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ewar
13-08-2010, 13:53
Hi all,

I've had a handful of 8th ed games now and watched at least as many again.

One thing I have been wondering is why there is so much focus on initiative. It was an almost completely useless stat over the last 18 years, and I think has been priced as such in the entries for most units.

My issue isn't really with the costing of it (though that is a factor) it is more because it splits the armies into 10 with respectable initiative (3+) and those unfortunate few with 2 or less.

The obvious effect of this is that low initiative armies will rarely strike first in close combat - not a big issue I think, as striking first is not really relevant with the step up rule and it's fluffier for slow armies to strike second.

My main gripe is to do with magic.

Why do so many very powerful spells focus on initiative as the stat to be tested? Essentially these are:
- Purple Sun
- Pit of Shades
- Penumbral Pendulum

The only other "unit killing" spells are Final Transmutation (no charecteristic test) and Dwellers Below (strength test). I can't think of a single RnF unit with S2 or lower though, off the top of my head (perhaps some swarms).

It seems to me that an unfair number of armies suffer disproportionately against these very powerful spells - whilst others can essentially ignore them.

It would have been better in my mind to have spells affect a wider spread of characteristics to balance this out.

Perhaps I just feel a little picked on as a Lizardmen player :D

Thoughts? Suggestions for other ways they could have been handled?

Sandals
13-08-2010, 13:58
I can't think of a single RnF unit with S2 or lower though, off the top of my head (perhaps some swarms).

Gnoblars are Str 2, and from memory so are zombies.

i don't think that there has been an unfair focus this edition on I over other stats, Pit of Shades has been around since 6th as an I test. But you do seem to have a point that most of the save or die spells seem to be on I. Not sure as a LM player what we can do about that, other than try and dispell them.

Drakcore Bloodtear
13-08-2010, 14:12
I like it
Most people will take huge units because RnF units are a necessity
However will spells that can almost destroy whole units, it restores balance.
if you unlucky enough to have low stats then you should be cheap, and able to with stand such spells

ewar
13-08-2010, 14:16
Bit like 12pt saurus spears with I1 or Dwarf elites or Ogres etc

Very expensive. Die unreasonably fast against a narrow selection of devastating spells. One I can understand.

Why not have Purple Sun or PoS test on Toughness? Then there would be a S, T and In test spell.

Seems fairer to me.

explorator
13-08-2010, 14:22
Why not have Purple Sun or PoS test on Toughness? Then there would be a S, T and In test spell.

Seems fairer to me.

Toughness and Leadership are the prime stats for Warhammer, and already carry their own weight. It is about time initiative meant something, and the races with low Init. should have to fear something since they have good toughness and at least decent strength.

How would it be more fair to put even more emphasis on Toughness?

mdauben
13-08-2010, 14:24
Most people will take huge units because RnF units are a necessity
However will spells that can almost destroy whole units, it restores balance.
I would disagree as I think anything that can kill (or effectivly kill) an entire large unit in one phase is by definition unbalanced. My understanding was that the whole reason for encouraging larger units and step-up was to cause combat to last longer, rather than the common one-turn destruction or routing of whole units we saw last edition.


if you unlucky enough to have low stats then you should be cheap, and able to with stand such spells
The problem with that is that there are units (Saurus for example) who are not all that cheap yet still suffer from the disadvantage of low Initiative.

Simondo
13-08-2010, 14:24
Because then we will have this thread made by someone who has a low toughness army? :S

Purple sun is complete useless against some armies, while no so much against others. Your Saurus may die in bucket loads to purple sun, but shrug off dwellers below.

Each spell has good and bad units that they can target.

theunwantedbeing
13-08-2010, 14:29
I find that the dwellers blow spell bothers me most, simply as the guy casting it will have invariably got thronw of vines off as well, so he irresistable forces it and doesnt suffer in the slightest while I have a 50/50 chance of losing my high level absurdly expensive mage due to here weedy strength of only 3.....

Pit of shades scatters an average of about 3" and with a 3" template that means you'll completely miss. Doesnt seem to scary really.

The Pendulum isnt so bad either really, its just a single line like a cannonball so its 1 model per rank, plus it does hits at a strength rather than kills outright, so its saveable by wards and regen and such.

Purple Sun thats the problem spell simply as you can hit a massive number of models with it, Had the range been just 2x artillery dice or just a single artillery dice it would have been fine, but no it had to be 3x.
So your looking at a range of between 9"(min artillery roll x 3 plus the 3" template) and 33" which is frankly massive, all from a spell which is 1 harder to cast than pit of shades!

Clearly the designers screwed up with purple sun.
Perhaps the template was simply meant to be placed 3x the artillery dice roll away from the mage, rather than moved. If it was like that then the casting value makes sense.

ewar
13-08-2010, 14:32
Toughness and Leadership are the prime stats for Warhammer, and already carry their own weight. It is about time initiative meant something, and the races with low Init. should have to fear something since they have good toughness and at least decent strength.

How would it be more fair to put even more emphasis on Toughness?


That's misleading though because Toughness characteristics are found in a much, much narrower range.

It basically goes from 2 to 4, being heavily, skewed between 3 and 4. I think only skinks, gnoblars, zombies and swarms have T2.

Therefore something that tests on Toughness is much fairer as some armies will be SLIGHTLY worse off than others, rather than hugely worse off, like with initiative.

Initiative ranges from 1 (saurus) to 6 (Black Guard et al). Which means Puple Sun kills 5/6 of my troops and only 1/6 of a dark elf players.

Initiative has already been boosted by having them strike first even against chargers, which counters their worse survivability.

Absolutely hammering low initiative troops with these mega spells is unnecessary. It stems from low initiative troops being given a very low number, I believe, for fluff reasons in past editions, because it essentially had zero game impact.

Urgat
13-08-2010, 14:33
Each spell has good and bad units that they can target.



Yep. Now I want people to respect the "lore chosen with army list" aspect so that those spells good against something and bad against other aren't always conveniently pited against the targets they're best again :p

Spiney Norman
13-08-2010, 14:41
Gnoblars are Str 2, and from memory so are zombies.

i don't think that there has been an unfair focus this edition on I over other stats, Pit of Shades has been around since 6th as an I test. But you do seem to have a point that most of the save or die spells seem to be on I. Not sure as a LM player what we can do about that, other than try and dispell them.

You are kidding me right? There are some fairly easy steps you can take as a Lizardmen player to mitigate pit or sun (pendulum doesn't really matter as it'll only hit 4 models tops in most cases).

1. Give your Slann Becalming cogitation - wiping out all your opponent's 6s to cast means you can almost guarantee he wont get the spell off as it needs a LOT to cast.

2. If all else fails, and you're really scared, end your magic phase by casting high level speed of light from your Slann and make all your saurus & TG INT10 until your next turn.

3. If the unthinkable happens and he dispels Speed of light and becalming cog fails you ALWAYS remember to take the Look out sir test for your slann because all three INT test spells are templates (note that pendulum works like a bouncing cannonball).

ewar
13-08-2010, 14:52
You are kidding me right? There are some fairly easy steps you can take as a Lizardmen player to mitigate pit or sun (pendulum doesn't really matter as it'll only hit 4 models tops in most cases).

1. Give your Slann Becalming cogitation - wiping out all your opponent's 6s to cast means you can almost guarantee he wont get the spell off as it needs a LOT to cast.

2. If all else fails, and you're really scared, end your magic phase by casting high level speed of light from your Slann and make all your saurus & TG INT10 until your next turn.

3. If the unthinkable happens and he dispels Speed of light and becalming cog fails you ALWAYS remember to take the Look out sir test for your slann because all three INT test spells are templates (note that pendulum works like a bouncing cannonball).

All good ideas, but mean Light is a prerequisite lore.

I think this is maybe compounded by powerscroll abuse... eeergh, what a ridiculous item.

What can Dwarfs, undead or Ogres do against 6 dice/powerscroll casting of PS?

RanaldLoec
13-08-2010, 14:52
Are we all tight rope walkers why is everybody so caught up with a balanced game. For every weakness am army has a strength. LM and dwarves int 1 and 2 also toughness 4, core choices in LM strength 4 with 2 attacks, most dwarfs have a 5+ or 4+ save. Ld7 with cold blooded special rule. Dwarfs Ld 9.


Even with int 2 or 1 I've had my **** handed to me by ogres and Lizardmen.

How boring would warhammer be if we all had identical stat lines.

Clanrat
13-08-2010, 14:56
Urgats comment above pretty much spells it out, yes there are some spells that are really nasty against some races, but the point is, your opponent wont necessarily know what race your using (although admittedly trhis does become a problem if theres only say 2 or 3 of you playing in a given area) so his spell lore choice might be less than appropriate for any particular game. Frankly, ive always tried to look on the upside, as a skaven player, although things like Dwellers below do indeed have the possibility of massacring (if thats how its spelt) my units, i now have REALLY good LD rules to make up for it.

Morale of the story....theres always a silver lining, just try not to focus too much on the thunderstorm its surrounding :)

Lander
13-08-2010, 15:08
My main gripe is to do with magic.

Why do so many very powerful spells focus on initiative as the stat to be tested? Essentially these are:
- Purple Sun
- Pit of Shades
- Penumbral Pendulum

The only other "unit killing" spells are Final Transmutation (no charecteristic test) and Dwellers Below (strength test). I can't think of a single RnF unit with S2 or lower though, off the top of my head (perhaps some swarms).

It seems to me that an unfair number of armies suffer disproportionately against these very powerful spells - whilst others can essentially ignore them.

It would have been better in my mind to have spells affect a wider spread of characteristics to balance this out.

Perhaps I just feel a little picked on as a Lizardmen player :D

Thoughts? Suggestions for other ways they could have been handled?

I can see where your coming from, I play Dwarfs my self and have played against the lore of shadow a few times. First thing is with Purple Sun, and Pit of Shades you need make sure you can get a "Look out sir!" roll this has saved my Lord a few times now. When it comes to the Pendulum a ward save and some MR will protect you if it goes off. Also a Cube of Darkness will may help and a Feedback scroll could kill the Shadow mage outright.

nearchus
13-08-2010, 15:18
The problem I've found with Purple Sun is the large template effect of it. It'd be bad enough for someone to throw the small template 30 inches through someone's battle line, but the large template hits almost all of a unit (even large ones).

It's also relatively easy to get to the side of someone's battle line with a wizard. Even high initiative armies would be unhappy with losing 1/3rd of their main line. The other spells don't bother me as much because they kill a bunch of models in 1-2 units, at best. But with Purple Sun, it's easy to hit 2-3 or even more. And the large template, while tough to cast, is rough on any army and devastating to a few.

And then the template sticks around. As mentioned previously, if it just hit what was under it when it stopped, that would be a rough spell. Especially for a 15+ to cast. But everything in it's path? That's just insane.

GodlessM
13-08-2010, 15:42
But you do seem to have a point that most of the save or die spells seem to be on I.

There are there do or die I test spells; Pit of Shades, Purple Sun, and Cloying Quagmire. Two of these were around in 7th edition, so it's not that different aside from throwing more dice.

Spiney Norman
13-08-2010, 16:12
All good ideas, but mean Light is a prerequisite lore.

I think this is maybe compounded by powerscroll abuse... eeergh, what a ridiculous item.

What can Dwarfs, undead or Ogres do against 6 dice/powerscroll casting of PS?

True, but light is a great lore for a Slann anyway, the unit buffs, particularly speed of light synergise amazingly with the LM army. Cast Speed of light on your saurus and you've straight away removed the two weak points of Saurus, their crappy Int and WS.

Power scrolls are a problem, but you only have to weather it for 1 turn, not that theres much comfort there, but on the bright side the resulting miscast could do as much damage to your opponent as it does to you.

ewar
13-08-2010, 16:31
There are there do or die I test spells; Pit of Shades, Purple Sun, and Cloying Quagmire. Two of these were around in 7th edition, so it's not that different aside from throwing more dice.

Hehe, but with no partials and a pie plate travelling 10-20" - there's throwing more dice and there's throwing more dice.

Anyway, the point of this is that I'm not crying about it because it hurts my army in particular.

More that it is devestating to 1/3rd of the armies, painful to 1/3rd and not a big deal to the other 1/3.

This makes it rather unbalanced, whereas S or T tests are evenly bad for almost all armies.

Perhaps in future they will remove In1 troops and make everyone fit into a 3-5 range, though this may be a bit hopeful.

Jetty Smurf
13-08-2010, 16:57
Pit of shades scatters an average of about 3" and with a 3" template that means you'll completely miss. Doesnt seem to scary really.

Pit of Shades can also be cast at a higher value using the larger template. Though the scatter average is double that of the smaller template (2d6 vs 1d6), there is still a 1/3 chance of no scatter in both cases (though the HE player in our group seems to have dice which believe it's more of a 5/6 chance of not scattering :p).


My main issue with these spells is mostly down to the restrictions I have when it comes to opponents. I play LM, another plays dwarves, and the third plays HE. Guess what lores are going to be devastating no matter the opponent when the HE player writes his list ;). Of course, we have 2 armies each, but rarely do any of the other armies get played (have yet to play an 8th ed game with wood elves, and no, it's not because of the new rules making them play a lot differently, I actually am still getting used to LM in 8th, to be honest).

Again, this is a group dynamic problem, but it only exists due to the degree with which the Initiative stat varies between armies. Having Initiatives in a range between 2-5 like Strength or Toughness might make these spells a little less devastating to some particular armies. There's a much bigger difference between an I1 Saurus and an I5 Elf, than there is between a S/T4 Saurus and that same S/T3 Elf. The discrepancy is just too large at this point, in my opinion.

theunwantedbeing
13-08-2010, 17:36
Again, this is a group dynamic problem,

Thats your groups problem, not the game.

Let him know your fed up of him taking the lore of shadow and death against you and ask him to use a different magic lore, if he doesn't then you quit playing him untill he does.

Novrain
13-08-2010, 18:00
I kind of agree here.

Poor Initiative does seem to hammer some races in the magic phase more so than you would expect.

Toughness basically varies between 3 and 4 (yes there are some outliers but not too many)
Strength again varies between 3 and 4 (see above)

Initiative however varies between 1 and 5, meaning that the armies lying at either end of the scale either get completely raped or are absolutely fine, not something you can say with a toughness or strength test.

Also the group dynamic mention above is important. If the members of a club know that you play Dwarves, or Lizardmen or whatever, cant you guess which lores are going to be picked? Asking them not to use that lore is hardly a solution, it is not their fault that certain armies re terribly weak against certain lores / spells but on of poor balance within the game system.

Initiative based testing, because of the wider range of initiative values, more heavily penalizes those with relatively poor initiative, than strength testing does to those with relatively poor strength.

satchy
13-08-2010, 18:15
Remeber that the P sun can "misfire" and can only go a short ish distance, and depnding on how the armies are lined up could do nothing and as a result the mage sufferes a miscast.

Im not saying this is balancing it out as with my Beastmen army i can take a scouting shamen in a chariot with the powerscroll and purple sun and gaurentee!! i have 6 dice in the first phase basically meaning i have a damn good chance of destroying all I2/1 armies in the first turn, but i feel way to guilty to do it

decker_cky
13-08-2010, 18:17
There is a toughness test in plague. Not as widely available, but still nasty (and much cheaper to cast).

Dwarves and lizardmen are two of the armies that have the best magic defense in the game. Orcs too for that matter. Empire is the only army with an incredible magic defense and average initiative. Contrary to popular belief, purple sun isn't always cast on irresistible force, and in those cases, it won't get cast at all against the aforementioned armies (lizardmen can stop all IF aside from power scrolls).

Leogun_91
13-08-2010, 18:33
What can Dwarfs, undead or Ogres do against 6 dice/powerscroll casting of PS?Ogres can redirect it with a rune maw to a nearby group of gnoblars, the opponent will probobly target the generals unit and otherwise it's not too bad anyways.

Ymir
13-08-2010, 18:40
Tomb Kings can't do anything, though, but die...again. The sole comfort is that most 'elite' units of the Tomb Kings, such as they are, have Initiative 3. Chariots will disintegrate, though.

Sandals
13-08-2010, 18:51
Ogres can redirect it with a rune maw to a nearby group of gnoblars, the opponent will probobly target the generals unit and otherwise it's not too bad anyways.

i'm not sure they can.
Rune Maw works if the unit is a target of a spell. PS doesn't really have a "target" as such, just models that are affected by it. it's an interesting one, trying to compare the movement rules of PS with the redirect rule or Rune Maw.

I'm at a tournament this weekend with ogres, so if i see it i'll let you know how we play it. you can be sure i'll try and redirect if i think it's possible, i'll have to have another look at the wordings of the two rules though

Lord Inquisitor
13-08-2010, 18:54
Pit of Shades can also be cast at a higher value using the larger template. Though the scatter average is double that of the smaller template (2d6 vs 1d6), there is still a 1/3 chance of no scatter in both cases (though the HE player in our group seems to have dice which believe it's more of a 5/6 chance of not scattering :p).
Is there? I don't have my book on me but I thought it was a straight scatter, not a hit/scatter dice roll. So if you roll a "HIT", you use the arrow over the "I" and scatter anyway. As I say I don't have my book to check and if I'm wrong it makes these spells a lot more nasty.


i'm not sure they can.
Rune Maw works if the unit is a target of a spell. PS doesn't really have a "target" as such, just models that are affected by it. it's an interesting one, trying to compare the movement rules of PS with the redirect rule or Rune Maw.
Yeah, much as I'd like that to be the case, I don't think it works as PS doesn't have a target.

RunepriestRidcully
13-08-2010, 19:05
It just seems unfair that one spell, can potentially wipe out about 15-20 of my 11pts Saurus in one shot, whilst the 9pt HE Spearmen can ignore it, I know it is a game on luck, but it does not seem right that one good peice of luck can turn that regardless of any tactics short of avoiding low I models, and to those who say "take of lore of light on your slann" Should one item/spell/ability be so powerfull that you have to specifically design an expensive part of your amy so you do not get completly screwed over on the off chance someone takes it, did the high I armie's really need the boost of having some of the nastiest spells being almost useless against them, also if you put enough dice to have a good chance of disspelling it, then other spells can hit you, which if they happen to have master of sorcery means the other spell that hurts low I armies (the cannon like one, cannot remember it's name) it would be no problem if Saurus were not so expensive, yes we have T4 and 2A, we also have the same WS as most other armies mounts :wtf: meaning most of the time we don't hit and we atrike at the same time as Zombies for crying out loud, did we need the hit from I targeting spells as well as that shame?

Jetty Smurf
13-08-2010, 19:18
Thats your groups problem, not the game.

Let him know your fed up of him taking the lore of shadow and death against you and ask him to use a different magic lore, if he doesn't then you quit playing him untill he does.

I think if you have to ask someone in your group to stop doing something which is part of the rules of the game, then it's a problem with the rules. It's a problem for everyone, not just my gaming group. It is indeed exaggerated in my group due to the armies available, but that does not meant it's any fault of ours. Also, regardless of the spells and the outcomes of the games, I actually have fun playing the guy. Doesn't mean I have to enjoy every aspect of the game we play (in this case, shadow and death vs LM), but refusing to play him because of it is rather childish, don't you think? Especially since we are very limited in the amount of games we get to play.


Is there? I don't have my book on me but I thought it was a straight scatter, not a hit/scatter dice roll. So if you roll a "HIT", you use the arrow over the "I" and scatter anyway. As I say I don't have my book to check and if I'm wrong it makes these spells a lot more nasty.


I checked the book, cards, and the FAQ, and they only mention scatter (which afaik just relies on the scatter dice). The FAQ does mention the use of the arrow you refer to, but only when rolling for random directions.

Campbell1988
13-08-2010, 19:35
So your basic complaint is that the spell is good against you because it targets a stat that you are weak on but not everybody is? Welcome to the game. Get the bugger over it.

Yes it is strong against you, but it's also weak against a hell of a lot of armies. I'd be iffy looking for Purple Sun since it is so pathetic against the armies you have listed. It's just not useful so much of the time. That also ignores the ways you can buff your units and such to resist it.

And everyone is in that boat. Empire and WoC got Lore of Metal coming at them. Elves have to worry bout strength tests. Every army has a spell or two that are just nasty when they get aimed at them. Get used to it and find a way to counter/deal with the problem.

goodz
13-08-2010, 19:41
I am still not sure what your complaining about, lizard men are stronger in 8th then 7th (i thought at least)... If your opponent has tailored his list to play lizardmen he will probably have some spells that are good against you, assuming you know this then you should tailor your list to defend yourself. Playing against a stranger who has not made a list to play your army odds are the spells wont even be there.

In response to your complaint, i have a complaint of my own... my models are toughness 3 and don't have armour and cost 12 points, everything kills them quickly!

Amnar
13-08-2010, 19:45
Elves have to worry bout everything equal to or greater than a stiff breeze.

I fixed that for you.

Campbell1988
13-08-2010, 19:47
Yeah. Shall we look at how unfair the magic missiles are? I mean they easily wound my elves and many take away most of our saves!

Leogun_91
13-08-2010, 19:48
i'm not sure they can.
Rune Maw works if the unit is a target of a spell. PS doesn't really have a "target" as such, just models that are affected by it. it's an interesting one, trying to compare the movement rules of PS with the redirect rule or Rune Maw.

I'm at a tournament this weekend with ogres, so if i see it i'll let you know how we play it. you can be sure i'll try and redirect if i think it's possible, i'll have to have another look at the wordings of the two rules though
Nowhere does it say that neither direct damage spells nor pit of shades is except from the normal targetting rules, it says that you may place it anywhere but still not against friends or enemies in combat, those are illegal targets unless otherwise stated, it does nowhere say that pit of shades has no target.

theunwantedbeing
13-08-2010, 20:04
Doesn't mean I have to enjoy every aspect of the game we play (in this case, shadow and death vs LM), but refusing to play him because of it is rather childish, don't you think? Especially since we are very limited in the amount of games we get to play.

No more childish than saying certain lores or spells are too good against your army and then refusing to put any blame on the players involved.

Jetty Smurf
13-08-2010, 20:13
No more childish than saying certain lores or spells are too good against your army and then refusing to put any blame on the players involved.

I would rather not have this turn into a flame war. But I don't remember my friends being an intricate part of the rules writing process.

I just think that for such a devastating spell (Pit of Shades), it has a rather low casting value. Book of Hoeth makes it an easy spell to get off even with 6's being removed. Yes this is very army specific, but if I'm not to draw on my own experiences, then where am I supposed to get it from?

I'm glad you are finding all these magic spells to not be a pain. I am genuinely happy for you.

As for some of the others here, I apologise for giving my opinion on a subject in a thread that asks for it (directly or indirectly). Maybe I will eventually learn from my mistakes and prevent myself from doing so next time. Glad we could all add to the thread.

Note: Sarcasm potentially applied to the last paragraph. Text is not the best format for conveying some things.

Makaber
13-08-2010, 20:25
I think people are putting too much importance into Initiative at the moment. It's only applied in scenarioes where the superior Initiative of one unit will make a noticeable impact on the hitting power of an enemy unit. And by the Internets own admissions, ALL UNITS that are worth ANYTHING AT ALL in Warhammer are TEN RANKS DEEP! So by your (the Internets, that is) account, Initiative should never matter.

So hey, if spells affect Initiative more often than Strength and the like, so be it. After all, no matter how you feel about Initiative, you'd be hard pressed arguing it has more import than Strength or Toughness.

theunwantedbeing
13-08-2010, 20:38
But I don't remember my friends being an intricate part of the rules writing process.

He picks the lore.
He doesnt have to take the lore of shadow all the time but he does.


but if I'm not to draw on my own experiences, then where am I supposed to get it from?

Rock has no chance at all vs paper.
Clearly paper is completely unfair and far too good.

Pit of shades(paper) is far too good against Dwarves and Lizardmen(rock).
Look at the whole picture.

Zaszz
13-08-2010, 20:51
I thought Pit of Shades HAD to scatter as well. That is how we play it because the spell says it "scatters D6 inches", it doesn't say if you roll a hit you hit but if you roll an arrow you scatter, nor does it say use the rules for scattering in the rule book. I could be wrong however, maybe it is supposed to use the scattering rules in the book?

meneroth
13-08-2010, 20:58
why not just give your lizardmen I10 with lore of light? then you can just laugh off that pit of shades. pull lore of light and couple it with enemy wizards losing all 6's and you can just laugh at those pesky intiative tests. sure, that IF scroll on any doubles means its probably gonna get off, but thats just once, every other time you should be able to stop it with your slann, which is a model i think all lizard players have to take in 8th. on top of that, make sure your army is built to minimize damage done from initiative tests. if your army consists of huge blocks of sarus and TG and nothing else, sure your gonna get killed by those spells, but hell, every army has to have some weakness. without it you'd just be deamons of chaos in lizard form :)

Odin
13-08-2010, 20:59
I think it's about bloody time Initiative actually counted for something.

Now all they need to do for 9th edition is make Ws more useful.

Gundobad
13-08-2010, 21:06
My gripe is that they made the game based off of initiative without balancing the armies out that had such high initiative effectively making them better without receiving a points increase or some sort of balancing, while at the same time units with low initiative are receiving a nerf yet are not getting anything to compensate that.

I am assuming the point cost of a unit is based on its stats and special rules, there was no counter balancing aspect of races like Dark Elves Warriors of Chaos, and other higher initiative armies. These guys did not need a boost, and coincidently the armies that were hit hard by this, really did not need such a nerf.

Korraz
13-08-2010, 21:08
This is an interesting questions.
POS says, it scatters. Let's look what the book has to say about scattering. If a HIT is rolled, then it stays at it's starting position. Now we compare it to a Stone Thrower. Interestingly, in the Stone Thrower Rule the HIT-Roll get's an extra mention. But in the Indirect Fire-Rules, there also is an extra mention that the little Arrow is used.
Considering there is no mention of the little arrow in the Scattering-Rules at all, I'd say: If not explicitly mentioned in the rules, the term "scatters" always refers to the regular scattering rules. Thus, if a HIT is rolled, it will always stay at it's initial position.

On the topic...the OP said it in the opening posts: Initiative was useless. Now it is actually something that is worth points.
It's true, Elves didn't get more costly because they have a good stand against Initiative-based tests. But once you hit the little buggers with Dwellers Bellow or Pestilence it's different. As for Chaos Warriors...they are costly and in the current context they stay pretty much the same. Plus, they get completely wrecked by the Lore of Metal (a very good lore, IMO, which still has it's uses against less armoured foes.)

goodz
13-08-2010, 21:18
Arguing that the points should have been adjusted could be done for most rules, my elves didn't get a toughness boost to balance the fact that troops now step up and attack them after they kill the front line:P. My elfs didn't get any new special rules now that basically everyone can march through forests with little problem. Ideally they would re release all the army books with the new edition, but that is not how things are done. I still have fun using my army even if they are butt loads weaker in 8th.

Jetty Smurf
13-08-2010, 21:19
This is an interesting questions.
POS says, it scatters. Let's look what the book has to say about scattering. If a HIT is rolled, then it stays at it's starting position. Now we compare it to a Stone Thrower. Interestingly, in the Stone Thrower Rule the HIT-Roll get's an extra mention. But in the Indirect Fire-Rules, there also is an extra mention that the little Arrow is used.
Considering there is no mention of the little arrow in the Scattering-Rules at all, I'd say: If not explicitly mentioned in the rules, the term "scatters" always refers to the regular scattering rules. Thus, if a HIT is rolled, it will always stay at it's initial position.

This is how I read it, and agree.


As far as balance goes, I believe this happens with every new edition. Army books will slowly be released to "fix" any current issues they have, and the process will start over again. I just hope they end up releasing all the books before 9th rolls around.

Lord Inquisitor
13-08-2010, 21:19
I'm somewhat bemused by the idea that an instruction to scatter something D6" means not move it on a HIT, but page 9 seems to be pretty clear "Sometimes a rule will call for an object to be placed on the battlefield and then scattered" and then goes on to explain that a HIT is a hit, so I stand corrected on this ... and pit of shades just got a lot nastier in my eyes.

Cragspyder
13-08-2010, 21:30
I think Light is one of the best choices for a Slann, aside from being fluffy, it helps the abysmal initiative and mediocre weaponskill of Saurus, it has two magic missiles that you can channel through your Skink Priests (should you bring any), and you can also Strike First if you want. Seems like a good choice.

theorox
13-08-2010, 21:32
The races with Low I in the army in general:

Lizardmen (At least Saurus)
Dwarfs
O&G (NG's are at human level.)
VC
TK
Ogres

Any more?

Dwarfs, O&G and Lizardmen have good magic defence. VC and TK? I think they do. (Confirmation?) Ogres i don't know, how are they on magic defence?

So those don't have a huge problem with these spells, they can get enough dice to get them out. (In most cases)

It evens out in the long run, i think. :3

Theo

Sandals
13-08-2010, 21:57
Nowhere does it say that neither direct damage spells nor pit of shades is except from the normal targetting rules, it says that you may place it anywhere but still not against friends or enemies in combat, those are illegal targets unless otherwise stated, it does nowhere say that pit of shades has no target.

I'm not questioning that direct damage spells and such have specific targets, I was talking about a Magical Vortex spell. That is created at the feet of the cater and sent off in a direction. Does that have a specific target, given that its just shot off on a direction and hits everything in its path?

I'm with Lord Inquisitor on this one, I doubt it can be used. But it's worth looking at closely.

Leogun_91
13-08-2010, 22:01
I'm not questioning that direct damage spells and such have specific targets, I was talking about a Magical Vortex spell. That is created at the feet of the cater and sent off in a direction. Does that have a specific target, given that its just shot off on a direction and hits everything in its path?

I'm with Lord Inquisitor on this one, I doubt it can be used. But it's worth looking at closely.
Ah....well the purple sun will probobly still ruin your day, but at least you can redirect pit of shades.

Campbell1988
14-08-2010, 01:16
My gripe is that they made the game based off of initiative without balancing the armies out that had such high initiative effectively making them better without receiving a points increase or some sort of balancing, while at the same time units with low initiative are receiving a nerf yet are not getting anything to compensate that.

I am assuming the point cost of a unit is based on its stats and special rules, there was no counter balancing aspect of races like Dark Elves Warriors of Chaos, and other higher initiative armies. These guys did not need a boost, and coincidently the armies that were hit hard by this, really did not need such a nerf.

Ya know, this argument would have merit...if my units hadn't gotten their butts kicked by step up and steadfast. I don't see my units getting a nice cost balance because my units are low tough and wearing paper for armor given that they always will get hit.

On the other hand, you are whining about a small number of spells that a few armies will take and that only a few will take in an all comers environment. Yeah, my DE take it every game. But you know what? Pit is just icing on the cake that is Lore of Shadow. I'm in it for the nerfs to opponents.

So the point of my statement is, so a couple of spells hurt you. Get the bloody hell over it. A bunch of spells just brutalize me. Step up brutalizes me. Steadfast sucks to fight against.

R3pr3ssor
14-08-2010, 02:13
Purple sun is outright BS. Its just one part of why I hate 8th ed magic.

it is simply too easy to get off for how devastating it can be.

the other day, my friend rolled 6 dice on it, and got irresistible force. I lost my general, my bsb, 28 saurus, 14 skinks, 4 kroxigors, and a salamander. this was the small template version. I was out playing him up to that point, then lost hugely immediately after.

to all the elf players: you're a top tier army now. shut up.

Campbell1988
14-08-2010, 02:42
Cause Lizardmen aren't really strong now.

My point is, you are suffering because you have a stat that is low in an area. You should suffer for that. We are suffering for low toughness and armor. With those stats we should suffer when things target those areas (ie everything but the things that aim at I pretty much).

R3pr3ssor
14-08-2010, 02:53
no, we're suffering because a spell that almost anyone can take selectively targets us in a way that causes upwards of 500 points of damage that we cannot deal with, no matter what we do.

Amnar
14-08-2010, 02:56
no, we're suffering because a spell that almost anyone can take selectively targets us in a way that causes upwards of 500 points of damage that we cannot deal with, no matter what we do.

Thats how I feel when salamanders rape my poor elves..

Lord Inquisitor
14-08-2010, 02:58
Thanks for that mental image...:(

Campbell1988
14-08-2010, 02:59
Or when Empire artillery rips me open turn 1. Yes, people can take a spell (assuming they roll it...) that can hurt you bad. It actually hurts quite a few badly. It also does jack **** against a lot of armies. Making it a fairly meh spell. Of course Metal is kind of weak against you but brutalizes WoC and Empire. But I don't see them making a thread about it. Magic missiles or spells that hit str hurt me badly but I work around it I don't cry and act like it's the game developers out to get me.

Again, it is a few spells. In combat you're not weakened by low I thanks to step up (which is brutal on my army, having played against Lizards). Only here are you really hurt for it.

R3pr3ssor
14-08-2010, 03:09
you cannot dispel salamanders, but there are ways to deal with them. they are W3 T4, 5+ save models... they arent really that hard to kill if you try. and they aren't selectively effective either. the new rules kept them the way they were; excellent against everyone, rather than able to rape one army, and do very little to another.

theres a reason high elves are ranked higher than lizards...

CaptScott
14-08-2010, 03:13
Purple sun should have been 'kills on a 4+' rather than Int test.

R3pr3ssor
14-08-2010, 03:15
i second that, or at least make it take a wound on a failed test.

Gaargod
14-08-2010, 03:22
Thanks for that mental image...:(

Oh dear god...


I've been slightly less attracted to Purple Sun after my FSOD (Flying Slann of Death - yes its back!) misfired it, taking himself and a unit of cavalry with him. 825pts swing ftw!
On the other hand, those were the only points i lost that game, so...


Yes, PS, PoS, DB and FT (and trans of kadon) are all silly good spells. But, only a few armies can guarantee getting them (DoC, LM, HElves and VC) without taking loads of wizards to ensure it. Yes a lv4 will probably get it, but its not inevitable. Certainly, the idea of a lv1 with power scroll running up and nuking units is unreliable, to say the least.

Kneedles
14-08-2010, 04:19
Purple sun should have been 'kills on a 4+' rather than Int test.

A flat kills on a would make sense, yeah.

I think that the "unit killing" level spells are more powerful then they should be.
One of the two initiative ones should be toughness based for balance purposes.
Purple sun probably fits the best because it is leeching your life force from your body.

Initiative is a stat that has wider outliers then strength or toughness. Which makes some armys laugh at it (all elves, demons, WOC) and other armies (dwarfs, lizards, orcs) frowny face about it. But elves and demons are crap toughness, and dwarfs lizards and orcs tend to have higher than average toughness. So there is a symmetry to it.

VC at least the vampire type troops have decent initiative, but your basic troops are supposed to be crap. Ghouls have decent str tough and initative.

TK - sorry, same style of crap troops that VC have, but no vamps. Sorry.

R3pr3ssor
14-08-2010, 04:43
If you look at a purple sun from a very basic standpoint, rolling 2 6s on 6 dice requires 30 or so 1s on 30 dice in order to combat it (for lizzies). no spell should be that powerful.

cybercaine
14-08-2010, 05:50
If you look at a purple sun from a very basic standpoint, rolling 2 6s on 6 dice requires 30 or so 1s on 30 dice in order to combat it (for lizzies). no spell should be that powerful.

Or it could require the investiture of 50 pts on the Slaan for Becalming Cogitation with the addition of rolling equal to your opponents casting roll with him averaging less per roll than you due to BC. Since you mentioned lizzies. . .

itcamefromthedeep
14-08-2010, 06:01
Now all they need to do for 9th edition is make Ws more useful.WS does double-duty for offense and defense, effectively being both the S an T of the to-hit roll. The table is a lot smoother to compensate. WS is a bit less valuable, but not as much as you would think at face value.


the other day, my friend rolled 6 dice on it, and got irresistible force. I lost my general, my bsb, 28 saurus, 14 skinks, 4 kroxigors, and a salamander. this was the small template version. I was out playing him up to that point, then lost hugely immediately after.
You remembered "Look Out, Sir!" on your characters, right?

Still, that seems a little excessive. How did the guy hit something like 30 Saurus, 30 or more skinks and at least 4 Kroxigor?

Were you fielding horde units of Saurus and Skink/Kroxigor side-by-side?


to all the elf players: you're a top tier army now. shut up.You leave the Wood Elves alone! Can't you see they're still sore from the fall after late 6e?


If you look at a purple sun from a very basic standpoint, rolling 2 6s on 6 dice requires 30 or so 1s on 30 dice in order to combat it (for lizzies). no spell should be that powerful.
Rolling a pair of sixes on six dice is by no means guaranteed. Also, the spell can still misfire. Even if it doesn't, it should likely only be killing rank-and-file troops.

---

I may invest in a Vortex Shard for my High Elves just in case I see a suspicious Vampire on a Hellsteed.

xxRavenxx
14-08-2010, 09:19
The obvious yet t be said, is that the spell is reliant on a single man being alive. If you fear the purple sun wizard (who has to come close to actually roll it over you reliably, rather than playing a game of "Big purple goblin fanatic" with you) go beat him up, or use your own powerful magic to melt his face.

In terms of casting these spells from range, PS is a fanatic, unreliable and capable of running down your own armyline. PoS is a powerfull magic rocklobber, and can scatter off and fail to do anything.

Saying that PS *will* go 30 inches sideways, hitting all your battle line, is like fearing a nightgoblin horde because they *will* all roll their 4+ on a dice and cause 21 wounds, winning combat with crushing force :P It will happen occasionally, but its not likely to happen every game.

smithers
14-08-2010, 10:02
I share the OP's view that there is some poor design inherent in these spells.

Rules like "Units that use vanguard or scout can't charge turn 1" exist so that a player can't effectively lose the game before taking a turn.

I'm also surprised that no one has mentioned the worst part of these initiative tests: that all war machines automatically fail. Not such a big deal when you are talking about a bolt thrower, but if it's the Anvil of Doom or Casket of Souls, both requiring attached characters, then that just hurts. Especially since these armies both also have low initiative. Especially since these are the only two armies I own :P

I get the "Rock/Paper" argument but if I wanted to play that game I could have saved myself a lot of time and money.

ewar
14-08-2010, 11:40
Thank you everyone for some well reasoned responses. As stated earlier - I was in no way looking for solutions, as these are all pretty obvious (although much easier said than done).

The best suggestion I've heard so far is to turn it into a flat 4+ to kill roll, and take characteristics out of it completely. At least that makes it equally nightmarish for all armies.

As for those who say it is situational - I have to disagree. Lore of Death is easily one of the best all comers lores and will feature in many many armies that want aggressive magic, making it extremely common to run into.

I'm going to the UKGT in October, so it'll be interesting to see how many armies are running Death as their lore of choice. I personally think it will be a lot.


Ya know, this argument would have merit...if my units hadn't gotten their butts kicked by step up and steadfast. I don't see my units getting a nice cost balance because my units are low tough and wearing paper for armor given that they always will get hit.

On the other hand, you are whining about a small number of spells that a few armies will take and that only a few will take in an all comers environment. Yeah, my DE take it every game. But you know what? Pit is just icing on the cake that is Lore of Shadow. I'm in it for the nerfs to opponents.

So the point of my statement is, so a couple of spells hurt you. Get the bloody hell over it. A bunch of spells just brutalize me. Step up brutalizes me. Steadfast sucks to fight against.

Campbell, I'm not sure why you're spouting so much vitriol when no-one here is "whining" about anything - the whole point of the thread was to look for alternate rules for the spell that would have made it fairer across all lists.

All those things you list - that's whining. Everything you mentioned affects everyone, none of it is specifically bad for dark elves.

You don't even have that much worse armour than lizardmen any more - generally just a single point of save! Essentially you're complaining because you play a toughness 3 army - this is the norm, in case you were wondering.

As myself and many others have pointed out, Strength and Toughness only vary by a single point across the vast majority of units in the game.

Initiative goes from 1 to 6. Which means Dwellers kills 33% of a T4 unit and 50% of a T3 unit.

Purple sun kills 87% of my saurus and 13% of your dark elves. Can you see a slight difference here?

I don't have an issue playing a low initiative army. I just think that as the game goes on they should standardise initiative in a narrower range, the same as the other stats.

So high initiative is 4 (maybe 5 for Elf elites)
Normal is 3
Low is 2

This would bring the variance down a lot, without really impacting the rest of the gameplay.

Haravikk
14-08-2010, 11:44
I don't think any area of effect spell should have instant kills; it's fine if only a small handful of models, or a single model are "pass test or die", but when you're looking at 15+ models testing on a weak stat (that's already a disadvantage due to striking order in 8th in the case of Initiative) then it's silly. Why aren't ward saves allowed by purple sun? It's just crazy!

Area of effect spells should be limited to automatic hits with a generic or variable Strength, and no regular armour saves as the absolute most powerful effect they can manage, as the way it is now if Purple Sun is cast you have essentially no defence, especially for consistently low Initiative armies as the OP points out.


This would bring the variance down a lot, without really impacting the rest of the gameplay.
Not sure I agree on reducing variance, just fix Purple Sun and maybe a few other area of effect or whole-unit spells and things would be fine as they are. I don't mind that Dwarfs almost never strike first, but when a spell is practically designed to destroy them it's no fun when someone's entire game-plan is designed to cast it.

WarmbloodedLizard
14-08-2010, 12:05
Purple sun should have been 'kills on a 4+' rather than Int test.

agreed! Initiative tests belong to the pit of shades. purple sun is just a boring, superior clone of it and should be different. heroci-killingblow-wounding on a 4+ for 1 wound (5+ for 2-3 wounds and 6+ for anything with 4 or more wounds) and just ignoring armor saves (=death signature ability) while allowing regen and wards would make it a lot more fluffy, interesting and balanced.

SeaSwift
14-08-2010, 12:21
Lore of Shadows (and any Lore) is chosen when writing the army list, not when the game is about to start (unless they have some special rule, which will no doubt be expensive - apart from certain SCs), so unless your enemies tailor their lists (which is no fault of the game design, if they know you bring rock, they aren't going to bring scissors) there is a fairly small chance that list will even be CHOSEN.

Secondly, they have to roll that/those spell/s, which is unlikely as a Lvl 1 or 2 and not something to be relied upon even as a lvl 4.

Then they have to not misfire (or, in the Purple Sun's case, not misfire, and then not kill them when it is at their feet).

Then the Purple Sun has to not scatter away.

Then the I tests can take place.

Although these are very good against Saurus, Lizardmen have the second best (possibly best) magic defense in the game (after Dwarfs). Slann w/ items such as Becalming Cogitation or Cupped Hands can cripple opponents' magic.

Against VC, yes, there isn't any amazing magic defense, but zombies/skellies are pretty darn cheap, so it usually won't be any great loss.

Against Dwarfs, them stunties have the best magic defense in the game (assuming Rune-lords/-priests are taken).

TK are getting redone soon (next book, according to Avian at least), so their magic defense should be fine/be compensated for in other places. I don't play with/against them at all ATM so don't know if they have good magic defense anyway.

Think that's all low-I armies taken care of.
_____
The problem with a flat 4+ roll to kill is that its effect DOES vary depending on the expense of the models it hits, and it will brutalise high point cost armies (thinking HE, WoC, Bret knights etc) as well as a tooled up general (apart from LO,S! if in units), and these I-test template spells are supposed to be very killy, but not general snipers (that's what Caress etc are for).

Oh, and anyone thinking that HE are completely fine against Purple Sun should know that our dragons have I3 TOPS, and that is the almost worthless Sun Dragon. The Star Dragon that looks so cool and already got significantly worse in 8th will DIE on a 2+, seeing as it has I1 (IIRC). So the HE have their own fair share of rock/paper/scissors.

ewar
14-08-2010, 12:39
I'm sorry, but all of what you are saying is neither unlikely or difficult to do. Level 4 has a >80% chance of getting the spells they want, now that you choose any duplicate, NOT re roll it. Like I said above, Death and Shadow are amongst the best lores as well, so even in an all comers environment you will see them a lot.

The fact is a 6 dice powerscroll fuelled IF purple sun is unblockable - and even a level 4 doing it is only likely to suffer a single wound, which ward saves can be taken against.

The fact is the risk/reward structure of the whole thing is completely out of kilter.

smithers
14-08-2010, 12:51
Slightly better change would be to allow models to choose a test: I or T.

This rewards elite troops and is much better balanced between armies.

If they wanted to keep it super nasty it could be "always fail on 5/6"

I also prefer this for fluff: you can be quick to jump out of the way or tough enough to withstand the effect (lil more interesting than everyone standing and taking it)

Still not sure how to deal with war machine auto failure though. They should at least allow any characters that are crewing to make a save and have a chance of surviving without the machine. (here the fluff is stupid: A runelord sees a giant sun coming, knows the anvil is going down but decides not to even try to jump out of the way)

Fredrik
16-08-2010, 08:03
The big problem with all the I yest or die is that pricing in warhammer is mostly based on S, T W an As. As all of these are ignored with this insta death testing the tamplates do an unproportional amout of damage to some unittypes and/or armies.

And yes I do belive it is bull tha it instakills 40 pts ogres with I 2 or 60+ pts mintaurs half the time.

T and S have already gotten a big neft with them being so easely altered with spells that bringin in a template that also ignores the W is purely bull.

I think 8 th has brought us a couple of good changes, the way dice are generated for instance. But it utterly failed to make the magic lore with finess, now you just max out a stat or boost it with 4. Those are some serious numbers when thinking of how they effect the game and that pricing are based on them.

In my mind a bost of even +/-1 to T or S i quite big since the stats often just vary by this. Now all of a sudden you get S 8 spearmen fighting in 5 ranks with rr. That to me this more yatzy then a balanced challenging game, as is whatever it was it was touched so please remove it from the game.

The Pos, PS etc mostly effect tha armies that pay for having better S, T and AS, generally they have less I. And when failed I test meens remove from game then I 3 i not nearly good enough to balance up this.

All spell effects should interact with troop type and price, these do not since pricing is not mostly based on I (nore probably ever will be).

Alric
16-08-2010, 08:16
Hi all,

I've had a handful of 8th ed games now and watched at least as many again.

One thing I have been wondering is why there is so much focus on initiative. It was an almost completely useless stat over the last 18 years, and I think has been priced as such in the entries for most units.

My issue isn't really with the costing of it (though that is a factor) it is more because it splits the armies into 10 with respectable initiative (3+) and those unfortunate few with 2 or less.

The obvious effect of this is that low initiative armies will rarely strike first in close combat - not a big issue I think, as striking first is not really relevant with the step up rule and it's fluffier for slow armies to strike second.

Perhaps I just feel a little picked on as a Lizardmen player :D

Thoughts? Suggestions for other ways they could have been handled?


So your basic complaint is that the spell is good against you because it targets a stat that you are weak on but not everybody is? Welcome to the game. Get the bugger over it.

Yes it is strong against you, but it's also weak against a hell of a lot of armies. I'd be iffy looking for Purple Sun since it is so pathetic against the armies you have listed. It's just not useful so much of the time. That also ignores the ways you can buff your units and such to resist it.

And everyone is in that boat. Empire and WoC got Lore of Metal coming at them. Elves have to worry bout strength tests. Every army has a spell or two that are just nasty when they get aimed at them. Get used to it and find a way to counter/deal with the problem.

After all is said and done at the end of the day Campbell is correct.

If anything should be faulted it should be spell or attack , etc. but using profile characteristics that are point costed based on their signifcance is how you build the game , then everything else is measured with that in mind , that way things stay balanced throughout the warhammer armies.

jamano
16-08-2010, 08:26
I don't think much thought was given into the point cost of the initiative stat, it was pretty useless until 8th. Stuff like ogres were already overpriced and underpowered but got low initiative for purely fluff reasons.

Dag
16-08-2010, 08:36
i play ogres, and purple sun is rediculous, even the small template rocks the hell out of my forces as even at 3k pts you'll only have 3-4 units of bulls/guts and if you drag it the what, 6inch required to go through both ogre ranks, thats 4-5 35-48pt models gone.... with 3 wounds each...

stat-check-and-die spells, along with till-the-beginning-of-my-next-phase spells need to be totally overhauled. Sorry but i personally hate the next phase ones. Their like remains in play... but always WAY better spells with the fact you CANT dispel them unless you roll against their lvl4... and if you dont have a lvl 4 your hooped... less dice and -2 already.

the stat or die ones are just savage... as they can wipe a battle line rather fast to some armies.

people complain about the drawbacks, but anyone who takes life, or a slaan, never worries about miscasts. you send it to your opponent or negate on a 2+.

Magic turns end games now, and its depressing. I had a friend get off 13th spell on 20pheonix guard with archmage and bsb in them, rock hard unit that fights anything really.

rolls 22 on the bloody 3d6, pulled a horseshoe out but thats a good 1000pts off my friends list turn one... he just called it because the game was over. Then the same skaven player vs my ogres, miscasts skitterleap, and blows his greyseer on bell up with big template of doom that wiped out his skaven... also pretty much ended the game.

Magic was already really powerful, i do like it though, and it plays well except some spells need to not have "dont care what you got your dead" rule... makes it less fun when you dont get saves, or roll to wound....

sorry, that was a big magic shpewl..

init is undercosted because it wasnt as important in the old game, thats all. In upcomming boots i expect to see adjustments on that.

Fredrik
16-08-2010, 10:52
Why would you think that I will be made more balanced in the future? Beastmen where made with 8 th in maind, and guess what. They got shafted big time by the pay loads for S and T get low I and die in drows with too expensive units to redicolous spells.

Face it people until GW takes the rulkes making as serious as the model making (giving people like Ward the boot) nothing is going to get much better/balanced.

Right now magic turned in to kiddy hammer oooh look a big explotion, look I just wiped them out even though I didnīt have to put any effort in to it.

Get all the retards away from rules makig and hire some people with a feel for statistict for crying out loud.

ewar
16-08-2010, 13:01
After all is said and done at the end of the day Campbell is correct.

If anything should be faulted it should be spell or attack , etc. but using profile characteristics that are point costed based on their signifcance is how you build the game , then everything else is measured with that in mind , that way things stay balanced throughout the warhammer armies.

Can you explain to me why the variance in initiative is so great then? Both strength and toughness only vary by a sinlge point for the most part.

chilledenuff
16-08-2010, 13:35
You could buy a high elf army, thus negating the problem on2 counts, high initiative and very good magic resistance. Just watch out for toughness tests.
Or lizardmen have access to that rotten little magic item that causes miscasts if spells are cast within such and such distance of the bearer don't they? Pop that onto a skink and stick close to your opponents magic user. Done.
The variance in inititiave is fluff based. I don't think tyey'll rewrite the background for this one spell (They leave that to 40k and space marine codexes!)

Minsc
16-08-2010, 15:21
Initiative has been the worst combatstat by far for more than 2 Editions, and it's about time it finally matters.
I'm sick and tired of my elves (WE, DE) paying trough their noose for an stat that almost did diddly squat in 6th and 7th.

Initiative is still less important than S/T though, but at least now it actually does something.

On spells: There were 2 I-based "do-or-die" spells in 7th, now there's 3. That's an increase by 50%.
There where no S-based "do-or-die" spells in 7th, now there's 1. That's an increase by an unlimited ammount. My poor poor elves.
(Yes, this last scentence is trolling, but you get my point.)

Edit:


It seems to me that an unfair number of armies suffer disproportionately against these very powerful spells

Ogres, (Orc's), Lizardmen and Dwarves get 'extra' hurt by I-spells.
Bret's, Empire, VC, TK, Beasts, (Goblins), (WoC) and Daemons get 'normally' hurt by I-spells.
DE, HE, WE, (WoC) and Skaven get 'less' hurt by I spells.

3,5 / 6 / 4,5 seems quite fair to me. Some armies suffer more than others, but then if you turn the tables, you will see that some armies suffers more than others on S and T, most of the time usually both (elves, humans and Skaven in particular). Really, it's fine.

ewar
16-08-2010, 15:54
Ogres, (Orc's), Lizardmen and Dwarves get 'extra' hurt by I-spells.
Bret's, Empire, VC, TK, Beasts, (Goblins), (WoC) and Daemons get 'normally' hurt by I-spells.
DE, HE, WE, (WoC) and Skaven get 'less' hurt by I spells.

3,5 / 6 / 4,5 seems quite fair to me. Some armies suffer more than others, but then if you turn the tables, you will see that some armies suffers more than others on S and T, most of the time usually both (elves, humans and Skaven in particular). Really, it's fine.

But again, you don't respond to the main issue. No-body who plays a low initiative army minds being "worse" at initiative, because, like you correctly point out, they gain at S or T.

Can you not see that there is a slight disparity between armies which have Init 1/2 as a rule and armies with Init 5?

As has been pointed out many times in this thread, the issue is that the difference is soooo great that what is a 17% difference in the probable survival rate of strength tests between armies, becomes a 70% difference on initiative.

Seems a bit unfair, no?

chilledenuff
16-08-2010, 16:07
But again, you don't respond to the main issue. No-body who plays a low initiative army minds being "worse" at initiative, because, like you correctly point out, they gain at S or T.

I think undead players might disagree, as do many goblin players ( a goblin is s3, i2 and t3!)


Can you not see that there is a slight disparity between armies which have Init 1/2 as a rule and armies with Init 5?

As has been pointed out many times in this thread, the issue is that the difference is soooo great that what is a 17% difference in the probable survival rate of strength tests between armies, becomes a 70% difference on initiative.

Seems a bit unfair, no?

It'd be unfair if it affected every aspect of the game, but it doesn't. It affects a small part of the game. The only time this worries me is facing High elves in combat, they all go first and then get a reroll..unless I do something to counter this. I find the lore of light spell that gives me I10 helps (it's also good against purple sun :)), they still go first but no reroll, which helps.

How about we look at ld tests? Lizards are sillilly good at these, cold blooded with a bsb? The characteristics need to be looked at as a whole, I know that doesn't address your original post but it is true.

There are ways of countering purple sun. Use them.

Aluinn
16-08-2010, 16:11
You know, in spite of the issue with spells, Initiative is actually less important in combat now (unless you happen to wear a pointy hat :)). In 7th it would allow you to avoid casualties by clearing out the front rank, and now it does nothing of the sort. Armor, Toughness, and even WS (to an extent, at least enough to be hit on 4s by most enemies) are far more important for survivability, and offensively, Initiative does pretty much nothing against a large unit unless combined with ASF.

So think of those spells which require I tests as compensation for that. Besides, if you have a low-I army or large unit, and your opponent has a Lore with one of the spells in question, save those dispel dice up for the Initiative test spells, and, if you're exceptionally worried about it, take a selection of anti-magic scrolls. I have yet to be horribly wrecked by any such things, and I play an army with an average Initiative of 2. I realize Irresistable Force will happen, but it isn't tremendously likely even on a full 6-dice casting attempt, and comes at quite a price.

Sand
16-08-2010, 16:45
It just seems unfair that one spell, can potentially wipe out about 15-20 of my 11pts Saurus in one shot, whilst the 9pt HE Spearmen can ignore it, I know it is a game on luck, but it does not seem right that one good peice of luck can turn that regardless of any tactics short of avoiding low I models, and to those who say "take of lore of light on your slann" Should one item/spell/ability be so powerfull that you have to specifically design an expensive part of your amy so you do not get completly screwed over on the off chance someone takes it, did the high I armie's really need the boost of having some of the nastiest spells being almost useless against them, also if you put enough dice to have a good chance of disspelling it, then other spells can hit you, which if they happen to have master of sorcery means the other spell that hurts low I armies (the cannon like one, cannot remember it's name) it would be no problem if Saurus were not so expensive, yes we have T4 and 2A, we also have the same WS as most other armies mounts :wtf: meaning most of the time we don't hit and we atrike at the same time as Zombies for crying out loud, did we need the hit from I targeting spells as well as that shame?
I'm sorry for what is probably a slight derail, but Saurus Warriors are emphatically not bad in any way, whatsoever. They have positively great stats at a very reasonable price and their WS of 3 means they have the same WS as most armies troops and that they hit 50% of the time.
Yes, they have poor initiative -but so do many other troops- and let's face it, for infantry Initiative still means sweet "@&/% all, since you get to strike with you full allowance of attacks anyway. In fact, the only time low Ini is really a problem is when targeted by these spells or when you have very few models left. This is coming from someone who plays Dwarfs, Ogres and occasionally Undead, btw.

Regarding the OT, I think it's somewhat silly to focus exclusively on Ini tests although I do get the argument that there's a wider field regarding Ini than most other stats.
I do agree, however, that there's a few too many "characteristic test or die" spells around in 8th and I'd say that's the real problem. If Magic Resistance worked on these spells I think we'd be a long way towards solving the problem, actually.

itcamefromthedeep
17-08-2010, 12:43
Real Initiative values commonly swing from 2 to 6, with numerous outliers (Saurus, Elf characters).

Real Strength values commonly sit between 3 and 7, with numerous outliers (war machines, swarms).

Not all *that* much of a difference in spread.

ewar
17-08-2010, 13:04
Real Strength values commonly sit between 3 and 7, with numerous outliers (war machines, swarms).

Huh?? Pull the other one. Which units have S7? or even S6? The only base S5 non-characters/monsters I can think of are Rat Ogres and Minotaurs.

What others are there?

xxRavenxx
17-08-2010, 13:07
I think undead players might disagree, as do many goblin players ( a goblin is s3, i2 and t3!)

I'm normally fairly pleased with the low quantity of points an I based attack can claim from my goblin army... :P

Venkh
17-08-2010, 13:10
Take into consideration great weapons and S6 becomes more prevelant than I 6 in troops.

I cant think of anything that can be taken by a unit that enhances its initiative.

If you are talking about spell effects only then I can see your point but these are rare compared to using the stats in combat.

Sandals
17-08-2010, 13:13
I cant think of anything that can be taken by a unit that enhances its initiative.


Cathayan Longswords on Ogre Maneaters. +1WS and +1I :D

chilledenuff
17-08-2010, 13:15
My point was that not all low I armies have high toughness or weapon skill, not the effect of the spells in question on goblins. A sweeping statement was made and i was trying to say that low I affects naff troops as well as elites (not thast goblins are naff, they're my current army of choice!)

Venkh
17-08-2010, 13:20
Cathayan Longswords on Ogre Maneaters. +1WS and +1I

Awesome! Never thought of that!

Razhem
17-08-2010, 14:47
Take into consideration great weapons and S6 becomes more prevelant than I 6 in troops.

I cant think of anything that can be taken by a unit that enhances its initiative.

If you are talking about spell effects only then I can see your point but these are rare compared to using the stats in combat.

All this discussion is precisely about spells that nuke you because of stat checks, last time I checked, you holding a big sword doesn't change the fact that you fail strength checks with a 4+. This discussion has nothing to do with stat variables in normal warhammer situations, it has everything to do with nuke spells that target a stat and bone you or make you laugh depending on how you have it, this is the case where there is a huge variable in initiative and a very small one in strength and toughness.

Venkh
17-08-2010, 16:27
Thats true. You dont have to pay for high I on those models though, so if there werent situations where I was used you would have an advantage.

Stepping up means that I is still a fairly marginal benefit and it is less beneficial the higher it gets.
How often does my Kippers high I provide extra benefit over say my Highborns initiative of 7? Not many things around with I 8 or 9 are there. These spells help it along a bit but S & T are still the stats that everybody wants.

Skyros
17-08-2010, 16:30
I think ewar is right.

Against some armies, you have many incredibly devastating I test spells (pit, sun).

But if you're a high I army you can ignore these, while not being vulnerable other spells.

There's more variation in initiative than *any other stat* for core troops. That makes it a particularly poor choice for these spells. If the troops had to take a S or T test instead basically everyone would be a 3 or 4.

I ranges all the way from 2 to 6.

theunwantedbeing
17-08-2010, 17:19
But if you're a high I army you can ignore these, while not being vulnerable other spells.

The low initiutive stuff has a higher toughness in general, also tends to have lower saves so it far less affected by the lore of metal and damage based spells than other armies are.

Higher initiutive armies tend to have better saves and/or lower toughness.
So while they are much better at surivivng initituive based damage, they aren't as good at surviving damage based damage due to their lower toughness.

Chaos warriors are a bit of an exception but at 15pts a core model before giving the guy any weapons or indeed a sheild, we can let them off as they are so hideously expensive.

Nighthawke
17-08-2010, 18:02
Higher initiutive armies tend to have better saves and/or lower toughness.
So while they are much better at surivivng initituive based damage, they aren't as good at surviving damage based damage due to their lower toughness.



just going to pic you up on this, while yes lower int armies tend to have toughness 4 and higher int have toughness 3 they tend to have the same armour saves, the only high int army with good saves id say where warriors since all elves have low saves and so do deamons.

itcamefromthedeep
17-08-2010, 22:33
Huh?? Pull the other one. Which units have S7? or even S6? The only base S5 non-characters/monsters I can think of are Rat Ogres and Minotaurs.

What others are there?Many monsters are working with S6 or S7 base. Anything more than 5 makes no difference for these spells, of course. Also sitting at S5 or more are most chariots, the odd Chosen unit, Chaos fighty heros, Dragon Ogres, Trolls, Bloodletters, Flesh Hounds, Bloodcrushers, Flamers, Steam Tanks (autopass, as I recall), Orc Warbosses, Tomb Scorpions, Tomb Kings, Bruisers, Tyrants, Hunters, Maneaters, Yhetees, Gorgers, Vampires, and a few others. Just about all the monsters, though.


Take into consideration great weapons and S6 becomes more prevelant than I 6 in troops.
That is indeed what I meant by "real" Strength values. As in, the ones used when rolling to wound.


All this discussion is precisely about spells that nuke you because of stat checks, last time I checked, you holding a big sword doesn't change the fact that you fail strength checks with a 4+.Indeed. I was mistaken to include the effect of great weapons, halberds, flails and lances in my analysis of Strength values.

I submit that due alone to the variety and use of monster and chariot units in the game, the number of units vulnerable to Strength tests is comparable to the number vulnerable to Initiative tests. S1 models are significantly less common than I1 models, but the number of S5+ models is, I believe, comparable to the number of I5+ units.

There is likely a difference, but not a huge one. Not enough to write home about.

Urgat
17-08-2010, 22:41
I'm sick and tired of my elves (WE, DE) paying trough their noose for an stat that almost did diddly squat in 6th and 7th.

Comparing various units, you'll find out that I is basically free, in most cases, it's just a dupliacte of WS, and when it's not, it's because one point of I has been traded for +1 toughness or the like. Ellves pay more for their special rules and superior Ld and WS, their initiative just followed WS. I remember a unit creation chart where it worked just like that, what you paid for WS, you got for I at the same time.

itcamefromthedeep
17-08-2010, 23:00
I remember a unit creation chart where it worked just like that, what you paid for WS, you got for I at the same time.
That doesn't hold for Greenskins, off the top of my head. Nor Saurus characters. Nor mummies. It doesn't fit Ogres either.

That pattern may have held for early 6th edition, but has broken down since then.

ewar
17-08-2010, 23:06
Many monsters are working with S6 or S7 base. Anything more than 5 makes no difference for these spells, of course. Also sitting at S5 or more are most chariots, the odd Chosen unit, Chaos fighty heros, Dragon Ogres, Trolls, Bloodletters, Flesh Hounds, Bloodcrushers, Flamers, Steam Tanks (autopass, as I recall), Orc Warbosses, Tomb Scorpions, Tomb Kings, Bruisers, Tyrants, Hunters, Maneaters, Yhetees, Gorgers, Vampires, and a few others. Just about all the monsters, though.

I absolutely cannot fault your list of S5 creatures, however I did say non-character or monster units.

I take on board that there are a few more monstrous infantry (trolls) and some cavalry (fleshounds) which have high base strength, although I would counter that the vast majority of these are low model count units.

I think it's interesting (which someone else pointed out) that Beastmen were written for 8th but still have fairly poor initiative. They do however have a gift to boost that - I wonder if that sort of thing will be more common in future? I'm thinking unit banner of +2Init or something.

itcamefromthedeep
18-08-2010, 01:08
I absolutely cannot fault your list of S5 creatures, however I did say non-character or monster units.

I take on board that there are a few more monstrous infantry (trolls) and some cavalry (fleshounds) which have high base strength, although I would counter that the vast majority of these are low model count units.
Your non-character non-monster stipulation seems arbitrary. As does model count. Could you explain your reasoning behind saying that characters, monsters and units with a small model count shouldn't affect calculations of the average Strength across the game?

---

It has been argued (in a roundabout way) that there are far fewer units disastrously vulnerable to Dwellers Below than there are to Purple Sun or Pit of Shades. This is true, as the only units really vulnerable to The Dwellers Below are war machines (who automatically fail most kinds of characteristic tests). Gnoblars and Zombies are rarely a good target for either kind of spell anyway, as their loss should be of minimal impact.

Whether this difference in vulnerability is *unfair* is a lot more complicated. It depends almost entirely on how often you run across Pit of Shades and Purple Sun. If you play against Greenskins, Tomb Kings and Skaven all the time then Initiative is priced in such a way as to be perfectly acceptable.

Lizardmen against Vampires on the other hand *may* (no guarantees) come down to a Purple Sun fest, or when Speed of Light goes off.

jamano
18-08-2010, 01:23
The restrictions aren't arbitrary for two reasons: dwellers below is meant to target big ranked units, so individual characters or small unit count units aren't really important for it.

Also when deciding on the average of a stat accross models, you can't just say "bloodletter vs minotaur vs tomb king" In a tomb king army, out of all the models and units, the only things on the board with s5 will be tomb scorpions, kings, and bone giants. Even if his army only has 8-10 different kind of models and 3 of them are s5, what percentage of things on the board in a normal game are they?

rocdocta
18-08-2010, 01:56
The short sighted decision to include the I Win spells is just another example of how GW spends more time making pretty models and congratulating themselves on it than play testing serious rules.

to cope with step up and steadfast i am forced to take blocks of 12+ ogres. taking 6 means they are made ineffective by horde with str 3. so i take 12. then a mage rides up the flank of my army and throws a power scroll PSun and kills 10 of the unit. so i have 3 iron guts, tyrant and bsb left. they just did 30 wounds!! Thats like rolling 32d6 str4 magic missiles...but its not! that unit has magic res 3. so a 4+ save ward save and hvy armour so 6+ vs str4.

so to deal 30 wounds in 1 turn with str 4 magic missiles

150 str 4 hits = 1/2 (to wound)*1/2 (ward) * 5/6 (hvy armour) = 30 wounds. That is equivalent to 21.5 * 2d6 str 4 magic missiles.

so to deal 30 wounds in 1 turn with str 5 magic missiles
90 str 5 hits =2/3 (to wound) * 1/2 (ward) = 30 wounds.
That is equivalent to 13 * 2d6 str 5 magic missiles.

so to deal 30 wounds in 1 turn with str 6 magic missiles
72 str 6 hits =5/6 (to wound) * 1/2 (ward) = 30 wounds.
That is equivalent to 10 * 2d6 str 6 magic missiles.

what i am getting at here is the absurd damage that the spell does vs T4 3 wound monsters for such a cheap price...520 points! with no strategy or tactics to defend against it.

my only strategy is carry a scroll and hope they dont get a miscast. but...they always take power scroll which means a double almost always gets off.

to those trying to use empire etc gunlines as an example...

if ogres are in combat, they are safe from shooting. Psun will shave your bulls etc off the engaged enemy unit without damaging his units. If Psun were balanced, it would randomise the damage, or not allow this blatant abuse of the rules. the distance is 3 x arty dice!! what the feck were they thinking?!

people say "hey dont put your eggs in 1 basket... but thats the point. no matter how you set up, the mage will always be able to get some sort of enfilade shot on you and clean up those units. Plus if you spread out, you cant attack or defend vs the enemy or test with ld from the general / bsb.

GW state that they want a fast flowing game that is fun to play that represents the magical..blah blah blah... but they are probably just saying this cos they cant write rules for ****.

Minsc
18-08-2010, 02:07
When I read this thread I get the feeling that everone who plays low-I armies always end up fighting someone with Purple Sun/Pit of Shades. (And they also always get IF...)

Could be that you and your gamingfriend agrees on playing eachother and you then make the armylists, and if you're playing dwarves/ogres/lizardmen and your opponent always takes Lore of Death they are simply tailoring.

Come to think of it, I don't think I've seen death used against any High-I army so far in 8th Ed.

Lord Inquisitor
18-08-2010, 02:29
I'm not sure I've seen any rulebook lores in use other than Death or Life. Death seems to be the lore of choice except by empire players who prefer life to try and regenerate their Steam Tanks...:cries: While I've tried out quite a few Lores, I've settled down for Lore of Death in my Loremaster wizard.

Maoriboy007
18-08-2010, 04:09
When I read this thread I get the feeling that everone who plays low-I armies always end up fighting someone with Purple Sun/Pit of Shades. (And they also always get IF...)

So far this has been true for 2 of the 4 games I've played in 8th (official), and the only reason that It didn'tt happen in a third was because the slann was stuck in a back rank of Temple Guard.


Could be that you and your gamingfriend agrees on playing eachother and you then make the armylists, and if you're playing dwarves/ogres/lizardmen and your opponent always takes Lore of Death they are simply tailoring.

Exactly....


Come to think of it, I don't think I've seen death used against any High-I army so far in 8th Ed.

Used it in my recent loss against DE, on a high note I killed his pendant hero general with it :)

Maoriboy007
18-08-2010, 04:11
I'm not sure I've seen any rulebook lores in use other than Death or Life. Death seems to be the lore of choice except by empire players who prefer life to try and regenerate their Steam Tanks...:cries: While I've tried out quite a few Lores, I've settled down for Lore of Death in my Loremaster wizard.

So far I've tried Beasts(twice) Shadow and Death, all are pretty cool in their own way.

Count Zero
18-08-2010, 08:58
I personally don't think its a problem with I, yes there's a wide divergence in the stat, but clearly its not as powerfull as S&T. striking 1st is nice, but only really helps out in limited cases, when you have small units fighting etc, of course HE got a boost from the ASF re-roll.

i think its more a problem with the latest spells, Purple Sun being the chief culprit, how about killing models with I 3 or less on a 4+ and models with I 4 or more on a 5+, evens things up a bit whilst still giving thr quikcer troops a higher chnace to survive?

Zilverug
18-08-2010, 11:27
I agree the problem doesn't seem to be initiative, but Purple Sun. And maybe even that spell isn't the real problem, but the removal of the double-1 miscasts (overruling double-6 irresistible force), making kamagekaze a viable choice...

Enigmatik1
18-08-2010, 14:05
When I read this thread I get the feeling that everone who plays low-I armies always end up fighting someone with Purple Sun/Pit of Shades. (And they also always get IF...)

Could be that you and your gamingfriend agrees on playing eachother and you then make the armylists, and if you're playing dwarves/ogres/lizardmen and your opponent always takes Lore of Death they are simply tailoring.

Isn't this how most folks do it in a casual, regular circle? I mean, when my friends and I play, we decide beforehand who's playing whom and make lists accordingly. I can't speak for anyone else in my group, but I don't list tailor. Then again, my army isn't really made for it. The closest thing to tailoring I do is not taking the Casket of Souls against Dwarfs.

We all only run one army (for the time being), so we always know what we're up against. Lists are not always carbon copies of the previous one(s), but it's not hard to build a list to "counter" my Tomb King army, for instance. This may not be the case in tournament settings, but I'm willing to wager its far more common in friendly, casual environments outside of your local LGS.


Come to think of it, I don't think I've seen death used against any High-I army so far in 8th Ed.

Well, despite what people will tell you, there's more to the LoD than just Purple Sun. I've used it to devastating effect against Skaven, but I didn't have any choice in the matter and luckily I didn't get PSoX. The ability to snipe low leadership characters with impunity (Spirit Leech) and reduce their stats (Soulblight) making their massive hordes ripe for catapult shots is patently unfair. The Dunce Cap forced that Lore upon my Tomb King, however. I really wanted Light or Beasts!

LoD is good against both low Leadership and/or low initiative armies, it's of questionable use against everyone else.

chilledenuff
18-08-2010, 14:15
know what we're up against. Lists are not always carbon copies of the previous one(s), but it's not hard to build a list to "counter" my Tomb King army, for instance. .

What your group of gamers could do to counter that is all write a list, then turn up and roll dice/pick names out of a hat to see who you face. This could lead to less tailored lists, especially as you have to choose lores when you write the lists