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View Full Version : Are army 'tiers' a good thing or not?



Grimstonefire
02-10-2009, 17:50
Imo there should be no army tiers at all. They are completely unnecessary, and do more to harm the warhammer game than they do to help it.

However, they do allow people who like to use more 'competitive' builds to choose an army that suits their needs.

The alternative is that ALL armies are equally as capable of building highly competitive lists.

My question then is firstly whether people think their should be 'tiers', and secondly whether they are becoming more accepted or not amongst the general gaming community?

Avian
02-10-2009, 18:01
Are you talking about tier systems where armies from lower tiers get more points to spend on their army and/or more VPs?

Or are you talking about some armies being overall more cost-effective (to put it like that) than others?

Grimstonefire
02-10-2009, 18:02
Both. Any sort of tiers that cover the weaknesses in army balancing.

So if it were possible to make armies totally balanced would there still be a need for tiers?

Tenken
02-10-2009, 18:06
Both. Any sort of tiers that cover the weaknesses in army balancing.

So if it were possible to make armies totally balanced would there still be a need for tiers?

IMO a tier system is at best a bandaid fix and at worst an admission that the company providing the rules can't balance ****. Tier systems are bad, balance is good. Having tiered units is fine, thats what rare/core/special is for but tiered armies are bad.

nieto666
02-10-2009, 18:08
If we could make all armies "well balanced" there would be no need for tiers, but thats not how GW operates and probaly never will. To them I beleave its come to makeing money and makeing the share holders happy over the game itself. It pretty clear in all the codex creep over the last two years. Its only gonna get worse before it gets better. At least 40K is more balanced IMO when compared to WFB. If they're not careful they'll start loseing long time customers to other game systems.

Enigmatik1
02-10-2009, 18:09
Both. Any sort of tiers that cover the weaknesses in army balancing.

So if it were possible to make armies totally balanced would there still be a need for tiers?

If all armies were totally balanced there would be no need for tiers since everyone would be on the same level, right? I suppose there would probably be tiny disparities here and there, but not enough to really be concerned with.

Grimstonefire
02-10-2009, 18:15
There would be no need for tiers, but would people simply scale down the imbalances and say 'now that DoC, VC and DE have been nerfed, LM are now the top tier' etc. Basically that people would hunt down every competitive build, rank them up against each other and still come out with tiers whatever changes were made?

Admittedly I wasn't following it so closely back in 6th, but I don't think people took any notice of trying to split them in tiers back then. It seems a current fad.

AdarII
02-10-2009, 18:43
Admittedly I wasn't following it so closely back in 6th, but I don't think people took any notice of trying to split them in tiers back then. It seems a current fad.

6th edition was more robust when it comes to balancing. In 6th edition static combat bonuses and manouverability (to flank and negate rank bonus) where the most important factors. This made all armies have at least some chance to win games even against the strongest armies. 7th edition have fundamentally changed the basic premises of the game in such a way that it have become more vulnerable to overpowered lists and units.

6th edition was not perfect but the imperfections made certain unit types overpowered (cheap infantry and multiple small units of cavalry) rather than allowing entire armies to become extraordinarily powerful.

Urgat
02-10-2009, 18:45
Is there anything like that to begin with? People came up with the tier deal to represent a few groups of different powers, but I believe GW makes books and thinks nothings of tiers or whatever.

Avian
02-10-2009, 18:50
There would be no need for tiers, but would people simply scale down the imbalances and say 'now that DoC, VC and DE have been nerfed, LM are now the top tier' etc. Basically that people would hunt down every competitive build, rank them up against each other and still come out with tiers whatever changes were made?
Yeah, but presumably the difference between tiers would be less the more balanced the army books are. So there'd probably always be some armies that were 'better', they'd just not be 'a whole lot better'. ;)

plantagenet
02-10-2009, 19:24
I honestly dont think you can make Warhammer completely balanced and not make the game completely and uterly dull. We all talk about being equally balanced as the holy grail but the only way that is going to happen is if all the armies are exactly the same.

I personaly like the system now and I think the tiers is a very elegant way of leveling the playing field for those players who like to play in a more competitive enviroment. As soon as you insist on complete balance you stifle the design studio from making new and interesting units as to do so would swing the balance of the game out vis a vie the last army book they wrote.

Complete balance would also mean the death of Warhammer. So we reach the balance stage we all seek, how can you improve the game any more. What is the point of rewriting the army books they are already perfect. No changes means a dull game. Whereas as much as it pains you to say it the fact the Hydra is good value for its points or the fact that the Blood thirster is the way it is means that when the write the Wood elves book they have more room to improve the treeman whether that be simple points reductions or better skills. They also have the room to bring in new and different units all helping the game to remain fresh and add to the challenge we as players face.

In many ways the more inbalance there is the game the more changes there are to come. The more challenges there are for the players the more interestign the game is too play. Perhaps and radical as it is to say the Vampire Counts, Dark Elves and Demons have helped create a Golden age for the game not the dark end of the world some people choose to paint. Each army list that comes out has more and more choice and the models continue to improve with every new release. Roll on the skaven I say.

As for the tiers I think the work brilliantly as in truth it will tend to be the older armies that slip down the tier lists thereby alowing there players to add more units to there army helping to keep it fresh and competitive vis a vie the newer armies. After all I cant see Beasts being a bottom tier army after Feb next year.

enygma7
02-10-2009, 20:23
In a friendly setting you are better off adjusting the power level of your list to match who you are playing. So if you play daemons and you are playing against orc and goblins then tone down your list - avoid the greater daemon and maximising on the herald combos, take some blocks of lesser daemons.

In a competetive setting you either have to have a tier system with comp restrictions or simply say "let the free market rule" and accept people have to bring a top level build to seriously compete.

Avian
02-10-2009, 20:46
I honestly dont think you can make Warhammer completely balanced and not make the game completely and uterly dull. We all talk about being equally balanced as the holy grail but the only way that is going to happen is if all the armies are exactly the same.

I don't think anyone is hoping for army books that are completely and utterly balanced, though I do think people in general would like army books that are reasonably balanced. ;)

narrativium
02-10-2009, 21:21
My understanding is, the Warhammer army books aren't officially tiered, they're informally tiered in such a way that you hear phrases such as "the Big Three". Blood Bowl teams are tiered more or less officially.

Condottiere
03-10-2009, 01:09
Tiers are a consensus by the general player community of the relative strength of each faction in relationship to each other.

Tokamak
03-10-2009, 09:44
Indeed, it's meant to establish how much prestige there is in winning against another player. There's no prestige in having your high tier army win from a low tier army, while making your low tier win from a high tier is a true achievement.

Ideally they wouldn't be necessary no, but to go on and pretend that all armies are equally balanced is just wrong.


I honestly dont think you can make Warhammer completely balanced and not make the game completely and uterly dull.

On the contrary, the imbalance in army books is what's making this game completely and utterly dull. And you know it yourself, you wouldn't bet a cent on orcs winning against daemons.

narrativium
03-10-2009, 12:32
Not quite. The gradient from Orcs to Daemons is too steep at the moment, no question, but I got my Dark Elf army handed to me by a Beasts player a few weeks ago and a nicer gradient - armies which are tiered to be balanced once learned but with some more difficult to master - is not a bad thing. It allows for the prestige level you've just celebrated in the first paragraph of your post.

Tokamak
03-10-2009, 12:36
I'm not sure where exactly you disagree with me.

narrativium
03-10-2009, 14:11
Perhaps I'm not. I interpreted your post to mean you disagreed with complete balance being dull, and instead felt imbalance was dull, and so preferred complete balance. I may have inferred your view was more extreme than it is.

Tokamak
03-10-2009, 14:29
Any imbalance prior to the game should come from army list selection, not from the selection of an army book. With other words, a player can already get a clear advantage by carefully constructing an army over someone who carelessly constructs one. The books themselves should all be balanced to the extreme, meaning that making a powerful army in one book should be as difficult as making a powerful army with any other.

Witchblade
03-10-2009, 18:11
Tiers are a consensus by the general player community of the relative strength of each faction in relationship to each other.
Yes, I'm getting the idea the word tier is subject to serious semantic inflation in this thread.

That said, tiers will always exist. It's GW's task, in preserving game balance, to maximally reduce the differences between tiers.

The greater the difference between tiers, the greater the need for comp. systems to preserve game balance.

plantagenet
03-10-2009, 18:52
With the tiers approach however I do think Orcs and Goblins have a chance against deamon. The 500 points makes a big difference at a 2000 point game. And while I will be the first to admit facing a fully tooled up Blood thirster is not something I look forward too in many ways a High Elf army with its always strike first rule is a worse opponent for an Orcs and Goblin Army.

I am not trying to be a total **** I agree the daemons would be the favourties but I just dont buy the idea that the daemons are so overpowered that the game is a forgone conclusion. After all turn one a rock lobber can land square on a Blood Thirster and kill him which is a quarter of his army gone straight away. If this happened I really dont think the daemons would have what it takes to come back.

Also Daemons have one fatal flaw the same one that in my opinion hampered the Bretonnian army (my first and longest warhammer love) which is that the army list is pretty dull. Yes everything in the army list pretty good but when compared to armies like Orcs and Goblins and Empire you can quickly see that after six months to a year you are probably going to have exhausted all the options.

Condottiere
04-10-2009, 03:16
Daemons aren't impossible to beat; nor are VCs, or Dark Elves or High Elves. But you need to have the tools, not wait for the other guy to screw up.