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Carlosophy
19-09-2013, 18:07
Me and my sister were playing my dad the other day (Eldar and Sisters vs Chaos) and we executed a perfect pincer movement whereby I had split my eldar to speed up the flanks and split his forces whilst the Sisters castled up and methodicly sledgehammered his middle. It was one of our better tactics and whilst the armies were selected based on the plan, there wasn't a Wraithknight or Dragon in sight.

This got me thinking: We were able to break him based on a tried and tested military tactic rather than just taking the hardest things we could in the hope of stacking the odds in our favour as much as possible and hoping for the best, which is pretty much what happened at my last tournament experience. So, is there a group of players for whom generalship is second to army selection? And how could GW fix such an issue?

Luffwaffle
19-09-2013, 18:15
What's stopping you from taking the best army you can make and being a good general? Take what ever you think will be the best in it's role and play it to the best of your abilities.

Freakiq
19-09-2013, 18:21
What's stopping you from taking the best army you can make and being a good general? Take what ever you think will be the best in it's role and play it to the best of your abilities.

I find if I take the best army I can I don't have to be a good general.

Theocracity
19-09-2013, 18:23
Most OP units share the feature of being statistically reliable. That's their main selling point, though resilience, target flexibility and cost efficiency are big factors as well.

The statistical reliability of an OP unit means that it can be effective in the absence of tactics. Another unit, when utilized with proper tactics, can beat it - especially if that unit has a higher ability ceiling within its capability profile.

The problem comes when you start talking tournament. Does the not-OP unit provide the same kind of benefit if you're against a different kind of opponent? What happens if you're unlucky? What happens if the conditions you need to succeed aren't present? What if your opponent has the same skill level as you and can use tactics alongside his OP unit?

That's why they get discussed so much. The context of tournament talk necessarily eliminates a lot of the context that can let less statistically reliable units perform strategically.

Scammel
19-09-2013, 18:39
Why the two have to be mutually exclusive I've no idea. Any good general, offered troops as effective and reliable as those in certain books, would rip your arm off.

3eland
19-09-2013, 18:55
If you were to bring this to a real life situation (let's say back in Greek times), would you say no to Achilles because he was too awesomely OP? No, you would want the best of the best, the strongest most OP guys there was and then win through your Generalship. Picking the best guys, and today's "OP" doesn't mean you lack as a general, it just means you know when you see a potential unit that will be threatening.

However, spamming OP units COULD potentially substitute for poor generalship, really there is no way of telling until you play the guy and see what that specific individual does himself. You can't generalize something like that as there are more factors involved.

My .02 anyways

Mortimer
19-09-2013, 18:56
"Broken" Lists in friendlies can mean insta-win and no real tactics needed so can lead to poor generalship.

IMBA and OP lists breed brilliant generalship in Tournies or when there is something at stake other than a win or loss.

Theocracity
19-09-2013, 18:58
Why the two have to be mutually exclusive I've no idea. Any good general, offered troops as effective and reliable as those in certain books, would rip your arm off.

Well, a unit that's generally considered subpar might provide a counter for an OP unit. In the hands of a good general it might not matter if it relies on terrain, or is bad against other armies, or costs a premium. Of course all of those matter in a tourney context.

Sir Didymus
19-09-2013, 21:27
The answer is "Yes!", and anyone telling you otherwise are deluding themselves.

Losing Command
19-09-2013, 21:46
If I remember correctly also in ancient days a good general won battles even with his troops outnumbered and despite other negative factors. Having more and better equipped/trained troops was not a matter of choosing, but a matter of resources and availability of time to prepare, and good generalship could compensate a lot for that.

CrownAxe
19-09-2013, 22:01
I find if I take the best army I can I don't have to be a good general.

That's your problem then, because you are the one stopping yourself from being a good general

SpanielBear
19-09-2013, 22:11
Actually, I think one of the real problems with calling what we do in 40k 'generalship', Is that we are very limited in what we have control over. A great general would pick terrain to his advantage, manoeuvre his armies to fight were his opponent was weaker (how many great generals seek out a fair fight!?), take into account wider strategic goals, and minimise the risk to his own forces. Take the Hundred Years' War. The majority of the campaigning involved the English raiding the French countryside and besieging weak cities. The great battles (harfleur, agincourt, crecy etc.) were largely due to the English being outmanoeuvred on a strategic level, but able to adapt tactically. Compare this to the French victories, where they catch English archers in the open and undefended, and they folded. Being a general is about a lot more than what happens once the fight starts.

Another illustration would be Operation Market Garden in WWII. There the operation had been well planned, but when paratroopers landed their radios almost universally failed. The general in charge tried to go to the front lines to command (as our commanders seem inclined to do), and spent two days being chased by Germans and completely cut off from his command structure. Leading from the front is no longer a wise move.

Now, to be fair, warfare in the 40k universe is actually a lot more dark-age in scope- warbands, heroic leaders and martial glory. But even so, we as generals actually have a lot of the strategic decisions taken away from us- since when have we ever worried about supply lines, for example?

This is why narrative campaigns should be given more time- these decisions would start to matter- what are your targets, how are your armies deployed etc. At the squad level, there is room from some tactics, but not much more than "concentrate fire on that one" or "attack that flank".

All this sounds very critical, but I really don't mean it to be. The game is still fun as a way of telling stories about acts of heroism and derring do, and as a way of showcasing these tragic forces. It's still competitive as a board game, and skill plays a role in that. But it isn't the same as being a general. Captain, maybe! ;-)

Thud
19-09-2013, 22:27
Ah, the webs we weave.

If *that* guy wins it's only because he's using netlists! If I, however, win it's because of my superior generalship!

Sure is nice to have a world view where you are placed firmly on top, way above all the other peons with their imba armies winning their games for them.




Look, here's the deal. If you take a really good army list, and it either plays itself to a great extent or you learn how to play it, you are going to roll over all the scrubs at your local club. But I contend that's because *they* can't play tactically whatsoever. They're the kind of guys mucking about quoting Sun Tzu and the US Marines Field Manual or whateverthehellelse makes them feel clever. Go up against a good player with a good list, your netlist (and you) gets creamed.

Tabletop wargaming tactics isn't about 'lol pincer move' or '[insert Sun Tzu quote]' or any of those dogmatic idiocies. It's about applying your own resources, based on shifting realities, in a way that defeats your opponents resources. You see crappy players moaning about 'netlists' and 'OP units' all the time, but most of the time it's just that; moaning. Some times, though, you get a glimpse of what's behind it; poor tactics. As an example, I read a guy's post somewhere, recently, complaining about how he'd been trashed by the super OP Screamerstar (i.e., Chaos Daemons, 4 Tzeentch Heralds on discs and 9-10 Screamers of Tzeentch; lots of S6 psychic shooting, a little CC power and a 2++ with a re-roll). And then he goes on complaining that it just survived everything he threw at it! What!? Of course it did, it has a 2++ with a re-roll. Why on earth are you throwing *anything* at it? Assault it with a Wraithknight/Necron Wraiths/Dreadnought or something that will keep it locked down for a long time, most likely for the rest of the game. Now his 800 point deathstar is locked in a combat with a 105 point Dreadnought or a ~250 point Wraithknight. Job done.

Real world tactics don't apply in 40k. 40k tactics apply in 40k.

And if the local netlister isn't a fantastic general, using *good* tactics will beat him. Provided, of course, you have actually brought an army list that includes the tools necessary to even theoretically win a game of 40k. If you don't have a single unit capable of taking down flyers, a Necron air force is going to crush you.

Menthak
19-09-2013, 22:37
To a point yes. If you're terrible at 40k but you take 3 heldrakes and as many plague marines as you can in rhinos w/meltaguns then yet, you'll win a few games no matter how bad you are at the game. Basically the bad player with better units will win 70-85% more times than a good player with bad units. And if you're anything like me, that is only compounded by the fact that you're not that good at the game and you don't take broken units.

KingDeath
19-09-2013, 23:36
Everyone remember how Napoleon armed his men with pitchforks, to show everyone what an awesome general he was? No? Me neither.

Nymie_the_Pooh
20-09-2013, 00:06
To an extent. Better tools will produce a better product. A master craftsman will still build a better bench using tools that aren't top notch than than an apprentice will build using the best tools.

Ssilmath
20-09-2013, 00:15
I'm starting to think that tournaments should have requirements for what units get taken, so that the people can actually claim to be skilled players. Let the tournament organizers put their heads together and come up with lists that are balanced and require more than point and click to use. Then let everybody else play what they want, as that will weed out the OP unit spam.

Nymie_the_Pooh
20-09-2013, 00:28
I'm starting to think that tournaments should have requirements for what units get taken, so that the people can actually claim to be skilled players. Let the tournament organizers put their heads together and come up with lists that are balanced and require more than point and click to use. Then let everybody else play what they want, as that will weed out the OP unit spam.

This happens. More in European countries than the United States. It's called comp. The thing is some other option moves to the top so the arguments remain. It's fun to have a selection of different tournament types both with and without comp, but it basically comes down to a shift in the meta to where something else replaces what was considered cheese before. The nice part is that if you vary it up you do see a wider variety of lists amongst the different events.

papabearshane
20-09-2013, 00:38
I'm starting to think that tournaments should have requirements for what units get taken, so that the people can actually claim to be skilled players. Let the tournament organizers put their heads together and come up with lists that are balanced and require more than point and click to use. Then let everybody else play what they want, as that will weed out the OP unit spam.

I hate this outlook on gaming, Why not require everyone to take the same exact list and then battle it out as there will be no list tailoring or bad matchups. I for one would never go to a turny that controlled what units I can take.

I know a lot of people like to play ETC style games but If your going to a turny, GET YOUR BIG BOY/GIRL PANTS ON AND BRING YOUR BEST!! (I play Orks and O&Gs by the way)

Spam can be annoying in a regular fun game but at a turny I expect to fight the craziness of spam. I bring my own form of spam with 6 trukks with boyz and 3x3 Burna Buggies plus a smattering of other things.

Sorry for the rant but its a tournament, you play to win at a turny not see who's the best in a controlled setting.

Ssilmath
20-09-2013, 00:48
If you're actually the better player, shouldn't you be able to win a mirror match? Or do you need 5 Riptides as a crutch?

IcedCrow
20-09-2013, 00:53
When i was competitive i took over powered lists to mask my average ability and it worked quite well.

When i didnt have a crutch army i couldnt win as much. As i got older i liked that as it was more challenging and it helped me actually get better so that now i can hold my own with midling lists, something id never have considered in my powerging days.

To me power lists are setting the difficulty of the game to easy. You can be good at the game and still field power lists so its not that powergamer lists always mask poor playing though.

Warhammer 40k is severely unbalanced and a poor game for tournaments. Its like beating someone at chess when you get to start with five queens and your opponent loses five pieces of your choosing. Imo. From a former die hard powergamer tournament guy.

count chocula
20-09-2013, 01:03
It would be a poor general that does not use the tools available to him. while I sometimes get angry when seeing triptide and the like it only makes winning that much better if I wanted the armies to be equal or the same I would play chess

Bloodknight
20-09-2013, 01:10
When i was competitive i took over powered lists to mask my average ability and it worked quite well.

Yeah, the problem is that much of the stuff that's "worth" spamming is so good that it runs on autopilot to a degree that you'll only see who's a better player if both players have something similar. I'd say it can actually turn mediocre players into worse players because there is no need for improvement or the improvement is not particularly visible anyway because the army does most of the winning. So yes, most of the time it's a crutch unless everybody is playing on an even playing field with similarly powerful armies. And yes, strong players will benefit even more from those autopilot units because they're usually a combination of 2 things: too good for the points value and producing reliable outcomes.

jri0t68
20-09-2013, 01:31
I'll pull two real life metaphors to illustrate my opinion, as I think this problem exists beyond 40K.

If you were to race, 1 on 1, against a professional race car driver, you'd likely lose unless his car wasn't capable of reaching even half the speed your car was. That is because his skill can outweigh much of the difference in the tools at hand.

Likewise, when I used to play tournament paintball, I'd have my team (using guns shooting capped 12 bps, carrying 700 rounds of paint) lose consistently to seasoned stock class players (pump for each shot, so 3 bps-ish at most, and carrying only 40 rounds), despite us pumping out easily 10 times the firepower. Why? Superior skill on their part.

If you hypothetically rank both army lists and generalship on a 1 to 5 scale (which isn't an accurate way to do so, but works as an example), I'd bet a level 3 General with a level 3 list beats a level 1 General with a level 5 list. When you get competitive, though, you have to count on the probability that your own skill will be outclassed by someone else, so you bring the best tools you can.

I find in many things, though, that of you handicap yourself at practice, when it comes to an event, you're better prepared than the others.

I must add, though, that it's really cool that you, your sister and your dad all play. That sounds like lifelong memories being made and treasured.

Dragannia
20-09-2013, 02:19
Well, a unit that's generally considered subpar might provide a counter for an OP unit. In the hands of a good general it might not matter if it relies on terrain, or is bad against other armies, or costs a premium. Of course all of those matter in a tourney context.


Ah, the webs we weave.

If *that* guy wins it's only because he's using netlists! If I, however, win it's because of my superior generalship!

Sure is nice to have a world view where you are placed firmly on top, way above all the other peons with their imba armies winning their games for them.




Look, here's the deal. If you take a really good army list, and it either plays itself to a great extent or you learn how to play it, you are going to roll over all the scrubs at your local club. But I contend that's because *they* can't play tactically whatsoever. They're the kind of guys mucking about quoting Sun Tzu and the US Marines Field Manual or whateverthehellelse makes them feel clever. Go up against a good player with a good list, your netlist (and you) gets creamed.

Tabletop wargaming tactics isn't about 'lol pincer move' or '[insert Sun Tzu quote]' or any of those dogmatic idiocies. It's about applying your own resources, based on shifting realities, in a way that defeats your opponents resources. You see crappy players moaning about 'netlists' and 'OP units' all the time, but most of the time it's just that; moaning. Some times, though, you get a glimpse of what's behind it; poor tactics. As an example, I read a guy's post somewhere, recently, complaining about how he'd been trashed by the super OP Screamerstar (i.e., Chaos Daemons, 4 Tzeentch Heralds on discs and 9-10 Screamers of Tzeentch; lots of S6 psychic shooting, a little CC power and a 2++ with a re-roll). And then he goes on complaining that it just survived everything he threw at it! What!? Of course it did, it has a 2++ with a re-roll. Why on earth are you throwing *anything* at it? Assault it with a Wraithknight/Necron Wraiths/Dreadnought or something that will keep it locked down for a long time, most likely for the rest of the game. Now his 800 point deathstar is locked in a combat with a 105 point Dreadnought or a ~250 point Wraithknight. Job done.

Real world tactics don't apply in 40k. 40k tactics apply in 40k.

And if the local netlister isn't a fantastic general, using *good* tactics will beat him. Provided, of course, you have actually brought an army list that includes the tools necessary to even theoretically win a game of 40k. If you don't have a single unit capable of taking down flyers, a Necron air force is going to crush you.

I'd like to quote this for truth. 40K is also far more dependent on luck, so it's quite difficult to gauge until a certain amount of games have been played with a certain list.

Archon of Death
20-09-2013, 03:52
I'm one of those guys who has studied tactics, even read through an entire book on The Seven Military Texts of Ancient China, as well as having studied all kinds of historical battles, Roman tactics, etc. However that doesn't make me a good tactician in warhammer, if anything DnD and math make you a good general in Warhammer. This is a game based on stat lines and dice rolls, reading about supply lines, drum beats and the squads that follow or don't follow them, etc are not going to help. It's a combination of luck, averages, and point effectiveness with a minor in terrain usage and formation tactics. Those guys who study tactics without the mathhammer are crippling themselves, and vice versa. And, to be honest, I'd rather be accused of MC or Walker spamming than field something I don't think is cool. I'll take a 3:2:9 ratio over putting 1000 identical miniatures on the table if it means I can have a Dred with spider legs or a cthulu hive tyrant or riptides in Charlies Angels poses.

Inquisitor Shego
20-09-2013, 04:03
Oh by all means nerf yourself. But when you win, don't dilute my victory by saying "I went easy on you by taking a load of naff units." I believe 40k can be a mix of thematic units, or weaving a narrative together, combined with taking units to give your opponent a competitive game. It's all about balance. However, I would probably spark someone on the nose if they were to say I only take 9 venoms because I'm a crap general (and not because they're way pigging easier to transport than 6 raiders, 3 venoms, 3 ravagers, and 80 miniatures).


or riptides in Charlies Angels poses.

*Picard voice* Make it so, Number One

The Thirty
20-09-2013, 05:26
If you're actually the better player, shouldn't you be able to win a mirror match? Or do you need 5 Riptides as a crutch?

As long as the game is reliant on random dice-rolls - and has as significant of an advantage as first turn - even a mirror-match isn't a 'balanced battle' that will just inherently go to the more skilled opponent.

Marshal_Loss
20-09-2013, 05:28
All this talk of 'good generalship' in relation to Warhammer 40k is ridiculous, if you care so much about being a 'good general' with an emphasis on genuine skill go and play chess or another suitable, totally balanced game. There is too much luck involved in 40k for it to be lauded as a skill-based game, and whereas familiarity with the game and a solid understanding of chance are going to win you games, such skill does not transform a wargame into something it is not. No codex will ever be exactly the equal of another, and conventional tactics aren't exactly applying themselves in spades to a sci-fi wargame.


It would be a poor general that does not use the tools available to him. while I sometimes get angry when seeing triptide and the like it only makes winning that much better if I wanted the armies to be equal or the same I would play chess

Agree with this fine chap. The closest a 'good general' can be in relation to Warhammer 40k is somebody taking every possible step to ensure that they win a game (within the boundaries of the game). The fact that you're labelling units as 'OP' say more about the absence of true 'generalship' in 40k than anything else.

Ssilmath
20-09-2013, 05:29
As long as the game is reliant on random dice-rolls - and has as significant of an advantage as first turn - even a mirror-match isn't a 'balanced battle' that will just inherently go to the more skilled opponent.

In one game, I agree with you. Maybe instead of single events, the competitive scene should be more like a series of tournaments. I dunno, I guess I just mostly feel that this game isn't intended for competitive gaming, and anybody who tries to shoehorn it into that role isn't going to be satisfied.

The Thirty
20-09-2013, 05:42
In one game, I agree with you. Maybe instead of single events, the competitive scene should be more like a series of tournaments. I dunno, I guess I just mostly feel that this game isn't intended for competitive gaming, and anybody who tries to shoehorn it into that role isn't going to be satisfied.

It's not designed to be competitive, and never can be. When random chance can cripple even the greatest of players, or make a winner of a mediocre player, then you can't claim that it's a game of skill- because it's not.

papabearshane
20-09-2013, 06:11
It's not designed to be competitive, and never can be. When random chance can cripple even the greatest of players, or make a winner of a mediocre player, then you can't claim that it's a game of skill- because it's not.

I agree with The Thirty in all but the fact that there is skill in the 40k world, that skill is a skill only 40k players can have and that's gamming the system and knowing what the best target priority in a given situation should usually be.

Scammel
20-09-2013, 07:20
I wonder if people are automatically associating the use of good units with the practice of net-listing. It is entirely possible to be a good player who knows how to identify good units and how to use them effectively and I think it's quite absurd that they should need to 'prove' how good they are with units/lists that don't set the world alight.

CrownAxe
20-09-2013, 07:26
It's not designed to be competitive, and never can be. When random chance can cripple even the greatest of players, or make a winner of a mediocre player, then you can't claim that it's a game of skill- because it's not.

This is an over generalization. Warhammer may not be a totally skill based, but it is with out a doubt not skill-less. Your choices in the game do have an impact on the outcome of a match, a lot of the times more of an effect then dice rolls or list building. The fact that there is skill involved (plenty more then you are giving warhammer credit for) is enough reason for warhammer to be competitive.

Bloodknight
20-09-2013, 08:38
Warhammer may not be a totally skill based, but it is with out a doubt not skill-less

It's kind of telling that - when you look at tournament rankings - it's always the same guys on top. They can't be lucky all the time :).

Poseidal
20-09-2013, 08:53
Fixed lists could be quite interesting.

Basically, a few players make a few (example) 1500 point lists per army, then players signing up pick one they like or they have models for and turn up using that. Easier to judge too, as in theory the judges will be more versed with what are in these lists and they can avoid controversial rule disputes. You can also 'relax' the WYSIWYG rules, since as long as most things are clear, you know what's going in the build and what unit is what.

duffybear1988
20-09-2013, 08:55
When i was competitive i took over powered lists to mask my average ability and it worked quite well.

When i didnt have a crutch army i couldnt win as much. As i got older i liked that as it was more challenging and it helped me actually get better so that now i can hold my own with midling lists, something id never have considered in my powerging days.

To me power lists are setting the difficulty of the game to easy. You can be good at the game and still field power lists so its not that powergamer lists always mask poor playing though.

Warhammer 40k is severely unbalanced and a poor game for tournaments. Its like beating someone at chess when you get to start with five queens and your opponent loses five pieces of your choosing. Imo. From a former die hard powergamer tournament guy.

This.

Although to be honest I'm quickly coming to the opinion that any average Tau list is pretty much an "I win button". I have spent 3 months watching poor players with average-to-power lists destroy armies used by very good players over and over again.

TheDungen
20-09-2013, 09:55
I'd say that they are exclusive because for a specific plan the usually optimal units may not be optimal.

orkmiester
20-09-2013, 11:38
Although to be honest I'm quickly coming to the opinion that any average Tau list is pretty much an "I win button". I have spent 3 months watching poor players with average-to-power lists destroy armies used by very good players over and over again.

The Tau can be hard countered... drop pods (when they land in the right postions) and Ravenwing have been the bugbears so far. But some of the whines are due to one list building decision or another, where they cannot find a way to deal with/nullify riptides, when a lot of the time they do not do very much in terms of kills. But it then depends on the enemy you are fighting and his list (much like real life to an extent;) ) some marines armies just fall over at riptides:rolleyes:


Now time for an anecdote:

Last week i ended up in a 2v2 game with 1500pts per player, 3k each side, me(Tau) and orks Vs two marine armies...

Now as i wasn't expecting to be involved in the game i made a quick list of 2 riptides, 2x pathfinders, a hammerhead, commander & battlesuits, 3 broadsides, oh and 2 6 man squads in devilfish... all for fun...


anyway that being said dice rolls were rather 'weighted' in our favour- now here is the story of the match: they went first, a drop pod of tigris, a chapter master and command squad toting 4 grav guns arrived in range of a riptide and shot at it, by rights it should have bought it for which congratualtions are always in order, however after a large blessing of lady luck my riptide survived with 4 wounds left:wtf: so it was comiserations instead- the squad died on our turn...

the riptides then played a minor role of pasting marines with markerlight support when the need arose, as the orks were smashing marine face rather badly. And one did a kung fu move on a dreadnought, we were all amused at that:D he then died afterewards to a storm raven after losing his final wounds. The other riptide took no damage at all:cool:



Spamming OP units is not a substitute for poor generalship, it is a nod to the fact that some units are far better than others either at a particular job or a just good all round. You can apply some real life warfare principles to 40k, however is has rules of war unique to itself that governs your force selection, even if that means genting branded a :cheese: merchant despite beign inspired by the fluff:(

Weazel
20-09-2013, 13:05
Speaking of generalship in a board game based heavily on luck... have to say that I giggled a bit when I thought about it!

There are so many things in this game that cannot be overcome by player skill. All things being equal, a good player will be victorious more often than a bad one, but even the greatest of tactics can fall short when met with a bad streak of dice rolls. And the grimmest of moments can be saved by a lucky streak of rolls. As an example if I was a general and ordered my men to flank the enemy from the left and they ended up coming from the right... well I'd probably have them shot should they survive the battle. :D

And to answer the OP's question, is spamming powerful units a.k.a. steamrolling an efficient way to overcome lack of skill as a tactician? Absolutely. Is there even anything to debate? However, using weaker units just to prove something could also be seen as an insult in a strictly competitive scene. Don't bring a knife to a gunfight.

I'd love it if there was a perfect balance within the meta, so I could run my fluffy Space Wolf list or leave my Wraiths and Nightscythes at home, but sadly that is not the case. I enjoy playing as much as I enjoy winning. The drive to win in (any) games is human nature after all, there's no need to suppress it. You don't have to WAAC it up, but losing on purpose is just dumb.

MasterDecoy
20-09-2013, 13:56
As long as the game is reliant on random dice-rolls - and has as significant of an advantage as first turn - even a mirror-match isn't a 'balanced battle' that will just inherently go to the more skilled opponent.

And yet I, as well as many others at my club convert second turn. Usually because we play the missions rather than try to kill everything. The amount of games you can win with almost nothing left when you focus on the mission and your opponent only cares about killing stuff is amazing

Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk 4

Polaria
20-09-2013, 14:09
Most OP units share the feature of being statistically reliable. That's their main selling point, though resilience, target flexibility and cost efficiency are big factors as well.



What's stopping you from taking the best army you can make and being a good general? Take what ever you think will be the best in it's role and play it to the best of your abilities.


I find if I take the best army I can I don't have to be a good general.


Why the two have to be mutually exclusive I've no idea. Any good general, offered troops as effective and reliable as those in certain books, would rip your arm off.

In tournament setting where the objective is assumed to be winning a good army list building is part of being a good general. What you are doing by "spamming OP units" (a loaded sentence if I ever saw one, by the way) is actually minimizing your risks in case your tactics fail because of inherent failure in your tactics, a sloppy execution of the tactics or blind luck dished out by the dice. As long as the players are humans, the game is played outside purely virtual environment and the rules have elements based on random luck even the most picture perfect general plan and carry out a "perfect strategy". Its just not possible. What you CAN do is minimize risks by proper selection of resources and proper planning of tactics.

IcedCrow
20-09-2013, 14:46
Minimizing risks is a way to cover up mistakes made by yourself, which is as the OP puts it a substitute for making mistakes or being a "poor general". Its just that saying minimizing risks is a more friendly language to use than saying "covering up for being a poor player".

The less impact a risk has, the less impact a mistake has, meaning a person with poor skills will not be as impacted by his mistakes compared to if his mistakes had more impact (he would make the same mistakes, but they are weighted differently if he is using a min/max OP list because a min/max OP list is essentially a list whose risks have less impact, or in other words, playing the game on easy as you can make more mistakes than if you were playing with a more difficult list where you can't make as many mistakes)

SOmeone mentioned above that the same people tend to win tournaments over and over again and I think that that is a good way to judge whether someone is "good or not". A consistent record in an environment where you are playing a multitude of people to me is more telling of someone's ability. Those people also in my experience tend to be able to win without having to spam OP units, indicating to me from my experience that they are good at the game and make less mistakes in general, which means harder lists do not affect them as much as their mistakes are few anyway (and those people are basically unstoppable with OP lists barring horrid luck) whereas a person not so good will do fairly well with his OP list against other people of equal not-so-good skill but against people that are actually good will tend to lose anyway.

This is just my opinion but I don't feel that knowing that OP units are going to perform better than non over powered units so you should take as many of those as possible is a mark of a good player. To me thats the same as saying "a person is smart because they know the sky is blue". A person that intentionally maxes out on OP units is neither a good player nor a bad player at that point. it is a player that has decided that they are going to play with minimal risk and make it as easy on themselves as possible. It is choosing your difficulty level.

Choosing difficulty level regardless of what level you choose is not an indicator of skill.

Theocracity
20-09-2013, 14:55
What you CAN do is minimize risks by proper selection of resources and proper planning of tactics.

Everything you said is true, but you should note that being risk averse is not prerequisite for being a good general. It can certainly help your win ratio over a series of games, which is why it makes sense to be risk averse in tournaments. But sometimes gambling to use units that are statistically less reliable can provide you with strategic options that can give you the upper hand.

Sure, the dice may fail you 10% more often or you could get hard countered by a popular build. But unless you're in a tournament you're not necessarily going to see that.

Part of being a good general is knowing the field of battle. If your field of battle is a big tourney, then yes you should be as risk averse as possible. If not, the playing field opens up.

SpanielBear
20-09-2013, 15:00
Speaking from my comfortable general's armchair, I have another paraphrased quote to throw in:

"Napoleons tactics are like a well made harness, all leather and brass. It looks very fine and serves very fine, until one part breaks and the whole thing becomes useless. I make my tactics out of rope- if a part breaks, I tie a knot and move on."
- Duke of Wellington

The point about being a 'good general' is a) to minimise mistakes and b) to be flexible. OP spam lists are excellent, until they break and turn out to have been very rigid and brittle. More balanced lists will have done redundancy, and learning how to use variety means you can cope with a changing situation, such as a run of bad dice losing you that unit...

That's what I try to do anyway, but I am a long way from being good- I can just about make 'competent' on a good day :-)

IcedCrow
20-09-2013, 15:03
I will also throw in that if you learn how to do well with non OP spam lists that you will be considerably better skill-wise over people that do nothing but rely on OP spam lists to carry them and that once you have mastered how to counter OP lists with non OP lists that your tournament standings will rise exponentially. That was a lesson hard learned for me.

Konovalev
20-09-2013, 15:50
OP spam lists are excellent, until they break and turn out to have been very rigid and brittle. More balanced lists will have done redundancy

Uh... Is not the definition of spam taking multiples of the same unit? Does that not also lend itself to redundancy? If I take(spam) 3 heldrakes, and 1 is shot down I have 2 more for redundancy.

I think "spam" and "balanced" lists are 2 sides of the same coin. "Spam" lists seek to take the initiative by forcing their opponent to react to an unusual army composition and to attack them in ways they were not expecting. Spam lists are not meant to fence with their opponents, but to run them over by playing against an expected weakness.

Conversely a "Balanced" list seeks to be able to handle a wide spectrum of opponents by having a tool for every job. It's a more conservative approach that relies on trying to exploit a range of weaknesses in enemy units, while countering its own unit weaknesses with diversity.

As far as tournaments go, if you're not using the best tools you have available to you, you're sandbagging. If skipping the power units is your idea of fun then do what you enjoy, but don't mistake your personal preferences for some illusory moral highground. No one would consider a boxer who only attacks the body because face shots are OP a good boxer.

IcedCrow
20-09-2013, 15:53
No one would consider a boxer who only attacks the body because face shots are OP a good boxer.

I think its more that spam lists vs non OP lists are the 250 lb boxer taking on the 145 lb boxer.

SpanielBear
20-09-2013, 16:05
Uh... Is not the definition of spam taking multiples of the same unit? Does that not also lend itself to redundancy? If I take(spam) 3 heldrakes, and 1 is shot down I have 2 more for redundancy.

I think "spam" and "balanced" lists are 2 sides of the same coin. "Spam" lists seek to take the initiative by forcing their opponent to react to an unusual army composition and to attack them in ways they were not expecting. Spam lists are not meant to fence with their opponents, but to run them over by playing against an expected weakness.

Conversely a "Balanced" list seeks to be able to handle a wide spectrum of opponents by having a tool for every job. It's a more conservative approach that relies on trying to exploit a range of weaknesses in enemy units, while countering its own unit weaknesses with diversity.

As far as tournaments go, if you're not using the best tools you have available to you, you're sandbagging. If skipping the power units is your idea of fun then do what you enjoy, but don't mistake your personal preferences for some illusory moral highground. No one would consider a boxer who only attacks the body because face shots are OP a good boxer.

For sure, and I am not arguing in favour of running around with one's hands tied! Good units are good units, that is reason enough to take them.

But I would say that a spam list does lack in terms of redundancy, because of the brittleness. Now that there is plentiful AA beginning to appear, your baledrakes become more vulnerable and the loss of each one harder to adapt to- if you are just winning through an auto-play list. If you have skill, then I am not denying that good units used by a good player will probably be superior. In the baledrake example, that list would probably also include plague marines and a daemon prince- elements that compliment the army.

Fluff lists are fun, but often less competitive. You can be a good 'general'/40k player with either.

Theocracity
20-09-2013, 16:21
As far as tournaments go, if you're not using the best tools you have available to you, you're sandbagging. If skipping the power units is your idea of fun then do what you enjoy, but don't mistake your personal preferences for some illusory moral highground. No one would consider a boxer who only attacks the body because face shots are OP a good boxer.

Well, there's something to be said about learning by challenging yourself. Relying on the same units over and over again can lead to complacency, whereas varying your list can potentially lead to more opportunities to learn and adapt. It's like weight lifting - if you want to get better at it, you challenge yourself by increasing the amount you lift over time.

That's not to say that playing with suboptimal lists automatically makes you a better player, or that using cookie cutter lists makes you bad. A suboptimal list might not teach you anything useful, and a cookie cutter list could be masterfully played to win a tournament.

To continue the weight lifting metaphor, lets say a gym had a contest where the person with the most reps won - but you could choose any weight you wanted. It'd be silly for anyone to choose a heavy weight, even if they're ripped - but winning with a light weight doesn't mean you're the strongest person there.

Edit: On reflection that metaphor sucks.

Carlosophy
20-09-2013, 16:33
Well, there's something to be said about learning by challenging yourself. Relying on the same units over and over again can lead to complacency, whereas varying your list can potentially lead to more opportunities to learn and adapt. It's like weight lifting - if you want to get better at it, you challenge yourself by increasing the amount you lift over time.

That's not to say that playing with suboptimal lists automatically makes you a better player, or that using cookie cutter lists makes you bad. A suboptimal list might not teach you anything useful, and a cookie cutter list could be masterfully played to win a tournament.

To continue the weight lifting metaphor, lets say a gym had a contest where the person with the most reps won - but you could choose any weight you wanted. It'd be silly for anyone to choose a heavy weight, even if they're ripped - but winning with a light weight doesn't mean you're the strongest person there.

Edit: On reflection that metaphor sucks.

The root of the issue is probably the scenario system. In any non-pre arranged game you never know what the mission is going to be so you try to take a 'killy' list to minimise your chances of loss; your opponent can't capture all those objectives if his troops choices are blown to pieces.

Perhaps 40k should go back to the variable attacker/defender lists of yesteryear. You would take a, say 2000pts army and may end up only using 1500 due to the rest not fitting on the FoC. This would leave you outnumbered by the opponent in pts and thus the scenario would give you certain tactical advantages, be it deployment, stratagems or going first. The potential of losing 2/3 flyers/wraithknights/riptides would be enough to perhaps stop spamming.

Konovalev
20-09-2013, 17:06
if you are just winning through an auto-play list.
If your list really is auto-play and will actually win that way then either your opponent has made a series of grave errors in tactics and/or army selection, or you're beating up on a brand new player.

If you take triple drakes and run into a list full of AA, then you made a willful strategic decison as your army's general, and it didn't work out for you. You might take from this that you need to diversify your army in order to mitigate the damage while facing an AA heavy list in the future, or you might chalk it up to the inevitability that is losing a game.

I see good valid generalship in both camps. I don't see one ideology as superior to the other. The baledrake spammer knows that he is unlikely to face a list with enough AA to effectively counter his drakes, while also knowing that when - keyword here - he does run into a list with sufficient AA that he has just purpose built himself a loss. Likewise the balanced list builder knows that he is unlikely to face a unit composition which he does not have an answer for, while also knowing that when - keyword here - he does run into a unit composition that can bypass, overpower, or otherwise break his collection that he has just purpose built himself a loss.

Both types of lists are playing the odds that they don't meet a list that can exploit their weaknesses. The balanced list has more weaknesses but they are less damaging, the spam list has fewer weaknesses but they are more damaging.

Nymie_the_Pooh
20-09-2013, 18:26
There is a quote attributed to Napoleon. It is hard to verify if the quote is true or not, but it fits with what else is known about the man. When told about the merits of a man to be promoted to a General within his own forces Napoleon reportedly asked, "That's all very well, but is he lucky?" The reason the quote has some credibility even though no one seems to be able to trace back to an original witness is because Napoleon believed a lot in luck and he would write about luck in letters.

Luck has a place in the game, perhaps even a greater presence than real battle. Maybe not. There have been some crazy things to happen in the heat of the moment. I remember reading once about two units both armed with rifles coming upon each other in surprise. Everybody on both sides dropped their rifles. They then proceeded to pick up rocks and throw them at each other as they ran away. It's been a while since I've read it, but the book was about World War I if I am remembering correctly.

I try everything available to me. There isn't any option in any codex for any army I have ever played that I haven't tried in multiple games with different loadouts and different combinations of units. I actually get bored playing the same units let alone the same exact lists all the time. For competition I like to take the things that make it to where I don't have to worry so much about luck or are my personal favourites because I am personally very unlucky. I want as few surprises as possible. In those games I like to have something that I feel I am aware of what is relatively capable or not capable of doing.

ReveredChaplainDrake
20-09-2013, 18:34
I tried a series of experiments with my brother once, when he started playing, and have ultimately concluded that there is no idiot-proof army. Even the best of armies have their limits, but those limits are still far beyond the limits of other armies. On the other end of the spectrum, the idiot has no limits to their stupidity. If you're trying to use a Dark Lance Ravager to clear Termagants off an objective, rather than the Trygon that popped up right next to you, you deserve every bit of the beating you are about to receive. Similarly, if your idea of optimal use of 18 Long Fangs and 2 Jaws Priests is to keep Jaws out of Tervigon range and frag missile all my Gaunts, you also deserve every bit of the beating you are about to receive. If you bring in your Stormravens and focus on the Wraiths and Scarabs instead of the Annihilation Barge, Quad-Gun, and up to three Nightscythes pointed at you... you get the picture. But all this says to me that this isn't an issue of being an average general versus being a good general. It's about being an average general versus being a terrible general. More surprisingly is that, when I basically started literally handing him netlists to use, his random floundering and teribad target priority still wound up destroying the vast majority of my army, to the point where I wouldn't have won without objectives, and in some cases I would've been outright annihilated had the game gone on.

The conclusion I came to is not that netlists are categorically better at winning games, but that netlists are categorically better at destroying the opponent's units, and any half-decent 40k player would tell you that these are not the same thing. You may be able to use annihilation to accomplish the objectives of your mission, but rarely does roflstomping your opponent's army without opposition ever directly coincide with the mission. Against the aforementioned Dark Eldar, I had a few scattered Termagants and a mostly-dead Trygon Prime left, but I wiped out everything but the Razorwings. Against his Space Wolves, I had about 25% of a Flyrant and less than five Termagants left, but I had scooped nearly every Victory Point possible while he got nothing. This experiment pretty solidly supported an axiom I held that I was trying to test: worse players with good lists can pull a win out of a draw, but better players with bad lists can manage a draw out of a loss. The problem is that nobody cares about draws. In fact, in a tournament, you can basically count yourself out of the running if even one of your opponents survives getting tabled.

Think about the Tervigon's relationship to the modern metagame. Tyranids alone possess the unparalleled ability to spawn scoring units out of thin air over the course of the game, turn after turn if you're lucky. If any other army had that kind of power, they would be ridiculously influential to the metagame, or at least influential enough to force every balanced list to take at least one or two anti-Spawning options. But rather than being the single most otherwise broken ability to ever exist for any army since the 3rd ed reboot, Tyranids might as well not even exist in the competitive metagame today. Why is that? Because Termagant spawning is, down to its very design philosophy, an ability that increases your options, rather than decreasing the options of your opponent (i.e. killing things). By contrast, what well-renowned broken unit has an ability that reduces the opponent's options? Surely you've heard of the Helldrake. Even as flavorless and limited as CSM have become in 6th, they're never truly ignored. Why is it that every list in the game must essentially tailor itself to be able to handle what is likely the weakest codex in the entire edition thus far? Because, while the Tervigon has a far more fundamentally game-breaking affect on the game, the Helldrake actively facilitates killing stuff.

Death Company
20-09-2013, 19:13
I only wish that one of these armchair Mansteins here could back up these "I'm a more skilled gamer, because I handicap myself" line, and take first in a notable tourney.

gwarsh41
20-09-2013, 20:04
I only wish that one of these armchair Mansteins here could back up these "I'm a more skilled gamer, because I handicap myself" line, and take first in a notable tourney.

Hey man, I took first in my buddies garage using a melee guard build. We podcasted it, so it was notable!

There is nothing wrong with taking a spam list. If your opponent is WAAC, then so be it, some people play to win, others play for fun. If you plan a themed fluffy list, you are thinking of fun before winning. If you are playing some crazy allies spam cruddice that you only know exists because you saw it get top 3 at Nova or something, you probably just want to roll dice and watch your opponents smile turn to a frown.

Bottom line, if you don't know how to play your list, you will lose. I couldn't copy the latest eldar/tau spam WAAC (or whichever army) list and go to my LFG and lay down the hurt because i don't know how that army works. Same goes for if say, a tau player picked up a hounds spam daemon army.

IcedCrow
20-09-2013, 20:37
I only wish that one of these armchair Mansteins here could back up these "I'm a more skilled gamer, because I handicap myself" line, and take first in a notable tourney.

Even a chess grandmaster with world renown ranking would have a hard time winning a tournament where he played a game where half of his pieces were missing or his opponent could field a backline of all queens against middling opponents. That doesn't mean he is less skilled, or that the middling players have more skill. It means that in a game of numbers and math that the middling players' chose the path of least resistance and maxed their math.

Winning warhammer or 40k tournaments is not necessarily in and of itself a measure of skill in a game designed with poor balance and utilizing a large degree of luck.

Death Company
20-09-2013, 20:42
Even a chess grandmaster with world renown ranking would have a hard time winning a tournament where he played a game where half of his pieces were missing or his opponent could field a backline of all queens against middling opponents. That doesn't mean he is less skilled, or that the middling players have more skill. It means that in a game of numbers and math that the middling players' chose the path of least resistance and maxed their math.

So you're the equivalent of a 'grandmaster' of Warhammer, but the only reason that we've all never heard of you, is because of random chance- is that about right?

What happened to you saying - just a few posts above, at that - that the consistent placing of the top players was a clear sign of skill? If you're so skilled, surely you should have taken a tourney title of note, even if only through sheer statistical chance, given your 'edge' from skill alone.

jri0t68
20-09-2013, 21:05
Nowhere in there did he say he was a grandmaster.

I think you take all of this a bit too seriously. It's a hobby. It's a game. We do this for fun. Why get an attitude on an internet forum over it? Lighten up.

nosebiter
20-09-2013, 21:06
Yes spamming the OP units is a sign of a limited mind and poor generalship.

but then again i play Infinity, so player skill is a must for me. Not spamming.

Ssilmath
20-09-2013, 21:07
So you're the equivalent of a 'grandmaster' of Warhammer, but the only reason that we've all never heard of you, is because of random chance- is that about right?

What happened to you saying - just a few posts above, at that - that the consistent placing of the top players was a clear sign of skill? If you're so skilled, surely you should have taken a tourney title of note, even if only through sheer statistical chance, given your 'edge' from skill alone.

I don't consider myself a grandmaster, but I do consider myself to be a good player. And I can't speak for everybody of course, but I can tell you why I'm not playing or placing in tourneys of note. I have neither the money to travel, nor the money to spend on new models. I have not the time available to travel, nor to attend conventions and tournaments. I do not enjoy the hypercompetitive mindset anymore, and so tend to stay away from such events.

There are far more factors keeping good players from smashing their way through grand tournaments than being deluded and full of themselves.

IcedCrow
20-09-2013, 21:13
So you're the equivalent of a 'grandmaster' of Warhammer, but the only reason that we've all never heard of you, is because of random chance- is that about right?

What happened to you saying - just a few posts above, at that - that the consistent placing of the top players was a clear sign of skill? If you're so skilled, surely you should have taken a tourney title of note, even if only through sheer statistical chance, given your 'edge' from skill alone.

You have no real counter point to address because you've built yourself up a nice straw man to beat up on as I've never claimed any of the above, and those were all inferred by you.

The point I made is pretty clear, that being a skilled player fielding a not over powered list in a room full of people fielding over powered lists is going to have a tough time because the game of 40k relies more heavily on math and luck than it does on actual skill. A person who is actually good at the game fielding an over powered list will do exponentially better than if he fields an average list because the math is no longer as strong on his side, and that in a room full of people maximizing the math he will be at a handicap. The skill at that point is overshadowed by the math and the large mathematical handicap that would be hard to overcome even if one had divine skill.

The grandmaster statement has to deal with levels of skill in chess as that is an actual rank in the community of chess players... a game that has recognizeable levels of skill that can be measured, unlike 40k where you pick the top 10% units and carry on throwing dice. It has nothing to do with me or whatever level of skill you think I was insinuating that I had (of which I did not mention or imply at all or in part)


that we've all never heard of you, is because of random chance- is that about right?

I'd challenge that 99% of anyone that plays the game coudln't tell you who the winners of the big tournaments are... largely because no one cares, so whether or not someone has heard of me is also irrelevant to the statement that I made. When there is a cable show dedicated to international tournaments and grand championships with hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line and a warhammer hall of fame in Nottingham where the best players have busts of themselves put up, I'll concede that knowing the good players actually holds any meaning.


What happened to you saying - just a few posts above, at that - that the consistent placing of the top players was a clear sign of skill?

Indeed. I said someone consistently placing high woudl be more of an indicator of skill (or as close as one can get in a random numbers game about numbers and maximizing numbers). WOuld be, but not guaranteed.

Ten years ago I added several rogue trader griffons to my trophy case and missed coming in 5th at Chicago's GT by a phase where a piece of mine missed 13 of his 13 attacks needing 3s and only n eeded to do a couple wounds to win the game. I thought I was "skilled" because I consistently placed high at tournaments, won some leagues, and had a shiny trophy case.

Then shortly thereafter I learned how just not skilled I was by meeting some folks that could beat most people with average armies. So while someone that places high in tournaments regularly is probably pretty good, its not a guarantee because you are missing the intangibles such as how lucky was he in drawing lucky matchups (I have two RTT tournaments from playing eldar in 3rd edition ... where in a 20 person tournament 18 were marines... and I had 14 starcannons... does that make me skilled? back then I thought so), or what type of lists was he using (was he using grey knights at the zenith of their bustedness? Was he a fantasy demon player using the 7th edition broken mat ward list? a person placing high with those lists is definitely not someone who is guaranteed to be skilled, but rather recognizing that 1 > 0 and basic math that grey knights and 7th edition demons were OP back at their height)

I regularly placed high in largish tournaments and won leagues and tournaments not because I had "skill" but because I recognized how to break the game and did so under the guise of skill. 14 starcannon eldar armies in 1500 points in a meta loaded down with space marines, the chaos lord with 30+ attacks in fantasy, my vampire count army running the black knight bus using fear autobreak for free gimmes... that was my skill. I don't consider that skill anymore than I consider knowing how to guess 12" on the table to be much of a skill honestly.

Theocracity
20-09-2013, 21:31
I know he was just picking a fight with a strawman, but its also worth pointing out another reason why high skill players don't take crap armies to tournaments - they're there to win the prize, not prove a point. Well, except for that guy who turned heads by placing high with a foot Eldar army a year or so back. Even if you could beat the field with one arm tied behind your back, why would you if it risks losing the prize?

If there's no prize at stake or tournament format to plan for there's more opportunities to shine with skill over list. But since those results aren't recorded they're considered anecdotal and irrelevant.

Gonefishing
20-09-2013, 22:02
Erm, I am not really sure i get this thread. If you take 2 players of equal skill and give one a bad list, and one a good list - and assume that on the day they have equal luck, then the player with the good list will generally win.....however, there are also other factors at play. Lets assume the same scenario but state that the player with the bad list has been playing that race for the last 10 years with knows his Codex inside out, whereas the player with the good list has never played with (or against) that race before - and we are swinging back towards an even fight.

Skill, list, opponent, terrain, familarity and lets face it - blind luck! All of these are factors in a game of 40K. I attended a tournament a couple of years ago with my non standard Tau list (and untill I sold my Tau on ebay last week I had been playing Tau for 9 Years). I won my first 3 games, the first game was against a decent player with a blood angels list - I tabled him (he went on to win his next 5 games) - my success was not because I was a better player or had a better list, it was because I was unbelievably lucky and my opponent was unbelievebly unlucky. I rolled a dice it was a six, he rolled a dice it was a one - just as an example from the game, his storm raven came on (days before fliers), with a cargo of dreadnought and a unit of terminators and flew towards me. My Hammerhead, 1 shoted the Stormraven, the terminators and Dreadnaught got out. I then blew up the Dreadnought with my next unit to fire. His Terminators then charged the nearby devilfish, missed or failed to pen with every dice. My Devilfish ran away. Then I killed 2 Terminators, he failed his morale check and they ran to within exactly five inches of the Devilfish that had ran away, which proceeded to walk them off the table. Blind Luck.
.
My next opponent had a decent list, but had never played Tau before (Tau werent exactly popular back then), and had no idea how to play against them - Another victory. My Third opponent was playing Dark Eldar, and my list was a perfect list to play against Dark Eldar, especially as the mission was killpoints - another victory.

3 Victories - 1 luck, 1 knowledge, 1 opponent/mission. My fourth opponent, virtually anhiliated me - he was playing Nids - I knew before we even started the game I had no chance of winning, my list was not set up to take out Nids and sure enough - he destroyed me utterly.

The point of that little preamble is that your ability as a general is only 1 contributing factor to your success in the game (a big factor yes, but one that can be influenced by the myriad of other factors that make up a game of 40K).

For example - take the OP's original post:


Me and my sister were playing my dad the other day (Eldar and Sisters vs Chaos) and we executed a perfect pincer movement whereby I had split my eldar to speed up the flanks and split his forces whilst the Sisters castled up and methodicly sledgehammered his middle. It was one of our better tactics and whilst the armies were selected based on the plan, there wasn't a Wraithknight or Dragon in sight.

This got me thinking: We were able to break him based on a tried and tested military tactic rather than just taking the hardest things we could in the hope of stacking the odds in our favour as much as possible and hoping for the best, which is pretty much what happened at my last tournament experience. So, is there a group of players for whom generalship is second to army selection? And how could GW fix such an issue?

He did not take the traditional overpowered units, no - but what did he do? He knew in advance his opponent was Chaos, and that he was playing alongside Sisters - he and his Sister (knowing what they were facing) came up with a plan and selected the units to carry out that plan - they may not have been the best units in the book, but they were the units they needed to fulfil there plan (which worked - huzzah).

When you build a list to play in a Tourney you dont know who you will be fighting, you build a list to a specific plan which hopefully is capable of taking on anybody - and in pursuit of that goal it only makes sense to choose the best units in your army (and depending on your style of play/plan those may not even be units that other players conside overpowered) to fulfil that plan. If someone takes 5 Riptides it does not make tham a bad player, or even a bad person - it means that they are intending to play a certain way and they have selected the units they need to fulfil the role required.

There is nothing wrong with optimising your list, and that optimisation can take many different forms - its not always based on choosing the most powerful units but if you do, so what? It improves your chances but by no means gives you an auto win - the other factors account for that. Lets face, im sure any of us who have attended Tournaments have come up against a player who has gleefuly copied the awesome netlist that won somebody another Tourney, but has no idea how to actually play the list he has chosen? At the end of the day, good genralship is based on alot of different factors - and list selection is definitely one of those factors, even the OP did it, just in a different way.

SpanielBear
20-09-2013, 22:07
I'll agree to that :-)

Nymie_the_Pooh
20-09-2013, 22:58
I think the problem here is one of absolutes. Are all players that run units that are considered OP poor players? That's basically the question as presented. The flip side of that is are all players that win without such units good players? Again, the answer is not an absolute because there are other things that impact the answer. There is another question however behind the scenes that some people have already settled on an absolute affirmative or negative. Are these units required to win? When you treat the answer to this question as an absolute affirmative or negative then the original question becomes moot.

IcedCrow
20-09-2013, 23:24
Yeah there isn't an absolute answer. I think overall the answer is "yes it can be a substitute for poor generalship" as at least in my case it was.

jri0t68
20-09-2013, 23:57
Yeah there isn't an absolute answer. I think overall the answer is "yes it can be a substitute for poor generalship" as at least in my case it was.

I genuinely appreciate your consistent candidness. It's refreshing in an atmosphere where many (certainly not all) seem very quick to quibble and argue for little reason.

I'd like to add that I often play 40K against my son, who is 12, autistic, very high functioning, but a total noob. I give him a lot more points in his army than mine. It helps balance the skill, and also forces me to start the game in the scenario that I've lost 20% of my army on turn 0, thus teaching me to cope with large early losses.

He's outright beaten me without me going easy one time. I made errors that let me lose sight of the objective. Skill, luck and list-building all factor in. I may never play events, because I don't care, but I'll do what I can to keep the balance out of my favor, to challenge myself (which is fun to me).

The Thirty
21-09-2013, 01:22
I only wish that one of these armchair Mansteins here could back up these "I'm a more skilled gamer, because I handicap myself" line, and take first in a notable tourney.

It's easier to make anonymous claims, rather than back anything up. ;)


This is an over generalization. Warhammer may not be a totally skill based, but it is with out a doubt not skill-less. Your choices in the game do have an impact on the outcome of a match, a lot of the times more of an effect then dice rolls or list building. The fact that there is skill involved (plenty more then you are giving warhammer credit for) is enough reason for warhammer to be competitive.

I didn't mean to imply that the game is 'skill-less'; rather that as it's significantly impacted by random chance, that to claim it's a 'skill based game' is folly.

I've lost to less skilled players than myself, and I've beaten players I consider more gifted than myself in my years of wargaming. Random chance allows freak occurrences to take place, and will slightly nullify a player's skill, or absolute lack thereof.


And yet I, as well as many others at my club convert second turn. Usually because we play the missions rather than try to kill everything. The amount of games you can win with almost nothing left when you focus on the mission and your opponent only cares about killing stuff is amazing

If your opponent is intelligent, he'll cripple the part of your army required to win said mission.

If I decimate half of your scoring troops on turn one in an objective game, I have a significant advantage. Does it mean I will win assuredly? No. But it means I have a significantly better chance to do so opposed to you, all because I went first.


Hey man, I took first in my buddies garage using a melee guard build. We podcasted it, so it was notable!

Haha- nicely done.


On topic, I personally think less of a player's abilities when they consider anything 'overpowered'- it tells me that they have limited learning/playing capabilities, and tend to blame mechanics - or their opponents army - for their losses, rather than look internally, and seek to improve.

Inquisitor Shego
21-09-2013, 01:43
Minimizing risks is a way to cover up mistakes made by yourself, which is as the OP puts it a substitute for making mistakes or being a "poor general". Its just that saying minimizing risks is a more friendly language to use than saying "covering up for being a poor player".



This is just my opinion but I don't feel that knowing that OP units are going to perform better than non over powered units so you should take as many of those as possible is a mark of a good player. To me thats the same as saying "a person is smart because they know the sky is blue". A person that intentionally maxes out on OP units is neither a good player nor a bad player at that point. it is a player that has decided that they are going to play with minimal risk and make it as easy on themselves as possible. It is choosing your difficulty level.

That is utter nonsense. That's like saying by checking your car tyres have good grip, you're compensating for being a poor driver. No, minimizing risks and fine-tuning your list is an element of skill in itself. Albeit yes, taking certain lists lets that list pull and do the work for you, but discovering that list is an element of what makes you a worthwhile general. This is nothing to do with the Necron flyer spam, or the Riptide spam, which are not so much indications of poor tactical skills, but poor codex writing.

Gonefishing
21-09-2013, 01:47
On topic, I personally think less of a player's abilities when they consider anything 'overpowered'- it tells me that they have limited learning/playing capabilities, and tend to blame mechanics - or their opponents army - for their losses, rather than look internally, and seek to improve.

I tend to agree with this - one mans cheddar is another mans bread and butter.

3 Helldrakes would be considered massively overpowered by some armies, but from experience a Tau army can blow them out of the sky without any particular bother - it all depends on your list and who your fighting. No unit in 40K is unbeatable, but some armies will struggle against certain units far more than others. I've quit 40k now, I hated 6th and disliked the direction of the new Tau codex entirely - (you can make decent lists but it no longer feels like Tau to me) - but my old gaming group (who have also mostly quit 6th) were fairly serious on the gaming front and optimisation was the focus of most lists. Personally I never felt anything was OP, I just relished the challenge of cracking/beating the units/list that was giving me trouble (and it was fun beating optimised lists with Tau back in the day lol).

That said, GW clearly makes some units better than others (ie. The things they want to sell) - but better does not mean OP.


This is nothing to do with the Necron flyer spam, or the Riptide spam, which are not so much indications of poor tactical skills, but poor codex writing.

Could not agree with this more.

IcedCrow
21-09-2013, 02:01
That is utter nonsense. That's like saying by checking your car tyres have good grip, you're compensating for being a poor driver. No, minimizing risks and fine-tuning your list is an element of skill in itself. Albeit yes, taking certain lists lets that list pull and do the work for you, but discovering that list is an element of what makes you a worthwhile general. This is nothing to do with the Necron flyer spam, or the Riptide spam, which are not so much indications of poor tactical skills, but poor codex writing.

Minimizing warhammer risks and fine tuning lists is about as skillful as knowing how to calculate the area of a rectangle. The same amount of mathematical acumen goes into either. As we live in the day and age of the internet, discovering a list is largely done for most people by clicking a couple of links.

Freman Bloodglaive
21-09-2013, 02:19
Harking back to the comment that the player of three Helldrakes would know he would lose against Tau, let's be frank, at the moment there're very few configurations of the Chaos Codex that don't lose against Tau so he might as well play the three Helldrakes which give him good odds against everyone else.

Unfortunately that's the game we have now.

A Mercenary Captain who didn't spend his gold hiring the best soldiers he could afford wouldn't last very long. That's the equivalent to our game. We are the Captain, the soldiers are our models, and the gold is the money and painting time we can devote to "hiring" them.

Ssilmath
21-09-2013, 02:27
Using real life comparisons is perhaps not the best idea. Not every commander who has won battles had superior troops on his side, though many did. Most troops can be trained and/or equipped to be better than when they started out. And very rarely has a battle commenced where both sides began the battle with the shaky semblance of equality that 40k requires.

MasterDecoy
21-09-2013, 03:02
If your opponent is intelligent, he'll cripple the part of your army required to win said mission.

If I decimate half of your scoring troops on turn one in an objective game, I have a significant advantage. Does it mean I will win assuredly? No. But it means I have a significantly better chance to do so opposed to you, all because I went first.
.

And if your intelligent, you dont play on a board where over half your army is visible from the enemy deployment zone.

The turn 1 alpha strike is a complete fallacy forwarded by people who don't bother to use adequate terrain, And 75% -> 90% of my games don't even involve much more than cursory shooting before turn 3, and that's not using excessive terrain, that's using the recommended amount. Players quickly learn that if you rush forward with little forward planning results in catastrophic losses with little to no payout.

Yes, I understand that tournament boards are typically sparser than that, but that's the tournament Organizers fault for not being adequately prepared, and Im lucky to game at a shop where he has been building up terrain for over a decade now and can easily cover 12 4x4 tables with room to spare (yes I know 4x4 is kinda small, but the tournament is only 1k points so it evens out)

Litcheur
21-09-2013, 03:21
So, is there a group of players for whom generalship is second to army selection?
These people will usually say something like "army selection IS generalship".
Even when army selection doesn't involve choosing between units, but fielding the latest, grossly overpowered codex. :D


And how could GW fix such an issue?
Basically, Gw would have to act against their own interests. There will always be *that* guy, the one that take toy soldiers so seriously he will spend hundreds and thousands of dollars to be the toy soldiers world champion, after playing many, many toy soldiers tournaments.
Overpowered armies and metagame switching are good for business. :angel:

Even if GW really wanted to clean their systems, it would be very, very difficult. So many armies, and so many units ! This would imply rebuilding the entire release schedule. Massive playtesting. Fixing all the broken army lists, and releasing all of them at the very beginning of each new edition.

Keep it simple and fix this at the tournament level. Just lower the point limits, and ask every pair to play TWO games. One regular game, and one with the armies switched. Add the points, you've got your winner. By switching, you're just removing one factor from the equation.

It's something that is sometimes done in jumping competitions. If people can do it with horses, that cost in the tens of thousands, take years to train, and are sometimes very close to their riders... I guess it could be done with plastic toy soldiers too. :D

duffybear1988
21-09-2013, 03:51
I think people play far too many points in their games. All this 1850 crap. Whatever happened to 1500? Drop the points down and watch the incompetent players squirm. At lower points it's a much tighter game.

Ssilmath
21-09-2013, 03:55
I think people play far too many points in their games. All this 1850 crap. Whatever happened to 1500? Drop the points down and watch the incompetent players squirm. At lower points it's a much tighter game.

I agree with Duffybear on this. I like larger games, cause lots of fun toys come out, but the smaller games are much better for producing a tighter game. I've been playing 1500 more recently, and it doesn't allow for spamming of expensive units while having sufficient troops.

count chocula
21-09-2013, 04:12
I actually feel like in lower point games the spamming of powerful units becomes more apparent and the methods for dealing with them become more limited, also for what its worth I think that games of all point values have merits of there own requiring fine tuning of lists and strategies calling one crap or saying that the people that play a certain point limit incompetent is unwarranted but to each his own

Inquisitor Shego
21-09-2013, 04:18
Minimizing warhammer risks and fine tuning lists is about as skillful as knowing how to calculate the area of a rectangle. The same amount of mathematical acumen goes into either. As we live in the day and age of the internet, discovering a list is largely done for most people by clicking a couple of links.

Where to begin... okay, your point is that in the silicon age, people can simply hop onto warseer, see what's trending, and mimic that list. That is true, they can. However, it's not just as easy as that. One good example to reinforce your point was Grey Knights, 5th Edition. GW went and released a codex that I would put alongside Mein Kampf and Twilight as my least favourite books ever, until Chaos Space Marines came out. One of the greatest abominations to come from this Grey Knights was Draigowing. For those who don't know, it was 2000 points of...

Draigo
2 x 10 Paladins (2 wound terminators + wound allocation exploitation + FNP + uber wargear)
2 x Psy Rifle Venerable Dreadnought (unkillable, maximum shot output walkers)

7 boxes, 23 models, your army is complete. This army spread faster than Matt Ward's gut over a sticky table at Bugman's Bar (if you've been there, you'll know they're sticky).
You have no point. Firstly, looking up a list online isn't the defacto thing everyone might have done when they spam a unit. This army was cheap to buy by GW standards, fast to build, fast to paint, easy to transport, and difficult to deal with using a reasonable balanced army.

I hate this list because it is boring to play against, and seemed to give off a statement about the man you were fighting. Not only this, but it was at every tournament scene. However this is something I feel GW is responsible for, and not something I'm willing to pin on the gamers (entirely). If you stick something this lazy and juicy in front of people, of course they're going to take it.

GW should be doing more to give you a codex where when you open it up, you have no clue what to buy, and each unit is some incredible synergy with everything else. As it stands right now, the product is too inferior to make me feel I'm building a MtG deck where one unit unlocked the potential to combo and stack with a dozen more. It's just drop pod + melta gun kills tank, or death from above with 9 Necron croissants. If you want to say that looking up this list online is as easy as calculating a rectangle's surface area, I'd go one step further and proclaim that this game itself is damned easy to figure out, with or without a list. It's hard for me to actually be creative and make a list that I feel I've accomplished something by figuring out. This is why I play the narrative angle; if I'm not telling a tale to myself, I unlock how simplistic this game really is.

Lets now talk about Mandrakes. Mandrakes on the Dark Eldar codex. A book that is virtually well balanced (minus Court of the Archon sucking, Sathonyx rocking, etc) and capable of fun. Why would I take Mandrakes? They're a beatiful unit with some cool lore, but if I'm paying money to enter a tournament, plus transport there, why the heck am I going to be taking something dire on the table? Not even looking into the logic that GW is a damned expensive hobby company. People are now expected to fork out cash for sub par units in the hope some hipster on the opposite side of the table says "far out bro. You bested me with grots riding venomthropes in support of their warp talon brethren." I won't berate someone for bringing them to the field, but whenever I hammer down armies that contain these units, I'm usually told that I wouldn't have got away with it had they taken their more OP units. Which then leads me to say "thanks for diluting my victory with your excuses." Well normally I just say "ah suck on a lemon. You still lost."

Then lets get onto the idea of OP? What is OP? Something with maximum mathematical advantages for minimal points cost? Sounds like a sound investment to me. If something is going to help win me games, it's a lot more tempting, provided I can find a narrative edge to it. I won't be spamming 3 venerable dreadnoughts, or 2 chaplains, because they're supposed to be 1 per company. More generic units like Ravagers, you betcha I'll be rolling them off the production line.

Spamming can be fun because unlike in White Dwarf battle reports, armies tend to field things in groups. A platoon of troops, or a company, or a squadron of tanks. When I'm playing 40k I like to think my Archon has 2+ Ravagers at his beck and call because he's intelligent enough to know one might blow up, and rich enough to know that he won't be counting beans when it comes to raiding real space. My usual Kabal goes out at 2k like this...

1 x Archon or 1 x Haemonculi Ancient
1 x Squad of Wracks IF Haemonculi Included
3 x Squads of Trueborn on Venom
6 x Squads of Warriors on Raider or Venom (10 to 5 respectively)
2 x Ravager + Razorwing or 3 x Ravager

Extras
10 Scourges
5 Beastmasters + 6 Razorwing Flocks + 10 Khymire
6-9 Jetbikes

My themes are speed and Firepower, faithful to the book. Units I technically spam are Venoms/Raiders Warriors and True Born with Blasters, oh and Ravagers. I don't think this makes me a poor general picking these, because if I stand any of that armour 10-11 out in the open, my army gets torn asunder. I have to deploy tactically, and even position the terrain to my opponent's detriment, and my advantage, and be thinking 3 turns ahead. This isn't difficult or challenging, and once I started playing this way, my foes did too.

My daemons likewise have 60 Daemonettes but I don't consider this spamming. I call it a theme. Admittedly I do have 2 Nurgle soulgrinders, but I'm trying to find something to whittle this down with that isn't Monty Khorne's Flying Circus.

Draigowing as much as I loathe it, I have to admit it's a theme. 21 Paladins going into the deadliest corners of the universe to kick ass and take names. The 2 venerable dreadnoughts I'm not so sure.

So I guess in summary my viewpoint is this:

1) Spamming does not equal poor generalship. It can be a result of financial restraints with the cost of models. It can be down to building a narrative army. Spamming can be down to actually knowing you're making the right decisions in unit taking, as actually gimping your list does not make you a good general, but merely someone willing to devalue your opponent's win.

2) GW needs to work harder to make more codices where the options in HQ/Troop/Elite/Fast Attack/Heavy Support are not a mix of no brainers and avoid like the plagues. Also more effort should be done to distribute the quality amidst the sections. An army with a brilliant Fast Attack should not be lacking in Heavy Support. Save for Vanguard, Space Marines is a pretty sweet book with some great choices, and plenty of OK choices. Only a couple of bad eggs, like (imho) Vanguard. They also need to work a bit closer with bringing points costs and rules closer to lore.

IcedCrow
21-09-2013, 04:31
You'll notice above where I have stated I think two or three times now that spamming *can* be a substitute for poor generalship, not that it always is.

It takes most people about 10 minutes to go over an army list and pick out the units that are good and those that are horrible. Yes newbs can log on to warseer among other sites and find a list and then grab it and start going to town. The list is written, they just have to figure it out for themselves now. That takes most players I know on average 2-3 months of solidly playing it from day one. Back when the internet was not as prevalent it took about five to six months simply because local metas were more isolated and comparing notes was only really done at a local level as opposed to now at a global level within seconds.

With the internet, you can start off with a brand new army with a solid list without having to fall into any pitfalls of poor list design, and many players I know go this route. In fact, there are a few local guys that write the other guys' lists for them for events, and those guys play fairly well despite not designing their list because the list is strong.

Gimping your list does not make you skilled any more than winning with a power list makes you skilled. As I stated on page 1 and in several other areas, your list is merely the difficulty level of the game you wish to play. If you wish to play on easy, you will powerlist, as that gives you a list that is more forgiving. The more you move away from the power list, the less forgiving your list is, and thus harder to play and do well with. Neither of those has anything really to do with skill, it has to do with how more challenging you want the game to be past your opponent's choices. The gw universe is pathetically one dimensional in its balance. That being... its not.

I don't see how playing a lower powered list is devaluing anything across the table. I have heard from many people in the years I've played that if you aren't power gaming that you are not playing properly and are insulting your opponent by not bringing your smash face list, but I don't agree with that philosophy in the least (if that is what you are conveying).

The Thirty
21-09-2013, 04:58
And if your intelligent, you dont play on a board where over half your army is visible from the enemy deployment zone.

With the vast majority of new armies getting tools that ignore cover, your point is moot. Tau are laughing all the way to the bank, while you cluster up to get that 'cover'.

Unless you're suggesting a city-fight battle for every game, blocking all LOS, first-turn will always be an advantage.

MasterDecoy
21-09-2013, 06:17
With the vast majority of new armies getting tools that ignore cover, your point is moot. Tau are laughing all the way to the bank, while you cluster up to get that 'cover'.

Unless you're suggesting a city-fight battle for every game, blocking all LOS, first-turn will always be an advantage.

You dont need city fight to have lots of LoS blocking terrain, Examples:
Thick Forest at least 4" tall, Or play with the sensible house rule that all forests count as "Dense" (can see into, but not through)
Hills, at least 2 tiers (Each tier is about 2" tall)
Mountain ridge way once again, 4" tall
Gullys and trenches (if your board can support them)
Abandoned outposts, the Fortress of redemption is amazing at blocking LoS
Walls, some at 1.5" high, some at 4" high
Rocky areas (scattered rocks ranging from 1.5" high to 4" high

Anything that is 4" high will block LoS to any standard vehicle/walker (possibly not a wraithnight, but you can huddle close to it)

and if at least 50% of your collection blocks LoS (my main preference is 50% blocking, 25% hindering and 25% only difficult) you shouldn't have a problem and as far as I am concerned, not having adequate terrain is a poor excuse anyway as its not hard to build/buy/commission someone to build.

Regardless of whatever the terrain setting (Cityfight, Jungle ambush, Installation ect), you should not be able to see into more than 33% of your opponents deployment zone from yours PERIOD.

Inquisitor Shego
21-09-2013, 06:43
You'll notice above where I have stated I think two or three times now that spamming *can* be a substitute for poor generalship, not that it always is.

So the answer to this thread is as we both agree, "sometimes"

Swordsman
21-09-2013, 06:44
you should not be able to see into more than 33% of your opponents deployment zone from yours PERIOD.

Can you show me where that quote is in the BRB?

Since it's not just an opinion, but apparently a fact..

MasterDecoy
21-09-2013, 06:54
Can you show me where that quote is in the BRB?

Since it's not just an opinion, but apparently a fact..

not a rule, common sense.

You shouldn't need a rule to tell you that the enemy being able to see the majority of your force from their starting positions is a bad idea..........

You will however find that the rule book suggests between 1 and 3 pieces of terrain per 2x2 board section (and hey just cut it down the middle and say 2 if your lazy), and typically a fortification you buy counts as 1, so you should base your terrain footprints off of those, which you'll find typically make up an average of 6"x6" (bastions, Defence lines when stacked together), 10"x10" (Sky shield), or about 12"x4" (fortress of redemption) so anywhere between 33% terrain to 90% terrain per board section, with an average of about 50% to 75%

When you have that much terrain, blocking LoS from deployment zones really ceases to be a problem. When arranged with care you have an interesting board full of fire lanes, kill zones, fallback/rally points and paths to flank and/or make assaults.

But hey, if you guys want to play uninteresting games (by your own admittance) that are typically won before the game starts, where luck has more factor than tactics, who am I to tell you your doing it wrong? Ill stick to the version where the movement phase matters, good tactics will balance out bad luck and where units aren't taken purely for how much they can kill in a vacuum but for how and what they can do to achieve the objective (which 5 times out of 6 is taking and holding objectives). We'll see who has more fun......

EDIT: (You will find I never actually stated that it was fact, that yes it is my opinion, And I just really think its a rather good one to help people enjoy themselves more, My experience has been that over 75% of the problems most people I see complaining about the game come from the people playing the rules rather than playing the game)

Swordsman
21-09-2013, 07:09
not a rule, common sense.

Personal taste =/= Common sense


You will however find that the rule book suggests between 1 and 3 pieces of terrain per 2x2 board section (and hey just cut it down the middle and say 2 if your lazy), and typically a fortification you buy counts as 1, so you should base your terrain footprints off of those, which you'll find typically make up an average of 6"x6" (bastions, Defence lines when stacked together), 10"x10" (Sky shield), or about 12"x4" (fortress of redemption) so anywhere between 33% terrain to 90% terrain per board section, with an average of about 50% to 75%

They suggest varied terrain; not exclusively LOS-blocking.


But hey, if you guys want to play uninteresting games (by your own admittance) that are typically won before the game starts, where luck has more factor than tactics, who am I to tell you your doing it wrong? Ill stick to the version where the movement phase matters, good tactics will balance out bad luck and where units aren't taken purely for how much they can kill in a vacuum but for how and what they can do to achieve the objective (which 5 times out of 6 is taking and holding objectives). We'll see who has more fun......

Even should you not be shelled to death, the enemy still has an advantage; that was his point. Nothing that you've said changes that fact a bit.

There wouldn't be an option to steal the initiative, if it didn't matter one bit.

MasterDecoy
21-09-2013, 07:27
Personal taste =/= Common sense



They suggest varied terrain; not exclusively LOS-blocking.



Even should you not be shelled to death, the enemy still has an advantage; that was his point. Nothing that you've said changes that fact a bit.

There wouldn't be an option to steal the initiative, if it didn't matter one bit.

There isn't that many barrage weapons that also deny cover. Night fighting 50 percent of the time also discourages trying to game that type of gameplay.
Sieze the initiative is there to discourage aggressive deployments when you think you are going first.
You may notice I said 50 of your terrain should be blocking and the rest should hindering and just plain old difficult terrain (with no cover) seems pretty varied to me.
Common sense = doing obvious things to make alpha striking harder/impossible to achieve, making the game more balanced (as going first tends to be less crucial to your battle plan than say smarter movement phases and mutual support)

Seems to me like you enjoy that sort of luck dependent gameplay though, so knock yourself out and go nuts by all accounts don't let me stop you.

Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk 4

Inquisitor Shego
21-09-2013, 07:33
I tend to find the way in the rulebook for deploying terrain works quite well. D3 pieces onto each of the 6 table segments of a 6x4. We've got a few really large pieces of terrain and a few small ones. If I see someone take a 3 floor ruin ideal for devestator/loota abuse, I'll often just plonk an equally tall building right in front of it. Sometimes having little terrain in your deployment can be an advantage, because if you're a swarm army, you'll block more of your opponent's line of sight by having buildings closer to his firing units than yours, and you won't be slowed by difficult terrain checks on turn 1.

A couple of days ago two friends of mine played a game where instead of the usual ruins and city fight I stuck down a green felt mat, lakes, and lots and lots of trees. We had a hill, and two small ruins (a bastion with no 2nd floor so it was squat, and a small temple). The game looked radically different then, too. Too much terrain, too little terrain, an army should in my opinion be prepared for anything it may face... as I've found from past experience when I went to a GW tournament and every 40k's terrain consisted of one Inquisitor Habitat on a 4x4 (thank you very much GW, that made my Dark Eldar ******** peachy).

In short, count on games where you have very little terrain or a heck of a lot, but your army should always be prepared for the worst. This includes going 2nd with 0 night fight

Swordsman
21-09-2013, 07:42
Words that don't address that turn one is an advantage

Nothing changed between now, and your last post.


Seems to me like you enjoy that sort of luck dependent gameplay though, so knock yourself out and go nuts by all accounts don't let me stop you.

I enjoy varied, balanced tables for both opponents. That doesn't mean a board where my opponent is entirely obscured from all shooting turn one; but I'm sure your club is a genuine blast to play in for assault lists.

Wonder why it's not the norm- seeing as how it's such.. common sense.


In short, count on games where you have very little terrain or a heck of a lot, but your army should always be prepared for the worst.

Plan for the worst, hope for the best. :D

Inquisitor Shego
21-09-2013, 07:45
Plan for the worst, hope for the best. :D

Totally correct. Or as I always say, "A pessimist is someone who is always right, and never happy about it." I guarantee, the moment you take a chance and deploy somewhere remotely open, your foe will steal the first turn, and roll better shooting than the Expendables.

Swordsman
21-09-2013, 07:53
Totally correct. Or as I always say, "A pessimist is someone who is always right, and never happy about it." I guarantee, the moment you take a chance and deploy somewhere remotely open, your foe will steal the first turn, and roll better shooting than the Expendables.

I'm with you.

I expect the worst every game, and it tends to pay off. I'm never wrong-footed by a critical hit, because I was waiting for it.

MasterDecoy
21-09-2013, 07:54
dismissive post that seems to be turning slightly ad hominenistic, but that's cool I can take it (See what i did there :P)

Explain how turn 1 is an advantage (let alone a significant one) if neither side can see each other? It Doesn't compute in my brain, the only advantage of going first is it lets you set up for turn 2 first and first attempt to grab objectives, which is offset by not having the last say on attempting to try and grab objectives, or knock enemy's off of theirs.

The only time I even attempt to steal initiative is when my opponent has deployed in such a way that I would be able to take a crippling shot via his/her poor deployment, otherwise getting last turn is typically more valuable to me.


EDIT: Who wins if I only have 1 tyranid warrior model left in my force holding onto the relic and you have your entire army left but I am in your deployment zone? (HINT: Its me)

Swordsman
21-09-2013, 07:59
Your entire army is obscured turn one, because your table is imbalanced.

No wonder you're so confused as to why first-turn is considered an advantage; you play a different game.

MasterDecoy
21-09-2013, 08:04
Your entire army is obscured turn one, because your table is imbalanced.

No wonder you're so confused as to why first-turn is considered an advantage; you play a different game.

and playing with the recommended terrain levels makes the board unbalanced because? (as previously stated multiple times, I prefer 50% LoS blocking, 25% hindering and 25% just plain old difficult, I however wouldn't be opposed to 33% of each type)


EDIT: (I know exactly why First turn is considered an advantage, I just don't understand why people think its a good idea to play that way, Not that I will prevent you from playing that way, it just seems really counter intuitive)

Swordsman
21-09-2013, 08:07
and playing with the recommended terrain levels makes the board unbalanced because? (as previously stated multiple times, I prefer 50% LoS blocking, 25% hindering and 25% just plain old difficult, I however wouldn't be opposed to 33% of each type)

Going to agree to disagree with you, and end this 'discussion'.

Enjoy your games.

MasterDecoy
21-09-2013, 08:10
Going to agree to disagree with you, and end this 'discussion'.

Enjoy your games.

You too :)

Freman Bloodglaive
21-09-2013, 08:39
Using real life comparisons is perhaps not the best idea. Not every commander who has won battles had superior troops on his side, though many did. Most troops can be trained and/or equipped to be better than when they started out. And very rarely has a battle commenced where both sides began the battle with the shaky semblance of equality that 40k requires.

And would they have fought that way if they had had any other choice? Choice is a good thing, and considering the investment required for this game paying the same or more for poorer troops is silly.

I keep putting my marines through firing drill after firing drill, but they never seem to get any better at shooting. I'm considering a court martial for their sergeants.

IcedCrow
21-09-2013, 14:55
We will be using map terrain (predrawn maps) or the rulebook method for our next 40k campaign. We tend to mix large pieces that block LOS with moderate pieces and small pieces. Overall the table is varied but is not a duck hunt for armies like tau as there are ways to hide from them.