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NerZuhl
06-12-2012, 02:13
There is a great article regarding abilities and counter play at penny arcade. It does talk about video games, however, I believe it applies to games in general.
http://penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/counter-play
And it got me thinking about all the special abilities we see in armies these days. I consistently feel as though many powers/abilities/equipment creates a one sided feeling to the game. But that is my own feeling, what do you guys think? What parts of 40k do you feel create a one sided enjoyment factor and what could be done to curb it?

Rhamag
06-12-2012, 02:19
Sadly I believe that this one-sidedness is deliberate on the part of GW to sell more models. In the classic match-up of Gamer vs Accountant, the bean-counters win nearly every time.

IcedCrow
06-12-2012, 03:21
Yes it is one sided.

Ssilmath
06-12-2012, 03:45
This thread is pure flamebait, intentional or not.

There are things that seem to be rather one sided, but most features or abilities in the game tend to have a counter available to everyone. That counter may be something as simple as cover, or a unit with access to a certain weapon.

Voss
06-12-2012, 03:48
There is a great article regarding abilities and counter play at penny arcade. It does talk about video games, however, I believe it applies to games in general.
http://penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/counter-play
And it got me thinking about all the special abilities we see in armies these days. I consistently feel as though many powers/abilities/equipment creates a one sided feeling to the game. But that is my own feeling, what do you guys think? What parts of 40k do you feel create a one sided enjoyment factor and what could be done to curb it?

It depends pretty heavily on the armies involved. If both sides are playing armies developed in the same period (and under the same design philosophy), it generally isn't a problem. If it involves the extremes of the various design philosophies, it can feel like driving a truck straight into a wall. This is particularly true if the armies are similar 'types' (like tau and imperial guard, which depend heavily on shooting. The lower cost for pretty much everything displays the philosophical disparity pretty well)

Curbing it is pretty straightforward: update, update, update. Armies that are already solid (or ridiculous) need be updated less, and priority needs to go to the ones that are obviously not playing the same game.

Chem-Dog
06-12-2012, 04:39
What parts of 40k do you feel create a one sided enjoyment factor and what could be done to curb it?

All of it and none of it.

That is to say, yes there are elements of the game- how it's distributed and maintained -which can create some disparity in the "fun-ness" of playing 40k but a certain amount of responsibility for this also has to fall at the feet of the players.
With 40k it's usually only un-fun within the boundaries of the issue of "counter play" if it's abused (Necron Flying Circus, Purifier Spam and a bunch of others) and, although game design creates the possibility for these anomalous configurations (and sometimes endorse them outright), it's up to the player to actually use them.

As for what can be done. It's hard not to believe that unit rules aren't designed to make new and expensive kits highly desirable so I'd like to see that put to bed one way or the other, preferrably with GW being a little more creative with how they go about pushing their new sparkly products).
I'd like to see Powerarmoured superhumans stop being the benchmark by which everything else is measured (it makes sense that your weakest basic component should be the benchmark, not one of the strongest).
I'd like to see a return of in-built weaknesses within armies. I'd also like to see armies that wear highly protective armour because they are puny (or ones that don't because they aren't) or an army that's mediocre at shooting so their guns are built to really hurt when they do hit (or one that doesn't need to rely on powerful guns because they are pretty good at shooting). All we seem to have these days is every Codex allowing every force the ability to compete on every level or, at least, bypass/mitigate those they can't compete in.

NerZuhl
06-12-2012, 05:03
This thread is pure flamebait, intentional or not.

There are things that seem to be rather one sided, but most features or abilities in the game tend to have a counter available to everyone. That counter may be something as simple as cover, or a unit with access to a certain weapon.

Isn't that the case for any debate/discussion on the internet? Isn't your post flamebait, intentional or not?

A mechanic is one sided when there is little or no interaction with the other player. As you pointed out many abilities or units have counters present in the game, and are therefore not one sided. But lets look at an example of a one sided mechanic.

In 5th edition wound allocation was a very one sided mechanic. There were no strategies or counters to it beyond "shoot more" to it, and was a huge sore spot for players. The player utilizing the mechanic enjoyed the added protection it brought, but the opponent was made miserable by the utter lack of ability to impact it. Now fast forward to 6th edition wound allocation. Now the opponent can interact with the player utilizing this mechanic. By blocking LOS or shifting position he can influence its usage. And the player utilizing it can still garner a level of protection from it. This mechanic is now more enjoyable all around.

Fliers are the current sore spot for many players. This is due to slow updates and forced decisions. A player utilizing fliers has a broad range of strategies opened to them. The opponent using an army that doesn't have access to a flier or anti-flier weapons is forced into two options. 1 adding an ally who has these or 2 stamina through it. This will hopefully change with further additions of codices, but the nature of the updates means some armies will languish for years.

You pointed out yourself that there are some that don't have counters available. Why not discuss them?

Ssilmath
06-12-2012, 05:35
Isn't that the case for any debate/discussion on the internet? Isn't your post flamebait, intentional or not?

A mechanic is one sided when there is little or no interaction with the other player. As you pointed out many abilities or units have counters present in the game, and are therefore not one sided. But lets look at an example of a one sided mechanic.

In 5th edition wound allocation was a very one sided mechanic. There were no strategies or counters to it beyond "shoot more" to it, and was a huge sore spot for players. The player utilizing the mechanic enjoyed the added protection it brought, but the opponent was made miserable by the utter lack of ability to impact it. Now fast forward to 6th edition wound allocation. Now the opponent can interact with the player utilizing this mechanic. By blocking LOS or shifting position he can influence its usage. And the player utilizing it can still garner a level of protection from it. This mechanic is now more enjoyable all around.

Fliers are the current sore spot for many players. This is due to slow updates and forced decisions. A player utilizing fliers has a broad range of strategies opened to them. The opponent using an army that doesn't have access to a flier or anti-flier weapons is forced into two options. 1 adding an ally who has these or 2 stamina through it. This will hopefully change with further additions of codices, but the nature of the updates means some armies will languish for years.

You pointed out yourself that there are some that don't have counters available. Why not discuss them?

Because everybody has a different idea of what those non interaction mechanics are, and some people enjoyed having those one sided mechanics. You mention flyers, but an army that spams them has the disadvantage of having a lack of troops available to take and hold objectives. And I would bet money that somebody will post a response that directly contradicts that, based on either opinion or anecdote. It's not even flyers either, but specifically AV12 flyers with transport capability and strong shooting at a low price, available to two codexes. I don't see anybody complaining about Fightas or Storm Talons.

Dominance of shooting is a point of great contention, with people on both sides of the argument not willing to give ground. Those who desire an all melee force to be able to carry games feel that shooting has become entirely one sided against them, those who play primarily shooting armies have felt that melee was an entirely one sided affair against them in the past. The truth is most likely somewhere in between, but good luck getting anybody to admit to that. I realize that by stating that here it opens up a possibility for another thread with the same old arguments, and I hope that people do not take it as more than an example.

Other points of contention are prevalence/lack of grenades on assault units (Somehow both at the same time), casualty removal, Allies, the AP system (Shooting and melee) or the sudden and unexpected boost to 2+ saves. Any one of those subjects (and more, I am sure), could and do have pages of logical argument with some saying "It feels like I can't do anything" and others saying "Well, here's what I do about it". Both have good arguments, generally math or anecdotes to support it, and nothing worthwhile comes of those threads.

wyvirn
06-12-2012, 05:57
I definitely can think of a couple codex writers when they were talking about only thinking of making one [faction] cool and not how it would be for the other player.

Zhul
06-12-2012, 06:05
To the original and main point/question of this thread, I actually had to take a minute and think it over. My initial reaction, being an admitted and unashamed fan of 40K in its current form, was to say "no, of course not, 40K is equally enjoyable and engaging for both (or all, in cases of larger, multi-player affairs) players, for the most part...", but then it kind of hit me that this isn't necessarily always the case.

There are simply some situations, with varying frequency, that occur when one player finds his or herself unable to do much of anything in a given match. Now, of course, this can certainly be attributed to said player, in some cases, in that the skill level disparity between opponents is greater than is perhaps good or "healthy" for a decent and enjoyable game, whether it be in terms of actual in-game play, or even in the army-building stage. Some players really only "feel" like they're unable to do anything in a game against an opponent's forces, for whatever reason, and again this is something on said player. I think for the purposes of what I'm saying here, I should discount player-related one-sidedness, as that's something that will always be pretty much unavoidable, no matter what sort of game you're playing...

That said, despite my positive thoughts regarding the current state of 40K, a certain amount of one-sided play can occur. I'm honestly not entirely sure why this is, especially in a case where overtly player related issues can be ruled out, but none the less it does seem to come up every now and then. In my experience, it's quite rare...as in very, very rare, but it's there.

The one things that I can think of as a cause at the moment is the current state of a given army's codex. Some are newer, some are older. An older codex will, for the most part, tend to suffer when put up against a newer codex. In an extreme case of this, I can see this contributing heavily to creating a one-sided gaming experience. I'd like to think once the majority (or all...) of the various army lists are sorted out, brought up to date, and hopefully brought into line with one another a little more, this potential situation of one-sided play will, at the very least, be lessened.

Do I think the main rules set is a large contributing factor to any situations of a one-sided game? Honestly, not really. That said, I'm sure that they can, but in my experience, as relatively limited as that may be, I don't think they do so much. Of course, as time goes on and I gain more experience, I'm certainly open to changing my mind on this...I'm still learning at this point. It's definitely an interesting question though, NerZuhl, and now that you've brought it up, I'll be consciously thinking about it and observing such things a little more carefully from here on out...

NerZuhl
06-12-2012, 06:07
Because everybody has a different idea of what those non interaction mechanics are, and some people enjoyed having those one sided mechanics. You mention flyers, but an army that spams them has the disadvantage of having a lack of troops available to take and hold objectives. And I would bet money that somebody will post a response that directly contradicts that, based on either opinion or anecdote. It's not even flyers either, but specifically AV12 flyers with transport capability and strong shooting at a low price, available to two codexes. I don't see anybody complaining about Fightas or Storm Talons.
Notice I didn't speak of spamming fliers, or that fliers = victory. No where have I talked about over powered abilities. You are going down the route of power levels, which isn't what is being discussed.


Dominance of shooting is a point of great contention, with people on both sides of the argument not willing to give ground. Those who desire an all melee force to be able to carry games feel that shooting has become entirely one sided against them, those who play primarily shooting armies have felt that melee was an entirely one sided affair against them in the past. The truth is most likely somewhere in between, but good luck getting anybody to admit to that. I realize that by stating that here it opens up a possibility for another thread with the same old arguments, and I hope that people do not take it as more than an example.

Now you are speaking more of play styles and meta though, not direct mechanics. The shooting phase can't be used as an example of a one sided mechanic. As has been said, positioning, cover, wound allocation, ect are all ways the other player can influence the actions of the others shooting phase.



Other points of contention are prevalence/lack of grenades on assault units (Somehow both at the same time), casualty removal, Allies, the AP system (Shooting and melee) or the sudden and unexpected boost to 2+ saves. Any one of those subjects (and more, I am sure), could and do have pages of logical argument with some saying "It feels like I can't do anything" and others saying "Well, here's what I do about it". Both have good arguments, generally math or anecdotes to support it, and nothing worthwhile comes of those threads.
Now you are going into individual units. Lack of grenades isn't a game mechanic. The usage of grenades is a mechanic. Save boosts again isn't a mechanic but a shift in Meta. If you believe nothing good comes from the threads, then don't add to them and let them sink to distant pages.

I presented a sample mechanic from 5th edition, then gave an opinion on one in 6th edition. You can respond to that opinion with your own and have a discussion. I also believe everyone is painfully aware of the fact that 99.99% of threads on this forum don't result in anything beyond a discussion.

This is simply a mental exercise and conversation. Either join it or don't, pointing out that it is just talk isn't really needed.

malisteen
06-12-2012, 06:27
A more interactive player turn would help. I think there are a lot of flaws in the current edition, including this one, that could be largely addressed by incorporating a real overwatch system. It would add interactivity to the player turn, keep players engaged, and curtail the power of fliers. Sure, it would be another nail in the coffin of dedicated assault units, but you can't really get more dead than dead, so no real loss there.

Cthell
06-12-2012, 07:58
There are things that seem to be rather one sided, but most features or abilities in the game tend to have a counter available to everyone. That counter may be something as simple as cover, or a unit with access to a certain weapon.

And then you have characters like Imhotek, Dante, the doom of Malanti (and to a lesser extent, deathleaper), who have special tricks against which there is literally no defence. Boy, I love being told that because of a scary-looking mask, my thousand-year-old farseer now only has 2 wounds, and there is nothing I can do about it...

totgeboren
06-12-2012, 08:20
There are many examples of bad game mechanics in w40k, but as other have said, the players themselves have a lot of responsibility. Also, w40k is a game that work much better if a few players face each other many times over a long time period. Lets say I play orks, and my Eldar friend gets stomped by the Nobs in my mobs. He then gets snipers and takes out my Nobs. I then get Flash Gitz to take out his snipers, he then gets a Fire Prism to take out my Gitz, I then get Tank Huntas to take out the Prism, he then takes Vipers to distract my Tank Huntas and so on.
The game becomes fun and interactive if the long run, when you try and come up with a better plan than your opponent, and try and second-guess what he is going to take, and how to counter it.

But what the game would really benefit from is what malisteen pointed out. An interactive game turn. The yougoIgo works well enough for simple games you play with your family, but I think wargames are ill suited for it.

Dark_Kindred
06-12-2012, 08:58
Interesting article. I think the problem is that collecting data to figure out what is happening empirically is very difficult, especially with a table top game. Look at what Blizzard had to do with Starcraft II. You needed to be online for the campaign to count or to play against enemies. let's not even talk about the multiplayer. They did this to get a massive data mine. They did all sorts of crazy changes to the game, some of which were counter intuitive. This was done at a micro-level (unit cost/damage/range/whatever) so that you had a fairly even Win-Loss ratio across skill levels. It wasn't perfect but it strikes me as a lot more effective than anything Games Workshop could ever do.

Some things, probably Flyers, need to have their point cost increase to discourage spam. They probably could have killed parking lots in 5th by upping the cost of units like Razorbacks and Chimeras and by lowering the cost the cost of other options. Clearly, this is not happening because of timely data collection, menu costs, and consumer willingness to get jerked around. Seriously, how many people will buy Night Scythes when their point cost could change any moment? This creates all sorts of problems for Games Workshop when it comes to planning model production and whatnot.

orkmiester
06-12-2012, 10:47
But what the game would really benefit from is what malisteen pointed out. An interactive game turn. The yougoIgo works well enough for simple games you play with your family, but I think wargames are ill suited for it.


it then depends how far that mechanic would apply...

to take an example- infinity... there if your opponent moves/shoots or does anything in your line of sight you get to shoot at them, hence it makes the game far more realsitic akin to that of a tabletop version of COD or BF3 in the videogame world...

now applying a similar sytem to 40k would require serious work, the overwatch system would have to be reworked and you might have to start nerfing overwatch ranges to stop armies killing each other in 1 or 2 turns... that is just a theory however;)


as it is currently, things get one-sided when you take player experince/army list into consideration, that is always the biggest factor. The rules do have an influence, but we all have a list we like using and thus we play 'well' with it...

Though its GWs attitude that the game is "ours" to play and do what we like with it etc. That is where things go wrong, now we all have views upon which units need the nerf bat swinging at them or a particular codex that needs the same treatment. As well as that, we all have our own local metas etc to deal with, if GW took a look on here at the tactics and lists people suggest/use or even complain about then they could take it into account when writting the rules:shifty:


the laughable thing about all of this is when you get a less serious player facing your list that has been tweaked to you desired potency level, it usually results in a bloodbath for the less serious player and results you asking questiosn like what this whole thread is about...

and that issue i just mentioned is the biggest- writing the rules to assume that players will do their best to "abuse" or "break" them would be far better- but that is one rather large elephnat in the room:rolleyes:

RandomThoughts
06-12-2012, 11:19
There are many examples of bad game mechanics in w40k, but as other have said, the players themselves have a lot of responsibility. Also, w40k is a game that work much better if a few players face each other many times over a long time period. Lets say I play orks, and my Eldar friend gets stomped by the Nobs in my mobs. He then gets snipers and takes out my Nobs. I then get Flash Gitz to take out his snipers, he then gets a Fire Prism to take out my Gitz, I then get Tank Huntas to take out the Prism, he then takes Vipers to distract my Tank Huntas and so on.
The game becomes fun and interactive if the long run, when you try and come up with a better plan than your opponent, and try and second-guess what he is going to take, and how to counter it.

But what the game would really benefit from is what malisteen pointed out. An interactive game turn. The yougoIgo works well enough for simple games you play with your family, but I think wargames are ill suited for it.

I used to say the exact same thing, but then I realized there were some aspects missing.

First of all, at some point you run out of points, you have to leave something else out to include yet another counter, at which point going back to a previous strategy/list can really screw over the other player, because he now longer has the Snipers to deal with Threat A because he had to load up on the Fire Prisms, the Vipers, etc. to also deal iwth thre threats B, C and D. At this point the game becomes pretty much a guessing game where good/bad matchups are decided in the list building stage. The game becomes a bit like Rock / Paper /scissor, except that you still have to play for two hours after you already found out you brought paper when what you really needed was rock.

This in turn leads to the idea of the all-comer list, which is designed to take everything your opponent might throw your way and roll with it. Which can also become a mental race, with both players trying to stay ahead in a new arms race, who can bring the better all-comer list, who can come up with a new specialist force that the other dude's all-comer list can't deal with. Except at this point, with the way 40K rules are written, we're headed straight towards spam lists, because certain units will just perform better consistently, once you reach that level of play, so taking them ove rmore specialized / prone to be out-matched units seems becomes a natural progression. At some point you run into a pure Terminator-Army and realize your Striking Scorpions just became a pure liability, and to migitate that risk you leave them out in future lists.

Now, we're already close to the optimized lists that dominate the tournament scene. Essentially, they are nothing more than the next step in a pretty natural progression. Some dudes went through all the previous steps, found the lists that worked best in the all-comers format, they consistently win with these lists, the lists hit the internet, every bloke with a LAN-connection and some money to spare can skip right over the whole army refinement process and just pick one of the current netlists.

Which incidentially is actually a bit like learning good Karate moves from a qualified teacher instead of trying to develop your fighting style with no real understanding of martial arts. So, not necessarily a bad things, to be honest.

Except that at some point, little Johnny will just give up, why bother developing your own lists, trying to outsmart your opponent, when the wisely available net-lists seem to be better solutions that everything you came up with on your own?

But, yeah, I'm getting pretty far off topic, I guess...

Back on topic, I think balanced armies make for a better game alround. Fluff players choosing their armies purely on fluff reasons will suffer from less one-sided games (say an eldar Force focused on Guardians and a Swooping Hawk Shrine against an Imperial Guard flyer force, both chosen entirely because the players love their models), high level competitive players will find a greater variety of viable builds and won't have to play against the same-same cut-and-paste lists every time. And everyone in between those two extremes will benefit in similar ways.

Now, what is balance? Balance is both balance between codices, as well as balance between different units in the same codex. When, say, 200 points of Assault Terminators are better than 200 points of Howling Banshees in pretty much every regard, that is not balance. Does that mean the two have to be equal? No way. That is what unit roles are for. The Terminators can be sturdy tankers and the Banshees can be fast glass cannon shock troops, and the two can still be balances against each other. But once the Terminators can take damage better than the Banshees and dish out damage better as well and are as fast as the Banshees and can fight a greater variety of opponents successfully, the Banshees loose out.

Of course, defining roles and taking into consideration how roles fit into the game as a whole is pretty essential here. How do you balance a heavy tank against a unit of light infantry? You can compare their damage output in shooting, but one will most likely be better at killing hard targets and the other at mowing down enemy infantry, so how do you compare that? And what about survivability? The tank is pretty much immune to small arms fire, but a single Krak Missile that won't bother the infantry squad can kill it dead in its tracks.

Essentially, defining roles works by setting up a bunch of archetypes/classes like light infantry, heavy infantry, light battle-tank, fast melee unit (shock unit), etc. You start by balancing units inside the same group against each other, and then you look at how different classes interact with each other. This is a complex precess, don't get me wrong. Some groups won't interact very much at all, say light infantry and heavy tanks, which both pretty much ignore each other, but you can still balance them against each other by balancing them through the other units they both interact with.

It takes effort, though, and it can't be done piecemail, with new basic rules here and and an army update there. :(

totgeboren
06-12-2012, 11:35
You make good arguments RandomThoughts, and I agree with them for the most part. Me and my friends tend to make lists that are not 'optimal' on purpose, like trying out a new idea for some tactic involving maybe a unit the player likes, even if they are not optimal and so on.

But the big problem is that the number one interactive aspect of w40k is in the list building. The game structure itself does not really encourage tactics and counter-tactics, other than shoot the assaulty ones, assault the shooty ones.
And with the internet allowing everyone access to "optimized" lists, most of the interactive aspect of 40k is gone.

However, not all of it. If it was only down to list composition, we would not see the same players place high in tournaments time and time again, so tactics are still a part of the game. They are however often limited in that they are based wholly on how your own units interact, with the enemy units being more or less inconsequential.

RandomThoughts
06-12-2012, 12:54
You make good arguments RandomThoughts, and I agree with them for the most part. Me and my friends tend to make lists that are not 'optimal' on purpose, like trying out a new idea for some tactic involving maybe a unit the player likes, even if they are not optimal and so on.

But the big problem is that the number one interactive aspect of w40k is in the list building. The game structure itself does not really encourage tactics and counter-tactics, other than shoot the assaulty ones, assault the shooty ones.
And with the internet allowing everyone access to "optimized" lists, most of the interactive aspect of 40k is gone.

However, not all of it. If it was only down to list composition, we would not see the same players place high in tournaments time and time again, so tactics are still a part of the game. They are however often limited in that they are based wholly on how your own units interact, with the enemy units being more or less inconsequential.

Which is one of the reasons I dropped out of 40K (without realizing it at first, but suddenly it's been six months since I played my last game) entirely and play Warmachine pretty exclusively these days. Sure, balance isn't what it could be there either, but I often feel like the game is won on the table, not in the army composition stage, which makes a huge difference.

Muad'Dib
06-12-2012, 14:10
There is a great article regarding abilities and counter play at penny arcade. It does talk about video games, however, I believe it applies to games in general.
http://penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/counter-play
And it got me thinking about all the special abilities we see in armies these days. I consistently feel as though many powers/abilities/equipment creates a one sided feeling to the game. But that is my own feeling, what do you guys think? What parts of 40k do you feel create a one sided enjoyment factor and what could be done to curb it?
I think that (one of) main problem(s) which is reducing 40K's interactivity is binary nature of rules (movement put into unit categories, rather than being a characteristic for each model, the AP system). This is made worse by lack of balance/polish in some aspects of the system. To put it into one sentence - the game play of 40K seems to me (as I never played it) complex, but not particularly deep; that might be the reason it might feel one sided.


And in regards to the video...I was perplexed/amused he picked on concept of sniping in FPSes...as if this was problem with sniping itself; instead of bad map design or lack of sniping-countermeasures, like smoke grenades. (and anyway, most of the "sniping is not fun" crowd might be case of people lashing out instead of learning to take cover or move in such way that sniping them is harder)

RandomThoughts
06-12-2012, 15:23
I think that main problem which is reducing 40K's interactivity is binary nature of rules (movement put into unit categories, rather than being a characteristic for each model, the AP system). This is made worse by lack of balance/polish in some aspects of the system. To put it into one sentence - the game play of 40K seems to me (as I never played it) complex, but not particularly deep; that might be the reason it might feel one sided.

That binary nature is actually a huge point of contention with me. The AP system is a great example. Intuitive gameplay would be something like two stats that define a weapon: power and rate off fire / size of blast marker. Increase the first one and it becomes better against armor, keep the first one small and increase the second one and it becomes better against mass infantry, increase both and you get a superweapon like the artillery used by the IG.

Instead we get Krak issiles that are sometimes good against Armor (AV), sometimes incredibly good against armor (3+ saves) and somestimes horribly bad against Armor (2+ saves). Among other things.

RandomThoughts
06-12-2012, 15:28
And in regards to the video...I was perplexed/amused he picked on concept of sniping in FPSes...as if this was problem with sniping itself; instead of bad map design or lack of sniping-countermeasures, like smoke grenades. (and anyway, most of the "sniping is not fun" crowd might be case of people lashing out instead of learning to take cover or move in such way that sniping them is harder)

Without having seen the video yet (@ work), I have to say I kind of understand the hatred against Snipers, at least from casual players. You don't see it coming, the best way to counter is knowing the maps really well and understanding the good vantage points for snipers and what is and isn't in their hit zone.

In 40K terms, it's like Genestealers or Imperial Assassins appearing anywhere they want, assaulting and killing one of my expansive yet frail Eldar units out of the blue, with no counter-measures possible, even if I know they are coming (except accepting the loss and finding solace in the fact that I'm still ahead in points if I can kill the assailant after it wiped out that one unit...)

nedius
06-12-2012, 17:29
There certainly are a number of one sided issues with 40k.

At the most basic level, the 'I go-you go' system means that there will be an inevitable 'one sided-ness'. However, I get where you are coming from. I began to notice it first when alpha-strike became much more common and widespread - units able to get into assult 1st turn, with no counter other than not deploying. Other things have cropped up here and there.

I've not played much 6th, but I remember not being at all happy when 'steal the initiative' was introduced - a 1 in 6 chance to negate the disadvantage of setting up first with no negitive consiquences or ability for the opposing player to do anything about it. That is very 'one sided'. There are also degrees of one sided as well. Things like Jaws of the World Wolf - not sure how that plays these days, but even with the counter possibilities of it being a psychic power, it ignores so many game mechnanics in one go your options for countering it are reduced to 'one' - your psycher defence of choice.

The problem ultimately comes down to the fact that GW are trying to create an efficient system for a game that enables players to take HUGE armies at a scale that just doesn't work at such sizes. Epic was a game designed for huge battles. 40k was a skirmish for small armies. The rules that would really make 40k an interactive game would slow the pace to a crawl with such huge armies. Were armies half the size they were now, but games took equally long, then you'd have more opportuntities for a game with more back and forth, more interplay between units and so on. But that would mean fewer sales. GW's plan is not to make a better game, but to enable, or actually to actively encourage and suggest as the ideal, games with huge armies to generate large sale volumes. The rules reflect that.

Chapters Unwritten
06-12-2012, 18:11
I oversee a club full of roughly 30-60 people each week. They all play 40k. I mostly don't play, and sort of watch over things to ensure everything goes well. I have to say, I do not find this to be the case. Every army has it's wilder points, but for the most part, at our club (where the attitude is admittedly far better than in the wider community, because it has been bred so), this just encourages people to push themselves as players, to marginalize the damage.

The problem, I think, is that people are very polarized. No one wants mechanics that are just "I enact a rule, it affects you, you can't do anything about it." All the things in the game that work this way universally incite rage: Flyers, Jaws of the World Wolf, Rune Priest psychic defense, Lash of Submission, Grey Knight psybolt spam, Counterattack on Space Wolves, etc. But this is because the 40k community at large has this idea in their head that all of these abilities should have a downside. I don't think they should, honestly, but that's a debate for another day. The point is, most of those things have particular counters, but they are passive ones, so they don't register to people and they just cry BS.

The problem, I have always felt, is with the community. Not the game. This is proven every week and reinforced as my group, who are insulated from the local cynics, plays the game to the letter and intent of the rules and have great weekend after great weekend. I simply removed the negative influence of the great 40k community. With a club full of people who don't know what Warseer is or who don't listen to podcasts or read Stelek and Goatboy articles, the game is magically a great deal more enjoyable. The aspects that are one-sided, to us, make sense: there are ways to marginalize all of it, but since you can't completely neutralize it, people cry foul.

A way to debuff a flyer would be much more fun than a way to outright kill it, for example. And there are some intangibles there, too; our players rush forward and try to make the flyer maneuver poorly to force a hover, for example. But if you don't do that, and you just stand around in front of Vendettas getting lit up...then yes, flyers are going to feel one-sided.

The game is what the players make of it. I'm proud to say that our club is happy. I feel like if the game was truly too one-sided, it wouldn't be so.

Aluinn
06-12-2012, 19:18
I really don't want to delve too deeply into the 40K side of this discussion because the game is just absurdly complex compared to something like League of Legends, and the development far less centralized, occurring over a vastly longer period of time at a vastly slower pace. This is bound to create problems, but solutions aren't easy. (Frankly, I'd throw out the 3rd Ed. BRB army lists approach as one possibility, but apparently everyone hated that because they were "boring"--none the less, One Book of Army Lists to Rule Them All rather than the codex/army book system is worth thinking about.)

But what I really wanted to say is, hopefully without getting too flamey, the guys who write Extra Credits seem ever-eager to use League of Legends as some example of near-perfect game design and to, *ahem*, pleasure its design team (verbally). The truth is that I've been an avid player of that game for a very long time and though it is good overall, it contains blatant examples that violate this principle of "counterplay", most notably stuns (complete shutdowns of your character's ability to move and use abilities), with which it is replete. (There's an item that gets you out of them with a long-ish cooldown, and some things that slightly reduce its duration, but the stuns in the game seem to be designed around the assumption that people will have some of that reduction and will occasionally be able to break out of stun.) Other forms of crowd control in the game are scarcely better. Granted, it's an improvement over the 5-second stuns of Dota and Dota 2, but it's still not fun and there is still no counterplay, and it is all over the game, apparently for no more reason that it's something that's been common to MMOs, RTSs, and MoBAs since their inceptions.

And to bring this back to FB and 40K, I think you can say a lot of the same about the abilities that people complain about in these games, and also that, like LoL, most mechanics have counterplay in spite of this, if you really look for it--sometimes it's stupidly simple like "shoot the Rhino", but it's there.

lanrak
06-12-2012, 19:46
Hi Aluinn.
I am struggling to find a counter to the basic mechanic of the opponent's whole army moving , shooting then assaulting without any responce other than rolling saves..
Coupled with binary resolution , the basic game play is very limited.

And this basic 'transparency' leads to the 'calculation' of how 'cost effective ' units are by more competative players.Causing an preventable dichotemy between competative and fluffy players.

Other game seem to manage to get far more diverse game play into the basic rules.(And don't rely on tons of special rules ..)
Epic Armageddon seems to be able to get battles in the 40k universe with more synergy clarity and elegance than 40k ever has.

nedius
06-12-2012, 21:21
Hi Aluinn.

Epic Armageddon seems to be able to get battles in the 40k universe with more synergy clarity and elegance than 40k ever has.

That's because it's a game specifically designed to handle army sizes comparable to what 40k is getting close to these days :)

Aluinn
06-12-2012, 23:41
Hi Aluinn.
I am struggling to find a counter to the basic mechanic of the opponent's whole army moving , shooting then assaulting without any responce other than rolling saves..
Coupled with binary resolution , the basic game play is very limited.

And this basic 'transparency' leads to the 'calculation' of how 'cost effective ' units are by more competative players.Causing an preventable dichotemy between competative and fluffy players.

Other game seem to manage to get far more diverse game play into the basic rules.(And don't rely on tons of special rules ..)
Epic Armageddon seems to be able to get battles in the 40k universe with more synergy clarity and elegance than 40k ever has.

Well to state the obvious, there are challenges presented by a board game or tabletop game that just don't exist in a computer game where the players are all acting simultaneously in real time. Even if you alternate phases, for example, your opponent is still doing something that you can't begin to react to as they're doing it, e.g. it would be ridiculously difficult to design a system that worked and allowed you to move your unit behind cover as your opponent was declaring that he/she wanted to shoot at them, which mechanical principle is one of the foundations of the sort of "counterplay" that is being discussed in that Extra Credits episode on PATV.

The fact that 40K includes Going to Ground as a reaction to being shot is an example of the best way that tabletop games are likely to be able to handle the issue that "you're a-shootan mah manz and I can't stop you!" Now, that idea could be extended to many other areas of the game, but Overwatch as a reaction to being charged is a positive new addition as well, and is not as much a no-brainer as you might think (when a player's unit is being charged by multiple opposing units there are often tough, or at least meaningful, decisions to be made by the person on the reactive side).

There are also things in 40K that you could regard as reactive without taking place immediately: in fact, quite a lot of them. For example, an enemy unit coming in via Deep Strike is an interesting scenario that, I would argue, makes the game more fun for both players. The Deep-Striking player gets to decide where to apply pressure, has to assess risks related to scatter and their opponent's positioning (and ability to react in the following player turn), and many other things (what is most vulnerable to the Deep-Striking unit, which descends from the question of what the Deep-Striking units capabilities really are, and that's not always obvious, for example). The player who has just had an enemy unit show up in a (possibly) unexpected position then has to decide a lot of things: Do they carry on with their additional plan, e.g. pushing forward and ignoring something that landed behind their lines, or do they react and try to deal with the new threat? If so, how do they react, and with what resources? Do they just tie it up or attempt to eliminate it, and what are their chances of successfully doing these things based on the commitment of varying levels and combinations of resources?

Anyway, TL;DR: 40K is very slowly becoming not-so-strictly "I go, you go", and even when players take alternate turns doing everything with their entire armies, there are still reactions and adaptations that allow for counterplay as defined in the OP's reference. Furthermore, the system has real strengths in that, for one example, it allows for a level of coordination between elements of a player's army that is impossible if they can't all act at once, as in systems where players alternate using one unit at a time in a Chess-like fashion.

For the record I think it's far from a perfect system, but I think what it mainly needs is better balance (i.e. a complete re-think of the design cycle and the principle of producing one codex/army book, written by one author, often with differing design priorities and philosophies than others, at a time, at a pretty slow pace), and more of the types of reaction mechanics I mentioned above, e.g. being able to flee a charge in addition to firing Overwatch, as in Fantasy, or maybe some form of immediate reaction to enemy units entering the battlefield during the game; there are lots of possibilities here.

(As a hyper-specific example of the problems with the current design paradigm, the Zealot rule was pretty much made for Ecclesiarchy Priests/Preachers, but how long will it be until we see them with that rule on the table? Years? The issue of the flyer rules has been beaten to death, but same principle there; we need immediate adjustment, or, preferably, concurrent redesign, and we have to wait ages for this stuff to work as intended and in a sensible way. The same underlying problem is seen again in Mat Ward/Robin Cruddace hater/apologist syndrome.)

The way 40K rules are released currently is like releasing the core mechanics for a tabletop roleplaying game with no rules for character creation, then releasing those rules for one class/profession/whatever at a time, in separate books written by different people, at a rate of something like one every three months. Until someone got their preferred class book for the current edition of the game, they'd have to somehow try to play e.g. a 3.5 Ed. DnD character in 4th Ed. DnD. It makes no sense whatsoever in any way at all. Army-specific rules are core to the game; they are not supplements.

Oh, and 40K finally needs a true copypasta of the Fantasy magic system, because it's just better and more interesting (its dispel system allows actual counterplay as opposed to Deny the Witch being "roll a dice and pray your result is high enough!"), and the only real problems with it can be fixed by fairly minor tweaking and adjusting the power of individual spells.

Seismic
07-12-2012, 02:24
Well to state the obvious, there are challenges presented by a board game or tabletop game that just don't exist in a computer game where the players are all acting simultaneously in real time. Even if you alternate phases, for example, your opponent is still doing something that you can't begin to react to as they're doing it, e.g. it would be ridiculously difficult to design a system that worked and allowed you to move your unit behind cover as your opponent was declaring that he/she wanted to shoot at them, which mechanical principle is one of the foundations of the sort of "counterplay" that is being discussed in that Extra Credits episode on PATV.



I don't think it would be that difficult , its only a question of sequences and meshing both player turns as was suggested before.

Say you split the force organization into its current layout , have both players move in the same phase (1 moved unit for 1 moved unit in response) in the following order : Heavy , Elite , troop & fast (but it can be split in any which way you desire; Initiative or some other stat) .

Your "troops" could react to a much slower vindicator rushing forward for example , by moving before shots are made; hiding behind cover. Simply shoot everything thereafter in one phase again , remove casualties at the end of the phase on both sides simultaneously; I score 10 points of damage on your unit of 10 Havocs ,they then fire back, scoring 10 wounds on my devastator , and both 10 man unit are removed at the end of turn ;As opposed to removing the first one that fired as is currently the case. close combat is resolved last, consolidate etc. Start next turn.

Table tops offers an equal opportunity for real time representation since you can resolve "real time" at any time...

Ssilmath
07-12-2012, 02:33
Battletech has a system similar to that, and it is plagued by its own set of problems. The person going second has a major advantage over the person going first, it is nearly impossible to pin a specific model down for melee attacks and a mech that has already been destroyed by shooting has no reason not to alpha strike when its turn to shoot comes up. Models that would hold back their shooting due to Gets Hot suddenly have no reason to be cautious and melee would be even less common than it is now.

Seismic
07-12-2012, 02:39
The person going second has a major advantage over the person going first,

(edit ; Hold up . Advantage in what sense; Give me an example. If loses are tallied simultaneously at the end of turn , how can anything be of "major advantage". Everything had an opportunity to move and shoot.)


mech that has already been destroyed by shooting has no reason not to alpha strike when its turn to shoot comes up.

I'm assuming that you'd have a "targeting" sequence prior to shooting. Its not a issue if you're willing to tackle it.

Ssilmath
07-12-2012, 02:49
Battletech is on a model by model basis, and the person going second gets to react to every single model moved by their opponent. Who gets that advantage is somewhat randomized each turn, but I've played games where my opponent held the initiative for the entire game, dodging units out of LoS of my heavy hitters and turning focusing fire on whichever of my models they wanted. It's also a game where you can expect to see at most 12 models per size, on a board maybe 2 foot by 2 foot. Larger games are possible, but those take upwards of two hours per turn.

Now, that does not make it a bad system, and with the right amount of attention 40k could be given a similar system and further refined. But considering that tabletop games have been grinding away for 20 years and are still using these inelegant systems there must be something that makes it elusive to find a perfectly balanced system. At some point, sacrifices of some kind need to be made to keep the game fun and interesting.

Seismic
07-12-2012, 03:08
Battletech is on a model by model basis, and the person going second gets to react to every single model moved by their opponent. Who gets that advantage is somewhat randomized each turn,

I'm talking about a Move/Move response and an unify shooting phase; Not a Shoot for Shoot response. If he LoS you , how is he shooting back?


but I've played games where my opponent held the initiative for the entire game,

Well if its randomized you had a string of bad luck . Moreover holding the initiative for an entire game is default in warhammer; You don't role for models , let alone turns.


At some point, sacrifices of some kind need to be made to keep the game fun and interesting.

People have different taste in matters of fun; To be perfectly frank GW, seems to slap a 1d6 to everything that's problematic ,"Its balanced if its random" is most-likely there motto.

Ssilmath
07-12-2012, 03:36
I'm talking about a Move/Move response and an unify shooting phase; Not a Shoot for Shoot response. If he LoS you , how is he shooting back?

Well if its randomized you had a string of bad luck . Moreover holding the initiative for an entire game is default in warhammer; You don't role for models , let alone turns.

People have different taste in matters of fun; To be perfectly frank GW, seems to slap a 1d6 to everything that's problematic ,"Its balanced if its random" is most-likely there motto.

Using LOS blocking terrain to remove my heavy hitters from the mix, and focusing on one unit I had already moved and could not get away. It is a tactical part of the game, and good tactics on their part, but it is still an example of not being able to do anything while your opponent does what they want. No matter which game system you look at, you're going to find aspects and mechanics that some people don't like. There's no perfect system, not even in a game as simple as chess. But if you think you can devise a system of simultaneous movement and action, go for it. I would enjoy to play a system set up like that.

Seismic
07-12-2012, 04:14
but it is still an example of not being able to do anything while your opponent does what they want.

The "doing nothing" part is really a matter of how removing casualties is made, not movement.

If the shooting phase is common to both players and models are removed after every unit made a "shooting" action; Then your heavy hitters would have had a chance to shoot back (theoretically : Knowing nothing of MW weaponry) at what killed them. Or taken any number of other actions that exhaust a "shooting action" : Fleeting , Going to ground , Using smoke launchers/counter measures.

NerZuhl
07-12-2012, 04:31
You go / I go system isn't inherently one sided.

For example, the movement phase. This is the most obvious you go I go section of the turn. The other player only watches. However, this isn't a one sided mechanic in my opinion. My opponent influences my movement with his own movement. My initial movement is influenced by my opponents deployment. So in reality you have a strong influence on your opponents movement phase even though you aren't physically doing anything during it. In fact it is well accepted that you can actually get people to move the way you want by using pressure from tactics. 40k's movement phase is quite dynamic in my opinion as well. It is quite difficult to figure the final possible positions of units upon deployment. Contrast this with 7th edition fantasy where once a unit is deployed, it is very possible to know where that unit will be come turn 7.

Just because you aren't physically doing something during a mechanic doesn't mean your interacting with it. A broad swaths of the game are quite difficult to pin down, if at all since there are too many variables. That is why one needs to focus down to specifics.

Here is another mechanic I find to be too one sided in my eyes.
Warlord Traits:
Now this is an odd one mind you. I actually believe this mechanic is nearly zero sided. Not much can be done on either players part to influence it, and once the result is known it is done. The added random mechanic removes players from an obvious strategic element. If the traits were made more moderate and equal, then the choice of trait could be another strategic layer that both players could enjoy. Army composition could be used to discourage the usage of a damaging warlord to trait or even as subtle as leaving an obvious choice for the opponent to choose but have tactics already in mind that are a strong counter that aren't obvious at list analysis could be used to lead the trait choice down a certain path. Granted this is a new aspect of the game, and this would call for a near tear down of the current list. As it stands now, my choice of Trait and resultant roll has little to no influence on the other players choice and result. And in fact the results quite often lead to null results on both sides.

This random layer is also present in Psyker powers as well. However, players have a reasonable expectation of what the results will be with added factors, so it isn't as big a problem to me as traits are.

megatrons2nd
07-12-2012, 05:02
Battletech has a system similar to that, and it is plagued by its own set of problems. The person going second has a major advantage over the person going first, it is nearly impossible to pin a specific model down for melee attacks and a mech that has already been destroyed by shooting has no reason not to alpha strike when its turn to shoot comes up. Models that would hold back their shooting due to Gets Hot suddenly have no reason to be cautious and melee would be even less common than it is now.

If that is what is happening, you are playing it wrong. The rules specifically have a "target declaration" in it. The player who lost initiative moves first, and declares fire first, the player who won the initiative resolves fire first, and only declared shots are resolved. The player who won the initiative than has the advantage of being able to respond to their opponents movement, and can declare the hex an attack will use if the attack will cross between two hexes(which are used for all line of sight/ modifiers between those two units for that attack phase).

40K has far to many units on board for this to be effective, as it will invariably bog down the play even further. Any Battletech game over 4 units per side suffer from the extended play time needed to resolve it.

Kevlar
07-12-2012, 06:33
And then you have characters like Imhotek, Dante, the doom of Malanti (and to a lesser extent, deathleaper), who have special tricks against which there is literally no defence. Boy, I love being told that because of a scary-looking mask, my thousand-year-old farseer now only has 2 wounds, and there is nothing I can do about it...

I always felt the same way about mindwar. Granted there is way worse stuff out there now, but it always ticked me off that my immortal daemon prince wielding power incomprehensible to mere mortals would take a wound because some silly space elf looked at him funny.

RandomThoughts
07-12-2012, 07:49
I always felt the same way about mindwar. Granted there is way worse stuff out there now, but it always ticked me off that my immortal daemon prince wielding power incomprehensible to mere mortals would take a wound because some silly space elf looked at him funny.

How do you think Gandalf defeated this Balrog? Certainly not with his puny human S3 sword...

Gorbad Ironclaw
07-12-2012, 11:20
It certainly can end up as being one sided by games mechanics. For instance I remember a game were I had my Orks against another Ork army. My army was based around walkers, and he thought that big double handed weapons looked cool so all his nobs had 'ug choppas. (Or how ever you spell that) Net result being that as soon as my walked arrived in combat the game was effectively over as he couldn't really touch me. It was a very unsatisfying and unfun game for both of us. Now we could both have build different lists and avoided that, but the AV system effectively decided the game once the armies were build. The binary nature of many of the game mechanics have been mentioned, but I think the structure/nature of the games and how you win them is part of the problem too. You can only really do 3 things, move, shoot and punch the other guy in the face. And you win by doing that enough to kill more of his stuff than your stuff. The simplicity means that any problem areas show up stronger because there are no alternative solutions, you have to deal with the mechanic head on so to speak. It also means that models a who can do other things (like the old Siren prince) can be very powerful/hated (or really useless as the game is ant set up to handle them at all). But maybe a general expansion of options and actions for all armies and multiple ways of achieving goals/winning would help reduce the one sidedness of some of the mechanics so that everyone didn't have to use the same solution to everything (brute force usually). A broader range of interactions than "did I kill you? Yes/no".

Vipoid
07-12-2012, 11:52
Without having seen the video yet (@ work), I have to say I kind of understand the hatred against Snipers, at least from casual players. You don't see it coming, the best way to counter is knowing the maps really well and understanding the good vantage points for snipers and what is and isn't in their hit zone.


I don't suppose anyone here has played Team Fortress 2?

I ask because they have an interesting mechanic, whereby after you die, the camera moves to show you who shot you. So, if you do get sniped, you'll die the first time, but then you get to see the location of the sniper, allowing you to adjust your tactics when you respawn.


That binary nature is actually a huge point of contention with me. The AP system is a great example. Intuitive gameplay would be something like two stats that define a weapon: power and rate off fire / size of blast marker. Increase the first one and it becomes better against armor, keep the first one small and increase the second one and it becomes better against mass infantry, increase both and you get a superweapon like the artillery used by the IG.

Instead we get Krak issiles that are sometimes good against Armor (AV), sometimes incredibly good against armor (3+ saves) and somestimes horribly bad against Armor (2+ saves). Among other things.

Yeah, I know what you mean.

It also means that you can be paying points for AP4 weapons, only for those to be completely wasted against MEQ armies.

Out of interest, Random, what do you think of the WHFB system - wherein the strength of a weapon affects the save that can be taken against it? So, for each point of strength above 3, the enemy suffers a -1 penalty to their armour save.

RandomThoughts
09-12-2012, 18:32
It certainly can end up as being one sided by games mechanics. For instance I remember a game were I had my Orks against another Ork army. My army was based around walkers, and he thought that big double handed weapons looked cool so all his nobs had 'ug choppas. (Or how ever you spell that) Net result being that as soon as my walked arrived in combat the game was effectively over as he couldn't really touch me. It was a very unsatisfying and unfun game for both of us.

Now we could both have build different lists and avoided that, but the AV system effectively decided the game once the armies were build. The binary nature of many of the game mechanics have been mentioned, but I think the structure/nature of the games and how you win them is part of the problem too.

While I hate to defend the 40K system, in Warmachine one of the basic principles we found was DASH:
The four basic things you have to expect on the other side, even at the earliest beginner level when players throw their armies together at random, are:

D for high DEF (i.e. hard to hit models)
A for high ARM (i.e. really high armor, the equivalent to high AV, high Toughness and 2+ saves)
S for Stealth (i.e. models that are nearly impossible to hit from range under most circumstances)
H for Horde (1.e. large model count that will drown the opponent in bodies)

Don't get me wrong, there are ways around it, say ignoring the high ARM stuff and going straight for the throat of the enemy general, but if you run into an army with a high ARM general and don't have something that can hurt Armor, or you run into a hugh DEF general and don't have anything that can touch him, you're in deep trouble.

In other words: Knowing how AV works and preparing for it is one of the basic skills in 40K that I'd expect from every player that's halfway competent. Running around the field with nothing that can kill vehicles is pretty much shooting yourself in the foot.

Now, if it was me, I'd probably write the list with claws all over, still use the models with huge choppers, but clear it with my opponent before the game that these choppers are so huge and that there is some weird mekboy tech inside of them that makes them behave life claws; hell, even mode the swords accordingly, with some tubes and antennas sticking out of them...

It's how I build the cybord body for my Warboss, the black reach model, cut off the fur on his backside and build a huge energy field projector instead that everybody I ever played against easily agreed warranted a 5++ save.


Out of interest, Random, what do you think of the WHFB system - wherein the strength of a weapon affects the save that can be taken against it? So, for each point of strength above 3, the enemy suffers a -1 penalty to their armour save.

I would prefer it a great deal over the system we currently have, but I believe it is tilted to far in favor of the attacker. I think I'd give -1 to S5 and start from there:

S5 -1
S6 -2
S7 -3
S8 -4
S9 -5
S10 -6

I kind of worry that Terminator armor comes out a tad weak, but I could see it moved up to 1+ to compensate.
I'd also love to see vehicles incorporated back into the Toughness/save system, invulnerable saves limited to no better than 4++, and I think we'd be set.

Actually, going a step further, I'd completely remove the Strength vs. Toughness roll. Models that currently rely on high T to survive would get a good save in exchange. Oh yeah, and if you miss the save by several points, that's the number of wounds that get through. :)

Stronginthearm
09-12-2012, 18:56
While I hate to defend the 40K system, in Warmachine one of the basic principles we found was DASH:
The four basic things you have to expect on the other side, even at the earliest beginner level when players throw their armies together at random, are:

D for high DEF (i.e. hard to hit models)
A for high ARM (i.e. really high armor, the equivalent to high AV, high Toughness and 2+ saves)
S for Stealth (i.e. models that are nearly impossible to hit from range under most circumstances)
H for Horde (1.e. large model count that will drown the opponent in bodies)

Don't get me wrong, there are ways around it, say ignoring the high ARM stuff and going straight for the throat of the enemy general, but if you run into an army with a high ARM general and don't have something that can hurt Armor, or you run into a hugh DEF general and don't have anything that can touch him, you're in deep trouble.

In other words: Knowing how AV works and preparing for it is one of the basic skills in 40K that I'd expect from every player that's halfway competent. Running around the field with nothing that can kill vehicles is pretty much shooting yourself in the foot.

Now, if it was me, I'd probably write the list with claws all over, still use the models with huge choppers, but clear it with my opponent before the game that these choppers are so huge and that there is some weird mekboy tech inside of them that makes them behave life claws; hell, even mode the swords accordingly, with some tubes and antennas sticking out of them...

It's how I build the cybord body for my Warboss, the black reach model, cut off the fur on his backside and build a huge energy field projector instead that everybody I ever played against easily agreed warranted a 5++ save.



I would prefer it a great deal over the system we currently have, but I believe it is tilted to far in favor of the attacker. I think I'd give -1 to S5 and start from there:

S5 -1
S6 -2
S7 -3
S8 -4
S9 -5
S10 -6

I kind of worry that Terminator armor comes out a tad weak, but I could see it moved up to 1+ to compensate.
I'd also love to see vehicles incorporated back into the Toughness/save system, invulnerable saves limited to no better than 4++, and I think we'd be set.

Actually, going a step further, I'd completely remove the Strength vs. Toughness roll. Models that currently rely on high T to survive would get a good save in exchange. Oh yeah, and if you miss the save by several points, that's the number of wounds that get through. :)
Not sure how much your changes would require a complete overhaul of everything, but they probably would, for simplicity and ease of change I'd propose a simpler alteration, shift the AP values into -'s to the save. As such
AP- 0
AP6 -1
AP5 -2
AP4 -3
AP3 -4
AP2 -5
AP1 -6

You might have to change some of the rules a bit, maybe shorten ranges or make hitting harder, but I do agree that the AP system makes little sense, I can turn space marine armor into cheese with these weapons but they bounce off terminator armor the same as lazguns?

RandomThoughts
10-12-2012, 08:28
Not sure how much your changes would require a complete overhaul of everything, but they probably would, for simplicity and ease of change I'd propose a simpler alteration, shift the AP values into -'s to the save. As such
AP- 0
AP6 -1
AP5 -2
AP4 -3
AP3 -4
AP2 -5
AP1 -6

You might have to change some of the rules a bit, maybe shorten ranges or make hitting harder, but I do agree that the AP system makes little sense, I can turn space marine armor into cheese with these weapons but they bounce off terminator armor the same as lazguns?

I'd rather have the APs disappear entirely. As least while penetration vs. vehicle armor is still tied to Strength. One of my biggest gripes with the system, not from a balancing point but from a feels-just-wrong point, is how low S good AP and high S bad AP weapons ignore / bounce off armor arbitrarily.