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Angelust
25-03-2009, 10:06
I was playing a game today, and the discussion wandered into a special character. He said that the special character shouldn't be taken because "special characters are for special occassions."

Now right off the bat, I'm not opening another "should special characters be allowed" thread. I'm trying to uncover the validity of the reasoning behind that sentiment in a lot of players, which seems to stem from the idea that special characters are an exceedingly rare sight and that fielding them everywhere really dulls their unique place in the mythos of the world.

I personally think that table-top battles are really "special" engagements all on their own. Seeing Mephiston drop down into a battle and risk his life to kill a dozen chaos space marines is pretty rare indeed, but is it really any more rare than seeing 60 marines from a famous chapter like the Ultramarines being wiped out by 150 orks? Or seeing 40 grey knights and a grand master go into head to head combat against 9 leman russ tanks and get blown to hell?

The same goes for general tactics in-game. Sacrificing two space marines on an attack bike so that the two dozen kroot can be shot up two turns down the line is really not a common sight, but one explanation can make all of these activities (kind of) reasonable: every game of 40k/fantasy/etc is a crucial battle in a rare circumstance.


Why would someone ever send 50 marines and 10 suits of terminator armor to kill a few nob bikerz and 180 nameless orks in some suicide mission? Probably because it's a mission with epic consequences. Same goes true for ultra-marines fighting ultramarines, all of a chapters vehicles deployed in one battle, and eldar deciding to engage nids on the grounds with 18" assault weapons.

I just don't think it's a stretch to imagine Marneus or Eldrad or Wazdakka or any of these other fools dropping intot he middle of some of these battles, especially when the battles themselves would need to be of epic consequences to begin with. That's basically what these special characters are waiting for, right? Special battles that need some heroic intervention (and ridiculously wasteful loss of life).


What are your thoughts?

DarthSte
25-03-2009, 10:13
I'd never really put that much thought into it to be honest. But I really like your reasoning, and probably agree with you too.

mughi3
25-03-2009, 10:45
I think you just need to removed "special" from the discussion all together.

Now they are "named characters" with special rules that GW actually wants you to use often. so much so that they provide army unlocks with them now.

The idea of special characters limited to bigger more important games went out with 3rd edition and people are having a hard time letting go of it.

Solar_Eclipse
25-03-2009, 10:53
Hmmm i agree completely.

Now here is the reasoning:

You play a campaign, you each have to take 1 main Character.

If i play blood angels and take Dante and a friend takes Space Wolves, buys a wolf Lord and calls him "Wolf Lord Erik".

Now, in the background, if Wolf Lord Erik is killed, then the consequences are just as dire for those Space wolves as it is if Dante got killed in my blood angels.

So why the Double standard?

Poseidal
25-03-2009, 11:03
The original 'Special/Named Characters' were just a build you could make with the standard race templates back in RT with normal gear.

Doppleskanger
25-03-2009, 11:04
I agree with the OP. Anyway why couldn't the game you are playing just be one tiny part of a massive battle occuring off the board. The characters are there because its the most intersesting part of the battlefield, naturally. That makes sense anyway because how many ork or nid invasions only consist of 100 creatures?

Eldoriath
25-03-2009, 12:28
+1 p OP.
Never thought about it, but it seems reasonable and a good line of thinking =)

EVIL INC
25-03-2009, 12:28
I see no problem with seeing them in games. When I see "special character" nowadays, I see the "special" part being that you have to take them as-is. You are correct in the games themselves being special. Its part of the reason we play to begin with.

ehlijen
25-03-2009, 12:31
Not so long ago named characters were just that: those characters with those names (and often legendary ones too). Having every small skirmish led by the greatest hero known to that faction just sat wrong with some people.

There are some flaws with that conception though:
-Named characters are not restrcited to 'that name' in newer codices (though they are still in older ones)
-40k games are not just 'skirmishes'. At least not if you play games bigger than combat patrol. Each battle is meant to be a historic occasion that was a cinematically close call (otherwise space marine chapters would not be able to survive the casualty rates seen in the average game). Yes, every 40k game above a certain size is meant to be that.
-Characters are becoming much better balanced in the ancient debate of special vs regular. This is not true yet for all codices, but it is becoming closer to the norm.

Bunnahabhain
25-03-2009, 12:43
On that logic, 95% of players should be Guard, Ork or XYZ cult players, as everybody else is very rare.

Marines should be very rare, as should Eldar. Inq and DE should be exceedingly rare, and Tau, Nids, Chaos marines/daemons and Necrons should be unknown most of the time, barring occasional influxes.

I'm not sure this is practical...

I would prefer to see most special characters removed as separate entries.
Standard character entries should have a decent set of options, including the things that are currently special character only ie multiple psychic powers, FOC altering stuff, etc

Special characters should exist in the background section, and have a list of the options you take to turn Generic chapter master into Special Character chapter Master X.

Industrial Propaganda
25-03-2009, 12:54
On that logic, 95% of players should be Guard, Ork or XYZ cult players, as everybody else is very rare.

Marines should be very rare, as should Eldar. Inq and DE should be exceedingly rare, and Tau, Nids, Chaos marines/daemons and Necrons should be unknown most of the time, barring occasional influxes.

I'm not sure this is practical...

I would prefer to see most special characters removed as separate entries.
Standard character entries should have a decent set of options, including the things that are currently special character only ie multiple psychic powers, FOC altering stuff, etc

Special characters should exist in the background section, and have a list of the options you take to turn Generic chapter master into Special Character chapter Master X.


Special characters should only exist for Apocalypse games. Never appear in regular ones. And give us generic HQ's choices with more options !

The Orange
25-03-2009, 13:08
Special characters should only exist for Apocalypse games.
Why? Apoc games are just larger games of 40k, what if I think their not big enough for use of SC? eh? No we need GW to make Doomesday level games, where entire chapters are on the battlefield, then we can start using SCs. :rolleyes:

GW created SCs to be fun to use, to actually be used by players. Not everyone plays Apoc, and probably most people don't, so that's just silly from a business perspective. SC are not built to be Apoc. scales say like a Titan or super heavy tanks, so why restrict them? Just because GW made some epic fluff about them? If I made some epic fluff about G.I. Joe the Guardsmen should we limit their use to Apocalypse games too?

isaac
25-03-2009, 13:15
I say use them in 2000+ pt games, that is definitely special enough

loveless
25-03-2009, 13:26
I say use them whenever the heck you feel like it. Maybe what they need to do is rename the basic entries.

Warboss -> Warboss Gritnob
Space Marine Captain -> Captain Thule
Farseer -> Farseer Kaerys

With the exception that you can buy better upgrades for those characters. So, that's my suggestion - make everyone special.

Because if everyone's special, no one is.

PaddyF
25-03-2009, 13:29
Why are they special? Because their mummy told them they were!

Deadmanwade
25-03-2009, 13:30
How about things like the Eldar Avatar, which is only awoken in times of great need for the Eldar race? Thats NOT a named/special character is it? How about Bloodthirsters which kick ass in CC or Daemon Princes or any of the other super-rare, super-powerful individual models.
I for one like the new system of allowing named characters to be taken as is, without the old 3rd/4th ed. "Must play a game of X points" rule.

isaac
25-03-2009, 13:39
And I didn't mean you are forced t only use them at 2000+ pts. just that seems a god place to start using them

Corrode
25-03-2009, 14:02
How about things like the Eldar Avatar, which is only awoken in times of great need for the Eldar race? Thats NOT a named/special character is it? How about Bloodthirsters which kick ass in CC or Daemon Princes or any of the other super-rare, super-powerful individual models.
I for one like the new system of allowing named characters to be taken as is, without the old 3rd/4th ed. "Must play a game of X points" rule.

Yeah, this and the point made above about not actually seeing Nids/Chaos outside of rare circumstances really is a kicker for the 'but special characters are too special!' whiners.

There's roughly a million Marines in the entire galaxy. There's billions of Imperial Guard. For every battle you see involving the Marines you should see something like a million Guard battles. Orks are an omnipresent threat, so 90% of the alien battles should be against them. Notice alien battles - far and away the most common tabletop battle should be Guard vs. Guard, or Guard vs. Traitors, or Traitors vs. Traitors (depending on how tangled the web is).

Clearly this isn't the case. So why isn't every single battle involving Space Marines special, when they're equally as rare as any particular character would be in the fluff? Given that there's only 1000 Marines to a Chapter, what reason exactly is there that an engagement involving more than about 10 of them WOULDN'T involve a hero of that Chapter?

evilsponge
25-03-2009, 14:06
All my HQ characters are special little snowflakes

souljaking09
25-03-2009, 14:08
Yeah, this and the point made above about not actually seeing Nids/Chaos outside of rare circumstances really is a kicker for the 'but special characters are too special!' whiners.

There's roughly a million Marines in the entire galaxy. There's billions of Imperial Guard. For every battle you see involving the Marines you should see something like a million Guard battles. Orks are an omnipresent threat, so 90% of the alien battles should be against them. Notice alien battles - far and away the most common tabletop battle should be Guard vs. Guard, or Guard vs. Traitors, or Traitors vs. Traitors (depending on how tangled the web is).

Clearly this isn't the case. So why isn't every single battle involving Space Marines special, when they're equally as rare as any particular character would be in the fluff? Given that there's only 1000 Marines to a Chapter, what reason exactly is there that an engagement involving more than about 10 of them WOULDN'T involve a hero of that Chapter?

Special characters are fun and I don't feel like reading your essay post at the top, but I'm not sure why you would be hating on special characters.:confused:

thanks for agreeing with me corrode. I will send a friend request.:)

carldooley
25-03-2009, 14:21
when I started out in third, most tournaments didn't allow special characters because their rules would change how the game works in some significant way.

Now, we are getting UNIQUE characters and SPECIAL characters mixed up. there is a clear difference, and I'll use the Eldar Codex and Daemons codexes to demonstrate my point.

Eldar Codex - Eldrad is a UNIQUE character, and characters like him should be held at arm's length on account of how using him affects how the game works, and there is only one of him in the warhammer universe. It would feel distinctly odd to see multiple eldrad's on the board. THe Phoenix Lords and the Avatar are only SPECIAL characters because while they are unusual characters and have their own special rules, by fluff while they are special each craftworld can field their own.

Daemons codex - Epidimius is a UNIQUE character and like eldrad there is only one of him in the warhammer universe, and his special rules more than any other in the game IMHO, change the way that the game is played. on the other hand, the greater demons and the heralds are special characters on account that while they are rare, they are NOT unique.

NovaScotius
25-03-2009, 14:23
I personally don't use Special Characters wherever possible, but that's because I like to form my own narrative to my games, however, I really don't mind if my opponent decides to use them, it's their game to play the way they want too after all!

When I see a post having a go at people for the use of Special Characters, I just feel for the guys who are forced to take them to field their armies (Such as Deathwing, Ravenwing and Farsight Enclave - Amongst others!)

loveless
25-03-2009, 14:23
@ carldooley - I seem to remember the Phoenix Lords being unique...

mchmr6677
25-03-2009, 15:19
Indeed, the phoenix lords are completely unique as only one exisits for each of the warrior aspects. The rules for Eldrad in actuality are far from the overpowering force he would be on the battlefield. Also should mention that Eldrad IS dead...

I look at the use of Eldrad in my Altansar Eldar list as him not being Eldrad at all. Instead, the Eldrad model represents one of the most senior farseers in my force, one who is the best equipped and obviously the most powerful of them.

I am doing the same thing with my Purple Dragon space marine chapter which makes heavy use of librarians. I am going to use the "counts as" Tigurious to represent the Chief Librarian of my chapter.

In addition to this let me say to the OPs point that it is well stated. Some special characters would by the very nature of there fluff be at the forefront of any engagement. Look at both Captain Shrike and Master Pedro Kantor. Shrike is the captain of the effective vanguard company of his chapter. Kantor is the master of a chapter that in the very resent past had just over 100 members. If the Crimson fists go to battle, they are most likely going to be led by Kantor himself.

Vedar
25-03-2009, 16:10
It all comes down to in 5th these choices are just HQ units. People that complain should go back to playing 3rd ed. Telling me I can't play Kharn is like me telling a space marine player they can't take a landraider crusader. It is stupid. Play by the rules.

lantzkev
25-03-2009, 16:28
As for special characters available for only special occasions... the change in nazdreg badmoon to apoc only anyone? (Man I miss him *sniff*)

I think one of the biggest arguments against special characters is that most people play them for the power aspect, nothing to do with flavor. The ones that tend to run a special tend to run that same one in nearly every game they can.

Then there is the issue of races that don't even get a worth while special... (but I have a feeling that'll be corrected as more books come out)

I expect that if I turn dante into chunky salsa, I won't see him the next game. (and he has died every time I have ever played against him usually to some ork boys hehe)

Hashshashin
25-03-2009, 18:09
I use a Named Character every game, I use either Kharn or a counts as Abaddon, with my WE and when I play my Deathwing, I am forced to take Belial, which makes sens seeing as how I have 25 Terminators on the board and that's a quarter of all the Death Wing in the entire galaxy.

So Special not special *all* Marine and Chaos marines are special like others have said so I wish people would get over it.

lantzkev
25-03-2009, 18:41
Everygame? sheesh... just because the army is special doesn't mean that the characters are in every battle...

I'd definatly feel you're a bit of a powergamer in my games... do you even take them in 500 points?

Hashshashin
25-03-2009, 18:44
I haven't played less than 1500 in months or maybe even a year or two, usually play 1750-2000.

And IMHO a Chaos warband needs a strong leader in order to keep the cats wrangled.

Angelust
25-03-2009, 19:06
I figure if someone wants to play an ordinary battle in an ordinary universe, 40k is really not the right universe. Just because I play pick up games every week, I don't want to start imagining that my nicely painted blood angels successors are just the "ordinary" marines fighting "ordinary" orks in some non-consequential part of the galaxy. If I'm dropping down 60+ marines on the table, it's to accomplish something important in the universe! (Even if it's just .005% of the universe). Of course there's only one nightbringer in the universe, but generally the times that he shows up and goes on a killing spree are the kinds of battles worth throwing down on a table.

Guard v. Guard or Guard v. Ork may be the norm, but GW very wisely markets a very elite and rare super-soldier as their poster-army in 40k. In a sense, every SM, CSM, Necron, GK, dark eldar, etc are exceedingly rare, and should by "special character" reasoning, only be played on special occasions in special games. It seems just as likely to see Dante facing off against Kharn in some corner of the universe as it would to see half of the Crimson Fists facing off against a Tau gunline.

Industrial Propaganda
25-03-2009, 19:12
I haven't played less than 1500 in months or maybe even a year or two, usually play 1750-2000.

And IMHO a Chaos warband needs a strong leader in order to keep the cats wrangled.

And why not take a generic one ?

Bookwrak
25-03-2009, 19:14
Why take a generic one? If he likes his World Eaters forces following a maniac like Kharn, why settle for something that's not?

Angelust
25-03-2009, 19:23
Generally because there's immediate benefits to taking named characters.

Named characters have background fluff that is immediately recognized and accepted by everyone involved. The drawback is that it makes every battle a sequel to an action flick. "It's the ultimate event that only happens once in a lifetime...again!" However, we all enjoy movies and books with large sweeping impact to the mythopaeic universe they inhabit.

On the other hand, my blood angels successor chapter, the Grave Wardens, have their own fluff, their own unit history, their own chapter master fluff, etc. But it's pretty uncommon to hand over four or five pages of fluff for your specific characters and armies to your opponent before you play.

How many of us start our games with...

"This is Kasimar Ulfwere. He was born in a tiny mountain village in the bowels of the Taephestus system, wrestling with fire claw wyrms from a young age. After encountering a secret ...." blah blah blah, on and on.

"Um...wanna roll for terrain? I gotta go back to the wife sometime tonight..."

However, if you throw down Abaddon, everyone knows it's Abaddon, knows his background, and adds some instant epic flavor to your game.

It's like the instant noodles of 40k...lots of flavor, though not particularly good flavor. It's great when you're looking for a quick game with a stranger. It's ready-made and easy fluff, which is appropriate in a lot of cases.

Some may want to craft gourmet recipes to their own character's fluff, but the real draw-back is that you're usually the only one who knows or cares about that fluff. It's kind of like fluff masturbation - you may like it, but you're doing it alone.

lantzkev
25-03-2009, 19:34
I don't think going on the rarity of the army in the overall scheme of the universe is the way of looking at it.

What are the odd that space marines won't be fighting tau? won't be fighting tryanids, chaos, orks etc? slim to none, it's what defines space marines.

Now what are the odds in any of those battles that Marneus calgar is going to be there leading when say abbaddon is on the loose in another system?

If you really want to worry about instant fluff for your army, paint it well and uniquely. Plopping down the most badass character available on the grounds of "insta flava" is just sillyness. Most special characters enable a easier win, or some sort of edge.

Every battle a character goes into he may not come out of, having say dante fighting every single battle his chapter ever goes into gives the poor guy alot of teleporter lag, and eventually a lasgun to the face.

Ronin_eX
25-03-2009, 19:55
The explanation of each battle being special is a good one but another way of looking at it is this. Why are so few troops being deployed? What scale is 40k actually representing? Is it just a handful of units in a vacuum?

According to the rules since about 2nd Edition, they aren't in a vacuum. The reason such a paltry number of soldiers is involved is that it is a firefight in part of a larger battle. It is just one of the close combats fought in a game of Epic. The small combat is just zooming in to one of these engagements that is the product of maneuvering done on a much larger battlefield and there isn't much of a reason to zoom in unless its important is there?

So the reason that you get these epic characters involved is because they are spearheading a conflict involving several companies of space marines or a regiment of Imperial Guard. It just so happens that we have zoomed in to that critical battle over the command center that took place on turn 3 of an Epic game.

It rarely makes sense for such high level commanders to be involved in any skirmish. Chapter Masters and Ork Warlords will unlikely show up for a conflict if it was only a handful of people but since 2nd Edition each 40k game has been described as part of a larger battle. Thus the troops you see on the table are not the extent of the command your character has, they are simply what happens to be involved in a critical part of a larger battle.

I'd recommend anyone interested in playing the conflicts 40k is a part of to take a look at Epic, it can really put things in perspective and shows you situations in which a Supreme Commander needs to lead an assault team of less than 100 men against an equally small force.

sydbridges
25-03-2009, 19:55
when I started out in third, most tournaments didn't allow special characters because their rules would change how the game works in some significant way.

Different armies change how the game works in some way. That's a silly reason to ban them.


Now, we are getting UNIQUE characters and SPECIAL characters mixed up. there is a clear difference, and I'll use the Eldar Codex and Daemons codexes to demonstrate my point.

Eldar Codex - Eldrad is a UNIQUE character, and characters like him should be held at arm's length on account of how using him affects how the game works, and there is only one of him in the warhammer universe. It would feel distinctly odd to see multiple eldrad's on the board. THe Phoenix Lords and the Avatar are only SPECIAL characters because while they are unusual characters and have their own special rules, by fluff while they are special each craftworld can field their own.

I thought there was only one Phoenix Lord for each aspect. Also, why not take Eldrad, give him a new name for a craftworld I've made up, and use him like that. This new farseer will have the advantage that he's not dead, which means he'll make way more fluff sense than Eldrad at any given battle. Maybe I could even make up a new model for him, and just use his rules.


Daemons codex - Epidimius is a UNIQUE character and like eldrad there is only one of him in the warhammer universe, and his special rules more than any other in the game IMHO, change the way that the game is played. on the other hand, the greater demons and the heralds are special characters on account that while they are rare, they are NOT unique.

On the other hand, Epidemius is also magic. And the thing about magic is that it pretty much gives you an excuse to do whatever you want. "Why is Epidemius in every fight with my army? Because he's able to get there through magic." I don't see any reason not to field him - or even one on each side of a battle. Perhaps Nurgle is testing to see which of two plague strains in the most virulent, and has made a second Epidemius for the new strain.

Angelust
25-03-2009, 20:00
Well said Ronin. I never imagine Dante attacking some remote and worthless outpost of orks somewhere just to risk his life, but I imagine it's the most important battle in a very large battle. Maybe you just want to follow the exploits of this chapter master over the course of 30 of the battles that define his later career.

And I suppose every time he dies...he wakes up in a cold sweat, knowing what could have happened had things gone differently. Then you prepare for the next battle. (How's that for retcon)

NightrawenII
25-03-2009, 20:04
There isnt such thing like UNIQUE or SPECIAL characters.

There are Named Characters, which are unique (ie only one in whole universe)
and have special rules and wargear. 'nuff said.

A Thracian Major
25-03-2009, 20:22
Eh......special characters. I have to start by asking that when nowadays Marneus Calgar or Pedro Kantor can stand in for any chapter master, why use them for chapter master of the latest marines of awesomeness when there is a generic entry for 'chapter masters' in the 'dex? The fluff isn't the reason, because you're changing the fluff anyway. The model? I've used Leon Leoncouer as a generic Bretonian general, General Rutger as a generic Empire elector count etc. etc. If i want a heroic leader for my guard army, I use a heroic senior officer, I don't use Gaunt or Yarrick under a different name, because i don't need to. Having played a lot of games in fifth ed., and having faced space marines quite a lot of times, there were either a) no named characters present or b) more than one, usually two or more.

Now I would quite like for there to be more options for generic characters, e.g. upgrade a DA captain to master of deathwing/ravenwing by giving them a suit of terminator armour/bike, so ignoring ones which you need for a specific army (pretty much DA i believe), why take a named character for your personal lord of badness when a generic one will do?

JLBeady
25-03-2009, 20:27
Really, this is just another run at should people use special (named, unique, rare, ultra-rare, super-secret only 5 ever printed in the world, however the heck you refer to them) characters. The rules basically say how, when, and what restrictions exist if any.

When someone tries to rationalize why you can’t use a special character by saying that is not fluffy, not realistic, etc. What they are really saying is, “I think you using that character gives you an unfair advantage or breaks the game and thus makes the game less enjoyable for me”

Hence the self policing that goes on – i.e. both opponents agree not to use special characters, composition scoring that penalizes you if you use so and so, etc.

That said, special characters do for 40K and WFB what specific cards & mini’s do in CCG’s and CMG’s. There presence in the game brings into effect a special rule that creates a twist to the game to add variety and give opposing players different challenges.

I also think a slippery slope exists when advocating not using certain characters. When you start saying players should use special characters under certain conditions or not at all, what’s to keep this claim from expanding to include certain types of units (Nob Bikers, DP’s w/ lash of submission in an army, # of Obliterators, # of Land Raiders and Monoliths, etc.)

I can understand debating if GW has erred in giving a certain character certain rules that “break” the game. It happens in the CCG and CMG world all the time hence why certain cards/mini’s get retired or “banned” from tournaments. But if that’s the case, then state it explicitly. Don’t try to rationalize your objections to the use of special characters by other means.

sydbridges
25-03-2009, 20:39
Eh......special characters. I have to start by asking that when nowadays Marneus Calgar or Pedro Kantor can stand in for any chapter master, why use them for chapter master of the latest marines of awesomeness when there is a generic entry for 'chapter masters' in the 'dex? The fluff isn't the reason, because you're changing the fluff anyway. The model? I've used Leon Leoncouer as a generic Bretonian general, General Rutger as a generic Empire elector count etc. etc. If i want a heroic leader for my guard army, I use a heroic senior officer, I don't use Gaunt or Yarrick under a different name, because i don't need to. Having played a lot of games in fifth ed., and having faced space marines quite a lot of times, there were either a) no named characters present or b) more than one, usually two or more.

Now I would quite like for there to be more options for generic characters, e.g. upgrade a DA captain to master of deathwing/ravenwing by giving them a suit of terminator armour/bike, so ignoring ones which you need for a specific army (pretty much DA i believe), why take a named character for your personal lord of badness when a generic one will do?

*shrug* Maybe you think your awesome chapter master is better matched by the rules of one of the special characters. Or maybe you want the benefit that one of the special characters gives to an army he leads. Maybe he's got a weapon that makes you go, "That's just like this weapon that my chapter has in this black library novel!" Or "Those rules could represent my awesome weapon I made up in my background fluff." Or maybe you just like the character's rules rather than the one you'd get with a generic guy.


I can understand debating if GW has erred in giving a certain character certain rules that “break” the game. It happens in the CCG and CMG world all the time hence why certain cards/mini’s get retired or “banned” from tournaments. But if that’s the case, then state it explicitly. Don’t try to rationalize your objections to the use of special characters by other means.

That's not really a good reason for banning special characters in particular these days, though. They don't tend to be that much worse off balance than any of the other units in the codex, which can run the gamut from "pretty worthless for the points" to "this unit will be complained about endlessly on Warseer."

JLBeady
25-03-2009, 21:16
That's not really a good reason for banning special characters in particular these days, though. They don't tend to be that much worse off balance than any of the other units in the codex, which can run the gamut from "pretty worthless for the points" to "this unit will be complained about endlessly on Warseer."

Never claimed it was. Just acknowledging that players can and will legitimately debate the special rules that come into effect when using special characters and their positive and negative effect on the game mechanics and it's impact on an individual's enjoyment of the game. How to respond to any perceived consensus about those rules is another debate altogether.

Also, I think that many of those who play WFB where the bias against special characters is quite high tend to crossover to 40K where I personally believe such concerns are less founded. i.e. If I think special characters break the game in WFB, then special characters are likely to break the game in 40K.

No surer way to start an argument than to say you have no right to argue. Of course some people love to argue for argument’s sake. :angel:

Hashshashin
25-03-2009, 21:52
I also must say, in order to play *at all* alot of the varient builds of a list you must feild a certain character, DA's are the perfect example, Deathwing, oh you MUST take Belial, Ravenwing, Sammeal(sp?), you want to have 5 dreadnoughts you need that one dude from C:SM.

I like World Eaters and now the Mark of Khorne doesn't really do jack so I take Kharn, yes he's pretty bad a$$ but not nearly as Bad a$$ as my old Daemon Prince I could build using the last Chaos dex. Was the last dex a bit on the brokem side yes...but the current one is a bit on the "not hardly any customization" side, unlike the current SM dex which has alot of possibilities for Chapter masters and whatnot.

That's just the way I feel.

"Hello. My name is Hashshashin and I use special characters"

Hamarpain
25-03-2009, 22:40
Well, either my Khan had a bad day, or just felt like wasting a Wraithlord and Avatar, both with one strike, one after another. So, this day hes more badass than Calgar. He had show to Terminators how to mess up an Avatar, because they failed to do anything to it. All this on one combat, took two assault turns. Usually though he just gets lost coming from sides, he can poke a sword but cant read a ******* map.

What im going miss is honorifica on Ig. It just gave opporunities to make awesome storyline games, like if your only guardsman just hold up 12 Chaos Space Marines alone. Or just handing out terminator honors.

Maine
25-03-2009, 22:45
I say use them whenever the heck you feel like it. Maybe what they need to do is rename the basic entries.
...snip...
Because if everyone's special, no one is.

This is what Warmachine and Hordes does. There are no (or practically no) generic/unnamed warcasters/warlocks; theres a handful of named characters (and their elite variants) for each faction.

Yet nobody complains there...

zombied00d
25-03-2009, 23:33
Somewhat off topic, but I do feel this is far and away one of the things that WM/Hordes got right. I never have to hear someone complain "Aw man, you're bringing Madrak Ironhide to a 350 point game? Chesse."

As 40k has moved towards more specialized army builds (and yet, away from customization...) they've introduced characters that allow for specific changes in force org/ army builds. I feel the Ork codex did it best by allowing non-unique characters to give a 1 for 1 change in Org slots.

Ronin_eX
25-03-2009, 23:41
Somewhat off topic, but I do feel this is far and away one of the things that WM/Hordes got right. I never have to hear someone complain "Aw man, you're bringing Madrak Ironhide to a 350 point game? Chesse."

As 40k has moved towards more specialized army builds (and yet, away from customization...) they've introduced characters that allow for specific changes in force org/ army builds. I feel the Ork codex did it best by allowing non-unique characters to give a 1 for 1 change in Org slots.

It does help that Privateer Press at least seem to know how to balance and playtest armies. That and Warlocks/Warcasters being central to the whole army as a support unit and resource creator. GW could certainly learn something about inter-army balance from the boys at PP.

victorpofa
27-03-2009, 00:19
I think you just need to removed "special" from the discussion all together.

Now they are "named characters" with special rules that GW actually wants you to use often. so much so that they provide army unlocks with them now.

The idea of special characters limited to bigger more important games went out with 3rd edition and people are having a hard time letting go of it.

I love the ideas of the OP, and personally like "Unique Characters" for these guys since they have the unique descriptor in their profile. Only one character in your army can use those specific stats and rules. Your opponent's permission is not required. As mughi3 said GW is fully endorsing and encouraging their use. Gotta sell those models! :angel: ;)

Jerrus
27-03-2009, 09:53
I really don't have any problem with special characters. I haven't fielded any of the Space Marine ones yet, I probably will at some point (Both Kantor and Lysander fit well into my Imperial Fists)

Most of the Space Marine special characters add a bit a flavor to the army because of the chapter tactics imo.

Askari
27-03-2009, 11:25
I don't see why some of these people who say Named Character think they offer an unfair advantage. Ref:


Most special characters enable a easier win, or some sort of edge.

Abaddon the Despoiler costs more than a Land Raider.

I should think he has some sort of edge... just like the Land Raider has an edge by virtue of AV14. I don't see how they give you an easier win however, as your opponent now has a chunk of points to spend on an equally powerful unit.

Point already said many a time, Space Marines are already hyper-rare, so you might as well include a Named Character, they aren't much rarer [especially amongst the Ultramarines anyway... :p]

Max_Killfactor
27-03-2009, 11:48
I pretty much agree with the OP. I see every game of 40k being important. Although if a battle is under 1000 points, it's kinda silly to see a big name.

I like seeing special characters in 40k games. I think overall they are well balanced and usually not much better than a tooled up HQ choice in terms of raw power. Instead they tend to allow armies to have different builds or special rules, which I'm in to. I think if I ever saw a battle where Calgar and Abbadon faced off I would pass out from excitement. That's just epic. Both Calgar and Abby are powerful, but as someone mentioned... they are each roughly the same price as a land raider.

The only complaint about special characters I have is people using them as a "counts as" for some other chapter/craftworld/legion. I like fluffy armies which is part of the reason I like special characters, but seeing Eldrad in Iyanden or Vulkan leading ultramarines does bother me. It doesn't bother me enough to complain about it to a stranger (I might roll my eyes though when they tell me) but I would give my friends a hard time. I'll gladly play against Vulkan leading Salamanders or an Eldrad Ulthwe army without complaint though.

lantzkev
27-03-2009, 14:40
Because you can do other crazy stuff with em, specifically with so many other codexs lacking "l33t chars yo"

like for instance the ork char snikrot coming on from a choice edge (even rear!), fabius granting the entire army benefits, shrike infiltrating a unit, etc... it's not the characters that are just cool and balanced for thier points, it's the ones that enable a effect on the entire army or part of it without any downside, without any real dramatic point cost for the effect.