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Gimp
20-08-2010, 18:05
I really like a game of Apocalypse once in a while however it has not always gone according to plan.

Last game we had did not end up going so well, my sided ended up losing badly and although I enjoyed the game one or two people got really angry about.

The main problem was that a few of the players had loads of Super Heavys (including a Warlord Titan) and a good amount of formations, while others had no Super Heavys but some decent amount of formations and one or two (including one that freaked out completely) came with just a large army with no formations or super heavies.

However this would not have been a problem but we randomized the teams. This resulted in having some very imbalanced teams. Most notably one side having only 2 super heavys and the other side having 4 with 1 of them being the Titan.

Now for me this was fine as Apocalypse is about fun however not everyone (especially on my team) saw it that way.

Now I want to host another big Apocalypse game. However does anyone have any tips on how to make it more enjoyable for everyone and slightly more balanced.

Nicho
20-08-2010, 18:10
I'd say give underpowered players more stratagems to use to level the playing field a bit.

Sgt John Keel
20-08-2010, 18:21
Randomise in two separate pools, the superheavy players in one, and the other players in one? Ideally there would be a similar number of structure points on each side, I guess.

Keichi246
20-08-2010, 18:43
My advice?

Don't randomize superheavies. In fact - try not to randomize much at all.

Arrange teams, armies, etc ahead of time so that: 1) both sides are roughly equal (points/formations/superheavies), 2) there is a thematic reason for the armies and game, and 3) both armies have an idea of what they may be facing. If I know I'm gonna be facing a large titan contingent, I'll leave my IG infantry companies at home...

In addition - our local rule of thumb is that you have to fill one entire force org for your army before you start adding extra units/superheavies etc. (Well - except for specific thematic reasons - like the guy who wanted to try out a baneblade company.) Just about every army can fill a normal force org chart fairly easily if they try, and we've found that it tends to somewhat limit some of the extreme weirdness that Apocalypse can generate.

daladzor
20-08-2010, 18:57
I'll echo Keichi246's advice.
In my group our apocalyspe games are always balanced ahead of time, with my Guard being the balancing army usually. Either being the forces of imperium or adding some of my chaos and running as a renegades force.
All our armies are themed and are just expanded FOC, and superheavies are getting phased in,

Dreachon
20-08-2010, 19:03
I fully agree with Keichi246, the best apocalypse battles are those you plan ahead with balancing sides with a similair number of players, superheavies and number of formation, it's generally also nice to stick to the more or less established order and disorder sides.

Erwos
20-08-2010, 19:34
In addition - our local rule of thumb is that you have to fill one entire force org for your army before you start adding extra units/superheavies etc. (Well - except for specific thematic reasons - like the guy who wanted to try out a baneblade company.) Just about every army can fill a normal force org chart fairly easily if they try, and we've found that it tends to somewhat limit some of the extreme weirdness that Apocalypse can generate.
This is a terrific idea that I whole-heartedly promote. I sometimes feel as if super-heavies and GCs steal a bit too much of the spotlight in Apoc... having that full FOC forces you to give some lesser-used units a try, which is not a bad thing.

Dach
20-08-2010, 19:53
Rules for our Apo battle are usually, one superheavy for each 3000 points, also one formation or one flyer for the same 3000 points.

People that don't have a superheavy, can use 2 formations or 2 flyers or one of each.

Team are made accordingly to race fluff alliance most of the time.

mrln68
20-08-2010, 20:16
I am not a fan of limits on the SH/formations/Flyers. People who have them want to use them. People who don't have them...want to use them.

Set out to establish the sides ahead of time. Give it a story. Everything else will generally take care of itself. If you have a couple weeks (or a month) of lead time - you can put together some fun stuff. Whether that is purchasing/building superheavies for your combined team...or doing something along the lines of the defense laser that is on the GW website, they will get it done. The D weapons are helpful...but they aren't essential to bring down a super heavy...and armies without them will generally outnumber the SH by a great bit (I've taken out a Baneblade with a single squad of Fire Dragons in one turn...it exploded and killed them, but it is all good).

Erwos
20-08-2010, 20:22
I am not a fan of limits on the SH/formations/Flyers. People who have them want to use them. People who don't have them...want to use them.
Totally disagree. As the OP noted, super-heavies really dominate if the other team doesn't have them.

IJW
20-08-2010, 20:43
My advice?

Don't randomize superheavies. In fact - try not to randomize much at all.

Arrange teams, armies, etc ahead of time so that: 1) both sides are roughly equal (points/formations/superheavies), 2) there is a thematic reason for the armies and game, and 3) both armies have an idea of what they may be facing.
This. We started planning our last Apoc game about a month before the night, the next one has been a few weeks in the planning already.


Totally disagree. As the OP noted, super-heavies really dominate if the other team doesn't have them.
I'm not bothered by unlimited superheavies etc. as long as everyone knows what is involved. A Warlord doesn't matter if you can field several dozen flank-marching Fire Dragons. :)

mrln68
20-08-2010, 20:49
If you have little to no terrain - yes. It just becomes a pie plate removal game.

Terrain changes things. I have played many games and in some I had Super Heavies, others I have had only normal units with formations. Didn't really change things much. Watch your points and make sure that those are close to the same, and make sure there is a lot of terrain to prevent things from simply being a shooting gallery.

The big issue with their game was probably the Warlord. Even if all the Super Heavies were on the other team and the Warlord was by itself...it still would have been an issue. Warlords are an issue all the time - that is sort of their thing. Disable the arm weapons and then cut it down in close combat. They are WS 2...so chances are pretty good that you will survive the stomp attacks...they probably won't survive too long with a few squads of close combat specialists poking at it's ankles. Plus you don't have to deal with the pesky void shields. I know - I have a warlord who gets taken down with troops that are a tenth of his points values on a regular basis. Using superheavies against it is kind of pointless. Unless you can knock out all the void shields in one round...and do the 9 structure points of damage - your Superheavies are likely dead.

LonelyPath
20-08-2010, 21:05
My advice is to plan everything out to the smallest detail.

1. Arrange teams before hand and what armies will be brought. Also have players draw up their army rosters at least a few days before the game and provide you with copies if you're the GM/referee.

2. Set up and plan out a set time table for the day/weekend.

3. Arrange space for people to sleep over if necessary.

4. Provide refreshments/meals (or everyone bring food and split costs for all takeways and so forth).

5. Draw up the scenario/mission and table ahead of time using maps so you can set up the table in a more even or interesting manner than throwing things down at the last instant so it all matches with the planned mission.

You get the idea. Just never leave anything to chance, as it can sometimes ruin the whole experience for everyone.

Sgt John Keel
21-08-2010, 03:51
My advice?

Don't randomize superheavies. In fact - try not to randomize much at all.

Arrange teams, armies, etc ahead of time so that: 1) both sides are roughly equal (points/formations/superheavies), 2) there is a thematic reason for the armies and game, and 3) both armies have an idea of what they may be facing. If I know I'm gonna be facing a large titan contingent, I'll leave my IG infantry companies at home...


I absolutely agree (except in that I would take my Infantry Companies anyway …), structuring the teams randomly probably isn't the best choice. And if someone is taking a titan, it would be nice to tell before army lists are written so they can take fun stuff like Titanhammer Squads or Armageddon Stompa Hunters.

kormas
21-08-2010, 05:21
yeah, also try to make sure everyone is going to stick around and hat you have a nice bord to play it on.

i know at my gc 40K actualy died out because everyone just wanted to play apoc, and the games were never fun. (well, i dont go to the game's club anymore, but when i left it was dead)

Born Again
21-08-2010, 05:28
I'd say give underpowered players more stratagems to use to level the playing field a bit.

While ideally I'd say don't randomize, plan things out a bit more so the teams are more equal, if you are going to randomize this seems like a good easy balancing act. Although as well, I'd say if you can't laugh off half your army disappearing under templates in the first turn, you probably shouldn't be playing Apoc.

Nicho
21-08-2010, 12:12
if you can't laugh off half your army disappearing under templates in the first turn, you probably shouldn't be playing Apoc.

exactly what i was thinking

IJW
21-08-2010, 16:50
Although as well, I'd say if you can't laugh off half your army disappearing under templates in the first turn, you probably shouldn't be playing Apoc.
Or shouldn't be deploying everything on-table. ;)

Bunnahabhain
21-08-2010, 17:37
Although as well, I'd say if you can't laugh off half your army disappearing under templates in the first turn, you probably shouldn't be playing Apoc.

Or should have a few games with Horde Nids, Orks, or Guard, so are well used to removing dozens of models a turn, and not caring...

jsullivanlaw
27-08-2010, 18:34
Well, one eldar player i know balanced out the number of superheavies simply by being upfront about his army of nothing but fire dragons in wave serpents.

TheBigBadWolf
27-08-2010, 20:43
Play some epic, the only balanced way to play large scale battles;)

cuda1179
27-08-2010, 21:23
One of the main reasons to play Apoc. battle is to bring out all the stuff you don't see on a day-to-day basis. I have a couple Warlords and an Imperator. I'd hate for them to simply be display models.

That bing said, it's not fun to show up to a non-competitive game, unpack a TON of models, and then put them back without doing anything.

Super-heavies deserve other super-heavies to fight. Deviding them up the best you can will make it easier on everyone.

(and by the way, compared to the Imperator or Reaver, the Warlord isn't even close to being cheesy.)

Askari
27-08-2010, 22:52
(and by the way, compared to the Imperator or Reaver, the Warlord isn't even close to being cheesy.)

How is a Warlord less over the top than a Reaver? Don't you mean Warhound?

In any case, I say let people with Superheavies use their Superheavies. I've spent a fair few pennies on the stuff, and only get to use them in Apoc games, so I'd sure be annoyed if someone said "You can't use them because I haven't got any"

There's other things you can do to rebalance their presence, stratagems, points limits, giving the other player recycling units etc.

Gimp
27-08-2010, 23:09
How is a Warlord less over the top than a Reaver? Don't you mean Warhound?

In any case, I say let people with Superheavies use their Superheavies. I've spent a fair few pennies on the stuff, and only get to use them in Apoc games, so I'd sure be annoyed if someone said "You can't use them because I haven't got any"

There's other things you can do to rebalance their presence, stratagems, points limits, giving the other player recycling units etc.

Oh course not, the entire point of Apoc games is to use those huge over the top units however. When one side has like 5 includuding a titan and other side does not. Well things get ungly.

So instead of banning the super heavies just organise the teams so that each side has roughly equal number of super heavies.

Justicar Valius
27-08-2010, 23:49
[QUOTE=Askari;4945221]How is a Warlord less over the top than a Reaver? Don't you mean Warhound?QUOTE]

Because you can get 8 SD templates for less than cost of the 2 warhounds, and compared to the warlord you get more SD templates as well.

mrln68
28-08-2010, 01:22
Warlord - 250 per SD Blast (10 total)
Warhound - 187 per SD Blast (4 total)
Reaver - 181 per SD Blast (8 total)
Emperor - 153 per SD Blast (26 total) - The Cheesiest.

Havock
28-08-2010, 02:47
Totally disagree. As the OP noted, super-heavies really dominate if the other team doesn't have them.

Well my armoured battlegroup old-school BS4 vanquishers were poking lots of holes really fast in them Baneblades.

Boom!
*reload*
Boom!

MajorWesJanson
28-08-2010, 05:02
It seems to work best to form teams before-hand and then have everyone write lists at the same time. Full disclosure. If one side has a ton of super-heavies, the other can plan for them with Hammerblow strategums, Titanhammer formations, ect.

chromedog
28-08-2010, 05:15
About the only thing we randomise is the strategems in use.

We have a deck of cards with the strategems on them, that are drawn randomly by each player cutting the deck. This way, the teams have to come up with ways to use what fate has dealt them.

Oh and the games tend to be planned out beforehand. Number of players, points per side, whether any strategems are not in use, time limit and objectives. The time limit is adhered to like glue.

grey knights rock
28-08-2010, 06:38
I think the best way to do this is to have everyone who wants to play rsvp before hand with the army they are playing, and a list of superheavies/other important info. next assign point limits to players depending on info gathered. have them send in army lists, and assign teams. its a little complicated and time consuming, but i think it will work.