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Brettila
28-06-2010, 20:46
So I decided to bring up an ongoing debate from my local gaming group. We have reached an impasse on the value/impact the unfettered addition of special characters has had on 40K.

I feel it only just, to begin by stating that I am FIRMLY from the old-school camp of, "You have to ask your opponent to play one." I do understand that allowing them when and wherever makes sense for them businesswise; as they can sell a plethora of expensive minis.

My objections are based upon two arguments. The first is fluff-based. Why in the world would someone like Abaddon (pronounced "uh-bad-done" BTW) be involved in some 1500-2000 skirmish? He leads Black Crusades, of almost all of Chaos, trying to destroy the false emperor; not insignificant shoot-em-ups for nothing. The same goes for Kharn, Mephiston, etc. Unless it is a game of Apocalypse, I just have a hard time buying the presence of these godlike beings.

The second reason is purely game-oriented. SC's tend to (from my observations of players in several states & 3 different time zones) cause players to build army lists that are very static. They only buy certain units that work in the, "Kharn Kills Everyone" list, or the, "Mephiston's Unlimited Jedi Power" list, etc. I see people playing armies that are right out of the yearly 'Ard Boy, rather than exploring their codex to try new builds and combinations. For example, I often think of some sort of combo I want to try, or an idea like, "How many template/blast weapons can I get in my CSM army for 1500 points?" I will work out the army list without any opponent in mind. I'll keep it in a folder until some future date when someone wants a game of that point level then play it; regardless if it is good for the mission/opponent. But armies based on SC's seem to look the same game after game, and if their opponents' reactions are any guage, are not much fun to play against.

So to sum up, where does everyone else stand?

Bunnahabhain
28-06-2010, 20:57
Too many armies rely on special characters.

Apart from the obvious ones of ravenwing/deathwing, that literally cannot be built without special characters, lots of others rely on them to be effective.

It is poor, lazy writing from GW. They don't always do it. The Ork codex is a great example. Biker boss, bikes as troops, war boss, nobs as troops, no Special charcters needed.
EDIT. How did I forget wazdakka being needed for biker builds....? Other than him being so poor, many people try to avoid him, that is.../EDIT

Making people take SCs ( ie buy the SC model) to do stuff the army should be able to do is poor design.

dragonet111
28-06-2010, 21:00
I like special characters for their minis, usually they are awesome (Astorath is gorgeous) but I don't like playing with them. We never do that, a friend of mine still believe you need to ask to play them even if I told him countless time he can (he has some kind of alzheimer when it came to rules and codex, we have been playing for 10 years and it seems he can't remember the characteristics of his troops:D).

I don't like playing with special characters because when I create a chaplain for my Blood Feathers it is mine and my story.

You said that in 1500/2000 Abaddon can't be involved. I disagree. I can imagine a small strike force lead by Abaddon because he wants to kill/steal/destroy something.

Hunger
28-06-2010, 21:01
I'm in agreement with you Brettila, I detest the over abundance of special characters - they used to be a rare treat, but they're no longer anything special, in fact I find them bland and boring because they are used so often, and almost always dictate everything else in a force they lead.

IAMNOTHERE
28-06-2010, 21:02
How about because I want to?

I want to pod my Wolves led by Ragnar.

I want to refight Rynns world with Pedro leading the way.

I want Fabious Bile in my CSM list.

40k is a cinematic wargame, lets have the action heroes leading from the front.

Lothlanathorian
28-06-2010, 21:10
What if you are playing a surgical strike? A small force sent to assassinate the enemy leader? There is why any epic SC would be in a smaller game. They have been ambushed and set upon by assassins. There are many, many other reasons why there might be SCs fighting in lower point games. Hell, have you read Rynn's World? There weren't enough Crimson Fists left to use in a game of Apocalypse and they were led by Pedro Kantor. His entry in the Codex even tells you he led a small group of his Brothers on a march across enemy held territory to reach what was left of his forces. Plenty of smaller battles were fought.

Game wise, I prefer needing your opponent's permission. Fluff wise, I am clearly of the opposite camp. I do find the proliferation of SCs to be rather annoying, but I don't think it is something that has ruined the game.

GrogDaTyrant
28-06-2010, 21:11
Too many armies rely on special characters.

Apart from the obvious ones of ravenwing/deathwing, that literally cannot be built without special characters, lots of others rely on them to be effective.

It is poor, lazy writing from GW. They don't always do it. The Ork codex is a great example. Biker boss, bikes as troops, war boss, nobs as troops, no Special charcters needed.

Making people take SCs ( ie buy the SC model) to do stuff the army should be able to do is poor design.

Sorry, but the Orks got hammered in the SC department as well. Wazzdakka (a.k.a. captain-fail) is required to run a warbike themed army, similar to Sammael being required for Ravenwing. This wouldn't be so bad, if Wazzdakka was actually worth his price tag and earned his spot in a list. The only way to get a bike-themed list without going for the required SC, is to opt for 2 units of Nob bikes as your Troops, and cram your warbikes into 3 meagre FA selections (and a Nob bike list is not what I want).

The other one would be Grotsnik and his 5+ cybork save. Granted you don't NEED a 5+ cybork on everything in the army, the cybork-theme list does require him.

Swordsman
28-06-2010, 21:13
I do it because it's fun..

Abaddon can lead any sized force he likes, because you can pretend that the "skirmish" is only part of a larger battle. The game is only as creative as the people playing it.

I will never "ask permission" to play the game as I see fit; especially when it's clearly intended by GW.

Arbiter7
28-06-2010, 21:17
40k is a cinematic wargame, lets have the action heroes leading from the front.
Any HQ IS a hero.

I'm 100% ask before you field.

Doing something your army isn't supposed to do isn't poor design. Some armies aren't supposed to do some things for a reason. A SC raises that exception but it is meant (IMHO) to be used sparingly. Otherwise you are just exploiting something thrown there in for the occasional fun by using it all the time.

Don't get me wrong, the occasional fun can be very much fun, but after seeing Vulcan in EVERY single one salamanders list it becomes boring.

Everyting in moderation.

sir samuel
28-06-2010, 21:24
the reason they take him is becuse he llows them to count every flamer +melta weapon as twin linked+ u want sc madness take the pheonix court all of the 7 pheonix lords extremly scary

GrogDaTyrant
28-06-2010, 21:30
Any HQ IS a hero.

I'm 100% ask before you field.

Doing something your army isn't supposed to do isn't poor design. Some armies aren't supposed to do some things for a reason. A SC raises that exception but it is meant (IMHO) to be used sparingly. Otherwise you are just exploiting something thrown there in for the occasional fun by using it all the time.

Don'g get me wrong, the occasional fun can be very much fun, but after seeing Vulcan in EVERY single one salamanders list it becomes boring.

Everyting in moderation.

Evil Suns and Speed Freek Ork lists in the past did not require any SC in order to field an entire army of warbikes. In fact, Bike-kults were strongly supported in fluff and are very common. So forgive me if I fail to see why Ork bike armies shouldn't be allowed without the use of an SC, especially when there's supposed to be more of them than there are chapters of space marines.

The rare opponents who've complained about me fielding an SC tend to shut up when I show them just how terrible of an SC he really is. :rolleyes: I even had one guy cheering that his Kahn got an Instant-Death off against Wazzdakka, only to apologize and feel bad after he read Wazzdakka's stat-line. He didn't believe me when I told him I didn't get an invuln. His initial response was something along the lines of 'any SC worth that much should have one!'

Ozendorph
28-06-2010, 21:50
Didn't care much for SCs in previous editions, but they're an integral part of the game now. Themes and army composition are often based around a particular SC, so we don't bother with any of that permission stuff - telling someone they can't play Sammael (for example) is the same as telling them they can't play their Ravenwing force. Not happening in these parts

IcedAnimals
28-06-2010, 22:08
I have 2 counter points for your 2 main points.

First your fluff reason. "Why is ol abby leading this 1500 point skirmish?" Because that is the forces directly under his command. On a planet he is currently attempting to take. He has other forces all over the planet but the table represents one portion of all the forces moving. If I play and use a regular HQ for a black legion army I can completely say that he is still part of a black crusade and that abby is on a different part of the planet.

Fluff is not a reason to discount any special character because at the end of the day the two people playing make up the story behind that game and the only limitation to it is those players. And in fact these special character allow you to create some fun fluffy lists. Such as a black templar player taking a 100 marine list with grimaldus and playing out helsreach.

Which brings me to the next point. Game oriented. Special characters change how you play an army. Sure vulkan is over used but he has a significant difference in play style. You can be sure when fighting a vulkan list that you are going to be fighting a lot of flamers. For armies where those flamers will ignore their armor it becomes a completely different game than fighting a regular space marine army where you will be able to rely on cover saves for your squishier troops.

They actually are allowing MORE unique and diverse gameplay options. So a sicarius list will be a completely different game than a vulkan list.

Lord Inquisitor
28-06-2010, 22:27
I'm torn.

I agree that certain lists require SCs. DA are an obvious example, but many other lists have characters that can only adequately be represented by SCs. The regular Space Marines have SCs that epitomise certain chapters and the SC as a vehicle for e.g. White Scars "traits" is acceptable to me as being represented and effected by the special character..

SCs can cut down on options. There is no Emperor's Children or World Eater Lord options in the Chaos codex, I think it's reasonable that instead we have Lucius and Kharn as "sample" cult Lords, rather than having 5 Chaos Lord entries. So by that logic I would expect to be allowed to use Lucius in my Emperor's Children and not have to ask permission, nor have the option removed from tournament lists. Similarly, I'm okay with Vask being "generic IG tank ace" or Harker being the vehicle to a Catachan Devils squad. SCs can also be a doorway to themed lists that would otherwise not be possible. I use Straken as a Chaos Space Marine in my traitor guard/LATD army.

The big problem with "ask opponent's permission" is that it is somewhat pointless (your opponent SHOULD agree, right?) and by extension anything is "opponent's permission" - you should be able to request your opponent not take a unit that's annoying you, be it a SC or not. Similarly, anything that's branded "opponent's permission" is automatically assumed to be untested and consequently not used by players except in "wacky scenarios" and almost always forbidden from tournaments. Forgeworld suffers this problem.

So I think that if an option is included it should be legal.

That said, I've become increasingly fed up with seeing Special Characters. I've played dozens of games against a huge variety of opponents in competitive settings using the new Space Wolf codex and I've not ever seen one that didn't include Logan Grimnar. He's just too good to leave behind. Njal was included in most. Similarly, Blood Angels players seem wedded to their SCs which are (rightly or wrongly) game dominating. And often these are annoying as they're "cake and eat it" sort of characters. Logan is a powerhouse character in his own right, he allows you to take Wolf Guard as Troops for no disadvantage and he has a swiss-army-knife selection of fantastic abilities he can give his squad - I've seen him used as a support character many times rather than a powerhouse.

Ultimately, GW needs to design better SCs that aren't no-brainers over their "basic" counterparts. What are we to do about it? I don't know. I want to be able to use Lucius or Straken for my themed armies but I'm fed up of seeing Mephiston or Logan with every single Blood Angel or Wolf army.

Brettila
28-06-2010, 22:37
I think that perhaps some of you have misunderstood what I meant, as your counterarguments actually reiterated my point. There were numerous comments about certain characters allowing special builds. That was my point all along. The problem being that those builds end up not being changed; so the army is always the same.
Every game is not in a tournament, and it is not like you are playing for money down at the 'ol game store. I realize that SC's can add flavor, but as one person so eloquently said, "Everything in moderation."
And, I think it is unfair of GW to make armies or units unplayable without the use of a SC.

IAMNOTHERE
28-06-2010, 22:53
Certain builds do require SCs to function but these could easily be represented by generic options (SM Capt & Bikes etc). Other builds are closely linked to the character of the chapter they're part of.

There's only 1 Great Wolf, Logan. So why should a generic Wolf Lord be as good?

There's only 1 Dante, same reason again.

Some codex are all about the character of the army, the Named SM chapter ones are very big on this. That's why you get to play a certain way if you spend the points, that's why people play those chapters - for the background.

I didn't start a new SM army when the dex came out to play marines, I did to play wolves though - because of the character and the background.

Having "Generic Wolf Lord A" is fine but not when I want to lead my force with Logan, Ragnar or Bjorn.

nedius
28-06-2010, 22:53
I think it is unfair of GW to make armies or units unplayable without the use of a SC.


For me, ultimately, this is what it comes down to. It's not marketing, as you can easily convert any character you like and just inform your opponent that this it that character. It's that they force you to use special characters to create an army that represents your 'theme' of choice.

It's unnecessary - it would be easy enough to plan the armies so that this was not the case.

But it was said earlier - 40k is a very 'cinematic' game, and thus is special character orientated. Personally, I've always been more interested in the experiences of the basic soldier (well, when studying various periods of real millitary history) than the 'heros'.

Project2501
28-06-2010, 23:04
I have actually gotten over my hatred of special characters to a degree.

At this point, I would like special characters continue to be allowed without your opponent's permission, BUT they also no longer are required to build certain lists/armies. Basically what I mean is, you should still be able to take Vulkan (as an example), but he no longer gives your slamander army rerolls on flamers/meltas/T-hammers. He's just his own OTT with at most an AOE affect for units that are emboldened by his proximity/presence and therefore try harder or some-such. If you want to have your whole army have re-rolls for flamers/meltas/T-hammers, then you should simply have to equip your Chapter Master/Captain with the equipment (provided it woul even still be possible to equip all the gear a special character has at the same time), and then pay an amount of points (either a one time fee, or based of of the number of models in your army that would gain a benefit) for the rest of the army to get those benfits. Kind of like the old traits/doctrines.

Anyway, these ideas aren't exactly new or all mine, and it's just my own opinion anyhoo.

Erwos
28-06-2010, 23:14
But it was said earlier - 40k is a very 'cinematic' game, and thus is special character orientated. Personally, I've always been more interested in the experiences of the basic soldier (well, when studying various periods of real millitary history) than the 'heros'.
I'm going to disagree, because, historically, this is a very new development. Back in the good old days, SCs were permission-only because they represented some of the big movers and shakers of the 40k universe, guys who wouldn't be present every game. They weren't terribly balanced, either, so they could really swing the game.

Unfortunately, GW has made them non-optional while not fixing those balance issues, leading us to guys like Logan and Mephisto. I'll say that Abbadon is quite the bad-ass, too, but for some reason you don't see every Chaos player spamming him every game.

Wishing
28-06-2010, 23:15
I agree with what seems to be the majority opinion - that SCs are fine to have as an option (and that if they are balanced, there should be no reason they should require opponent's permission), but that it is totally crap to be forced to take a specific character in order to field a certain type of army. Saying that speed freaks is only a legal army to play if it is being led by Wazdakka, rather than letting you make up your own biker warlord, is like a direct injection of poison into the creative freedom centre of 40k's brain.

tuebor
28-06-2010, 23:39
My objections are based upon two arguments. The first is fluff-based. Why in the world would someone like Abaddon (pronounced "uh-bad-done" BTW) be involved in some 1500-2000 skirmish? He leads Black Crusades, of almost all of Chaos, trying to destroy the false emperor; not insignificant shoot-em-ups for nothing. The same goes for Kharn, Mephiston, etc. Unless it is a game of Apocalypse, I just have a hard time buying the presence of these godlike beings.

As was said earlier, a 1500 point battle is simply a slice of the larger conflict occuring. The way the 40k universe is portrayed it often makes sense for two special characters to meet on the field of battle. If the Space Wolves are engaged against the Thousand Sons and Logan Grimnar receives word that Ahriman has been sighted in a certain area, it's perfectly fitting with the character that he'd deploy with the force already engaged in that area for a chance to kill such a hated foe.

I play a Witchhunters army and on occasion I'll take Inquisitor Lord Karamazov, not because he's so good (he's not) but because I like the model and backstory. Whatever battle I'm fighting I justify it by assuming that the enemy commander is the head of the enemy force and he's there to personally deliver judgement and sentence for the grave crime of being a heretic/mutant/nonhuman.

Of course, it would make more sense just to Deathstrike the area, but that's not how things are done in 40k.


The second reason is purely game-oriented. SC's tend to (from my observations of players in several states & 3 different time zones) cause players to build army lists that are very static. They only buy certain units that work in the, "Kharn Kills Everyone" list, or the, "Mephiston's Unlimited Jedi Power" list, etc. I see people playing armies that are right out of the yearly 'Ard Boy, rather than exploring their codex to try new builds and combinations. For example, I often think of some sort of combo I want to try, or an idea like, "How many template/blast weapons can I get in my CSM army for 1500 points?" I will work out the army list without any opponent in mind. I'll keep it in a folder until some future date when someone wants a game of that point level then play it; regardless if it is good for the mission/opponent. But armies based on SC's seem to look the same game after game, and if their opponents' reactions are any guage, are not much fun to play against.

On the other hand, I do agree with this. I don't mind that SCs are required to do certain armies, counts-as is always an option, but I really don't like it when they're head and shoulders better than a generic character for the price.


Certain builds do require SCs to function but these could easily be represented by generic options (SM Capt & Bikes etc). Other builds are closely linked to the character of the chapter they're part of.

There's only 1 Great Wolf, Logan. So why should a generic Wolf Lord be as good?

I don't think anyone is saying that a generic Wolf Lord should be as good as the Great Wolf, we're saying that they should both be priced appropriately. Sure, there are some that take Logan Grimnar because they like the fluff but more than a few take him because they get more bang for their points than they would in buying a generic HQ.

All that said, I'm very much in the "you shouldn't need permission" camp. With only a few exceptions most SC these days aren't much, if at all better than a normal character. Back in 3rd Edition most of them were ridiculous but these days they're like any other option. It would be like telling IG players they needed permission for Vendettas or telling Orks they need permission for Lootas.

Archangel_Ruined
28-06-2010, 23:40
Two words - Chuck Norris.

He costs 1500pts but only Bruce Lee can defeat him, and as Bruce is an apocalypse only formation Chuck is the future of tournaments.

Shamutanti
28-06-2010, 23:48
SC are fun, exciting and interesting to play against because they change up the game and the armies you fight. They also come with pre-written background that's generally able to bring more drama to a scene and allows you to play upon your opponents desire for a glorious finish or cinematic moment (clash of the titans if you will, ala Swarmlord vs. Calgar).

Normal characters are boring. They also tend to mean people explain their bland background stories.

This type of thread has been up multiple times before by the way, because I've essentially replied the same thing 3 different times now.

Lord Inquisitor
28-06-2010, 23:49
Unfortunately, GW has made them non-optional while not fixing those balance issues, leading us to guys like Logan and Mephisto. I'll say that Abbadon is quite the bad-ass, too, but for some reason you don't see every Chaos player spamming him every game.
The Chaos special characters are a) fairly costed or overcosted and b) don't provide benefits to the rest of the army.

Abby is a combat nutter to be sure, but he's just a powerful unit. Logie on the other hand, is bought primarily because he can make Wolf Guard scoring (a phenomenal ability) and the fact that he can bestow Preferred Enemy to a combat unit to re-roll hits (massively increasing damage output, often combined with Ragnar) or Tank Hunters/Relentless to a Long Fang Squad (often with a Rune Priest/Njal). His own close combat capabilities that almost match Abby's are simply the icing on the cake. People would still take Logie if he had WS1 and one attack - I've often seen him babysitting Long Fangs by experienced tournament players without any intention of getting him into combat.

The problem with comparing 5th ed special characters with the supposedly "unbalanced" 4th and 3rd ed characters is we've seen a huge upswing in "bubble effects", and the bonuses that special characters give to nearby units are what make them really powerful.


Saying that speed freaks is only a legal army to play if it is being led by Wazdakka, rather than letting you make up your own biker warlord, is like a direct injection of poison into the creative freedom centre of 40k's brain.
Meh, I don't find this a major issue. Isn't it reasonable to assume that any Speed Freaks army is going to be led by an insane, well, speed freak that if not Wazdakka is going to look very similar? Do we need a Bezerker Lord when most people are going to create a Lord that looks pretty much idential to Kharn? I know what you mean and ideally we'd have the freedom to make any kind of leader the imagination could devise, but a limit must be made. Is it necessary to have a Warboss on a bike, Wazdakka and a Speed Freak Warboss for the necessary "creative freedom"?

Besides, I've never seen Wazdakka on the table. Warboss on a bike with Nob Bikers? Plenty of times. Why this was included as a rule really makes me wonder though - shouldn't nob bikers be the elite of a Speed Freaks army? I've no idea why a Biker Warboss didn't give you the option for regular bikers to be Troops rather than nob bikers and then Wazdakka would be a special type of biker warboss.

Part of the problem of the abundance of special characters especially with the 5th ed codecies is:
1) Bubble effects are generally extremely powerful - from a single squad to a whole army and can be min-maxed
2) Abilities that allow elites as scoring units is generally incredibly powerful (removing the one disadvantage of wolf guard/nob bikers/etc - that they can't take objectives)
3) Abilities that are "cake and eat it" - such as allowing move-or-fire weapons to fire on the move - are generally tactically extremely useful.

Special characters often do one or all of these things (e.g. Logan). These are extremely useful things but hard to put a points value on and often scale poorly, obviously Vulkan gets better the bigger the army, and rarely seem to be accounted for well in the character's points value.

I don't think the problem is SCs per se - if the design studio are testing well, they should be just another unit to test, indeed, it should be easy as they don't have options! - but the fact that they often buff the army in a significant way. Warboss on a bike is a significant non-SC example - bought not for his own abilities (although not insignificant!) but for the ability to take Nob Bikers as a scoring unit. The 4th ed codecies, conversely, such as the Chaos codex, are simply powerhouse characters and while some are markedly better - Kharn hits on a 2+ - than normal characters, they're still just individuals.

Inquisitor_Tolheim
29-06-2010, 00:09
It seems to me that a lot of this mess would be resolved my taking special characters and simply turning them into generic counterparts that change up the list.

For instance, "Vulkan" could be changed to "Salamanders Captain". Now suddenly nobody is upset because Vulkan shouldn't be engaging in a mere 1k points brawl. In each Special Character slot you can give the back story of an exceptional example of the upgrade character in a sidebar (In this case, Vulkan). Straken could similarly become a "Man of Adamantium", Eldrad becomes an "Ulthwe Farseer" and so on and so forth. Now any special character can show up on any battlefield.

If we still want to include THE Abbadon or THE Eldrad, they should be dialed up to 11 to match their fluff and turned into Apocalypse datasheets.

GrogDaTyrant
29-06-2010, 00:13
Meh, I don't find this a major issue. Isn't it reasonable to assume that any Speed Freaks army is going to be led by an insane, well, speed freak that if not Wazdakka is going to look very similar?

While no, it's not unreasonable to assume that a warbike speed-freek army would be led by a bike-riding lunatic... It is quite unreasonable for every single one of them to be a not-quite-warboss, unable to put up a decent fight, and with no apparent area in which they perform well. The only thing worse than requiring an SC for an army build, is for the SC to be rubbish and overpriced by any army's terms.



I know what you mean and ideally we'd have the freedom to make any kind of leader the imagination could devise, but a limit must be made. Is it necessary to have a Warboss on a bike, Wazdakka and a Speed Freak Warboss for the necessary "creative freedom"?

No. But it's not necessray to even have Wazzdakka. IMHO, a Warboss (and/or Big Mek) on a Bike should have allowed Warbikes as troops. And it should have been an either/or to the normal Nob (or Dread) allowed as a Troop unit. There you have it. 1 Warboss, with an option for a bike, and if given said bike option he has the option to take warbikes as troops instead of a unit of nobs.



Besides, I've never seen Wazdakka on the table. Warboss on a bike with Nob Bikers? Plenty of times.

Not surprising. I wouldn't field Wazzdakka at all if I wasn't forced to. He's an awful HQ selection, which is why you don't see him unless someone wants warbikes as troops.

And that's ultimately the issue. If he was worth taking, and earned his (expensive) slot in my army list... alright, I would happily run a 'counts-as'. But he's craptastic, and so instead I begrudgingly run a 'counts-as'. Wazzdakka is similar to Vulkan, Khan, Shrike, Logan, or any other 'force-altering SC'. Except without all the awesomeness that makes them worth taking.

Bunnahabhain
29-06-2010, 00:15
Almost, but not quite, Inquisitor Tolheim.

Make the list changing thing a buy-able, properly costed extra.

Guard Captain Al'Rahmen is a really good example. He is a nicely balanced special character, and is fine as is.

But really, what would have been wrong, or too complex with making the Flanking platoon a generic ability( 0-1 in army) and leaving the special sword and story as the special character only?

Deadly Buddah
29-06-2010, 00:21
What really has to make you laugh about the Logan thing is that the book actually goes out of its way to stress the distinct and individualistic nature of the chapter's hierarchy. The sagas provide tangible incentives to toy around with original back stories and the extra hq slots give enough elbow room to allow for experimentation. Yet somehow the wolves are allays led by the exact same guy, that or a bunch of nigh identical rune priests.

Anyway as to the overpowered special characters of older books, for my own part I just don't see it. Maybe its the books I was using but Grimaldus, Helbrecht, Farsight, or 4th ed Lysander don't even come close to measuring up to a Mephistion or a DOOM.

Sunfang
29-06-2010, 00:21
I have 2 counter points for your 2 main points.

First your fluff reason. "Why is ol abby leading this 1500 point skirmish?" Because that is the forces directly under his command. On a planet he is currently attempting to take. He has other forces all over the planet but the table represents one portion of all the forces moving. If I play and use a regular HQ for a black legion army I can completely say that he is still part of a black crusade and that abby is on a different part of the planet.

Fluff is not a reason to discount any special character because at the end of the day the two people playing make up the story behind that game and the only limitation to it is those players. And in fact these special character allow you to create some fun fluffy lists. Such as a black templar player taking a 100 marine list with grimaldus and playing out helsreach.

Which brings me to the next point. Game oriented. Special characters change how you play an army. Sure vulkan is over used but he has a significant difference in play style. You can be sure when fighting a vulkan list that you are going to be fighting a lot of flamers. For armies where those flamers will ignore their armor it becomes a completely different game than fighting a regular space marine army where you will be able to rely on cover saves for your squishier troops.

They actually are allowing MORE unique and diverse gameplay options. So a sicarius list will be a completely different game than a vulkan list.

So every game I am playing just happens to be the decisive battle in a huge campaign where Marneus is or Abbadon happens to show up. Your fluff justification gets old when every time it is a momentous occasion where in the galaxy of countless billions one notable person shows up and my force just happens to be the intercepting force...again. Get's old.

On your second point...it is exactly that direction I strongly dislike because it encourages people to take SC for these exact benefits. It's sloppy of GW and encourages power builds and repetitive lists instead of encouraging people to create tacticly original lists. From a game perspective we lose options and forces us to play with these characters that can be unbalanced.

Oh well agree to disagree. I dont turn down games and dont expect my opponent to ask if he can take a SC. With the exception of campaigns...

Thud
29-06-2010, 00:36
Seriously? This thread again?

How about if you don't like special characters, don't take them. And if other people like special characters and want to use them, stop whining about their armies and concentrate on your own.

GrogDaTyrant
29-06-2010, 00:41
Seriously? This thread again?

How about if you don't like special characters, don't take them. And if other people like special characters and want to use them, stop whining about their armies and concentrate on your own.

What if you're indifferent about other players taking them, prefer not to field them yourself, but are forced to field an overpriced lackluster one in order to get the playable army you desire?

Hunger
29-06-2010, 00:54
What if you're sick of seeing them over and over again, to the point that every single game becomes a case of 'Army A means Special Character B'. Yawn. Definitely one vote for SCs as Apoc only datasheets.

Lord Inquisitor
29-06-2010, 01:06
While no, it's not unreasonable to assume that a warbike speed-freek army would be led by a bike-riding lunatic... It is quite unreasonable for every single one of them to be a not-quite-warboss, unable to put up a decent fight, and with no apparent area in which they perform well. The only thing worse than requiring an SC for an army build, is for the SC to be rubbish and overpriced by any army's terms.
Well, I think the only thing worse than that is for said SC to be overpowered and underpriced and for everyone to take them. I quite like fielding Lucius, for example, he's fluffy, he's a break from the Lash that people hate, he's perhaps overcosted, yeah, but with a bit of finesse he can be worthwhile. You rarely see him on the table so I don't feel that I'm making a cookie-cutter army. I find Logan far more objectionable as he's too good than Wazdakka, who's merely a poorly designed character.


No. But it's not necessray to even have Wazzdakka. IMHO, a Warboss (and/or Big Mek) on a Bike should have allowed Warbikes as troops. And it should have been an either/or to the normal Nob (or Dread) allowed as a Troop unit. There you have it. 1 Warboss, with an option for a bike, and if given said bike option he has the option to take warbikes as troops instead of a unit of nobs.
Agreed, as I said, this would have been far better than the (bizarre) decision to allow Warbosses the option to make Nob Bikers Troops (with all the fallout that caused).

I think that options that allow elite units to be Troops should be used extremely sparingly. Deathwing are one thing, and are balanced, but Nobs or Wolf Guard or Sternguard as scoring units causes problems. It feels that often it's applied to a special character - such as Logan - to make him appear "extra special".


And that's ultimately the issue. If he was worth taking, and earned his (expensive) slot in my army list... alright, I would happily run a 'counts-as'. But he's craptastic, and so instead I begrudgingly run a 'counts-as'. Wazzdakka is similar to Vulkan, Khan, Shrike, Logan, or any other 'force-altering SC'. Except without all the awesomeness that makes them worth taking.
None of which changes anything other than being a poorly designed unit. I don't think his special character status is the source of his craptastic nature.

e2055261
29-06-2010, 01:08
Seriously? This thread again?

How about if you don't like special characters, don't take them. And if other people like special characters and want to use them, stop whining about their armies and concentrate on your own.

Yep, contempt for special characters is quite high. Myself included.

Sunfang
29-06-2010, 01:12
Seriously? This thread again?

How about if you don't like special characters, don't take them. And if other people like special characters and want to use them, stop whining about their armies and concentrate on your own.

How about if you see a thread that you have already commented on and you hate the topic you dont respond. I mean it is a forum with revolving members after all, instead you could create original threads.

:) and yes this thread comes up every three weeks-ish :)

IcedAnimals
29-06-2010, 01:34
I think that perhaps some of you have misunderstood what I meant, as your counterarguments actually reiterated my point. There were numerous comments about certain characters allowing special builds. That was my point all along. The problem being that those builds end up not being changed; so the army is always the same.
Every game is not in a tournament, and it is not like you are playing for money down at the 'ol game store. I realize that SC's can add flavor, but as one person so eloquently said, "Everything in moderation."
And, I think it is unfair of GW to make armies or units unplayable without the use of a SC.

See I disagree. This week i have played 5 games of 40k. 3 of which were against space marines. One used sicarius and I was completely blind sided as I am so use to playing against vulkan lists. The playstyles were different. The game ended in a draw.

The other marine army was a Lysander list. Once again it plays very different from a vulkan list. The third list was against someone who took 2 masters of the forge. And once again it was unlike any marine marine army with a SC. He conceded due to bad dice rolls with the game being a tie before he left. (The other games were orks, and tau btw no special characters there either)

Who cares if vulkan is the norm for a space marine army? If vulkan was a regular marine commander then the special characters would still be different from his playstyle.

I do miss the old armouries. I liked taking a basic commander and finding a way to play around with their gear. (something i love about my sisters still) But even then there was "the build" that everyone ran (such as the jump pack canoness from 4th). It is no more frustrating seeing special characters in every list than it was seeing everyone kit their hero out the same way.

Point is. Now we have heros heros and more heros and all it does is give players options on how to field their army. This is a good thing.

Nicha11
29-06-2010, 01:47
I would be appalled if I had to ask permission to field a completely legal and permitted model.
If GW makes very clear you don't need your opponents permission,
you don't need your opponents permission.

I keep trying but I've never understood some peoples hatred for SC's.

tuebor
29-06-2010, 02:45
I keep trying but I've never understood some peoples hatred for SC's.

I understood it back in 3rd Edition, as a lot of them were utterly broken. I remember Baharoth waltzing through my entire IG gunline more than once.

While quite a bit of it stems from legitimate problems, I suspect more than a bit of it is just a holdover from 3rd Edition.

Hellebore
29-06-2010, 04:10
The biggest problem to me is that special characters have too many unique and powerful abilities that make them FAR better choices than their equivalents in the book and it's just been getting progressively worse as time goes on.

A space marine captain is a space marine captain, yet when they get a special name they get all these ancillary extra abilities, weapons and rules that make them very little like a space marine captain and thus far more desirable than one.

It's not like Mephiston's stats are generic for anything and he just happens to have a name.

In my opinion special characters should be identical to what they are representing, with one or two small alterations. Dante? He's a chapter master that has a master crafted power axe and a melta pistol.

Eldrad? He's a farseer with the ability to cast a 3rd psychic power.

And so on. But then people come in complaining that they aren't different enough wah wah wah. And that's why we have marine chapter codicies instead of one space marine codex. The same argument 'they HAVE to be different cuz'.

If you can create a normal HQ choice that is almost the same you might be less inclined to use a special character all the time. But give them completely unique and powerful abilities and the gap widens.

Makes me wonder what the point of having unnamed character options is, seeing as how you can just counts as marneus calgar as your chapter master wielding a giant two handed axe that shoots lazers out its blade.

Hellebore

[SD] Bob Plisskin
29-06-2010, 04:17
The problem I think lies with with how the dynamic of "special rules" has changed over the years. Special rules used to be fluffy and not have a huge impact on the game. For example take this fluff:

Jim's face is legendary among the space marines, it is said during the jambalaya crusade that Jim's face froze the enemy in their tracks as the regarded his beauty.

Now the old rule would be: once per game Jim may attempt to transfix one squad, role a D6 and a rule of 6 they are transfixed.

Current rules would be: a shooting attack, Jim may transfix D6 units per turn, roll a D6...blah..blah blah.

The difference is the fluff used to be an exaggeration, a tale of what once happened, what could have happened, or what was simply fluke. Now its seemingly taken as literal and rather than a 1 in 20 chance per game, something that is so rare in the game it makes the time it happens memorable. Now its every game the dude has to be exactly how the fluf describes.

gwarsh41
29-06-2010, 04:23
I think that for some armies to try fun new ideas you HAVE to have a SC. Logan Grimnar is a perfect example. Bring him and you can field an all wolf guard army.
I have never had an opponent complain about me bringing one. I just recently started playing someone who brings them all the time. My custom wolf lord duo rips them apart everytime too :)

I agree that some SC can make things cheesy. I dont ever mind though.

Chem-Dog
29-06-2010, 04:53
Special Characters are just another one of those elements of the game that suffer from the perplexing fluidity of GW's aims for the game.

SC's should be better at what they do than the generic equivalent BUT the generic equivalent would be a less expensive and far more flexible by way of a trade.

Personally I'd like to see an end to SC specific Builds, instead there would be a range of upgrades for appropriate characters to build specialist Formations....Certain SC's would have the appropriate upgrade, others wouldn't.

EG: Abaddon would be able to field Terminators as a Troops option (as it's fitting for his fluff to have an elite personal bodyguard and very fitting given Abaddon's position in the LW/SoH legion) but a Generic Lord could buy the Terminator Lord upgrade allowing the same advantage without having to take Abaddon (allowing for God specific Lords to field a similarly elite force).

But then again if I were given the CSM book to write, it would be a quite different thing.:shifty:

Thrax
29-06-2010, 05:54
I've never had a problem with special characters as long as they were reasonably priced for what they bring to the table. STOP!

Unfortunately this is the primary problem now, which has been touched upon by several here already. Special characters tend to bring too much for their points. What Blood Angels player won't pick Lemartes over a regular chaplain, for example? It's a disadvantage not to, but that's hardly in the spirit of a unique character is it? You should pay QUITE a bit extra for that game-changing ability you hold so dear, not just the price of some chunk of wargear. And requiring characters to "unlock" some particular formation for your army is particularly lame, especially with genetically modified supersoldier space marines who train for a century or two. Really? Commander McBadass is on the field now so we all change the way we fight? Rubbish.

Lothlanathorian
29-06-2010, 06:10
See I disagree. This week i have played 5 games of 40k. 3 of which were against space marines. One used sicarius and I was completely blind sided as I am so use to playing against vulkan lists. The playstyles were different. The game ended in a draw.

The other marine army was a Lysander list. Once again it plays very different from a vulkan list. The third list was against someone who took 2 masters of the forge. And once again it was unlike any marine marine army with a SC. He conceded due to bad dice rolls with the game being a tie before he left. (The other games were orks, and tau btw no special characters there either)

Who cares if vulkan is the norm for a space marine army? If vulkan was a regular marine commander then the special characters would still be different from his playstyle.

I do miss the old armouries. I liked taking a basic commander and finding a way to play around with their gear. (something i love about my sisters still) But even then there was "the build" that everyone ran (such as the jump pack canoness from 4th). It is no more frustrating seeing special characters in every list than it was seeing everyone kit their hero out the same way.

Point is. Now we have heros heros and more heros and all it does is give players options on how to field their army. This is a good thing.



You are only making his point for him, methinks. You refer to them in your post as a 'Lysander list', a 'Vulkan list'. This is the issue. Every army with Vulkan is the same. Every army with Lysander is the same. It shouldn't be that way. Or, at least, their rules shouldn't be skewing it in that direction so hard.


And I wouldn't take Lemartes because, well, why would I field Death Company? That's like saying 'What BA player who took Dante wouldn't field Sanguinary Guard army?' Because there are better choices to take. If you are playing a friendly game with someone who is actually your friend, well, then why are you guys sticking to the rules so hard and not coming up creative stuff of your own? In a competetive setting, you don't use worthless or wasteful units and in a friendly setting, well, you play to have fun, so you make sure you and your friend are playing a game you're going to enjoy. Also, maybe you didn't feel like equipping those DC with jump packs because you don't like your kites flying away so fast.

Swordsman
29-06-2010, 07:12
You are only making his point for him, methinks.

I don't think he is; I think his point is quite valid.

Let me ask you, and anyone else here who dislikes SC's a question.. Do you really think that people aren't going to have a min-max list they copy and paste from the internet anymore once SC's aren't required to make a list?

Do you think suddenly the trend will just stop, and everyone will become really creative?

Instead of "Vulkan" or "Lysander" or "Shrike" lists, it will be the current "power" list. The one that gives the most bang for the buck. Nothing would change, it would actually get worse.

Then the angsty xeno players would have a point, every Marine list would be the same; as would every other army out there. Just look at the horror that was the "leafblower".. it's an ugly trend, but it's clearly here to stay. People take lists to win more often than not; downgrading SC's or removing them won't change that in any way.

I don't want to seem offensive to anyone, mind you - but it seems naive thinking that somehow SC's are the problem. I don't get it.

Raven1
29-06-2010, 08:47
I like playing with special characters I think it's fun. You are right that not every SC would fight in a skirmish, but the skirmish could be part of a larger battle he is a part of.

Also, Wh40k is not realistic nor is it meant to be, that's why every HQ is generally a CC monster and not some guy looking over battleplans, because that just isn't every much fun.

Polaria
29-06-2010, 08:56
I don't like overabundance of SCs, but the reasons are pretty different than what already pointed:

1) I want to play Warhammer, not Herohammer. Having one huge, costly unit doing everything while rest of your army is there just for scoring is boring.

2) I hate the fact that in order to play a Raven Guard Chapter you have to take Shrike. Fleet is not Shrike-rule, its Raven Guard chapter-rule. Just like Descent of Angels is for Blood angels. Similarly every Salamander list "must" have Vulcan... Not because you need Vulcan, but because codex says thats the only way to get your marines the Salamander chapter-rules (twinlinked flamers/meltas).

Sure, I use SCs myself time to time (I have a Nightbringer and like how it looks), but only when i feel like it fits the campaign/mission theme or the rest of my army... I have a total of 4 HQs in my box of Necron tricks so Nighty doesn't get out that much.

Garven Dreis
29-06-2010, 09:08
I have no problem with people fielding special characters, it's their funeral. It also adds character to an army in my opinion.

ehlijen
29-06-2010, 09:10
The problems isn't special characters existing. If they didn't, people would min max regular characters as best they can.
As long as the game has any characters, that kind of use of them and attitude towards them will exist.
Like it or not, 40k is a game where characters do heroic and cinematic things.

And should the characters ever go, that attituted will just be applied to units.

The real problem is balancing them. GW has proven particularly bad at pricing things that effect unspecfied numbers of other models. Strakan's bubble and Vulkan's free scopes are examples. Such characters become vastly better in very specific circumstances and builds and that's what upsets people: less and less variety. Characters that are just good on their own or boost some other units equally well regardless of list minmaxing are less constricting and less complained about (Sicarius, Harker etc).

Thud
29-06-2010, 09:31
What if you're sick of seeing them over and over again, to the point that every single game becomes a case of 'Army A means Special Character B'. Yawn. Definitely one vote for SCs as Apoc only datasheets.

Play against Space Marines often? Those armies often include a Tactical Squad? Several Tactical Squads even?

Or how about Eldar? There are two Eldar players (well two regulars) at my club, one of them myself, neither of us use special characters, and both our armies are fairly similar. We both use Dire Avengers. We both use Wave Serpents. Etc. Etc. Speaking of Wave Serpents, when was the last time you saw an Eldar army without one? And furthermore, if Eldar were to lose all their 'unique' (remember, 'special character' is no longer a term in 40k) characters they would be left with TWO different HQs to choose from, rather than the ELEVEN they have now. You're implying that would make for more diverse armies, perhaps make you yawn less? I call shenanigans.

What I don't get is this irrational hatred for stuff that just happens to have an actual name. Take Dante. Oh dear, a special character that alters the FOC. What if he simply were called 'Blood Angels Captain' and no longer were unique? Would everything be alright then?


How about if you see a thread that you have already commented on and you hate the topic you dont respond. I mean it is a forum with revolving members after all, instead you could create original threads.

:) and yes this thread comes up every three weeks-ish :)

This is an internet forum, not North Korea. Not everyone will agree with the assertion of the thread starter.

EmperorEternalXIX
29-06-2010, 10:35
I personally am happy, and I think you all should be too. For one, it adds a lot of great flavor to the game; having more than just the statline and some minor differences in gear is a great way to add a lot of special tweaking to a force, and it helps greatly to alleviate several long-hated problems:


"This codex really only has like one or two useful builds" - Fixed
"Man I wish I could play as (insert slightly different but not different enough for its own codex army here)" - Fixed
"I wish my army could do (insert non-codex-allowed but fluff-common action here)" - Fixed
"Everyone who plays (codex) always uses (list)" - This has been helped a little bit, at least in that, you know that when you play a 5E codex player who has the same codex as someone else, the army may be wildly, wildly different from another player with the same codex.
"Man, this special character sucks. Why would I ever take him, he's not even that good!" (4th ed gripe...changed once the new SM landed)


There are others but it's 5AM here and my train of thought has diminished significantly since I started that list. :\

I really like special characters and I think it's made the game better overall. We all have to be much more generalist and much more aware of the game, and each codex has multiple builds that are viable and play wildly differently from each other. Without special character unlocks, the creativity of the game would go way downhill, list-wise.

To be fair about the Wazdakka thing, if he IS the leader of the Speed freeks in the fluff, than having this sort of restriction makes sense from a fluff justification standpoint. Besides, look on the bright side...at least you guys don't have Vulkan "Counts as All The Colors of the Rainbow" Hestan making appearances in every imaginable chapter because he is just ten miles better than everything else in the codex...


What I don't get is this irrational hatred for stuff that just happens to have an actual name. Take Dante. Oh dear, a special character that alters the FOC. What if he simply were called 'Blood Angels Captain' and no longer were unique? Would everything be alright then? Great point. I think it just comes down to, no one likes to have to sub in some other guy because they like his style but not him. I think a lot of chapter players for example would love to have their own chapter master with Kantor's rules and different gear. Doing a counts-as special character feels kind of lame -- not because it's a bad thing or anything like that. It's just that, at the end of the day, it doesn't matter what color you paint the guy, he is known by his powers and people are going to point to him and say "Vulkan Vulkan Vulkan" even if you named him Constantine the Magnificent ********* and painted him beige and yellow.

Zweischneid
29-06-2010, 10:36
Seriously? This thread again?

How about if you don't like special characters, don't take them. And if other people like special characters and want to use them, stop whining about their armies and concentrate on your own.

Seriously? Looks like it's a big issue to the game people feel is worthwhile discussing.

How about if you don't like to make a contribution to the topic, you just don't click on and read these discussions?

Zweischneid
29-06-2010, 10:38
P


This is an internet forum, not North Korea. Not everyone will agree with the assertion of the thread starter.

You don't have to agree. But there's a difference between forwarding a counter-argument and bashing people for daring to discuss things that concern them in 40K on a 40K fan-forum!

Malagate
29-06-2010, 10:45
I hate the fact that in order to play a Raven Guard Chapter you have to take Shrike. Fleet is not Shrike-rule, its Raven Guard chapter-rule. Just like Descent of Angels is for Blood angels. Similarly every Salamander list "must" have Vulcan... Not because you need Vulcan, but because codex says thats the only way to get your marines the Salamander chapter-rules (twinlinked flamers/meltas).

This, I think, is the main problem with the SM codex. When the only way to field a certain flavour of SM that doesn't have its own unique codex is to use a special character, it will get dull real fast.

What could have been better would be a simple page or two near the back of the SM codex where it lists different chapter flavours you could field, then have rules for fielding each flavour with simple wording of how it effects the FOC, army list, wargear limitations and altered point costs. All without the need to resort to special characters giving army-wide rules.

For example, you could have:

Salamanders

Salamanders fluff (blah blah blah, emphasis on liking fire and melting things).

All flamers and meltas in army are discounted/twin linked/whatever [new points costs here]

Certain units are now 0/0-1/1+/whatever is fluffy and certain wargear is also limited/less limited/Forbidden/etc. [new points costs also here, assuming if different from normal]

Do that for all the bigger space marine factions that aren't big enough to have their own codex, then there could be more tastes than vanilla marines without having the same guy over and over again.

mughi3
29-06-2010, 11:03
Well the OP wanted an opinion and here is mine-

To all the older players(myself included)
This is not second edition "hero hammer" so get over it.

GW has moved the goal posts. special characters are now simply named characters best thought of as a template for army building via unlocks granted by said character.

It is also our own fault, yes us. some cried so long and loudly about abusers in the 4th ed trait system this is what GW did to "fix" the issue.

Pesonally i would prefer we just brought back the fluff based rules from 3rd ed to make the armies unique in thier own way( i still have my index astartes to do it with). white scars with hunting lances and born in the saddle as well as hit&run/ I3, strength +1, slow and purposeful salamanders-yes please
etc....

I have 2 armies i play between 2K and 2,250 points.
my main one has a MOTF and up until recently a GK grand master, recently replaced(not by choice) by an epistolary librarian, and it does just fine with generic characters.

However i also run a wolf-wing list that is supposed to be logans elite company so he is there, arjack is his champion so he is there and also najal because he is thier top rune priest. this is all done to fit the fluff of the section of the army i built.


To adress his other points-
Cookies-
yes cookie cutter list building is annoying, we play with somebody who does that, making it that much sweeter when i crush the so-called super lists with superior generalship and a bit of dice luck.

Fluff VS battle-
Here is the reason why the named character might actually be there.
as GW has said many times. your battle may be only one small engagement/front in a larger battle involving a large number of forces.


Fun-
Aside from people who cookie cutter thier armies i have never seen any 2 armies that look exactly alike, and even if they were it wouldn't matter because the person playing it is different. a shiny little figure with a name and a set of stats does not make a game fun or un-fun. the person across the table and their attitude do that.

Giganthrax
29-06-2010, 11:31
I personally like generic HQs more then special characters because they have more customization options, thus giving me opportunity to make cooler models and to come up with their own fluff. SCs, however, are an integral part of the game that isn't going away, and I use them in almost every competitive list I make.

That being said, there are a couple design mistakes I feel GW is making with the entire SCs vs generic HQs thing:

- generic HQs usually lack the options to "sell them" compared to SCs. Only a few of the newer codexes (Space Wolves, Chaos Marines, Imperial Guard, and Orks) have great generic HQs that are more then comparable to equivalent SCs. The rest of the codexes (vanilla marines, blood angels, tyranids, dark angels, etc.) have very few or no generic HQs that are worth it compared to SCs.

- the general design philosophy lately has been to add ultra-expensive SCs that can fill a million roles, and fill them all better then generic HQs ever could. Great examples of this are Swarmlord (who is so good in every conceivable way that taking a generic hive tyrant becomes pointless), Mephiston (who kills everything in close combat AND provides a psychic hood), Vulkan (who not only gets an awesome chapter tactics rule, but is also better in close combat then an equivalently equipped captain/master could ever be), and Fateweaver (there's no competitive daemons list without him).

The problem with these uber special characters is that, even though their price tag is high, they're still so good they effectively invalidate standard generic HQs. This also often turns them into an idiot-unit, that any beginner can use to decimate other beginners, simply because the overall power of these SCs usually requires an experienced player to be dealt with. For example, I've seen inexperienced players being completely unable to counter swarmlord+3 guards, or feel defeated as soon as they see Vulkan in a melta/flamer spam list.

lanrak
29-06-2010, 11:34
Hi all.
I agree with the OP, GW plc is a minatures company that uses rules to inpsire people to buy expensive 'special' minatures.

Before GW became a PLC they had 'examples' of special characters the studio staff had created to show gamers how they could develop thier own if they wanted to, OR use the ones the devs had created.
They were 'optional extras' people could use if they didnt want to make up thier own background and/or associated characters.

I can still remember when Andy rolled up the original Gahzkul Thrakka and Mad Doc Grotsnik,in a how to create a Ork warband article in WD.

2 rolls on the Pain boys Bionic chart, for my Pain Boss Grotsnik....
Skull plate, (helps out in the headbutting competitions,) moderatley useful.
Labotomy, Oh deary, deary me....

And the rest as they say is history:D.

Different formations should be allowed by suitably equipped hero/retinue combinations.As apropriate to the army.

Eg If an SM commander and retinue is mounted on bikes , then SM Bike Squads are counted as Troops chioces.However the numbers heavy suport chioces are reduced to ballance this theme, perhaps.

And then give the EXAMPLE of the White Scars Chapter and Hero Character that 'characterise' this organisation .

So you DONT NEED a special character to build themed lists.But the examples GW offer can be taken if you prefer.

So players have the option of buying specific metal minatures for 'Famous ' organisations that are well known.
OR can make up thier own fluff and characters , WITHOUT being artificialy restricted in organisation types.

TTFN
Lanrak.

Crimson Reaver
29-06-2010, 11:53
My usual approach to issues like this is to discuss what sort of game I want with my opponent beforehand. So one week I may be happy to take the gloves off, bring out Vulcan and go stomp on some people (he's the only character I'd really use as I have a Salamanders army). However the following week it may be that we choose to go with generic characters and decide things that way.

I don't object to Special Characters, and if a build requires them to be used then that's fine by me. We tend to mix and match army builds anyway, so it's rare than anyone gets stuck in a rut.

Zweischneid
29-06-2010, 12:59
Do that for all the bigger space marine factions that aren't big enough to have their own codex, then there could be more tastes than vanilla marines without having the same guy over and over again.

Why? What's wrong with building yourself a Space Marines List with a regular Captain, lots o' Flamers, painting them green and calling them Salamanders?

If you're playing for fluff, you don't need the special rule to do so.

If you have a special rule, it likely doesn't matter if it's attached to a Character name or not, people will try to squeeze advantages out of them.

And how is fighting nameless SalamanderCaptain07 with his Flamy Army over and over again more interesting then fighting Vulkan with his Flamy Army over and over again?

The problem IMO isn't Vulkan as a character/lore/fluff addition that can be brought to the table. The problem is that his rules are broken. But that is not an issue of Special Characters, but an issue of rule-writing.

It could equally happen with anonymous chapter rules if a "too-good-for-its-points"-rule slips in and every "competitive" player and his dog start playing Rainbowwarriors or Doom Eagles or whatever as a consequence.

Zweischneid
29-06-2010, 13:05
I think the C:SM-style characters with army-special rules actually allow you more flexibility than army-bound rules.

Now, you can paint yourself a yellow Imperial Fist-Vulkan or a black Raven Guard-Vulkan and play the best rule with the fluff you like.

If these things become generic "army-rule", people will instead paint their armies to the most competitive builds.

Instead of a blue, black, green & yellow armies with a single SC miniature in common (and only if it's not converted), you'd get a tide of green (if it's still Salamanders giving the best "chapter rule") armies that may lack Vulkan, but are visually much more uniform, the "same", on the field nevertheless.


Seriously.. have a look at the competitive Space Wolf lists all the rage currently. They've all got around three Rune Priests with lots of Jaws, several Grey Hunters in Rhinos with a Banner and a healthy serving of Long Fangs. They often feature no SC, but they are all just the same-old, same-old all the same. The absence of (clearly superiour) SCs doesn't prevent bland net-lists being crammed out over and over at the tournaments if they simply perform well.

I'd take a Vulkan-list in flavor over those any day... and if it's a nice paint-job turning Vulkan into a Space Shark or something, even better.

Eldoriath
29-06-2010, 13:14
I think from a gaming point of view they can be really great. The greatest hero amongst many great heroes. Or translated ruleswise: A better HQ among ordinary HQs since they excell at something, though at a price-tag that follows.

Fluff-wise I tend to make reasons if I want reasons. Also, GW designers was thinking about putting in a rule that required you to take an special character when playing apocalypse, but decided against it since everything should be players choice. Though they felt that apocalypse-battles shouldn't be fought without SC and figured that players will use them without a rule saying they have to.

So, considering that if you up the avarage game points by another 1500p game designers feel a SC must be present, it's not so unlikely they appear in 1500 points games. Often they are rather only a part of a bigger battle then a small skirmish anyway. A way for me to explain why reserves are random; it's not certain when they can break through to the battle and getting past the enemies blockades and stuff.

Corax
29-06-2010, 13:38
I'm one of the Old Skool 2nd Ed. boys, too. The very idea of people being able to play SCs whenever they want really grinds my gears.

Fluff issues aside, my beef is essentially that the SCs are invariably significantly better then their regular counterparts, and (in most cases) are significantly better than their points cost. As a result, they become an unbalancing factor in games in which they are present.

To me, the changes to the role of SCs is reflective of GWs cop-out over making variable armies; they tried the Traits system in 4th, botched it, and then scrapped it in favour of SCs that "unlock" army specific rules. It achieves more or less the same thing as the Traits, but in a much less elegant way. I would have much preferred it if they had simply used what was learned from 4th Ed to rework the Traits system so that it couldn't be broken so easily in future. Simply saying, "Play this guy to use this army" is just lazy game design. (But what else would we expect from GW?)

Iracundus
29-06-2010, 13:44
To me, the changes to the role of SCs is reflective of GWs cop-out over making variable armies; they tried the Traits system in 4th, botched it, and then scrapped it in favour of SCs that "unlock" army specific rules. It achieves more or less the same thing as the Traits, but in a much less elegant way. I would have much preferred it if they had simply used what was learned from 4th Ed to rework the Traits system so that it couldn't be broken so easily in future. Simply saying, "Play this guy to use this army" is just lazy game design. (But what else would we expect from GW?)

They've thrown the baby out with the bath water so to speak. Instead of tweaking the system to fix the identified flaws, they've just put in a new system and have all new flaws.

From a background perspective, "Special Characters" are supposed to be highlighting specific remarkable examples of their type. The size of the galaxy is diminished if the same small group of people is showing up to every little conflict across the galaxy. "Counts As" also diminishes and demeans this because there is nothing special if the same relics are a dime a dozen in the galaxy or their "tactical/strategic genius" is found in every similar Chapter, army, or faction.

The SkaerKrow
29-06-2010, 14:08
First of all, cookie cutter lists happen whether or not you allow Special Characters in your club. There are always units and builds that are superior, and those always rise to prominence in any appreciably sized gaming group. Blaming Special Characters for a trend that has been prominent for the last decade or so (ever since Netlisting started) is both unfair and illogical.

Secondly, there are no unimportant battles in 40k. If you're gaming it, it's a vital part of an ongoing war. Whether it's a small, decisive raid on an enemy depot or a massive confrontation that ultimately breaks the back of the defeated, your games of 40k are supposed to represent critical and climatic battles. For this reason, there is no point at which Special Characters are inappropriate to field in games of Warhammer 40k.

Finally, who are you to say what's legal and what isn't in a pick-up/neutral game of Warhammer 40k? The book says that you can take Special Characters, so you can take them, period. How would you feel if you went to game night only to find out that Chimeras/Nobs/Genestealers/Terminators/Wraithlords/etc were banned because someone "didn't like them?" If you want to work out your own prohibitions against Special Characters with your friends or for your events then so be it. What you have to realize though is that by doing so you're making an exception to the rules, not enforcing them and that those types of changes are the ones that need opponent's permission, not the inclusion of legal, official units in an army list.

Corax
29-06-2010, 14:19
Finally, who are you to say what's legal and what isn't in a pick-up/neutral game of Warhammer 40k? The book says that you can take Special Characters, so you can take them, period. How would you feel if you went to game night only to find out that Chimeras/Nobs/Genestealers/Terminators/Wraithlords/etc were banned because someone "didn't like them?" If you want to work out your own prohibitions against Special Characters with your friends or for your events then so be it.

This is exactly why I never play with anyone other than my regular 40k buddies who share my "fluff before rules" approach to the game. If people need to win so bad that they will resort to going against the established background of the army they are playing, I don't want to play them. So I don't.

Thud
29-06-2010, 14:39
This is exactly why I never play with anyone other than my regular 40k buddies who share my "fluff before rules" approach to the game. If people need to win so bad that they will resort to going against the established background of the army they are playing, I don't want to play them. So I don't.

Your interpretation of the fluff, you mean. See, in my interpretation special characters are special not because they ride the short bus to school, but because they fight a lot of battles. So I use them in a lot of battles.

You're also making a strawman argument here when you're saying that people who disregard (your interpretation of) established background do so only to win more games. What if I want to play Dante's personal guard? Just Dante and a bunch of Sanguinary Guard along with The Sanguinor? Then what? Am I doing this just because I want to win so badly? And am I going against the established background? Really? One would assume that even Dante is still up for a fight every now and then, and that those times he brings his Sanguinary Guard along with him and not Generic Tactical Squad #3.

As I wrote earlier, if you don't want to play special characters, that's fine. And if you're not interested in playing ********** who only care about winning, that's fine too. I don't play against those guys either. And if you don't want to play against people using legal units you don't like, hell, that's fine too. No one can force you to do it. But what annoys me is this holier-than-thou attitude that everyone who doesn't agree with you completely on how this game should be played are nothing but pure-bred douchenozzles who care about nothing other than tabling their opponents. It gets old.

Zweischneid
29-06-2010, 15:00
What if I want to play Dante's personal guard? Just Dante and a bunch of Sanguinary Guard along with The Sanguinor? Then what? Am I doing this just because I want to win so badly? And am I going against the established background? Really? One would assume that even Dante is still up for a fight every now and then, and that those times he brings his Sanguinary Guard along with him and not Generic Tactical Squad #3.


No way man. Those abusive SC-net lists are what's killing the hobby. Just play a Leafblower like any honest-to-god, fluff-loving 40k player would :shifty:

Crimson Reaver
29-06-2010, 15:46
Your interpretation of the fluff, you mean. See, in my interpretation special characters are special not because they ride the short bus to school, but because they fight a lot of battles. So I use them in a lot of battles.

You're also making a strawman argument here when you're saying that people who disregard (your interpretation of) established background do so only to win more games. What if I want to play Dante's personal guard? Just Dante and a bunch of Sanguinary Guard along with The Sanguinor? Then what? Am I doing this just because I want to win so badly? And am I going against the established background? Really? One would assume that even Dante is still up for a fight every now and then, and that those times he brings his Sanguinary Guard along with him and not Generic Tactical Squad #3.

As I wrote earlier, if you don't want to play special characters, that's fine. And if you're not interested in playing ********** who only care about winning, that's fine too. I don't play against those guys either. And if you don't want to play against people using legal units you don't like, hell, that's fine too. No one can force you to do it. But what annoys me is this holier-than-thou attitude that everyone who doesn't agree with you completely on how this game should be played are nothing but pure-bred douchenozzles who care about nothing other than tabling their opponents. It gets old.

That's the thing though, Dante and his specially selected elite dudes falling out of the sky to kick ass is something that is both perfectly legitimate from a rules and fluff perspective, so that doesn't seem to fit with what Corax was saying.

So, it's either an issue having characters who aren't supposed to be in your army (like having Eldrad in a non-Ulthwe army, I'm Saim-Hann so I've never even considered fielding him) or using the character all the time so as to suck the fun and the awesome out of the game.

I'm happy to play Dante and his elite dudes if my opponent has the courtesy to let me know he's going to be using them, so I can design an army to give us a good game with a cool narrative. What I think may be the issue is having Dante land on your head week in and week out, because that just gets really old, really fast, and detracts from Dante as being a legendary character.

In effect, your own gaming group forms a social contract to state how you organise games and what is considered ok to bring along in your average game. Special Characters would be something my group tries not to use too many of, but other groups obviously differ.

Erwos
29-06-2010, 19:04
Define "going against the established background"..
For years, GW told us how special characters are rare, and only showing up to really special battles. That's how it's not fluffy.

Swordsman
29-06-2010, 19:07
This is exactly why I never play with anyone other than my regular 40k buddies who share my "fluff before rules" approach to the game. If people need to win so bad that they will resort to going against the established background of the army they are playing, I don't want to play them. So I don't.

Define "going against the established background"..

Is it when people field legendary named heroes like Dante and Logan?
Is it when people take heroes from other chapters, craftworlds, etc in their list and rename them?

Just what is "going against the established background", Corax?

I field Cato Sicarius in every list I play because my army is to represent his supporting second company, which he leads.

Cato Sicarius has seen more battles then we can possibly imagine; how is it unfluffy for him to walk the fields of battle often? Do you think that because a WAAAAAAUGH doesn't have a "big name" Warboss that he'd pass on stopping it? That his duty, or the motivation for other SC's becomes null?

I think it's absolutely fluffy the way I field my army - and that's just it; you have absolutely no right to call out other people as power gamers, and make claims about their motivation when you have no idea what you're talking about.

/melta-gun the legs off your high-horse

Maybe that will help you see things more clearly.


For years, GW told us how special characters are rare, and only showing up to really special battles. That's how it's not fluffy.

This entire argument is about a supposed lack of creativity, but you can't play a game without Games Workshop telling you exactly how to play it.

They've changed their stance, evolve with the game or retire.

Stouty
29-06-2010, 19:12
This old argument, eh? To summarise.

Pro-Special Characters: YOU CAN'T TELL ME WHAT I CAN USE, TWIN-LINKED MULTI-MELTAS ARE AN INTEGRAL PART OF MY ARMY'S CHARACTER! ABBADON FIGHTS IN EVERY CHAOS SPACE MARINE COMBAT PATROL!

Anti-Special Characters: No. Fun. Allowed.

Thud
29-06-2010, 19:17
For years, GW told us how special characters are rare, and only showing up to really special battles. That's how it's not fluffy.

Would that be the same GW that for years have told us to make our own stories and our own background?

Or the same GW that just recently made Sanguinary Guard appear from nowhere? Or C'tan? Or Tau? The same GW that killed off an entire species in a subclause? The same GW who killed off Eldrad, but kept him in the new Eldar codex? The same GW that killed off Tycho, but kept him in the new Blood Angels codex? In two different incarnations?

The background is there to enrich the game, not restrict it. It does not give anyone a carte blanche to dictate the army lists and choices of others.

The guy who annoys you by taking Vulkan every game, I'm assuming he also has at least two Tactical Squads. So, that's at least twice as many Tactical Squads as Vulkans. Yet I don't see many "fluffy" gamers whine about that. Or, what if that guy is a real fluff nut himself, and has named every guy in his army? I don't see people disparaging him for not throwing his dead Marines in the trash and buying new ones. Or replacing them with Scouts with new names, and promoting the survivors to Tactical Marines after ten games.

If fluff is what's most important to you, that's great. Enjoy yourself. But don't expect everyone else to share your opinion, and definitely don't demand everyone else to share your opinion.

perplexiti
29-06-2010, 19:30
I've never had a problem with special characters, if my opponent wants to use them, sweet as, I've not used them that often myself, well I've used the minis but just as generic dudes.

Also I thought it was 3rd ed that brought the restrictions in, I don't remember them being restricted in 2nd. Although that may be my poor old memory going on the fritz.

Grimtuff
29-06-2010, 19:35
No way man. Those abusive SC-net lists are what's killing the hobby. Just play a Leafblower like any honest-to-god, fluff-loving 40k player would :shifty:

FFS, why keep mentioning this? Leafblower, or whatever the drongos are calling the One List To Rule Them All nowadays is 2500pts.

Who plays a regular game of this size? I certainly don't. 1500pts to 1750pts is the norm round here.

Who are you to say I cannot use Logan Grimnar and his hand picked Wolf Guard retinue, characters are what drive the story of 40k and Grimnar for example, is just as much up for a fight as any other Wolf Lord.

I really think many of the naysayers in this thread would have kittens if they ever peeked their heads from out of their backsides and took a look at Warmachine, where every single character is, in GW terms, a Special Character.
There are no generics here folks! Yet there are, as all of said characters are an archetype, filling a fighting style and a characterisation that represents a certain aspect of their army's background.

Guess what? 40k has become the same! Take the SW book for example, all of the characters in there are archetypes too, insofar as many of them simutaneously represent the Norse gods pantheon, with Loki and Thor being the two most obvious.

But apparently SC's have no battlefield role and I do not think about my army and I got it off the Internet. Well i'm going to call your bluff on this, my SW army has 2 Rune Priests in it. Can you guess what powers they have?
As in spite of the fact my list contains Logan (and Arjac FWIW) it is far from a "net list" as you can get. I've in fact never seen a similar list.

But I use a SC in my army, so I must've got the list off the Intarwebz, right?

Easy E
29-06-2010, 19:44
I do it because it's fun
I will never "ask permission" to play the game as I see fit; especially when it's clearly intended by GW.

Every time you play, you are tacitly gaining the permission of your opponent. If they did not agree to a game with you, you would have no game.

I hate to break the news to you. Everytime you play, you are "asking permission" to play the game the way you see fit.

Unless you are playing with yourself.

And here we have the rub. Each player needs to talk with the other player before a game even begins to make sure they are aligned with what they want to get out of the game. Too many times, two people walk up, throw down armies, and start playing. Never bothering to talk about what they wanted from the game, and both being frustrated by the actual game experience.

Grimtuff
29-06-2010, 19:48
Unless you are playing with yourself.

AGAINST yourself. Huge difference there! ;):eek:

Swordsman
29-06-2010, 19:58
Every time you play, you are tacitly gaining the permission of your opponent. If they did not agree to a game with you, you would have no game.

I suppose it's a good thing that my gaming club has nobody who is nearly as dramatic as the forum-goers of Warseer then.

Grimtuff
29-06-2010, 20:04
I suppose it's a good thing that my gaming club has nobody who is nearly as dramatic as the forum-goers of Warseer then.

It's the Internet, hyperbole is a byword for just about everything typed anywhere on it. ;)

For the record i've never seen anyone IRL moan and groan about me (or anyone) using SC's in their games. In fact quite the opposite, they enjoy the bragging rights of getting a "SC scalp" to their list of war stories.

Erwos
29-06-2010, 21:07
This entire argument is about a supposed lack of creativity, but you can't play a game without Games Workshop telling you exactly how to play it.

They've changed their stance, evolve with the game or retire.
I've seen them change the rules. I haven't seen them change that fluff.

Grimtuff
29-06-2010, 21:27
I've seen them change the rules. I haven't seen them change that fluff.

Um...


Or the same GW that just recently made Sanguinary Guard appear from nowhere? Or C'tan? Or Tau? The same GW that killed off an entire species in a subclause? The same GW who killed off Eldrad, but kept him in the new Eldar codex? The same GW that killed off Tycho, but kept him in the new Blood Angels codex? In two different incarnations?


GW's background is mutable and changes all the time. To say it does not change and stick your head in the sand when it blatantly does is just silly.

Lord Inquisitor
29-06-2010, 21:47
Who are you to say I cannot use Logan Grimnar and his hand picked Wolf Guard retinue, characters are what drive the story of 40k and Grimnar for example, is just as much up for a fight as any other Wolf Lord.

Which is fine. Problem is, I've played dozens of Space Wolf opponents since the new book came out and every single one used Logan. Similarly, although I've not played that many Blood Angel players, but Mephiston was present every time.

I really don't mind people using special characters in principle. As noted previously, I'm fine with the idea of SCs representing an archetype, I use Lucius and Straken and various IG SCs quite regularly.

What I don't like is that certain characters have no weaknesses or operate on a totally different level. Logan is simply too good to be left behind. His ability to hand out a USR of choice, plus a massive area effect +1A buff makes him worthwhile as a support character. Coupled with Ragnar and Njal's area effect buffs or denials, these three have a huge effect on the game far beyond any generic character and pretty much not accounted for in their points value. A similarly-equipped Wolf Lord is about 215 points. I've seen very serious competitive players taking Grimnar and sitting him with Long Fangs - his ability to hand out Tank Hunter or Relentless to a unit with a Rune Priest is worth (to these players, plus the ability to take Wolf Guard as Troops) the 275 points tag by itself. That speaks volumes about how extraordinarily powerful that ability is - he's worth his support effects even if you waste the 215-points-plus combat monster that he is.

This is where the problem is. You want to make Logan's personal Wolf Guard bodyguard? Sounds good ... except that it looks exactly like the last half-dozen Space Wolf armies and frankly it's getting really annoying. The ability to make your elite troops scoring is frustrating - like nob bikers, it feels like having your cake and eating it as you bypass the whole Troops-scoring thing some of us actually have to stick to - and the character can have an overwhelming influence on the game without lifting a finger.

Part of this is just that certain characters don't scale well, or they are simply undercosted. Often the Lord Most High Hero/Villains are meant to be great leaders and therefore have - due to a deficiency in 40K to actually apply any in-game effect to command structures at all - game dominating abilities. Eldrad, many SM characters, Grimnar, Ragnar, Creed/Kell all cost a lot of points but they bring something to the table noone else can and usually bypass one or more of the army's weaknesses.

It's typically these "supreme commander" characters that are annoying. I think much of the complaints are due to these sorts of game-dominating characters - I've not heard much complaint about Harker or Vask, they're simple unit upgrades, similarly, Sicarius or Belial are the only Ultramarines 2nd company captain or Deathwing captain that exist, and they're fairly sane in their scope of abilities so they don't cause issue.

I've always been an advocate for special characters for two reasons. One, I believe that people's armies are their own affairs and certain units shouldn't be regarded as taboo and two, there's no reason why special characters shouldn't be as balanced or more balanced than their generic counterparts.

However, recently I've begun to change my mind. They're still not as balanced as their generic counterparts, particularly their support effects seem to be ill-tested. Certain characters are so prevalent and so game dominating - particularly in the Space Wolf, Tyranid and Blood Angels codecies - that it's starting to really bug me and I know a lot of other people feel the same.

Perhaps we should see a return to the "minimum game size" requirements? You need to be playing at least 2000 points to have Creed, or Logan, or Mephiston?

IcedAnimals
29-06-2010, 21:58
I don't like overabundance of SCs, but the reasons are pretty different than what already pointed:

1) I want to play Warhammer, not Herohammer. Having one huge, costly unit doing everything while rest of your army is there just for scoring is boring.

2) I hate the fact that in order to play a Raven Guard Chapter you have to take Shrike. Fleet is not Shrike-rule, its Raven Guard chapter-rule. Just like Descent of Angels is for Blood angels. Similarly every Salamander list "must" have Vulcan... Not because you need Vulcan, but because codex says thats the only way to get your marines the Salamander chapter-rules (twinlinked flamers/meltas).

Sure, I use SCs myself time to time (I have a Nightbringer and like how it looks), but only when i feel like it fits the campaign/mission theme or the rest of my army... I have a total of 4 HQs in my box of Necron tricks so Nighty doesn't get out that much.

If your opponent wants to take a "herohammer" (more like noobhammer deathstar) he can do it with or without a special character.

As for your second point I am curious. If there was a "generic" HQ choice that had an upgrade option to make all flamers,melta,thunderhammers in the army twinlinked would he be ANY less common than vulkan?

I personally play a guy who uses a night lords army. He uses the blood angels codex and takes astorath. He isn't "Astorath" he is some latin bird name I don't remember. A completely made up character.

I know another guy who wanted to field his own chapter of a terminator elite army. Made up his own fluff for the army and then used the deathwing dark angel guy. His own color scheme and everything.

His hero isn't the master of the deathwing. His character is his own chapter master. If there was a rule for chapter masters along the lines of "some chapter masters excel at leading terminators and can take terminators as troops" and had a point increase he could do that.

There is nothing preventing people from saying abbadon isn't abby hes just a chapter master that excels at combat in their army.

Special characters specialize an army in a certain way. They give the codex MORE viable builds and options. There is NOTHING wrong with special characters.

Any balance issues where the special character is a no brainer better choice in all situations than a generic chapter master is not due to a flaw in special characters but a flaw in the authors balance.

Todosi
29-06-2010, 22:04
The fact is, that Named Characters are now part of the army composition rules. Before we had traits and whatnot to tailor the rules of our lists. Now we have Named Characters. We may not like it, but the current ruleset and codexes are built and designed with Named Characters as part of the core concepts. In the past they were just cool fun rules to play with now and then, now they are an integral part of the codex.

EmperorEternalXIX
29-06-2010, 22:23
2) I hate the fact that in order to play a Raven Guard Chapter you have to take Shrike. Fleet is not Shrike-rule, its Raven Guard chapter-rule. Just like Descent of Angels is for Blood angels. Similarly every Salamander list "must" have Vulcan... Not because you need Vulcan, but because codex says thats the only way to get your marines the Salamander chapter-rules (twinlinked flamers/meltas). You're actually making a good point here, but this is a huge fault of the Matt Ward codex philosophy than the SC philosophy.

It wouldn't have been so bad if they didn't have such wild differences and weren't specific to chapters.

The problem is there should have just been equippable/buyable versions of the old Chapter Traits rules, so you could tailor your army to however you wanted, and the SCs could've come with them for free. But you reap what you sow, fellow Warseers -- it was the very cries of "BROKEN!" from these overreacting patrons that helped make sure that "doctrine"-style armies became a thing of the past, and these unlocks are the future, regardless.

That being said I think the system works out very well overall, as it prevents people from taking abusive combos of abilities. I dislike that the book encourages tag team HQ combos but it is what it is.


Special characters specialize an army in a certain way. They give the codex MORE viable builds and options. There is NOTHING wrong with special characters.Absolutely correct, if you ask me.


Any balance issues where the special character is a no brainer better choice in all situations than a generic chapter master is not due to a flaw in special characters but a flaw in the authors balance. This = Matt Ward Mission Statement.

Bunnahabhain
29-06-2010, 23:59
It wouldn't have been so bad if they didn't have such wild differences and weren't specific to chapters.

100% agreed. ...bet you are surprized to hear that from me....



it was the very cries of "BROKEN!" from these overreacting patrons that helped make sure that "doctrine"-style armies became a thing of the past, and these unlocks are the future, regardless.


It is here I totally disagree. You are confusing traits and doctrines. 4th ed doctrines had their disadvantages built in - no access to 50+% of units, frequently a significant points cost, AND often other penalties as well.

Traits came for free, and you could pick you handicap so it didn't impact your list, far more than with the Guard list.

Very few people called doctrines broken, except the Guard why are 3/4s of these blooming useless lobby. Rather more complained about traits, and from the other direction generally... Oh wow, you lose access to Allied CC troops and psychic hoods. Because you really need them....

Bloodknight
30-06-2010, 00:43
generic HQs usually lack the options to "sell them" compared to SCs. Only a few of the newer codexes (Space Wolves, Chaos Marines, Imperial Guard, and Orks) have great generic HQs that are more then comparable to equivalent SCs.

I'd like to comment on this.

I can't really see how IG has great generic HQs. The main use of a CCS is getting another unit to cram a couple of BS4 meltas into. Basically every option apart from sticking them into a Chimera and sending them to dishing out meltary death, maybe with an attached MoF or Astropath is badly overpriced (medic) or useless (banner, the MoO, close combat additions). The Primaris Psyker is a fun, but not very strong unit with no cutomizability at all. The Lord Commissar needs an army that makes him good and his upgrades are super expensive (10 points for carapace? *cough*).

The SCs on the other hand range from superb (Straken, Yarrick) to expensive and next to useless (Creed and Kell. Most armies are mechanized today, you don't really need more than 2 orders per turn because most of the stuff you field can't receive them anyway).

Orks have good HQs, yes. That's mostly because their basic HQs can tinker with the FOC and Warbosses are very dangerous.

Chaos: not so much. General and Sorcerer are second rate units compared to the Daemon Prince (and the Sorcerer is better than the General), and most Chaos special characters are just bad. I'd go so far to say that only Kharn and Abaddon are worth fielding, and that's because both are combat monsters, one of them is reasonably cheap, the other super hard. Neither does much for the army unlike the SM, Ork or IG characters. You just get a guy who punches stuff in the face, just like a Daemon Prince.


That said, in earlier times special characters mostly meant that you overpaid for the opportunity of fielding them. I'm talking about most DE characters, old Eldrad, the old Chaos characters and so on.

madival
30-06-2010, 01:04
I say let people field SC's. My mentality has always been I am going to ID him in 1 round anyways. They work with the army, so who am I to say whatyou cant play.

Freman Bloodglaive
30-06-2010, 04:28
For my DA themed generic Space Marine army I have two HQs, a Librarian and a generic Captain on bike (giving access to biker troops).

I do have the option of Vulken, Marneus (I have the power armoured model), Lysander et al. but I prefer not to use them because they don't fit my army. Lysander and the Khan would probably be the only ones who would.

In my Space Wolves, I have Logan, Ragnar, Njal (power armour) and Ulrik but I prefer using generic HQs because as GW says, the army commander represents the player on the battlefield and the special characters don't really do that for me.

Special characters do bring a lot to the table, and I would prefer that we didn't have to take them (if I field all my Wolf Guard I need Logan) but the game might be a little drier without them.

Xyrex
30-06-2010, 06:38
Well, I say no, the opponent shouldn't have to ask, but GW should

1) Put a minimal points for the army to use a SC. (like 500 for marbo or 5,000 for Abbey.)

2) Make the characters weaker, but better in terms ofleadership. I find that the IG did this excellently with the orders system.

3) take away army wide super rules like the thing Vulcan has.

4) (besides the point) make them in plastic.

I don't have anything against SC, but their current roles don't seem to fit.

TheSanityAssassin
30-06-2010, 06:47
My problem with the "they won't be present" argument is "Why the hell not?"

Take Sicarius for example. He's captain of the 2nd company. Why is he any less likely to be there than mr Generic Captain who leads the 3rd company? I play Second company Ultramarines, so why wouldn't I take him (I don't by the way. Death to Macragge! Glory to Lorgar!). Really, I see no reason for them not to be there, though I agree taking the A-Bomb in 500 points is kinda lame.

Like people have said though, I wish they could be a "similar in power, but with different options" kind of thing. I wish there was a reason NOT to take them other than a gut feeling that it was wrong. Fantasy is even worse for this I think.....you often get 60-70 points of "free" gear if you point it out.

EmperorEternalXIX
30-06-2010, 08:02
I think the army-wide super rules just need to be handled better.

The SM codex was an unfortunate abortion from the twisted mind of Matt Ward, but it seems to illustrate the best and worst of SCs. I think it is an excellent methodology to have a special character change how your army plays, but Ward toyed with it a bit too much. They should change the composition of an army and the style of an army, but they should not give huge blatant buffs across every unit in the list like some of them do. AOE buffs annoy me when people who are less famous have them... if you ask me Logan Grimnar is what Marneus Calgar should've been.

Arbiter7
30-06-2010, 09:45
To all those people who don't seem to understand why some people don't like SC's:


It's not that we don't like ALL SC's. Some of them are quite nicely balanced, and indeed bring more variety in an army list. But they are balanced. Balance is the key here. Balance means I'll give you something extra, but at a price. And the price should correspond to what I'm giving you. Orks on bikes? Nice? An outflanking platoon? Hell, yes. These are indeed nice.


The problem is then, that most of the time, you don't PAY for what you get. Vulcan is the prime example here. It normally costs 15 points to master-craft something in order to get the re-rolls, but Vulcan here gives it to every single melta-wielding troop in your force. It's not so difficult to see why 195 points for a captain with Vulcan's stats and abilities PLUS the army-wide re-rolls is NOT properly balanced. And don't please ridicule yourself by saying that dropping combat tactics is SUCH a WOE. Oh dear. Combat tactics vs. re-rolls in weapons that are awesome against tanks (in the age of mechanized), MC's and can insta-kill several HQ's? Boo-hoo, cry me a river.


At least in Fantasy, when you want to take the uber lord of awesome, you have to invest a huge amount of points on that character. Sure, it makes for some fun games, but you usually PAY for what you get.


This, like many people have pointed out in this thread, results in taking the SC's over your bog-standard generic captain, because simply it is the "optimal" choice. So virtually ALL salamanders lists are led by Vulkan. The trouble is not that "you don't have the right to play 2nd company ultramarines". The problem is that suddenly, EVERYONE plays "logan grimmnar's pack". And thats hurting the hobby. The SW codex is not "Logan Grimmnar's and Njal Stormcaller's Codex". It's the SW codex, but it's turned out to be the former. Similarly, the BA codex isn't "Mephiston and his kick-ass Buddies"...

I hope you get the point.

Like I said before, if there was moderation, no one would have any trouble with SC's. But there isn't, which results in the usual phenomena which ruin it for some of us who become tired of facing the same ol' underpriced dude, be it "generic", be it "an archetype", be it "the lord of awesome himself".

Zweischneid
30-06-2010, 10:15
[U]
The problem is then, that most of the time, you don't PAY for what you get. Vulcan is the prime example here. It normally costs 15 points to master-craft something in order to get the re-rolls, but Vulcan here gives it to every single melta-wielding troop in your force. It's not so difficult to see why 195 points for a captain with Vulcan's stats and abilities PLUS the army-wide re-rolls is NOT properly balanced.

Well, Vulkan gets brought up alot for obvious reasons and I agree that what he does is all-round not balanced currently.


However, the problem IMO is less that he's a SC, but more the fact that he boosts the currently most indispensable weapons of 40K, meltaweapons and, to a slightly lesser degree, flamers.

The way to "fix" Vulkan is not to drop SC's, or complicate their rules with point restrictions, but to fix the 40K (Mech-)game so that Melta (& Flamer) aren't quite so all-out superiour to pretty much anything else available to take on Armour-spam lists. It's the same reason that IG vets are so good and Firedragons are in every Eldar list.

Even for their costs, Special Weapons are too good for what they do currently IMO. Melta's in particular should be far more expensive with or without Vulkan if you benchmark them against normal infantry weaponry (though of course, this would give mech-lists even more punch).

Lysander for example boosts bolters, but bolters don't win games.. therefore its less of an issue than Vulkan who boosts the too-good-weapons. Making that Melta work when you need to does win games.

The day GW fixes the Mech-Game so that I can compete on an even footing in a no-holds tournament (think 'Ard Boys) without needing to take meltas or flamers, is the day you've fixed Vulkan.

Nezalhualixtlan
30-06-2010, 11:01
I love the fact that you can field named HQ hero's (and occasionally named non-HQ hero's depending on the Army). I think it gives a major amount of options and opens up creativity in list creation, and I love the characterful feel of the battles with them in it. I'm glad that they don't "require permission" on the part of your opponent to play them, and I'm glad they are meant to be used as templates for your own special character creation when creating non-codex armies.

Any issues with a characters game stats and balance isn't so much a problem with it being a special character as it is a problem with balance itself, I see that as an entirely separate and different issue.

EmperorEternalXIX
30-06-2010, 11:33
This, like many people have pointed out in this thread, results in taking the SC's over your bog-standard generic captain, because simply it is the "optimal" choice. So virtually ALL salamanders lists are led by Vulkan. The trouble is not that "you don't have the right to play 2nd company ultramarines". The problem is that suddenly, EVERYONE plays "logan grimmnar's pack". And thats hurting the hobby. The SW codex is not "Logan Grimmnar's and Njal Stormcaller's Codex". It's the SW codex, but it's turned out to be the former. Similarly, the BA codex isn't "Mephiston and his kick-ass Buddies"... Truth be told it does hurt the game to see the same lists over and over again, but I don't really think this is the case.

I think the internet weblisting that goes on makes us all feel like "all the lists out there" are cloned and basic in design, meant to minmax SC bonuses and not much else. But in practice, I mean...how many of these armies do you see? And of the ones you see, how many of them are really "the same" ?

I don't know. I really feel that people's personal dislike of the believability that Marneus Calgar is at every battle is really their own issue, and not a reason to change how SCs work. SCs added a lot of flavor to the game, whether people like it or not. The SM codex is a perfect example: where once we had the only real builds being assault cannon spam and min-max las-plas, there are now many unique list styles (at least one for each army-changing special character anyhow).

I think honestly, as weird as this sounds, it is important to have abilities that are not necessarily "paid for." Fantasy suffers because of this -- you see a hero that costs hundreds of points and he can take a huge chunk of the opposing army on his own, sure, but this isn't very realistic. Every army has special characters with some very powerful build unlocks attached to them; but they usually are also still only a part of the army.

Also I think a lot of people are ignoring counts-as. There might be a thousand people using Vulkan but not all of them are the same guy, and many probably use his rules to represent a much lesser celebrity who might be more believable to have to be on the front so often.

I will also point out that with the Space Wolves, it's a bit different. As they have no successors, literally every one of us who plays the Space Wolves, has every right to field any of the characters with regularity or in combination, because those guys WOULD be at 9/10 of their battles.

Overall I think SCs are a good thing, and that the current trend of netlisting just makes their proliferation look much worse than it actually is. In our area few if any SCs are used; only because the savvy players know spending 200-300 points on one guy is rarely smart in 40k.

Hypaspist
30-06-2010, 12:42
Personally, I have absolutely no issue with seeing special Characters across the table from me. I wouldn't ever refuse a game against somebody because they were taking xyz Character, even if it's the 10th game in a row I have seen him. I don't even mind being forced to take an SC in order to alter my force organisation (I play Dark Angels, and Orks predominantly)

I will confess to a preference for having unnammed IC's perform the Force Organisation altering, but that's largely because I like the flexibility of taking an Unnamed chap, making up my own backstory for him, and equipping him how I like (ie Big Mek Stompnutz in my Deff Skullz army)

I don't really accept the point of view that SC's are overpowered or too good for their points being an enormous negative, albeit with the exception of an SC that is nigh on unkillable and can smash an army on his or her own, But I don't really see this as a problem in 40k at all (which of course, doesn't make it wrong, it just means I don't agree with it :))
In a game, (that we know is not perfectly balanced) there are *always* units, characters, or wargear, that are very effective in relation to the relative cost you pay.
If it wasn't SC's then it would be something else, (possibly a tank, or a squad of super-hard elites) and if nothing stood out from everything else, and everything was balanced perfectly, then the fun of list building would be (in my opinion) greatly diminished. After all, if you have ever taken a perceived-below-the-curve-power list, and performed better with it, this in itself allows for some satisfaction in and of itself.

I'd also reject the argument that Special Character's are responsible for creating boring lists (example here would be Vulkan must = Cookie cutter Space Marine list = yawnfest)
IF you are taking Vulkan, and IF you are completely tailoring your army towards him, and IF it's not a Salamanders army, then chances are, you are going for a maximum competetive build.
(upon which peoples opinions will probably vary quite a lot, as this Hobby encompasses people who have little, to no competetive desire, some in fact who just collect and don't even play, to people who see painting models as getting in the way of their table-top victories, both are equally valid in their entitlement to enjoy the hobby)
If Vulkan didn't exist, then it's likely you would take anonymous-Independent-character-with-optimum-loadout and thus all you would see is perceived-strong-list-A a lot, instead of focusing on the SC.

40k and Warhammer are games with rich, rich backgrounds of written material, for which the Game designers want to bring (understandably) representation to the table top, and particularly the heroic side of things. The most important rule (in my opinion) dicatates that if either player feels really strongly about this you should probably communicate before the game (if amongst friends) and understand what each of you want out of the game, or accept (if playing pickup games) that your view, isn't necassarily, the only correct view, and perhaps talk about the lists before playing.


TL;DR Version.
For me, SC's are a really good part of the game, I like them, they could of course be improved with reference to internal balance within an army list to make the choice of what to take a little tougher, but I don't feel that SC's should be a by permission only affair.
:)

Meriwether
30-06-2010, 13:27
Here's my take on this whole thing.

Fluff:
The games you fight are supposed to be the big ones, the ones of galactic importance where the fate of [insert Big Important Thing here] hangs in the balance. So to see SCs proliferated across the tabletops of the Earthperium makes perfect sense.

Fluff II:
I don't know of any Star Wars fan who wanted to be Higgins as a kid. If a player wants to nerdgasm over what characters he's fielding and how cool they are and their background story of why they're fighting here and blah blah blah, who are we to stomp on his fun? Let him pretend he's Skywalker for a while, if that's what he gets out of all this.

Modeling:
Many of the special characters are just cooler looking. When people assemble and paint awesome models, they want to be able to use them. Instead of having to "counts-as" downgrade them into a generic whatever, why not let them field them as the Skywalker they are supposed to be?

Balance:
It goes without saying that everything in ever codex should be well-balanced, neither overcosted nor undercosted nor worthless nor game-breaking. This is not a special character issue.

Generic Templates:
GW could avoid a lot of hand-wringing and wailing/teeth-gnashing if they just called Mephiston "GENERIC UBER-BLOOD-PSYCHER OF BLOOD-DEATHY KILLYNESS OF BLOOD"... But they'd also avoid a lot of sales, too. There's a reason why "GI Joe" outsold "Army Men" in the 1970s.

Permission:
The game doesn't work that way anymore. What is and is not legal wrt special characters changed a long time ago, and special characters are nothing more than another unit choice. Get over it, get over yourself, and get on with having some fun. (This is spoken as an 'old school' player of 20+ years).

In short, I am in almost perfect agreement with Thud, EmperorEternalXIX, Hypaspist, etc.

x-esiv-4c
30-06-2010, 13:35
Simple fix: "SCs can only be used in games of 3000pts or greater"

done :)

Erwos
30-06-2010, 13:43
Simple fix: "SCs can only be used in games of 3000pts or greater"
Or even just "greater than 2000 points". So long as we're working on the same assumption of when it's appropriate to bring 'em (eg, what is the size of an important battle?), I could live with that.

Of course, it would also result in me taking Abbadon in every 2500 point list, but that's what some of you seem to want...

Zweischneid
30-06-2010, 13:46
Simple fix: "SCs can only be used in games of 3000pts or greater"

done :)

Sounds more like a ploy to sell more GW minis :mad:

Why is a 5000 pts battle more important than a 500 pts. battle?

Measured against the "fluff" of 40K, they're both certainly mere skirmishes.

x-esiv-4c
30-06-2010, 13:47
A ploy to sell more GW minis! How diabolical! :p

Zweischneid
30-06-2010, 13:49
Well, I like my games small and sharp. 1000 pts., 1500 pts. as about the maximum I play. Beyond that, 40K in my humble opinion devolves into massive pointless die-rolling.

And I like me my Special Characters.



And as pointed out before, the SC do in no way impinge upon the proliferation of bland net-lists.

Infact, if you ban SC, you'll likely see even more 3 Vendetta Guard Lists and 3 Rune Priest Space Wolf lists. Hows that more existing?

ghostline
30-06-2010, 13:55
The madness will end when they give each vanilla lord enough options and upgrades that make them equal or better then the SC's in the army book.

Xelloss
30-06-2010, 14:30
As for your second point I am curious. If there was a "generic" HQ choice that had an upgrade option to make all flamers,melta,thunderhammers in the army twinlinked would he be ANY less common than vulkan?
As already said, army-wide buff should be costed accordingly. IMO, you should have ONE HQ (what the point of a Chapter Master when it's just a captain with two extra rules ?) with listed options. Special characters are "famous examples" of what you can use, with cool fluff and minis.
Now, these options needs :
- to be balanced among each others. One build is always taken over the others ? Errata to make it more expensive
- to be cost-adjusted depending on the army-size. Let's take AAC of the BTs : 50 pts is damn expensive at 750pts, but ridiculously cheap at 3000pts. Something like "option A cost X pts, and each unit affected cost +Y pts per model"

x-esiv-4c
30-06-2010, 14:35
Instead of the ability to buff the entire army like SCs as Vulkan do, perhaps give the play the ability to "pay" for the buffs. So perhaps his buffage will only affect 2-3 squads at an according pay.

Shadow Lord
30-06-2010, 14:37
I let my opponent play with SC's every time. My opponents vary from SW's to BA/DA/UM/Eldar etc...so nearly all armies are present (except for DE, but that's an other discussion all together). Only thing that bugs me is that some armies have a better cost/effectiveness ratio than others...I really would like to see each and every army have his own SC's with their own nice balanced attribution to the game. But not as it is today: only the few and the proud get the nice stuff nicely explained and backed up by their fluff while others are left out in the cold.
As a Chaos player myself I can say that we are still a very dangerous army (as we should be) but why is it that most Chaos players don't use a SC? Because half of them are utter useless and the rest are unreliable powerhouses...if GW could fix this for my army and for other armies out there that have the same problem then I wouldn't feel so frustrated by seeing Logan, Vulcan, Mephiston; Njall...everytime I play.

Meriwether
30-06-2010, 14:41
Instead of the ability to buff the entire army like SCs as Vulkan do, perhaps give the play the ability to "pay" for the buffs. So perhaps his buffage will only affect 2-3 squads at an according pay.

You're 100% correct. Whether granted by a special character or not, buffs should be paid for by model/unit.

For a brief period of time, I thought that GW had learned from 3ed Ed. Death Company being free upgrades (with free power weapons when you took sergeants), and would stop giving free stuff to armies.

Alas, I learned to my chagrin that they in no way learned from this mistake.

Corax
30-06-2010, 14:44
You're also making a strawman argument here when you're saying that people who disregard (your interpretation of) established background do so only to win more games. What if I want to play Dante's personal guard? Just Dante and a bunch of Sanguinary Guard along with The Sanguinor? Then what? Am I doing this just because I want to win so badly? And am I going against the established background? Really? One would assume that even Dante is still up for a fight every now and then, and that those times he brings his Sanguinary Guard along with him and not Generic Tactical Squad #3.

Allow me to clarify. Not everyone who uses SCs is a rampaging powergamer hell bent on world domination, but in my experience most of them are.

Like I said, I'm old school; so when I see a SC, I see the words, "in a game of over 2000 points" next to it. The 2nd Ed. idea that 'SC = unbalanced' is too deeply ingrained in my gaming psyche to shift, so I am extremely suspicious of seeing them on the table; especially given that they are always significantly better then their regular counterparts, but without a point cost that reflects their power.


As I wrote earlier, if you don't want to play special characters, that's fine. And if you're not interested in playing ********** who only care about winning, that's fine too. I don't play against those guys either. And if you don't want to play against people using legal units you don't like, hell, that's fine too. No one can force you to do it. But what annoys me is this holier-than-thou attitude that everyone who doesn't agree with you completely on how this game should be played are nothing but pure-bred douchenozzles who care about nothing other than tabling their opponents. It gets old.

Where did you get the idea that I was being holier-than-thou? I was merely stating a personal preference. I think that anyone's approach to the hobby is fine for them, but if it doesn't fit with my own, I exercise my right not to play against them because I know I will not enjoy it. Its not a matter of my way being better than theirs, its simply that they are different and incompatible.

Meriwether
30-06-2010, 14:54
Like I said, I'm old school; so when I see a SC, I see the words, "in a game of over 2000 points" next to it.

As I said in my initial post on this thread, the game has changed. Expecting anyone to play an outdated version of the game (that is to say, the current version as modified by your outdated notions of what it's supposed to be) or not play you at all is astounding.


The 2nd Ed. idea that 'SC = unbalanced' is too deeply ingrained in my gaming psyche to shift,

That's ridiculous. You acknowledge an outdated prejudice in your head, you can even identify not only what it is but how it effects what you are doing, and yet you claim to be powerless to rectify it?

Zweischneid
30-06-2010, 15:06
Instead of the ability to buff the entire army like SCs as Vulkan do, perhaps give the play the ability to "pay" for the buffs. So perhaps his buffage will only affect 2-3 squads at an according pay.

Still. These are two seperate issues: Pricing army-wide buffs correctly and (dis-)allowing SCs.

I don't think anyone doubts that things could have been written better with Vulkan and options such as yours might have been preferable. But it is an issue of army-wide buffs. It is not an issue intrinsically connected to the fact that he's a SC.

Thud
30-06-2010, 15:07
Like I said, I'm old school; so when I see a SC, I see the words, "in a game of over 2000 points" next to it. The 2nd Ed. idea that 'SC = unbalanced' is too deeply ingrained in my gaming psyche to shift, so I am extremely suspicious of seeing them on the table; especially given that they are always significantly better then their regular counterparts, but without a point cost that reflects their power.

Like Meri said, it's a different game now. How things work are different from 2nd edition, and what makes an army good (read: competitive) is fundamentally different from 2nd edition (or 3rd and 4th for that matter). Merely clinging to the belief that special characters are overpowered now because they were 12 years and three editions ago makes no sense.


Where did you get the idea that I was being holier-than-thou?

Right about here:

"If people need to win so bad that they will resort to going against the established background of the army they are playing, I don't want to play them."

Erwos
30-06-2010, 15:08
Measured against the "fluff" of 40K, they're both certainly mere skirmishes.
Totally agree. Why is Mephisto popping up in every skirmish, then? Answer: some people here are almost certainly defending SCs because they're terrified their unbalanced SC of choice might not be available to them in the next round of editions.

Anyways, here's another idea: special characters are worth 1 KP per 50 points of value and are an objective unto themselves that you gain by killing them. After all, these are important guys, and their deaths are ALWAYS going to be valuable.

Meriwether
30-06-2010, 15:11
Answer: some people here are almost certainly defending SCs because they're terrified their unbalanced SC of choice might not be available to them in the next round of editions.

Casting aspersions on the motives of those you disagree with is both cheap and ineffective.

Project2501
30-06-2010, 15:21
Still. These are two seperate issues: Pricing army-wide buffs correctly and (dis-)allowing SCs.

I don't think anyone doubts that things could have been written better with Vulkan and options such as yours might have been preferable. But it is an issue of army-wide buffs. It is not an issue intrinsically connected to the fact that he's a SC.



To clarify a bit more, are you forgetting about the people that cannot stand SCs being required lately to build certain styles/themes of armies? Or are you lumping that into "army-wide buffs?"

Erwos
30-06-2010, 15:23
Casting aspersions on the motives of those you disagree with is both cheap and ineffective.
This is different than the people who are essentially calling us curmudgeons who can't keep up with the times how? Be real: this thread has devolved pretty far. Calling me out on what is a true observation is just a way of delegitimizing my views without having to confront them.

Zweischneid
30-06-2010, 15:25
To clarify a bit more, are you forgetting about the people that cannot stand SCs being required lately to build certain styles/themes of armies? Or are you lumping that into "army-wide buffs?"

Are IG Veterans + 3 Vendettas better than a Vulkan list?

Is spamming Jaws with Space Wolfs better than taking Mephiston?

People will find "optimal" builds and reproduce them endlessly no matter what you do. Seriously.

As noted above, at least we still have the odd Vulkan list to break up the endless tides of IG-Veterans and Space Wolf Long Fangs.

Be thankful for him.....

Project2501
30-06-2010, 15:32
Are IG Veterans in 3 Vendetta's better than a Vulkan list?

Is spamming Jaws with Space Wolfs better than taking Mephiston?

People will find "optimal" builds and reproduce them endlessly no matter what you do. Seriously.

As noted above, at least we still have the odd Vulkan list to break up the endless tides of IG-Veteran and Space Wolf Long Fangs.

Be thankful for him.....


You missed the point. There are people (myself included), that cannot stand the fact that lately the only way to make an all wolf guard SW list (for example purposes), you are required to take Logan and have no option of selecting a wolf lord (for example) and be able to take an all wolf guard army.

Mannimarco
30-06-2010, 15:34
I know this is off topic but I just wanna say thanks for this thread, all this "who are you to say what I can and cant use in my army" and "opponents permission? the game doesnt work like that anymore" "the whole game is opponents consent". Im going to use some of these lines the next time I want to slap a forgeworld model down on the table.

Poseidal
30-06-2010, 15:36
Allow me to clarify. Not everyone who uses SCs is a rampaging powergamer hell bent on world domination, but in my experience most of them are.

Like I said, I'm old school; so when I see a SC, I see the words, "in a game of over 2000 points" next to it. The 2nd Ed. idea that 'SC = unbalanced' is too deeply ingrained in my gaming psyche to shift, so I am extremely suspicious of seeing them on the table; especially given that they are always significantly better then their regular counterparts, but without a point cost that reflects their power.




I don't know where the idea that 2nd edition characters were powerful as they weren't.

If I recall correctly, the 2nd ed combat rules meant they could only kill what was in base to base with them. Enemy units didn't move up to you when you charged either.

Also, with a few exceptions you didn't have your big guns on the character (and even when you did, you're paying a lot for the 3 points or so of extra BS which could have got you another copy or two of the weapon he's got on a normal trooper). Heavy Weapons were a lot nastier back then.

The only exception might be psykers, but an unnamed psyker would be just as dangerous and that's an issue with the psychic powers rather than special characters.

I really do not see how it is 'old school' to think of Special Characters were overpowered.

If we're talking really old school, then your special character was generally built using the standard templates, then paid for an underwhelming unique ability like 'hates Orks' (if they even got that).

Project2501
30-06-2010, 15:39
I know this is off topic but I just wanna say thanks for this thread, all this "who are you to say what I can and cant use in my army" and "opponents permission? the game doesnt work like that anymore" "the whole game is opponents consent". Im going to use some of these lines the next time I want to slap a forgeworld model down on the table.



You've always had the right to do so. Just as your opponent has always had the right to not play against you if they do not want to include forgeworld rules/models, and just as a tournament has a right to rule out Forgeworld rules/models.

Zweischneid
30-06-2010, 15:40
You missed the point. There are people (myself included), that cannot stand the fact that lately the only way to make an all wolf guard SW list (for example purposes), you are required to take Logan and have no option of selecting a wolf lord (for example) and be able to take an all wolf guard army.

Why do you loathe that? It's not like you could field all-Terminator Space Wolves before, or twin-linked Flamers in yourSalamanders.

People have been fielding Space Wolves and Salamanders without these perks for ages, but now that GW actually adds new options with the odd character (which, in the case of Logan, is also quite fitting. Not every Wolf-Lord can go out commanding the entire Wolf Guard), it becomes an assault on your sensibilities?

Use Grey Hunters as "counts-as" Wolfguard if its the title that floats your boat. Paint your Vanilla Marines Green and give them lots of Flamers if you like Salamanders without Vulkan. It's not like you need to take the options GW gives you.

micf2302
30-06-2010, 15:49
@Zweischneid:


The problem is that some people, just for the fun of it, would like an all terminator army. Or an all bike army (Deathwing or ravenwing).

The problem I see is that they don't allow enough generic lord to make some unit count as Troops.


For exemple, I'd be sastified if a Wolf Lord would make 1-2 WG unit count as troops. And I'd take them over Logan anytime.

And this was a no issue before. You could just take a minimun selection of troops and max out on what you wanted to play. However, this problem stems from the change in the rule, now TROOPS are needed. This is a good move for the game. It really makes the game more fun. But I think they need to add more of: this normal hero makes this unit a Troop choice.

Again as an exemple a Wolf lord could have:
If this hero is equipped with TDA then all WG units fully in TDA count as troops. If this hero is equipped with a bike then all WG unit fully on bike count as troops.


This would be a nice way to customize all army and allow people to have fun armies.

Zingbaby
30-06-2010, 16:00
Zweischneid is right though (just this once anyway :) )...

You can do whatever the heck you want - it's a game. The codex have all encouraged you make your army 'your own' and even use these built-in characters as your own 'counts-as' "generic lord".

I find it silly that folks need GW to spell out exactly every little detail for them to function.

Sir_Turalyon
30-06-2010, 16:01
In case of Deathwing / Ravenwing the problem is, without special characters Dark Angels have one overpriced troop choice. The DA list was bulit around the idea of more troops coming from Death / Ravenwing, with scouts moved to elites to make room and ensure not everything is a troop choice. Trying to play DA in non-sc enviroment is unpleasant at least.

This said i'm generaly with original poster, as long as we don't count masters of deathwing / ravenwing as special characters :P. They should have been made as 0-1 not named HQ options anyway, or as one[per-army upgrades for company master.

Meriwether
30-06-2010, 16:12
Calling me out on what is a true observation is just a way of delegitimizing my views without having to confront them.

I believe that the characterization you made is false, and I can guarantee that you can't substantiate the charge.


I find it silly that folks need GW to spell out exactly every little detail for them to function.

If people only ever played against people they are very familiar with, this wouldn't be a problem, in that you are totally correct. It is the nature of the hobby, though, that it brings a lot of strangers into contact with one another -- people who disagree on things like how the game is played, how it should be played, and what is and is not "proper". Having an external authority that essentially says, "unless you talk about it ahead of time, things work *this* way" is very useful in those situations.

Project2501
30-06-2010, 16:21
Zweischneid is right though (just this once anyway :) )...

You can do whatever the heck you want - it's a game. The codex have all encouraged you make your army 'your own' and even use these built-in characters as your own 'counts-as' "generic lord".

I find it silly that folks need GW to spell out exactly every little detail for them to function.



Because playing a game that encourages me to create my own army and do these things on one hand, and then turns around and encourages me to do it with pre-set characters (that all I can change is the paint colors/name of) with the other hand, is a bit at odds maybe?

Godzooky
30-06-2010, 16:42
the reason they take him is becuse he llows them to count every flamer +melta weapon as twin linked+ u want sc madness take the pheonix court all of the 7 pheonix lords extremly scary

6 phoenix lords + avatar.

Linguo is dead...

Bunnahabhain
30-06-2010, 16:48
6 phoenix lords + avatar.

Linguo is dead...

Can't they just stick the mystic cattle prod in them, and revive him/her, as with the other six?

Zingbaby
30-06-2010, 16:58
Because playing a game that encourages me to create my own army and do these things on one hand, and then turns around and encourages me to do it with pre-set characters (that all I can change is the paint colors/name of) with the other hand, is a bit at odds maybe?

You missed the point here. Those pre-set chars, are NO different than a generic lord, except they have fixed gear, and you can only take one. The codex encourages you to give him your own name and paint scheme.

It is perfectly legal and encouraged to have your Fartsbane Rothpoo count-as Ragnar.

Lord Inquisitor
30-06-2010, 17:06
Those pre-set chars, are NO different than a generic lord, except they have fixed gear, and you can only take one.
*Scratches head* Apart from their unique stats, wargear and special rules?

Ragnar provides an extremely powerful bubble effect that no other unit in the Space Wolf codex does. Plus his own formidable prowess, arguably better than a generic lord. How is this "no different"? I'm sure you're aware of this, but I've totally missed your point.

Zingbaby
30-06-2010, 17:21
*Scratches head* Apart from their unique stats, wargear and special rules?

Ragnar provides an extremely powerful bubble effect that no other unit in the Space Wolf codex does. Plus his own formidable prowess, arguably better than a generic lord. How is this "no different"? I'm sure you're aware of this, but I've totally missed your point.

Yeah you did, but perhaps I wasn't very clear. I meant in terms of usability... they are just another option, no different from generic lord. If you don't like using Ragnar, make him your own character, it's perfectly legal and encouraged - you need to take an HQ anyway.

Xelloss
30-06-2010, 17:54
If you don't like using Ragnar, make him your own character, it's perfectly legal and encouraged - you need to take an HQ anyway.
You can call him Bobicus Bob, but it would still be "Ragnar". That doesn't solve the problem.

Zingbaby
30-06-2010, 18:08
It doesn't? ...what is exactly 'the problem' then?

Stouty
30-06-2010, 18:13
You can call him Bobicus Bob, but it would still be "Ragnar". That doesn't solve the problem.

So let me get this straight, are most of the complaints about SCs now related just to balance issues? If so shouldn't the thread be renamed "Over powered units: Where will the whining madness end?".

I'd love to see what would happen if you people stumbled across a Privateer Press game.

Hunger
30-06-2010, 18:44
Zingbaby, the problem is that SCs are not customisable characters - they have specific unique wargear that cannot be changed, unique special abilities. Simply changing their name to something you like better and pretending they are yours does not get around that.

It would offer a great deal more flexibility, and much more scope for making characters truly yours, if one could take a normal SM Captain, outfit him with wargear of your choosing instead of the Gauntlets of Ultramar or whatever, and perhaps select a special ability such as 'Grants his squad the Stubborn USR'. I like the idea that perhaps the character can alter the FOC designation of a couple of units based on his style of warfare - as was previously mentioned, a Captain on a bike could allow some bike units to be troops, or a Terminator Captain might allow some Terminators to be troops.

The issue is that SCs are massive personalities - in army composition and buffing terms the abilities they confer on the army are desirable, but not needed or wanted (by people like me, at least) to the degree they grant at present. Also, in fluff terms, they have become absolutely soulless and uninteresting because they are present in every game - the regular SM Captain is far more of an interesting fellow to face, because he's so rare nowadays.

I'm not advocating getting rid of SCs - they should be great heroes, available to use once in a while for a those really special games, and with awesome army-wide abilities to boot. Their abilities should be like the ordinary Captains, but magnified across the whole army - just like they are at the moment. The normal Captain should be the one who graces the battlefield as the day job, although GW need to first make them more playable.

GrogDaTyrant
30-06-2010, 18:54
So let me get this straight, are most of the complaints about SCs now related just to balance issues? If so shouldn't the thread be renamed "Over powered units: Where will the whining madness end?".

I'd love to see what would happen if you people stumbled across a Privateer Press game.

Very familiar with PP games. Dabbled with them, but can't get sucked in because they lack a faction/race that interests me enough. I'm a greenskin fan, so a game without Orcs or Goblins of some variant tends to loose my interest quickly (and no, Trollblood do not count).

PP's games are different. Their entire game system is built around SCs, and each SC is given a unique blend of abilities and powers. For the most part, a particular SC in a PP game is not REQUIRED for any units or formations (as there is no FOC to work from). There's also something to say about PP balancing their games by making everything unbalanced...


What this thread mostly about isn't NECESSARILY balance issues. It's also the silly requirements associated with the SCs and the inability to personalize/customize them, as well as a seemingly random power-level of SC to SC from codex to codex. A 180 pts SC from one codex may be vastly underpowered compared to a 150 pts SC from another.

Zingbaby
30-06-2010, 18:55
Zingbaby, the problem is that SCs are not customisable characters - they have specific unique wargear that cannot be changed, unique special abilities. Simply changing their name to something you like better and pretending they are yours does not get around that.

It would offer a great deal more flexibility, and much more scope for making characters truly yours, if one could take a normal SM Captain, outfit him with wargear of your choosing instead of the Gauntlets of Ultramar or whatever, and perhaps select a special ability such as 'Grants his squad the Stubborn USR'. I like the idea that perhaps the character can alter the FOC designation of a couple of units based on his style of warfare - as was previously mentioned, a Captain on a bike could allow some bike units to be troops, or a Terminator Captain might allow some Terminators to be troops.

The issue is that SCs are massive personalities - in army composition and buffing terms the abilities they confer on the army are desirable, but not needed or wanted (by people like me, at least) to the degree they grant at present. Also, in fluff terms, they have become absolutely soulless and uninteresting because they are present in every game - the regular SM Captain is far more of an interesting fellow to face, because he's so rare nowadays.

I'm not advocating getting rid of SCs - they should be great heroes, available to use once in a while for a those really special games, and with awesome army-wide abilities to boot. Their abilities should be like the ordinary Captains, but magnified across the whole army - just like they are at the moment. The normal Captain should be the one who graces the battlefield as the day job, although GW need to first make them more playable.

Ehhh customizable wargear yeah sure ok, but let's be honest most folks don't mind getting what these SC's come with in terms of gear... and even there you can make the weapon/gear your own. The Space Wolves codex specifically tells you to be creative with frost axe/sword/etc...

There are also plenty of SC's these days that run the spectrum of your possible 'custom' choices anyway... it should be easy enough to find one that fits your theme/style/power-level/etc... and make it your own.

And most importantly - if you don't want to use SC's YOU DON'T HAVE TO. :) ...isn't it beautiful?

GrogDaTyrant
30-06-2010, 19:11
Ehhh customizable wargear yeah sure ok, but let's be honest most folks don't mind getting what these SC's come with in terms of gear... and even there you can make the weapon/gear your own. The Space Wolves codex specifically tells you to be creative with frost axe/sword/etc...

I do. I mind the SC's gear (or lack thereof) that I'm forced to take for the army list I prefer to run. I basically have to waste an HQ slot and 180 pts for an SC that amounts to an easy kill point.



There are also plenty of SC's these days that run the spectrum of your possible 'custom' choices anyway... it should be easy enough to find one that fits your theme/style/power-level/etc... and make it your own.

Not quite. For the players who field an SC specifically for a variant-list setup (myself included), the 'custom choice' is very specific, and often goes against the tastes of the player. SC's are also rather limited in pre-5th codices, and numerous armies will likely never see the same array of SC selections that armies like Marines, Blood Angles, or Space Wolves received.



And most importantly - if you don't want to use SC's YOU DON'T HAVE TO. :) ...isn't it beautiful?

Unfortunately, I wish that was true... :rolleyes: I am however required to field an SC despite not wanting to, and his presence is complete detriment to the army. This is because he's required in order to make warbikes a troops choice, which is something a Warboss on a Bike could (and should) do just as well.

Lord Inquisitor
30-06-2010, 20:08
So let me get this straight, are most of the complaints about SCs now related just to balance issues? If so shouldn't the thread be renamed "Over powered units: Where will the whining madness end?".

For me? Yes. The problem is that special characters, by virtue of being special either seem to be poorly playtested or provide bonuses that allow you to have your cake and eat it - either with regard to their equipment or by overruling some special rule - or are simply better than any other HQ unit to the point that taking a generic feels like a handicap.

I don't have a problem with Special Characters in principle - I use Lucius fairly regularly, I think he's fairly pointed enough that I don't feel hamstrung by taking him but not to the point that I wouldn't consider taking a generic HQ choice either. And he fits the theme of my army. This is good.

As mentioned before, I've yet to see a 5th ed Space Wolf army without Grimnar. It isn't just that he's too cheap, but his abilities affect the army so drastically that he just can't be left behind.

It isn't a special character problem per se. I find the fact that Warbosses make Nob Bikers Troops highly irritating, while Wazdakka seems perfectly reasonable, even rather underpowered as has been already pointed out.

However, most of the time - particularly since the 5th ed codecies started coming out - these issues are localised to the Special Characters. Poorly-thought out abilities or ones designed to show a "supreme commander" has resulted in characters that seem to be obligatory in competetive lists - Vulkan, Creed, Logan, Mephiston. This is a trend I do not like, I'm fed up to the teeth with Logan Grimnar, he allows you to take Elites as Troops (massive advantage), has a toolkit of amazing upgrades to his squad (Relentless or Tank Hunting devastators, assault units with Preferred Enemy?) on top of his phenomenal combat prowess. He's annoying as he allows the Space Wolves to do things they wouldn't otherwise be able to do - take Wolf Guard without sacrificing scoring units, take cheap missile launchers or multimeltas and make them good at anti-tank or move-and-fire, thereby circumventing their weaknesses. Oh, and he can almost stand toe-to-toe with Abaddon!

So there was a shift between, say, the Chaos codex - any of the special characters I regard as perfectly fine either one-off or regularly, and I don't see many people using SCs or particular SCs being overused - to the current situation where certain SCs are absolutely mandatory if you want to do well.

The difference? Poorly designed characters with far overreaching effects beyond their basic profile. So yeah, it's just an "overpowered unit" complaint, but it's one that a particular set of units - special characters - are the main source.

IcedAnimals
30-06-2010, 20:33
This thread should honestly be called "im tired of vulkan and logan" I can understand people who dislike over powered units. but an overpowered "special character" is no different than an overpowered elite or fast attack choice that you see in every list. Overpowered units suck but the vast majority of special characters are not overpowered.

Zingbaby
30-06-2010, 21:05
This thread should honestly be called "im tired of vulkan and logan" I can understand people who dislike over powered units. but an overpowered "special character" is no different than an overpowered elite or fast attack choice that you see in every list. Overpowered units suck but the vast majority of special characters are not overpowered.

Yeah I think you are right... and even there a lot on the "I'm tired of seeing" short list is from 'internet lists' rather than actual club play. I think most of the whining in general would go away if more folks just got out and played a lot more.

@GrogDaTyrant - dude I'd love to see this totally customized IC monster that you must have, that is otherwise un-accessible to you within the current codex.

C'mon man, we have more options now than ever before... None of those SC's come close to your needs? ...are you kidding me?

Yeh and I'd like Tau Railguns on the backs of my assault marines...

Stouty
30-06-2010, 21:15
@Lord Inquisitor
If we are talking about the balance issue then I have to agree with you, and certainly I'm not keen on the idea of special characters homogenising an army but if you accept that SCs are just another choice in an army then really all you're asking for is better internal balance and that isn't controversial at all and applies to many different units. One day I would like to see somebody use a unit of swooping hawks or dark reapers but you don't see any threads named "Fire Dragons, Fire Prisms and Wraith Lords: When will the madness end", and that's just as much of a problem as the fact that every other farseer is Eldrad Ulthwan.

With that said...


Poorly-thought out abilities or ones designed to show a "supreme commander" has resulted in characters that seem to be obligatory in competetive lists - Vulkan, Creed, Logan, Mephiston.


Creed

What?

Creed, Straken, and Lawrence of Arabia are three excellent special characters that do everything you can ask from them. They add tonnes of character and flavour to a game whilst also leading to a more diverse pool of IG armies. Specifically Creed and Straken are only worth it if you play an infantry list, something which you are pretty unlikely to do otherwise given the incredibly cost efficient chimera. Unlike Vulkan who encourages lots of players to use pretty much the same damn army, the tactically gifted Churchill wannabe and Colonel Terminator actually encourage the odd player to do something which isn't traditional mech spam. They stand as excellent examples of how special characters can be used to reward people for building an unusual list that would otherwise be terribly suboptimal. The only problem with Vulkan from this perspective is that he improved, melta weapons, flamers and TH+SS terminators that were already very good. I wonder if there would really be all this fuss if Vulkan instead made every heavy bolter count as twin-linked and every lightning claw count as master crafted.

No there wouldn't.
As an aside I strongly believe that GW thinks that special characters are a tool for balancing an army as they necessitate you investing a certain number of points into something they have absolute control over to play an army in a particular way. For, example if SM Librarians were really abusable in pairs then you wouldn't be able to abuse that and melta/flamer/TH+SS spam. Unfortunately things rarely seem to work that way.

So to conclude: We all wish GW did a little more play testing. Astounding

Lord Inquisitor
30-06-2010, 21:16
This thread should honestly be called "im tired of vulkan and logan" I can understand people who dislike over powered units. but an overpowered "special character" is no different than an overpowered elite or fast attack choice that you see in every list. Overpowered units suck but the vast majority of special characters are not overpowered.
BUt the thing is that the sort of overpowered bubble effect or "restrictions don't apply to me" or "somethig for nothing" kind of overpowered rules tend to be associated with SCs in general an particularly the last 4 or 5 codecies this trend seems to be getting worse, culminating in the sc powerfest that are the SW and BA codecies.

GrogDaTyrant
30-06-2010, 21:27
@GrogDaTyrant - dude I'd love to see this totally customized IC monster that you must have, that is otherwise un-accessible to you within the current codex.


The SC I MUST have is Wazzdakka, despite not wanting to field him at all. He's required for the army I wish to field, but should be able to field without him. He's overcosted to say the least.

The HQ I'd RATHER field, would be a standard generic Warboss on Bike, with the normal, current upgrades (including Cybork body).

As is, if I want a generic Warboss on Bike I have to run the SC, when I shouldn't need to in the first place.

Project2501
30-06-2010, 21:39
@Zwei, Zing and Iced (probably others as well):

*Incomming Analogy Beware*

Let's say GW is a restaraunt, that advertises that every customer can create any combination of slushy drink they want from the thousands of flavors the restaraunt has. Then let's say, that upon visiting said restaraunt, and asking them to create a strawberry/banana/orange sherbert slushy, the cashier/manager tells you that you can not have banana in a drink without taking coconut.

Does that sound like you can create any combination of slushy drink to you? How can you possibly be told that and then agree with it and tell whomever has a problem with it that they should just take the coconut too and be happy?

Setesh
30-06-2010, 21:43
So I decided to bring up an ongoing debate from my local gaming group. We have reached an impasse on the value/impact the unfettered addition of special characters has had on 40K.

I feel it only just, to begin by stating that I am FIRMLY from the old-school camp of, "You have to ask your opponent to play one." I do understand that allowing them when and wherever makes sense for them businesswise; as they can sell a plethora of expensive minis.

My objections are based upon two arguments. The first is fluff-based. Why in the world would someone like Abaddon (pronounced "uh-bad-done" BTW) be involved in some 1500-2000 skirmish? He leads Black Crusades, of almost all of Chaos, trying to destroy the false emperor; not insignificant shoot-em-ups for nothing. The same goes for Kharn, Mephiston, etc. Unless it is a game of Apocalypse, I just have a hard time buying the presence of these godlike beings.

The second reason is purely game-oriented. SC's tend to (from my observations of players in several states & 3 different time zones) cause players to build army lists that are very static. They only buy certain units that work in the, "Kharn Kills Everyone" list, or the, "Mephiston's Unlimited Jedi Power" list, etc. I see people playing armies that are right out of the yearly 'Ard Boy, rather than exploring their codex to try new builds and combinations. For example, I often think of some sort of combo I want to try, or an idea like, "How many template/blast weapons can I get in my CSM army for 1500 points?" I will work out the army list without any opponent in mind. I'll keep it in a folder until some future date when someone wants a game of that point level then play it; regardless if it is good for the mission/opponent. But armies based on SC's seem to look the same game after game, and if their opponents' reactions are any guage, are not much fun to play against.

So to sum up, where does everyone else stand?

As stated above just because the battle on the table is -looks- relatively skirmish sized, does not mean in terms of fluff that the battle is simply a section of a particularly epic sized warfront. Abaddon could well be at this particular part of the fray due to the importance of the objective, or beef with the enemy general.

As for permission I find that pretty ridiculous. Special characters are part of the standard rules of the game so the only way this should be denied is if its a house rule, which is your choice.

I think SCs add a bit more fun to the game by adding a bit more immersion in terms of fluff - back when I played death guard I always fielded Typhus despite his inflated points cost compared to a standard nurgle sorcerer - and my vanilla marines opponent named his librarian. it was fun having this little SC rivalry during a friendly campaign! :)

The only time the use of SCs irks me is if an army contains them simply for the rules and not the fluff. An example of this is when I was chatting to a space marine player who had their own chapter and yet used vulkan simply for his abilities, painting him in the same colours. So you have 'vulkan-only-its-not-really-vulkan' but you get the nice rules just because you want to win. Hmm. Still, thats up to the individual, but seems rather unsporting and non-sensical to me.

Also I hope "uh-bad-done" is some sort of joke as its too late in the day to get in another Pronunciation war (lascannons & lazecannons, oh my!)

Stouty
30-06-2010, 22:00
The only time the use of SCs irks me is if an army contains them simply for the rules and not the fluff. An example of this is when I was chatting to a space marine player who had their own chapter and yet used vulkan simply for his abilities, painting him in the same colours. So you have 'vulkan-only-its-not-really-vulkan' but you get the nice rules just because you want to win. Hmm. Still, thats up to the individual, but seems rather unsporting and non-sensical to me.

You say that about Vulkan because his power is very irritating and very potent, but would you say that about the special IG Platoon commander that forces you to enter the entire platoon by Outflank. The commander is supposed to be a Tallarn, but it adds an interesting new dimension to the army that it otherwise lacks and is a pretty risky thing to do. Here you are using an SC purely for his abilities just like those who use Vulkan in a vanilla SM force: is it objectionable?

Zeroth
30-06-2010, 22:09
Yeah lets ban Belial

aquilius
30-06-2010, 22:45
As mentioned before, I've yet to see a 5th ed Space Wolf army without Grimnar. It isn't just that he's too cheap, but his abilities affect the army so drastically that he just can't be left behind.

This is a trend I do not like, I'm fed up to the teeth with Logan Grimnar, he allows you to take Elites as Troops (massive advantage), has a toolkit of amazing upgrades to his squad (Relentless or Tank Hunting devastators, assault units with Preferred Enemy?) on top of his phenomenal combat prowess. He's annoying as he allows the Space Wolves to do things they wouldn't otherwise be able to do - take Wolf Guard without sacrificing scoring units, take cheap missile launchers or multimeltas and make them good at anti-tank or move-and-fire, thereby circumventing their weaknesses. Oh, and he can almost stand toe-to-toe with Abaddon!



The one thing that you seem to miss about Logan is that he's a cake or eat it HQ. Sure you could put him in with long fangs, but in order to do that you are giving up his close combat abilities, as if he's sitting back with the long fangs he isn't smashing up your front lines. Or you have him smashing up your front lines. Which means that despite facing him everytime you face a space wolf player, each time you do he's there for a different reason. Which means that the games he's in are hardly the same repetitive game over and over. He can fill a variety of different roles in an army but because he can only be in one place at a time your opponent has to choose which role he is going to play at the beginning of each game.

That to mean feels really really fluffy. Logan is such a great leader that he can fill the role that most needs filling as the situations arise.

The reason that SC's are so cool, and that I am particularly happy with their current design philosphy is that they are the ground work for your army. The first unit to go into any army list should be the HQ and with how the HQ's work in the recent codices, depending on who you choose to lead your army the rest of the army changes drastically. That is very cool, and makes for more interesting armies. And it's only really a problem when you are allowed to double dip like in the Space marine codex, and take leaders with completely different playstyles who are supposed to lead completely different chapters.

IcedAnimals
30-06-2010, 22:56
@Zwei, Zing and Iced (probably others as well):

*Incomming Analogy Beware*

Let's say GW is a restaraunt, that advertises that every customer can create any combination of slushy drink they want from the thousands of flavors the restaraunt has. Then let's say, that upon visiting said restaraunt, and asking them to create a strawberry/banana/orange sherbert slushy, the cashier/manager tells you that you can not have banana in a drink without taking coconut.

Does that sound like you can create any combination of slushy drink to you? How can you possibly be told that and then agree with it and tell whomever has a problem with it that they should just take the coconut too and be happy?

All your analogy has done is make me hungry. GW doesn't say you can create any flavor you want! they say you can pick any of these flavors and then has a list of special flavors that you can add into the others to create your own.

Space wolf flavor is not "wolf guard" flavor. However adding in some logan allows for it. And if logan flavor was "generic captain with wolf guard spam upgrade" it would be no different.

The problem "continuing with your analogy" is that in this make believe restaurant the most popular slushi is vanilla (dex) + vulkan flavor. And here is where the analogy falls apart. Other people are tired of seeing you eat that delicious slushy and want you to eat something different.

Setesh
30-06-2010, 22:58
You say that about Vulkan because his power is very irritating and very potent, but would you say that about the special IG Platoon commander that forces you to enter the entire platoon by Outflank. The commander is supposed to be a Tallarn, but it adds an interesting new dimension to the army that it otherwise lacks and is a pretty risky thing to do. Here you are using an SC purely for his abilities just like those who use Vulkan in a vanilla SM force: is it objectionable?

I'm not familiar with all of the guard codex so I couldn't say. The example I used was using the vulkan rules and mini but painting him as your chapter, which seemed weird to me, just like having Khorne and Tzeentch stuff in the same army. I'm a bit of a fluff purist like that, so I was only contributing my opinion on SCs as the OP requested, not stating it as right or wrong :)

Project2501
30-06-2010, 23:10
All your analogy has done is make me hungry.

Sorry! :)


GW doesn't say you can create any flavor you want! they say you can pick any of these flavors and then has a list of special flavors that you can add into the others to create your own.

Nope, the choice was for any combination of slushy flavors. If you want soda flavors then that's a different drink all-together.



Space wolf flavor is not "wolf guard" flavor. However adding in some logan allows for it. And if logan flavor was "generic captain with wolf guard spam upgrade" it would be no different.

Space Wolf is not a flavor, it the type of drink you wish to select flavors for, including, but not restricted to, "wolf guard" "grimnar" "wolfyMcwolfonthethunderwolf" "grey hunter" and so on.



The problem "continuing with your analogy" is that in this make believe restaurant the most popular slushi is vanilla (dex) + vulkan flavor. And here is where the analogy falls apart. Other people are tired of seeing you eat that delicious slushy and want you to eat something different.


The point at which your rebuttal falls apart is when you listed a SC that is a requirement to be able to add another flavor (re-rolling to hit with meltas/multimeltas/flamers/Thammers). You can still create a Salamanders army with meltas/multimeltas/flamers/Thammers without Vulcan bu you can't get that re-rolling weapons ability without him. You cannot create an all wolf guard army without Grimnar, you can only take wolf guard as elites, which means they're not troops.

Bloodknight
30-06-2010, 23:37
Also I hope "uh-bad-done" is some sort of joke as its too late in the day to get in another Pronunciation war

Abaddon is a figure in the bible. He's the king of the bottomless pit or the angel of death.


ere you are using an SC purely for his abilities just like those who use Vulkan in a vanilla SM force: is it objectionable?

I don't think so. It even makes sense from a fluff point of view. The Guard is so vast that there are probably hundreds of super sneaky officers who are running around somewhere in the galaxy.

Fear Itself
01-07-2010, 00:32
Gosh, just look at at the Vulkan hate - noooow we get to the root of the problem..

Special characters aren't restricted by Games Workshop; you don't require your opponents permission anymore than you require his permission to paint your army a certain color. It's no longer in their hands, I don't see why that's part of the initial post.

Don't want to play a person because of that? Feel free to pass on games. Nobody will lose any sleep, I assure you.

Now that I've made note of that.. It seems to me that the problem is people aren't tired of SC's - they're tired specifically of ones that aid in destroying armor, the one thing that is prevalent in almost any list. Well gosh, now there's a shock - people hate a hero that aids people in blowing up their vehicles.

It seems the problem is that most people have issues with the play style of this edition, not SC's.

Setesh
01-07-2010, 01:08
Abaddon is a figure in the bible. He's the king of the bottomless pit or the angel of death.

Yes, I know. I'm not sure whether we'd be using the original hebrew pronnunciation or an anglicised one though, which is why I stick to A-BAD-ON as per the following soundbite:

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Abaddon

Its written as 'UH' but really sounds like 'A'

IcedAnimals
01-07-2010, 01:39
Sorry! :)



Nope, the choice was for any combination of slushy flavors. If you want soda flavors then that's a different drink all-together.




Space Wolf is not a flavor, it the type of drink you wish to select flavors for, including, but not restricted to, "wolf guard" "grimnar" "wolfyMcwolfonthethunderwolf" "grey hunter" and so on.





The point at which your rebuttal falls apart is when you listed a SC that is a requirement to be able to add another flavor (re-rolling to hit with meltas/multimeltas/flamers/Thammers). You can still create a Salamanders army with meltas/multimeltas/flamers/Thammers without Vulcan bu you can't get that re-rolling weapons ability without him. You cannot create an all wolf guard army without Grimnar, you can only take wolf guard as elites, which means they're not troops.

Im afraid it is just a bad analogy then. I never mentioned soda flavors. Just flavors of assumed slushi. Your original analogy was that GW was a company that sold slushies. And GW is not saying create any slushi you want. They give you a menu(the codex) and prices (the point costs). They just so happen to let you make your own flavor by adding in a special character that changes how the original drink (army) is.

My point is not that you can't field a salamanders army without vulkan. But that you can't field a vulkan army without him. And a vulkan army will play differently than someone who just uses the marine dex but paints his guys green.

The same way that grimnar changes what units you take and thus plays differently than a space wolf army. These are not flaws in special characters they are nothing but a bonus to players. The problem comes from when a character is underpriced for the bonus he gives. The same problem with other overpowered units.

Vulkans problem is that 2 of the things he twinlinks are the most common weapons in the entire game. Thunder hammers and stormshield are already the most common set up. Twin linking them just makes em better, and the current mech meta game makes taking lots of melta the counter and vulkan the even better counter.

Had vulkan been flamers and thunder hammers you would see a LOT less of him, but when you let someone make the best specialist weapon even better he will be very commonly taken.

Again this is not a fault in special characters. It is a fault in the balance of a single unit.

Stouty
01-07-2010, 02:09
I'm not familiar with all of the guard codex so I couldn't say. The example I used was using the vulkan rules and mini but painting him as your chapter, which seemed weird to me, just like having Khorne and Tzeentch stuff in the same army. I'm a bit of a fluff purist like that, so I was only contributing my opinion on SCs as the OP requested, not stating it as right or wrong :)

Sorry if it sounded like I was biting your head off (which would have sounded a lot more crunchy), I'm just interested in how someone of your stance views the use of SCs purely for their rules if their rules aren't overpowered.

A quick run down of Captain Arab is that he forces you to put an entire platoon in reserve and then enter by outflank, meaning you can have over 100 guardsmen coming in from the sides. It's very interesting because usually even mechanised guard are reasonably static whilst those few brave souls that field infantry armies have to cope with having an almost completely motionless armies in an objective based game. Captain Arab allows you to shake things up without putting everyone in a chimera, but he is specifically a captain in one of the dessert themed Tallarn armies so my friend who uses them with his Napoleonic themed army is way off the mark in terms of fluff. It's also true that using Creed can be a massive boost to infantry based guard, and my friend often fields both alongside each other in 1500-2000pts games.

Now that goes quite strongly against the background of the two characters, but given how they are enablers for what is still a very sub-optimal list would you still feel it to be cheaty or cheap?

Setesh
01-07-2010, 02:48
Sorry if it sounded like I was biting your head off (which would have sounded a lot more crunchy), I'm just interested in how someone of your stance views the use of SCs purely for their rules if their rules aren't overpowered.

A quick run down of Captain Arab is that he forces you to put an entire platoon in reserve and then enter by outflank, meaning you can have over 100 guardsmen coming in from the sides. It's very interesting because usually even mechanised guard are reasonably static whilst those few brave souls that field infantry armies have to cope with having an almost completely motionless armies in an objective based game. Captain Arab allows you to shake things up without putting everyone in a chimera, but he is specifically a captain in one of the dessert themed Tallarn armies so my friend who uses them with his Napoleonic themed army is way off the mark in terms of fluff. It's also true that using Creed can be a massive boost to infantry based guard, and my friend often fields both alongside each other in 1500-2000pts games.

Now that goes quite strongly against the background of the two characters, but given how they are enablers for what is still a very sub-optimal list would you still feel it to be cheaty or cheap?

As long as it makes sense in terms of fluff then yeah I wouldn't think it was weird. The Vulkan not wearing salamanders colours and not fighting with salamanders IS. If you fielded this tallarn guy with a retinue of tallarn then it'd make perfect sense fluffwise as it's a case of allied battalions so I wouldn't go so far as to call it cheap.

Vulkan fighting with an allied chapter would also make sense, it's having him out of his chapter -colours- that I found odd, and seems to imply that the player is only including him for game enhancing abilities rather than the fluff, which you'd think would be the point of named characters, with their own backstory and whatnot.

[I also wouldn't refuse to play said player, or be rude enough to pass comment on his list, it would just be a super-secret thought of mine] ;)

Zingbaby
01-07-2010, 04:27
I gotta be honest... I find it odd that people who can make the 'leap of logic', and paint little bits of plastic green and scream 'WAAHHGGGHHH' and create an alternate futuristic reality for fun - cannot accept a "counts-as" special character simply because it does not have a GW 'official' name.



You'll notice that the named characters in the Space Marines army list are drawn from several different Chapters, but they can still be used in the same army if you wish. This can represent the common occurrence of different Space Marine Chapters fighting alongside one another. Alternatively, you can use the model and rules for a named character to represent a mighty hero of a different Chapter... ...or a Space Marine Chapter of your own design - you just need to come up with a new name.

This is a perfect way to personalize your army - just make sure your opponent is aware of what everything counts as.

@GrotDaTyrant - so you really want to take Wazdakka but you have some moral issue with doing so? This still makes no sense to me... ok perhaps it's not exactly the way you would equip this model but seriously dude c'mon...

Yeh wouldn't it be nice if every codex was exactly the way everyone of us wanted it to be? Well they are not - but they are still pretty darn cool AND flexible when used as they are telling us to use them (meaning special characters and all).

micf2302
01-07-2010, 04:34
Gosh, just look at at the Vulkan hate - noooow we get to the root of the problem..



No this is NOT the root of the problem (well for some yes, for others no...)


What happens, is that I want to play Blood Angels from the first company all in TDA. (why?!?!?! Well gosh you ever saw all of those nice termies I got from those 3 boxes of Space Hulk?) Now, that's what I want to do. What I would like is to be able to play it with my desired Codex: Blood Angels so no one complains for silly things like this:

As long as it makes sense in terms of fluff then yeah I wouldn't think it was weird. The Vulkan not wearing salamanders colours and not fighting with salamanders IS.

But obviously I can't use C:BA because no special character/generic heros ennable me to take Terminator as troops (and they are now needed... In older editions I could get 2 min troops of something and be done with it. Most people would appreciate the theme of my army and it would be fine with them).

Unfortunetely, I can't do that. And I can't use C:SM ether because both won't allow it. Taking C:SM would still have been a good option, because I can generate any chapter with it.


So now what I'm a stuck doing? I need to get C: DA or C: SW to play the army I'd want to play. However, to play both I need to play a special character and with both I'll get in these kind of arguments:

As long as it makes sense in terms of fluff then yeah I wouldn't think it was weird. The Vulkan not wearing salamanders colours and not fighting with salamanders IS.

And I don't want that. To me this is just about collecting/making the nicest army you can and unfortunetely, for me this army includes models I can't base my army around!

Setesh
01-07-2010, 04:53
I gotta be honest... I find it odd that people who can make the 'leap of logic', and paint little bits of plastic green and scream 'WAAHHGGGHHH' and create an alternate futuristic reality for fun - cannot accept a "counts-as" special character simply because it does not have a GW 'official' name.


No-one said they couldn't accept it or thats not how it should be. Some people just said they don't like that sort of thing, which is fair enough. You know. An opinion.


No this is NOT the root of the problem (well for some yes, for others no...)


What happens, is that I want to play Blood Angels from the first company all in TDA. (why?!?!?! Well gosh you ever saw all of those nice termies I got from those 3 boxes of Space Hulk?) Now, that's what I want to do. What I would like is to be able to play it with my desired Codex: Blood Angels so no one complains for silly things like this:


But obviously I can't use C:BA because no special character/generic heros ennable me to take Terminator as troops (and they are now needed... In older editions I could get 2 min troops of something and be done with it. Most people would appreciate the theme of my army and it would be fine with them).

Unfortunetely, I can't do that. And I can't use C:SM ether because both won't allow it. Taking C:SM would still have been a good option, because I can generate any chapter with it.


So now what I'm a stuck doing? I need to get C: DA or C: SW to play the army I'd want to play. However, to play both I need to play a special character and with both I'll get in these kind of arguments:


And I don't want that. To me this is just about collecting/making the nicest army you can and unfortunetely, for me this army includes models I can't base my army around!

cool your jets, maverick. No-one said you can or can't do anything. See above. There's always house rules, it depends on where you play, and with whom. If the place you played at was strict, you could always play planetstrike or Apocalypse, which negate the FOC somewhat ;)

Zingbaby
01-07-2010, 05:07
No-one said they couldn't accept it or thats not how it should be. Some people just said they don't like that sort of thing, which is fair enough. You know. An opinion. ...yeah and I find that 'odd' as noted; that is my opinion. Good point though. :rolleyes:

Project2501
01-07-2010, 05:17
I gotta be honest... I find it odd that people who can make the 'leap of logic', and paint little bits of plastic green and scream 'WAAHHGGGHHH' and create an alternate futuristic reality for fun - cannot accept a "counts-as" special character simply because it does not have a GW 'official' name.



@GrotDaTyrant - so you really want to take Wazdakka but you have some moral issue with doing so? This still makes no sense to me... ok perhaps it's not exactly the way you would equip this model but seriously dude c'mon...

Yeh wouldn't it be nice if every codex was exactly the way everyone of us wanted it to be? Well they are not - but they are still pretty darn cool AND flexible when used as they are telling us to use them (meaning special characters and all).


Wouldn't it be nice if you could see that by simply changing the color of the paint of the SC model/name of the SC model does not change anything at all about the SC model's gear/rules/attributes?
Wouldn't it be nice if I could take the H symbol off of a Honda, repaint the car, and put a Bentley symbol where the H used to be and VIOLA!!! I now have a Bentley?


Also:


The army list takes all (of) the units presented in the ['Forces of this codex'] section and arranges them so you can choose an army for your own games.


Warhammer 40,000 puts you in command of a futuristic army of infantry squads, powerful fighting vehicles, mighty heroes, and even monstrous alien creatures.

There are unlimited possibilities...



...Once players have a sizable collection of miniatures, they have the option of picking exactly which troops to use for each battle. Some gamers really enjoy this process of coming up with new force 'rosters', spending hours working out different combinations and planning cunning tactics before they even reach the battlefield.


Not a lot of room left for me to "spend hours working out different combinations and planning cunning tactics" as I explore "unlimited possibilities' while 'choosing my own army for my games' for 'me to command' when I MUST take a pre-made character in order to accomplish a lot of that.

Project2501
01-07-2010, 05:39
Im afraid it is just a bad analogy then. I never mentioned soda flavors. Just flavors of assumed slushi. Your original analogy was that GW was a company that sold slushies. And GW is not saying create any slushi you want. They give you a menu(the codex) and prices (the point costs). They just so happen to let you make your own flavor by adding in a special character that changes how the original drink (army) is.

My point is not that you can't field a salamanders army without vulkan. But that you can't field a vulkan army without him. And a vulkan army will play differently than someone who just uses the marine dex but paints his guys green.

The same way that grimnar changes what units you take and thus plays differently than a space wolf army. These are not flaws in special characters they are nothing but a bonus to players. The problem comes from when a character is underpriced for the bonus he gives. The same problem with other overpowered units.

Vulkans problem is that 2 of the things he twinlinks are the most common weapons in the entire game. Thunder hammers and stormshield are already the most common set up. Twin linking them just makes em better, and the current mech meta game makes taking lots of melta the counter and vulkan the even better counter.

Had vulkan been flamers and thunder hammers you would see a LOT less of him, but when you let someone make the best specialist weapon even better he will be very commonly taken.

Again this is not a fault in special characters. It is a fault in the balance of a single unit.


You will not understand because focus way too much on the abilities the special characters have and ignore the fact that they must be taken to get any of those abilities to begin with.

You would rather nit-pick about Vulcan's powers than nit-pick whether Vulcan is even necessary to begin with.

You will not understand that pre-made characters offer nothing to some people in the way of either army personalization or army creation because those people had no hand in their creation, even though they did with the rest of their army/list.

You would rather tell people that having to choose a SC to build their army the way they would like to inherently means that they have decided to use a SC by choice as opposed to by default.

You will not understand that being told you have freedom of choice, and then only given one option to choose, is not freedom of choice.

You would rather continue to see more and more pre-determined choices as more and more options as opposed to more and more choices you are no longer able to make for yourself.


I think you are playing the wrong game, might I point you in the direction of Warmachine or Hordes by Privateer Press? They specifically set out from the start as a special character driven wargame that has predetermined combinations galor, where invariably, the only way to truly change your tactics is to change your warcaster/HQ (imo).

Zingbaby
01-07-2010, 06:41
Wouldn't it be nice if you could see that by simply changing the color of the paint of the SC model/name of the SC model does not change anything at all about the SC model's gear/rules/attributes?
Wouldn't it be nice if I could take the H symbol off of a Honda, repaint the car, and put a Bentley symbol where the H used to be and VIOLA!!! I now have a Bentley?

Give me a break... when your honda is imaginary/fictional and you are simply changing the name to another imaginary/fictional make/model AS THE CODEX SUGGESTS YOU DO... then it is perfectly reasonable.

Corax
01-07-2010, 07:37
As I said in my initial post on this thread, the game has changed. Expecting anyone to play an outdated version of the game (that is to say, the current version as modified by your outdated notions of what it's supposed to be) or not play you at all is astounding.

No, what I'm saying is that I don't like the design direction that GW has taken in 5th Ed. and that I wish it followed the pattern of the earlier eds. I know that it doesn't, however I am part of a playgroup that largely shares my view on SCs, so its not much of an issue for me. I don't expect anyone to play according to the style I like, but I am lucky enough to know some people who choose to play in that style. I know that most people outside my little group don't play that way, and as a result, I chose not to play them because I know I won't enjoy the experience.

I'm not trying to convince anyone that my way is the "right" way or the only way, its just my personal preference. The viewpoint I expressed was simply in response to the OPs question about where people stand on the issue of SCs. My position is - I don't like seeing them and I wish they had the restrictions of 2nd Ed. on them. That's all.


That's ridiculous. You acknowledge an outdated prejudice in your head, you can even identify not only what it is but how it effects what you are doing, and yet you claim to be powerless to rectify it?

I was being facetious. What I really meant was that I don't really think that all that much has changed when it comes to Special Characters. They are still overpowered (though nowhere near as badly so as 2nd Ed.) and they don't make sense (from a narrative POV) in small games (in my opinion). Obviously, YMMV.

Basically, I believe they present all the same balance problems they ever did, yet have gone from being on the fringes of the game to playing the starring role. In fact, I would argue that the SC problem is worse now than it has ever been because at least you could ignore them in the past, now you have no choice but to deal with them every game you play. For instance, when was the last time you saw a Salamander army without Vulkan He'stan? More importantly, when was the last time you saw someone use a a generic HQ rather than a SC? The fact is that SCs are the no-brainer choice for HQs because they are simply that much better than the generic equivalent, but without the commensurate cost increase.

IcedAnimals
01-07-2010, 08:37
Project no need to get hostile. The key fact you are missing is this. The special characters are additional options. Options.

Without the special character you still could not choose to make your army how you wanted. I will use the terminator spam option as an example.

If I am given a codex that has no special characters. And the main HQ in that codex does not allow me to field extra terminators I have NO OPTIONS at all. I can not field the army I think would be fun.

However when given a codex that increases my options by adding in another unit choice that allows terminator spam I am not being forced to do anything. I am being given "freedom of choice" for MORE options than I had to begin with.

What you are saying is that GW should remove options because by including them they are forcing people to use them in order to make their armies a certain way. It makes no sense what so ever. I don't give a rats **** about vulkan. I BARELY ever see him. I don't care about ANY special character as in the end they are NOTHING BUT OPTIONS.

Picking vulkan is as much your own creation of your list as picking the generic 10 man space marine squad. YOU are the one choosing to include or not include him.

When you bought your codex no one said you could make a terminator spam army. You bought an army that was limited by the force organization chart. So now you must take whatever character it is that gives you that rule. The exact same way you would be FORCED to take a chapter master instead of a chaplain. And you would be FORCED to take "terminator commander" special rule.

GW is not removing your choices from the game by adding in special characters. they are adding a choice for you to do your own thing. The same choice you would have to do no matter what gave you the rule to include your ideal army.

herostoaces
01-07-2010, 08:51
In all past editons the rules did state that you had to ask to use SC. Now that you can it's hard for people to let go of that. Game wise your 1500 ro 2000 pts army could be just part of a full scale campain on a world or rock in space. That's up to you to justify why they are there story wise. It is good to ask and talk about using lists that have SC and house rule befor the game. So it ends with both people having a good time. Most people can change their normal list and still be competive with out the SC. If they can't give them a chance any ways you can test how good your skill is and your army. Every army can be beat. It is just what will it take to do it with what you got.

Poseidal
01-07-2010, 08:56
No, what I'm saying is that I don't like the design direction that GW has taken in 5th Ed. and that I wish it followed the pattern of the earlier eds. I know that it doesn't, however I am part of a playgroup that largely shares my view on SCs, so its not much of an issue for me. I don't expect anyone to play according to the style I like, but I am lucky enough to know some people who choose to play in that style. I know that most people outside my little group don't play that way, and as a result, I chose not to play them because I know I won't enjoy the experience.
Earlier editions of only 3rd and part of 4th, IIRC:


I'm not trying to convince anyone that my way is the "right" way or the only way, its just my personal preference. The viewpoint I expressed was simply in response to the OPs question about where people stand on the issue of SCs. My position is - I don't like seeing them and I wish they had the restrictions of 2nd Ed. on them. That's all.

I don't recall any restrictions in my 2nd Eldar codex (although I may not have looked hard enough). The only 'restricted' characters in 2nd I recall were some of the special Daemon Princes in the Chaos Codex (like the Leadership 12 Bloodthirster), which were sort of the Apocalypse models of the time anyway.


I was being facetious. What I really meant was that I don't really think that all that much has changed when it comes to Special Characters. They are still overpowered (though nowhere near as badly so as 2nd Ed.) and they don't make sense (from a narrative POV) in small games (in my opinion). Obviously, YMMV.
The 2nd ed named characters were less powerful than they are now. The main annoyance was save stacking, but that wasn't unique to special characters either (in fact, they were less likely to be able to do it since they had less options in most cases).

There were some powerful characters, but there were also some very powerful units too, just like today.

Also, 2nd had more balancing factors like Vortex grenades.


Basically, I believe they present all the same balance problems they ever did, yet have gone from being on the fringes of the game to playing the starring role. In fact, I would argue that the SC problem is worse now than it has ever been because at least you could ignore them in the past, now you have no choice but to deal with them every game you play. For instance, when was the last time you saw a Salamander army without Vulkan He'stan? More importantly, when was the last time you saw someone use a a generic HQ rather than a SC? The fact is that SCs are the no-brainer choice for HQs because they are simply that much better than the generic equivalent, but without the commensurate cost increase.
This is not true for all armies. In some armies, the Unique Named entries are the better choice, in others they are universally worse, bordering on useless. In most, it's a mixture, with one or two 'stars' either being unique or not, overshadowing the rest.

But that has no relation to whether they are named or not, and would still be true if there were two types of Terminator and one was much more cost effective and powerful than the other.

someone2040
01-07-2010, 08:58
I would rather you were allowed to take them no questions asked, as opposed to looking for a pick up game with a themed say 3rd Company Blood Angels with Tycho army, only to be shot down because some guy is stuck in the roots of "I don't like special characters".

I think it's a good move by GW to get rid of opponents permission on SC in both 40k and Fantasy, as otherwise you wouldn't see them at all.

Setesh
01-07-2010, 08:58
I may be misreading some of the points here, but if GW gave players more freedom with their FOC or ability to create your own characters with their own special rules etc wouldn't that make the game even more unbalanced?

Further, I'm not too well versed with other codices but with chaos space marines the SCs are pretty overcosted compared to equivalent unnamed independant characters, so alot of the time its a case of 'I'm taking this guy 'cos he's fun'

Also, cheer up chaps, the emperor loves you!

Malagate
01-07-2010, 09:25
There seems to be a lot of complaints about Special Character repetitiveness, as in one complaint that seems to keep coming up is "everyone takes X, it gets boring to fight them again, and again, and...", with counter arguements being "no-one complains about seeing troop choice Y in every army" and "any alternative for special characters you could suggest will be spammed just as much as the special character was".

Seems to me that is not really the fault of a Special Character but more the fault of the players. If you're sick of fighting against the same special character/army build, then how about talking to your opponents about mixing it up a bit? Rather than a surly "no special characters allowed" it would probably be better to play the game then ask for a rematch but with a different list.

Also, if you are really annoyed at playing against the same army/special character again and again, then why don't you just tailor a list to beat that army/special character? Still kind of tedious to fight the same army, but hey at least you're trashing them, which might just maybe encourage them to try something different next time. Assuming of course they don't have an "unstoppable" build, which I think is impossible (I reckon for all the whining about Mephiston, Vulkan and the like there are still lots of ways to punish an army which takes them).

MegaPope
01-07-2010, 09:29
This issue isn't about 'Special' Characters generally, is it? It's about SPACE MARINE Special Characters. And only certain ones at that.

Everyone else's seem to function pretty well, for a simple reason: either they're self-contained battlefield assets (like Abaddon), allow you to alter a single part of your army composition (like allowing Mega-Nobz/Terminators as Troops), or allow a single key ability to be used on a set portion of your force (the IG ones stand out for this - Creed and Al'Rahem especially. Ditto for Snikrot et al in Codex Orks).

Basically, this is about Vulkan He'stan and other characters whose presence changes the dynamic of an entire army. I'm not very fond of this sort of design feature, although I'd never go so far as to try and stop an opponent using it. I wonder if Vulkan would be half as controversial if you had to pay an extra premium to get that 'twin-linked' boost on affected squads. I mean, Fabius Bile con potentially enhance a good portion of a CSM army, but you have to pay extra to be able to do (and there can be nasty side effects).

Mind you, look at the 40K shelves in any given GW...they're pretty much 30-40% SMs alone...got to find some way of shifting all that stock...

Corax
01-07-2010, 12:03
Earlier editions of only 3rd and part of 4th, IIRC:
I don't recall any restrictions in my 2nd Eldar codex (although I may not have looked hard enough). The only 'restricted' characters in 2nd I recall were some of the special Daemon Princes in the Chaos Codex (like the Leadership 12 Bloodthirster), which were sort of the Apocalypse models of the time anyway.

My recollection was that they all had the "May only be used in a game over X points (usually 2000), with opponents permission", but I am willing to stand corrected if I'm wrong.


The 2nd ed named characters were less powerful than they are now. The main annoyance was save stacking, but that wasn't unique to special characters either (in fact, they were less likely to be able to do it since they had less options in most cases).

I would say that the special rules attached to them were less powerful, but their stats, combined with the way combat worked in 2nd, meant that SCs (and ICs to a lesser extent) routinely hoed through entire armies of regular troops; this was the era of Herohammer, after all. As combatants SCs have gotten weaker, as broader influences on the performance of an army they have increased. I was a bit vague in defining what I meant by powerful.


This is not true for all armies. In some armies, the Unique Named entries are the better choice, in others they are universally worse, bordering on useless. In most, it's a mixture, with one or two 'stars' either being unique or not, overshadowing the rest.

But that has no relation to whether they are named or not, and would still be true if there were two types of Terminator and one was much more cost effective and powerful than the other.

I broadly agree with what you are saying; the worst offenders make everyone else look guilty by association. I think that the level of abusiveness of a character can be measured to some degree by the frequency with which one sees it.

Perhaps what lies at the heart of the matter is broader issue of badly under priced units? Maybe SCs are simply the most visible manifestation of this by virtue of being single, highly visible models...

Either way, it still doesn't change the fact that SCs are (in many, but not all cases) a no-brainer option for anyone looking for the most cost efficient and powerful list. In my view, the goal for SCs should be that they be of approximately equal power to the generic versions, while adding some uniqueness of character to an army list. If it gives an army wide special rule, each squad that benefits from that rule should pay for it, rather than simply paying for the character.

Basically, if SCs are not going to be "permission only", what I want is for them to be one of a range of relatively equal options, rather than a no-brainer that is demonstrably better than all the other available alternatives. That's not too much to ask of GW, is it?

Poseidal
01-07-2010, 13:03
My recollection was that they all had the "May only be used in a game over X points (usually 2000), with opponents permission", but I am willing to stand corrected if I'm wrong.
IIRC this was introduced in 3rd edition. I don't recall seeing it in the 2nd edition book and do recall seeing it in the 3rd edition one, but I will check later today when I have access to it.


I would say that the special rules attached to them were less powerful, but their stats, combined with the way combat worked in 2nd, meant that SCs (and ICs to a lesser extent) routinely hoed through entire armies of regular troops; this was the era of Herohammer, after all. As combatants SCs have gotten weaker, as broader influences on the performance of an army they have increased. I was a bit vague in defining what I meant by powerful.
I would actually go so far to say Herohammer never existed (or if it did, it was 3rd edition onwards). The nature of the combat rules meant that even with higher stats, they were less impressive and the rules meant they could only kill who they got into base to base with. They couldn't go through entire armies of regular troops as it was impossible to get them all into base to base, and unlike in 3rd and onwards, you could only kill who was in base to base with you.

Also, if the character did get in a multiple combat, the odds start stacking as each enemy they fight gets a further +1 to their combat score.

Combat characters are now stronger, they were weaker in 2nd edition (which was all about Heavy Weapons anyway).

Also, the stats weren't too different. You got the odd WS, wound or attack here or there (Calgar got the most, but I think he followed the progression of being a character 'level' above the SM Captain which Inquisitor Lords and Imperial Assassins were, but without the options/wargear available to the latter two). Eldrad actually had worse stats than a regular Farseer, apart from toughness!

And they were weaker than Imperial Assassins in most cases. Those un-special character assassins were the nastiest things after Greater-Daemon class guys.

Speaking of which, the Bloodthirster, Avatar and company ate most special characters for breakfast.


I broadly agree with what you are saying; the worst offenders make everyone else look guilty by association. I think that the level of abusiveness of a character can be measured to some degree by the frequency with which one sees it.

Perhaps what lies at the heart of the matter is broader issue of badly under priced units? Maybe SCs are simply the most visible manifestation of this by virtue of being single, highly visible models...
I would say that is quite likely. They're the most visible symptom of a deeper problem.

Either way, it still doesn't change the fact that SCs are (in many, but not all cases) a no-brainer option for anyone looking for the most cost efficient and powerful list. In my view, the goal for SCs should be that they be of approximately equal power to the generic versions, while adding some uniqueness of character to an army list. If it gives an army wide special rule, each squad that benefits from that rule should pay for it, rather than simply paying for the character.
This is an issue with GW balancing for cost effectiveness. SC should be appropriately costed, strong or weak, but that goes for the entire game.


Basically, if SCs are not going to be "permission only", what I want is for them to be one of a range of relatively equal options, rather than a no-brainer that is demonstrably better than all the other available alternatives. That's not too much to ask of GW, is it?
This is not unique to special characters.

Maybe Thunder Hammer / SS Terminators should be permission only?

Eldar Wave Serpents are pretty no-brainer too (though the army almost fails to function without them)

It's a problem with internal (and external) balance that has nothing to do with special character status. Vulkan renamed to 'Salamander's Hero' would not make him any less annoying to play against.

Bloodknight
01-07-2010, 17:44
I would say that the special rules attached to them were less powerful, but their stats, combined with the way combat worked in 2nd, meant that SCs (and ICs to a lesser extent) routinely hoed through entire armies of regular troops

Let's see. 4-6Turn game. Dude charges in turn 3. Up to 6 combat phases follow. There's no break test except for 25% panic, and if they flee you can't overrun them. Abaddon gets fed about 1 squad of Guardsmen over the course of the game. Guard wins.

Seriously, peple who say that combat characters were uber in 2nd did it wrong. They probably tried piling in to kill him, losing lots of models in the process, when they could have actually just fed him single guys.

Gorbad Ironclaw
01-07-2010, 17:55
#shrug# Does it really matter if the model entry have a name instead of a title?

If it's a Brother Captain I can use it just fine, but if it's Brother Captain Leonites it becomes controversial? Even if they did exactly the same?

Special characters in there basic form are just like anything else, gaming pieces. There is a few of them that perhaps isn't terribly balanced, but there are a number of "generic" choices that are the same way.

As for the background attached to them, IMO you can take it or leave it. You can decide that yes, it really is X character or you can take the rules for X character and decide it's someone else who just happens to be able to do things like that (or you can not care at all).

I don't think you can generalise about special characters any more than you could generalise about troops or fast attack or whatever across the armies.

Bunnahabhain
01-07-2010, 18:00
#shrug# Does it really matter if the model entry have a name instead of a title?


Yes.

If it's just an entry, then they are customisable.. They also more likely to be somewhere near balanced- special characters have a higher proportion of utterly useless or massively overpowered units than any other part of the game.

Gunzhard
01-07-2010, 18:01
#shrug# Does it really matter if the model entry have a name instead of a title?

If it's a Brother Captain I can use it just fine, but if it's Brother Captain Leonites it becomes controversial? Even if they did exactly the same?

Special characters in there basic form are just like anything else, gaming pieces. There is a few of them that perhaps isn't terribly balanced, but there are a number of "generic" choices that are the same way.

As for the background attached to them, IMO you can take it or leave it. You can decide that yes, it really is X character or you can take the rules for X character and decide it's someone else who just happens to be able to do things like that (or you can not care at all).

I don't think you can generalise about special characters any more than you could generalise about troops or fast attack or whatever across the armies.

I totally agree with this.

Zweischneid
01-07-2010, 18:08
I would rather you were allowed to take them no questions asked, as opposed to looking for a pick up game with a themed say 3rd Company Blood Angels with Tycho army, only to be shot down because some guy is stuck in the roots of "I don't like special characters".

I think it's a good move by GW to get rid of opponents permission on SC in both 40k and Fantasy, as otherwise you wouldn't see them at all.

Agreed.

I also find it hard to see the line between pre-made Special Characters and pre-made army-fluff.

People complain that it wouldn't be appropriate to fight "Dante" over and over because he's only one guy in a big universe who cannot be everywhere.

But by the same reasoning, I could just as well refuse to fight Tau or Tyranids with my Pre-Heresy army because these guys weren't around that time.

People play 40K in no small part for the fluff and background and there isn't really a qualitative line between the fluff for things like "Eldrad", "Dante" or "the Nightbringer" and the fluff for "a Chaos Space Marine", "a Genestealer" or "a Landraider". All are equally fictional products of a vast IP that draws people in to buy and paint miniatures and push them over a table.

Why should one require consent and the other not?

Gunzhard
01-07-2010, 18:17
True true ...and further isn't GW telling us to use these characters as just another option?

I seem to remember reading that we can use, Dante or Vulkan for example, as just another badarse in our list if we choose and have it be totally legal.

GrogDaTyrant
01-07-2010, 18:56
@GrotDaTyrant - so you really want to take Wazdakka but you have some moral issue with doing so? This still makes no sense to me... ok perhaps it's not exactly the way you would equip this model but seriously dude c'mon...


Here's the point ---> .

And you missed it. You're way the heck over here -------------------------> X
See that 'X', that's where you are. And there's no cake there, either.

So let me explain it to you. No. I don't want to take Wazzdakka at all. I'm not fond of the character. I don't particularly like his fluff. And his rules are horrible, leaving him overcosted and underpowered even in comparison to normal Ork HQs (with exception to Weirdboyz, there's no saving them...). There are no 'moral' objections on my part... I don't like SCs generally, but I have no qualms with players fielding them (I keep a tally of Eldrad-kills). I prefer not to take them, but have no qualms with the 'make my own count-as and call him -insert name here-'.

Wazzdakka is a mandatory waste of 180pts for me. This is because the army I want to play, one that's been freely available since 3rd edition, is a bike-themed army. He's required however, which is why I loathe him so.

Zweischneid
01-07-2010, 19:07
Here's the point ---> .

And you missed it. You're way the heck over here -------------------------> X
See that 'X', that's where you are. And there's no cake there, either.

So let me explain it to you. No. I don't want to take Wazzdakka at all. I'm not fond of the character. I don't particularly like his fluff. And his rules are horrible, leaving him overcosted and underpowered even in comparison to normal Ork HQs (with exception to Weirdboyz, there's no saving them...). There are no 'moral' objections on my part... I don't like SCs generally, but I have no qualms with players fielding them (I keep a tally of Eldrad-kills). I prefer not to take them, but have no qualms with the 'make my own count-as and call him -insert name here-'.

Wazzdakka is a mandatory waste of 180pts for me. This is because the army I want to play, one that's been freely available since 3rd edition, is a bike-themed army. He's required however, which is why I loathe him so.


Seems like a petty issue. At least you still can take that army. What's your beef?

What about the poor people who are no longer able to field Leman Russ tanks in their Space Wolves or, infact, not being able to play Squats at all anymore. If you probe long enough.. you'll always find something that once existed and doesn't quite work that way anymore. My Terminators don't throw severak dice, choose highest for their armour save anymore. That is soooooooooooo unfluffy!!! Things change. The only alternative would be GW saying just do what you want and we're not doing any restrictions anymore because someone, somewhere will not like it.

Seriously, if thats the one and only thing that keeps you in 40K, why not play 3rd edition? Should be cheaply available of Ebay.

Thud
01-07-2010, 19:17
Seems like a petty issue. At least you still can take that army. What's your beef?

I'm gonna go ahead and make the wild guess that he's pissy about having to take Wazzdakka even though he sucks. Something others might contend is simply the price you have to pay for wanting to play a biker army, and not, in fact, Phil Kelly's attempt at personally runing his life.

If you want to run an all biker Ork army, now you can. But you have to take the drawbacks as well. Don't like it? Cry me a river.

GrogDaTyrant
01-07-2010, 19:49
If you want to run an all biker Ork army, now you can. But you have to take the drawbacks as well. Don't like it? Cry me a river.

A more accurate response would be "If you want to run an all biker Ork army, now you're required to field an SC whereas before you didn't." There are also plenty of other drawbacks to this army. As for your river, I built a bridge and got over it already.


@Zweischneid: I haven't forgotten those that suffer most from GW's direction changes. Yes SW players no longer get their russ executioner, IW players no longer get a basilisk, and stunty's no longer exist in 40k. I fully recognize that there are those who have it far worse.

To both of you, my post was aimed at Zingbaby's condescending response. If Wazzdakka's requirement wasn't a petty issue, I would be fielding a different army list. I also wouldn't have botherered to convert a 'place-holder' model to represent the SC. I'm well aware of the drawbacks to the army, and I'm aware that things change for better or worse from edition to edition. I play an army I enjoy, and have fun doing it. And ultimately that's all that matters. But I have a valid (if petty) complaint towards one direction GW has gone with SCs. And last I checked, this was a thread concerning such a topic... :rolleyes:

Zingbaby
01-07-2010, 20:35
@GrogDaTyrant - dude I think you are missing the point.

You can have an all-biker list. It's not perfect, it will cost you 180points up front and comes with one possibly inefficient unit, which also comes with fluff and background that you can choose to ignore or replace with your own.

Every model on the table is a "place-holder". Just because you don't like the cost and background of one unit doesn't change anything... none of these characters are real.

And let's be honest, Ork biker lists are tough as nails - the slight cost drawback is certainly worthwhile and probably intentional.

The SC's are just other options - that is the point - and that is what you fail to understand. You can, and you are encouraged to, use them however you want... they might not be perfect and they are less flexible in regards to gear and options, but jeesus dude that's life.

GrogDaTyrant
01-07-2010, 21:04
@Zingbaby - Thank you Captain Obvious... :rolleyes:

This is a thread about SCs and the problems some players have with them. I have a complaint about GW using them as a vessel to allow for variant army lists. Especially when an army with less fluff backing gets a identical option without the requirement of an overly expensive and lackluster SC.

Yeah, it's a petty complaint. Which is why it doesn't stop me from enjoying the game. It is however, an annoyance I have to deal with. Does that make sense to you? Or do you still not get it? I have no moral objections, I'd just prefer that he wasn't required. C'mon dude.

Zweischneid
01-07-2010, 21:10
I am still a bit baffled.

I mean, you do like GW fluff on Orc bikes but you don't like GW fluff on that one Orc biker? You choose Orc bikes over all the other parts of 40K (and Fantasy, Warmachine, etc..) but choose to be annoyed by the one Orc biker they put in as iconic?

It's a bit like saying Lord of the Rings is your favorite book but you wish the main guy would be swinging a Lightsaber. Do you expect the stuff to be written perfectly to suit your every sensibilty? Just be happy that there is Orc-biker stuff in writing and models for you to enjoy!

I can accept that feelings are sometimes irrational, but you must admit that it appears... odd.

massey
01-07-2010, 21:45
I like special characters. I would probably get bored playing against the same special character every game. Of course, I would get bored playing against the same list every game regardless of whether it included a special character or not.

I normally don't use special characters, not because I have some moral objection to them, but because I like to try new things, and I'm usually very picky about what I want my characters to do. I want a guy with this, this and this, and nothing else. My characters are usually very cheap. I play marines, and my most common HQ is a basic Chaplain. 100 points. That's it. Special characters usually run 200+ points, and I don't want to spend that much on them.

Now, there seem to be 3 main objections to special characters. 1) Balance (They're too powerful). 2) Background (Captain Bob shouldn't show up in a 500 pt game leading a chapter he isn't a member of). 3) Gameplay (I'm sick of fighting him). I have responses to all three problems.

First, balance. Yes, some characters are more powerful than others. However, this is not a problem with the concept of special characters themselves. It is an argument against very specific characters. Nobody complains because Lucius or Farsight are overpowered. So the issue is not special characters themselves, it's specific guys. I'd also argue that not all those characters people say are overpowered/underpriced actually are. Look at Eldrad. Yes, he's cheaper than a regular Farseer with all the same abilities, and he gets some extra stuff. However, once you start buying all that crap, you get diminishing returns. There's no way a T3 4++ save model with a couple of decent psychic powers (of which he can only use 2 a round) is worth 250+ points. That is not a problem with Eldrad, it's a problem with the way Farseer options are costed.

Second, background is as interesting or as dull as you make it. When I see threads on this board complaining about how objectives aren't important, and wondering why a group of Nids wants to seize a rock in the middle of the desert, I see that many 40K players don't understand the concept of creating their own narrative. Whether it's Marneus Calgar of the Ultramarines, or Seamus McBlarneystone of the Space Highlanders, using his twin giant power claymores, you create the narrative of the game. Why is a special character there? For the same reason there are 3 Vindicators there, despite the fact that the average chapter only has 5 or 6 of the venerable old tank. Why are half the chapter's Vindicators in a battle on one city block? Because that's where they need them. They gotta be somewhere, after all. Why is Seamus McBlarneystone and 2 scout squads fighting 500 points of Dark Eldar? Because that's apparently what he did on his way to the bathroom or something. It's the same reason he's fighting over that big rock in the desert. It's up to you to come up with a narrative, because it's your game. If you haven't bothered trying to create a narrative, then it's your fault that all your games seem to be lacking a cool story.

Third, this will be a problem any time you fight a limited group of people with a limited selection of armies. It was a problem when every ork list was a speed freak list back in 3rd ed. It was a problem when every Blood Angel list was rhino rush with maximized Death Company. It was a problem when every Eldar list had 47 Starcannons in it, and again later when it became Codex: Falcon Grav Tank. It was a problem when every Chaos player took Iron Warriors with 3 units of Obliterators and 4 pieplates. This has zero to do with special characters, and everything to do with guys who try to take the most efficient build possible, no matter what. I think special characters have actually helped with this, because it gives more options. I see Vulkan lists, but I also see Khan lists and Kantor lists, and Shrike lists. Some SWs take Logan Grimnar, but just as many take Thunderwolves, or 4 Rune Priests, or whoever. To me, it seems as though special characters have resulted in a lot more variety in the armies I see. Now, if you only ever play against Billy, the 14 year old kid with exactly 2000 points of badly painted miniatures and no more, then yes, you're going to play the exact same army every time, because that's all he has. My advice would be to find more people to play against.

GrogDaTyrant
01-07-2010, 22:13
I am still a bit baffled.

I mean, you do like GW fluff on Orc bikes but you don't like GW fluff on that one Orc biker? You choose Orc bikes over all the other parts of 40K (and Fantasy, Warmachine, etc..) but choose to be annoyed by the one Orc biker they put in as iconic?

It's a bit like saying Lord of the Rings is your favorite book but you wish the main guy would be swinging a Lightsaber. Do you expect the stuff to be written perfectly to suit your every sensibilty? Just be happy that there is Orc-biker stuff in writing and models for you to enjoy!

I can accept that feelings are sometimes irrational, but you must admit that it appears... odd.


I do like the Ork bike theme. And I've never been fond of Wazzdakka, especially back in the days of his 'randomly driving off the table' and having a battlecannon on his bike. The Titan bit and his universal highway I found OTT. Again... it's a minor issue, as I run a 'counts-as'. Game wise he performs terribly, and is best fielded as a distraction and occasionally acts as a sacrificial land-raider opener.

And for the record... I prefer Orks over every other army in 40k, with IG being a close second. The warbike army is just one of the many Ork armies I've built, and happens to be the primary one that I'm currently fielding. I do play Fantasy (Skaven), and I dabble in Warmahordes (Rhulic Mercenaries). Discworld and Gaunt's Ghosts are my two favorite novel series with Philip Jose Farmer being my all-time favorite author. What else would you like to criticize?

Oh, and by the way...

Just be happy that there is Orc-biker stuff in writing and models for you to enjoy!

You sound like the red-shirts who've tried to sell me on Rynn's World or Hellbrecht(?) by saying 'There's Orks in it, and although they're punching bags, there's millions of them!'

Fear Itself
01-07-2010, 23:00
.I think you are playing the wrong game

I'd argue that it's you who are clearly taking part in a hobby that isn't for you.

I wonder if any of the "angry" posters even take any pleasure from this game anymore - perhaps they've simply forgotten that's all this is, a game..

Thud
01-07-2010, 23:19
A more accurate response would be "If you want to run an all biker Ork army, now you're required to field an SC whereas before you didn't."

Yeah, and I play Eldar. In the old codex I was able to make pure Vyper armies, whereas now I cannot. How do you think I'd feel if I were given the opportunity to field pure Vyper armies again by using some over-costed under-achieving special character? Start whining because Vypers have an armour value and thus cannot score, or appreciate the fact that I at least have the option?


But I have a valid (if petty) complaint towards one direction GW has gone with SCs. And last I checked, this was a thread concerning such a topic... :rolleyes:

You are quite correct. This is indeed a thread concerning such a topic. But Zweischneid and I just happen to disagree with you, something which seems to offend you.

GrogDaTyrant
02-07-2010, 00:25
You are quite correct. This is indeed a thread concerning such a topic. But Zweischneid and I just happen to disagree with you, something which seems to offend you.

O'Rly? Because it sure doesn't seem like it to me. Zweischneid clearly disagreed. And in no way does that offend me. You however...


I'm gonna go ahead and make the wild guess that he's pissy about having to take Wazzdakka even though he sucks. Something others might contend is simply the price you have to pay for wanting to play a biker army, and not, in fact, Phil Kelly's attempt at personally runing his life.

If you want to run an all biker Ork army, now you can. But you have to take the drawbacks as well. Don't like it? Cry me a river.

That's not disagreeing with someone, that's flat out being offensive.

Wishing
02-07-2010, 00:40
I already replied on one of the early pages, but just wanted to chime in again to agree with Grog. Restricting thematic army types to only being available if you take a specific named character is, in my opinion, a huge step back for game enjoyment.

One of the big selling points of 40k is being able to personalise your armies in detail. Every ork cult of speed army having to be led by Wazdakka, rather than letting players personalise their own biker boss, weakens that. The game needs more armies and more options, not less.

e2055261
02-07-2010, 01:46
^^ agreed. I hate it when you go to a SM game when all the models come out of the box and amongst them is Vulkan - surprise, surprise another vulkan army. I think GW should really have kept the doctrines from the previous edition SM codex - not the same but modified (obviously). They could have done the same sort of thing with: Orks, IG, CSM, Eldar, and probably others. This would be better than having to use a character every time to get the army-wide rule.

Zingbaby
02-07-2010, 02:00
I already replied on one of the early pages, but just wanted to chime in again to agree with Grog. Restricting thematic army types to only being available if you take a specific named character is, in my opinion, a huge step back for game enjoyment.

One of the big selling points of 40k is being able to personalise your armies in detail. Every ork cult of speed army having to be led by Wazdakka, rather than letting players personalise their own biker boss, weakens that. The game needs more armies and more options, not less.

Clearly some folks share your opinion dude and that's totally cool. But I think as an argument for/against the need to 'personalize' ones army the logic really breaks down. The SC is just another option (that happens to have a name, background and fixed gear).

You could never actually "personalize your armies in detail" without simply ignoring the codex rules all-together. You always had to build within the rigid parameters of the codex. Perhaps you could specifically take bikes before this edition, I don't remember, but you still never had unlimited choice. This codex gives you a LOT of choice.

Meriwether
02-07-2010, 02:17
You could never actually "personalize your armies in detail" without simply ignoring the codex rules all-together. You always had to build within the rigid parameters of the codex. Perhaps you could specifically take bikes before this edition, I don't remember, but you still never had unlimited choice. This codex gives you a LOT of choice.

Amen, Zingbaby.

I remember people complaining when you had to take an HQ and 2 troops, because it was so limiting.

Or those pesky 0-1 slots, those were limiting on our infinite creativity.

Then people were complaining that you had to take even more troops because you need to hold objectives... But you can't take too many because of KPs (which will ruin the game and break every army with their stupid stupidity, by the way).

I notice nobody has yet complained that one needs to take a generic warboss or Ghazzy in order to field nobs as troops...

big squig
02-07-2010, 11:08
I'm cool with them for the most part, but there are times when they bother me:

1. When they are just clearly better than a normal HQ. I don't even remember what a chaplain or farseer does. Do they still exist? Or have they officially been replaced with Cassius and Eldrad? And I assume they forgot to write rules for the Wolf Lord in the SW codex? Cause I've only seen Logan.

2. When they allow options that should just be in the standard codex. Why does every warbike army have to be led by wazzdakka?

3. They're underpowered. Some special characters are just useless.

Baragash
02-07-2010, 11:33
I'm with Grog/Wishing. There should be generic equivalents for the most part (like a bike-mounted SM Captain).

Sure, for someone like Shrike (who's company fight in his style, not the RG style), Dante bringing his own bodyguard or Belial specifically being the Company Captain, it makes sense.

But for common army archetypes, such as Biker lists, I think it's a shame.

Shadow Lord
02-07-2010, 11:36
For me, personally, my biggest problem is that I'm just plain jealous at all those players who have an army that gives them those SC's...for me, I would like to have a SC that gives my army an all-army wide special rule. But I don't have that! I have some cool in- the-fluff characters like Abadonn, Kharn, Lucius...who are sometimes evil powerhouses and sometimes aren't worth the paint I put on them (gameswise, that is):D...so yeah, I sometimes have a hard time swallowing my defeat at the hands of yet another Grimnar, Mephiston or any other SC out there but in the end I know for sure I don't want to go back to the previous Codex again because most people I played against hated every inch of my army with the possibility of overpowered daemon princes, aspiring champions on bikes with powerweapons and a 2+ save, etc... :eek:. I just hoped that when we got nerfed down a bit, they were going to draw the line through to ALL new codeci...with some they did, with others they haven't...but that's more my personal problem then GW or my opponent's...like I said: I'm just a bit jealous...:(

Lord Zarkov
02-07-2010, 12:36
I'm cool with them for the most part, but there are times when they bother me:

1. When they are just clearly better than a normal HQ. I don't even remember what a chaplain or farseer does. Do they still exist? Or have they officially been replaced with Cassius and Eldrad? And I assume they forgot to write rules for the Wolf Lord in the SW codex? Cause I've only seen Logan.


That's what annoys me: If you bought a Farseer with all the powers, both runes and spirit stones, Eldrad would be able to do everything that farseer can (except admittedly fleet) but gains an extra power/turn (and the ability to repeat powers), the ability to ignore armour saves, his deployment rules, +1Sv and IIRC +1T - oh, and he costs less

Bloodknight
02-07-2010, 12:55
At some point you need a discount on special rules if you slap then on something because at the same time his survivability or general ability doesn't match the points cost anymore.

A simple example from the old Dark Elf book in WFB: a Black Guard has a couple of special rules, very high I etc. and costs 16 points. Despite all their special rules which should have made them awesome they were not that great in combat and died easily to shooting and thus people didn't take them although their pricing should have been mathematically pretty right. Today they're cheaper and better.

The same counts for 40K models. If I take an Eldar Guardian, make him fearless, twinlink his gun, slap another 3 rules on him and make him cost 20 points for that he'll still die to lasgun fire and fold in CC.

There definitely is a rule of diminishing return with upgrades, and a guy with everything should be comparably cheaper since he can't use all that stuff at the same time.

Meriwether
02-07-2010, 17:14
That's what annoys me: If you bought a Farseer with all the powers, both runes and spirit stones, Eldrad would be able to do everything that farseer can (except admittedly fleet) but gains an extra power/turn (and the ability to repeat powers), the ability to ignore armour saves, his deployment rules, +1Sv and IIRC +1T - oh, and he costs less

...and yet a cheap doomseer is way cheaper than Eldrad, allowing an additional option...

Lord Inquisitor
02-07-2010, 21:15
@Lord Inquisitor
If we are talking about the balance issue then I have to agree with you, and certainly I'm not keen on the idea of special characters homogenising an army but if you accept that SCs are just another choice in an army then really all you're asking for is better internal balance and that isn't controversial at all and applies to many different units. One day I would like to see somebody use a unit of swooping hawks or dark reapers but you don't see any threads named "Fire Dragons, Fire Prisms and Wraith Lords: When will the madness end", and that's just as much of a problem as the fact that every other farseer is Eldrad Ulthwan.
Understood. However, there seems to be a common set of problems that are particularly associated with SCs in general. So it's like complaining about balance problems with vehicles or Troops or whatever.


Creed, Straken, and Lawrence of Arabia are three excellent special characters that do everything you can ask from them. They add tonnes of character and flavour to a game whilst also leading to a more diverse pool of IG armies. Specifically Creed and Straken are only worth it if you play an infantry list, something which you are pretty unlikely to do otherwise given the incredibly cost efficient chimera. Unlike Vulkan who encourages lots of players to use pretty much the same damn army, the tactically gifted Churchill wannabe and Colonel Terminator actually encourage the odd player to do something which isn't traditional mech spam. They stand as excellent examples of how special characters can be used to reward people for building an unusual list that would otherwise be terribly suboptimal. The only problem with Vulkan from this perspective is that he improved, melta weapons, flamers and TH+SS terminators that were already very good. I wonder if there would really be all this fuss if Vulkan instead made every heavy bolter count as twin-linked and every lightning claw count as master crafted.
Straken is okay, although I dislike bubble effects like this and the only reason he isn't more taken is because guard are generally poor in combat. I like Straken because he allows me a counts-as Chaos Marine in my traitor guard. The Lawrence-type-character is okay although I don't much like outflank as a mechanic in a game without overwatch. Creed, however, gets up my nose 1) because virtually every Guard army I see these days - other than my own, of course - includes Creed and Kell; 2) because he circumvents the basic limitations of the order system - he has practically unlimited range, and virtually eliminates the risk in taking the Ld test; 3) he provides unique combos via the Outflank to ANY unit and his unique order. It's the circumventing-the-normal-limitations-of-the-army thing that he does that annoys me, much like Logan.


As an aside I strongly believe that GW thinks that special characters are a tool for balancing an army as they necessitate you investing a certain number of points into something they have absolute control over to play an army in a particular way. For, example if SM Librarians were really abusable in pairs then you wouldn't be able to abuse that and melta/flamer/TH+SS spam. Unfortunately things rarely seem to work that way.

So to conclude: We all wish GW did a little more play testing. Astounding
Yeah, agreed. Special Characters SHOULD be easy to balance given that they are a unit with no options. By that logic the should be the most balanced units in each codex! Unfortunately they're often unbalanced, and particularly force amplifier ones like Creed or Logan are the least balanced as the effect on the rest of the army is dramatic and not really accounted for in the points value.

IcedAnimals
02-07-2010, 22:41
Wazzdakka is a mandatory waste of 180pts for me. This is because the army I want to play, one that's been freely available since 3rd edition, is a bike-themed army. He's required however, which is why I loathe him so.

So why not take 2 warbosses instead? Nobs are suddenly troop choices and can take bikes. You then have 2 scoring difficult to kill troop choices on bikes, 3 fast attack choices on bikes, an additional 3 elite choices on bikes. All without taking wazzdakka.

You can field your army without him and all he does is allow you ANOTHER way to field it. he is not taking away your options or forcing you to pick him. And even IF you couldn't field an all bike army without him you HAVE him as a choice. Which is better than if the codex did not have him and you couldn't field the army you wanted at all.

I swear all these anti special character people are glass half empty types.

Wishing
02-07-2010, 23:03
Clearly some folks share your opinion dude and that's totally cool. But I think as an argument for/against the need to 'personalize' ones army the logic really breaks down. The SC is just another option (that happens to have a name, background and fixed gear).

You could never actually "personalize your armies in detail" without simply ignoring the codex rules all-together. You always had to build within the rigid parameters of the codex. Perhaps you could specifically take bikes before this edition, I don't remember, but you still never had unlimited choice. This codex gives you a LOT of choice.

It's clearly a question of where you want to draw the line between restriction and choice, I agree. I'm sure that we'd all agree that if an army was built so it only had one unit option - say, marine tactical squads - and you had to include specific special characters just to field any assault squads or scouts or whatever, that that would be too restrictive. But at the same time, having no army composition at all, and allowing armies of all chaplains or land raiders or whatever, would be too much freedom of choice. There has always been force construction restrictions of some sort in the game (I think, didn't actually play in RT).

Where I want to draw the line is somewhere where there are restrictions on what you can build, but enough rules to allow all armies access to a variety of themes (like all-terminator, all-bike, all jump packs, or whatever) without being forced to include special characters. I respect that others want to draw the line elsewhere... what I don't respect is that GW had to drag special characters into it and make them the arbitrator of what kind of army you can or cant build. I'd much rather be told what I *cannot* use if I choose a certain option than be told what I *have* to use.

IrishDelinquent
02-07-2010, 23:28
I feel it only just, to begin by stating that I am FIRMLY from the old-school camp of, "You have to ask your opponent to play one." I do understand that allowing them when and wherever makes sense for them businesswise; as they can sell a plethora of expensive minis.

I'm firmly on the side of "Use SCs whenever you damn-well feel like it". In my view, being able to tell your opponent "you can't take that in your list" is a giant dick move. The only reason I should ever be able to impact my opponent's list is either A). He took more than the points limit, and his list needs to be trimmed, B). He doesn't have the models here, so that can't be in his list, or C). I whooped him so hard last time that he alters his list to try and regain his honor. I should not have the ultimate authority over my opponent's army composition, which is the fundamental flaw of the "Ask before play" philosophy.


My objections are based upon two arguments. The first is fluff-based. Why in the world would someone like Abaddon (pronounced "uh-bad-done" BTW) be involved in some 1500-2000 skirmish? He leads Black Crusades, of almost all of Chaos, trying to destroy the false emperor; not insignificant shoot-em-ups for nothing. The same goes for Kharn, Mephiston, etc. Unless it is a game of Apocalypse, I just have a hard time buying the presence of these godlike beings.

Simple rebuttal: not all SC are terrifying, God-like beings. Let's just take the Space Marine Codex, for example. Sergeant Telion isn't a legendary immortal, he's just an especially-skilled leader. Same goes for Cronus. Also, there are several "thematic" reasons that more important characters are leading a smaller force; Tigurius marshalls a small force of Ultramarines into Ork Space to try and eliminate a burgeoning Warboss, Cassius and a select band of dedicated Tyranid Hunters are investing rumours of a dormant Hive Fleet. Hell, Shrike's fluff is all about a small skirmish force!!!

Bane316
03-07-2010, 00:31
I'm on the side of "Use SCs whenever you well feel like it" too. Seriously what the hell? The game cost ton of money. You invest your time building and painting your army, writing a few lists for fun only to a douche telling you that you should ask permission for playing a SC? That's doesn't make sense. Play the damn game the way you like. It's in the codex, fine play it. We should not be penalize by other players because we want to play a vulkan list or Mephiston list. It's all legal, it's in the book.

SC tend to be very powerful but none are unbeatable. Never seen a Doom of Malantai raping Mephiston in a single shooting phase thanks to his spirit leech? C'mon guys, SC are fun. I know I have no problem dealing with them. Last week I've played against a Tyranid player who used the Swarmlord, Doom, the Trygon and the Mawlock against my BA army. Did he beat me? Nope. Did we have fun? A lot!!! I think he got more fun than me playing the game despite the fact that he lost the game big time (Anihilation 7-3 for me). I used 2 librarians who did absolutely nothing because of the SotW. The next game was against a Vulkan, melta/flamer list. The guys quit after my two Furioso Dread (backed by a S.Priest in a RB) destroyed the land raiders and kill vulkan and his 5 Assault termi squad with the blood talons, which I find more "broken" than mephiston or Abaddon.

Seriously guys, it's just a game. Being pissed because some dude bring his SC in is army is not very mature. Not at all. IMHO, HEROHAMMER does not exist. GW created the rules and we simply follow them (even the lame ones). Have fun guys and remember, it's just a game... and a good one.

Stouty
03-07-2010, 04:11
Understood. However, there seems to be a common set of problems that are particularly associated with SCs in general. So it's like complaining about balance problems with vehicles or Troops or whatever.
Fair enough-ski. As long as the balance issue is separated from the "I don't like seeing X all the time because X is supposed to be super special" argument that would see 90% of us playing IG.



Creed, however, gets up my nose 1) because virtually every Guard army I see these days - other than my own, of course - includes Creed and Kell; 2) because he circumvents the basic limitations of the order system - he has practically unlimited range, and virtually eliminates the risk in taking the Ld test; 3) he provides unique combos via the Outflank to ANY unit and his unique order. It's the circumventing-the-normal-limitations-of-the-army thing that he does that annoys me, much like Logan.
Creed and Kell cost 175pts combined. Their main bonuses are as you so rightly pointed out leadership and orders, both of which only come into play if your army doesn't reside entirely within an armoured hull of some kind, wistfully remembering the days when they ever actually had to walk anywhere or take direct fire much like a nerd wistfully remembers his highschool days when he had to take wedgies and endure the crushing knowledge of his own solitude. If your local players are using mechanised lists, be glad that they're spending 175pts to give one unit scout; if they're not using mechanised lists be glad that they are wilfully playing in a suboptimal way, sacrificing the fire power and mobility of mech for the chance to make squishy sound effects as their army is trampled under the heel of every competently played army out there.

To put things into perspective 175pts buys you 2 hydras and some melta guns for your PCS, or buys a small infantry platoon sweet rides with spinners and everything.Those unique combos scout grants you can be interesting, but they come with a price tag. Besides, in essence all it really lets your opponent do is put his army close to your which is good news if you remembered to bring melta weaponry. Sorry to be so focussed on Creed but if you think that he's hurting the game then it makes me think that if not for this then you'd be moaning about scout squads with shotguns or something because there is always something even in chess. White totally needs their openings nerfed.

Then with Creed aside (because internet memes aside he's really not that great), what are the SCs you have beef with as unjust force multipliers as opposed to the ones that are just big scary dragons waiting for a krak missile or 4? Vulkan, Logan and perhaps Marneus Calgar (because you didn't feel like learning the morale rules) are my only real initial thoughts. So to continue my theme of suggestions for renaming threads perhaps "Unbalanced Space Marines: Where will the madness end?" might be appropriate. Of course I'm 90% sure that thread title has already been used. Every time a new space marine codex is announced. Over the past decade.

CarbonCopy
03-07-2010, 09:26
Now that SC's have been debated from a play/no-play perspective, how about facing the reason GW have been pushing it in the more recent Codex books as a standard feature... I see everybody's point, but everyone is totally overlooking the obvious.

...

GW is not stupid. They have an eye out for competitors, and Privateer Press and Rackham scare the pants off GW. Warmachine, Confrontation and AT-43 are all driven by units driven by SPECIAL CHARACTERS. Depending on the special character, your army has different options opened or closed to you. It also gains or looses special abilities or avenues of attack/defeat.

GW is simply copying the thing the competing game systems have. This special character for special options bit drives sales in models. That's all they are really after -- not great game design or balance.

...

And for the record, I'm a mindless miniature collecting zombie -- I buy all the special character and limited edition model I can get my grubby, stinky little hands on. And yes, they may take 400 years to get around to paint, I still intend on painting and playing EVERY SINGLE ONE! Mmmuuuhahahahahahaha!!!!!

Bloodknight
03-07-2010, 14:42
I have to sign Stouty's post.

Creed is really not that good. In fact, I think I haven't seen or fielded him since July last year when the hype died off when people realized that you really don't need a lot of orders. People like to play the more effective way and that is mech. Mech armies don't need orders and they don't get much out of them if they have an HQ capable of giving orders.

The Company Command's job isn't really giving orders in a Mech army. It's carrying a couple of meltaguns with BS4. The colonel may wave his laspistol around a bit, that's it. There's nobody out there to receive his orders.

Unless you go full infantry (which means also fielding lots of weapon teams which, for some silly reason, cannot get voxes), Creed and especially Kell (who is only good to make the Weapon teams receive orders more easily, the rest of the foot army is probably LD9 anyway via Commissars) are an absolute waste of points.
You get 3 Chimeras for those 2 guys...

Bunnahabhain
03-07-2010, 15:00
I agree with Bloodknight- all ( except mambo) of the guard special characters are only any good if you're going infantry heavy, and infantry heavy simply isn't as powerful as Mech Guard, and a couple are simply no good whatsoever

If you do go infantry heavy, then frankly, most of them only allow you to either do things you should be able to do anyway, or make the army half way mobile.

I'm lucky, I play at a club where we have the space and time for big games, and a group of players willing to try stuff, such as agreeing to infantry heavy forces.

2500 points of infantry, and Creed is excellent.

Bloodknight
03-07-2010, 15:20
2500 points of infantry, and Creed is excellent.

I'd never deny that :). I like to play the occasional inf-only game, if only to shake up the metagame a bit, but I tend to field 2 normal CCS and Kell (not Creed).

DaSpaceAsians
03-07-2010, 15:21
I actually got a player who actually said that Creed was as overpowered as Eldrad :wtf: and that every time I'd play him, he'd use Eldrad to beat my "cheesiness" despite me playing infantry heavy and quite a few players would refuse to play me if I fielded Creed.

Lord Inquisitor
03-07-2010, 19:29
Fair enough-ski. As long as the balance issue is separated from the "I don't like seeing X all the time because X is supposed to be super special" argument that would see 90% of us playing IG.
Absolutely and I'm okay with the idea of using certain special characters in lower points values. However, there IS an element of "Logan, again, really?" particularly when 50% of tournament players are playing Space Wolves and they ALL have them led by Logan.

The issue is to do with the balance of the unit, but the fact that they represent the supreme commander of the entire chapter/craftworld/cadia/etc rankles when the unit is so good that it is taken by the majority of players.

I faced someone using Abaddon a while back and it was a fun game - he's a beast, but he is just a localised combat monster. I've not faced him in a long time, possibly not since the previous version of the codex, and it was fun. You don't see him in every Chaos army because he's expensive and fairly costed. If he was why-would-you-ever-leave-without-him Grimnar level then that would annoy me if I saw him every game, particualrly as he's the supreme commander of the black legion.


Creed and Kell cost 175pts combined.
These two may or may not be overpowered. But they're good enough that every army that isn't a cookie-cutter leafblower seems to have them - even some mech lists, given that those meltavets need to get out and shoot sometimes. Typically I see them in hybrid guard lists.

The main point is that they're annoying. Whether they're fairly costed or not, the ability to circumvent the army's inbuilt weakensses or provide a unit with an ability that they would not otherwise have - that's frustrating to play against, and when every guard or wolf or marine army has a character that does this... that's when SCs in general start to get annoying.


Then with Creed aside (because internet memes aside he's really not that great), what are the SCs you have beef with as unjust force multipliers as opposed to the ones that are just big scary dragons waiting for a krak missile or 4? Vulkan, Logan and perhaps Marneus Calgar (because you didn't feel like learning the morale rules) are my only real initial thoughts. So to continue my theme of suggestions for renaming threads perhaps "Unbalanced Space Marines: Where will the madness end?" might be appropriate. Of course I'm 90% sure that thread title has already been used. Every time a new space marine codex is announced. Over the past decade.
The Space Wolf book has a collection of force multipliers - other than Grimnar, who appears to be compulsory, most of the time I see Njal (okay, he's a force divider due to his improved psychic defence and stormcaller) and Ragnar. The Tyranids have the Swarmlord as their force multiplier. Blood Angels have a plethora of SCs that fall under this general category - Astaroth, Corbulo, Sanguinor, Dante on top of pure combat monsters like Mephiston.

I've always been an active proponent for Special Characters not being limited. I think "opponent's permission" is a weak excuse for poorly-playtested characters. I was okay with SCs in some of the older books - Chaos and loyalist Space Marines seem fine with me, broadly speaking (Vulkcan clearly wasn't well thought out but at least you have to give up something to get it). But with the last few codecies this trend seems to be getting out of control. Special Characters have become so much better than their generic counterparts that it's getting silly. Yes, Mephiston always was a god among space marines, but now that Dante and Sanguinor (an actual Angel? Really?) are far above the norm Meph was bumped to the point he makes Daemon Princes look like wimps.

Yes, I realise the worst offenders are Space Marines and this is purely a matter of balancing these units correctly. There is, it appears, a spiralling trend towards ever-more-powerful special characters. Why would you take a Captain when for a handful more points you can take Dante with an extra wound, attack, initiative (why the Blood Angels SCs get extra initiative is beyond me apart from Meph, who is a vampire), the ability to take elites as Troops, nerf an enemy IC to the point of unusability, no deep strike scatter plus Hit and Run.

I don't object to SCs in general. However, the recent trend is for SCs that are better in every way than their generic counterparts, with far reaching effects that boost or unlock other options in the army and their raw power is increasing with every codex. Even with their higher price tag, it seems that there is no reason whatsoever to NOT take these characters - or at least some of them - and most armies from 5th ed codecies, competitive or not, include multiple special characters, while older codecies rarely include them. Sure Eldrad is a point in case of a too-good SC from a 4th ed codex, but really there are very few SCs that are taken from pre-5th codecies. Torquemada, Karamazov, Kharn, Shadowsun, the Nightbringer, Wazdakka - this is what SCs should be about. Fun characters that aren't so powerful that you wouldn't consider building an army without them but each actually does something unique or interesting rather than just turning either their own stats or the units around them all the way to 11.

So my gripe - as I've been saying from the beginning - is in no way with special characters, merely the 5th ed design philosophy (and I dislike much else about the 5th ed codecies as I've ranted about elsewhere). Poorly-conceived and executed characters that make elites Troops or hand out USRs like candy and just can't be left on the shelf.

Setesh
03-07-2010, 19:31
Marbo seemed balanced enough to me in the sense that he was fun and thus I didnt mind him blowing up my tanks

Axeman1n
03-07-2010, 20:05
I like playing against SC. I only enjoy playing them if they have a good fluffy list, and the model is well designed and painted.
What I don't like is seeing combinations of SC that fluff wise do not belong together. I played in a tourny and every single Eldar had Eldrad and Yriel. All four of them had both SC. That was rediculous.
Force Multiplier SC's should have a pts/model added on to their pts cost. I know it makes them less popular, but it worked with O'Shova. If Vulcan gave his whole army an option to have TL melta/flamers for 5pts/model I'm sure no one would have a problem with it. i would love for a "Catachan General" SC with options to upgrade the whole army to Jungle Fighters for 10pts/squad.

Setesh
03-07-2010, 20:41
I like playing against SC. I only enjoy playing them if they have a good fluffy list, and the model is well designed and painted.
What I don't like is seeing combinations of SC that fluff wise do not belong together. I played in a tourny and every single Eldar had Eldrad and Yriel. All four of them had both SC. That was rediculous.
Force Multiplier SC's should have a pts/model added on to their pts cost. I know it makes them less popular, but it worked with O'Shova. If Vulcan gave his whole army an option to have TL melta/flamers for 5pts/model I'm sure no one would have a problem with it. i would love for a "Catachan General" SC with options to upgrade the whole army to Jungle Fighters for 10pts/squad.

Catachans need an arnie 'dutch' character but Iguess thats leaning towards marbo again ^^

qwertywraith
03-07-2010, 21:01
The second reason is purely game-oriented. SC's tend to (from my observations of players in several states & 3 different time zones) cause players to build army lists that are very static. They only buy certain units that work in the, "Kharn Kills Everyone" list, or the, "Mephiston's Unlimited Jedi Power" list, etc. I see people playing armies that are right out of the yearly 'Ard Boy, rather than exploring their codex to try new builds and combinations.

Named Characters are options within the codex. You want people to explore their codex but also not explore certain parts of their codex just because they are named characters.

Named Characters are not "special" anymore. They don't require opponents permission because they are a part of the codex and supposedly a part of the overall balance scheme. The "balance scheme" is the problem.

This kind of discussion happens because 40K and Fantasy are broken games and Characters are easy targets. It's harder to start a topic that encompasses all the brokeness of 40K (IG chimera chassis spam, Lash/Plague/Oblit, Daemons on good days, Eldar grav tank turn denial, etc). Characters are just easy examples of over-the-top way out of balance (sometimes too powerful, sometimes not powerful enough).

So why not talk about better composition rules for 40K? No? Why not? Because there is no easy fix.

Warp-Juicer
03-07-2010, 21:01
Makes me wonder what the point of having unnamed character options is, seeing as how you can just counts as marneus calgar as your chapter master wielding a giant two handed axe that shoots lazers out its blade.

Hellebore

I rofled.

Anyways, I apologize if what I'm about to say has been iterated many times before in this thread, its getting to the TL;DR stage.

Special characters really detract from the game. I don't care how you try to spread fluff over them to try to make sense. Its just not any fun to have to kill Dante 500000 times. This is what keeps me from moving over to War Machine: I freaking HATE that each HQ choice is a named character, and theres no way to build your own. Its like there is this clone factory that eternally poops out Unstoppable Badasses.

And that gets me to another point: Running a special character as a HQ for your made up chapter/whatever because it "best represents the soul of my made up chapter!" is not an excuse...Well by its nature it IS an excuse, and a poor one at that. Why go through all the trouble of building up your own paint scheme and fluff history when you're just going to plop down a pre-made pile of poo in the middle of your army. I made my own Word Bearers chapter - I even lovingly converted a chaos lord. If I want him to be more powerful, I don't run him as Abaddon. I run him as a Daemon prince - just mount him on a bigger base with more built up terrain. Yes you can't necessarily do that in a space marine chapter but if you wanted your characters to be demonically powerful you shouldn't be playing a space marine army.

"Because the rules say its ok!" Is also annoying, especially when its miss used to just take the fun out of the game for other people. A friend who was adept at this and whom I no longer play warhammer with tried to get me to play an apocolypse game with him where he wanted to run nothing but Eldrads. 5000 points worth of Eldrad.

Grimtuff
03-07-2010, 21:08
Now that SC's have been debated from a play/no-play perspective, how about facing the reason GW have been pushing it in the more recent Codex books as a standard feature... I see everybody's point, but everyone is totally overlooking the obvious.

...

GW is not stupid. They have an eye out for competitors, and Privateer Press and Rackham scare the pants off GW. Warmachine, Confrontation and AT-43 are all driven by units driven by SPECIAL CHARACTERS. Depending on the special character, your army has different options opened or closed to you. It also gains or looses special abilities or avenues of attack/defeat.


Um...
http://www.warseer.com/forums/showpost.php?p=4775173&postcount=74

My first post in this thread. Made 4 days ago and on page 4. ;)

Stouty
03-07-2010, 21:39
Torquemada, Karamazov, Kharn, Shadowsun, the Nightbringer, Wazdakka - this is what SCs should be about. Fun characters that aren't so powerful that you wouldn't consider building an army without them but each actually does something unique or interesting rather than just turning either their own stats or the units around them all the way to 11.

You made some very fair points, but if we're talking about 5th ed special characters perhaps we should look at the new sort of special character completely unique to 5th edition: the unit upgrade special character. You mentioned in the quote above how the truly great SCs are the ones that bring flavour and a sense of history or narrative to the game without being an integral part of the army's game plan, yet you claim to hate 5th ed. codices (admittedly for a variety of reasons) despite the fact that they have given us Harker, Telion, Arjac Rockfist and resurrected many oldies that some of us thought would never get rules again.

In my mind whilst there have been some failures in the 5th edition codices with special characters the vast majority of them are brilliant ways to add colour to your games. The nature of competitive play means that one mistake by GW will be seen in a large number of lists but I think that a score board would show that the new design ethos is doing pretty well, certainly in regards to the narrative role of SCs if nothing else (I still think they could and should be used as a control feature).

So I guess the question I'm fielding is that whilst we can all agree there have been some balance screw ups leading to the unfortunate cloning of Logan and others (Logan never has played by the Imperium's rules), would you not agree that there has been a great deal of success. In fact, I'll go the extra mile and include a list of SCs below for you to pick at and what ratio of the total number of SCs from that book they represent.

BA - 5/9
Seth (as compelling as a 40k character gets), Astorath (he's a good control mechanism), Tycho, Lemartes

SW - 1/2
Bjorn the Old Man, Ulrik the Slayer, Lukas the Trickster, Arjac Rockfist

IG - 8/11
Straken, Nork, Yarrick, Marbo, Chenkov, Harker, Bastonne, Pask

SM - 6/11
Telion, Chronus, Pedro, Shrike, Khan, Tigirius

I don't have the nid book nearby (need to clean my desks), but that seems like a pretty decent track record to me, even though I've excluded some entries that are in my opinion perfectly fine (Sanguinator, Njal, Ragnar, Sicarius, Cassius, Lysander, Creed and Kell, Lawrence etc.).

TheMav80
04-07-2010, 00:05
I actually mind SCs less in the sub-list army books. Granted these are all Marines atm, but whatever.

If you want to use the Dark Angel/Blood Angel/Space Wolf army, then they have very specific characters.

The Dark Angels chapter master IS Azrael. They only have the one.
Belial leads the DA first company. etc. etc. So if you want someone to lead your DA 1st company into battle, there is only one choice really.

That the standard Marine list doesn't have a way to do a 1st company army by itself is a whole different kettle of fish.

But I play as Tau...so I am jealous of EVERYONE's special characters. I'd sell my own grandmother for some of the "bad" SCs other odexes get.

Wishing
04-07-2010, 00:16
I'm firmly on the side of "Use SCs whenever you damn-well feel like it". In my view, being able to tell your opponent "you can't take that in your list" is a giant dick move.

Agreed - the only way the "opponent's permission" mechanic works for me if you consider yes/no to special characters as separate formats, in effect. Ie. when you arrange to play someone, you agree with them whether special characters are going to be allowed or not, before either player builds their army for the game.

Bloodknight
04-07-2010, 00:27
But I play as Tau...so I am jealous of EVERYONE's special characters. I'd sell my own grandmother for some of the "bad" SCs other odexes get.

But you have O'Shovah and the Space Pope, two of the most hilarious characters in 40K. The Space Pope because he's a silly concept and O'shovah because he's so different from other Tau. He's red, he likes close combat and he has 7 other red buddies. His name should be K'Harn..;)

Fithos
04-07-2010, 02:25
Sorry if this is a repeat, I didn't read the whole thread just a couple pages.

I think SC's are perfectly acceptable. It might be a little ridiculous if you have 2 Yarricks walking around the field, but I am of the mind that these character lines are just rules for a build your own special character, so I might be using the Mephiston rules, but thats all, he represents a special character that is unique to my army. He is not Mephiston, he just happens to use the same rules.

In regards to the argument that we shouldn't use special characters because lists are built around them I say; so? I mean, thats like saying that I can't build an artillery list because all artillery lists play the same. Yes they play the same, but so does every mech vet army out there. I can understand people not wanting to play against the same list over and over, but in the end it's really the opponents choice. If you don't like playing that style then don't play that opponent. If you are tired of the same stagnant gameplay, why not dramatically change your list. I'm just saying that if you are not going to play someone because their list is unoriginal you are going to be passing up a lot of games.

I think their are some SC's that are ridiculously over powered, or have ridiculous special rules, but they can still be fun to play. With or against.

Lord Inquisitor
04-07-2010, 03:56
In fact, I'll go the extra mile and include a list of SCs below for you to pick at and what ratio of the total number of SCs from that book they represent.

BA - 5/9
Seth (as compelling as a 40k character gets), Astorath (he's a good control mechanism), Tycho, Lemartes

SW - 1/2
Bjorn the Old Man, Ulrik the Slayer, Lukas the Trickster, Arjac Rockfist

IG - 8/11
Straken, Nork, Yarrick, Marbo, Chenkov, Harker, Bastonne, Pask

SM - 6/11
Telion, Chronus, Pedro, Shrike, Khan, Tigirius

I don't have the nid book nearby (need to clean my desks), but that seems like a pretty decent track record to me, even though I've excluded some entries that are in my opinion perfectly fine (Sanguinator, Njal, Ragnar, Sicarius, Cassius, Lysander, Creed and Kell, Lawrence etc.).
Okay, excluding those that I've used myself, those that I've actually seen in play are: Arjac, Pask, Rambo and Telion. That's it. Hell, I tried to use characters like Nork but they're pretty much a waste of points.

Which brings us back to - SCs are for some reason largely unbalanced. They either seem to fall in the uber-lord-of-death camp or they're pretty much ignored. Considering these are single units with typically no options or upgrades, they should be easy to balance, right? So why aren't they?

As I've said before, I'm okay with the idea of SCs as vehicles to particular army "themes". Space Marines do it reasonably well with the swapping of one rule for another so at least there's some vague semblance of balance there, it doesn't feel like something for nothing (except Vulkan, of course, because his applies to all units whether they have combat tactics or not). But the trend with the latest codecies is for huge numbers of units and options and obviously a lack of playtesting. This applies to all units really, but SCs are so dominating as a single unit that it shows up more.

CarbonCopy
04-07-2010, 07:15
Um...
http://www.warseer.com/forums/showpost.php?p=4775173&postcount=74

My first post in this thread. Made 4 days ago and on page 4. ;)
I know, I know... I was just trying to get people to talk more bout that aspect -- which nobody besides you seems to want to admit.

:)

big squig
04-07-2010, 07:20
I know, I know... I was just trying to get people to talk more bout that aspect -- which nobody besides you seems to want to admit.

:)

I'll admit to it. PP and Rackham are real competition now.

Though after playing warmachine, hordes, and confrontation, I was pretty unimpressed by all of them. So, GW's not in any danger of losing me right now.

Grimtuff
04-07-2010, 11:30
I know, I know... I was just trying to get people to talk more bout that aspect -- which nobody besides you seems to want to admit.

:)

Yahk yahk yahk! :p

In spite of the fact I began playing this game towards the tail end of 2nd edition (1997) I'm not set in my ways like many other players appear to be. Special characters are now part and parcel of this game and nothing is going to change this, no matter how much whining goes on the Internet.

I often wonder if I ever ended up playing one of these people who are so vehemently opposed to the fact I have named characters in my armies that they would refuse to play me and stomp around like some kind of toddler who can't have his toys until I kick said SC out of my army for the game. :eyebrows:

As, well, this seems to be what they are claiming they would do.

I firmly believe it is partially down to Warmachine that GW changed their tact with regard to fielding SC's. Jervis himself said, they are some of the bests sculpts in the range, yet no-one uses them as they are like some kind of dirty little secret squirrelled away at the back fo the book.

These guys are the personalities of their army. They exemplify certain aspects of the force either in the background and/or rules. Now am I talking about Warmachine or 40k here? ;)

Thing is, most people's gripe witrh SC's seems to stem from the fact they the small skirmishes they turn up to are not "big enough" or "realistic" and should only be reserved for huge games. This is the exact thing GW was trying to combat! Why should I have to have a gigantic APOC sized force just to use Logan Grimnar for example? (I do, but that's not the point).

Because apparently SC's only fight in huge battles. :eyebrows: Let's take Mr Grimnar for example again. During the Eye Of Terror campaign there was a piece of background where Grimnar's Thunderhawk was shot down and he was presumed dead.
It turned out he was holed up in the mountains with his Wolf Guard retinue fighting off hordes and hordes of Mutants and other Chaos gribblies for months on end. But, apparently according to many a self-righteous curmudgeonly poster on here I am not allowed to re-enact this as the game would be about 1500 to 1750pts, and this would be "to small an event for him to turn up to"

So, in spite of the fact that the above scenario is awesomely reminiscent of Thermopayle and 300 itself, I cannot play it. Apparently.

How hard is it, in these apparently "small engagements" to imagine that this is in fact a zoomed in version of two (or more) opposing formations in Epic performing an Engage action? As, well the bit where the "big personalities" of 40k is going to be one of the more interesting bits to look at more detail in.

But these SC's apparently just sit around twiddling their thumbs as they don't turn up to any battles. Then how did they get these awesome and/or deadly reputations? They got them by participating in fights on the front lines and scaring the living hell out of the enemy.

Face it, Warmachine (and games like it, i've not played AT-43 but it appears all of the characters are named in that too) is responsible for the changes to the "ethics" of 40k, and unfortunatley people do not seem to like the fact that this game evolves, GW would not have been around for as long as has been by not changing it's game systems.

Lord Inquisitor
04-07-2010, 17:23
Yeah, Dante and Logan really exemplefy their chapters.

- They're both combat badasses. Because once you get to the age of 700, you become stronger, faster and tougher than the younger heroes.

- They're tactical geniuses. So they either hand out extra attacks or somehow curse an enemy character to the point of being crippled.

- They hand out USRs to their squads. Space Wolves are well renown for their Tank Hunters and Blood Angels are epitomised by the tactic of running away, right?

There's really not that much of the army's "archetype" there. They're just AWESOMESAUCE.

Many of the SCs are pretty laughable in concept. Wolfie McWolf the Space Wolf riding a giant Thunderwof with his assorted Wolfgear - yeah. Blood Angels are like, space angel vampires, right? Given that Mephiston is a literal Space Vampire, the obvious compliment is A SPACE ANGEL. Yep, a literal angel that comes down and kicks butt. Obviously more powerful than the strongest Marine character. Oh, now Meph looks puny. Well, bump him up to 12 then. Taking their chapter names and turning them into literal anthropomorisms isn't exemplefying their chaper, it's just lazy.

There are some cool special characters. Arjac is neat, and I've even seen him used. Lukas is truly neat and opens up a whole other side to the Space Wolves - but with special rules suitable for an IC rather than a squad upgrade. Great concept, lousy execution. There are some neat SCs - I always liked Bjorn, although now the BA have librarian dreadnoughts he feels less special.