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Laughingmonk
01-04-2011, 09:15
I just got oof of the best codex thread, and it got me thinking: what actually makes a good codex in the player's eyes?

I am looking for specifics.

For example, a lot of players have expressed their love of the new DE book. What exactly is it about it that makes it so appealing? Is it the wide array of options? The good internal balance, or external balance for that matter?

I'd like to hear your thoughts.

hobodog
01-04-2011, 09:25
Fluff and rule options that leave room for the imagination. These days GW spells everything out for you

Radium
01-04-2011, 09:29
- Sensible fluff.
- Balance (both internal and external).
- Multiple viable builds.
- Nice extra rules, without adding special rules to be special.
- Not breaking core rules (like JotWW or the new GK grenades do).

smellyhippy
01-04-2011, 09:36
- Not breaking core rules (like JotWW or the new GK grenades do).

agreed on those points, not a uber-cheese rule for extra-coolness/excession-level-event-dex fan myself & prefer to have lattitude to make my collection my own too. the raft of "look, newshiny/spangly big button of win to buy!" books is getting dull tbh.
JotWW? sorry, fairly new to seer & some of the acronyms are flying straight over..G(rey)K(nights)grenades i followed. but JotWW, notascoobysorry? could you elaborate please? thanks

Castigator
01-04-2011, 09:39
agreed on those points, not a uber-cheese rule for extra-coolness/excession-level-event-dex fan myself & prefer to have lattitude to make my collection my own too. the raft of "look, newshiny/spangly big button of win to buy!" books is getting dull tbh.
JotWW? sorry, fairly new to seer & some of the acronyms are flying straight over..G(rey)K(nights)grenades i followed. but JotWW, notascoobysorry? could you elaborate please? thanks

Jaws of the World Wolf

A Space Wolves psychic power vomited unto the 40k scene by Phil Kelly that runs roughshod over pretty much the whole core rules, is highly abuse and, most of all, rather unnecessary.

harlekin
01-04-2011, 09:44
I would add to Raidum's mentions the visual appearance of the codex.
I like to look at nice conceptarts and artworks, and if even the pages' layout itself creates a deeper feeling for the factionbes we play to the better (for example 4th edition nid dex/3.5 edition CSM dex- those where not Codexes for Nidz or Chaos, they were "niddish" or "chaotic" rulebooks).

Ok but this is a matter of taste I guess.

And of course like already mentioned: Different viable builds, with all kind of units having a purpose which make sense.

Korraz
01-04-2011, 10:57
A strict design philosophy that is follow throughout the book. (Example: Codex Chaos 4th Edition)

Simple and clear rules, the less special rules, the better. Army specific special rules should be clear and simple. (Example: Codex Orks 4th Edition)

Internal balance and most importantly external balance (Example: Codex Dark Eldar 5th Edition)

Variety. Multiple builds should be viable. (Example: GW hasn't really managed to pull this off for quite some time. Dark Eldar are still too new, so I can't judge them. C:SM and C:BA manage this to same exent, due to being simply codex creeped up to 11)

Fluff that fits neatly into with existing fluff and less "Then guy X with his troops went to Y and killed Z", more "This is how the Inquisition is organized. This is how the different factions are distributed." (Example: Dark Eldar 5th)

nedius
01-04-2011, 12:04
I'd go for a few things.

Fluff:
Credible, and maintaining existing fluff, but elaborating or adding to it in an appropriate way.

Design:
Special rules/wargear grouped together, rather than distributed here, there and everywhere.

Rules:
New rules that are complimentary to the game, rather than drastically at odds with it.
Consistancy with other codexes - what works for one should work for others OR be explicitly explained why it would not.
Balanced, internally and externally.

Armies:
Several viable builds.
Doesn't invalidate old armies.

Units:
New units enhance options for the army rather than just replace old ones by being the latest 'BUY TO WINZ' offering.
Old units not nerfed beyond use.

Post Release Support:
2nd wave released within 6 months of initial releases.
FAQ updated within 6 months of initial release.
FAQ doesn't break RaW, nerf already mediocre units.


DE did well in many, or all, of these areas.

Old armies weren't nerfed beyond use

theJ
01-04-2011, 12:26
Pretty much what Nedius said.

Notanoob
01-04-2011, 16:07
I think that internal balance and fluff are the two most important things. One should never be forced to have one unit or another in their list. There should always be another way of getting the same thing, without feeling like you are hurting yourself. The variety of choices is always a good thing.

The fluff is the other thing. Since fluff is never FAq'ed, it is important that it is well written and consistent with other books, previous editions etc. That's not to say that nothing can be added, but it should be able to fit in nicely.

Finally, these two should work together. If you want to run a list in the vein of something you read about, the option should be there. This I feel was done best in 4th with Doctrines, Chapter traits, and mutability, and in 3rd with legions.

Tak
01-04-2011, 17:25
(Plucking up of courage)...I actually think that Mat Ward makes decent codexes (or whatever you call a multiple of them, does anyone actually know)?

Seriously, I don't get all the firebranding of this poor fellow, what's everyones beef with him anyway?

Iv'e got all of the codexes and I like them all. out of the whole lot of them the Space Prawns (sorry, I meant the Tyranids) seem to have the most obvious errors amongst the rules but still, I think its pretty cool.

Anyway, back to my main point, Mat Ward is a decent codex creator, does anyone have a good point to argue otherwise?

Go easy on me will you?:)

Notanoob
01-04-2011, 18:04
(Plucking up of courage)...I actually think that Mat Ward makes decent codexes (or whatever you call a multiple of them, does anyone actually know)?

Seriously, I don't get all the firebranding of this poor fellow, what's everyones beef with him anyway?

Iv'e got all of the codexes and I like them all. out of the whole lot of them the Space Prawns (sorry, I meant the Tyranids) seem to have the most obvious errors amongst the rules but still, I think its pretty cool.

Anyway, back to my main point, Mat Ward is a decent codex creator, does anyone have a good point to argue otherwise?

Go easy on me will you?:)
People like to beat on him a lot, but the problem isn't that he writes bad rules, but the fluff. And really, you should avoid talking about it because there is so much hate for that it's unreal (and a bit deserved really).

But that's not to say his rules are fine though. He brought us the 'Special character=your chapter' rules that really limit you. It was a poor way to replace Doctrines, as not only did it make regular captains worthless, but it also was a big 'screw you' to anyone who's chapter didn't make the cut. He also brought us 3+ invulnerable saves, and failed to cost them appropriately. Storm Shields are not only silly good, but were out of line with the rest of the game. Finally, he did some dumb stuff like give scouts minefields and hellfire round bolters (wtf? how come they get better guns then the more experienced battle brothers in 2nd-9th companies?). Finally there was the ott Ultramarine special characters. Sure, they're not actually that good, but their rules and fluff made them seem much better than everyone else to a silly degree.

With Blood Angels, some really dislike the endless number of attacks a Furiouso or Death Company dread can get, the idea of deep striking land raides (it's just stupid), flying dreadnaughts, the easy way to spam buffs like Furious Charge, FNP etc., and how all their vehicles were fast with no downside. They were in essence Space Marines +1, as they didn't really loose anything of note, except maybe Vulcan He'stan. It's also a second 'screw you' to Iron Hands players, as not only were they ignored in the regular marine codex, but they were also given the shaft by Blood Angels who suddenly have better vehicles, dreadnaught and land raiders then the supposedly tech heavy Iron Hands, and had more of them.

Now we've got Grey Knights, who only cost a few more points than regular space marines yet have bolters+1(storm bolters), Force weapons (just power weapons are 15 points for most guys, GK's get them base for almost nothing and the benefit of ID'ing everything), and excellent psychic powers (ex. Hammerhand). They may be missing a few things, like melta guns and heavy weapons, but with psycannons and psyflman dreads, they don't really care. They also tread on the Dark Angels' toes by having Terminators as troops, and even better they don't need a special character, also have mixable weapons, and are basically better in every ways. Thank goodness they don't have Storm Shields, or they really would be broken, but it's okay, they just have to use Librarians and hide in cover to have the same benefits. And of course, everyone's mad that they get 2+ invulnerable saves just on principle.

That said, it's more of an 'on the principle' complaint than a 'OMG so OP' complaint, really, Guard and Wolves have felt better written and less over the top, yet managed to be far more broken than Ward's stuff.

Madfool2
01-04-2011, 18:08
If it doesn't say "By Robin Cruddace" Is usually a grand start.

ascendedjesse
01-04-2011, 18:19
One that does not fall apart whenever I flip through pages, everything else is just bonus.

Tak
01-04-2011, 22:30
People like to beat on him a lot, but the problem isn't that he writes bad rules, but the fluff. And really, you should avoid talking about it because there is so much hate for that it's unreal (and a bit deserved really).

But that's not to say his rules are fine though. He brought us the 'Special character=your chapter' rules that really limit you. It was a poor way to replace Doctrines, as not only did it make regular captains worthless, but it also was a big 'screw you' to anyone who's chapter didn't make the cut. He also brought us 3+ invulnerable saves, and failed to cost them appropriately. Storm Shields are not only silly good, but were out of line with the rest of the game. Finally, he did some dumb stuff like give scouts minefields and hellfire round bolters (wtf? how come they get better guns then the more experienced battle brothers in 2nd-9th companies?). Finally there was the ott Ultramarine special characters. Sure, they're not actually that good, but their rules and fluff made them seem much better than everyone else to a silly degree.

With Blood Angels, some really dislike the endless number of attacks a Furiouso or Death Company dread can get, the idea of deep striking land raides (it's just stupid), flying dreadnaughts, the easy way to spam buffs like Furious Charge, FNP etc., and how all their vehicles were fast with no downside. They were in essence Space Marines +1, as they didn't really loose anything of note, except maybe Vulcan He'stan. It's also a second 'screw you' to Iron Hands players, as not only were they ignored in the regular marine codex, but they were also given the shaft by Blood Angels who suddenly have better vehicles, dreadnaught and land raiders then the supposedly tech heavy Iron Hands, and had more of them.

Now we've got Grey Knights, who only cost a few more points than regular space marines yet have bolters+1(storm bolters), Force weapons (just power weapons are 15 points for most guys, GK's get them base for almost nothing and the benefit of ID'ing everything), and excellent psychic powers (ex. Hammerhand). They may be missing a few things, like melta guns and heavy weapons, but with psycannons and psyflman dreads, they don't really care. They also tread on the Dark Angels' toes by having Terminators as troops, and even better they don't need a special character, also have mixable weapons, and are basically better in every ways. Thank goodness they don't have Storm Shields, or they really would be broken, but it's okay, they just have to use Librarians and hide in cover to have the same benefits. And of course, everyone's mad that they get 2+ invulnerable saves just on principle.

That said, it's more of an 'on the principle' complaint than a 'OMG so OP' complaint, really, Guard and Wolves have felt better written and less over the top, yet managed to be far more broken than Ward's stuff.

Ok you've made some really good points there so I defer to you but I still think all codexes are cool.:)

bluemage
01-04-2011, 23:09
Ward has also written two fantasy army books, Orcs and Goblins, and Demons of Chaos. And there are a lot of legitimate complaints about those books.

For 40k my complaints mostly have to do with the fluff being some of the worst written stuff I've had the misfortune of reading. In Fantasy my complaints mostly have to do with the rules. The fantasy fluff might be bad, I wouldn't know as I didn't read it.

Chapters Unwritten
02-04-2011, 00:51
I'm going to draw a lot of fire here and say that external balance shouldn't be considered at all. My reason is because it really doesn't exist (and if people want to keep pretending that 25 points of storm bolters are "the same" as a 25 point Power Fist, it's their prerogative, of course). 250 points of Kroot and 250 points of Land Raider are not at all relative, nor should they be.

Internal balance is everything, and it is only because of internal balance precedents that we see the point costs of anything look similar at all.

Whether you believe some things are too good or not, the problems tend to stem from poor internal balance. There is a lot of talk on here about "external balance"...I believe this to be a figment of this being a hot new buzzword and nothing more. I don't believe for one second that when costing a new model, weapon, or unit for a codex, the designers should consider anything else from other books as anything but a baseline. Now, does that always hit the mark? No, of course not. But I'd rather the game "feel" right than anything else, and you don't get "feel" with formulaic point costs, especially if the rubric, is off like GW's has been in the past.

Concerning fluff I think the most important thing is to stop Matt Ward's expository writing style. Expository writing is basically like taking a bulleted list of bland facts and putting them into paragraph form; it drains all the expansive grandeur that comes from our own imaginings and drawn conclusions out of the game background entirely. It leaves us with either a painfully rudimentary outcome of what has happened, or an indisputable and ham-fisted tale that is both too explicit to inspire wonder and too vague to inspire emotion.

Nurgling Chieftain
02-04-2011, 01:11
Well, you asked for it. :cool: If external balance doesn't matter, then if every points cost in a given codex were halved, that would be fine since the internal balance would be identical to what it is now. I think that's completely absurd.

An underpowered unit ruins internal balance. That's kind of sad because people don't play that unit. An overpowered unit ruins external balance. That impacts lots of things because not only are lots of people suddenly playing an army they weren't playing before, they're using the newly overpowered units.

The fact that Pyrovores suck means they don't get played. Sad, but not a big deal; they didn't even exist before, so that's not much of an impact on gameplay. On the other hand, I'm now constantly facing overpowered Sanguinary Priests and underpriced Long Fangs despite the fact that not long ago there were virtually no Blood Angels nor Space Wolves even active in the local league.

susu.exp
02-04-2011, 02:09
Iīd put it another way. If there is internal balance, then external balance is easy to archive, because then your 1500 point army build with codex X is on par with another list. hence all your playtests will tell you the same thing about the power of the codex. If internal balance isnīt there, playtest games wonīt be as informative as youīd really have to break down unit choices etc. pp.
An overpowered unit in a codex doesnīt neccessarily wreck external balance - Destroyers are a no brainer in Necron armies, but that doesnīt make the Codex gamebreaking good...
I think CU refered to this idea of comparing single units between books. Thatīs something that doesnīt make sense, because similar units (or even the same unit) may have different roles. Units(!) have to be balanced within a codex. And codices(!) have to be balanced against each other. But units donīt have to be balanced across books.

Imagine a unit in between Hormangaunts and Stealers in CC power, in a troop slot, costing as much as a stealer. In the Nid codex itīd be underpowered. In the Tau Codex itīd be a no brainer. In the Nid Codex it offers nothing the stealers donīt already offer, in the tau Codex it offers close combat abilities that the army lacks. To actually be able to hold off an enemy assault for a while and do some damage is something that helps the Tau tremendously, while the Nids donīt have that problem. Thatīs a good reason for dropping Inquisitional storm troopers from the GK dex: Theyīd offer something the GK lack: Numbers. So theyīd be able to counteract the main weakness of the army and would have to be priced appropriately, i.e. higher than in the IG book. At something like 20 points per model, they wouldnīt work compared to the standard GKs. So they were dropped.

Notanoob
02-04-2011, 02:30
susu.exp...I think that your deffinition of external balance is different from everyone else. No one compares 250 points of LR to 250 points of Kroot, what they mean is that each codex should have a 50/50 win/loss ratio against each other with multiple builds.

As for the lack of Inq Stormies, that argument is flawed because they easily can get numbers via Coteaz, and even then it's not a huge deal. If each model can pull more weight, then who needs tons? Additionally, Inq Storm troopers would not solve the low number of GKs problem because they aren't GKs. What would be broken is if GKs coasted less than they do now.

susu.exp
02-04-2011, 03:54
susu.exp...I think that your deffinition of external balance is different from everyone else. No one compares 250 points of LR to 250 points of Kroot, what they mean is that each codex should have a 50/50 win/loss ratio against each other with multiple builds.

I agree on this. But there are several threads on this forum where people have done such comparisons and asked for them and it seems that UW was refering to them. Good examples are Grey Hunters vs. Basic CSM (ignoring that GH are the expensive troop choice, whereas CSM have cult troops as well) and there are a few more examples along these lines (cost of DPs in CSM vs CD, cost of MCs in the Nid book, etc.). I do stand by my above post that rejects that type of external balance and actually prefers an expected 50% success rate (draws need to be accounted for as well), noting that it is far easier to archive this type of balance if the Codex is internally balanced, because then there wonīt be lists that can beat the 50% and no lists that stay below (and merely average 50%). What good would a codex be, that had one list that had a 70% win rate against everything, when every other list had a 60% loss rate? No good, though the average of lists may still come out at 50%.


As for the lack of Inq Stormies, that argument is flawed because they easily can get numbers via Coteaz, and even then it's not a huge deal. If each model can pull more weight, then who needs tons?

Well, itīs an elite army and being able to put too many cheap models on the table counteracts that. The normal restriction through Inquisitors keeps them low (you pay for a character, spend an HQ slot). Coteaz breaks this (and lo and behold, a lot of Spam lists enter the web).


Additionally, Inq Storm troopers would not solve the low number of GKs problem because they aren't GKs.

Huh? Theyīd be expendable troops. At worst they can provide a 4+ cover safe to the Knights or hold a home objective.

Cognitave
02-04-2011, 07:05
- Not breaking core rules (like JotWW or the new GK grenades do).

If you've gone this long without learning how to beat Jaws, maybe you need to just flat out get better, let alone play around something. :angel: Seriously, Jaws hate is so 2009.

Personally, I think Codex fluff is better when it speaks to what people expect about the army. I dislike Draigo being "samurai jack in space", and Matt Ward adding or changing many established army conventions we know and love (tired necrons? come on).

Radium
02-04-2011, 07:28
If you've gone this long without learning how to beat Jaws, maybe you need to just flat out get better, let alone play around something. :angel: Seriously, Jaws hate is so 2009.


Wow, nice way to get all personal.

I have no problem facing jaws at all, it's just a stupid power because it breaks a lot of core rules. As do a lot of the DE gimmicks and the GK grenades. It just isn't necessary to break those rules while making enticing powers or wargear, and it's just annoying for your opponent if you tell him "on a 2+ your 200 pt model disappears".

Cognitave
02-04-2011, 07:34
Wow, nice way to get all personal.

I have no problem facing jaws at all, it's just a stupid power because it breaks a lot of core rules. As do a lot of the DE gimmicks and the GK grenades. It just isn't necessary to break those rules while making enticing powers or wargear, and it's just annoying for your opponent if you tell him "on a 2+ your 200 pt model disappears".

I thought as much :angel:.

You mention all these "core rules", but you never seem to elaborate on what they are, or how they're being broken.

Radium
02-04-2011, 07:58
Alright:
To hit/to wound/save - broken by jaws/shattershard/implosion missiles/etc.
Multiplication before addition on stats etc - broken by lots of stuff in the GK codex.

Cognitave
02-04-2011, 08:28
So by "lots of stuff", you mean hammerhand? I hardly call that a compelling argument. Passing tests or dying may seem frustrating, but losing things is definitely part of the game. It's really easy to go on tilt about Jaws and Shattershard, but a better player would realize that there is an element of variance to 40k, and losing something to variance is the driving force of the game.

Chapters Unwritten
02-04-2011, 10:40
Alright:
To hit/to wound/save - broken by jaws/shattershard/implosion missiles/etc.
Multiplication before addition on stats etc - broken by lots of stuff in the GK codex.Armor Saves - Broken by power weapons.
Wound allocation - Broken by melta bombs.
Vehicle penetration - Broken by the melta rule.

At the risk of seeming like a tosser, I have to make such points. But do you see what I did there?

The whole point of designing an interesting game is to have some very basic framework of rules, and then to break them or bend them in creative ways (that hopefully represent what is supposed to actually be happening in the mind's eye of the gameplay). Practically every successful game I can think of from my lifetime did/does this.

I personally love that GW is getting more creative with how they use rules. Balance goes both ways. The more powerful a psychic power is, the more it justifies GW putting in options of blocking it. With something like those GK grenades that lower your toughness, items like that mean that GW can put units with higher toughness in the books and have them be more balanced. What seems completely unfair and overpowered today, is tomorrow's baseline. There's an axis on which all of these things balance.

Either way I still stand by my earlier statements. People might say to me that external balance is critical, but I think some of the other posters see what I was getting at: a book with good internal balance need not concern itself with other books' relative power levels, as they will come out fairly even if both are internally solid.

smellyhippy
02-04-2011, 11:07
People might say to me that external balance is critical, but I think some of the other posters see what I was getting at: a book with good internal balance need not concern itself with other books' relative power levels, as they will come out fairly even if both are internally solid.

ok i see your point. both books will be able to build a range of balanced forces able to fulfill all required roles on the battlefield, rather than just a few..or even only one competitive build. but if the external balance between books is horribly skewed, say something in the order of forcex20% or more. then 1,000pts of force x will not be equivelant to 1,000pts of force y on the table top? you follow surely unless you regularly come in at force limit-20% just to sharpen your game or some such :eyebrows: costings between books are critical, especially for those of you who'd rather someone you're about to play came in at 960 instead of 1002 in a 1,000pointer eh?

oops, that should've read force+20%..my bad

HRM
02-04-2011, 12:28
Internal balance is all well and good, but external balance is very important as well - if a book was "well-balanced internally" but had six-point Marines, three-and-a-half-point Scouts, and 17-point Predators... Well, how's THAT for balance?

Okuto
02-04-2011, 13:16
1: Everything in the dex is useful in some way, a good dex has no dead weights

2: Everyone who played the last army should be able to use their old models, nothing pisses off more than not being able to use a model who bought and built(looking at you CSM dex! and older ork players who had shock attack guns on their shelves)

3: Has many possible builds(allows variety, no one wants to fight the same army)

4: Has decent background fluff(quality of fluff has been down lately, except DE dex)

5: Painting tutorials in the painting section(If the demographic is kids you need to put this in the book to give them ideas, not just assume they're gonna go check it online)

To me the Dark eldar dex is the most well written dex atm and I dont even play them but their dex is well thought out, nothing too strong, nothing worthless, feels just right.

Notanoob
02-04-2011, 14:22
I agree on this. But there are several threads on this forum where people have done such comparisons and asked for them and it seems that UW was refering to them. Good examples are Grey Hunters vs. Basic CSM (ignoring that GH are the expensive troop choice, whereas CSM have cult troops as well) and there are a few more examples along these lines (cost of DPs in CSM vs CD, cost of MCs in the Nid book, etc.).Some of these arguments are better than others. For instance, comparing Grey Hunters to Tactical squads is a fair comparison because they both fill the same roll in armies that have very similar list, while Grey Hunters to Chaos Space Marines is not quite as fair because while they fill the same role, as they have almost identical equipment loadouts, Chaos has a 4th edition book, so of course the costing isn't going to be quite right. The DPs argument is also a bit off because a. Demon Princes are so much better in CSM than any other HQ, while in the demons book it fill a different role.



Huh? Theyīd be expendable troops. At worst they can provide a 4+ cover safe to the Knights or hold a home objective.
Storm Troopers are hardly expendable, they cost the same as Space Marines in the IG dex, and you know that they'd keep parity between those two. Expendable is a bunch of Acolytes and the cost of guardsmen rushing you with meltas/Jokaero.

Solar_Eclipse
02-04-2011, 14:44
What makes a good codex?

- Background that highlights specific themes of the battle and the forces involved, while reinforcing theme. (Ie. An Imperial Preacher telling the Masses that the Angels of Death are there to reinforce the Emperors will. They are the heralds of the Emperors doom to those who turn from his light. Reinforcing the Dystopia of the Imperium and showing off an aspect of marines , as in how they are viewed.)

- The Background meshes with the established background and uses correct narrative themes to make sure WTF moments are removed. There is a fine line between Dystopian believable absurd and just simply Absurd.

- Units need to be balanced against each other, each with a specific use and goal, with good background supporting them and good variation of unit types. Every unit should have some options to allow them to play differently.

- Armies should use realistic views of stats (rather than the comic book rulings that we have, with incredibly over the top stats for no real reason)

- Variations on the army for specialist forces should exist (ie. Lord Commissar Allowing Stormtroopers as troops, but Platoons as Elites, etc)

Balance is very important, but i would rate Theme and Variation over perfect balance.

Also, FUN! The codex should be fun to play! In all different ways, allowing for good tactics, brutal combats and all of the above. People viewing a battle should be able to detect its *theme* quickly.

Lord Inquisitor
02-04-2011, 15:20
First and foremost:

The KISS principle: Keep It Simple, Stupid.

1. Fluff.
Give the background to the army, without feeling the need to make everything the bestest evah. A codex and an army needs a theme, an overriding direction to the background and a set of archetypes the background should follow. Keep it simple, stick to the core basics and don't feel the need to make them seem like the best thing in the galaxy or add new shiny direction to them.

2. Rules.
Set out the units required to show the theme of the army, the existing model range and any new models planned. Assign the minimum, minimum special rules required to show the character of each unit. Base profiles and/or USRs should be used as much as possible to show the character of the unit.

The rules should be playtested and rigourously edited - any unnecessary wordage removed. Ideally, fluff and rules would be clearly differentiated (e.g. fluff in italics). Any special rules/units not required to show the character of a unit/army should be removed. That goes double for any units or special rules that actively go against the theme of the list (e.g. thunderfire cannons, Combat Tactics in the SM list). Keep it simple, the list will be so much better.

The focus of playtesting should be to give the list to a group of veteran tournament style players who try to break the list as much as possible. While "fun" style playtesting shouldn't be ignored lest the ruleslawyers strip everything fun out of the list, in general you can play a narrative campaign with a balanced list but not a tournament-style competitive game with an unbalanced list.

Special characters should be given appropriate playtest time. Any characters that change the FOC chart need to be tested as much as the core list, because these are a valid way of playing. Blood Claws might be a balanced unit, but I've not seen any on the table since the new 'dex as everyone takes Wolf Guard as Troops.

3. Layout.
I want to see all wargear in the wargear section, not scattered throughout the book. Some books are like a choose your own adventure - you can get sent to 3 different places looking for one piece of kit. Any kit that is simply an army-specific variation on a generic kit should be called the generic name rather than the fluffy one. Daemonettes, for example, have the gift Aura of Acquiescence, which is simply offensive and defensive grenades. Their army list entry could reflect that and cut out a wargear item. Keep it simple.

4. Army List
I quite like the 5e army list layouts. I would like to see more customisation of points values to the unit in question - a powerfist is obviously more valuable to a 4A model than a 1A model yet Thunderwolf Cavalry and Grey Hunters pay the same.

susu.exp
02-04-2011, 16:50
Some of these arguments are better than others. For instance, comparing Grey Hunters to Tactical squads is a fair comparison because they both fill the same roll in armies that have very similar list

I disagree. The role of GH and Tac Squads is rather different and that is reflected in the different options and the different cost. In an SM army, tac Squads are a very multi-purpose unit, split into Combat Squads you can use one with a heavy Weapon to sit back and the other more offensively. The GH can not Combat Squad and canīt have a heavy weapon. It has a more offensive role and less of a fire support role. Etc. pp. Itīs not a fair comparison, because these restrictions change the way the unit behaves within the army substantially.


while Grey Hunters to Chaos Space Marines is not quite as fair because while they fill the same role, as they have almost identical equipment loadouts, Chaos has a 4th edition book, so of course the costing isn't going to be quite right.

That makes no sense. The comparison doesnīt work, because - again - the units are in different books.


Storm Troopers are hardly expendable, they cost the same as Space Marines in the IG dex, and you know that they'd keep parity between those two.

No, I donīt know. In fact, thatīs the very point Iīm debating. Storm Troopers would be more useful in a GK list, because compared to the GK they are cheap. In the IG book, they are expensive - they are the Elite - but for the GK they arenīt. So their cost would have to differ to some degree.


Expendable is a bunch of Acolytes and the cost of guardsmen rushing you with meltas/Jokaero.

Which is restricted by having to use up an HQ slot per unit or by having to take an expensive special Character (and then they cost Troop slots). And while I do see Coteaz spam lists, they will suffer from the usual anti-horde stuff and once you start putting Jokaero in and adding meltas the unit stops being cheap quite quickly.

Chapters Unwritten
08-04-2011, 03:30
Internal balance is all well and good, but external balance is very important as well - if a book was "well-balanced internally" but had six-point Marines, three-and-a-half-point Scouts, and 17-point Predators... Well, how's THAT for balance?Using my logic of internal balance, this just means that somewhere in that same book will be a 1000-point Vindicator. :)

tayloeage
08-04-2011, 04:00
i think its mainly two things one is how unique the army is and how it plays out ... like blood angels are all assault or tau is all firepower ... and i think the other factor is how playable is it so are you able to make viable armies out of it or is the codex build to really only have 1 or 2 builds to it and how useful will they be.

RandomThoughts
08-04-2011, 13:35
I personally love that GW is getting more creative with how they use rules. Balance goes both ways. The more powerful a psychic power is, the more it justifies GW putting in options of blocking it. With something like those GK grenades that lower your toughness, items like that mean that GW can put units with higher toughness in the books and have them be more balanced. What seems completely unfair and overpowered today, is tomorrow's baseline. There's an axis on which all of these things balance.

I agree with the basic premise, but then I'd like to ask GW to do what Privateer Press did and remake the whole game at once, together.

PP essentially said "we need a new edition", than asked players publicly for feedback in great amounts, then within a frame of 1-2 years released new core rules and new faction books for all their ten factions. All designed as a whole instead of the piecemail approach that GW has been taking for years...

I just wonder, if a small competitor can do it with limited resources, why can't the leader in market shares with a multiple of money and resources? ^^

Carlosophy
08-04-2011, 17:10
Wow, nice way to get all personal.

I have no problem facing jaws at all, it's just a stupid power because it breaks a lot of core rules. As do a lot of the DE gimmicks and the GK grenades. It just isn't necessary to break those rules while making enticing powers or wargear, and it's just annoying for your opponent if you tell him "on a 2+ your 200 pt model disappears".

I still don't understand this 'breaking of the core rules' thats been going around. Characteristics tests have been around since 1st edition. Making an I, T or S test to avoid an untimely demise is nothing new. How does this 'break' the core rules exactly?

lanrak
08-04-2011, 18:18
Hi Random Thoughts.
PP's prime demoghraphic are gamers.
Therfore the game balance and rules clarity are very important to them.

GW plc s prime demoghraphic are easily influeanced children (11 to 16 year olds,) and collectors who think the rules are not all that important.

Thefore GWs primary goal for a codex is to inspire customers to buy the latest models in the short term.(Untill the next codex is released.)

As GW coperate managers dont think thier prime demoghraphic actualy get around to playing a full sized game of 40k, they are not as concerned about game balance as the GW game developers are.

An no where near as concerned as the GW gamers...

TTFN

Bubble Ghost
08-04-2011, 18:40
Quite. Improving the game is simply not a priority for "Games" Workshop, unfortunately.

Chapters Unwritten
08-04-2011, 18:49
I don't really think the game is all that horrible, to be honest. I have gamed 40k-style in two different groups on both US and UK shores and I can honestly say we do not have one person who dominates every game he plays, or one army we all have trouble beating. It's rather back and forth, and it's hard to really call the game so poor when I know of so many who are playing and enjoying it without a hitch.

In the American group we haven't even had a rules query!

Bubble Ghost
08-04-2011, 19:38
In the main, while there are one or two aspects of it that really are absolutely appalling, it's more clumsy and unwieldy than truly horrible. The disappointing thing is that there's no will to improve it.