PDA

View Full Version : 40k Codex design - inbuilt 'difficulty levels'



Spiney Norman
06-06-2015, 21:50
So a few of us were talking at the local gaming club about the current state of the game, some players were expressing disatisfaction with certain codexes and the percieved imbalances between armies and the idea came up that maybe GW isn't trying to balance the codexes, but instead is intentionally unbalancing them to create shades of 'difficulty' between armies. This would possibly explain why some armies seem to get powerful codexes edition after edition while others seem to get saddled with weak books over and over.

It's worth saying at this point that I began 40k in 3rd, was out of it for most of 4th and came back just after 5th edition dropped and have been playing on and off since then.

For the purposes of this thread we are comparing codexes with respect to the game at the time they were released, not how they interact with the game 6 years down the road after an edition change or two.

Necrons -
7th edition: currently one of the top armies, most folks agree their book is grossly overpowered by comparison to the rest of the game
6th edition: incredibly solid book, lots of powerful gimmicks (like the command barge, Anrakyr's hack, Mind shackle scarabs), very powerful
3rd edition: my second army, at the time they were incredibly powerful, highly resilient in an edition whe FNP wasn't even a thing, phase out mitigated them somewhat, but still an A-lister of its day.

Eldar
7th - the top dog, way out in front, the only army in the game that can spam destroyer weapons, multiple undercosted units and overpowering formations
6th - again the edition topping codex wave serpent spam was the premier power build of the edition
4th - no idea, I was out of the game at the time, though I know it didn't work too well in 5th, possibly the exception here
2nd/3rd - Star cannon spam was again the feared build of the edition, one of the top books

Space marines
7th - we should know next week
6th - a solidly competitive book, loads of great options and one gimicky OP build (grav star)
5th - unremarkable but again middle of the road, solidly competitive
4th - ?
3rd - much the same as above, pretty much the standard by which all other codexes are judged.

Dark Angels
6th - fairly near the bottom draw, nothing stellar, several units with huge design fails right from the off, a few gimicks but nothing you can really build a competitive army from.
4th - Oh dear, pretty much the byword for a codex fail
3rd - don't remember sorry.

Dark Eldar
7th - derided by a lot of folks, all things considered I would give it a solid 'not bad' unfortunately they failed badly on several key units, most notably the archon, Wyches and wracks which form the backbone of the three main types of DE themed lists: Kabal, Cult and coven.
5th - fairly fragile, mid tier book, lots of weaknesses, definitely a 'thinking man's army'
3rd - only reeally experienced this in later editions, not sure how it played at the time

Tau
6th - one of the top two and one half of the infamous 'Taudar' netlist phenomenon. The premier shooting army in an edition skewed heavily in favour of shooting, still a great contender despite its age.
4th - Not really sure as I wasn't playing at the time, they seemed weak when I came back in 5th though

Those are the armies I've had most experience with, but I'd say we have definite contenders for 'easy mode' army in Eldar and Necrons while DA and DE could be described as 'hard mode' armies and space marines seem to live somewhere around the middle.

Maybe those with greater experience of other armies could add their contributions.

A.T.
06-06-2015, 22:44
4th - no idea, I was out of the game at the time, though I know it didn't work too well in 5th, possibly the exception here4th edition eldar skimmers - all penetrating hits become glancing and then you roll two dice and pick the lowest for damage, with half of those results ignored.

It was the rules changes in 5th combined with the ramping up of power throughout the edition that left the eldar in the cold. At time of release they were brutal.

SuperHappyTime
07-06-2015, 05:02
the idea came up that maybe GW isn't trying to balance the codexes, but instead is intentionally unbalancing them to create shades of 'difficulty' between armies. This would possibly explain why some armies seem to get powerful codexes edition after edition while others seem to get saddled with weak books over and over.

You'd like to think so right? I think it's more reasonable to assume they built the armies like they do for fluff reasons. They just don't do the next right thing and make sure to playtest to make sure something isn't broken as all hell.

Nobody is upset that Space-Elves are powerful, we're upset that something powerful became more so.

WLBjork
07-06-2015, 06:35
2nd Edition Eldar weren't too bad actually.

There wasn't the plethora of special rules we have today for starters, plus weapons were more generalised. Off-hand, the only unique Eldar weapons were Shuriken weapons, D-Cannon, Scatter Lasers, Pulse Lasers, Prism Cannon, Death Spinners, Harlequin's Kiss and the guns carried by Wraithguard. I think the Vibro-cannon also appeared in 2nd, but can't swear to it. There was no separate Star Cannon, it was the same Plasma Cannon that the Orks, Imperium and Squats used.

GrandmasterWang
07-06-2015, 06:47
Some local players joke about this but we all put it down to GW incompetence than a deliberate choice.

I don't know Guard but a local skilled Eldar player who recently shelved his space elves with their new Codex for a foot slogging Astra Militarum force explained his move as a shift from an "easy" army to a "hard" one.

Deathwing for example I would consider a "hard" army

Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk

Harwammer
07-06-2015, 10:15
I suggest weak armies remain weak and strong armies remain strong (more or less) is because each codex is redone under the assumption it is already more or less 'balanced'.

Lord Damocles
07-06-2015, 10:28
Necrons -
7th edition: currently one of the top armies, most folks agree their book is grossly overpowered by comparison to the rest of the game
6th edition: incredibly solid book, lots of powerful gimmicks (like the command barge, Anrakyr's hack, Mind shackle scarabs), very powerful
3rd edition: my second army, at the time they were incredibly powerful, highly resilient in an edition whe FNP wasn't even a thing, phase out mitigated them somewhat, but still an A-lister of its day.
You list 6th edition, but the Codex was released in 5th edition.

At release, the 5th ed Codex was ok (vastly better than the decade old list they were using previously), but that was largely to do with Wraiths and Scarabs being clearly silly.
Gauss weapons were still garbage against vehicles, non-fearless units were still easily run down in combat, and tesla weapons were awful against vehicles (AP-).
There was a good reason that most 'competetive lists' revolved around Wraiths, scythe-wielding barge Lords, and Royal Courts.

Vipoid
07-06-2015, 10:33
Didn't most 5th edition Necron lists also involve spamming Night Scythes?

Lord Damocles
07-06-2015, 10:36
Didn't most 5th edition Necron lists also involve spamming Night Scythes?
I never really saw all that many Scythe spam lists in 5th, beyond armies which were attempting to mimic the 'all mech all the time' philosophy of the edition.

Inquisitor Kallus
07-06-2015, 12:18
Codex Eldar:

Logging in......
Request level clearance
Request granted
Easy mode activated.


:p :D

jeffersonian000
07-06-2015, 12:39
The real reason is because GW writes codexes for specific editions, then release some before the edition (strong codexes) while others are released after (weak codexes). GW had been doing this since 2nd, with their release cycle unintentionally buffing the same armies over and over again, while nerfing the same armies over and over again. And GW appears to have noticed this, as seen in the recent rapid release schedule that seems to be getting everyone caught up to 7th this year.

So wait a little bit, your favorite army will get buffed within the next month or so (only to get nerfed in December when 8th Ed hits).

SJ


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

GrandmasterWang
07-06-2015, 12:52
Did a Hendarion troll post get removed from this thread?

I could have sworn he posted after me in this thread?

Lost in the webway maybe?

Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk

Poncho160
07-06-2015, 13:14
I think it might be a combination of things, but the main one being who wrote the Codex.

I’m guessing (don’t know for sure) that the Codexes are written by mainly by fans of the Army and they lose some of the subjectivity, creating rules and units that match the fluff of the army.

This obviously occurs the other way round too, as we saw in the Tyranids and Ork Codexes of a few editions ago (Cruddace and Ward both stated that they didn’t like the Army they had written the Codex for).

Robin Cruddace is actually a good example, the 6th Edition Tyranid’s book was very poor, whilst the Imperial Guard book was very, very good!! Robin Cruddace is a known tread head and has also stated he didn’t "get" the Tyranids.....

The books seem to be written by a team these days though, so hopefully those days are behind us.

Inquisitor Kallus
07-06-2015, 13:16
Did a Hendarion troll post get removed from this thread?

I could have sworn he posted after me in this thread?

Lost in the webway maybe?

Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk

The Dark Eldar took him away...

I have heard that some of the studio staff had said certain codexes will have more difficult times than others. Its kind of like the playing out of heroes vs villains thing.

Ive also just noticed that the marine pod is 35 points. 35 POINTS!!!
I havent looked at my wolves dex entry or a marine dex one for a while. Same points as a rhino....


EDIT: I now see that Hendarion has been banned

Vipoid
07-06-2015, 13:24
I have heard that some of the studio staff had said certain codexes will have more difficult times than others. Its kind of like the playing out of heroes vs villains thing.


The thing is though, if they were going down that route, you'd expect the 'villainous' books to be stronger - when the opposite is usually true.

I mean, it seems more heroic to fight an uphill struggle than just win by dint of being outright stronger and better-equipped than your opposition. :p

Inquisitor Kallus
07-06-2015, 13:25
I think it might be a combination of things, but the main one being who wrote the Codex.

I’m guessing (don’t know for sure) that the Codexes are written by mainly by fans of the Army and they lose some of the subjectivity, creating rules and units that match the fluff of the army.

This obviously occurs the other way round too, as we saw in the Tyranids and Ork Codexes of a few editions ago (Cruddace and Ward both stated that they didn’t like the Army they had written the Codex for).

Robin Cruddace is actually a good example, the 6th Edition Tyranid’s book was very poor, whilst the Imperial Guard book was very, very good!! Robin Cruddace is a known tread head and has also stated he didn’t "get" the Tyranids.....

The books seem to be written by a team these days though, so hopefully those days are behind us.

The excuse that they 'didnt like the army' is pretty poor. A good writer should get behind things that they can find to like about each army and then go from there. Each army has such a diverse and rich background(s) to choose from. Ill be honest, I like every army in different ways, they all have something cool to contribute.

Beppo1234
07-06-2015, 13:28
apart from rules, I would like GW to do models in difficulty level as well, while also rating their current range of models on a difficulty level. Something like this: Snaptight = easy, Standard kits = medium, something new = hard (ie. I'd love for GW to release a fully poseable marine model: feet, lower legs, knees, upper legs, groin, waist, chest, ball socket shoulders and hips etc etc.)

A.T.
07-06-2015, 14:59
Ive also just noticed that the marine pod is 35 points. 35 POINTS!!!It has been since the 5th edition marine codex.

Inquisitor Kallus
07-06-2015, 15:54
It has been since the 5th edition marine codex.

I know, I just havent used them though I have 5 or six in boxes. Its very cheap to give the alpha strike advantage with literally no drawbacks. Youd think it would be around 55. Didnt it used to be?

Spiney Norman
07-06-2015, 16:38
I know, I just havent used them though I have 5 or six in boxes. Its very cheap to give the alpha strike advantage with literally no drawbacks. Youd think it would be around 55. Didnt it used to be?

Given that a DE WWP is arguably better and costs less, I'd say they've got it about right

Vipoid
07-06-2015, 16:42
Given that a DE WWP is arguably better and costs less, I'd say they've got it about right

A WWP is also 35pts.

Plus the cost of the character you need to bring one...

Inquisitor Kallus
07-06-2015, 17:12
A WWP is also 35pts.

Plus the cost of the character you need to bring one...

Indeed. SMs can also put most units in them/ I dont know, I think lots of things have become so cheap and easily accessible these days that 'go to' options appear everywhere, until the next dex change. I love the imagery of drop pods but they are great for the points if you have specifically armed units in them. I dunno, I guess I really loved the more 'classic' troop battles with occasional vehicles and the odd elite unit, back when terminators were good lol

MrKeef
07-06-2015, 17:48
apart from rules, I would like GW to do models in difficulty level as well, while also rating their current range of models on a difficulty level. Something like this: Snaptight = easy, Standard kits = medium, something new = hard (ie. I'd love for GW to release a fully poseable marine model: feet, lower legs, knees, upper legs, groin, waist, chest, ball socket shoulders and hips etc etc.)

Judging from my experiences with eBay, anything with tracks would have to be labelled hard. ;)

Vipoid
07-06-2015, 17:57
Indeed. SMs can also put most units in them

I think my main issue is that DE characters aren't exactly good value to begin with. So, they just end up feeling like a 60-70pt tax for a WWP, rather than being useful in their own right.


I dont know, I think lots of things have become so cheap and easily accessible these days that 'go to' options appear everywhere, until the next dex change. I love the imagery of drop pods but they are great for the points if you have specifically armed units in them. I dunno, I guess I really loved the more 'classic' troop battles with occasional vehicles and the odd elite unit, back when terminators were good lol

I certainly empathise with you there.

I also preferred it when only troops could score. It wasn't perfect, but it at least gave people a legitimate reason to use more than the minimum number of troops. Now, with all the Formations and such, you can have armies with no troops at all. Hell, some 'armies' or mini-armies (Coven, Harlequins etc.) don't even have troop choices.

Mawduce
07-06-2015, 19:28
I think my main issue is that DE characters aren't exactly good value to begin with. So, they just end up feeling like a 60-70pt tax for a WWP, rather than being useful in their own right.



I certainly empathise with you there.

I also preferred it when only troops could score. It wasn't perfect, but it at least gave people a legitimate reason to use more than the minimum number of troops. Now, with all the Formations and such, you can have armies with no troops at all. Hell, some 'armies' or mini-armies (Coven, Harlequins etc.) don't even have troop choices.

That's why house rules are so cool. We have it to where a vehicle can keep troops from scoring, but can't score the objective out right.

Spiney Norman
07-06-2015, 19:54
A WWP is also 35pts.

Plus the cost of the character you need to bring one...

So it is, for some reason I thought the WWP was 30, I guess that shows how long it is since I've written a DE list...


Indeed. SMs can also put most units in them/ I dont know, I think lots of things have become so cheap and easily accessible these days that 'go to' options appear everywhere, until the next dex change. I love the imagery of drop pods but they are great for the points if you have specifically armed units in them. I dunno, I guess I really loved the more 'classic' troop battles with occasional vehicles and the odd elite unit, back when terminators were good lol

I think it'd be kind of nice if drop pods functioned like they do in the Horus Heresy whe you only get to take them if you use the specific 'rite of war' and then every unit in your army has to use them. GW need to find a way to make 40k feel less like a 'gamey' game and more like an emersive narrative experience. That appears to be what they want (based on all the lame 'forge the narrative' bluster), but their rules encourage precisely the opposite.

Vipoid
07-06-2015, 20:15
I think it'd be kind of nice if drop pods functioned like they do in the Horus Heresy whe you only get to take them if you use the specific 'rite of war' and then every unit in your army has to use them.

I quite like that idea.

I could have sworn that one of the SM armies used to have to do something like this (maybe Space Wolves?), back in 3rd or 4th. Or maybe I'm thinking of deep striking.


GW need to find a way to make 40k feel less like a 'gamey' game and more like an emersive narrative experience. That appears to be what they want (based on all the lame 'forge the narrative' bluster), but their rules encourage precisely the opposite.

I'd like that too. It would be nice if I could make my army characterful without making it worse at the same time. :skull:

AngryAngel
07-06-2015, 20:24
I quite like that idea.

I could have sworn that one of the SM armies used to have to do something like this (maybe Space Wolves?), back in 3rd or 4th. Or maybe I'm thinking of deep striking.



I'd like that too. It would be nice if I could make my army characterful without making it worse at the same time. :skull:

In the 3rd ed marine codex, back before they had drop pod models. The drop pods did just that, basically your whole army had to deep strike, ala drop pod assault/planet strike force. However you could only take infantry, assault marines, land speeders and dreads I believe. However to use it, everyone had to enter play that way. I suppose to simulate an all podding or landing force.

It was pretty fun still, and really made deployment an easy thing to do, I used it quite often.

Spiney Norman
07-06-2015, 21:21
In the 3rd ed marine codex, back before they had drop pod models. The drop pods did just that, basically your whole army had to deep strike, ala drop pod assault/planet strike force. However you could only take infantry, assault marines, land speeders and dreads I believe. However to use it, everyone had to enter play that way. I suppose to simulate an all podding or landing force.

It was pretty fun still, and really made deployment an easy thing to do, I used it quite often.

That is pretty much how orbital assault works in HH, you don't have to take pods for everything but everything has to be able to enter via DS, so teleporting termis, DSing jump inf, podding tactical marines and dreds, but no tanks etc.

Commissar Davis
08-06-2015, 01:59
Before 6th, these were mine and a few friends thinking on different armies.

Eldar use to have a really high learning curve, to be good with them you had to really learn the army.

DEldar could be brutal but were always a glass cannon.

Necrons were good and solid if played to there strengths and very easily dismissed.

Guard were somewhere in between, a good player was not a push over but they required a bit of thought and still do. 5ed bought them up a notch and the crying only really started in the higher point games (above 1.5k).

SM were solid, not amazing, but very easy to use and get going with.

CSM were solid but lost a lot from the 4ed codex onwards. Were probably the most fun to play and play against with the craziness.

SoB were solid until 5ed. They seem to have been an after thought ever since the end of 4ed.

Tau fall into the same bracket as Eldar unit 5ed.

DA always had potential, but somehow always got over shadowed. Solid but not quite as good as standard SM unless going fast or termies.

BA were somewhat situational but solid.

SW good, sometimes just a bit better than SM.

BT Could be strong untill 5ed. Took a bit of learning but were only really out matched in combat by bezerkers.

Nids required a bit of learning but were rewarding. Hard to think that they became 'weak'.

Orks were always a fun choice, but not to be underestimated.

GK were required thought as did the Inq units.

Nubl0
08-06-2015, 12:08
I don't think nids got weaker per say. They did however become super bland and lose all flavour with the 5th ed book onwards. Largely why I don't play mine much anymore.

ntw3001
08-06-2015, 12:44
I'm pretty sure the imbalance is down to either ineptitude or sales efforts. If it were a deliberate attempt to create a 'difficulty scale', why wouldn't they tell anyone? Letting someone buy into an army at great expense only to find out that it's tuned to a 'difficulty' that's not appropriate for them isn't exactly a good way to keep a customer. I'm not sure why even GW would do it.

Althenian Armourlost
08-06-2015, 12:59
I think my main issue is that DE characters aren't exactly good value to begin with. So, they just end up feeling like a 60-70pt tax for a WWP, rather than being useful in their own right.

That is if you are okay with going unbound. If you want a minimum allied formation, you have to add at least a squad of 5 warriors in a venom also. The only unit I find an allied archon with WWP is worth it in is 6 scytheguard - and even then, I only use that if I know the enemy is bringing a ridonkulous deathstar that needs insta-deleting in the most brutal possible way, just to remind them that Eldar will always be boss.

Vipoid
08-06-2015, 13:05
I wasn't actually talking about unbound or allies - I was talking about using DE characters in their own army (I'm aware that this is an unusual concept ;)).

Spiney Norman
08-06-2015, 13:07
I wasn't actually talking about unbound or allies - I was talking about using DE characters in their own army (I'm aware that this is an unusual concept ;)).

Using a DE army at all is an unusual concept nowerdays sadly

Ironbone
08-06-2015, 13:18
SMs can also put most units in them
Most, ha. Just recently my friend fielded (to quote him) a "taxi company" - detachemnt of flesh tearers with naked libarian and 5 scouts just to take 6 drop-pods for other datechments.

Beppo1234
08-06-2015, 13:21
Judging from my experiences with eBay, anything with tracks would have to be labelled hard. ;)

depends on the model... new IG tanks have been pretty good, due to the solid panels on each side which line up properly. Baneblades are a pain to put together, mostly because of that wheel at the front that one has to assemble.

duffybear1988
08-06-2015, 14:14
The funny thing is that my mate uses his archon with webway portal in his Eldar army and his autarch on jetbike in his Dark Eldar army.

Commissar Davis
08-06-2015, 14:17
I'm pretty sure the imbalance is down to either ineptitude or sales efforts. If it were a deliberate attempt to create a 'difficulty scale', why wouldn't they tell anyone? Letting someone buy into an army at great expense only to find out that it's tuned to a 'difficulty' that's not appropriate for them isn't exactly a good way to keep a customer. I'm not sure why even GW would do it.

There was a sort of balance to it, other than SM, the stronger the army the higher the learning curve tended to be. The best example of this was Eldar, ridiculously strong in the hands on an experienced player but was simple enough to beat someone playing for only a short (relatively speaking) time.

CSM could throw out a few oddballs that were a bit cheesy, but I was told the real reason for taking so much away was the lack of WYSIWYG as rather than the codex being OP. Take Daemonic stature, it say that the changes to the CSM make it huge and yet many just used a normal dude. GW got fed-up of the crying, or at least that is what I was told at the time.

Bloodknight
08-06-2015, 14:25
Dark Eldar
7th - derided by a lot of folks, all things considered I would give it a solid 'not bad' unfortunately they failed badly on several key units, most notably the archon, Wyches and wracks which form the backbone of the three main types of DE themed lists: Kabal, Cult and coven.
5th - fairly fragile, mid tier book, lots of weaknesses, definitely a 'thinking man's army'
3rd - only reeally experienced this in later editions, not sure how it played at the time

3rd edition DE could be described well as "LOL, Marines". The Warrior Kabal had an insane amount of S8 AP2 firepower. The main problem of the old book was that after 1250 points you only had junk fillers because all the good stuff was gone, and their fillers were terrible. On the other hand, you didn't really need anything else to compete in 1500 points games with over 40 darklight weapons. Against chaff you still had splinter rifles and - back when LD was worth something with most armies - DE had blast markers that caused pinning and lowered the LD for each model after the first by 1.
When the codex got a reprint (in the first version everything but warriors, Raiders, Ravagers and Archons was crap) they even managed to give the DE a vehicle armory (the first print had no upgrades at all) and made Wyches really good. In 3rd edition I played a Warrior Kabal in tournaments, in 4th edition a Wych Cult. Despite its age and blandness, the old DE book was reasonably powerful enough to survive a ton of design paradigm changes during its lifespan, which was, I believe, 8 or 9 years.

lordreaven448
09-06-2015, 07:39
The 4th edition Daemons book. It was so bad I see many people here never got to experience it.

Don't get me wrong, the Models and the units themselves were okay. It was the army wide rule that you fought, not your opponent. To make it worse, GW then took the Daemonic assault rule, made it better, then gave it to Space Marines in the form of drop pod assault.

I tell you. There is no feeling that can describe how much I HATED GW for that. It is for this reason I cherish every space marine I defeat.

Spiney Norman
09-06-2015, 08:08
I'm pretty sure the imbalance is down to either ineptitude or sales efforts. If it were a deliberate attempt to create a 'difficulty scale', why wouldn't they tell anyone? Letting someone buy into an army at great expense only to find out that it's tuned to a 'difficulty' that's not appropriate for them isn't exactly a good way to keep a customer. I'm not sure why even GW would do it.

In 3rd edition they did, from my Witch Hunter Codex, p.24

"Strategy Rating
Witch Hunters have a strategy rating of 3"

I've no idea how far the 'strategy rating' scale went, or whether a higher number meant the army was more or less forgiving, but implicit in the idea of it seems to be the acceptance of the principle that not all codexes are created equal.

Out of interest, could those with other 3rd ed codexes contribute their 'strategy rating', I have a 3rd ed necron codex somewhere but I can't find it for the life of me.

Flipmode
09-06-2015, 08:31
In 3rd edition they did, from my Witch Hunter Codex, p.24

"Strategy Rating
Witch Hunters have a strategy rating of 3"

I've no idea how far the 'strategy rating' scale went, or whether a higher number meant the army was more or less forgiving, but implicit in the idea of it seems to be the acceptance of the principle that not all codexes are created equal.

Out of interest, could those with other 3rd ed codexes contribute their 'strategy rating', I have a 3rd ed necron codex somewhere but I can't find it for the life of me.

My memories were that Strategy Rating was a 2nd Edition tool for modifying roll offs for who deploys first and who goes first. Don't think it was an overall army rating. The years may have damaged memory of what it meant in 3rd though.

Bloodknight
09-06-2015, 09:39
In 2nd edition strategy rating determined who set up last and went first. Space Marines had 5, IG 2, Tyranids 1. You rolled 1d6 and added your strategy rating and compared the results. It didn't mean that your army was easier or more difficult to play, basically it mostly affected list building and deployment since, say, as a Space Marine you knew you'd most likely get first turn, as an IG player you'd most likely start on the defensive.
In 3rd edition the strategy rating was used similarly in some missions, you got xd6 to roll off with and the highest roll went first, I think. 3 was pretty high, might have been the maximum, but it's been 17 years and I don't think we ever used it in my gaming group at the time, so bear with me.

A.T.
09-06-2015, 09:59
Out of interest, could those with other 3rd ed codexes contribute their 'strategy rating', I have a 3rd ed necron codex somewhere but I can't find it for the life of me.4th ed codex, page 80.

Marines, Witch/Alien/Daemon hunters, Eldar, Crons = 3
CSM & dark eldar = 2
Everyone else = 1

Seemed pretty arbitrary.

Kahadras
09-06-2015, 11:17
So a few of us were talking at the local gaming club about the current state of the game, some players were expressing disatisfaction with certain codexes and the percieved imbalances between armies and the idea came up that maybe GW isn't trying to balance the codexes, but instead is intentionally unbalancing them to create shades of 'difficulty' between armies. This would possibly explain why some armies seem to get powerful codexes edition after edition while others seem to get saddled with weak books over and over.

I honestly don't feel this is the case. I personally feel that there are armies that the developers understand and are told to 'push' and armies that aren't championed and are relegated to 'filler'. Case in point was the Wood Elf army book which, IIRC, nobody wanted to do as none of the developers played Wood Elves and it was concidered to be a difficult project due to the direction that Warhammer was taking. Thus the old WE army book lingered on for years. I think the sad fact of the matter is that codex get locked into cycles. No one really knows what to do with Tyranids so they get poor codex after poor codex. Eldar are popular therefore there book gets plenty of attention and the writer takes care to maintain the competitiveness of the codex compared to the other armies out there.

Vipoid
09-06-2015, 12:13
I honestly don't feel this is the case. I personally feel that there are armies that the developers understand and are told to 'push' and armies that aren't championed and are relegated to 'filler'. Case in point was the Wood Elf army book which, IIRC, nobody wanted to do as none of the developers played Wood Elves and it was concidered to be a difficult project due to the direction that Warhammer was taking. Thus the old WE army book lingered on for years. I think the sad fact of the matter is that codex get locked into cycles. No one really knows what to do with Tyranids so they get poor codex after poor codex. Eldar are popular therefore there book gets plenty of attention and the writer takes care to maintain the competitiveness of the codex compared to the other armies out there.

I think you could well be right there.

Snake Tortoise
09-06-2015, 13:56
I honestly don't feel this is the case. I personally feel that there are armies that the developers understand and are told to 'push' and armies that aren't championed and are relegated to 'filler'. Case in point was the Wood Elf army book which, IIRC, nobody wanted to do as none of the developers played Wood Elves and it was concidered to be a difficult project due to the direction that Warhammer was taking. Thus the old WE army book lingered on for years. I think the sad fact of the matter is that codex get locked into cycles. No one really knows what to do with Tyranids so they get poor codex after poor codex. Eldar are popular therefore there book gets plenty of attention and the writer takes care to maintain the competitiveness of the codex compared to the other armies out there.

From what I know this seems to be the case. It's painfully obviously nobody who really knows how to play nids was involved in the current codex. Some of the decisions they made with it were almost laughable, and it's staggering the most maligned unit in 40k (the pyrovore) was more or less left as it was. They were right to nerf the tervigon but went too far and turned it into something that functions counter intuitively in game; obviously because nobody at GW plays nids and couldn't figure out what the implications of their changes were going to be.

The changes to the psychic phase in 7th rendering shadow in the warp useless was the last straw for me, and the fact they didn't address it in the FAQ that came out shortly after 7th dropped strongly supports your argument that GW simply don't understand some of their factions. Even though you can still make strong tyranid builds I wouldn't recommend anyone start building a nid army because their codexes are far below the standard quality of a 40k codex

wyvirn
09-06-2015, 18:27
The changes to the psychic phase in 7th rendering shadow in the warp useless was the last straw for me, and the fact they didn't address it in the FAQ that came out shortly after 7th dropped strongly supports your argument that GW simply don't understand some of their factions. Even though you can still make strong tyranid builds I wouldn't recommend anyone start building a nid army because their codexes are far below the standard quality of a 40k codex

I actually found that SitW can work well if you can use it. It goes off the assumption that you bring a stupid number of mastery levels via hive tyrants and Zoanthropes. (For 460 points you can bring a detachment of a dakka flyrant, msu termigaunts, and 3 Zoanthropes, bring a total of 8 dice). Forcing your opponent to go big or go home makes him more likely to perils. And at best that psyker is at LD 7, making it less likely that he survives unharmed. Basically it represents the shadow forcing the psyker to exert that extra energy to break through to the warp and the difficulty of ignoring the scratching in his head.

NagashLover
09-06-2015, 19:00
Some local players joke about this but we all put it down to GW incompetence than a deliberate choice.

I don't know Guard but a local skilled Eldar player who recently shelved his space elves with their new Codex for a foot slogging Astra Militarum force explained his move as a shift from an "easy" army to a "hard" one.

Deathwing for example I would consider a "hard" army

Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk



I'm pretty sure the imbalance is down to either ineptitude or sales efforts. If it were a deliberate attempt to create a 'difficulty scale', why wouldn't they tell anyone? Letting someone buy into an army at great expense only to find out that it's tuned to a 'difficulty' that's not appropriate for them isn't exactly a good way to keep a customer. I'm not sure why even GW would do it.

Mostly what these two said. PP is the same way with Warmahordes. Which is why Legion is easier to play than say Circle. Or Cryx over Cygnar. Though it also goes deeper than factions, as PP really highlights the incompetence issue with casters. Dennies, Haleys and others versus say something like eMorg, Venny, eWho....etc and so on. PP creates UAs and tier lists for a reason, to help underperforming models (who also generally don't sell well) to give them a bump they need.

This isn't anything new, the incompetence and imbalance for the sake of sales efforts can be pinpointed in all miniature companies.

That said, I do like how PP handles it so we don't have to wait until a new edition to get any kind of changes. Something which GW has shown they are emulating to a minor extent with things like formations and such.


I don't think nids got weaker per say. They did however become super bland and lose all flavour with the 5th ed book onwards. Largely why I don't play mine much anymore.

I agree with this. Heck I never thought Nids were weak even before we got our pods...outside of a few points value issues the major thing was it just felt really bland. Nothing that really strikes them as unique. I miss the old days of bake a gaunt personally and feel that having such control over your army and the sheer amount of options is a part of the uniqueness of the army, which happens to be reflected in the fluff in regards to adaption.

Snake Tortoise
09-06-2015, 23:39
I actually found that SitW can work well if you can use it. It goes off the assumption that you bring a stupid number of mastery levels via hive tyrants and Zoanthropes. (For 460 points you can bring a detachment of a dakka flyrant, msu termigaunts, and 3 Zoanthropes, bring a total of 8 dice). Forcing your opponent to go big or go home makes him more likely to perils. And at best that psyker is at LD 7, making it less likely that he survives unharmed. Basically it represents the shadow forcing the psyker to exert that extra energy to break through to the warp and the difficulty of ignoring the scratching in his head.

I can see what you mean but I still don't like it. A really solid psychic defense is one of the characteristics of tyranids for me and I really wish GW had tried to accommodate it properly. Maybe forcing enemy psykers within shadow range to roll 5+ to cast, or making perils more likely

Kburn
10-06-2015, 02:17
I have experience with nids. You can add it here:

Tyranids:

7th Edition: There is no 7th edition (yet), but GW made such a concerted push to make the tyranid codex stronger via data-slates and white dwarf articles. Some were useful, like skyblight, and the now re-instated mycetic spore (now known as sporocysts), but majority was a waste on the paper it was printed on. Interestingly, cruddace did such a good job, that now tyranids has the most data-slates and WD articles ever, just to shore up the leaky holes. No army comes close to the amount they have. Also, allies severely gimped the playability of tyranids.

6th Edition: Second of the cruddexes, one which pushed him to the status of a "bona fide" expert on tyranids. Cruddace's biases really shone out here. Everything good was nerfed, and everything bad got nerfed even harder. Pyrovore, which was the single worst unit in the entire game got nerfed even harder. Not to mention the ambiguity with its rules, where if destroyed, everything ON THE BOARD (yes, you heard that right) suffered a S3, AP- hit. Pretty much, everything is unplayable, other than carnifexes, which had a slight point reduction, but were still severely anemic compared to choices in other codexes. Malanthrope became necessary to play any nid army. Also, Mycetic Spores (nid drop pods) got removed as an option, in light of the chapterhouse saga (ie. GW is too stupid/lazy to make models for rules it has published, leading to 3rd parties stepping in), which made the codex significantly worse. It is dead-on-arrival in terms of power levels, and not even the infamous Dark Angels codex can come close to how weak it was.

5th Edition: First of the cruddexes. Very underpowered when released. Internal balance was horrible, and certain units, like pyrovores, lictors, genestealers and carnifexes were unplayable. A few strong choices here and there, including tervigons, flyrants and trygons. Pushed players to take the same few units, as majority of the codex was either unplayable or severely underpowered.

4th edition: The best Tyranid codex released. Placed it in the upper-middle tier. Internal balance was good, with the exception of a few odd choices. Plenty of biomorph choices. Carnifexes really shone out in this codex, with them being an integral of an almost full MC (called nidzilla) list. I loved how cthulhu-stealers gave preferred enemy to units around them. Very fluffy can cool, but unfortunately, a distant memory...

3rd edition: Honestly, not much experience here. I just knew that genestealers were killer.

Scribe of Khorne
10-06-2015, 06:59
The Dark Eldar took him away...

I have heard that some of the studio staff had said certain codexes will have more difficult times than others. Its kind of like the playing out of heroes vs villains thing.

Ive also just noticed that the marine pod is 35 points. 35 POINTS!!!
I havent looked at my wolves dex entry or a marine dex one for a while. Same points as a rhino....


EDIT: I now see that Hendarion has been banned

lol wut?

Moderators out of control here too?

ntw3001
10-06-2015, 07:03
In 3rd edition they did, from my Witch Hunter Codex, p.24

"Strategy Rating
Witch Hunters have a strategy rating of 3"

I've no idea how far the 'strategy rating' scale went, or whether a higher number meant the army was more or less forgiving, but implicit in the idea of it seems to be the acceptance of the principle that not all codexes are created equal.

Out of interest, could those with other 3rd ed codexes contribute their 'strategy rating', I have a 3rd ed necron codex somewhere but I can't find it for the life of me.
As others have said, the strategy rating was just an army-wide rule which affected rolls for deployment and first turn (and IIRC in 2nd, the number of strategy cards they were dealt), not an indication of the army's strength or complexity.

Malefactum
10-06-2015, 07:53
Grey Knights also were always top when they got released. Did they get a codex other than 2nd and 5th?

A.T.
10-06-2015, 09:51
Grey Knights also were always top when they got released. Did they get a codex other than 2nd and 5th?They were a terminator unit in 1st/2nd, they had a couple of units in the 3rd ed DH codex (and were firmly bottom of the pile before the GK dex rolled around), and their current 7th ed dex is nothing special.

The 5th edition Codex:GK was an anomaly for them and also beat a lot of the uniqueness out of the army, replacing it with raw power and codex:silver marines - mainly as a way to get around the fact that they were a support force, not an army.

Spiney Norman
10-06-2015, 10:12
Grey Knights also were always top when they got released. Did they get a codex other than 2nd and 5th?

By 'always', you mean 'in 5th edition before the transition to 6th', codex daemon hunters wasn't anywhere hear top of the pile in 3rd, and the 7th edition book is thoroughly average like all of its pre-necron contemporaries.

ehlijen
10-06-2015, 12:15
Strategy rating did not affect either deployment or the first turn in 3rd edition. It was used to determine the scenario played (partially).

Players would roll Xd6 (x=strategy rating) and the highest dice would pick whether to play a random standard, raid, battle or breakthrough mission and whether they'd be the attacker or defender. In some scenarios that determined if they went first or not, but in quite a few it didn't, and because that choice was made before the exact mission was known, it wasn't really choosing to go first.

In practice, because each category stipulated different FO charts to be used, players would skip the whole thing and just play a random standard mission most of the time and prearrange a specific scenario most of the rest of the time.

And that's why strategy rating was soon forgotten about by everyone, and left out of future codices.