weapon skill, and (5) borders on the self-evident.

Plus, as Wickerman pointed out, the fluff in every book is designed to hype up the army - or can you point me to the 50% of army books where it should read "this army is one of the weaker forces in the Warhammer world, definitely below the average"? See also Chaos, failure to conquer the world, of.

Darius Rhiannon
31-12-2005, 07:55
False advertising is False advertising. Aka a lie is a lie regardless of the intention of the lie. If they are not brave enough to state in their text the true abilities of a unit, they should not "hype" it. Because there is no reason to. In short if they want to hype, they need to make something hypable.

But I must apologise for the Necromancy, it was still on the first page so I did not check the date.

However the introductionary text of the all the other books (I just quickly went through them again), aside from perhaps Ogre Kingdoms, very accurately, and without any lies, describe what the army is capable of. Even the Dark Elf one. Even when I use my most willfully petulant leaps of the imagination :). Although in the Chaos book introduction Gavin did promise there was going to be a Deamons of Chaos book. However this is not a lie, because they still might issue it.

On the topic of the Slann. Subjectively they can indeed be described as some of the best spell casters in the world. However, even the most willfully petulant leaps of the imagination :), cannot describe archers and spearmen as capable of holding off almost any foe.

PS in answer to the cynic question, the answer is one without internet access & the guy at the store says "Archers are fine, they are deadly" while suffering from flashbacks from 5th and in a gaming situation where one of the Convention Tournaments had been won by a 4x RBT, x100 Archers + Seer Council. They seemed fine.

You are correct with your addition of a fifth army type. However I do not think GW's system or designers allow for such a army to be created.

night2501
31-12-2005, 14:10
mmm you know...this is starting to be lame, everityme I read this kind of posts is basically HE players asking "make mi army perfect" so I can defeat chosen chaos warrior of khorne with mi archers...(basically thatīs wath people is asking for, that would match the archers can take any foe part...)

well first some consideration...HE archers and spearmen can take almost any foe head on (save some of the most powerfull units out there), does this means they win by just be put one the table, hell no, but last time I cheked being in HtH with HE spermen after being lowered in number by some shoting wasīt a nice scenario (now if they outflanked your spearmen that had the archers at the side to prevent that is your fault...also this aply to infnatry or light armourde units, they ar enot that god against 2+ save cavalry, but then no spermen is good at thet, you have swordmasters and withe lions for that task), mm folowing the logic of the above it is posible to build an infnatry based HE army tha tis competent, but hard to use (basically one mistake and you are screwed, also is a bit weak to shoting)

maibe instead of changing the HE rules they should change theyr bakground and say, due tot theyr arrogance they consider themselves the bla bla bla bla...

so far I think the only army that was underpowered was the DE before the update, and mostly because it had stupid errors as bestmasters not being able to kept up with the hidra...(that was a proof of the book not being tested/writen properly), with HE or the rest of the armies I do not see that problem...

hard to play or unforgiving armies, yes there are, underpowered, I really doubt it (at least not to the degree to need a revision).

PS:
GW will remake HE book sooner or later, but I advice you, many players will still want to play with the RH list because is more powerfull, the same as WE and dwarft the book will be balanced...

Katastrophe
31-12-2005, 14:30
HE need a revision mainl because the only effective forms of the army are just plain boring (Cav army, seer council). A real infantry army just wont muster any wins. one can make a shooty army, but in order to make it work, you have to so terribly skew the army in one direction that its once again not an army thats fun to play or play against.

CVT, nice to see u on the right side, now if i can get u to come back to my party, that presidential run might be in the cards.

sulla
31-12-2005, 20:30
False advertising is False advertising. Aka a lie is a lie regardless of the intention of the lie. If they are not brave enough to state in their text the true abilities of a unit, they should not "hype" it. Because there is no reason to. In short if they want to hype, they need to make something hypable.

But I must apologise for the Necromancy, it was still on the first page so I did not check the date.

However the introductionary text of the all the other books (I just quickly went through them again), aside from perhaps Ogre Kingdoms, very accurately, and without any lies, describe what the army is capable of. Even the Dark Elf one. Even when I use my most willfully petulant leaps of the imagination :). Although in the Chaos book introduction Gavin did promise there was going to be a Deamons of Chaos book. However this is not a lie, because they still might issue it.

Something more along these lines then perhaps?

"Once the masters of the known world, the Elves are now a shadow of their former glory.

Once unmatched on the fields of battle, now Elves must give ground to races whose armour and weapons are heavier than anything an Elf can carry.

Once they ruled from on high with bolts of lightning or gouts of flame from their all-powerful mages, now they must tread warily lest they be smitten by the modern technologies of gunpowder and warp-lightning.

Once they shone like the sun, ascendant over the lesser races of the world, now their light is waning.

The time of the Elves is over. Unable or unwilling to learn new technologies or adapt to modern tactics, their relevance to the world is lessening with every day..."

The problem with WH Elves is that players (myself included) expect too much from them... They use bows and chariots against handguns and cannons... It's time for us to be more realistic about our expectations for them. It's not going to be a cakewalk for them...

mageith
31-12-2005, 21:18
The time of the Elves is over.

Ugh! I don't even play Elves and I think this is horrible. I'd much rather see a backstory where the outcome is still uncertain as to which race and/or religion eventually dominates. The Old World isn't earth, it just looks like it. A parallel dimension, if you will.



Unable or unwilling to learn new technologies or adapt to modern tactics, their relevance to the world is lessening with every day..."[/b][/i]

The problem with WH Elves is that players (myself included) expect too much from them... They use bows and chariots against handguns and cannons... It's time for us to be more realistic about our expectations for them. It's not going to be a cakewalk for them...
I expected you to admit that your story was the irony it was, but either you are being doubly ironic. Or I'm not getting the joke. There is a joke here, right?

Mage Ith

sulla
02-01-2006, 10:38
Ugh! I don't even play Elves and I think this is horrible. I'd much rather see a backstory where the outcome is still uncertain as to which race and/or religion eventually dominates. The Old World isn't earth, it just looks like it. A parallel dimension, if you will.

Well sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings but I am just spelling out clearly what GW fluff already says. Elves used to have outposts and cities all over the warhammer world. They used to dominate the seas. They used to have the warriors most capable of facing the chaos menace. None of those is the case in the warhammer world in the 6th ed. Those statements have nothing to do with gameplay, they are merely a summation of the fluff.



I expected you to admit that your story was the irony it was, but either you are being doubly ironic. Or I'm not getting the joke. There is a joke here, right?

Mage Ith

No joke. I like my DE army, but really, why should Elf players want their army to be 'all that'? They are slightly more skilled humans with poorer equipment. Monsters and chariots against cannons and handguns? The odds are not good for the Elves. The empire, skaven and dwarves WILL build better guns in the future. Are the Elves going to build chariots with bullet proof horses or discover new monsters in those parts of the world they have inhabited for the last 6000 years? I doubt it.

Game balance and fantasy are all well and good but even the most dogmatic and short sighted person would have to admit the future does not look good for the Elves of the Warhammer world.

mageith
02-01-2006, 12:48
Well sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings but I am just spelling out clearly what GW fluff already says.

:) I think you are carrying it out to its most dire conclusion. There's a difference.



Elves used to have outposts and cities all over the warhammer world. They used to dominate the seas. They used to have the warriors most capable of facing the chaos menace. None of those is the case in the warhammer world in the 6th ed. Those statements have nothing to do with gameplay, they are merely a summation of the fluff.

To some of us, fluff is important. I wouldn't be interested in playing a dying race. I would be interested in playing a race that attempting to recover from a decline. There's a difference. Within its own book, each backstory should be put in the best possible light. Its not false advertising, its patriotic, so to speak. Its motivational.

And secondly, what WFB, is is a game. We usually play a game where each each game is set up to allow either side to win.

When the armybook over touts a units ability and that unit doesn't measure up because of its rules or the general rules, thats bad unit design IMO, not false advertising. I think its goes too far to suggest to players that their army is doomed.




No joke. I like my DE army, but really, why should Elf players want their army to be 'all that'? They are slightly more skilled humans with poorer equipment. Monsters and chariots against cannons and handguns? The odds are not good for the Elves. The empire, skaven and dwarves WILL build better guns in the future. Are the Elves going to build chariots with bullet proof horses or discover new monsters in those parts of the world they have inhabited for the last 6000 years? I doubt it.

There's magic my friend. That's what evens the odds. In addition, the High Elves live in a secluded part of the world, and can pull back, regroup and come back stronger.



Game balance and fantasy are all well and good but even the most dogmatic and short sighted person would have to admit the future does not look good for the Elves of the Warhammer world.
Only the most short-sighted Elf would admit it. :)

In LOTR, it is the time of men. In WFB, it is anybody's world. I'm pretty much sure they'll be fighting this out 40,000 years into the future. :) Call it a premonition.

Mage Ith

sulla
02-01-2006, 23:39
:) I think you are carrying it out to its most dire conclusion. There's a difference.
That's right. This is warhammer. i like it gloomy and desperate...:cool:



To some of us, fluff is important. I wouldn't be interested in playing a dying race. I would be interested in playing a race that attempting to recover from a decline. There's a difference. Within its own book, each backstory should be put in the best possible light. Its not false advertising, its patriotic, so to speak. Its motivational.

And secondly, what WFB, is is a game. We usually play a game where each each game is set up to allow either side to win.

When the armybook over touts a units ability and that unit doesn't measure up because of its rules or the general rules, thats bad unit design IMO, not false advertising. I think its goes too far to suggest to players that their army is doomed.


I don't mean to suggest any Elven Army is going to lose... merely that the Elven race is stagnant. is technologies are being surpassed by more and more races every year that goes by. I don't recall who suggested false advertising but it wasn't me.




There's magic my friend. That's what evens the odds. In addition, the High Elves live in a secluded part of the world, and can pull back, regroup and come back stronger.

Mage Ith

Of course, in the fluff Elves are still powerful mages, but on the tabletop, they are generally outnumbered by enemy mages who are cheaper. Also, uniformly, Elven armies are more vulnerable to magic than most of their opponents on the tabletop. An unfortunate consequence of low toughness, average armour and small units. Do we make them more powerful to compensate or revise the fluff to give the lesser races the credit they deserve?

Bran Dawri
03-01-2006, 00:45
That's right. This is warhammer. i like it gloomy and desperate...:cool:


I don't. And I guess neither does MageIth. I prefer my warhammer background a bit more silly and generally fun, with hilarious (rather than just randomly dangerous) skaven weaponry, funny goblins (well, they are that), and dwarf drinking songs.
Warhammer (and let's not even get started on 40K) shouldn't even attempt an all-inclusive background background that's in a single genre. It's too patently over-the-top, and the armies far too diverse for that.