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Arbiter7
01-06-2009, 08:44
Why does EVERY salamanders army NEED to have Vulcan if they're gonna be a salamanders themed army?? Doesn't melta and flamer spam suffice? Vulcan just HAD to be there?

Does EVERY Iyanden NEED Yuriel? Lots of wraithstuff not enough?

Ulthwe NEED Eldrad? Lots of guardian units not enough? (well they're not but anyway)


Why do people think that they NEED to take a special character which is totally imbalanced in order to theme their army??

Whatever happened to themes being dictated by composition and weapons loadouts?

I mean PLEASE. Whatever happened to using TACTICS instead of the uber-killy-all-destroying guy who just always happens to be present in every battle?


(Yes, this is a special characters rant) :angel:


I mean I can understand that if you're going for a theme, you just might as well throw in that special character because he owns and because he's fluffy.

But its not necessary!! More themes, less powerplay people, PLEASE!

MajorWesJanson
01-06-2009, 09:37
Hey Necron player! The Monolith is too cheesy for the normal game. You should play their theme, with lots of troops that get back up!

Hey Nid player! Your theme is waves and waves of troops! Stop powerplaying with those carnifexes!

Hey guard player! Orders are for powergamers! You are supposed to win with just sheer numbers of shots, and lose most the army in the process!


special Characters are just part of the army now. Take them or not, but you aren't going to get very far telling that they should stop using parts of their codex just because you don't like them.

Hood
01-06-2009, 09:49
From the sound of it, I'd say you had some pretty ugly losses due to Special Characters in your recent games, Arbiter... :eyebrows:

Witch King of Angmar
01-06-2009, 09:59
For the Record....special characters are not that bad to deal with at all....its my 20 wraithguard you need to watch out for that's protecting them ;)

htj
01-06-2009, 10:06
I used to detest special characters but I'm coming round to them. It's the way they're starting to have rules that affect the nature of the army itself, rather than just themselves. I'd rather have rules like that as a wargear kind of thing, but it'll have to do. I wonder if there'll be anything like that in the new Inquisition book(s), if they ever actually happen.

slayerofmen
01-06-2009, 10:09
okay so... I'm not allowed to use the CODEX OPTIONS to make my PURE deathwing army if i play you because you don't like the fact i would NEED to use belial by reasoning who is a special (or named) character.

wow oh man wow okay if you'll just write me out a cheque to the sum of my DW army that would be great!

Razarael
01-06-2009, 10:24
A couple things -

slayerofmen, I don't see the need to take this as a personal attack. Dark Angels (not Dark Angel players like yourself) are a rediculously stupid special case because the army as a whole can only function the way people want them to if you take special characters. Also... Dark Angels special characters asside from how they alter the list aren't really game breakers in and of themselves.

Arbiter7, the quick and easy answer to your question is no. Armies don't need the special character to be the army you're going for. But in many cases they will add significantly to the feel. Eldrad leading an Ulthwe army makes it more epic. People like epic things, so... Why try to detract from someone's fun? If it's a regular opponent, ask them politely to play a game without the character and don't make demands. Civility and tact work wonders when trying to manipulate people into getting your way.

As to the characters being over power, many aren't. Many are just normal characters that change the force organization. Many normal characters do that now. Would you argue that Ork players shouldn't take a war boss because Nobz can be used as troops? Or a Master of the Forge because Dreads can be both Elite and Heavy? They don't have a name, but they do the same thing. Being unbalanced also happens to be a matter of opinion, it's just that yours differs, with neither makes yours or theirs wrong or right. It's just... opinion.

In my opinion, creating your roster is most definitely a part of tactics. You have to make an army suited to your battle plan in order to have a better chance of success. It's the reason there's a whole section on these boards regarding army lists, and it just so happens to be in the tactics forums. Deciding to use a special character is going to be a tactical choice, so I'm not seeing the difference there.

Eeeeh, that's all I got.

eldaran
01-06-2009, 10:37
Why does EVERY salamanders army NEED to have Vulcan if they're gonna be a salamanders themed army?? Doesn't melta and flamer spam suffice? Vulcan just HAD to be there?

Does EVERY Iyanden NEED Yuriel? Lots of wraithstuff not enough?

Ulthwe NEED Eldrad? Lots of guardian units not enough? (well they're not but anyway)


Why do people think that they NEED to take a special character which is totally imbalanced in order to theme their army??

Whatever happened to themes being dictated by composition and weapons loadouts?

I mean PLEASE. Whatever happened to using TACTICS instead of the uber-killy-all-destroying guy who just always happens to be present in every battle?


(Yes, this is a special characters rant) :angel:


I mean I can understand that if you're going for a theme, you just might as well throw in that special character because he owns and because he's fluffy.

But its not necessary!! More themes, less powerplay people, PLEASE!

I play a salamanders list (which has been described as fluffy by other people) using Vulkan. I'm not doing it for powerplay, i'm doing it for fluff reasons, like me converting my special and heavy weapons to have dragon-head barrels. Because of the effort i put into my list, i'm not going to let myself get kicked everytime i play, it's a tactical choice that gives me better odds of winning.

I would agree that some of the older special characters are powerful, but you can't judge the majority of people who us them for fluff purposes by a minority who use them for powerplay.

htj
01-06-2009, 10:46
...like me converting my special and heavy weapons to have dragon-head barrels.

Tch, power gamer. :p

isaac
01-06-2009, 10:49
I wish you could buy the rules seperately from the HQ. I like how the special rules can change the feel of normal SM, but making me take that special HQ who is filled with equipment I don't want/need and seeing Kantor lead every Crimson Fist army is weak.

Arbiter7
01-06-2009, 11:12
From the sound of it, I'd say you had some pretty ugly losses due to Special Characters in your recent games, Arbiter... :eyebrows:

Sure.

But the fact of the matter is this:


There is a whole codex that has been written, which has, generally speaking, a specific build and feel. Marines are hard as nails, eldar are fragile, orks got no armour but lots of dakka.


Paying 180-220 points for a character who *kicks ass* AND ON TOP OF THAT gives an army-wide rule or somehow affects or replaces the whole philosophy of your *own codex* and without ANY significant handicap??


erm how can a "normal" list expect to survive the crash??


If you want to use special characters, by all means, you are entitled to. Some of them are real fun.


For example, I play Eldar, but like Ulthwe.


Eldrad is a RIDICULOUS CHEAT compared to the points cost of the best tooled up farseer. He practically SELLS HIMSELF.


Does that mean that I just HAVE to use him each and every time?? Does that mean that EVERYTHING on my list has to revolve around that special character?


I'm just saying that theming does not require a special character.


E.g. If you want to play salamanders, you can paint your marines green, give them meltas and flamers. You don't HAVE to get re-rolls on every such weapon, because Vulcan happens to be cool.

Master-crafting a weapon costs 15 points. You you include 8 meltas and flamers times 15 that's 120 points.

180-120=60 points for a Vulcan statline AND his awesome weapons? No way.

Sorros
01-06-2009, 11:18
He is right, I must say, with Eldrad at least. I'm always tempted to take Eldrad instead of a Farseer...Eldrad is a maxed farseer with 3 powers a turn, which can even be two of the same, and hes less points than a maxed Farseer.

imperial90
01-06-2009, 11:25
Your right, it doesnt require it, but the wonderful thing about many of those special characters is that it lets you have both, a nice fluffy army, and one that can be very competitive, and we all know how hard thats to do in an army, so why not?

Hood
01-06-2009, 11:32
First of all, just to make it clear, my comment wasn't ment to be offending or mocking. I was merely trying to be sympathetic! :)

I agree that some Special characters are a bit overpowered for what they are doing and cost. Now, if someone wants to make all his armylists based around that character ... well, it's his choice. I, personally, like to make 2-3 army list for each pointcap level while trying to keep them fairly different from each other.

I don't believe (or I wouldn't like to) that some races/armies are bound to have one and only type of army list and specially if it revolves around a SC.

Just an example: Many will say that BT (which I play) can only do well CC. That's true but you can use them in many ways such as a mech-style, footslogging, drop pod assaulting and more. And you can expirement with all those styles and they don't revolve around a SC. Sure you can add a SC in them just to make it fun or fluffy!

SC don't make the list, for me at least. And besides, I think that if someone always makes lists based on a specific SC, he is bound to end up with more or less the same army outline... and that tends to get boring after a few games for both the player and his opponents.

eldaran
01-06-2009, 11:37
E.g. If you want to play salamanders, you can paint your marines green, give them meltas and flamers. You don't HAVE to get re-rolls on every such weapon, because Vulcan happens to be cool.

Master-crafting a weapon costs 15 points. You you include 8 meltas and flamers times 15 that's 120 points.

180-120=60 points for a Vulcan statline AND his awesome weapons? No way.Y


Vulkan is worth 190 points. I can't get twin-linked flamers and meltas any other way, and the closest codex which allows me to get them a. didn't allow me to and b. was written 5 years ago, so you can't compare points costs. I have chosen to use an epensive character which is worth a twelth of my army. I can and do give them meltas and flamers, but i also use Vulkan because he is characterful, and happens to give me a tactical edge which isn't necessarily game-breaking.

Its a different story to, say, Eldrad, who provides significant benefits and pays for himself. The point is that there is nothing stopping people from using special characters; they are part of the army list. There is nothing wrong with taking them, if you play the army they represent.

EDIT: sorry if i seem snippy, i just get annoyed in general when people criticise my list choices, it's not a personal thing at you.

Arbiter7
01-06-2009, 11:42
No offense taken.


I wouldn't mind a special character that buffs you army somehow but for a hefty price or some kind of handicap. That way you could play SC against non SC armies and not have an a priori upper hand.


Now its starting to feel like 60 pts more than a standard HQ choice (sometimes even less than their equivalent) that pulls rabbits out of hats and works wonders.


Re-rolls in a game with dice at no extra charge is something that I wouldn't exactly call "a tactical advantage".

Salamanders are *supposed to miss sometimes* just like any other marine. You don't have to almost never miss to be fluffy.

You don't have to pay LESS than the equivalent of a Farseer AND get to repsition D3+1 units before the game, AND get a better T and save AND get a powerweapon witchblade AND an extra psychic test per turn to be fuffy.


SC are NOT a STANDARD part of an army list. They are *the exception*.

If you want to field them, by all means, DO, but don't act like it's just another stock HQ. Its an HQ with benefits for no real charge or drawback.

hawo0313
01-06-2009, 11:44
Well I think that some armies need thier special characters though I can understand the heaps of special characters such as eldrad and lemartes but its because these characters are fluffy and make your army more competitive who would take an Uthwe army and leave out the games best psyker (arguably) and who would buy a normal chaplain for the Death Company when you can pay 5 points and have an extra wound and the mask of death.

Poseidal
01-06-2009, 11:44
The reason why no one takes a maxed Farseer is because they're way overcosted (if you give them >2 powers) and aren't worth their points.

It's either Budget or 2powerseer (both can be on bikes too) or Eldrad. Eldrad is just the 'master Farseer' option.

As far as I'm concerned, they are another stock HQ. They have no options so they're not overpowered with AWESOME COMBOS and are reasonably costed plus you're only allowed one of them.

Counts-as allows you more freedom and creativity too, and allows some things in fluff that don't have rules.

Irisado
01-06-2009, 11:47
Ah, the age old question of Special Characters and theme :).

Arbiter, I think you are rather brave to raise this topic, as there are quite a lot of players who would just shoot you down in flames, by arguing the 'it's not against the rules' defence.

As you will know from the Eldar threads you have contributed to regarding the Eldar, I don't fall into that category, so I have a lot of empathy with your argument.

The problem is that those who support background and theme can't tell those who don't that they should, but equally, those who don't feel that background should play a role in army composition shouldn't tell those who are supporters of background that they are not allowed to think that way.

It is perfectly acceptable in my view though to offer opinions and advice with respect to army composition from a background and theme stand point, and then it is up to individual players to decide whether they want to take this on board or not.

I do feel that Special Characters are overused in fifth edition, and, since you raised him by name, I do have a particular bee in my bonnet about Eldrad. It's not so much seeing him leading an Ulthwé army which bothers me, although I don't find it rather questionable if he is leading an army of just 1000 points, for example, but it's the fact that I see him at the head of so many armies which are not Ulthwé in terms of the theme.

GW have done their best to marginalise background in fifth edition, so quite often new players to the game don't even realise that they are breaking background conventions with their army composition, while other players sometimes change their view, once they realise that they have built an army which doesn't fit the background that well, hence why I feel that making points about background and theme is a good idea, even if not all players will change their position. It's not about forcing players to adopt a different approach, it's about giving them the choice, and I don't feel GW promotes this choice very well at the moment.

As for Special Characters appearing in every single army when the background circumstances are appropriate, yes I do feel it is a bit wearing, especially in small battles, as it does seem rather inappropriate that a great Farseer such as Eldrad would be leading a small 1000 point army, so I do think this is an area where players could think a little more about whether the inclusion of a Special Character is appropriate. Nobody can force players to do this though, so it's all about presenting them with alternative points of view and options, and seeing if this encourages them to change their own mind.

For the record, I would impose a lot more restrictions on the fielding of Special Characters, but since this is currently not 'la moda' at GW, all players who like background and theme can do is offer advice about it, and hope to persuade as many players as possible that Special Characters are not the A-Z of Warhammer 40,000 army composition and tactics.

Corrode
01-06-2009, 11:48
Dude


Writing in double-spaced single lines


Makes your post much easier to read


And serves to improve your point


Especially when you have no point because you're still acting like we're playing 2nd edition and special


characters are thousand-point army killers.


Special characters are now part of the standard list just like anything else


and there's nothing wrong with that. Your points about Vulkan are absurd


Most of the Space Marine special characters are no more killy than their generic counterparts


and have identical statlines. They cost slightly more than a generic captain/CM with their gear


and have some nifty special rules but trade that for Combat Tactics which in many situations is


better. Uber-expensive but **** characters didn't work in 3rd and it won't work now.


Get over yourself and learn to play the game rather than blaming it all on a character.

Deetwo
01-06-2009, 11:51
SCs ARE a normal part of the lists nowadays. They don't have any general rules anymore, nor restrictions and are found in the HQ sections just like non-named HQ models (in the new format of codices anyway).

Eldrad is good, everybody knows that.. But also expensive and definitely not as game breaking as people make him out to be.
Vulcan is quite far behind from that. He's also quite expensive AND has a real drawback, just like most other SM SCs.


as it does seem rather inappropriate that a great Farseer such as Eldrad would be leading a small 1000 point army

40k armies are an abstraction at best anyway.
Points cost are purely a balancing factor and have nothing to do with background... That 1000 points could just as well be a personal guard of Eldrad and a part of a much larger force.

Besides, skirmishes do happen and SCs do take part in battles... And if armylist sections are anything to use as a reference, they seem to be enjoying small strike forces (as 40k is built on the premise of 1500 point armies, which is definitely a fairly small force) in the front lines :)

slayerofmen
01-06-2009, 11:53
i wasn't seeing it as a personal attack, i just don't like the idea that i put a lot of money and time into an army which has a theme that is only possible to represent 100% by taking a SC. if i could make the army legally and not have to use belial i would, but that's not the case. so when people come along and say all SC are lame game breaking crap fests it irks me.

so my apologies if it seemed i took it that way.

back on topic, i think it would be better if perhaps instead of blanket statements perhaps saying what SC's are broken and WHY

Arbiter7
01-06-2009, 12:03
I do not presume to "know how to play the game". I've played fewer games of 40k than most of the people I know in the hobby.

Yesterday I did lose to a salamanders army with Vulcan but I diddn't lose because of Vulcan. And anyway, Vulcan juuuust managed to perish against a Wraithlord and an Avatar. Maybe that's why I keep mentioning Vulcan in this thread.

BUT, in a game where people are supposed to pit vaguely equally costed armies against one another (vaguely because costs are relative and not absolute), and utilize the strengths of their armybooks as laid down in 40 pages of rules instead of a couple of pages somewhere in the back, in such a game, having a clear edge points wise through a SC is something which I cannot remotely characterize as "tactical" or "legal" or "nothing wrong with it". The only reason there's nothing wrong with it is because the game designers never thought of restricting SC on an "agree to" basis.

In real life, many things are legal, but they are plain wrong.

Sorry if I get in the nose of people who regularly use SC, but this thread was about the excuse of THEMING through a SC. And no I don't have nothing against reasonable SC at reasonable costs. It's the others that bug me.

Deetwo
01-06-2009, 12:08
The only underpriced SCs are Daemons. Rest of them are fairly expensive and quite well balanced.

Eldrad is Eldrad though.

Poseidal
01-06-2009, 12:12
Yesterday I did lose to a salamanders army with Vulcan but I diddn't lose because of Vulcan. And anyway, Vulcan juuuust managed to perish against a Wraithlord and an Avatar. Maybe that's why I keep mentioning Vulcan in this thread.


You used a 'special character' yourself. If you are bemoaning them, wouldn't you think that's a bit hypocritical?

Arbiter7
01-06-2009, 12:17
True, an avatar does have an "army wide rule". But at least it has a small area of effect.

And till you mentioned it, I never thought of an Avatar as a SC. Maybe it's because it can't truly die.

Poseidal
01-06-2009, 12:21
True, an avatar does have an "army wide rule". But at least it has a small area of effect.

And till you mentioned it, I never thought of an Avatar as a SC. Maybe it's because it can't truly die.

The Avatar shares the same rule as all the other named characters: Unique and having no options available in his entry. He shares exactly the same things that set the other characters apart from a normal entry.

All of the Phoenix Lords can never die too, but they're so badly costed they don't often see play in games.

Arbiter7
01-06-2009, 12:28
The Avatar shares the same rule as all the other named characters: Unique and having no options available in his entry. He shares exactly the same things that set the other characters apart from a normal entry.

All of the Phoenix Lords can never die too, but they're so badly costed they don't often see play in games.

Even more true, I diddn't know that last bit until I started that missing warp spider phoenix lord thread. The reason I never thought of an Avatar as a SC was purely fluffwise I guess. Not being a unique personality and all.


And EVERYBODY:

I apologize for letting my prejudice against SC to seep into this thread. My main point was that Theming doesn't necessarily mean reaping the benefits of a SC. You can theme without them, and I suggest that you try it!

Corrode
01-06-2009, 12:31
I do not presume to "know how to play the game". I've played fewer games of 40k than most of the people I know in the hobby.

And I lose plenty of games, as reflected in my sig. Almost all of those I can put down to my own mistakes and none of them are because of ZOMG OP SPECIAL CHARACTER.


Yesterday I did lose to a salamanders army with Vulcan but I diddn't lose because of Vulcan. And anyway, Vulcan juuuust managed to perish against a Wraithlord and an Avatar. Maybe that's why I keep mentioning Vulcan in this thread.

BUT, in a game where people are supposed to pit vaguely equally costed armies against one another (vaguely because costs are relative and not absolute), and utilize the strengths of their armybooks as laid down in 40 pages of rules instead of a couple of pages somewhere in the back, in such a game, having a clear edge points wise through a SC is something which I cannot remotely characterize as "tactical" or "legal" or "nothing wrong with it". The only reason there's nothing wrong with it is because the game designers never thought of restricting SC on an "agree to" basis.

Well, for starters, what are you whining about? 'He's OP!!! I faced him and he didn't do much, but still, OMG OP!!!'

Special characters AREN'T on 'a couple of pages somewhere in the back'. They're right there in the main 'forces of the X' section in newer books. Hell, they're actually the first entries in the army list proper (the HQ choice ones, anyway). Or should we be considering Rhinos as battle tanks rather than APCs because they're a page or two over from Predators and Land Raiders?

They did think of restricting SCs like that. It's called 3rd edition and it was goddamn terrible, because people bought fancy characters only to have some ragey 12 year old whinge about how they're OMG OP YOU CAN'T USE IT :((. GW wants to sell the models and gamers want to use their toys, and rules that restricted them from doing so weren't helping anyone.

I really don't think you understand how SC points costs work these days. By and large, they're either still very expensive (like Ghazgkull) or costed close to appropriately. Kantor costs much the same as a Chapter Master with equivalent gear, Stubborn vs. Combat Tactics is a genuine tactical tradeoff when you consider how amazing Combat Tactics is. The question of whether or not Inspiring Presence/Hold the Line! are appropriately costed are up for debate, but the fact he's a combat character with a 3+ save and a power fist in an army with better options for both mollifies this a bit.

Vulkan's definitely interesting because he gets exponentially better the more meltas/flamers you have in an army. So do the other abilities (the more units you have, the cheaper the cost per unit relatively). It's particularly noticeable with Vulkan because the number of such weapons is much more variable at 1500 points than the number of units total - in my own list at the moment I could probably add an extra 9 meltas/flamers without even really trying to stack them.

Whether or not the points costs are precisely balanced is up for debate, but they're in the right ballpark if not the exact base.


In real life, many things are legal, but they are plain wrong.

Sorry if I get in the nose of people who regularly use SC, but this thread was about the excuse of THEMING through a SC. And no I don't have nothing against reasonable SC at reasonable costs. It's the others that bug me.

I don't regularly use SC in my Orks (I did just pick up Snikrot and I'm having great fun with that, but he's the first special character I've deliberately purchased for the greenskins). If I ever manage to decide what colour to paint my Marines I'll probably use Kantor more often than not, but I also own an EC I'm intending to use as a generic Captain w/ relic blade and which one I use depends on whim. I'm not up in arms about them because I use them so much, it's because your argument is fallacious. (refer to that XKCD about people being wrong on the internet).

I get that SCs != theming, and I've argued the same point elsewhere - you don't NEED Vulkan to play 'manders, you don't need Pedro/Lysander to be a Fist, etc. That said, telling people they CAN'T have them is ridiculous.

Your closing statement is equally absurd, because it allows you to always shift the goal posts. 'Reasonably costed' is your own personal interpretation, and it means you can always just cry OP/undercosted at anything you don't like. It's much the same as those price threads we always have - 'I'd buy more 40k stuff if it was costed at a price I feel is appropriate, somewhere around $1 per Land Raider!'.

Irisado
01-06-2009, 12:41
40k armies are an abstraction at best anyway.
Points cost are purely a balancing factor and have nothing to do with background... That 1000 points could just as well be a personal guard of Eldrad and a part of a much larger force.

Besides, skirmishes do happen and SCs do take part in battles... And if armylist sections are anything to use as a reference, they seem to be enjoying small strike forces (as 40k is built on the premise of 1500 point armies, which is definitely a fairly small force) in the front lines :)

As far as I see it, you've just defeated your own argument.

By including a narrative to explain the presence of a Special Character in a small battle, which can be done in my view, you instantly bring background into the equation, ergo background is a factor in the points value of the game being played.

My point was that in a general 1000 point battle, in which there is no narrative, and it is not part of a campaign, it is very unlikely that a Special Character would be present, as the battle would not be of sufficient importance to warrant said character turning up.

samiens
01-06-2009, 12:43
I agree- you don't need named (they aren't special any more) characters to theme an army. I disagree that taking named characters gives you a points advantage. As an example, Typhus is great, 4 wounds, auto-casting psychic powers and a manreaper. Is he better than a nurgle lord with TDA and a daemon weapon- in my experience no. At the end of the day I find they fulfill the same role within the army but with Typhus I'm over 50 points down- and every plague marine counts. In isolation they're great but in reality its a very tightly run thing.

Take Eldrad- undoubtedly cheap compared to a farseer with lots of powers but do we want everything in his entry? If I only want a fortuneseer why would I pay so much out? Not to mention that he isn't fleet which can be a real downer.

Back in 2nd and 3rd special characters were overpowered- but then you needed permission to field them. Now they are a balanced part of the army list which in some cases does improve or allow the theme you are going for.

My other point is that in a lot of cases a named character is a particular rank. If I want to field the chapter master of the Dark Angels then it is Azrael- it would be plain odd to field chapter master bob who presumably has the position on a timeshare agreement.

Razarael
01-06-2009, 12:50
I have also never viewed the Avatar as a special character. Probably because in the 3rd edition book the HQ options were.... Farseer... and Avatar... And that's it. The Avatar also wasn't listed in the rear of the book amongst all of the other Special Character. He's basically a 0-1 HQ choice, just as Zoanthropes and Biovores are a 0-1 Heavy Support choice. I doubt anyone would whine about seeing Biovores in an army, even though they are unique. Also, I don't see how unit options matter in these regards. It's just a correlation, and those prove nothing. So, I agree with Arbiter7 in that his choice to use the Avatar was not hypocritical.

Moving on...


Sorry if I get in the nose of people who regularly use SC, but this thread was about the excuse of THEMING through a SC. And no I don't have nothing against reasonable SC at reasonable costs. It's the others that bug me.

Wasn't that their point though? Wasn't the point of giving the special characters the ability to alter the army as a whole almost intended to be able to really distinguish your army as a unique chapter and not just green or white Ultramarines?

If I take Shrike, then my entire army can fleet. That's something Ultramarines could never dream of doing. If I take Vulcan, then my army has the biggest, the baddest, and the most effective, expertly made fire/melta weapons in galaxy. That's something the Ultramarines could never dream of doing. If I take Khan/Lysander/etc...... And so on and so on.

It says to the enemy, "You aren't fighting some random colored Ultramarines. You are fighting ##### Chapter, and this is how we're going to kill you."

I'm not seeing the problem with theming through special characters, as that is a totally valid option that the Space Marine dex has given its players.

I also think it's kind of important to point out that it isn't a free new rule. It's a pay approximately 200 points for a specific character to LOSE a rule, have a fairly standard character, and then GAIN a rule. The characters alone aren't game breaking.

Corrode
01-06-2009, 12:59
As far as I see it, you've just defeated your own argument.

By including a narrative to explain the presence of a Special Character in a small battle, which can be done in my view, you instantly bring background into the equation, ergo background is a factor in the points value of the game being played.

My point was that in a general 1000 point battle, in which there is no narrative, and it is not part of a campaign, it is very unlikely that a Special Character would be present, as the battle would not be of sufficient importance to warrant said character turning up.

Any battle involving Space Marines, Chaos Marines, Grey Knights, Eldar, Dark Eldar, Daemons or Tau is a battle important enough that an SC would be there. People always forget this - any of the above forces are exceedingly rare in the fluff. Imperial Guard, Orks, Tyranids (who don't have any anyway) and maybe Sisters (who do seem relatively numerous) are the only armies where it's possible that a force of any kind of size would be deployed without the oversight of a high-ranking commander.

Which doesn't even touch on the whole 'most of the Marine characters are just Captains of their respective companies, and the chance of a Chapter Master (generic entry) showing up is actually far lower than the chance of Sicarius or Lysander (Captains of the 2nd and 1st Companies of their Chapters, respectively).'

More once I get this stupid exam out of the way.

Arbiter7
01-06-2009, 12:59
It says to the enemy, "You aren't fighting some random colored Ultramarines. You are fighting ##### Chapter, and this is how we're going to kill you."


Well, one might argue that if you want to play an elite force, you've already done so by choosing a MARINE chapter.Marines are badass as it is, they don't have to be a little *extra* badass on top of that.

Marines aren't meant to fleet. My point was that by taking shrike, your *entire army* is doing something that it isn't supposed to do by definition, by design by whatever you want to call it.

Detract the special gear that Shrike has on top of your standard SM captain from his 195 pts and then ask yourself if the cost of *fleeting marines* and not being able to combat squad is worth this boon. If you can *honestly* do that, then we obviously have very different minds on what this game is supposed to feel like.

Corrode
01-06-2009, 13:01
Combat Tactics = auto-failing Morale Checks (extremely useful) not combat squadding (somewhat useful in certain contexts).

Poseidal
01-06-2009, 13:01
I have also never viewed the Avatar as a special character. Probably because in the 3rd edition book the HQ options were.... Farseer... and Avatar... And that's it. The Avatar also wasn't listed in the rear of the book amongst all of the other Special Character. He's basically a 0-1 HQ choice, just as Zoanthropes and Biovores are a 0-1 Heavy Support choice. I doubt anyone would whine about seeing Biovores in an army, even though they are unique. Also, I don't see how unit options matter in these regards. It's just a correlation, and those prove nothing. So, I agree with Arbiter7 in that his choice to use the Avatar was not hypocritical.


The unique rule in recent codices has only been for SC or Special Units (like Legion of the Damned). There have been no more 0-1 choices than them in recent books and I believe that they're phasing it out; the old 0-1 means something different, and I doubt the next iteration of the Tyranid Codex will have such a ruling.

If you go back further, in the original (pre 2nd ed, 1st edition Eldar list) the only general the Eldar could take was the Avatar, and he didn't have to be present; he represent you, and in effect was your Avatar. Farseers were just another option and not your general, funnily enough.

The Avatar shares more with the other characters than other units, and those two things are the only differences between these characters and the basic characters. From his position in the army list section, he is a Special Character; from his rules he is a Special Character.

What does Special Character mean?

Not a lot. Unique and having no options (or few options as people like Marneus Calgar have some, so even that distinction is vanishing).

For fluff arguments, you can apply those to other entries; The Space Marine list can legally take two chapter masters for instance.

Irisado
01-06-2009, 13:02
Take Eldrad- undoubtedly cheap compared to a farseer with lots of powers but do we want everything in his entry? If I only want a fortuneseer why would I pay so much out? Not to mention that he isn't fleet which can be a real downer.

I too think that you can get sufficient utility out of a regular Farseer compared to Eldrad even if you want to take two powers and Spirit Stones, but there are so many players who just seem to want to refute this, which is why I think he comes in for such criticism from Eldar players, like me, who don't like to see him included in every Eldar army, and other players too.

He does seem to turn up on an alarmingly regular basis for a Farseer who is meant to be dead/confined to the Dome of Crystal Seers after all ;).


Any battle involving Space Marines, Chaos Marines, Grey Knights, Eldar, Dark Eldar, Daemons or Tau is a battle important enough that an SC would be there. People always forget this - any of the above forces are exceedingly rare in the fluff. Imperial Guard, Orks, Tyranids (who don't have any anyway) and maybe Sisters (who do seem relatively numerous) are the only armies where it's possible that a force of any kind of size would be deployed without the oversight of a high-ranking commander.

I'm sorry, but I don't agree at all. These armies may be rare, but for a Special Character to lead them is even rarer. There are plenty of high ranking commanders available to these armies before you even get to the level of Special Characters, this is why they have a HQ section, so I don't see any compelling evidence in the background to support that line of thought I'm afraid.


Which doesn't even touch on the whole 'most of the Marine characters are just Captains of their respective companies, and the chance of a Chapter Master (generic entry) showing up is actually far lower than the chance of Sicarius or Lysander (Captains of the 2nd and 1st Companies of their Chapters, respectively).'

More once I get this stupid exam out of the way.

A regular Captain is more likely to show up that a Captain who is a Special Character though, this is the fundamental point in my opinion.

Griffin
01-06-2009, 13:02
I'm not for special Characters at all - I'll include them occasionally in a large battle (2000+ Points) - but for the most part don't use them.

My Iyaden army contains zero special characters (Yriel's to squeshy).

Metaphorazine
01-06-2009, 13:20
Marines aren't meant to fleet. My point was that by taking shrike, your *entire army* is doing something that it isn't supposed to do by definition, by design by whatever you want to call it.

Except, it is designed like that. They wrote a codex, and it included shrike.

You can't keep banging the "SC's make the army do stuff it's not supposed to!" drum. The army is supposed to do that, with those SC's, which the designer of the codex put in the codex.

Your other point, SC != theme, theme != SC is valid. Having a salamanders army doesn't "require" vulkaan. But likewise, having vulkaan (as his super-cool bro "sulkaan") does not create a salamanders army. This is how the codex is designed now.

If you argue that characters shouldn't change the army like that, arguing against SC's is not the way to go. Vulkaan is no different from a character I foresee being in the next codex, called "Supar-cool flame guy!". He's not a named character, he's just a normal captain. But he twin-links flamers and multi-meltas, with no fluff justification at all and no ties to any chapter. Better?

Razarael
01-06-2009, 13:23
Well, one might argue that if you want to play an elite force, you've already done so by choosing a MARINE chapter.Marines are badass as it is, they don't have to be a little *extra* badass on top of that.

Marines aren't meant to fleet. My point was that by taking shrike, your *entire army* is doing something that it isn't supposed to do by definition, by design by whatever you want to call it.

Detract the special gear that Shrike has on top of your standard SM captain from his 195 pts and then ask yourself if the cost of *fleeting marines* and not being able to combat squad is worth this boon. If you can *honestly* do that, then we obviously have very different minds on what this game is supposed to feel like.

It's not extra badass, it's a different kind of badass. Who's to say what a marine is and is not supposed to be capable of. They aren't all just carbon copies of each other. If they were, then what would be the point at all of even painting the minis. And saying what a unit is meant to or not meant to do is not opinion. It's laid out in the rules. There are rules that give them the option to fleet. Seems to me quite clearly and empirically so that they are 'meant' to.

I suppose we do have different minds on what the game is supposed to feel like. And ya know what! I have absolutely no problem with that. :)


The unique rule in recent codices has only been for SC or Special Units (like Legion of the Damned). There have been no more 0-1 choices than them in recent books and I believe that they're phasing it out; the old 0-1 means something different, and I doubt the next iteration of the Tyranid Codex will have such a ruling.

If you go back further, in the original (pre 2nd ed, 1st edition Eldar list) the only general the Eldar could take was the Avatar, and he didn't have to be present; he represent you, and in effect was your Avatar. Farseers were just another option and not your general, funnily enough.

The Avatar shares more with the other characters than other units, and those two things are the only differences between these characters and the basic characters. From his position in the army list section, he is a Special Character; from his rules he is a Special Character.

What does Special Character mean?

Not a lot. Unique and having no options (or few options as people like Marneus Calgar have some, so even that distinction is vanishing).

For fluff arguments, you can apply those to other entries; The Space Marine list can legally take two chapter masters for instance.

From what I have heard of 1st and 2nd edition 40k is that it is nothing like the current itteration, but I get what you're saying.

I am aware that 0-1 is being phased out. But back in 3rd, which is far more like 5th than either 1st or 2nd edition was, the Avatar was most definitely not a special character and it did not require special permission to use unlike all the others listen in the back of the book.

As you said, what does special character mean? Not a lot. This whole options thing I don't think should play a role. As you mentioned, even that is dissappearing, and it has been doing so for a while. Belial, I want to say, or whoever is the master of the ravenwing has the option to choose his mount. Either jetbike or armored jetbike, or some such thing. Khan has to pay for his bike. All a special character means nowadays is that there's only one, so that's all that can be represented on the battlefield.

If however, by some people's logic, all they are is an 'upgrade character' and the name is just for fun, then why would they be unique. Couldn't you represent two chapters in the same FOC? I mean... you can take two Chapter Masters, which is basically like doing the same thing. So really, special characters shouldn't even be unique? Since we could have Marneus Calgar hanging out with Clive Mcgillicutty, the Chapter Master of the Howling Hound Dog Chapter.

Luckily though, that's not my point of view.

My point of view is this - I don't give two hoots if someone uses a special character or not. The only special character I'll consider using in my Eldar armies is Maugan Ra, and that's because I think he's awesome and I think Eldrad is awful. I also use the Avatar, but as I don't view him as a special character, I'll never have any qualms over using him. Luckily for me, it doesn't matter if my opinion is correct or not, so no argument is likely to change it. :)

Arbiter7
01-06-2009, 13:29
You can't keep banging the "SC's make the army do stuff it's not supposed to!" drum. The army is supposed to do that, with those SC's, which the designer of the codex put in the codex.

I'm afraid I cannot agree to that. No offence meant, but it sounds kinda like rules lawyering. Eldar are meant to fleet. Tyraninds are meant to fleet. One single choice which is, in my view, an exception, does not mean that this was designed in general.

For example, Korsaro Khan has the decency to affect his own squadron, instead of the entire army.

If you want named HQ, take a standard HQ and give them a name and a background yourself.

I always name my HQ myself :p

coalescence
01-06-2009, 13:30
Why does EVERY salamanders army NEED to have Vulcan if they're gonna be a salamanders themed army?? Doesn't melta and flamer spam suffice? Vulcan just HAD to be there?

Does EVERY Iyanden NEED Yuriel? Lots of wraithstuff not enough?

Ulthwe NEED Eldrad? Lots of guardian units not enough? (well they're not but anyway)


You are absolutely right! My Biel-Tan army needs Eldrad too ;);)

slayerofmen
01-06-2009, 13:32
i have to say I'm not fully grasping why people don't think an important character, say lysander, wouldn't show up to what could be considered a skirmish.

It's not like he (or they) just kick back in their battlebarges and say "nah its too small" they would be down there kicking ass and chewing gum (and they are all outta gum, bonus points if you can guess the game that's from)

it would go completely against their ( known) ideals as warriors (for the marines anyway) to kick back and let someone else handle it. not to mention it would look bad.

i could understand eldrad and chaos SC's not getting involved but thats because they are either.

to "precious" to the craft world (ie: girly)

or dont give to half craps what happens to their warriors or young upstart captain.

and in that there would be no way under the suns that a world eater lord like kharn would kick back and be like "oh no not today that slaughter is going to be to small" he would get amongst it


Edit: also if you read any fluff surrounding shrike you will realize him giving fleet to his whole army is a nice and tidy way to represent the fact that he trains all the marines under his command in the use of hit and run tactics (cant find my book, can anyone be more specific). the same sort of hit and run commonly used by the eldar? fleet doesn't always have to mean fast and acrobatic (like eldar), it can represent the ability to get places ninja style then out again, to hit hard and fast at key targets, because remember fleet for nids isnt the fact they are hit and run artists or that they are wel trained it just becuase they run quickly

Poseidal
01-06-2009, 13:34
To be fair, that's the same 3rd edition Avatar I took because I didn't have the points for a reasonably tooled up Farseer.

I just think in the current edition book, the Avatar of Khaine fills exactly the same criteria as these other 'special characters'; what does this mean? nothing apart from the restriction that I can't take more than one.

Razarael
01-06-2009, 13:40
For example, Korsaro Khan has the decency to affect his own squadron, instead of the entire army.

Khan allows everyone in the army with Combat tactics to Outflank instead. That is basically the entire army. It is clear in saying the it also effects dedicated transports. Oh, and he also effects his own squadron. Shrike is the same. Army wide fleet and whatever unit he is in can infiltrate.

I was thinking about starting a Raven Guard army because of Shrike and his ability to get nice first turn maim kill charges with a Vanguard squad. Also, I really like how everyone has fleet... It fits the background really well, and the idea of lighting fast raids before the enemy has a chance to retaliate is really appealling. I could do it without Shrike, but it wouldn't be as cool, I don't think.

But hey, that's a long ways off.

Irisado
01-06-2009, 13:43
i have to say I'm not fully grasping why people don't think an important character, say lysander, wouldn't show up to what could be considered a skirmish.

He could if the narrative justified it, but why would he turn up to some random skirmish where nothing of truly great significance is being fought over?

Say a few Orks have taken over some village somewhere on an Imperial world, and the Imperial Governor has received Space Marine assistance, then is an important character going to turn up to defeat a few miserable Orks? I think not.

If it were a full blow 'Waaagh' on the other hand, then his presence would definitely be more likely.


It's not like he (or they) just kick back in their battlebarges and say "nah its too small" they would be down there kicking ass and chewing gum (and they are all outta gum, bonus points if you can guess the game that's from)

it would go completely against their ( known) ideals as warriors (for the marines anyway) to kick back and let someone else handle it. not to mention it would look bad.

Don't you think they would feel it beneath them to get involved in such small, trivial (in their eyes), battles? As I alluded to before, a narrative could explain their presence, but otherwise, there is just no reason that I can see why they would get involved. They would just led the regular Captain deal with the matter, as they have far more pressing things to attend to, such as being kept appraised of the activities of a Chaos Lord they have been tracking, or something similar.


and in that there would be no way under the suns that a world eater lord like kharn would kick back and be like "oh no not today that slaughter is going to be to small" he would get amongst it

And why would Kharn turn up to fight a barn filled with Orks? There wouldn't be enough there to satisfy him, he would want something bigger, more to slay for the Blood God. Why would he be on some random planet, holed up in a barn fighting Orks?

You could write a narrative to explain it, and this then brings in background, and makes them game much more interesting, but without the narrative side to explain such events, the inclusion of Special Characters lacks credibility, especially in small games, in my opinion.

Poseidal
01-06-2009, 13:49
And why would Kharn turn up to fight a barn filled with Orks? There wouldn't be enough there to satisfy him, he would want something bigger, more to slay for the Blood God. Why would he be on some random planet, holed up in a barn fighting Orks?
In the original Rogue Trader battle at the farm example battle, it was Pedro Kantor (Chapter Master of the CRIMSON FISTS) and no more than 15 Marines fighting in a barn with some random Orks. ;D

Gutted
01-06-2009, 13:53
I'm sorry, but I don't agree at all. These armies may be rare, but for a Special Character to lead them is even rarer. There are plenty of high ranking commanders available to these armies before you even get to the level of Special Characters, this is why they have a HQ section, so I don't see any compelling evidence in the background to support that line of thought I'm afraid.


With Space Marines I can see this argument for Chapter Masters but not so much for Captains. After all a Codex adherant chapter will only have 10 Captains. So you have a 1/10 Chance of feilding Shrike with a HQ of that level, even less if you count out the specialty Companies (Scouts and so on).

slayerofmen
01-06-2009, 13:57
i don't think it would be beneath him at all considering the one true goal for a space marine is to dispense the emperors justice upon his enemies and as far as i am aware there is no battle size minimum, no "well never mind that battle can't dispense enough justice there".

there is no concrete reason to say that lysander would not show up if he was able and didn't wouldnt he be neglecting his duties as a space marine and a warrior of the emperor?

as for kharn, i don't think anyone can sit back and say that he wouldn't show up, he'd show up to a 1v1 if he could get some slaughter in.

remember I'm not suggesting that lysander is kicking it in his crib on.... (homeworld?) and hears about a small scale thing and sets off. that they would leave to a captain or some such I'm saying they wouldn't just pass it by if it mean't not doing their duty, no matter if it was one or one thousand enemies to face. It also has to be remembered that if a "situation" requires the response of a marine chapter, responding in any size, it's not likely to be "small"

Irisado
01-06-2009, 14:01
In the original Rogue Trader battle at the farm example battle, it was Pedro Kantor (Chapter Master of the CRIMSON FISTS) and no more than 15 Marines fighting in a barn with some random Orks. ;D

Was this the case in the Rogue Trader version though? There may have been named characters, but their profiles were little or no different to those of regular characters if I remember correctly, but I am having to remember to a battle I played back in 1990, so I am struggling somewhat.

Is Kantor in the new version? If so, then the fact that GW can't even copy their own history correctly doesn't really surprise me to be honest.


With Space Marines I can see this argument for Chapter Masters but not so much for Captains. After all a Codex adherant chapter will only have 10 Captains. So you have a 1/10 Chance of feilding Shrike with a HQ of that level, even less if you count out the specialty Companies (Scouts and so on).

Then the simple solution would be that a player could field the Special Character, in this instance, once in every ten games. That would seem logical to me.

slaverofmen: The question would then be though, why is he in this part of the universe? Why not somewhere else? Why is he commanding this particular group? The questions become endless. He could easily be anywhere else in the galaxy as opposed to fighting in a skirmish somewhere in the back of beyond, which is why narrative is needed in my view, in order to explain his presence.

Deetwo
01-06-2009, 14:04
Then the simple solution would be that a player could field the Special Character, in this instance, once in every ten games. That would seem logical to me.

I'm confused by your use of the words "simple" "solution" and "logical"... :)
What if the army was actually the company of said captain?

Poseidal
01-06-2009, 14:08
Was this the case in the Rogue Trader version though? There may have been named characters, but their profiles were little or no different to those of regular characters if I remember correctly, but I am having to remember to a battle I played back in 1990, so I am struggling somewhat.

Is Kantor in the new version? If so, then the fact that GW can't even copy their own history correctly doesn't really surprise me to be honest.


All named characters were just ordinary guys in Rogue Trader. Kantor was still the Chapter Master then though, and his current equipment is pretty much the same (Power Fist + 2 Bolt Pistols => Power Fist + Storm Bolter as you could fire both at the same time in RT AFAIK. Had Power Armour and one of the forcefields which is pretty much power armour and Iron Halo now, standard SM character basic gear).

Yriel just had the 'Eldar Major Hero' profile, and was armed with nothing but a Laspistol and Shuriken Catapult (and power armour)! Pretty impressive for the most powerful pirate in the galaxy; some of his subordinates in the Eldritch Raiders army list were better equipped!

eek107
01-06-2009, 14:12
There are no "Special Characters" any more. :)

That said, I think these new pre-built named characters are being looked at the wrong way. When you see Vulkan He'Stan or Shrike leading an army, it's not because they're Salamanders/Raven Guard and that's how they always fight. It's because you are facing that character's personal army. He'Stan has the authority to draw Salamanders units from across the chapter to help him, would he not take the best troops and equipment for his quest to find Vulkan's relics? Shrike is a hit-and-run specialist, would he not train his troops for that purpose and take them along when the mission requires those skills?

As far as them not being likely to turn up, that doesn't make much sense to me. If for example I'm playing 2nd Company Ultramarines, then the 2nd Company Captain is one of the main candidates to lead them - the current one being a Mr Sicarius.

Also, not every game has to be fully justified by a complete narrative, complete with whos, whats, wheres and whys. Sometimes we're just playing because we've a couple of hours to kill and feel like a game. ;)

Mannimarco
01-06-2009, 14:17
a lot of SC hate does seem more like marine hate somtimes, its because of the free bonuses and upgrades. Take character X to get all your flamer and meltas upgraded to twin linked for free

take character Y to make all your thunderhammers master crafted for free

its hard to put a price on stuff like that, so no matter what the point cost is people are going to complain about it

Arbiter7
01-06-2009, 14:24
a lot of SC hate does seem more like marine hate somtimes, its because of the free bonuses and upgrades. Take character X to get all your flamer and meltas upgraded to twin linked for free.

Exactly. Vulcan wants his best? He better pay for them.

Shrike wants his personal trained marines? Why don't they cost more if they can fleet?

You can see why I'm whining when half of my troops choices consist of overpriced eldar guardians and you've got *marines* who can fleet just because you happened to have shrike thrown in.

Both are two "theming" choices, totally unbalanced between them.

Razarael
01-06-2009, 14:26
@Poseidal - since all that is the case, it seems to me like comparing Rogue Trader and 5th Edition 40k is comparing apples and oranges. And I'm not really seeing the relevance of it here.

I don't like the idea of making extra restricting rules on what you can and cannot take. It starts sapping the fun out of it. Acting like you should only take the named Captains only 1/10 times is like saying that your army composition should be random, which is most certainly should not be. If a named character is known for doing things in a certain way, and that's how you want to play your army, why should there be such restrictions?

It also doesn't seem that logical as companies don't fight just as a company. They take and pull things from the other companies when the situation is right. That's like saying that an Ulthwe army could not consist of an Autarch leading nothing but Aspect Warriors into a battle. It's certainly possible, it's just not likely. Should what amounts to a dice roll dictate when someone should use their Ulthwe aspect army?

That example is far fetched for a reason. But if the rules aren't being broken and there isn't blatant abuse, even if it doesn't fit your view of how the game -should- be played, there is absolutely no use in complaining or attempting to force someone to accept your 40k dogma. For one, it's rude. Two, it's just unreasonable. And three, it isn't your place to tell people what to do or how to do it. If I went into a store for a pick up game and the opponent didn't like me valid list for whatever reason, I'd move on and play someone else.

The above is the royal you, not you - the reader. -:)

Irisado
01-06-2009, 14:27
I'm confused by your use of the words "simple" "solution" and "logical"... :)
What if the army was actually the company of said captain?

Would the Captain lead the company every single time though? That's more a question for a Space Marine background guru, as this isn't my specialist area, but this would be the question I would pose if somebody kept fielding a Special Character against me every single battle.


All named characters were just ordinary guys in Rogue Trader.

I'm glad I remembered that part correctly :).


Kantor was still the Chapter Master then though, and his current equipment is pretty much the same (Power Fist + 2 Bolt Pistols => Power Fist + Storm Bolter as you could fire both at the same time in RT AFAIK. Had Power Armour and one of the forcefields which is pretty much power armour and Iron Halo now, standard SM character basic gear).

I just don't remember him being involved in the Rogue Trader version of that battle though. I'm not disputing your claim, I'm just rather worried by the fact I can't remember that.

Razarael: I will just say one brief thing about Special Characters to you. Be thankful you never played under Second Edition rules, as I feel you would certainly have less fondness for them if you had in my opinion, especially since some Special Characters are starting to head in the direction of their second edition counterparts in terms of the abilities they have, and that can be conferred on other units, the ability to make non-troops units scoring being a prime example.

Deetwo
01-06-2009, 14:30
Exactly. Vulcan wants his best? He better pay for them.

Shrike wants his personal trained marines? Why don't they cost more if they can fleet?

You can see why I'm whining when half of my troops choices consist of overpriced eldar guardians and you've got *marines* who can fleet just because you happened to have shrike thrown in.

Both are two "theming" choices, totally unbalanced between them.

Losing Combat Tactics is a cost, even if you can't admit it. And it does make a difference.
Besides, shrike is very expensive and kind of a wussy in combat.

Far from unbalanced.


Would the Captain lead the company every single time though? That's more a question for a Space Marine background guru, as this isn't my specialist area, but this would be the question I would pose if somebody kept fielding a Special Character against me every single battle.

Why would some other captain lead that company? That makes even less sense.

Mannimarco
01-06-2009, 14:34
just wondering if this could be a sign of things to come: take this character to get this upgrade, future codex updates would probably be incredibley broken if they were

lets take abbadon and get terminators as troops, after all abbadon is the big bad and he always hangs out with several terminators, could probably get away with a free orbital bombardment a la space marine captains (why not its fluffy)

lets take ghazkul for our orks, his nobs are the biggest and the baddest so that would be free 'eavy armour and waaagh banners for all of them, obviously as ghazkuls waaaghs are the best of the best its not just 1 nob squad as troops, should be at least 2 squads taken as troops (again, its fluffy)

lets take typhus for our death guard, somthing about the huge swarms of flies buzzing around him and his plague marines, that could easiliy be represented by giving them the grey knight "shrouding" ability (its fluffy)

Irisado
01-06-2009, 14:41
Why would some other captain lead that company? That makes even less sense.

Does it? Are you trying to convince me that the same Captain will lead the same company in every single battle it participates in under his overall leadership? I find this very unlikely.

Remember that in most games of 40K, full companies are not being fielded, rather individual elements of the company are on the field of battle, so why would a Special Character Captain be present at all times, leading each section, in every game a player plays? I find the notion that the same Captain would be present to be rather implausible on that basis.

Razarael
01-06-2009, 14:42
Exactly. Vulcan wants his best? He better pay for them.

Shrike wants his personal trained marines? Why don't they cost more if they can fleet?

You can see why I'm whining when half of my troops choices consist of overpriced eldar guardians and you've got *marines* who can fleet just because you happened to have shrike thrown in.

Both are two "theming" choices, totally unbalanced between them.

Half of your troop choices are over priced guardians? Lemme think... If we really stretch it, Eldar have seven troop choices, and two of those are guardians on foot. The Eldar codex is awesome and can do anything you want it too without having to play with the FOC (Wraithguard are the singular exception).

Other codices/armies aren't that lucky, and have been shoe horned into having to use special characters to make certain builds a viable reality. Does it suck. Yup. Pretty stupid design idea if you ask me, but do I accept it. Of course, because whining doesn't change a thing.

No offense, but this is starting to smack of the me-me-mes and the I-I-Is. The pessimism and negativity I continually read on these boards are really starting to bring down my positivie chi. :wtf:

Poseidal
01-06-2009, 14:52
@Poseidal - since all that is the case, it seems to me like comparing Rogue Trader and 5th Edition 40k is comparing apples and oranges. And I'm not really seeing the relevance of it here.

I'm not using it to compare, I'm just showing the progression of the concept of Named characters from the beginning.

Personally, I liked the 2nd edition characters; the Phoenix Lords were one of the things that drew me into the game.

Even then, I think that 3rd edition NORMAL characters were a lot more broken than most of the 2nd ed Special Characters. The 2nd ed guys could only kill what was in B2B with them; the 3rd ed one would sweep a squad and hit the next one killing them all.

Even then, the greater daemons and assassins were usually much better than all of the special characters anyway...

eldaran
01-06-2009, 14:54
Exactly. Vulcan wants his best? He better pay for them.

Shrike wants his personal trained marines? Why don't they cost more if they can fleet?

You can see why I'm whining when half of my troops choices consist of overpriced eldar guardians and you've got *marines* who can fleet just because you happened to have shrike thrown in.

Both are two "theming" choices, totally unbalanced between them.

As an Eldar Player as well, i will just argue that yes, some of the troop choices are not as good as the Marine choices, but to complain about it suggests that you're arguing that you want troops choices from different codexes to be comparable. In addition, the Eldar get a fantastic troop choice in the form of Dire Avengers, and the rest of the list which (with one or two exceptions) is very well designed. Whilst it does seem a bit weird that Marines can fleet, as has been said, it is trying to use a USR to represent a particular character trait talked about in the background.

I see what your saying, that you feel that there should be a cost in an ideal world to the benefits that are recieved. However, we don't live in an ideal world, and at any rate, it is hard to cost for bonuses that have differing effects based on the level being played.

Irisado
01-06-2009, 15:16
Arbiter7: Complaining about Eldar Guardians devalues your argument substantially in my view, so I feel you would be better off sticking to the discussion of Special Characters.

I still use Guardians a lot in my Eldar army, and they perform very well for me.

If your complaint is more to do with the fact that some Special Characters make certain non-troop units scoring, then I emphasise with that, but building that option in to any revision of the Eldar Codex is not something I want to see, as I don't expect that rule to last into the next edition, as I anticipate a complete re-write of the mission rules in any case.

Exarchs and Phoenix Lords confer special abilities though, so I don't think you can really have a dig at Special Characters for being able to do that.

Corrode
01-06-2009, 15:16
Does it? Are you trying to convince me that the same Captain will lead the same company in every single battle it participates in under his overall leadership? I find this very unlikely.

Remember that in most games of 40K, full companies are not being fielded, rather individual elements of the company are on the field of battle, so why would a Special Character Captain be present at all times, leading each section, in every game a player plays? I find the notion that the same Captain would be present to be rather implausible on that basis.

Read the Codex. The only 'command' HQ choices for a Marine army are Captain or Chapter Master. Librarians and MotF are entirely separate from the Company command structure, and the chance of one showing up is far less likely than the Captain of that Company showing up. Chaplains are attached to a Company at a standard ratio of 1:1 (though more are possible).

Given that, then, we discover that the most likely leader of an individual Space Marine expedition is the Captain of the Company it's drawn from (especially given that a typical Marine army at 1500pts includes somewhere between 20 and 50 Marines, a significant amount of the Company's personnel).

Of the Marine special characters, the following hold the rank of Captain:

Sicarius (2nd Company, Ultramarines)
Lysander (1st Company, Imperial Fists)
Shrike (3rd Company, Raven Guard)
Kor'sarro Khan (I think 1st Company? White Scars)
Vulkan He'stan (I'm not sure on the command structure of the Salamanders, but he has the statline of a Captain and can't call down Orbital Bombardments like a Chapter Master).

If one were to play, say, the Ultramarines 2nd Company, it would actually be unfluffy for Sicarius NOT to show up unless the Company Chaplain were taking command. There is no other lower-level officer capable of taking command, it's the Captain or nothing. This is even more applicable to Shrike, since Raven Guard companies are specifically noted as operating almost entirely autonomously from the overall Chapter command - given that the responsibility for your company's wellbeing is almost totally in your hands, would YOU turn around and say 'well, I just couldn't be bothered turning up today, it's only a minor engagement and I'm a special character. It seemed a bit beneath me when only 30 Brother-Marines were deploying'?

And my earlier point regarding incidence of Marine battles still stands - for a Space Marine Chapter to involve itself in a conflict, the threat is always great enough to merit the involvement of a special character, particularly lesser characters like Sicarius or Shrike. It might not seem like it with all the Marine 'training exercises' that go on, but the fact is that as far as the fluff is concerned, the Space Marines are all too few in number to handle a task that's all too great, and any deployment involving them is an epic conflict. You might well be staring at a hundred-odd Orks across the table and thinking 'maybe this isn't really big enough', but for the number of Marines you have in your army to have turned up at all, then there's clearly some major threat available. The same is true for Chaos - for 30 Traitor Marines to show up is an event worth noting. The vast majority of conflict in 40k (and by that I mean odds that make the Lottery look like a sure thing) is between either the Imperial Guard and the Orks or the Imperial Guard and other Imperial Guard in the guise of Traitors. Anything else is a rare event.

This doesn't even delve into the fact that battles of 40k are considered by the game Epic to be single actions, and that as such they can be seen as small parts of a larger whole which focus on the most exciting action (generally where the big nasties are).

Arbiter7
01-06-2009, 15:18
...but to complain about it suggests that you're arguing that you want troops choices from different codexes to be comparable. In addition
No, you got me wrong here. Marines are marines and damn right they're better than eldar guardians. Razarael and Eldaran, when I said half of my troops choices are guardians I meant that half of my troops choices in the *themed* lists that I regularly field are overpriced eldar guardians.

So you can see my distress when I theme (for my pleasure) and someone comes up with a "themed" shrike army and hands my ass to me.

Theming marines does not *have* to include reaping the free benefits from a named captain or whatever. I theme and am at (comparatively) a loss, someone else themes and gets free bonuses.

Corrode
01-06-2009, 15:19
free benefits from a named captain or whatever. I theme and am at a loss, someone else themes and gets free bonuses.

This is the problem with your argument. You think these boni are free. They're not.

Arbiter7
01-06-2009, 15:26
This is the problem with your argument. You think these boni are free. They're not.

Ok maybe not free, but there is a considerable discount.

Or maybe I just don't know my marines -don't own one (yet ;)) and seldom face one.


Irisado don't get me wrong, as it was the guardians that got me into 40k!

Deetwo
01-06-2009, 15:32
Ok maybe not free, but there is a considerable discount.

Or maybe I just don't know my marines -don't own one (yet ;)) and seldom face one.

How can you claim a discount when the numerical value of Combat Tactics is not known. Obviously the designers felt it's worth equal to melta+flamer+th rerolls, fleet, outflanking transports, stubborn and what have you.
Combat Tactics in itself is a pretty significant advantage over non-SM already, I can tell you that.

eldaran
01-06-2009, 15:37
No, you got me wrong here. Marines are marines and damn right they're better than eldar guardians. Razarael and Eldaran, when I said half of my troops choices are guardians I meant that half of my troops choices in the *themed* lists that I regularly field are overpriced eldar guardians.

So you can see my distress when I theme (for my pleasure) and someone comes up with a "themed" shrike army and hands my ass to me.

Theming marines does not *have* to include reaping the free benefits from a named captain or whatever. I theme and am at (comparatively) a loss, someone else themes and gets free bonuses.

Therefore your problem is with the eldar codex as it is at the moment rather than other codex special characters, therefore off-topic.

It isn't fair to claim that someone wins simply because they have a particular unit rather than due to any ability on their part, which is what it seems your saying.

I don't reap 'free' benefits from named captains, I use a captain that it makes sense for me to use, since I play that army. I wouldn't begrudge you the decision to use Eldrad, since you play Craftworld Ulthwe. However, i agree with you that a player who uses Craftworld Beil-Tan or the Grey Pidgeons Chapter should not use Eldrad or Marneus Calgar, since those characters are not associated with them.

However that's a different issue to what i understand to be your argument, so if i've completely misunderstood you (which is more than likely:D:D) feel free to ignore what i've said.

Deetwo
01-06-2009, 15:48
Well to be fair, atleast it's GWs current stance that you can rename a SC to fit a DYI chapter/craftworld/whathaveyou.
I realize people have mixed feelings about this sort of stuff... But I personally rather go by GWs decision to give players free reign with creativity, for better or for worse.

Even if it's just to do a beardy list using 'counts-as' or something.

But in the end, I'm just a tournament player mainly :)
I have a CSM list that has it's theme loosely based on heresy-era thousand sons (red+gold psykers,"psykers", thralls and familiars), without having a single tz model in it, because the idea seemed cool and then I built a good list around that.
(not that it has any SCs, but the idea is exactly the same)

Irisado
01-06-2009, 15:50
Of the Marine special characters, the following hold the rank of Captain:

Sicarius (2nd Company, Ultramarines)
Lysander (1st Company, Imperial Fists)
Shrike (3rd Company, Raven Guard)
Kor'sarro Khan (I think 1st Company? White Scars)
Vulkan He'stan (I'm not sure on the command structure of the Salamanders, but he has the statline of a Captain and can't call down Orbital Bombardments like a Chapter Master).

There are multiple companies within each Chapter though, so if one of the companies not listed were being fielded, they would then be led by a 'regular' Captain, yes?

If so, this was the point I was trying to make, I just didn't explain it very well, because I'm not up to date with Space Marine background.


And my earlier point regarding incidence of Marine battles still stands - for a Space Marine Chapter to involve itself in a conflict, the threat is always great enough to merit the involvement of a special character, particularly lesser characters like Sicarius or Shrike. It might not seem like it with all the Marine 'training exercises' that go on, but the fact is that as far as the fluff is concerned, the Space Marines are all too few in number to handle a task that's all too great, and any deployment involving them is an epic conflict. You might well be staring at a hundred-odd Orks across the table and thinking 'maybe this isn't really big enough', but for the number of Marines you have in your army to have turned up at all, then there's clearly some major threat available.

There are plenty of narratives and stories from previous editions of 40K in which the Space Marines have not been led by a Special Character though, so I don't think this stands up to close scrutiny.

Yes, the Space Marines are more likely to be reserved for more significant battles, but this does not automatically mean that a Special Character will turn up in my view, rather it just increases the chance.


This doesn't even delve into the fact that battles of 40k are considered by the game Epic to be single actions, and that as such they can be seen as small parts of a larger whole which focus on the most exciting action (generally where the big nasties are).

I know where you are coming from here, as I played Space Marine and Titan Legions, and I now play Epic EA, but I don't think that bringing that into this discussion does anything other than cloud the issue, as the two games focus on completely different scales of engagement, so I think it's better to keep 40K separate when it comes to discussing Special Characters, they hardly exist in Epic after all.

koni
01-06-2009, 16:05
I gotta say, I get the posters point of argument, it gets a bit repetive when you see some special characters used in almost every list, for example marbo or straken, now this aint the players fault, its the designers fault but then again I do like the idea of choice, it just doesnt seem to have been implemented properly, personally I dont use speshul characters cause it just doesnt feel that the force is "of my making" then, besides its the normal grunts that are the real heroes in any list (yes, I play guard :D)

Deetwo
01-06-2009, 16:08
I honestly don't see how it's any different than most CSM lists having TWO daemon princes, which isn't exactly very likely.

Not to mention a single SM army can have two chapter masters or two masters of the forge in it. A single captain of any variety is NOTHING compared to that.

the1stpip
01-06-2009, 16:09
I'm sorry.

We know that Marines are not the easiest army to win with, as they are the jack-of all-trades. So an army needs focus.

I have started a brand new Sallies army, and converted my own Vulkan, cos I like the fel of the army. True, I don't have to take Vulkan everytime, and once the army is up and running, I won't.

But by taking Vulkan, the army works so much better, and when I want to win with my Marines (in a tournament, for example) I will use him. In a friendly game, I may not. He is not a game winner, a la Eldrad.

I never liked special characters in past editions. The only one I ever liked was Cypher. But my army is based around the fact that it is Vulkan's personal force, enlisted to accompany him on his quest. I think it makes a nice change from the usual 'line up and shoot them' back story we tend to hear.

In addition, I have restricted myself to one Fast Attack choice. I don't have to, indeed, the Sallies do use bikes and speeders, thy just don't rely on them like some other chapters.

I am going to get pretty miffed if people keep accusing me of power gaming just cos I use Vulkan.

Oh, and he doesn't get his ability free, he loses Combat Tactics, and anyone who has played against a competent Marine Player will tell you, that is a damned useful rule.

Oh, and Vulkan, IIRC, was the captain of the 4th company, before he was set aside in his new position.

Frontier
01-06-2009, 16:10
I have to use characters if I want to flavor my army. The loss of the custom chapter rules pretty much made this fact of taking characters a reality. Frankly, none of them have won me a game, nor have they made it any easier for me. They still die like everything else if you fail dice rolls.

Corrode
01-06-2009, 16:21
I have to use characters if I want to flavor my army. The loss of the custom chapter rules pretty much made this fact of taking characters a reality. Frankly, none of them have won me a game, nor have they made it any easier for me. They still die like everything else if you fail dice rolls.

No, you don't. You can flavour an army without taking a character. Raven Guard work just as well by taking lots of Scouts and jump-packers, Fists work just as well with a lot of heavy weaponry and a 'siege' build as they do with Lysander, etc. Adding an SC can add MORE flavour, but it's not the only way. Rules != flavour.

Deetwo
01-06-2009, 16:25
Maybe a better way to put it is adding UNIQUE flavor to the army :)
Afterall, salamanders are supposed to be adept with melta and flamer weapons.. And without Vulcan, they aren't anymore adept with them than any other marine.
And so on.

The most extreme examples of this are ofcourse belial and sammael.

Poseidal
01-06-2009, 16:30
The thing with Belial and Sammael is they are the Captains of the Deathwing and Ravenwing respectively aren't they?

That means that (for example) playing Deathwing, you are playing Dark Angels 1st company, who's captain is Belial and it's unlikely the company will be able to sign off all those Terminator suits without him. So using another commander (SC or no) in those lists is technically unfluffy, ironically.

eek107
01-06-2009, 17:25
There are plenty of narratives and stories from previous editions of 40K in which the Space Marines have not been led by a Special Character though, so I don't think this stands up to close scrutiny.

Yes, the Space Marines are more likely to be reserved for more significant battles, but this does not automatically mean that a Special Character will turn up in my view, rather it just increases the chance.

Pick any given conflict from random and this is true. But if I had 2nd Company Ultramarines and I was playing someone else, then the chances of their Captain (Sicarius) leading them are high, so my use of him would be strongly supported by the background. To use a generic captain the game would have to be set at a different point along the 40k timeline, maybe I don't want to do that. The same is true for every marine "special captain", and everyone who uses them is fielding a force from their respective company at the "present" in the 40k universe.



I know where you are coming from here, as I played Space Marine and Titan Legions, and I now play Epic EA, but I don't think that bringing that into this discussion does anything other than cloud the issue, as the two games focus on completely different scales of engagement, so I think it's better to keep 40K separate when it comes to discussing Special Characters, they hardly exist in Epic after all.

Special characters don't exist in Epic because their differing skills have little impact in that scale of conflict, but in 40k scale they would be noticeable. If the justification through narrative is being brought up, it is important to remember that a game of 40k can easily represent an what an Assault would be in Epic, and is just a snapshot of part of a much larger conflict. Space Marine forces in Epic are usually Company sized so the chances of their Captain being the one leading them are certain. Why not field him an a representation of a small but crucial part of the larger battle?

Irisado
01-06-2009, 19:34
Pick any given conflict from random and this is true. But if I had 2nd Company Ultramarines and I was playing someone else, then the chances of their Captain (Sicarius) leading them are high, so my use of him would be strongly supported by the background.

The emphasis which I have added there is the key point in my view, as I was making the point that different companies within the Ultramarines Chapter are going to have unnamed Captains.


Special characters don't exist in Epic because their differing skills have little impact in that scale of conflict, but in 40k scale they would be noticeable. If the justification through narrative is being brought up, it is important to remember that a game of 40k can easily represent an what an Assault would be in Epic, and is just a snapshot of part of a much larger conflict.

I am aware of all of those points, but it is equally possible to argue that the events on the 40K table are not part of a wider conflict, and are taking place purely as they are seen. It all depends on the narrative in question (if there is one present), and the perspective of the players.


Space Marine forces in Epic are usually Company sized so the chances of their Captain being the one leading them are certain. Why not field him an a representation of a small but crucial part of the larger battle?

My argument was that such a Special Character couldn't ever be fielded though. My point was would his particular company be fielded in every single battle, and not some other company within the chapter led by a 'regular' Captain?

Obviously, if a player goes to the trouble of building a Space Marine force which is specifically painted as one company within a chapter, then you make a very strong case, but if not, then I'm not so convinced.

Still, the arguments made for the Space Marine Captains being included are much more plausible than a lot of arguments I have seen put forward for including Eldrad in non-Ulthwé armies in some of the Eldar threads I have been involved in, so thank you for all the interesting contributions on this issue.

LonelyPath
01-06-2009, 19:44
So, all of this is more about characters that give army-wide rules more than the fact they're SC really. Then how about the Master of the Forge that allows you to take 6 dreads into battle? Is that a bad thing as well? I mean, it's a rule that does effect the entire army since it effects the army's composition.

Some SC are really fitted for certain armies since they're the commanders/captains/etc of that division. If you don't like Sicrarius or whatever, it means you'll dislike the entire company that guy leads, heh ;)

eek107
01-06-2009, 20:03
The emphasis which I have added there is the key point in my view, as I was making the point that different companies within the Ultramarines Chapter are going to have unnamed Captains.

Agreed completely, and that's how I play. Fortunately He'stan's background is such that any Salamanders can be called upon to fight for him so my second company can fight under their Captain or him (or, indeed, a Librarian, Chaplain etc).


I am aware of all of those points, but it is equally possible to argue that the events on the 40K table are not part of a wider conflict, and are taking place purely as they are seen. It all depends on the narrative in question (if there is one present), and the perspective of the players.

Yep. Chances are if a special character (or indeed the rare armies such as Space Marines as a whole) is involved then it will be one of these more important encounters. Or rather I should turn it around and say if the players decide that the game they're about to play is part of a larger battle then they can better justify the use of a named character.


My argument was that such a Special Character couldn't ever be fielded though. My point was would his particular company be fielded in every single battle, and not some other company within the chapter led by a 'regular' Captain?

Obviously, if a player goes to the trouble of building a Space Marine force which is specifically painted as one company within a chapter, then you make a very strong case, but if not, then I'm not so convinced.

Still, the arguments made for the Space Marine Captains being included are much more plausible than a lot of arguments I have seen put forward for including Eldrad in non-Ulthwé armies in some of the Eldar threads I have been involved in, so thank you for all the interesting contributions on this issue.

Well in most cases the company markings are such that players will choose one if they're using an official chapter - obviously there are exceptions (Black Templars for example) which make things a bit fuzzier.

Having said all of that, that the Space Marine codex encourages players to use "counts as" with these named characters if they want to use the rules for their own army, with a fresh new name, background and paintjob. They are essentially generic characters given a specific loadout and some extra rules, and an example name and fluff.

Personally I don't want to touch the Eldrad issue with a twenty-foot pole... that's something else entirely.

Dr.Clock
01-06-2009, 20:31
The OP is correct in one respect: taking an army-changing SC does not 'create' the theme. IMO, a list may be themed more or less regardless of its hq.

It seems to me that these types of characters 'reward' themes that would otherwise result in something of a willing handicap if applied too stringently.

A SM army with only melta and flame weapons, all painted green and black with flame markings will obviously be a salamanders list. However, getting the most out of such a list will be quite difficult as one would sacrifice a degree of versatility that the list "is designed to have".

Codex marines are supposed to use many different special and heavy weapons, not only heat/flame-based ones. The more times you choose to go one route (give flamers to units that can take them), the less versatility you have overall. In essence, a highly themed list could be penalized for theming too much.

Crimson fists are a good example of this. Sternguard are very expensive. Any list with large numbers of them may quickly find itself with a lack of scoring units. Also, thematically (for a certain time period), the 'normal' scoring units SHOULD be quite rare.

Should a player hoping for a strong theme
a) willingly handicap themselves by taking only two weak scoring units (2x5 sniper scouts) and a generic hq with many sternguard,

b) disregard theme by taking four strong troop choices (3 full tac squads in pods and 10 sniper scouts) and a few sternguard,

or c) should the codex present an option for doing (a) that circumvents an obvious shortcoming of a specifically defined theme?

I choose (c).

For Vulkan more explicitly:

though his rule rewards the use of specific weaponry, this reward is not greater than the reward for building versatility and variety into a 'basic' marine list. More than this, the emphasis on reward will be shifted in one case toward fighting in a different and specific style (aggressive short-range firefighting) than the norm (greater versatility - more long-range and/or more dedicated assault along with more balanced an varied troops).

The cost: admittedly few points from the character himself but: no combat tactics (what does THIS army-wide special rule cost?) AND the inability to arm your hq in a unique way (Why can't I have a Vulkan that teleports down in TDA? or drives around on a bike?Why can't Kantor have a relic blade? Korsarro take a jump-pack?) as well the inability to take a command squad without shelling out for a captain (how much does THIS cost for a generic captain?).

I agree that there is a degree of 'trade-off' going on between things that are not assigned known point costs to begin with. In many cases, you lose the 'ability to choose x' - and as nothing that you 'have' is lost, it appears that nothing is in fact 'lost'.

In sum, I would argue that the 'reward' for building a themed army list with vulkan is now the same as the 'reward' for building an excellent vanilla list: an army that is effective on the tabeltop and corresponds to stated fluff. Without the presence of this character, a very strong theme will in many ways be less effective than its 'vanilla' counterpart.

Cheers,

The Good Doctor.

Gutted
02-06-2009, 07:29
Then the simple solution would be that a player could field the Special Character, in this instance, once in every ten games. That would seem logical to me.

lol thats like saying you can only field Ultramarines chapter 1 of every hundread games because what are the chances of that chapter being in that fight.

eldaran
02-06-2009, 17:33
The OP is correct in one respect: taking an army-changing SC does not 'create' the theme. IMO, a list may be themed more or less regardless of its hq.

It seems to me that these types of characters 'reward' themes that would otherwise result in something of a willing handicap if applied too stringently.

A SM army with only melta and flame weapons, all painted green and black with flame markings will obviously be a salamanders list. However, getting the most out of such a list will be quite difficult as one would sacrifice a degree of versatility that the list "is designed to have".

Codex marines are supposed to use many different special and heavy weapons, not only heat/flame-based ones. The more times you choose to go one route (give flamers to units that can take them), the less versatility you have overall. In essence, a highly themed list could be penalized for theming too much.

Crimson fists are a good example of this. Sternguard are very expensive. Any list with large numbers of them may quickly find itself with a lack of scoring units. Also, thematically (for a certain time period), the 'normal' scoring units SHOULD be quite rare.

Should a player hoping for a strong theme
a) willingly handicap themselves by taking only two weak scoring units (2x5 sniper scouts) and a generic hq with many sternguard,

b) disregard theme by taking four strong troop choices (3 full tac squads in pods and 10 sniper scouts) and a few sternguard,

or c) should the codex present an option for doing (a) that circumvents an obvious shortcoming of a specifically defined theme?

I choose (c).

For Vulkan more explicitly:

though his rule rewards the use of specific weaponry, this reward is not greater than the reward for building versatility and variety into a 'basic' marine list. More than this, the emphasis on reward will be shifted in one case toward fighting in a different and specific style (aggressive short-range firefighting) than the norm (greater versatility - more long-range and/or more dedicated assault along with more balanced an varied troops).

The cost: admittedly few points from the character himself but: no combat tactics (what does THIS army-wide special rule cost?) AND the inability to arm your hq in a unique way (Why can't I have a Vulkan that teleports down in TDA? or drives around on a bike?Why can't Kantor have a relic blade? Korsarro take a jump-pack?) as well the inability to take a command squad without shelling out for a captain (how much does THIS cost for a generic captain?).

I agree that there is a degree of 'trade-off' going on between things that are not assigned known point costs to begin with. In many cases, you lose the 'ability to choose x' - and as nothing that you 'have' is lost, it appears that nothing is in fact 'lost'.

In sum, I would argue that the 'reward' for building a themed army list with vulkan is now the same as the 'reward' for building an excellent vanilla list: an army that is effective on the tabeltop and corresponds to stated fluff. Without the presence of this character, a very strong theme will in many ways be less effective than its 'vanilla' counterpart.

Cheers,

The Good Doctor.

And that sums up the argument for the defence.:)

Yes, i agree with the op that people who use SCs like Eldrad with no fluff justification shouldn't, however i feel that people should not be shafted on the tabletop for being fluffy (in fact my opinion is quite the opposite - people should be more powerful for following the fluff, but that's a different argument:D)

marv335
02-06-2009, 17:56
Right, I want to build an Ork Bike army.
I have two options to do this legally.
1. Two warbosses and two units of biker nobs to give me my two troop choices.
2. Wazdakka and a couple of units of warbikers.

Which is the most broken?
I know what I'd rather use/face and it's behind door no2.

Dr.Clock
02-06-2009, 18:29
Exactly: to me, 'ork bike army' is far different from 'ork NOB bike army'. Your choice is perfect for representing a some 'regular' Evil Sunz out for a krumpin'. The other COULD be considered 'themed', depending on many other things in the list. It could also simply be beardy.

This is where I think the OP is actually pretty much correct: the defence of 'theme' should not be used to justify things that are generally accepted to be 'beyond the pale' in a certain play setting. This is where the term beardy comes from: sure dwarves could conceivably take that many cannons... and it might even fit a certain 'theme' - yet, this is a poor excuse for taking extremely competitive lists in casual play where all that is at stake is a good game for both parties.

Not all games are tournament games. If you define your self-worth by how often you win more than by how often you have fun, there is something wrong. Once again, 40k imitates life - all of us bring baggage to the table - and all of us need the opportunity to learn and grow as players and people...

So, in sum, I would suggest that we not judge others by their list choices (too quickly). For all you know, the Nob Biker general has no idea how to play and is a great sport. Maybe once they get the hang of trouncing all and sundry with a simple build they will move on to more complex and risky lists to try and get some variety. This game HAS to be more about attitude than list.

Cheers,

The Good Doctor.

DEADMARSH
02-06-2009, 19:31
The emphasis which I have added there is the key point in my view, as I was making the point that different companies within the Ultramarines Chapter are going to have unnamed Captains.

They don't though. I'm not sure where you're losing the ghost, but in a marine chapter there are 10 companies. Those 10 companies have 10 captains, 1 for each company. So no, the point you're making isn't correct- the same captain leads his company. There are unnamed captains only in the sense that GW fluff didn't name them all when the published the SM codex.

In regard to the OP, what are you really complaining about? You've mentioned themeing doesn't equal SC, SCs in general, army-wide changes due to inclusion of an SC, among other things. What is it that's really bothering you? All of that? None of that? Tough loss over the weekend? Work stuff?

Irisado
02-06-2009, 19:37
They don't though. I'm not sure where you're losing the ghost, but in a marine chapter there are 10 companies. Those 10 companies have 10 captains, 1 for each company.

Err, that's what I said, so I don't understand why you are correcting me :confused:.


So no, the point you're making isn't correct- the same captain leads his company. There are unnamed captains only in the sense that GW fluff didn't name them all when the published the SM codex.

That's my point though. By unnamed Captains, I mean Captains who have not been given the designation 'Special Character', so again I don't see any disagreement here.

By the way, I have no idea what 'losing the ghost means', but I assume it's something to do with not understanding something, yes?

Ronin_eX
02-06-2009, 20:38
As far as I see it, you've just defeated your own argument.

By including a narrative to explain the presence of a Special Character in a small battle, which can be done in my view, you instantly bring background into the equation, ergo background is a factor in the points value of the game being played.

My point was that in a general 1000 point battle, in which there is no narrative, and it is not part of a campaign, it is very unlikely that a Special Character would be present, as the battle would not be of sufficient importance to warrant said character turning up.

All battles in 40k since 2nd Edition have been part of a larger battle. That is simply how it is. How big a slice of the battle you play doesn't influence whether some one should or shouldn't be in it.

If you create fluff then it is easy to justify. If there is no fluff then what are you justifying? Without any background or narrative set up there is no likelihood one way or the other of special character presence because there is no context. Without any narrative a Dark Angel vs. Dark Angel battle is just as acceptable as any other (for an example of one that would need a whole lot of narrative justification otherwise). Seriously, if you have no narrative in place then it is even sillier getting your panties in a knot over a named character being present because just as there is no justification for him being there there is just as little justification for him not being there. Hell the justification in this case is that someone had him in the minis he brought.

If you need any more than that in a game with no narrative then what you are trying to build is a narrative (which excludes the possibility of a named character).

So again, in a game with a narrative the named character is justified because the battle you play in 40k is just part of a much larger confrontation (and to be fair many named characters are only of moderate rank; complaining about someone taking Sicarius for example is akin to complaining of a player taking the same Company Captain every game) just as it has been for over a decade. Again for an example of how this works I point to Epic. When you get into an Epic firefight you essentially play out a 40k "skirmish" using fractions of your army. In that firefight you are quite likely to find important characters (even your supreme commander who is about as high ranking as you get). An average game of 40k where you pay heed to narrative (without working out everything, i.e. the default narrative) takes place at the locus of one of these battles.

The point in the line where the most important stuff is going down. It is just as likely to be Chapter Master Bob as it is to see Supreme Grand Master Azrael because they are the most important members of their respective chapter and this is the most important part of the battle they are overseeing. It doesn't matter if it is only 1000 points or over 3000 because all that represents is how many guys were close at the time of the climactic end game of the larger battle at hand (a battle which may include thousands of troops). So arguing against them from a narrative standpoint is silly because the basic assumption of the game is that the battle is incredibly important and that it is part of a much larger conflict (i.e. that 1000 point game might just represent an assault team fighting the defenders of the primary objective while the rest of the massive force holds the line and distracts the enemy in order to buy the team time).

From a non-narrative standpoint (i.e. no fluff or narrative in place) there is certainly no argument based on likelihood of a character being there. Why you may ask? Because without fluff or a narrative, well, they are just entries in an army list. You may as well rail against a Marine Player taking tactical squads all the time. Importance of the battle is a narrative conceit, without a narrative any point value is simply there to balance a game. As soon as you bring in "it isn't important enough for him" you bring in narrative and enter the realm of the argument above. Without narrative you need no justification for taking anything. They are options in a list that you take and that's it, end of (non) story.

It really is silly to argue that a battle with no narrative is "too small" for a given option in the army list because all you have to go on is rules and the rules seem to state the exact opposite.

Thus whether a narrative exists or not the only reason to dislike a special character is because of some obstinate prejudice created either 3rd or early on in 4th when GW started some kind of pogrom against special characters (and as such spent next to no time balancing them). Now they are just another profile in the army. You can use them as their namesake or model your own and use counts as. Vulcan can just as easily be Master Steve of the BURNINATORS just as the basic Chapter Master and Company Captain entries are mutable. They are just different options.

In the end you can rail against it all you want but there are no more rules backing the standpoint and it isn't changing for a while. People like using their named characters and GW likes selling them. ;)

Irisado
02-06-2009, 22:18
Your last point was the most telling:


....and GW likes selling them

So, we should toss background and narrative out of the window just because GW likes selling Special Characters?

Some players may not mind taking this approach, but I will argue against it until the cows come home.

It is also not the case that my argument is silly. You may happen to believe it's silly, but you cannot label it silly in itself in my view, although you are free to express an alternative view, which you have done quite eloquently for the most part.

I don't agree with your premise though, as the entire point that I am making centres on the notion that Special Characters are more likely to be present in larger battles, as these battles tend to be more significant.

I have not said that Special Characters cannot ever be fielded in small battles, but there would need to be a narrative to justify it in my opinion.

Your argument about narrative doesn't make any sense to me I'm afraid, as the standard background in GW's books is suggestive of Special Characters being involved in highly significant battles, which tend to be larger, or narrative campaigns, which, as is commonly accepted pratice, are written out by players before the campaign or narrative battle begin.

You seem to be suggesting that all of this is irrelevant and I just can't go along with that at all, as there is a huge amount of importance to be attached to players making the effort to write a campaign featuring Special Characters, than to just have them turn up time and time again for a standard pitched battle.

Battles can also take place in isolation of bigger conflicts, so while the point made in Epic background is perfectly true, it does not mean that it reflects all cases.

As for your comparison of Tactical Marines and a Special Character, even if you were to reduce everything to the army list, the fact that Tactical Marines are troops, and Special Characters are HQs, and have the term 'special' in front of them, rather gives the impression that Tactical Marines would be rather more common, so I don't agree with you on that either.

Ronin_eX
02-06-2009, 22:51
Woot way to ignore the rest of my post and fixate on a single line at the end explaining why you shouldn't expect it to change anytime soon. Your ability to avoid the main point of what I wrote is staggering sir. I bow to your ability. :p

What you seem to have missed in my post is that those "small" 40k battles are not actually "small" battles but smaller snapshots of a large battle. 40k is a game about the focal points of larger battles. A 1000 point game is not a small skirmish in a vacuum it is simply a small snapshot of an important point in a larger engagement.

You are correct that these skirmishes can happen in isolation but that hasn't been the assumption since Rogue Trader. By default a game of 40k is simply a zoomed in picture of a much larger battle. If you want to do something other than the default battle that is part of a large engagement then that is a point you have to make (likely using rules that preclude the use of HQ units at all because anybody above the rank of Lieutenant wont tend to be engaged in an average skirmish let alone generic Captains or Chaos Lords).

In the end the basic assumption is that in a 40k battle you are never playing a tiny skirmish, you are playing the most important part of a large battle. Feel free to play differently but then that is you adding your own narrative to things and from that point on it is simple to accommodate anything if you really want. 40k is all about being over the top after all, so I find it odd that some one would actually try and make their game's less interesting just to exclude some one's play style.


I have not said that Special Characters cannot ever be fielded in small battles, but there would need to be a narrative to justify it in my opinion.

But why is justification needed without a narrative when the base assumption is that a small game is just part of a bigger battle. It seems to me that if you aren't giving a hoot about narrative then requiring justification for a named character in a small game is silly. You may as well ask why the non-named characters are there. If some one brings Sicarius and some one else brings a Company Captain then it is equally absurd to see them because, although Sicarius is named, he is still just a captain like any other no more or less important than a generic one. So why would a normal captain be present at a small engagement when a named one would seem odd there with no extra justification.

In the end it simply goes back to a lack of narrative meaning that no explanation is needed for anything to be present because without a unifying narrative you are just fielding a series of statlines chosen from a list and paid for with an arbitrary number of points. One stat line is no more important than another because there is no narrative involved saying "oh isn't it weird that that unit is in this battle". Without a narrative story concerns aren't and don't need to be raised because they are utterly void without a narrative. It is only when you have a narrative that it needs to be justified and by default the games you play are just part of a large battle thus limiting some units to armies of a certain size contradicts this assumption. No longer wanting this contradiction (that has apparently given players an odd idea about these things over the years) they changed back to no restrictions (going so far as to make them just another option).


As for your comparison of Tactical Marines and a Special Character, even if you were to reduce everything to the army list, the fact that Tactical Marines are troops, and Special Characters are HQs, and have the term 'special' in front of them, rather gives the impression that Tactical Marines would be rather more common, so I don't agree with you on that either.

You may also want to check recent army books because I'm having troubles finding references to special character in there. Maybe I'm reading different codices though.

*check Dark Angels codex*
Nope they are all listed along with the HQ section and only referred to once as named character.

*checks Chaos Space Marine Codex*
Wow, amazing it isn't in there either... maybe in the Ork one.

*gives it a good ole check*
Well blow me down no mention of special characters in there either!

*Flips through Codex Space Marines and Codex Imperial Guard*
Nope I'm afraid I can't find these special characters you are referring to.

What do your codices say? Seems odd GW would print such conflicting versions. ;)

Irisado
02-06-2009, 23:31
Woot way to ignore the rest of my post and fixate on a single line at the end explaining why you shouldn't expect it to change anytime soon.

That wasn't the part of your last line which interested me the most, so I don't see the points you are trying to make.


What you seem to have missed in my post is that those "small" 40k battles are not actually "small" battles but smaller snapshots of a large battle. 40k is a game about the focal points of larger battles. A 1000 point game is not a small skirmish in a vacuum it is simply a small snapshot of an important point in a larger engagement.

My argument was that it could very well be a battle in isolation, rather than a battle which is part of some larger conflict. There is a precedent for such battles after all.


You are correct that these skirmishes can happen in isolation but that hasn't been the assumption since Rogue Trader.

This is the precedent. I played under the Rogue Trader system, and while a lot of the rules have been superseded, a lot of the background has not been superseded, rather it has just been condensed or edited, and this is a key point which should not be overlooked in my view.


By default a game of 40k is simply a zoomed in picture of a much larger battle. If you want to do something other than the default battle that is part of a large engagement then that is a point you have to make (likely using rules that preclude the use of HQ units at all because anybody above the rank of Lieutenant wont tend to be engaged in an average skirmish let alone generic Captains or Chaos Lords).

I don't necessarily agree that this is the default position though, but I would need to do some further investigation through all my books to go into that in more detail, and for that I would need to be at home. If this thread is still active in July, I may be able to give you a more detailed response then.


In the end the basic assumption is that in a 40k battle you are never playing a tiny skirmish, you are playing the most important part of a large battle.

Again, I don't agree that this is always the case, for the reasons I've already stated.


40k is all about being over the top after all, so I find it odd that some one would actually try and make their game's less interesting just to exclude some one's play style.

What exactly do you mean by over the top? Could you elaborate?

Also, I disagree with your implication that the game is less interesting by not taking Special Characters. In fact, I contend that it is more interesting, as creating names for your own regular characters, and getting them to perform well in situations where the special character should be better is a good deal more enjoyable.


But why is justification needed without a narrative when the base assumption is that a small game is just part of a bigger battle.

Because I challenge the very premise (see earlier points).


It seems to me that if you aren't giving a hoot about narrative then requiring justification for a named character in a small game is silly.

Again, I put to you that scenario that Special Characters are not going to turn up for a lot of small encounters which are either independent, or not the main conflict (if the battle is part of a larger engagement and the main conflict is taking place elsewhere).


If some one brings Sicarius and some one else brings a Company Captain then it is equally absurd to see them because, although Sicarius is named, he is still just a captain like any other no more or less important than a generic one. So why would a normal captain be present at a small engagement when a named one would seem odd there with no extra justification.

Named Captains tend to have special rules which are unique to them and not other Captains, making them more powerful, but the situation with regard to these was resolved in the discussion about companies earlier on, so I don't feel the need to expand further on that point.


you are just fielding a series of statlines chosen from a list and paid for with an arbitrary number of points. One stat line is no more important than another because there is no narrative involved saying "oh isn't it weird that that unit is in this battle".

Different stat lines and points values do give some impression as to the quality of a unit and character, and by association its status within the army, so while I agree with you about the importance of narrative, I don't agree with how you are using it as a way to circumvent the profiles completely.


You may also want to check recent army books because I'm having troubles finding references to special character in there. Maybe I'm reading different codices though.

*check Dark Angels codex*
Nope they are all listed along with the HQ section and only referred to once as named character.

*checks Chaos Space Marine Codex*
Wow, amazing it isn't in there either... maybe in the Ork one.

*gives it a good ole check*
Well blow me down no mention of special characters in there either!

*Flips through Codex Space Marines and Codex Imperial Guard*
Nope I'm afraid I can't find these special characters you are referring to.

What do your codices say? Seems odd GW would print such conflicting versions. ;)

Don't play games with semantics please. You know exactly what I mean. Be they named characters or special characters, it is clear that they are different from regular characters by the fact that they have special rules, and by the fact they have names and separate profiles and narrative entries.

In addition, I find it a touch convenient that you have listed the most up to date codices to support your argument, as there are plenty of older ones which are still in current use :)

Tae
03-06-2009, 01:11
Having watched a friend's Ravenguard army get mauled in close combat by a dread-heavy list due to Shrike's replacing combat tactics with fleet (and his then inability to run from combat because of bad dice rolling), I can safely say that anyone thinking that a marine player who takes a special character (excepting perhaps Marneus Cheatgar) isn't paying an additional price for taking them is mistaken.

(N.B. I'm not saying whether the handicap for replacing combat tactics is of an appropriate value/level/whatever, merely that it does exist)

Razarael
03-06-2009, 03:01
After reading the discussion between Irisado and Ronin_eX, these are my thoughts on the subject. Note that I'm not really going to pick a point of theirs and argue it/try to counter it. I'm just going to say what I thought of from the discussion.

There can be fluff justifications for any and every scenario. Special character presence in a big battle is kind of a given, in that it's big, it's epic, and perhaps the outcome of a war is on the shoulder's of the leaders fighting this battle. So the leader's of the respective forces are going to be doing the dirty themselves. With Space Marines, that's going to be... the Chapter Masters. And of course, the named guys are likely to be there as well. With smaller fights, like infiltrating further into enemy territory or trying to sieze a small but important objective, I would say it is even MORE likely that Special Characters are going to be sent.

Imagine this - the Raven Guard are on a planet trying to push through some Orks. They find they can't do it without siezing some artifact or something way out of the way of the major battle. If they don't win that battle, their likelihood of success is going to drop significantly. Who are they going to send? That's right, the renowned/legendary warrior who's known for being able to beat the odds. And thus, they send in Shrike. So, this is a very simple fluff justification for those who need one, and it can be used in any situation.

So, we can do several things. One, we can assume that the battle regardless of size is a snapshot of a much larger engagement. Two, we can have a narrative dictate the size of the engagement. Three, we can assume that each army is in a vacuum. Four, we can do no assuming and not have a narrative. Every last one of these can coexist if people are willing to put aside their 40k egos and be willing to accept each others point of views. When you are actively going out to find trouble, of course you're going to find it. Just because you disagree with someone will never make your opinion any more or less valid in a subjective matter.

Anyhow, moving on. Ast it turns out functionally, army list changes don't just happen every battle as that would be irritating and having to come up with a new army in a campaign every single time a battle is fought just doesn't happen in a lot of cases unless that sort of thing has been agreed upon from the get go. Such as having to take into account each and every casualty an army suffers.

My point I'm getting at is this - a lot of emphasis is put on the name of the character and less so their function. The way I view special characters is that they are a 'buy in bulk - get more for less' kind of deal. Eldrad is a perfect example of that. Most of the time people (at least me) don't need to use 3 powers a turn. But if you want to, without using a special character, it's going to require two characters and a whole bunch of points. Instead you can buy a single character who happens to have all you need, and a bonus because you're spending so many points. But now all the eggs are lying in a single basket. An individual in 40k is nothing, especially the bigger the battle gets. In my opinion at least.

One of the last thoughts I had regarding what I had read was this - say you have a narrative and one player is using Vulkan He'Stan. His army wins a battle, blah blah blah, and then for story purposes they have to split. In one battle, He'Stan is present, and in the second, he is not. In the previous battle, because of He'Stan's rules, everybody had twin linked flamers/meltas. Given that it is a narrative, would the army that split away from He'Stan still have twin linked weapons in their battle or would their weapons all of a sudden get worse and would they regain combat tactics? The rules would say yes! they're weapons go back to normal, but if we're so fixed on the story, their weapons would stay twin linked and they would not have combat tactics.

That's all I got. This isn't directed to be an attempt to debunk or annoy anyone. It's just some thoughts I had after reading this last page on the topic. :)

Wickermann
03-06-2009, 11:45
Hello everyone,

I think that theming and Special characters can be viewed from two differeent perspectives (as the whole game of WH40k).

Players that enjoy theming and background definitely will argue about overusing SCs (I have an impression from reading this thread that this is what concerns most of the people). But on the other hand if someone develops a tactics based upon unique abbilities of some SC I think he should be free to use it. And I think that is the main problem of the OP rule. It was removed because in some cases it disallowed players to use their entire army tactics when the opponent disallowed them to use the SC. On the other hand now SCs can be abused. That is true, and unfortunately it is often done.

The other perspective looks upon the WH40k as a metagame, where the goal is to build the most powerful force and crush the opponent. The perfectly themed armies are generaly weaker than power builds and so the metagamers tend to minimise theming. But when using some SCs you can make a decently powerful and themed army (I know it can be done even without the SCs).

Problem is that some SCs like the new SM captains change the way the army works and if not used the player cant play the way he wants. But it can give the game more diversity, because you just do not face the same SMs all the time. So it has a bright side and also a darkside. It is then completely understandable that this player would want to use his commander every game. But it is little against the background as Irisado is trying to say. On the other hand it can always be justified if you want.

The narrative of battles is problematic, because you can justify almost anything. For example every SM captain was throught many battles small and large alike (in fact the number of troops does not imply the importance). It does not matter if you consider it justa part of the larger conflict or isolated battle. Everything can have its importance and every time you can imagine of a sutiation that would be worthy of such a famous character. Problem is when you look upon the problematic from different point of view than the opponent. It is than very difficult to arrange a narrative that is acceptable for both of you.

Personally I do not like armies that completly break the background. But it does not mean I do not have fun playing against them. It is true that I enjoy the game more when facing beutifully painted and themed army (with or without SC), but that is all.

Corrode
03-06-2009, 12:04
In addition, I find it a touch convenient that you have listed the most up to date codices to support your argument, as there are plenty of older ones which are still in current use :)

Rhinos are overpriced and worthless as transports. I mean, they cost 70 points totally naked! (Witch Hunters).

Force Weapons don't use Instant Death, and aren't ignored by Eternal Warrior (Daemonhunters).

There's squads called Leman Russ Battle Tanks, Sentinel Squadron, and Armoured Fist (both IQ codices).

There's pieces of equipment called Narthecium and Bionics. (Space Wolves).

Don't be obtuse. You know as well as everyone else that game rebalancing occurs and GW tends to make changes to the way that the game is played through how they write codices as much as how they write main rule books. The fact that some codices are very outdated and designed under an edition of the rules now separated from us by over 10 years and a further two iterations does not strengthen your argument, because clearly since about 2004 (Dark Angels codex I think where the 'named character' distinction first appeared and opponent's permission/points level limitations disappeared) GW have decided that special characters are OK.

TL;DR just 'cos GW is slow about updating doesn't mean a change hasn't taken place.

Deetwo
03-06-2009, 12:19
I think that theming and Special characters can be viewed from two differeent perspectives (as the whole game of WH40k).

I would say three ways really. There's strictly adhering to fluff, ignoring fluff and then there's some people who'd rather use the background mostly as a source of inspiration and not a restriction (and it seems most of the BL writers belong to the third group).

GW storylines have more plotholes than actual details.. And I believe it's on purpose, so players can use those holes as they see fit. Creativity and DYI has always been a major part of the hobby.

Razarael
03-06-2009, 13:11
I finally realized why this subject bothers me. As I have read through threads like this before, and including this one, I hear that people want others to just stop using special characters for whatever reason. The reason doesn't even matter. But what I have not heard is any real form of compromise. Only "Stop using special characters so much!" If someone has mentioned this, then I apologize for missing it, but without rereading the thread, I recall nothing popping out.

If you are prepared to make demands on how someone plays, you better well be prepared to make concessions.

Perhaps to a put a more proactive spin on this, if you are one of the people who would like there to be less fielding of special characters in regular pick up games, what are some compromises you would be willing to make in order to make your request more reasonable? I for one, can't think of any off hand, but it would be good to brainstorm.

Poseidal
03-06-2009, 13:25
What would I be classified as?

I would say I'm a self confessed fluff nut. The majority of my posts on this forum are probably in the Background section for a start, most likely discussing Phoenix Lords. I like the aesthetics and fitting in with the Background.

I also love special characters; the Phoenix Lords were one of the most 'cool' things I saw when I was a kid, first seeing Codex: Eldar (the one during 2nd ed). I'm a big fan of Eldar corsairs, and seeing Yriel in the new book was pretty cool.

inquisitor solarris
03-06-2009, 14:06
I only use a specail character when in apocalypse (Lysander-cause he's hard as hell)
But in standard games-it's just standard Captains/Chapter Master

If I had to use one I'd make the army fluffy

Irisado
03-06-2009, 15:09
Rhinos are overpriced and worthless as transports. I mean, they cost 70 points totally naked! (Witch Hunters).

Force Weapons don't use Instant Death, and aren't ignored by Eternal Warrior (Daemonhunters).

There's squads called Leman Russ Battle Tanks, Sentinel Squadron, and Armoured Fist (both IQ codices).

There's pieces of equipment called Narthecium and Bionics. (Space Wolves).

I'm specifically talking about Special Characters, not other units, so I don't understand why you have written this list.


Don't be obtuse. You know as well as everyone else that game rebalancing occurs and GW tends to make changes to the way that the game is played through how they write codices as much as how they write main rule books. The fact that some codices are very outdated and designed under an edition of the rules now separated from us by over 10 years and a further two iterations does not strengthen your argument, because clearly since about 2004 (Dark Angels codex I think where the 'named character' distinction first appeared and opponent's permission/points level limitations disappeared) GW have decided that special characters are OK.

Be they Special Characters or named characters, the point remains that they are distinguished from regular characters by the fact that they have a name.

GW may have decided that Special Characters are okay, but that's not the issue here. The issue that is being discussed here, as far as I had understood it, was that which players feel about Special Characters.

If we all just toed 'company policy', there really wouldn't be much to talk about would there? :)

Razarael: If you had faced a non-Deathwing Dark Angels army in Second Edition consisting of Azrael, Belial, some other character whose name I forget and their entire command squad, and a Space Wolf army led by Ragnar, Ulric and Njal every single time that you played against these armies, I think you would have more of an understanding about where I am coming from.

The point you are missing though is that while I will advocate an anti-Special Character stance from the point of view of background on a very regular basis, I don't ever tell people what they can and can't do, rather I urge, encourage, suggest or recommend that they take background into consideration, which is very different.

Wickermann
03-06-2009, 15:36
I would say three ways really. There's strictly adhering to fluff, ignoring fluff and then there's some people who'd rather use the background mostly as a source of inspiration and not a restriction (and it seems most of the BL writers belong to the third group).

Thanks for completition, but I just did not want to go deep into detail.


GW storylines have more plotholes than actual details.. And I believe it's on purpose, so players can use those holes as they see fit. Creativity and DYI has always been a major part of the hobby.

Exactly my point when I mentioned narrative. That is why you can always justify using SC (and I like it that way because you can always add what you like and expand the story of WH40k).

Razarael
03-06-2009, 15:40
Irisado - I think it's great that you are steadfast and well reasoned in your opinions. It's great, and you argue your points very well. Better than most, and I have the pleasure of reading lots of your posts thanks to us both being Eldar players. I'm not trying to give you flak on what you believe or how you go about it. And I'm confident that I've never read anywhere where you've beligerantly pushed your ideas. So while a bit of what I wrote may have seemed pointed in your direction, I was really aiming it at the people who do make unreasonable demands without even considering what they're willing to let go.

You're absolutely right though - I have never faced a Deathwing/Space Wolf army with those special characters you mentioned. They were before my time. I started playing 40k somewhere in the middle of third edition and then I didn't touch a Warhammer mini all throughout college asside from making the grievous mistake of selling my huge High Elf army and my small Eldar collection. I certainly can't imagine what that would be like.

If it were a regular opponent, I'd try to talk with them about how their use of characters is sapping the fun out of the game, and I'd recommend we either do the ole army switcheroo or make each other's armies, as it can be a real eye opening experience.

I once played a game where my opponent made my army. He gave me a Farseer with a bunch of Warlocks, many of which were given the conceal upgrade. Awesome! :)


Also, I take offense when people call Irisado obtuse.:mad: If he's of all people is obtuse, then the human race is doomed. One day I want to battle him taking two Wraithlords with Scatter Lasers/Shuriken cannons and him with two EML/Bright Lance Wraithlords.

Irisado
03-06-2009, 15:44
Irisado - I think it's great that you are steadfast and well reasoned in your opinions. It's great, and you argue your points very well. Better than most, and I have the pleasure of reading lots of your posts thanks to us both being Eldar players. I'm not trying to give you flak on what you believe or how you go about it. And I'm confident that I've never read anywhere where you've beligerantly pushed your ideas. So while a bit of what I wrote may have seemed pointed in your direction, I was really aiming it at the people who do make unreasonable demands without even considering what they're willing to let go.

Don't worry, I didn't mean to suggest that you thought I was like that, it was more a case of my pointing out to those in this thread who don't know me very well on here where I'm coming from with my point of view, and your post gave me the opportunity to do that :).

Corrode
03-06-2009, 16:24
I'm specifically talking about Special Characters, not other units, so I don't understand why you have written this list.

My point was that things change, even if older codices don't reflect that fact. Saying that 'you've picked all the ones that support your point without looking at older ones' is absurd, because those codices also have other arcane or outdated rules which aren't reflected in the modern version of the game.

To come back to my examples, once upon a time Special Characters had a rule that you could only use them with your opponent's permission. Also once upon a time, Space Marine variants got a mini-dex which referred to the main Space Marine book, and many items were simply 'counts-as' equipment. The current Wolves 'dex is still in this format, and refers to items like the Narthecium or Bionics, which no longer exist.

Your argument that 'you have to look at older codices too!' is akin to saying 'New transports are underpriced, because in comparison to this book which was published under an entirely separate set of rules with different design goals in mind they're very cheap' (which is an argument I've actually seen made).

Just because something appears in an old codex doesn't mean that we can draw any kind of precedent from it. By this point in time it is clear, from the rules presented in all codices since about 2004, that named characters (rather than Special Characters) are the order of the day, and that the rules for using them no longer rely on an opponent's permission nor on a limited points value. Going forward, I find it likely that this pattern will continue, even after the updating of the old codices - so why should we fuss about the rules presented there was being some indication that 'Special Characters' rather than simply 'named characters' are a part of the game?

Irisado
03-06-2009, 16:35
My point was that things change, even if older codices don't reflect that fact. Saying that 'you've picked all the ones that support your point without looking at older ones' is absurd, because those codices also have other arcane or outdated rules which aren't reflected in the modern version of the game.

Apart from the issue of whether they are referred to as named characters or Special Characters though, I was speaking in the sense of background and narrative not rules. I'm sorry if this wasn't clear, but that was the inference I was making.


To come back to my examples, once upon a time Special Characters had a rule that you could only use them with your opponent's permission. Also once upon a time, Space Marine variants got a mini-dex which referred to the main Space Marine book, and many items were simply 'counts-as' equipment. The current Wolves 'dex is still in this format, and refers to items like the Narthecium or Bionics, which no longer exist.

I'm aware of all of this, and I think it was a big mistake by GW to dispense with the 'permission clause', but that's a debate for another thread.


Your argument that 'you have to look at older codices too!' is akin to saying 'New transports are underpriced, because in comparison to this book which was published under an entirely separate set of rules with different design goals in mind they're very cheap' (which is an argument I've actually seen made).

It's nothing of the sort, because the issue under discussion, as far as I interpreted it, was one of background and narrative not rules per se, so comparison with older codices is perfectly valid in my view on that basis.

The point about Special Characters and named characters was that Ronin_eX was arguing that the entry Special Characters doesn't exist any more, but in older codices (some of which are still in use in fifth edition), I believe it still does, and that's the only reason why I was pointing his convenient form of sampling.


Just because something appears in an old codex doesn't mean that we can draw any kind of precedent from it.

I don't agree with you on that point at all, especially as far as background and narrative is concerned.


Going forward, I find it likely that this pattern will continue, even after the updating of the old codices - so why should we fuss about the rules presented there was being some indication that 'Special Characters' rather than simply 'named characters' are a part of the game?

You don't have to make a fuss about it at all if you don't want to, it's entirely up to you. There are other players like me though who don't agree with the emphasis that GW is placing on including Special Characters/named characters and will, from time to time, argue against it when these sorts of threads come up on wargaming forums.

I'm not saying you have to agree with me, but I don't think it's right to have my view silenced just because GW have changed the way they deal with Special Characters.

Somerandomidiot
03-06-2009, 17:48
What really confuses me about the "it's all about the fluff!" argument regarding named HQ choices is that they aren't necessarily named. For instance- I play Grey Knights. The only named HQ choice available to me is Brother-Captain Stern, who is actually worse than an equivalent Grand Master. The only special rules he receives (besides being a 2 wound character, instead of the 1 or 3 wound ones normally available) are a now-defunct one regarding a Lord of Change, and the ability to reroll dice, which grants my opponent as many rerolls as I use (I really don't consider this a game-breaking power, if you think it is feel free to mention it).

However, as I'm not very familiar with (and don't particularly enjoy) Stern's fluff, I've chosen to use his rules to represent the Brother-Captain leading my stalwart Knights. So now we have Brother-Captain Stevicus commanding a small detachment of Grey Knights as they cleanse the chaos taint from yet another world. As an uncompromising warrior in the service of the Emperor, Stevicus seems to have been blessed by the Golden Throne with unnatural luck.

Where, exactly, is the problem with my selection? Is it that a Brother-Captain (the same rank as a Terminator Sergeant) is too important to lead a detachment of Grey Knights? Or that I'm powergaming somehow with a selection that's actually worse than what I could get with a Grand Master?

DEADMARSH
03-06-2009, 19:18
Err, that's what I said, so I don't understand why you are correcting me :confused:.



That's my point though. By unnamed Captains, I mean Captains who have not been given the designation 'Special Character', so again I don't see any disagreement here.

By the way, I have no idea what 'losing the ghost means', but I assume it's something to do with not understanding something, yes?

I misunderstood your usage of "unnamed." From some of your other posts, it sounded like you were saying captains rotated between squads.

My mistake.

Thing is though, anybody that paints the trim on their marines has just committed them to a company, so those models are most likely always going to be lead by the same guy.

Now, whether or not they were smart enough to paint them the right color remains to be seen... :)

Irisado
03-06-2009, 19:33
What really confuses me about the "it's all about the fluff!" argument regarding named HQ choices is that they aren't necessarily named. For instance- I play Grey Knights. The only named HQ choice available to me is Brother-Captain Stern, who is actually worse than an equivalent Grand Master. The only special rules he receives (besides being a 2 wound character, instead of the 1 or 3 wound ones normally available) are a now-defunct one regarding a Lord of Change, and the ability to reroll dice, which grants my opponent as many rerolls as I use (I really don't consider this a game-breaking power, if you think it is feel free to mention it).

However, as I'm not very familiar with (and don't particularly enjoy) Stern's fluff, I've chosen to use his rules to represent the Brother-Captain leading my stalwart Knights. So now we have Brother-Captain Stevicus commanding a small detachment of Grey Knights as they cleanse the chaos taint from yet another world. As an uncompromising warrior in the service of the Emperor, Stevicus seems to have been blessed by the Golden Throne with unnatural luck.

Where, exactly, is the problem with my selection? Is it that a Brother-Captain (the same rank as a Terminator Sergeant) is too important to lead a detachment of Grey Knights? Or that I'm powergaming somehow with a selection that's actually worse than what I could get with a Grand Master?

This falls into the category of the 'counts as' option.

What I mean by this is that a player uses a Special Character's rules, but changes the name, and optionally (preferably in my opinion) writes a background story for said character.

In the particular case of the character you are using, he doesn't sound particularly powerful, so I don't think there would be major issues, but what tends to annoy some players, is if a player decides (s)he wants to use a Special Character, but just changes the name of the character and adds him/her to an army contrary to the background.

Eldrad is a classic example of this practice. The number of times I have seen army lists which have nothing to do with Ulthwé, but include Eldrad, is quite high, and when I point out the background issues, I am sometimes met with the response 'oh, but in my list he's called so and so'. I then enquire as to what 'so and so's history and background is and it all goes quiet.

Now, Eldrad is a different case to your Captain, as he's clearly a lot more powerful, and of course, there are Eldar players who use a 'count as' Eldrad, but write their own background for their 'special' Farseer. Similarly, for your Captain, if you have a good story for him, then all is well as far as I am concerned (not that you have to justify your decisions to me, I'm just making a comparison :)).

My point, therefore, is that while I wouldn't use the 'count as' rule in this way myself, I don't have a problem with others using it, providing they have some narrative to back it up.

SimonL
03-06-2009, 19:46
My issue with the melding of army-wide "theme" and special characters is that it is now impossible to play your army using it's unique strengths without SCs. For instance, and Salamanders army led by a Chaplain (say Xavier) are just "Green Marines" unless Vulkan is tagging along. I'd rather have army-wide rules you must pay for, like the Black Templar's Vows.