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Marked_by_chaos
30-12-2011, 13:03
I have recently been reading through the Epic Armageddon rules and after a few games it amazed me how balanced the rules and armies are compared to 40k.

There seem to be a few possible reasons for this:

1. Greater amount of playtesting - the game was developed alongside a playtesting community.

2. It may be easier to balance out armies and rules at a slightly greater level of abstraction.

3. The game is not beholden to a deliberate army/model release strategy where potentially unbalanced rules are apparently created, in part, to encourage the purchase of new models.

4. The separate anti-personal and anti-tank weapon designation and armour save rules appear to be superior to the 40k dynamics IMHO, where the metagame effect of AP and the proliferation of 3+ saves seems to be largely responsible for the effectiveness/redundancy of many units. They also appear to allow for greater differentiation of units for game balance and encourage combined arms tactics to a greater degree.


Something that also really tickled my interest was commentary in the designers notes to the rulebook. This was the concept that it is often what a unit cannot do rather than what they can that makes units unique and interesting/tactically destinct.

It strikes me that in the gradual process of rules/codex creep there are too many units that can do too many things too well.

Anyway for all that there are three things that I would love to see especially alongside a new edition.

1. Leave units/new units with clear drawbacks to go alongside their strengths.

2. While GW is not going to release full codexes online it would be great if the faq/erratas extended to posting the army list sections online (i.e. not detailing the wargear,rules, full unit entries - you could also strip out all reference to stats/special rules if GW were worried about the effect on codex sales and have these clearly set out in the main body of the books along with a useful army summary section that would not be posted online) allowing tweaking of unit point values in order to balance armies if it became apparent that certain units were under or overcosted etc.

3. In the new rulebook create a sufficiently broad section of universal special rules and then BAN codex designers creating army specific rules later. There are other ways to distinguish units than by creating unique special rules and this should keep all armies within a certain degree of balance and prevent inadvertent imbalance being created following the release of new codexes. Besides if you have worked out a overall framework for army concepts (i.e. roles, strengths and weaknesses) at the time of the creation of the new edition you can accomodate universal rules to reflect these and to allow their use in future codex releases.

Chapters Unwritten
30-12-2011, 21:11
More balance means more blandness. I prefer it this way, honestly.

Then again, I don't find the game imbalanced pretty much at all. After watching my club play all manner of armies for the past several years, I see no difference in 40k other than entertainment value, which has only risen among players.

There are many ways you could go about rebalancing the game but it is hardly necessary. The new edition will do as the previous one did -- tone down the powerful armies, and elevate the poor ones. Mark my words.

Korraz
30-12-2011, 21:23
More balance means more blandness. I prefer it this way, honestly.


Rarely in the whole history of mankind has somebody stated something so wrong.

Epic is so great because of two simple reasons:
Jervis was seemingly allowed to act as he saw fit.
True, community aided playtesting.

The first one is now prevent by people that have no idea whatsoever of game design (or, indeed, leading a company) calling for fast cash, the latter one by the ugly head of the LotR contract causing GW to turtle in further and further. As nice as the game is, it ultimately did more damage than good.


Game designers should be allowed to invent and design new rules as they see fit, provided they are properly tested.

Vepr
30-12-2011, 21:23
I guess balance also depends on your environment. It seems that about 75% of the players at the place I frequent always seem to be tweaking an army for the next tournament and they often gravitate to the top three or four armies. I am not saying they bandwagon but tournament play is what they enjoy and strive towards so their armies and lists reflect that. I play nids and it does get a bit disheartening to face IG, SW, GK and DE nearly all the time with occasional games against chaos or tau etc from the people that are not part of the tourney scene. Fighting constant uphill battles can teach you a lot and be entertaining but it is also nice to feel that your army is at least on near equal footing sometimes.

juicifer
30-12-2011, 23:07
It's an excellent game, and well worth trying.

Archibald_TK
31-12-2011, 00:21
More balance means more blandness.
That was true during the Warcraft II era where orcs and humans were basically the same armies with different sprites. Then a little game called Starcraft was created, and with its expansion Brood War shown the world that you can achieve astounding balance with 3 totally differently working armies as long as you truly work on it.

What Video Games can do, so can Tabletop Games, especially those that have decades of gaming experience behind them to work with. Alas with each new edition of 40k, it feels more like a shuffling than an evolution.


Rarely in the whole history of mankind has somebody stated something so wrong.
There was that time I was so drunk that I stated that I could do flying kicks that generated lightnings. A following experience versus a bench proved me wrong while at the same time demonstrating that benches can be formidable foes.

malisteen
31-12-2011, 15:01
There was that time I was so drunk that I stated that I could do flying kicks that generated lightnings. A following experience versus a bench proved me wrong while at the same time demonstrating that benches can be formidable foes.

I once knew a man who, under the influence of Emperor knows what mind altering substance, I once found in a state of obvious distress, shuffling down a hallway clutching at the floor. When pressed about what he was doing, he told me, with his lips pulled over his teeth like a child imitating an elderly person, that his teeth had escaped his mouth, and were attempting to flee the building, in the hope of making it on their own as a christian rock band. He needed to stop them because he objected to the genre of music they had chosen.

Korraz
31-12-2011, 16:13
I said rarely, not "Never before." :D

Vipoid
31-12-2011, 23:41
1. Leave units/new units with clear drawbacks to go alongside their strengths.

I'd agree with this one. I think that marine armies tend to be the worst offenders, since designers try to make GKs, SWs etc. Space Marines +1. They end up with better weapons and/or equipment, compared to their standard counterparts, but then the designers conveniently forget to add an appropriate price tag or drawback.




3. In the new rulebook create a sufficiently broad section of universal special rules and then BAN codex designers creating army specific rules later. There are other ways to distinguish units than by creating unique special rules and this should keep all armies within a certain degree of balance and prevent inadvertent imbalance being created following the release of new codexes. Besides if you have worked out a overall framework for army concepts (i.e. roles, strengths and weaknesses) at the time of the creation of the new edition you can accomodate universal rules to reflect these and to allow their use in future codex releases.

To be honest, I don't mind designers making up their own special rules, or having rules that only apply to a certain army (like the DE Power from Pain).

However, I do think that GW could do a lot more to keep such rules balanced. Giving Necron 'sargeants' a 15pt upgrade that can make a 210pt Tyranid Tyrgon commit seppuku seems like something that should have been looked at more closely. As should the ridiculous variety of cheap GK grenades, which they presumably carry around in Batman-style utility-belts.

I also think that designers should try to avoid creating rules that directly contravene the core rules. e.g. 'Models that have regrouped can move up to 3", and always count as having moved... unless they're marines.' 'Models disembarking from a non-open-topped vehicle can't assault if it moved this turn... unless it's a Land Raider.'

Wishing
01-01-2012, 09:57
I think these observations are very true, but also that 40k has no interest in moving in a direction of more elegance, abstraction and balance. The reason for this is simple. I remember reading an article by Jervis about how when these epic rules were released, he and Andy felt that they were the best rules that they had written - but loads and loads of people hated the rules and had no interest in playing the game. When asked why, people explained that the level of abstraction made the game seem bland and dull. A model having "Firepower 3" was just not cool compared to a model having a specific set of weapons with specific unique statlines. Balance and elegance was irrelevant in this regard - the fans wanted flashiness, detail and minutiae they could pore over, not a simple abstract system.

40k is not meant to be a quality game, it is meant to make money. The way it makes money is by publishing new books regularly that make gamers go "wow look at these cool and different new special rules! I gots to play this army". New models with exciting and exotic rules generates interest and drives sales. Simple, abstract and balanced rules do not.

Azulthar
01-01-2012, 10:09
3. In the new rulebook create a sufficiently broad section of universal special rules and then BAN codex designers creating army specific rules later.
Firmly opposed to this idea. Kills the fun, and not a necessity to keep things balanced.

Tarax
01-01-2012, 10:35
3. In the new rulebook create a sufficiently broad section of universal special rules and then BAN codex designers creating army specific rules later.

This would be a great idea. Each Army could have a different mix of USRs.


I also think that designers should try to avoid creating rules that directly contravene the core rules. e.g. 'Models that have regrouped can move up to 3", and always count as having moved... unless they're marines.' 'Models disembarking from a non-open-topped vehicle can't assault if it moved this turn... unless it's a Land Raider.'

Well, it's not exactly what you want, is it. The exemptions are unit/race specific rules. Yet, if they made all these rules in the BRB, like Marked said, then you would not get different wordings in different codices. Eg a Land Raider is an Assault Vehicle (not Open-Topped, but you can assault out of them) which would make the USR of 'Assault Vehicle'. Then each Land Raider in every codex could just say 'Assault Vehicle' and you can find it in the BRB. They've already done this with grenades, power weapons/fists and others.


When asked why, people explained that the level of abstraction made the game seem bland and dull. A model having "Firepower 3" was just not cool compared to a model having a specific set of weapons with specific unique statlines. Balance and elegance was irrelevant in this regard - the fans wanted flashiness, detail and minutiae they could pore over, not a simple abstract system.

The abstract level of Epic makes for a completely different game. It's no longer a skirmish game, that is 40K. To put the complexity of 40K in the abstractness of Epic is not possible. It would make the game as clunky as a RPG where you can hit the hand of your opponent (or even worse, a finger).
I haven't played Epic, so can't really judge on that. You could also compare it to Necromunda vs 40K (Mordheim vs Fantasy; Fantasy vs Warmaster).

samiens
01-01-2012, 18:04
Its been said above but bears reiteration, balance is not an aim of 40k games design and never has been. Now, you can attribute that to cynicism, ignorance, genius or whatever bit its really important. 40K started out as pseudo roleplaying and that's basically what it still is, just on ever larger scales. The tournament\pick up scene, which is the only area where balance is really important is more an offshoot of the game developed by us (yeah, including myself!) more competitive types- its not the purpose of the product.


40K gives you an epic setting, gorgeous models and a 'sandbox' of rules so you can play games with them. In many ways it's more analogous to historical type games where the aim is to recreate events rather than a test of skill to determine a winner. Note, there's nothing wrong with taking it to that extreme (personally im overcompetitive in all games from Mario kart to chess) but you have to accept you're using the system for an aim other than that for which it is written.

Its near impossible to balance a game with as many variables as 40k, and I believe the designers do the best they can in the time allowed, but its not a priority. If you standardised and abstracted more of the game (and units) you'd have a more stripped down, balanced product (which they tried at the end of 4th and people hated). It would be a lot more like Epic- and whether that's a good or bad thing comes down to personal preference.

But lets be honest, there are lots of properly balanced games (look at chess for example) but they tend to be more self contained and more bland. Nothing wrong with that, but if you want chess, play chess.

Now, it may be that, judging from the 5th ed codexes comparable power levels, we are entering a golden age of pseudo balance- but you can't have everything and 40k emphasises character over competition.

susu.exp
01-01-2012, 20:15
I remember reading an article by Jervis about how when these epic rules were released, he and Andy felt that they were the best rules that they had written - but loads and loads of people hated the rules and had no interest in playing the game. When asked why, people explained that the level of abstraction made the game seem bland and dull. A model having "Firepower 3" was just not cool compared to a model having a specific set of weapons with specific unique statlines. Balance and elegance was irrelevant in this regard - the fans wanted flashiness, detail and minutiae they could pore over, not a simple abstract system.

That was Epic 40k and Jervis wrote this when Epic Armageddon came to the scene. In E:A the level of abstraction has been turned down somewhat - weapons have statlines again, you donīt have a single FP value, but a to hit number for various types of targets (Infantry, Vehicles, Flyers). The issue with E40k was mainly that the miniatures got more detailed, you didnīt have a single Predator model, you had Perdators with all these weapon outfits and the rules got more abstract at the same time. That caused some cognitive dissonance - I remember that quite vividly. E:A brought back the things that make a Leman Russ really feel different from a Predator, but not by either bloating the game, nor by removing the elegance at the core. If you can strike a perfect balance between elegance and grittiness E:A hit it, mainly because Jervis had learned from all the older Editions.


40k is not meant to be a quality game, it is meant to make money. The way it makes money is by publishing new books regularly that make gamers go "wow look at these cool and different new special rules! I gots to play this army". New models with exciting and exotic rules generates interest and drives sales. Simple, abstract and balanced rules do not.

I disagree to some degree. While this holds for skirmish systems aparently (and is a reason Iīve pretty much dropped Malifaux) and is something that works for them, 40k isnīt a skirmish system. If thereīs a redeeming feature of 40k itīs that you can in fact play large games. The more they clog it with special rules, the more of a hassle this becomes. Moving 40k in the direction of WM/H and M:TG with a focus on combos, buffs, counters would work if the game was rescaled. If this was RT still, sure. If it was 2nd Ed. even. Or of course the skirmish system GW does have (Necromunda, Mortheim, Gorkamorka, LotR). But it isnīt. Itīs a game that has some armies that can field well over 100 models in a typically sized game (IG, Nids, Orks). And that means that you canīt simply port stuff that works for a skirmish and think it makes for an appealing game. If anything itīs a hindrance to attracting new players - Iīve demoed 40k and even the starter box armies have a few special rules. That does turn people off, because when they think they understand the basic rules they get hit with something new. These Orks are fearless and get additional hits. Now these Orks arenīt fearless anymore and run away. Those marines have ATSKNF and donīt really run away, but arenīt really fearless either...
And the way 40k makes money, is by selling starter sets and a few models to people who havenīt played this type of game before.

ashc
01-01-2012, 20:59
I think these observations are very true, but also that 40k has no interest in moving in a direction of more elegance, abstraction and balance. The reason for this is simple. I remember reading an article by Jervis about how when these epic rules were released, he and Andy felt that they were the best rules that they had written - but loads and loads of people hated the rules and had no interest in playing the game. When asked why, people explained that the level of abstraction made the game seem bland and dull. A model having "Firepower 3" was just not cool compared to a model having a specific set of weapons with specific unique statlines. Balance and elegance was irrelevant in this regard - the fans wanted flashiness, detail and minutiae they could pore over, not a simple abstract system.

40k is not meant to be a quality game, it is meant to make money. The way it makes money is by publishing new books regularly that make gamers go "wow look at these cool and different new special rules! I gots to play this army". New models with exciting and exotic rules generates interest and drives sales. Simple, abstract and balanced rules do not.

Absolutely this.

nurgle5
02-01-2012, 04:10
I'd agree with this one. I think that marine armies tend to be the worst offenders, since designers try to make GKs, SWs etc. Space Marines +1. They end up with better weapons and/or equipment, compared to their standard counterparts, but then the designers conveniently forget to add an appropriate price tag or drawback.

+1 one to this. There simply isn't enough variation in unit choices between some of the imperial power armour codexes which makes the issue so much worse.



I also think that designers should try to avoid creating rules that directly contravene the core rules. e.g. 'Models that have regrouped can move up to 3", and always count as having moved... unless they're marines.' 'Models disembarking from a non-open-topped vehicle can't assault if it moved this turn... unless it's a Land Raider.'

I'd agree with this too. I think that WHFB handles the application of special rules much better than 40k because the armybooks draw on different elements of core special rules, rather than invent a whole set of new ones for each codex. Don't get me wrong, I do think armies should have their unique special rules, but maybe not so many or applied so liberally within a single codex.

Vaktathi
02-01-2012, 05:31
Currently we have a weird situation in regards to codex design theory vs core rules theory.

The rules were the last work of a departing writer while most of the 5E books and especially the first two released were the first 40k works of new writers.

It really doesn't help that almost nothing can be played in this game without special rules, be they USR's or codex specific, almost everything has some sort of special rule, and it really doesn't help when they give out a USR but call it something else. The core rules just aren't enough to really portray everything the way GW wants to do it without special rules.

ashc
02-01-2012, 07:55
GW do not want to do away with special rules; 14yr old boys like special rules.

Toadius80
02-01-2012, 08:33
As mentioned in the 2nd post, without the varied rules the game would be bland.
Some of you refer to the more 'streamlined' epic series as being a better ruleset. Hmm I haven't seen that played for years and I regularly attend a club that has quite a healthy turnout of experienced players. I see 40k, WF, historics and Warmachine regularly played though. Strange that of all the fictional games they all have similar traits. Says to me people don't like dumbed down basic rules.

Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk

Archibald_TK
02-01-2012, 10:29
As mentioned in the 2nd post, without the varied rules the game would be bland.
Some of you refer to the more 'streamlined' epic series as being a better ruleset. Hmm I haven't seen that played for years and I regularly attend a club that has quite a healthy turnout of experienced players. I see 40k, WF, historics and Warmachine regularly played though. Strange that of all the fictional games they all have similar traits. Says to me people don't like dumbed down basic rules.
The original Epic was full of special rules (even the way you build your army could change, see the Tyranids awesome synapses system) and had a healthy following of fans who loved that game. Though it was a period when I was no longer playing TTG when Epic 40K was released, I remember that everybody stopped playing the game at that point. Here the system lost his fans, never to get them back.
The fact the Epic Armageddon rules are only available in English also don't help, same for how hard it is to get your hands on the whole range, especially at a decent price (big difference here with other specialist games like historical that have lot of alternatives).


GW do not want to do away with special rules; 14yr old boys like special rules.
Funny, I was under the impression that so did 30 years old men. I was also under the impression that it's the overload of special rules that people tend to despise, not special rules themselves. But maybe I'm dysfunctional, after all I do not see 14 years old boys as inferior gamers, I must be abnormal.

ashc
02-01-2012, 10:44
Funny, I was under the impression that so did 30 years old men. I was also under the impression that it's the overload of special rules that people tend to despise, not special rules themselves. But maybe I'm dysfunctional, after all I do not see 14 years old boys as inferior gamers, I must be abnormal.

Those players are victims of their own desires, you can't really expect to get cool rules without there being a rather large build-up of said rules.

The last reset resulted in the Dark Angel and Chaos books, and well, they received a less-than-warm response.

samiens
02-01-2012, 11:11
Absolutely, a response from the gaming community which probably rang the death knell for creating a more balanced 40k. Of course, this vindicated gw's belief that as a whole we are more interested in cool stuff and background than a balanced game.

Personally, I loved the reset and wished they had stuck to their guns, but as a whole gamers seemed to reject it, so you have to accept the game for what it is, otherwise you're getting angsty over something you can't change.

lets be clear, gw started writing rules to help sell more models, that will never change- they provide a framework for us to use our models- not a balanced competitive game.

Hellebore
02-01-2012, 11:21
Had they reset everything at the same time it probably would have gone over better. 3rd ed was very minimalist but at least it did it equally to all forces.

But GW had a backlog of special rule laden codices and then released only a couple simplified and streamlined ones. So everyone looked at the ones with more toys and saw a disparity.

I too preferred the Eldar/Dark Angel/Chaos book ethos and think had all books gone down that path we'd be in a better place. But sadly they were outnumbered by the shiny stuff and shouted down.

Hellebore

Marked_by_chaos
02-01-2012, 11:23
What do you guys think about the idea for a regularly updated online army list section for the armies?

When particular issues do come up they can then be balanced out i.e. unpopular units get points drop and overused units get slight increases or the costs of certain items get increases/decreases.

Marked_by_chaos
02-01-2012, 11:31
Had they reset everything at the same time it probably would have gone over better. 3rd ed was very minimalist but at least it did it equally to all forces.

But GW had a backlog of special rule laden codices and then released only a couple simplified and streamlined ones. So everyone looked at the ones with more toys and saw a disparity.

I too preferred the Eldar/Dark Angel/Chaos book ethos and think had all books gone down that path we'd be in a better place. But sadly they were outnumbered by the shiny stuff and shouted down.

Hellebore

I couldn't agree more. I don't think this is an isolated problem. Due to the long cycle between ruleset and army releases they often seem to come up with a design strategy for a new edition which is later abandoned halfway through the release cycle when a new designer takes over or the lead designer seems to step aside. There is then a marked change in philosophy and typically we start to see uber units and a plethora of new special rules emerging.

ashc
02-01-2012, 11:37
I don't think it helped that the Dark Angel and Chaos books equally had poor internal balance and little variety between units, leaving special rules aside.

Hellebore
02-01-2012, 11:39
It's the same sort of perception problem that fan rules run into.

Someone might say that they think space marines should be X, but compared to the other army lists out there it looks out of place. However if that person also thinks that tyranids should be Y, Eldar Z, Tau W etc then comparatively they don't look so out of place.

In the end everything is relative. A marine with 8s across the board is only ridiculous in the context of the current rules. But if a guardsman was 6s across the board and a gretching 4s then relative to those it doesn't look so out of place.

Relative to the other codicies the streamlined ones looked out of place, but relative to a (now hypothetical) redesign of all the other codices they would have fit far better.

Hellebore

samiens
02-01-2012, 12:16
The thing is that DA, Eldar, CSM and Orks were all quite tightly balanced against each other, particularly with 4th ed rules- so its easy to see how the game would have looked- the issue was people just didn't want that. This is fair enough, but you can't expect infinite variety and reasonable game balance. People chose variety.

Internal balance is something else, and often a legacy issue. For starters gw provides rules in most codexes for historical models and weapon sets that don't really fit in with current thinking- these are often underwhelming next to modern equivalents. Most codexes are bloated with options- but when armies have to have a new unit or two with each release this is going to happen. Then, arguably, you need good rules to get people with established armies to buy new stuff (though im only half persuaded by this, for every trygon there's a pyrovore). Then you have the effect of metagames, which add constraints to lists that designers rightly shouldn't take into account but which invalidate certain units in actual play.

But most importantly, I strongly suspect that better balance wouldn't help (and might actively hinder) sales and gw quite rightly needs to take this into account. That's why it will never be a priority and why it doesn't need to be.

To give a really basic example, in Gears of War games the weapon set is highly balanced so generally I keep hold of the same weapons in any situation. Fine for a computer fame but if I had to actually pay for extra weapons it would be in their interests to create greater variety and differentiation in power levels to give me a reason to spend in newer weapons. I wouldn't blame them- its the sensible thing to do. Gw, while in my opinion not that cynical, needs to hook people into buying more stuff- and has a variety of tools to do that (newer rules, bigger armies, nicer models etc).

If you accept 40k for what it is, then these things are tolerable and enjoyable in many ways. Don't get me wrong I understand objections but I also see why it is how it is

Korraz
02-01-2012, 15:46
As mentioned in the 2nd post, without the varied rules the game would be bland.
Some of you refer to the more 'streamlined' epic series as being a better ruleset. Hmm I haven't seen that played for years and I regularly attend a club that has quite a healthy turnout of experienced players. I see 40k, WF, historics and Warmachine regularly played though. Strange that of all the fictional games they all have similar traits. Says to me people don't like dumbed down basic rules.

Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk

I refer you to Warmachine as a newer example of good, streamlined rules design. Epic Armageddon's problem was not the rules.

One day I'm going to meet somebody in real life that calls good, sturdy rules "dumbed down", and then I'll probably educate him on his errors or brake a table on his back.

nurgle5
02-01-2012, 15:47
The thing is that DA, Eldar, CSM and Orks were all quite tightly balanced against each other, particularly with 4th ed rules- so its easy to see how the game would have looked- the issue was people just didn't want that. This is fair enough, but you can't expect infinite variety and reasonable game balance. People chose variety.

The thing is, is that GW is quite capable of providing variety and balance in their rulesets, without having to trample on one in favour of the other. Armybooks from whfb 8th ed are widely regarded as being some of the most balanced we've ever seen, internally and externally, while also introducing new special rules and units. They also managed to cull the power creep from 7th ed with the core rules. Miniatures are being released more sporadically across races now, so they're not as dependent on trying to make the next thing look bigger than the last. I really don't see why GW can't do the same thing with 40k.

Vaktathi
02-01-2012, 16:06
Those players are victims of their own desires, you can't really expect to get cool rules without there being a rather large build-up of said rules.

The last reset resulted in the Dark Angel and Chaos books, and well, they received a less-than-warm response.

To be fair, with the latter book, there were still tons of special rules and abilities, rather they cut lots of weapons, upgrade options, and entire units from the previous book and had highly inconsistent god-dedication system and presented the faction in a much different way, and was probably the one book where random wacky special rules are most warranted of any book (it is the forces of *Chaos* after all)...

The DA book likewise had a good grip of special rules and isn't all that different from C:SM except that it doesn't have combat tactics and their units cost more points. :p

Spell_of_Destruction
02-01-2012, 22:36
I'm not sure that I buy into the idea that the developers make units overpowered in order to sell codeces. For every piece of evidence (Space Wolves, Grey Knights) there is counter evidence (Tyranids, Necrons).

I think it is much simpler than that - as others have pointed out there is seemingly little desire to fine tune balance between the armies and it appears that little effort has been put into this. This leads to a mix of 'overpowered' and 'underpowered' units.

While a truly balanced system may not be desirable to many gamers, neither is a unbalanced system. Fine tuned balance is not necessarily required for a good 40k but gross imbalances will always sap the fun out of the game. Just think back to the impact that the Daemons army book had in 7th ed WHFB.

Spiney Norman
02-01-2012, 23:16
SoD, if your putting Necrons in the same category as Nids I can only suggest you play some games with or against them. They may not be "grey knight" broken, but they can hold their own with any other army with the new codex.

Do we have much of an idea how 6th is going to affect the game meta? Is it going to be a big shift or a cataclysmic shake up. Do we have any hints yet what the changes will be, or which armies will be the biggest casualties?

Having lived through the earthquake that was 8th edition fantasy I'm rather hoping that none of my 40K armies get "wood elfed" in the summer.

althathir
03-01-2012, 00:30
Personally I think 5th has been the best edition so far if your basing the judgement on balance. The main problems right now are with the older books (vanilla dex and older w/ the exception of orks), where troops weren't the focus.

The main design issue IMO is transports being a little too effective. Making it more dangerous to be embarked would be a good change. One thought I've had on this is to have different damage results based on how the vehicle is destroyed, with blast weapons, and being destroyed in CC being much more dangerous to the passengers.

A nerf to firing points would also be inorder.

I would also like to see more infantry rules, and some additional benefits to MCs to help balance them with vehicles in general.

Spell_of_Destruction
03-01-2012, 00:32
SoD, if your putting Necrons in the same category as Nids I can only suggest you play some games with or against them. They may not be "grey knight" broken, but they can hold their own with any other army with the new codex.

No, I wouldn't put them in the same category - they are different examples. From what I can tell, Necrons aren't bad but the point I was trying to illustrate is that they don't support the idea that their is a concious effort to make every new codex more uber in order to shift models.

That's not to say that codex creep doesn't exist but it's just that - creep. It describes the gradual inflation of stats/abilities which is a result of trying to keep codeces up to date with the current rules and power level. I think that this is only a partially consciously driven phenomenom.

Kevlar
03-01-2012, 00:49
Armybooks from whfb 8th ed are widely regarded as being some of the most balanced we've ever seen, internally and externally, while also introducing new special rules and units. They also managed to cull the power creep from 7th ed with the core rules. Miniatures are being released more sporadically across races now, so they're not as dependent on trying to make the next thing look bigger than the last. I really don't see why GW can't do the same thing with 40k. [/COLOR]

This isn't exactly true.

What started in 7th edition Fantasy and is continuing in 8th is a trend to get people to buy more models. They did this in two ways. They made most army entries cheaper per point per model, and they added bonuses to larger units. This has a direct impact on sales. It also punishes older armies because some of them are still using books that were not written in a period where the GW brain trust was trying to push higher model counts.

You can see the same thing in 40k between 4th and 5th edition. The newer books allow you to field larger armies. Even some of the so called balanced books like Necrons got cheaper across the board. And then they throw in some new cheap vehicles that make popular older models that everyone ownes obsolete. Hence they nerf the hell out of the monolith but give you a bunch of shiney new must haves with blatantly overpowered/underpriced special rules.

My chaos marines have to pay 10 points for a missile launcher and 10 for a melta, but the newer Codex space marines get the missle for free and the melta for half price. So they basically get a free marine for every squad compared to chaos.

You can't ever have a fair game in this type of environment. Its like the older books are playing at a 10 percent point value handicap.

samiens
03-01-2012, 01:04
Of course, chaos marines were flat out better than tacticals before, and probably still are now- an extra marine with lower leadership and without the cc weapon, pistol and bolter combo, or the synergistic option to take an extra special weapon, not to mention that tacticals cost an extra point per model.

Plus, whatever issues people have with nids, they definitely aren't hideously underpowered- they may lack multiple builds and not slot amazingly into some metagames but their power level, with a sensible build, is reasonable, if not grey knight good.

Frankly, in most games the skill difference between players far outweighs any potential 'points deficit' suffered buy older codexes. Frankly its only in decent level tournaments where this generally comes up. As a case in point, at my local store I think my tau, commonly considered the worst army in 40k, have only ever lost to descent of angels&mephiston blood angels (a horrific match up). Its really not so unbalanced as to be that any army can't win- that sounds like internet theorising, not real life

lantzkev
03-01-2012, 01:10
yeah, the blood angels were pretty much my only loss (and some guy that ran ultramarines in a pure assault fashion)

nurgle5
03-01-2012, 02:34
This isn't exactly true.

What started in 7th edition Fantasy and is continuing in 8th is a trend to get people to buy more models. They did this in two ways. They made most army entries cheaper per point per model, and they added bonuses to larger units. This has a direct impact on sales. It also punishes older armies because some of them are still using books that were not written in a period where the GW brain trust was trying to push higher model counts.


7th ed was very different. There was the same level of appalling power creep as there is now in 40k. They were trying to get people to buy into the new big thing with the game breaking rules. Of course they are trying to get people to buy more miniatures with 8th, the higher model count facilitates the much higher damage output, but they haven't done at the expense of balance, breaking the game system or constant power one-upmanship between the next newest book and the previous one. Older armybooks still have issues but the playing field was significantly (though not completely) levelled with the 8th core rules. Armies like dwarfs could suddenly field competitive armies that weren't table-edge hugging gunlines and so on. The new books are very balanced and work within the system fantastically. I really hope GW can do the same with 40k in 6th.

Seismic
03-01-2012, 02:36
I'll throw in my 2 cents for what its worth.

I'd also like to see a broader set of USR and less Special rules, but i think an outright ban to Unique rules/wargear and so on ,is only a fanatical response to the problem.

I can't fathom how having 2-3 unique racial rules and an additional 5-10 HQ based benefits per army , couldn't appease both the Stabilizing & Creative needs of players.

Colonel_Kreitz
03-01-2012, 18:32
3. In the new rulebook create a sufficiently broad section of universal special rules and then BAN codex designers creating army specific rules later. There are other ways to distinguish units than by creating unique special rules and this should keep all armies within a certain degree of balance and prevent inadvertent imbalance being created following the release of new codexes. Besides if you have worked out a overall framework for army concepts (i.e. roles, strengths and weaknesses) at the time of the creation of the new edition you can accomodate universal rules to reflect these and to allow their use in future codex releases.

Got to disagree here. Someone mentioned the 4th Edition CSM and DA codices, and I think that both are great examples of what happens when you push too hard for elegance and balance.

I don't think balance and interesting rules are mutually exclusive, but when the main goals is streamlined rules and balance, I think it's very easy for game designers to fall into a trap of having armies that can be bland and look very much like each other. Forcing designers to exclusively pull from the USRs as a "took-kit" for armies is, in my opinion, a road that leads to more CSM and DA type books. That is, there's a risk of creating an environment in which most armies (and especially variant codices) look an awful lot like one another, except with somewhat different stats and a few USR variation.

Two recent examples are the DE's Power From Pain rule and the Necron's Reanimation Protocols rule. Each of these rules is absolutely vital to the feel of the respective army's play style. If designers had to pull from the USRs to prevent imbalance (perhaps just giving Necrons Feel No Pain or something similar) I think it'd kill a lot of the flavor of the game.

brightblade
03-01-2012, 21:05
GW do not want to do away with special rules; 14yr old boys like special rules.

So do 38 year old boys. :p

ashc
03-01-2012, 21:06
So do 38 year old boys. :p

It's true! - If special rules really aren't your thing then you should look at games like epic, because the likes of 40k and fantasy battle aren't ever going to appeal to you because of it...

althathir
03-01-2012, 21:37
....
Frankly, in most games the skill difference between players far outweighs any potential 'points deficit' suffered buy older codexes. Frankly its only in decent level tournaments where this generally comes up. As a case in point, at my local store I think my tau, commonly considered the worst army in 40k, have only ever lost to descent of angels&mephiston blood angels (a horrific match up). Its really not so unbalanced as to be that any army can't win- that sounds like internet theorising, not real life

I tend to agree with this, I'm still better with my craftworld eldar than I am with space wolves (which are considered quite a bit better). For the most part if I would lose to someone with my eldar, my wolves don't do any better, with the exception of plague marines which my eldar suck againist.



7th ed was very different. There was the same level of appalling power creep as there is now in 40k. They were trying to get people to buy into the new big thing with the game breaking rules. Of course they are trying to get people to buy more miniatures with 8th, the higher model count facilitates the much higher damage output, but they haven't done at the expense of balance, breaking the game system or constant power one-upmanship between the next newest book and the previous one. Older armybooks still have issues but the playing field was significantly (though not completely) levelled with the 8th core rules. Armies like dwarfs could suddenly field competitive armies that weren't table-edge hugging gunlines and so on. The new books are very balanced and work within the system fantastically. I really hope GW can do the same with 40k in 6th.

I don't think fifth edition has really had "appalling" powercreep, I mean Imp Guard and Wolves were released fairly early, and GK while really good still aren't as good as the old 3.5 chaos book (which I can honestly say I never beat), and the craftworld eldar supplement (the phase when upon first meeting me, players would refuse pickup games when they found out I played eldar). BA really belong with them in that upper tier judging from results, and DE can more than hold their own (did really well at nova). Its too early to say on crons but really the field is fairly balanced its just the 4th edition books struggle a bit because the emphasis wasn't on troops during that edition.