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Atrotos
01-03-2010, 00:17
Hey guys - had posted this elsewhere but wanted to get a few more opinions:

In the past few days I've gotten a few emails and comments about the list of additional rules posted on Rules Manufactorum (http://rulesmanufactorum.blogspot.com/search/label/Imperial%20Guard%20Doctrines). All the unit entries on the site are, so far, meant to plug in to existing codecies in order to take advantage of the playtesting and writing that GW has already done and to make it easier to include homebrew rules in 'official' lists. While most readers seem happy to have new options to add to their existing armies one reader states:

"Codecies, especially those written for 5th edition, are already filled to the brim with options. These [additional rules] you've written don't add to the game system, they overload it with options. ...[Codex Add-ons] would make it impossible to play competitively because the sheer variety of builds would make it impossible to build an 'all-comers' force. ... The overabundant variety of competitive builds would make the tournament circuit a crapshoot where only luck prevails."

I admit that this comment took me by surprise. I had never considered that an army might have "too many options." I've always wanted to enter a tournament and have armies that were completely different to one another as well as the option to build an army that is both themed AND competitive. IMO this can only happen if the codex is overstuffed with viable options. But the above quote does have some truth to it.

So what do you guys think? Can we ever reach a point where there are too many army builds to keep track of? Would it be distressing to you competitive players if there were too many rules to know by heart and that any game may present you with combos you've never faced?
__________________

StarFyreXXX
01-03-2010, 00:23
I think the more options the better. I'd rather spend hours building my army lists, than have fewer choices. ( i really enjoy army design and get bored easily as things become more similar)

Sanjay

wazatdingder
01-03-2010, 00:24
There can never be too many options, I fear I will see too many Leaf Blowers at this years Ard Boyz. While I like the new Guard Dex, I loved the last one. Even though some doctrines were overpriced or not competitive, the options awesome and inspiring.

Atrotos
01-03-2010, 00:29
There can never be too many options, I fear I will see too many Leaf Blowers at this years Ard Boyz. While I like the new Guard Dex, I loved the last one. Even though some doctrines were overpriced or not competitive, the options awesome and inspiring.

If you miss doctrines you should check out the ones posted on RM. There's both Imperial and Chaos ones with Inquisitorial ones incoming. I'd love to have your opinion on them.

sabreu
01-03-2010, 00:35
I disagree with whoever sent that message. 5th Edition is reknown for having less options than previously. The difference is that it seems like more because each individual unit has the options listed in their entry, rather than being redirected to a basic armoury as in 3rd/4th edition codex. The amount of variance allowed in theory was staggering with those armies. In practice though, only those choices that were practical for tourny play were taken though.

Bunnahabhain
01-03-2010, 00:35
In terms of current codexs...
Layout and organisation matter. I loathe the current presentation of codexs, with hard to use army lists, and unit entries split across the army list and FOC chart- why should I have to look at 2 pages to see both the rules a model has, and it's basic kit?

Make the layout clear and easy to use, ( in the name of all that is holy, use an armoury- it's not hard, divide it into special, heavy, close combat etc weapons, and just refer to that, so avoid having the same lists 30 times over...)and you'll find that options will quickly multiply. However, it is very hard to make more than a couple of them equal. More than this, and some will clearly be above or below the rest.

40k has too many rules to keep track of as is, as the basic mechanics are lacking. I am part of a group working on a much more detailed game, that uses much simpler and more robust mechanics, and every change we've made recently has been to eliminate exceptions and odd little rules, and keep everything referring back to a few basic mechanisms that work. Systems that use a wider range of values - ie armour values are 1-10 and they all get used, and simple modifiers and re-rolls mean we have infinite room to add more units, but they won't throw up surprise, as they won't have odd rules interactions,a s they use the same basic ones.

Too many rules to know by heart is the sign of a messy system.

Eldoriath
01-03-2010, 00:45
THere can't really be too many options and playstyles to build a list to cope with. From the top of my head there are roughly these "lists":
Footslogging/Mechanized/Hybrid/CC/Shooty MEQ
Footslogging/Mechanized/Hybrid/CC/Shooty GEQ
Hoard/MC/Hybrid
Add in psychic powers in all three above as you see fit. But really, after these three generalized lists there isn't much else that I can think of. Your basically MEQ or GEQ, check. You bring vehicles or not, check. You have monstrous creatures or not, check. Got some psychic ability or not, check.

So... How can it become too many options to "defend" against really? As it is now it's the extreme lists that are hardest for an all-comer list often, but if an list is extreme or not is not because of options, rather lacking options or something.

Anyways, that's my 0,02 SEK.

Occulto
01-03-2010, 00:48
The problem with options, is that the more you have, the harder it seems to be to cost them appropriately.

For instance, option X is fine at 5 points and option Y is fine at 5 points.

But if options X and Y are combined, you get a result that probably should be costed at 20 points.

The other issue with options is that any which are too specific, are liable to be ignored in favor of the "jack of all trades" options. A codex with 200 different choices is no good if 195 of them are deemed "useless" for competitive play.

So I don't think too many options would result in a luck-fest. I think more likely, there'd just be a gravitation towards the same narrow range of lists - which is pretty much what happened with a codex like the previous Chaos. Huge amount of stuff was rarely, if ever, seen.

Atrotos
01-03-2010, 00:57
The problem with options, is that the more you have, the harder it seems to be to cost them appropriately.

For instance, option X is fine at 5 points and option Y is fine at 5 points.

But if options X and Y are combined, you get a result that probably should be costed at 20 points.

This is true but a well designed codex will reward a player for making that connection and creating that synergy. A good codex will also have multiple ways to achieve combos like the one you describe so that no one combo becomes a no-brainer.

Also each additional upgrade a unit receives should generally be costed less than the last. In general units become more offensively capable with each additional upgrade without augmenting their defences (or vice versa). I call this Grey Knight syndrome - they're better than marines but there's still one bad roll away from oblivion just like 15 pt Grey Hunters.



The other issue with options is that any which are too specific, are liable to be ignored in favor of the "jack of all trades" options. A codex with 200 different choices is no good if 195 of them are deemed "useless" for competitive play.

That's why you need a good list that will cater to a variety of play styles and allow for competitive combinations:

IG Doctrines (http://rulesmanufactorum.blogspot.com/2010/02/imperial-guard-doctrines-part-2-forces.html#comments)

wazatdingder
01-03-2010, 01:24
If you miss doctrines you should check out the ones posted on RM. There's both Imperial and Chaos ones with Inquisitorial ones incoming. I'd love to have your opinion on them.

I did. It's cool. Although I felt the last codex was asking too much to pay 2 pts for warrior weapons. Here they are asking 3, sure you "might" not give up kill points 1/3 of the time in 1/3 of the games you play, so that is totally worth it.:rolleyes:

I enjoy seeing people make their own stuff and fully understand why they do it. As a public gamer, I prefer sanctioned rules. That's why I miss Chapter Approved and Fanatic stuff. I sanctioned reasonable private rules for public play. GW needs to realize that no harm was done by Armageddon and Eye of Terror. Throw in more options.

Atrotos
01-03-2010, 01:40
I did. It's cool. Although I felt the last codex was asking too much to pay 2 pts for warrior weapons. Here they are asking 3, sure you "might" not give up kill points 1/3 of the time in 1/3 of the games you play, so that is totally worth it.:rolleyes:


Good catch, I'll change it. Although there's more to consider since you can mix and match all the Doctrines.

Here's a list I made to show what an Elite IG strike force might look like given a few more options:

HQ

Company Command Squad
4 x Meltaguns
Carapace
Straken
Priest w/Eviscerator
Drop Troops

in Valkyrie w/ Rocket Pods

Troops

Veterans
2 x Meltaguns
Heavy Flamer
Plasma Pistol
Power Weapon
Grenadiers
Honor Guard
Demolitions
Heavy Infantry

in Vendetta

Veterans
3 x Plasmaguns
Plasma Pistol
Power Weapon
Grenadiers
Honor Guard
Chem-Inhalers

in Vendetta

Veterans
3 x Plasmaguns
Plasma Pistol
Power Weapon
Grenadiers
Honor Guard
Chem-Inhalers

in Vendetta

Heavy Support

Vulture w/ 4 Rocket Pods

At around 1750 this list has a very low model count but high defensive and offensive capabilities. It plays like an eldar skimmer list but it packs more of a punch in shooting and is no pushover in CC.

Bunnahabhain
01-03-2010, 01:49
And it will be soundly and easily defeated by 1500pts of Guard who've not bough the fancy option, but more men and more guns.


The problem with lots of options on one unit is it is very hard to use all of them at once. You end up paying a fortune, to be able to do one thing at at a time, and each casualty hurts.

It is very, very hard to make upgrades costed appropriately when taken both singly and stacked.

The only way I know of is to make all upgrades of a similar level, and cost them as +20 for the first, +10 for the second, +5pts for the third or beyond, or some similar pattern. It's a messy compromise, as it limits the options you can have, as they all then have to be of a similar level...

vladsimpaler
01-03-2010, 02:37
More options are always better. :D

Whoever wrote that 5th has an "abundance" of options has obviously never played any previous edition of 40k. :eyebrows:

Hellebore
01-03-2010, 04:09
More options are bad if the game doesn't have enough nuance in the rules to provide a meaningful difference.

40k has fewer subtlties of rules, with many being a binary yes/no situation.

Take many of the vehicles in the guard codex. Some of their differences are slight others great. But the problem is that there just aren't enough variations that make enough of a difference to be worth taking compared to others.

Hellebore

Radium
01-03-2010, 05:19
More than fits on a page I'd say.

But I agree with Hellebore, the options need to be meaningful enough to actually consider taking them.

Lord Nestron
01-03-2010, 07:06
More options are bad if the game doesn't have enough nuance in the rules to provide a meaningful difference.

40k has fewer subtlties of rules, with many being a binary yes/no situation.

Take many of the vehicles in the guard codex. Some of their differences are slight others great. But the problem is that there just aren't enough variations that make enough of a difference to be worth taking compared to others.

Hellebore

I see this best demonstrated with the codex SM.....

You have a load of Options but in the end everybody uses the same List cause everything else isn`t worth taking

Vaktathi
01-03-2010, 07:28
When every selection and/or FoC slot can perform every role equally well, then there are too many options.

That said, that requires a rather ridiculous number of options or quite simply very poorly balanced ones.

Corrode
01-03-2010, 10:18
More options are always better. :D

Whoever wrote that 5th has an "abundance" of options has obviously never played any previous edition of 40k. :eyebrows:

Sub-lists which were essentially 'here's a lot of restrictions which let you gain some super-cool special rules' don't count as 'options'. 5th's base codices are much more mutable than anything in 3rd or 4th (up until the Orks).

Of course, this doesn't account for RT or 2nd which were option-filled, but compared with the last 12 years 5th is a pretty good place to be.

Atrotos
01-03-2010, 11:22
And it will be soundly and easily defeated by 1500pts of Guard who've not bough the fancy option, but more men and more guns.

I'm not sure but I suspect you're right. I did however win against a hardcore nid player (Stealers/Zoanthropes) and tied against a Chaos player with dual lash princes and 6 obliterators.



The problem with lots of options on one unit is it is very hard to use all of them at once. You end up paying a fortune, to be able to do one thing at at a time, and each casualty hurts.

It is very, very hard to make upgrades costed appropriately when taken both singly and stacked.

The only way I know of is to make all upgrades of a similar level, and cost them as +20 for the first, +10 for the second, +5pts for the third or beyond, or some similar pattern. It's a messy compromise, as it limits the options you can have, as they all then have to be of a similar level...

This. This is the single biggest problem as I said before in response to Occulto - "Grey Knight Syndrome". The solution that I've gone for is to create a list of complimentary doctrines so that one 30pt Doctrine plus another 30pt Doctrine are worth more than 60pts.

For example the Skitarii Doctrine gives the unit a 5++. Not a huge deal but if you take 'Heavy Infantry' your save becomes rerollable giving you better than a 4+ Invulnerable save. Combinations such as these reward good list building but don't present the player with 'no brainer' options.

nightgant98c
01-03-2010, 11:48
...[Codex Add-ons] would make it impossible to play competitively because the sheer variety of builds would make it impossible to build an 'all-comers' force. ... The overabundant variety of competitive builds would make the tournament circuit a crapshoot where only luck prevails."


Multiple competitive builds? Oh no, the horror!:) The all comers list is a nice idea, but it's really a myth in my opinion. You can build your army any way you like but there will still be lists that cause you problems.

I say bring on the options. Maybe then people will actually have to think about what goes into their list.

Petay1985
01-03-2010, 12:55
Multiple competitive builds? Oh no, the horror!:) The all comers list is a nice idea, but it's really a myth in my opinion. You can build your army any way you like but there will still be lists that cause you problems.

I say bring on the options. Maybe then people will actually have to think about what goes into their list.

I thank you sir for saying what i was thinking! :)

Lord Inquisitor
01-03-2010, 21:06
Too many options are bad for a game. There are several ways 40K has gotten overcomplicated. Indeed, options, special rules and unique units are generally bad for a wargame. Look at Gothic or Epic, two great GW games, almost entirely devoid of unit options, work just great.

Overcomplicated core rules. As with Fantasy, successive editions tend to add rules rather than streamline them. Take the vehicle shooting rules - the vehicle rules are generally overcomplicated - there's no need for different vehicles to have different shooting rules and the defensive weapon thing is a mess. The general failure of the shooting rules means that most effective vehicles can get around the restrictions somehow, by being a Fast vehicle (like Eldar skimmers or Valkyries) or by virtue of a special rule (Leman Russ, Land Raider, Immolator) or by just having one gun (Vindicator, Defilers with extra combat weapons). Any tank that doesn't fit in one of these categories just doesn't get used (e.g. Predator). The fact that you need to make special rules for vehicles like Land Raiders and Leman Russ just to do their jobs means you screwed up the core rules!

Think about it, what if all vehicles (fast, slow, whatever) could fire all weapons (inc ordinance) if they move up to 6" and one weapon when moving up to 12". You can get rid of the special rules and all vehicles would be equally viable, suddenly the predator looks as good as the vindicator. Perhaps some further tweaks (maybe ordinance shouldn't be able to fire moving up to 12"?) but the point is that the elaborate set of rules GW have made for vehicles is not only not as good as a simpler set, multiple exceptions have to be made just to make the rules work!!

The second is codex complexity. Again, here, more complexity isn't good. I realise the thread is more about options than special rules or codex outline, but both of these are also symptomatic. Codex layout is incredibly annoying (why have a Wargear section and not put any wargear rules in it!?) although I prefer the new army list layouts with all options. However, again, look to BFG or Epic Armageddon. Here we can get the ENTIRE ARMY LIST on one page. Building an army is quick and easy. Special rules are also bad. Build an army, stick to the USRs. Epic works with only one or two special rules PER ARMY. You don't need to memorise anything but the statline. Here complexity is bad, you should be able to make virutally all units with statline and USRs. Space Marine scouts are fine with their statline (WS3 shows relatively inexperienced troops, 4+ save for light armour) and USRs - infiltrate, move through cover, scout and maybe stealth. But they have unique rules for bikes that crap out minefields, teleport homers, teleport jammers, hellfire heavy bolters, stun guns and a special character with two unique rules! This sort of thing doesn't actually enhance the "feel" of scouts and just adds unnecessary burden to remember all of this rubbish. Techmarines are worse - they actually go against the lightning-assault feel of the Space Marines with their fortification building ability.

Now we come to the sheer number of options. Firstly, the more options the harder to balance, full stop. Yeah, yeah, you can do it right? Well, the number of possible combinations increases exponentially with the number of independent options. The old Chaos codex was a prime example of this - certain options were WAY more powerful than they should have been (+1A and +1S on unit champions who get discounted power weapons!?) and vast swathes of it just didn't get used at all. Some of it was too good, most of it was worthless. With most armybooks or codecies particularly those with many options, certain combinations arise that are so good one suspects the designer didn't indend them.

People like options. Oh, the wailing and gnashing of teeth about the current chaos codex continues to this day! But more options usually runs against good game design. Simple, easy to remember, concentrate on tactical options. The more funky cool ideas the bigger a mess the product becomes and tactics fall by the wayside. The new Skaven book is chock full of "fun" options - but playing Skaven feels like a random nutjob dicefest, there're just too many funky rules and upgrades that the fundamental warhammer game mechanics strain under all the Unbreakable or exploding units. We have 7 Leman Russ variants? Funny, I only see three on the table and maybe two artillery piece types. But I see virtually all of the units from the much-maligned Chaos codex being used.

Project2501
01-03-2010, 22:15
I think the more options the better. I'd rather spend hours building my army lists, than have fewer choices. ( i really enjoy army design and get bored easily as things become more similar)

Sanjay


I don't know if I could have said it better.

I've noticed fewer and fewer options for armies as time marches on in 40k and I don't like it. I don't see it as streamlining but more as watering down.


Edit-
@Lord Inq: outside of white dwarf I have never seen anyone ever play epic or gothic since 2nd/3rd editions of 40k. Your gaming circle must be fantastically large and diverse to be able to say that either of those games do well.

Corrode
01-03-2010, 23:34
I don't know if I could have said it better.

I've noticed fewer and fewer options for armies as time marches on in 40k and I don't like it. I don't see it as streamlining but more as watering down.


Edit-
@Lord Inq: outside of white dwarf I have never seen anyone ever play epic or gothic since 2nd/3rd editions of 40k. Your gaming circle must be fantastically large and diverse to be able to say that either of those games do well.

It's not that Epic or Gothic are played a lot, but they are both very good systems whilst having a tiny amount of options. In BFG I feel like I'm making real tactical decisions, and very often my opponent and I will talk through the game and be able to pinpoint what went wrong 2-3 turns ahead of where it actually occurred. In 40k, besides 'hey dude don't stand Termies in front of plasma cannons', there's not so much of that.

Occulto
01-03-2010, 23:49
With Epic and Gothic, there's a wider range of things you can do. That's where the options come in, not whether you give a guy a weapon that confers +1S or not.

There's a lot less micromanagment across units - so it's less about what you take, and more about how you use it.

ehlijen
02-03-2010, 00:52
More options are good, but only if each option actually enriches the game. Options should add unique capabilities to units, not simply improve them.

Options that are really just improvements to the basic unit can also be viewed as the unit simply not being up to scratch unless you splurch the extra points (and frequently are). That means you end up with a game where tactics are not dictated by how you use your units or even what units you brought, but instead by what upgrades you didn't buy. And that's what makes epic and bfg look like superior games: If you don't succeed it's because you failed to use your units right, not because you forgot to bring an essential piece of kit.

Atrotos
02-03-2010, 01:04
I think a common theme in everyone's posts here is that more options will:

1. Ultimately mean some options will suck and others will be broken

2. Make rules more obscure due to increasing complexity and variety

However, neither is a given fact. In addition if rules documents remain open to editing based on feedback both can be reversed retroactively.

Firaxin
02-03-2010, 01:27
Look at Gothic or Epic, two great GW games, almost entirely devoid of unit options, work just great.
Excellent post, Lord Inquisitor, but I have to point out that BFG, at least, is less than perfect (in my experience).

Tyranids tend to rarely ever be more than a kraken-fest supported by ordnance spewing Hiveships.

Tau ships, with their poor speed and armor relative to the other races, is similar to 'nids in that I've almost never seen players try something other than an Orca-fest backed up by cheap/effective ordnance-spam.

Dark Eldar, IIRC, literally only have 2 ships, a cruiser variant and an escort ship variant.

Similarly, marines have 1 battleship variant and 1 cruiser variant, plus a number of escort variants (half of which are stolen from the regular Imperial Fleet's list, and thus avoided by people trying to play 'pure' marines).

Imperial, Eldar, and Chaos fleets in particular are much better when it comes to variance, but even they aren't without their faults (with Imperials for example, the Emperor-class battleship is almost invariably taken over the Oberon, Apocalypse, or Retribution-class battleships).


Sure, I would agree that the actual battles of BFG seem much more tactical, balanced, and generally superior to regular 40k's, but surely some of these races could deserve more unit options (rather than unit upgrades, which can definitely get out of hand)? Forge World, at least, seems to agree, which is why the Tau got a plethora of new ships from them.

Consequently, I think the same theory can be applied to 40k. By all means streamline/reduce the core rules/unit upgrades, but that shouldn't preclude being able to add new units.


EDIT @ Atrotos: Some of the rules on your site seem like a good start. But who's playtesting them? The community? Okay. Who makes sure retroactive changes are applied 'properly,' and how do you define what 'properly' is? Your Dark Mechanicus doctrine, for example, seems overpowered at first glance. For 75pts (Techpriest+the doctrine), you could give 6 sentinels the 'possessed' rule, which would cost ~180pts in the Chaos codex, and that's already factoring in a Ballistic Skill reduction that doesn't occur for the sentinels. You could argue that the techpriest can be shot, thus removing the bonus for all of them at once, but with that many sentinels so close to the techpriest, it's going to be virtually impossible to obtain LOS to it.

ShadowDeth
02-03-2010, 03:46
"Too many options."

"Wah Wah, I can't account for the meta in tournaments."

That's so ridiculous. I thought GWS didn't care about tournaments? Why is someone upset that the game they chose to play that doesn't really work in tournament settings, doesn't work in tournament settings?

As for too many options, I'd rather be able to pay 30 points to upgrade my Chaos Armor Values by 1 point, than have "Banners".

Lord of Worms
02-03-2010, 03:54
Too many options are bad for a game. There are several ways 40K has gotten overcomplicated. Indeed, options, special rules and unique units are generally bad for a wargame. Look at Gothic or Epic, two great GW games, almost entirely devoid of unit options, work just great.


I`m in agreement with you for the most part, but in Epic you can actually make decisions at the tactical level and react to changing circumstances. In 40k who wins is entirely decided by army composition and luck.

big squig
02-03-2010, 04:19
Options aren't the issue for me, it's needless army exclusive special rules that are my problem. I've pretty much hated every codex since space marines. The new codex layout is God awful. It's nigh impossible to find the information you're looking for. We don't need crap like scout bike-only grenade launchers, digi-weapons, booby traps, or God knows what else. We don't need Blood Claws to have their own furious charge when there's a perfectly fine furious charge in the freaking rule book. We don't need everything and the kitchen sink that was thrown in the guard codex.

By far, my favorite codexes are the eldar and ork codex. They are dirt simple, easy to use and read, easy to write a list with, have minimal exclusive special rules, aren't full of pointless wargear and units, and have a ton of variety without any addendum or trait system. Seriously, you can make just about any craftworld or any clan with those codexes. They should be the template for every codex.

I even think the design for the chaos codex is great, I just would have kept legions and daemons in it instead of making them spiky ultramarines.

Tenken
02-03-2010, 04:24
More options are always better for me. More options means I never have to get stuck playing the same list twice, how boring would that be? Honestly I pity anyone who plays necrons, playing essentially the same list day in and day out, I'd sell my army off in a heart beat.

More options only become a problem when options become redundant.

Thommy H
02-03-2010, 07:47
Having options for every single little thing is insane. Remember purity seals and Terminator honours? Ugh. Waste of paper and ink. It's all about striking a balance - additional complexity isn't always (or often) good - I agree wholeheartedly with the comments about Epic and Gothic, which are the two best games GW has ever made (although I probably differ from others in that I think Epic 40,000 was an amazing ruleset) - but they're not for everyone. People want choices sometimes too. I just wonder if a game where you see an average of 50 - 100 models on the table is the place to have rules for everything. If you want micromanagement, play Necromunda.

NightrawenII
02-03-2010, 09:56
@Lord Inquisitor
Yor comment about Epic or BFG, is all good until you realise, that in Epic you have variety of options during field-action. The same can be aplied to BFG. In 40k there isn't such freedom, you can just shoot, move or cc.
Second, Imperial fleet #1 looks like copy-paste of the Imperial fleet #2, which isn't exciting at all.

The special/unique rules, different wargear/weapons and variety of options are there to give your army unique flavour so it doesn't look like Ultramarines army #2. The problem is where the abuse of this starts and when it ends.
So, my opinion on this one is same as Ehlijens:
More options are good, but only if each option actually enriches the game. Options should add unique capabilities to units, not simply improve them.

Ie. No options for the options sake, but for variety things.

My two cents.

Askari
02-03-2010, 10:18
Another vote for the camp of "Options, but only if they add to the game"

Sure some options, like 3.5 Chaos' Spiky Bits, are pointless and don't actually make sense, but otherwise they are what makes Chaos Army #1 different from Chaos Army #2, unlike in Epic and BFG, which are indeed good games but not very diverse.

Although I agree with Lord Inquisitor's rules streamlining.

Atrotos
02-03-2010, 12:25
EDIT @ Atrotos: Some of the rules on your site seem like a good start. But who's playtesting them? The community? Okay. Who makes sure retroactive changes are applied 'properly,' and how do you define what 'properly' is? Your Dark Mechanicus doctrine, for example, seems overpowered at first glance. For 75pts (Techpriest+the doctrine), you could give 6 sentinels the 'possessed' rule, which would cost ~180pts in the Chaos codex, and that's already factoring in a Ballistic Skill reduction that doesn't occur for the sentinels. You could argue that the techpriest can be shot, thus removing the bonus for all of them at once, but with that many sentinels so close to the techpriest, it's going to be virtually impossible to obtain LOS to it.

I make sure their applied and if the "community" convinces me it hasn't been done properly I try again. It's not an exact science but it doesn't have to be when there's dice involved.

Your example, in my polite opinion, has several faults.

1.You seem to suggest that it would actually be fair to charge someone 180 pts to give six sentinels Daemonic Possesion. If all the opposition has done is stunned the sentinel they've pretty much failed already imo.

2. Would you ever take the Techpriest without the Doctrine? The Doctrine is purposefully undercosted because the Techpriest is an overcosted entry. I've never seen anyone use one.

3. It'd be damned cool to see someone field a phalanx of Sentinels as a result of this rule wouldn't it? Something totally new, a new army focus spawned from one 30 pt upgrade. Smells like success.

Thanks for the feedback, friend.

Bunnahabhain
02-03-2010, 12:46
2. Would you ever take the Techpriest without the Doctrine? The Doctrine is purposefully undercosted because the Techpriest is an overcosted entry. I've never seen anyone use one.



That is precisely the wrong way to design units.

Doing something that way means the unit only ever gets take in in one way, with the one under-priced option, and the rest of the entry becomes pointless.

Price the basic unit correctly, and the upgrades correctly, and they all see use. It isn't that hard.

Atrotos
02-03-2010, 13:25
That is precisely the wrong way to design units.

Doing something that way means the unit only ever gets take in in one way, with the one under-priced option, and the rest of the entry becomes pointless.

Price the basic unit correctly, and the upgrades correctly, and they all see use. It isn't that hard.

No it's quite easy but it's not rules design. You can't go around hacking points costs and there's several reasons for this.

I've discussed this at length in other places. He's how I responded to this on the BoLS Lounge:

He said:
"b/c of the fundamental problem NOT being that the codices are not balanced, but that many codices have so few choices for competitive builds, based on the fact that many of their units are obsolete by design and points cost, not by options."

I said:
"Very true, but wouldn't you agree that many of these "obsolete by design" units could be restored through the addition of options? An example would how Chaos bikers are outshone by other options in the codex but become a competitive choice with the Mark of Nurgle. Similarly if you could take a 'Legion of the Damned' HQ choice that made LotD Troop choices would they not instantly become more competitive?

Additions to rules suggest a level of intimacy and involvement in the theme of your army as well as its competitiveness. Yes a simple points-hacking fixes the LotD just as well but when you only end up taking 1 min-sized unit of them deep striking with a multimelta this is going to rankle with other players. My interest in rules design is allowing anyone and everyone to field a themed, competitive army. Currently many choices (LotD, Penal Legion, Raptors etc.) have strong background material which leads many players to say "I wish I could field an all X army!" These players can not do that either because of FOC limitations (all-Raptor army) or competitive limitations (all-Thousand Sons) or sucky, uninspired rules limitations (Penal Legion) or no rules whatsoever (Adeptus Mechanicus) etc. This is what I'm trying to fix. Too many players give up on the army of their dreams because their desired theme is not supported with existing rules.

So that's why I add to rules rather than change existing ones. Changed rules are easier to exploit because they don't encourage rules design for the right reasons. Your example is an excellent exhibit for my case as well - Storm Troopers Deep Striking with 2 Meltas for even cheaper than they do now isn't necessary. However those of us that want an all Storm Trooper army are stuck with terrible cost in points of fielding full-sized squads at the expense of other choices. How do you keep the points cost of ST suicide squads level whilst also allowing the player to field an all Storm Trooper army? You make a Storm Trooper Officer (http://rulesmanufactorum.blogspot.com/2010/02/ig-storm-trooper-officer.html?showComment=1267528699158_AIe9_BEZRul 5UJRJWnsIV_Ty7ta3Y9ntpK7IcFP5ko-8Sc0QoWKIzjo_AhM_vhEOwWEO1mR0Wr_yYQSak9TnLJDAB23WM JyfyGKV_2UYrGUu3aPqNNHgIBSHCWRkcL2_h7LuulXb9y2tTxr HxzKw-QBEVK0AaY5G6TqSHwn5_zX4KMqh6Vx2A-DbJQAp_42DIJED21ylJNkU53pgPihaZhBbu0ajOHJDOHejnIgY-L1rcSvV6efW27s#c7975350652706631881)."

Jagged
02-03-2010, 15:00
Back when I played my first game of 40K it was the Orks who had the most flexible army options and the most choices, while SMs had the stricter list. This was explained to me as both a "balancing" factor and that Orks were more chaotic (little c) while SM followed Empire dogma.

Now that situation seems somewhat reversed, which is a little odd :)

Back OT: Too many options is a bad thing if you have a choice for every situation without any trade off. I felt this was true of Orks back when I started. Not sure if its true of any army today but some some units (such as those that can pick munitions with each shot) worry me.

Lord Inquisitor
02-03-2010, 15:45
Excellent post, Lord Inquisitor, but I have to point out that BFG, at least, is less than perfect (in my experience).
Here I'm inclined to agree with you, and there are certainly also things I think could be improved about Epic too. The point remains that you don't need options to make a good game. At some point you can remove all options to the point of having a zen-like game, but I'm not going to say that some options aren't fun.

I'm not going to say that I want every Space Marine squad to have exactly one missile launcher as in Epic. That's a bit too little in the way of options for a 28mm game! But the minimum necessary is perhaps a better way to look at it. And I think that the current codecies already have too many.


I`m in agreement with you for the most part, but in Epic you can actually make decisions at the tactical level and react to changing circumstances. In 40k who wins is entirely decided by army composition and luck.
Ha! Well, I don't quite agree that 40K is that bad or I wouldn't play it at all. It's still very much possible to outmaneuver and out-think your opponent. Simplify the rules, add in overwatch and it can still be an excellent wargame. Overwatch is the single thing that would make the game good, because all of the brainless builds or gotcha attacks like outflankers could be countered.


Options aren't the issue for me, it's needless army exclusive special rules that are my problem. I've pretty much hated every codex since space marines. The new codex layout is God awful. It's nigh impossible to find the information you're looking for. We don't need crap like scout bike-only grenade launchers, digi-weapons, booby traps, or God knows what else. We don't need Blood Claws to have their own furious charge when there's a perfectly fine furious charge in the freaking rule book. We don't need everything and the kitchen sink that was thrown in the guard codex.

By far, my favorite codexes are the eldar and ork codex. They are dirt simple, easy to use and read, easy to write a list with, have minimal exclusive special rules, aren't full of pointless wargear and units, and have a ton of variety without any addendum or trait system. Seriously, you can make just about any craftworld or any clan with those codexes. They should be the template for every codex.

I even think the design for the chaos codex is great, I just would have kept legions and daemons in it instead of making them spiky ultramarines.
Agree with you on all points. I'd also submit the Daemons codex as a template, it is simple, balanced with a consolidated "armoury." Perhaps a bit random for my taste, but the book design is sound.

And yeah, I think the Chaos codex is an excellent book (crappy layout notwithstanding). I think summoned daemons are fine, and to do legions all we needed was an option for cult marines to take terminator armour and become an elite choice, etc. There are a LOT of options in that book nevertheless, but it's managable.


@Lord Inquisitor
Yor comment about Epic or BFG, is all good until you realise, that in Epic you have variety of options during field-action. The same can be aplied to BFG. In 40k there isn't such freedom, you can just shoot, move or cc.
Second, Imperial fleet #1 looks like copy-paste of the Imperial fleet #2, which isn't exciting at all.

The special/unique rules, different wargear/weapons and variety of options are there to give your army unique flavour so it doesn't look like Ultramarines army #2. The problem is where the abuse of this starts and when it ends.
So, my opinion on this one is same as Ehlijens:
More options are good, but only if each option actually enriches the game. Options should add unique capabilities to units, not simply improve them.

Ie. No options for the options sake, but for variety things.
Which is fine, if they are needed or warranted. Yeah, I think noise marines should have been able to take bikes or terminator armour, which means quite a few more options once all cult marines get the treatment! But all of the codecies since Space Marines have already got more options and special rules than you could shake a stick at.