PDA

View Full Version : Is making a balanced list in 40k impossible?



Angry Scotsman
02-07-2015, 02:01
Recently I have been trying to get a lot of games in, testing out new strategies etc. I am an Eldar player who has been playing for 3 months now and it seems to me that you either go big or go home. What I mean is this,


You bring > They Bring


Enough anti-tank weapons for a few tanks > Way more tanks
Some fast units for mobility and support > All fast units that you cant catch
Some dakka to deal with a few blob units > A whole army of blob
Anti-air to deal with a flyer > 4 Flyers


I guess its the whole min/max thing. Just wondered are there games that are balanced or is it mostly spam units with gimics?


Cheers I hope u understand what i mean :P

ehlijen
02-07-2015, 06:34
40k, as it stands currently, has virtually no mechanisms in place to prevent that problem you describe.

That doesn't make balanced games impossible, but very unlikely unless you nail down exactly what kind of game you want with your opponent first (or you happen to be one of the lucky people who has an opponent whose gaming desires naturally line up with yours).

For several editions now, 40k has had a problem with list choices affecting victory to a larger degree than in game tactics. Now it can outright decide games, even if neither player sought that outcome.

40k does not work as a random pickup or tournament game. If that's what you were looking for, I'm sorry. It can work as a game for close friends to enjoy, in which case you should make sure to discuss everything you like and don't like about the game with them.

Greavous
02-07-2015, 10:30
it depends on who you play and what rules you use.

if you use the standard rules then you know they can only have 3 heavy support choices so 3 big tanks or such like that need str8+ weapons to easily break through. if you know there army in advance then you cna get a idea of what they will field e.g. orks mechs/truks - SM rhinos/preds/LR.

ofcourse if you play unbound then unless your trying to field a fluff/proper army then just fill it with pie plates and 1 shot str8+ weapons, fight cheese with cheese as they say.

Spiney Norman
02-07-2015, 11:31
Look on the bright side, it could (and probably one day will be) much, much worse.

The new Age of Sigmar game that is replacing wfb has all these issues, but also has no points values at all, so any kind of balancing is pure guesswork

I don't think its hard to create a balanced game with 40k if you have the right opponent, you just need to agree to limit your armies to a single Combined Arms detachment each and take a little bit of everything and not spam one unit type, unfortunately that means that just one person trying to 'game the system' and turning up with (for example) a whole army of vehicles or a whole army of superheavies, will screw the experience up for everyone.

ehlijen
02-07-2015, 11:32
That's not really true, Greavous. Between big tanks that don't fill HS slots (there are quite a few) and the fact that anyone can cake as many detachments as they want, there isn't much of an upper limit on anything even without unbound.

But yes, if you keep playing the same guys for a while, you should all get an idea of what kind of forces they can and like to muster. From then on, it should be doable to figure out a format that produces exciting games for you.

WarsmithGarathor94
02-07-2015, 11:52
I think you can make a balanced 40k list but the problem you will have is that because your not spamming one thing someone that say goes full mech against you will have an advantage. Now this also brings up the problem of what do we consider spam because pure mech for example would we consider that spam? Yet some armies are required to field a large amount of vehicles as that is how their army has been designed to work while another army can cover the board in cheap bodies. Personally I'm glad that the TAC list is dead as it gives armies bigger weaknesses than before to exploit

Greavous
02-07-2015, 12:18
well i was thinking more along the lines of tanks with AV12/13+ as (as far as i know) most non HS tanks are around AV10 transports and stuff.
also i didnt actually know you can take multiple detachments i always assumed it was 1.

Greyhound
02-07-2015, 12:19
You're dreaming if you assume big tanks come from heavy support!
Mine usually come from elite as a dedicated transport! I can also double up on heavy support.
My opponent takes them as HQ.

There is this massive spash mareen bias some people really can't shake

Greavous
02-07-2015, 12:42
currently ive yet to fight anything above AV11 that wasnt a HQ or HS choice, so apologies for my lack of knowledge.

but as ehlijen said if you game with the same group every week then you will get to know what they bring and how they fight so you can plan accordingly before the battle e.g. extra armor pen, extra AA, pie plates for swarms.

ehlijen
02-07-2015, 22:08
You're dreaming if you assume big tanks come from heavy support!
Mine usually come from elite as a dedicated transport! I can also double up on heavy support.
My opponent takes them as HQ.

There is this massive spash mareen bias some people really can't shake


What space marine bias? They've got AV12/13 walkers all over their elite slots, some even got AV14 dedicated transports.

Snake Tortoise
02-07-2015, 23:06
There's quite a good Australian community comp system I've seen that addresses a lot of the issues mentioned

Otherwise maybe the simplest method would be banning flyers, superheavies, swoop mode for FMCs and invisibility. Obviously cheese will still exist but for the most part it would bring the game back to classic 40k with infantry, vehicles and monstrous creatures. Maybe go further and ban formations and restrict to a single CAD.

The biggest issue here would probably be no swoop mode for FMCs which is quite a restriction for daemons and tyranids, but maybe a simple house rule like a 4+ invulnerable during swoop could fix that.

TremendousZ
03-07-2015, 01:50
I am a little more hopeful that the new codex force org formations will help solve this problem. By offering special rules as a reward GW is encouraging people to play with equivalent core units. For example the eldar battle hosts minimum cost is just shy of 1000 pts so in 1000 or 1500 pt games it limits spamming to meet the required units. There will always be mismatched armies, but honestly how long has it been since you've seen an elder list with 3 units of Guardians

Vaktathi
03-07-2015, 02:55
There are some definite issues with some armies not being able to bring all the elements they may need for a truly "TAC" army.

Most of the newer armies (post January) don't have this issue so much, particularly as they've simply got lots of "anti-anything" weapons (e.g. Grav, Destroyer, Gauss, etc).

Karhedron
03-07-2015, 10:52
It is true, as it stands 40K does not reward "balanced" armies very well (although the new super-detachments seem to be a step in this direction).

40K has a strong element of rock-paper-scissors to it with certain units acting as powerful hard-counters to other units. What that means is that 2 units of generalists will generally under-perform compared to 1 shooty unit + 1 CC unit of similar points. The proliferation of special rules encourages taking specialist units. The reason for this is that killing generalist infantry is generally the easiest thing to do in a game as you either outshoot them with your shooty units or assault them with your close combat units.

What this means is that there is little incentive to take a mix of rocks, paper and scissors in an army. It is usually much more effective to take as many rocks as you can since that nerfs your opponent's scissors and then just hope you have brought more rocks than he has brought papers. :p

Greavous
03-07-2015, 11:11
and sometimes even if you bring rocks to the scissor fight the scissors can still cut. seen it a few times where an armor heavy army has beaten a anti armor army simply from either lucky/good midified rolls or shooting en-mass to outright destroy the enemy line.

theory works off rock, paper, scissors but in the real games it can go anyway really, the only REAL way to win (i think) is to just reduce the chance to fail. higher BS, higher WS, re-rolls, extra dice, etc.

Nightfall Shimmer
03-07-2015, 13:27
Suddenly I wonder what the game would be like if a group banned CAD and enforced a tournament... Craftworld Warhost vs Gladius Strike Force vs Lions Blade vs Necron Decurion...

Edit: Even more strict, thinking about it. 1 1000pt Core choice + 500pts of Auxillaries...

Mercutius
03-07-2015, 13:50
I have a huge amount of painted GW minis, for 40k and WHFB.

But I did'nt play it anymore.

_All_ my gaming friends had made the switch to WarmaHordes. I was one of the last to switch. But then there was the point to search for new gaming friends or also switch to their prefered games.

And the _only_ reason for that was, that all were so tired, that GW could not make a halfway balanced game, even thogh they'd get so much money from us. We all were so tired of the endless disscussions what to bring, how to balance things, and there are allways to many to different views of that.

I still like the citadel minis more than the PPs, but wargaming, well is for the game, isn't it? :-) (ok, ok, I can collect the minis, but then I buy a box and share it with some mates, because I only need one or two of the same for painting, and not the 40 I needet for WHFB)

WarsmithGarathor94
03-07-2015, 15:42
the thing is no.matter how hard gw try this game will.never be truly.balanced

Vaktathi
03-07-2015, 18:17
the thing is no.matter how hard gw try this game will.never be truly.balancedNobody is asking for perfect balance, there's no such thing in a turn based game. And that's fine. However, 40k is currently so far from a semblance of such that it's increasingly difficult to justify play for many.

Crimson Devil on DakkaDakka said it best.
"7th edition 40k is a lot like BDSM these days. Only play with people you know and develop a safe word for when things get too intense. And It doesn't hurt to be a sadist or masochist as well."

Ssilmath
03-07-2015, 19:49
As long as the game allows freedom in what lists you take, you're not going to have any given army guaranteed to balanced with any other. As long as anything can be spammed, TAC armies will not be able to adequately engage them. Take All Comers isn't even really the proper name, because it's only good against other balanced, TAC armies. Even a what could be considered a small thing (Taking more flamers and melta bombs instead of melta guns) could completely shift the game from balanced to either unwinnable (Opponent brought more armor than normal in a themed and fluffy armored spearhead) or an easy win (Opponent brought a themed and fluffy foot guard list).

One solution would be to set up something akin to the old Roman Gladiator system, where specific builds (Or gladiator types) were pitted against each other and only each other. So say an IG armored spearhead could only fight against a specific subset of predetermined formations such as a Chaos Marine mechanized force, or Nidzilla, or whatever an actually good matchup would be. I don't know how much fun that would be, or if it would even solve anything because you'd still have the same problem as now. Show up with one army, and the only opponents available don't have a legal force to play against.

You could also limit spam, but that's not a good solution because many very fluffy lists (and not always broken either) rely on taking multiples of a unit. Mech armies rely on transports, Black Templars are going to load up on Crusader Squads, Vanguards, Termies and Land Raiders, Orks are going to load up on Boyz. Bringing back 0-1 or 0-2 or 2+ would help a bit, but I'm not sure how much. Current formations are going this route, but the balance of formations is currently uneven between codexes.

I don't know if there is a good solution. Making points costs more even is a start, fixing blatantly OP stuff like Windriders or Invisibility or the silly Space Marine formation of Deep Striking "screw you" is another requirement. But I don't think that you can achieve balance where 1000 points of anything is equal to 1000 points of anything else, in any (in faction/allies) combination.

WarsmithGarathor94
03-07-2015, 20:11
I dont think limiting vehicles is a good idea for example what about those people who like to field mechanised forces. For example my khorne daemonkin warband because im going with the idea of them basically being.khornes version of black templars use.mechanisation alot

Fithos
03-07-2015, 21:04
I have found that the people who have the hardest time finding balance are actually the people who are selective in which rules they will enforce in an attempt to make a more balanced game. By this I mean things like "no one use flyers" or "we never play maelstrom missions" or things like that. I mean, for people who do that and have fun it's great but so often I hear about how people just want to play kill points but then complain about how broken the adamantium lance formation is. Pro tip, the formation becomes a lot less broken when it can literally be beaten by an all grot army taking objectives out from under them.

Some things are inherently unbalanced and I will agree with that but to say you can't take an all comers list and still be competitive if you are using all the rules, I just have not found that to be true.

Andy p
03-07-2015, 21:23
I'd say all Harlequins are fairly balanced whatever form you take them in.

Ps: except unbound, but duh.

ehlijen
03-07-2015, 22:36
I dont think limiting vehicles is a good idea for example what about those people who like to field mechanised forces. For example my khorne daemonkin warband because im going with the idea of them basically being.khornes version of black templars use.mechanisation alot

The problem is that the core game system doesn't handle armies that are immune to a considerable amount of weapons very well. While yes, it would mean players that like tanks are restricted, the game would work a lot better if no army could hide all its squishies in tanks.

And really, restrictions are needed. The core game is written around some theme or concept. Additional elements can be included in limits, but as soon as you allow them to overshadow the core game, you'll probably need new base rules.

EPIC handles tanks and tank formations well because it's written around handling them. 40k does not handle all tanks and tank squadrons well because their rules are tacked onto an infantry combat game.


I have found that the people who have the hardest time finding balance are actually the people who are selective in which rules they will enforce in an attempt to make a more balanced game. By this I mean things like "no one use flyers" or "we never play maelstrom missions" or things like that. I mean, for people who do that and have fun it's great but so often I hear about how people just want to play kill points but then complain about how broken the adamantium lance formation is. Pro tip, the formation becomes a lot less broken when it can literally be beaten by an all grot army taking objectives out from under them.

Some things are inherently unbalanced and I will agree with that but to say you can't take an all comers list and still be competitive if you are using all the rules, I just have not found that to be true.

Game balance is a complex thing and rarely as simple as adding one or a few house rules, that is true. I'd still challenge the notion that playing any current GW as written will get you even close to balance.

Without great player restraint, aka personal houserules, on both sides, the game can easily be broken, even by accident.

WarsmithGarathor94
03-07-2015, 22:49
..... yay nerf mechanised armies you make any non.horde assault arny useless *claps hands *

itcamefromthedeep
04-07-2015, 19:21
Transports are hardly the only delivery system for assault troops.

ehligen didn't say to nerf mechanized armies. He clearly, explicitly wants every model to be as close to a fair choice as possible.

He's just pointing out that having an entire army be outright immune to large sections of the enemy army leads to some poor results. IF you're looking across the table at a wall of Dire Avengers in Wave Serpents, your Devastators with Heavy Bolters won't be able to hurt anything (not even a little, not even if they hit that glass canopy over the driver, or if their heavy bolter shell hits the engine intake, or if it hits one of the guns). Vehicles don't necessarily need to be *worse*, but you'd have a much easier time with game balance if a wider variety of things could actually hurt them in a wider variety of circumstances. If you increased vehicle durability against mid-strength high-volume shots but reduced their durability against single-shot anti-tank weapons and lighter weaponry, then you wouldn't necessarily end up with nerfed vehicles.

WarsmithGarathor94
04-07-2015, 19:39
Transports are hardly the only delivery system for assault troops.

ehligen didn't say to nerf mechanized armies. He clearly, explicitly wants every model to be as close to a fair choice as possible.

He's just pointing out that having an entire army be outright immune to large sections of the enemy army leads to some poor results. IF you're looking across the table at a wall of Dire Avengers in Wave Serpents, your Devastators with Heavy Bolters won't be able to hurt anything (not even a little, not even if they hit that glass canopy over the driver, or if their heavy bolter shell hits the engine intake, or if it hits one of the guns). Vehicles don't necessarily need to be *worse*, but you'd have a much easier time with game balance if a wider variety of things could actually hurt them in a wider variety of circumstances. If you increased vehicle durability against mid-strength high-volume shots but reduced their durability against single-shot anti-tank weapons and lighter weaponry, then you wouldn't necessarily end up with nerfed vehicles.
You do realise hull points already hurt mechanised armys oh no you cant hurt my rhinos with your bolters my.blood crushers would like a word with you

itcamefromthedeep
04-07-2015, 19:43
Yes, I realize that hull points hurt mechanized armies. Like many players, I think vehicles were given too few hull points.

Mechanized armies don't need to be nerfed. They should be made more vulnerable to some things, and less vulnerable to others.

WarsmithGarathor94
04-07-2015, 19:44
Lasguns should.never be able to.hurt vehicles imho

shin'keiro
04-07-2015, 20:08
Is making a balanced list in 40k impossible?

Remember these few rules:
1. Never tell your opponent what your bringing! (until you have it on the table)
2. Agree with your opponent to use 1 HQ and 2 Troops choices (adding other units or formations to bring it up to the agreed points cost)
3. Agree with your opponent to have a written army list. (this stops your opponent looking at your army and deciding 2 minutes before the game what they have to match your units)

shin'keiro
04-07-2015, 20:13
You do realise hull points already hurt mechanised armys oh no you cant hurt my rhinos with your bolters my.blood crushers would like a word with you

Disagree!.. Hull points are now a great advantage to Mechanised armies.. before, (in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th, editions) one Krak missile could destroy a Leman Russ (example) in one hit.. now vehicles have 'wounds'. Much better!

WLBjork
04-07-2015, 22:49
Transports are hardly the only delivery system for assault troops.

ehligen didn't say to nerf mechanized armies. He clearly, explicitly wants every model to be as close to a fair choice as possible.

He's just pointing out that having an entire army be outright immune to large sections of the enemy army leads to some poor results. IF you're looking across the table at a wall of Dire Avengers in Wave Serpents, your Devastators with Heavy Bolters won't be able to hurt anything (not even a little, not even if they hit that glass canopy over the driver, or if their heavy bolter shell hits the engine intake, or if it hits one of the guns). Vehicles don't necessarily need to be *worse*, but you'd have a much easier time with game balance if a wider variety of things could actually hurt them in a wider variety of circumstances. If you increased vehicle durability against mid-strength high-volume shots but reduced their durability against single-shot anti-tank weapons and lighter weaponry, then you wouldn't necessarily end up with nerfed vehicles.

We had a system like that. It was called Second Edition. It wasn't perfect, but the rules interacted in a more balanced way.

itcamefromthedeep
05-07-2015, 01:22
No, second edition was not like that.

I'm well aware of second edition mechanics and how it played out on the table. If you allowed "Unbound" second edition armies, you would get comparable problems.

In order to get to what I'm looking for, you'd have to go back to Toughness and Wounds and armor save for vehicles, like in Rogue Trader.

---

If a Riptide doesn't deserve to be immune to lasguns, I don't think a Rhino should either. Call it a concession to game balance if you like, but this sort of thing makes for a better quality of gaming experience for players.

ehlijen
05-07-2015, 08:21
My point wasn't to make transports better or worse. My point was that if a unit is immune to large numbers of weapons in the game, it should be available only as a support element to a force, not as a force entirely consisting of it.

If the game is to be about mechanised armies, write the rules around them. Make APCs vulnerable to most units when they concentrate but able to shrug off token fire. That's where EPIC is at.

But the 40k rules are built around infantry shooting infantry and APCs are invulnerable to quite a lot of units. In such an environment, making APCs too available is not a good thing for game balance. Part of winning is to not lose units, and so units that have to fear far less of the enemy force are always advantaged. That means such units will be spammed, which means any weapon that can't hurt them will be avoided and now we're not using a lot of the options in most codices anymore.

Yes, that means all transported armies might be disallowed, but at some point the game needs to decide what scope of combat it is about and stick to it (40k has been really bad at this, which is why so many people would describe it as falling apart).

I don't care if Rhino's are immune to lasguns or not, as long as their availability is limited accordingly.


As for the rule of not telling your opponent what you're bringing: No! That's the worst thing to do. The days when players could write their army in isolation from each other and expect a reasonably fun game are gone. You have to talk about what kind of game you want and I'd heavily recommend building armies together. If Age of Sigmar is any indication, that's only going to become more crucial in the future.

WarsmithGarathor94
05-07-2015, 10:34
The problem is by making vehicles vulnarable to.more things assault armies like a mechanised daemonkin or ork army will really suffer as foot slogging dosent really work for daemonkin and in the case of orks the transports cut down the amount.of models he needs

ehlijen
05-07-2015, 11:50
All of those are just symptoms of 40k not properly supporting one kind of game it wants to be and sticking to it.

Take lasguns: Most armies have an easy time becoming completely immune to them, so why would anyone want them? They don't. But then why do so many guard units have so many of them? Why are lasguns in the game and described as being so common if it's so easy to make them useless?

Footslogging, why do people consider it useless? Because unlike transports, it doesn't make you immune to any enemy weapons. So transports are always better. Then why aren't transports mandatory the way they are in EPIC infantry formations? Why do we pretend this game written for infantry combat caters to infantry combat gameplay when simply taking some APCs means you don't care about it?

That's what the old single FOC was supposed to do (and in my opinion was too lax and not adhered to by codices to achieve even back in 3rd ed): make sure that every player brings some of the units the game was written around (in 40ks case, footslogging infantry) while allowing the addition of some support units that each bent the core rules on some way.
And 40k needs that back, badly, if it intends to be a balanced wargame, which it claims to be by using the points system (points have no other function than balancing). If it intends to become whatever AoS is....I don't know. I don't know what that game is trying to be.

WarsmithGarathor94
05-07-2015, 12:17
transports to me are not just about.being.immune to.most small arms. To me its getting.my.units into decent range so.i can start ripping apart units and getting the blood tithe points to power up my army

itcamefromthedeep
05-07-2015, 13:50
If your transports became more vulnerable to lasguns, but less vulnerable to autocannons, why would they be useless? Why would they even be worse than they are now?

WarsmithGarathor94
05-07-2015, 16:39
If your transports became more vulnerable to lasguns, but less vulnerable to autocannons, why would they be useless? Why would they even be worse than they are now?

Because guard for example have more Las guns than autocannons :p

itcamefromthedeep
05-07-2015, 16:51
I feel like there's this thing going on in your head where "can possibly be hurt by XXX" means "is immediately destroyed by XXX".

Riptides can be hurt by lasguns. Lasguns still suck at killing Riptides.

Let's say a Chimera had T6, 4 Wounds, and a front armor save of 3+. It would fewer lascannon hits to kill than it does now (just under 5 hits compared to just under 6). Instead of taking roughly 9 autocannon hits to kill, it would take about 18 hits (more resistant). As for lasguns, it would take roughly 72 lasgun hits to kill it. So a blob squad's lasguns would take about 3 rounds of normal firing to kill that Chimera. Would that really be the end of the world for Chimeras?

Grand Master Raziel
05-07-2015, 22:57
My gaming group has had pretty good luck with game balance by abiding by the following house rules:

1: Armies should be 40% Troops. So a 1000pt army should have 400pts in troops, a 1500pt army should have 600pts in Troops, and so on....

2: Allies / Detachments / Formations

Armies must be comprised of at least one Battle Forged Primary Detachment. Army lists may not include Allies from Codices representing fully fleshed out factions. Army lists may include Allies from Dataslates, as long as they do not draw units from Codices representing fully fleshed out factions. Army lists may include Formations, which may be fielded as additional Detachments as necessary.

3: Flyers rules

We're going to handle flyers a little differently than what's in the rules. People with flyers, don't include them in your lists. However, at game time, you can tell your opponent you'd like to include a flyer. If your opponent agrees, you can include the flyer without altering your list. Your opponent then has the opportunity to add an equal number of points to his/her list. They can take any combination of flyer of their own, a unit with Skyfire, and/or a fortification with an anti-air upgrade, up to the amount of points the flyer you are using. No more than 1 flyer may be used per list.

4: Super heavy vehicles / Gargantuan Creatures

As with Flyers, do not include them in your main list. At game time, you can tell your opponent you would like to include one of these. If your opponent agrees, you can include the unit in question without altering your list. Your opponent then has the opportunity to ad an equal number of points to his/her list. This unit takes up your Lord of War slot on the FOC.

5: A player may only use the power dice from one psyker at a time for casting powers or for making dispel attempts. Dice from multiple psykers may never be combined for a single roll.

Mawduce
06-07-2015, 08:12
I think people need to stop asking what is balanced and ask what is fair. If you build 1850 in an 1850 game its fair. It may be a horrible build, but it's fair.

Greavous
06-07-2015, 08:28
my local group doesnt have any special rules just simply a good friendly atmosphere, this is obviously a problem for either very large groups which are hard to govern or the official GW stores (bad from the stories i read).

we dont 'require' you to say what you are bringing only a point limit. many players thoguh will inform you on what they plan to play but some times (especially the guys with 5+ armies) will simply say 'its a suprise' so build that TAC list and build it fast!
generally if you going 2k or higher expect a super heavy/gargantuan creatures as at lower points you just primary them into the ground and oh look there goes 30% of your points. (seems to happen to baneblades ALOT!)

the only thing i despise is the allies, 9/10 its the same army as an ally taken just to add extra tanks/special characters. then the other times its a completly different army "yes a SM shooty army with tyranid melle backup" and with them being at completely opposite side sof the board the 'come the apocalypse' is useless almost.

Inquisitor Kallus
06-07-2015, 08:32
I think people need to stop asking what is balanced and ask what is fair. If you build 1850 in an 1850 game its fair. It may be a horrible build, but it's fair.

Nope

WFTWG

ehlijen
06-07-2015, 10:31
I think people need to stop asking what is balanced and ask what is fair. If you build 1850 in an 1850 game its fair. It may be a horrible build, but it's fair.

That only works if all books are balanced and a composition system guards against outlier abuse. Neither is true for 40k.

T10
06-07-2015, 12:16
What is "balance" anyway?

Is it when your army has the tools to defeat a with a variety of enemy elements?
Is it when your army uses all varieties of its tools to defeat the enemy?
Is it when your army is prepared to take on any of the scenarios and win?

Or is it when you play a game and it results in a draw?

Balance is subjective.

-T10

Greavous
06-07-2015, 12:41
What is "balance" anyway?

Is it when your army has the tools to defeat a with a variety of enemy elements?
Is it when your army uses all varieties of its tools to defeat the enemy?
Is it when your army is prepared to take on any of the scenarios and win?

Or is it when you play a game and it results in a draw?

Balance is subjective.

-T10

everyones view is probably different but i would say for 40k balance is when any army has a chance to beat the other with good tactics.

as it seems many armies build themselves to become very specialised or invulnerable so that tactics become irrelevant .
the rules should prevent this and every army should be different but hence there will be abit of imbalance that comes down to countering, but some things are imbalanced over/underpowered units and upgrades or special rules, formations, etc that make them go beyond how strong they 'should' be. so really the more the unit can do good/bad (across all stats) is how imbalanced they are.

ehlijen
06-07-2015, 13:32
No, balance isn't objective. Army power may be, but balance isn't.

What a player thinks is balanced isn't always right, but that just makes the player wrong, not the idea of balance subjective.

Templar Ben
07-07-2015, 05:51
40k, as it stands currently, has virtually no mechanisms in place to prevent that problem you describe.

That doesn't make balanced games impossible, but very unlikely unless you nail down exactly what kind of game you want with your opponent first (or you happen to be one of the lucky people who has an opponent whose gaming desires naturally line up with yours).

For several editions now, 40k has had a problem with list choices affecting victory to a larger degree than in game tactics. Now it can outright decide games, even if neither player sought that outcome.

40k does not work as a random pickup or tournament game. If that's what you were looking for, I'm sorry. It can work as a game for close friends to enjoy, in which case you should make sure to discuss everything you like and don't like about the game with them.

I will echo this and add that there is no formula for how many points a unit should cost. This is just a gut feel for how they want it to play relative to other units. Any balance using points under that condition would be purely coincidental.

The rules are mostly a fix for the spam of the last edition. There is no clear goal for how the physics of the battlespace should behave (range, accuracy, efficiency, wound recovery, etc.) and instead rules are added until it gets clunky and then pruned back with new edition release until rule creep begins with the codex expansions. Any balance between armies using rules spanning perhaps multiple editions of the game would also be coincidental.

40K is a fun friendly game. Don't seek balance.

Ironbone
07-07-2015, 15:38
40K is a fun friendly game
It should be. But fun friendly games shouldn't allow to create mechanics that make certain army builds hoplessly outmaching others. Such events should be extreme rarity, not commonplace.

Templar Ben
07-07-2015, 16:44
It should be. But fun friendly games shouldn't allow to create mechanics that make certain army builds hoplessly outmaching others. Such events should be extreme rarity, not commonplace.

I agree that in a more perfect world we would never have issues about some armies just being outmanned or outgunned.

I was just saying that to look for balance in a system that is not designed for it.


Nancy Schafer 502-394-0300

ehlijen
08-07-2015, 04:04
I was just saying that to look for balance in a system that is not designed for it.



But 40k should be designed for balance! Points costs serve no purpose other than as a balancing mechanic, so their very existence in 40k means the game is supposed to be balanced. The format of the game still assumes that players make their armies in isolation from each other and then come to the table to throw down, something 40k is horribly unsuited for these days.
A new player reading the rule book is very likely and very understandably going to assume that this game is supposed to operate with some balance. When they then discover the lack of such, they're likely going to be confused if not worse. Competition games* with points cost army construction will not be seen by many as cooperative freeform experiences because that's not what they're written as.

GW either wrote a game that requires balance but failed to provide it, or they wrote a game that's not meant to require balance but failed to remove several concepts that only work in balanced games. Either way, the end result is broken and GW didn't think their plan through.

*Boilerplate clarification: Competition game means all players compete for mutually exclusive victory conditions. This is not a statement related to WAAC or beer&pretzels or whatnot. Games can be competitive even if the players aren't, and 40k is written to be so.

Greavous
08-07-2015, 08:48
anything that restricts an unit or army from getting or doing something is for balance if it wasnt why bother having it? have tournaments full of all the same unit covering every inch of your side of the table.

the only thing i cant think ben is on about is the game can never be 100% balanced but nothing can, but we need a threshold of how balanced things can be +/-10% overall, so if a set eldar army can beat any other army available (90%+ of the time) it is overpowered and imbalanced and needs nerfing down or else everyone should just use that one army OR refuse to play against it.

Nightfall Shimmer
08-07-2015, 10:15
But how do you 'set' that Eldar Army?

What if Eldar overall can beat everything 90% of the time, but each win requires it's own specific build, and so has 17 or so different lists, 1 for each opponent but a TAC build only wins 50% of the time?

Snake Tortoise
08-07-2015, 10:26
One way to create fairer games would be simply to remove a unit from the winning player's army for the next game. If one player wins easily, next time they could both turn up with similar lists but the player with the stronger army could take out a unit of about 150 points (or thereabouts). That way the other guy gets a better chance of winning and the guy with the stronger list gets a better challenge.

Alternatively let the losing player choose one (or maybe even two) enemy units to put into reserves at the start. Both methods mean the player with the more powerful list can still play to their best once the game starts, and if they lose and really care about the final result they can at least walk away knowing they had a handicap

Maybe after a few games the guy with the weaker list initially will have figured out some good ways to counter their opponent and learn more about the army they are up against, and might be ready to play against them at full strength again

Greavous
08-07-2015, 11:00
But how do you 'set' that Eldar Army?

What if Eldar overall can beat everything 90% of the time, but each win requires it's own specific build, and so has 17 or so different lists, 1 for each opponent but a TAC build only wins 50% of the time?

if your going specific list then 90% is too high as that would mean the opponent has built his list to 'try' and counter them but still looses.
if the opponent doesnt get to counter build and says for example "ill be using (insert list) for the game" and the eldar player builds perfectly to counter it, then thats fair and balanced as hes just been countered. it would be stupid to say "im fielding alot of tanks" and not expect the enemy to field anti tank stuff, thats not down to balance thats down to stupidity.

but if a TAC list only wins 50% of the time then (in theory) its perfectly balanced, its then down to tactics and not army choice.

balance is that the rules and codex's are written in a way that doesnt overpower or underpower an army to the extent they win/lose 90% of the time as a TAC. everything outside of the game e.g. players, scenary, board size, etc is just down to what appears on the day.

Greavous
08-07-2015, 11:06
One way to create fairer games would be simply to remove a unit from the winning player's army for the next game. If one player wins easily, next time they could both turn up with similar lists but the player with the stronger army could take out a unit of about 150 points (or thereabouts). That way the other guy gets a better chance of winning and the guy with the stronger list gets a better challenge.

Alternatively let the losing player choose one (or maybe even two) enemy units to put into reserves at the start. Both methods mean the player with the more powerful list can still play to their best once the game starts, and if they lose and really care about the final result they can at least walk away knowing they had a handicap

Maybe after a few games the guy with the weaker list initially will have figured out some good ways to counter their opponent and learn more about the army they are up against, and might be ready to play against them at full strength again

that sounds fine for clubs and stores but what about tournaments? the problem with balance is do you balance it for the average player or for the pro's?
as an example in DOTA2 in low tier matchs everyone says riki is overpowered because he goes invisible, has smoke bombs, etc but then in pro games he is never used because he can be easily countered when you learn how to (in theory as the riki player can be good at counter-countering).

Templar Ben
08-07-2015, 12:11
But 40k should be designed for balance! Points costs serve no purpose other than as a balancing mechanic, so their very existence in 40k means the game is supposed to be balanced. The format of the game still assumes that players make their armies in isolation from each other and then come to the table to throw down, something 40k is horribly unsuited for these days.
A new player reading the rule book is very likely and very understandably going to assume that this game is supposed to operate with some balance. When they then discover the lack of such, they're likely going to be confused if not worse. Competition games* with points cost army construction will not be seen by many as cooperative freeform experiences because that's not what they're written as.

GW either wrote a game that requires balance but failed to provide it, or they wrote a game that's not meant to require balance but failed to remove several concepts that only work in balanced games. Either way, the end result is broken and GW didn't think their plan through.

*Boilerplate clarification: Competition game means all players compete for mutually exclusive victory conditions. This is not a statement related to WAAC or beer&pretzels or whatnot. Games can be competitive even if the players aren't, and 40k is written to be so.

I agree that it is confusing because of the points which feel like they were set by the marketing team to sell certain units. Maybe points will go away with Warhammer:Age of Ultramar. I kid, I kid.


anything that restricts an unit or army from getting or doing something is for balance if it wasnt why bother having it? have tournaments full of all the same unit covering every inch of your side of the table.

the only thing i cant think ben is on about is the game can never be 100% balanced but nothing can, but we need a threshold of how balanced things can be +/-10% overall, so if a set eldar army can beat any other army available (90%+ of the time) it is overpowered and imbalanced and needs nerfing down or else everyone should just use that one army OR refuse to play against it.

Games can be but that needs to be from the design. Before I became a professor I was a business analyst. Yeah those MBA guys with the reports. I mention that to say that it is very hard to take a system designed one way and expect it to work a different way.

If GW wants to reboot and start from the ground up then they can get a system that is balanced. I personally play with free rules that are balanced but then technically my army is a counts as and I cannot walk into a store and game with a random person.

I would like a balanced game that lets me get pick up games.


that sounds fine for clubs and stores but what about tournaments? the problem with balance is do you balance it for the average player or for the pro's?
as an example in DOTA2 in low tier matchs everyone says riki is overpowered because he goes invisible, has smoke bombs, etc but then in pro games he is never used because he can be easily countered when you learn how to (in theory as the riki player can be good at counter-countering).

I think tournaments should just publish the approved lists. That way you know your army and the 25 others that you could face. This is based upon the goal that tournaments are for the best tactical mind/lucky dice roller.

Greavous
08-07-2015, 14:32
okay then so if 40k cant be balanced why cant it be, specificaly why not just "it wasnt designed to be" exactly why cant they keep tweaking codex's until they get to a point that they are all fairly evenly matched.

i suppose it doesnt help that people actually set up games differently as im coming from the perspective of you have no idea what the enemy has bar the race. which is kind of the tournament setting going back to the TAC point that if that happened they would (most likely) just win outright.

itcamefromthedeep
09-07-2015, 00:24
that sounds fine for clubs and stores but what about tournaments? the problem with balance is do you balance it for the average player or for the pro's?That's an excellent, high-order question for games designers. It's one of those intangibles of game design. I suspect the answer is to balance it for whichever makes more money for the company (a question that may require market research).

While it's impossible, even in theory, to create a truly balanced game... you could at least give players *some* reason to bring Old One-Eye or Wyches. There isn't a level of play where those are too powerful for their price.

Templar Ben
09-07-2015, 01:07
okay then so if 40k cant be balanced why cant it be, specificaly why not just "it wasnt designed to be" exactly why cant they keep tweaking codex's until they get to a point that they are all fairly evenly matched.

I am going to hopefully restate your question and then answer that. If I misunderstand you will see that quickly and we won't talk past each other and basically getting nowhere. This thread is about building a 40K list as it stands and can it be balanced. I think you question expands the scope a bit. Here is how I understand what you are asking.

Why specifically can't this edition of 40K be balanced? Why can't GW continue to use codex updates to achieve army balance?

40K could be balanced with the current edition unless there is something in 7th edition of which I am simply not aware. For such a balance GW would need to work backwards to come up with a value kernel for the relative value of movement, melee attacks, ranged attacks, armor, and special tactics. It is far easier to have a kernel and then build the rule algorithms off of that. Based on that value kernel they can generate an equation to price units based on all of the above.

They couldn't do that with slow roll out of a codex every few months. First some units people love currently would suddenly cost twice as much perhaps and that will upset those players. Secondly those units that have high dollar values may not be worth taking and so they don't get sold. GW has stock and that hurts them.

It would be so much cleaner to rip the bandaid off. Warhammer:Age of Ultramar could just make the units with completely different costs. I would go for what is currently 1500 points be about 3000 points and they have good rules for skirmish games of 1000 points.


i suppose it doesnt help that people actually set up games differently as im coming from the perspective of you have no idea what the enemy has bar the race. which is kind of the tournament setting going back to the TAC point that if that happened they would (most likely) just win outright.

Something as small as the ratio of open terrain to cover, and if the cover obscures sight or simply impedes movement, can drastically change the game. In a more perfect world there would be very clear rules for that like all terrain must cover at least 25% but no more than 33% of the board and such.

It is just easier to start the job right than to go back and fix a bad foundation.

I hope I stated that clearly. I often struggle in writing.

ehlijen
09-07-2015, 02:22
There are a few things in 7th edition that preclude balance, Templar Ben. Just rewriting every codex isn't enough, the army composition system needs to be rewritten.

Without working composition rules, the sheer number of units that are disproportionally resilient against all but highly specialised attacks will lead to Rock Paper or Scissor spam and army list creation deciding games. Such units can and should exist (variety is the spice of life) but they need to be limited so as to remain 'different' while the core of the game focuses on one aspect (in 40ks case infantry vs infantry combat). This can't really be fixed by the codices because the inherent resiliencies or the various units are built into the core rules and the existence of unbound precludes any official composition balance.

By the way, I don't think a mathematical equation for costing units is needed, as long as playtesting and design are done thoroughly and honestly. To my knowledge, neither is the case with GW (new units are routinely, but strangely not always, buffed to be no brainers). Close enough is good enough for me, so to speak. No one is truly expecting perfect balance, but few people wouldn't admit that GW could come a lot closer.

The core of 7th could make a decent game, but in my opinion 5th was a lot closer and GW doesn't seem interested in going that way anymore. 40k will continue to head the direction of AoS, unless that game flops (and even then it might, for reasons I will not understand).

Templar Ben
09-07-2015, 02:55
There are a few things in 7th edition that preclude balance, Templar Ben.

Fair enough. I haven't even read it so I trust your knowledge about that rule system. I think I last played 5th.

itcamefromthedeep
09-07-2015, 04:40
(new units are routinely, but strangely not always, buffed to be no brainers)I think that deserves to be litigated a bit. It looks to me like new units are priced badly, often either too high or too low. Since only the ones that are too cheap really ruin people's days, those are the ones that gets noticed. I suspect that if you went back and looked, you'd find as many units above the curve as below it.

Formulas are almost universally wrong. There's often a diminishing rate of return on upgrades. The simple values in the formula can be outright wrong. At best, you need to look carefully at the totality of the final model or else you get nonsense like the current BikeMaster.

Greavous
09-07-2015, 10:42
true perfect balance would be from using that 'kernel' system. working out what points model should be based on its stats and options.

so yes i agree to do that with the current codex and release times it wouldnt be impossible just long and ardueous and ultimatly not worth while.
i think the balance people are after is that no one army or unit choice outshines everything else by miles some things can be more powerful but not excessivly powerful.
such as the tau codex before the FAQ any squad could take missile drones now for whatever reason GW changed it to be only broadside teams, so this was seen as too powerful and needed nerfing BUT this hasnt had a huge detrimental effect on the tau army they arnt now 'useless' they just have to use different drones and change tactics.
(i was told this may have just been missed from the origional codex and re-printed but it seems more like a nerf)

on terrain some of my friends actually roll off for terrain D6 small terrain D6 -1 medium and D3 large so while not in the actual rules it does exist most people would jsut make sure the board is even 1 big building each etc or 1 in the center, not city vs open ground.

"balance to the point that the majority of the community can agree that every army is equally powerful" would be how i would describe what the goal is. if more people say it works than doesnt its balanced (its never the 51vs49 usally more 70vs30).

edit: i know the pain, can be hard to write what you want to say either correctly or without sounding like your shouting or being rude.

Templar Ben
09-07-2015, 14:25
I think that deserves to be litigated a bit. It looks to me like new units are priced badly, often either too high or too low. Since only the ones that are too cheap really ruin people's days, those are the ones that gets noticed. I suspect that if you went back and looked, you'd find as many units above the curve as below it.

Formulas are almost universally wrong. There's often a diminishing rate of return on upgrades. The simple values in the formula can be outright wrong. At best, you need to look carefully at the totality of the final model or else you get nonsense like the current BikeMaster.

I remember years ago (2007-2008) we had a discussion on here about the point issues. People used to defend it because "sure this unit is too cheap but that transport is expensive" and that of course people will take that transport because in all of these fluff examples they always have it. Sounds like that is still the case.


true perfect balance would be from using that 'kernel' system. working out what points model should be based on its stats and options.

so yes i agree to do that with the current codex and release times it wouldnt be impossible just long and ardueous and ultimatly not worth while.
i think the balance people are after is that no one army or unit choice outshines everything else by miles some things can be more powerful but not excessivly powerful.
such as the tau codex before the FAQ any squad could take missile drones now for whatever reason GW changed it to be only broadside teams, so this was seen as too powerful and needed nerfing BUT this hasnt had a huge detrimental effect on the tau army they arnt now 'useless' they just have to use different drones and change tactics.
(i was told this may have just been missed from the origional codex and re-printed but it seems more like a nerf)

on terrain some of my friends actually roll off for terrain D6 small terrain D6 -1 medium and D3 large so while not in the actual rules it does exist most people would jsut make sure the board is even 1 big building each etc or 1 in the center, not city vs open ground.

"balance to the point that the majority of the community can agree that every army is equally powerful" would be how i would describe what the goal is. if more people say it works than doesnt its balanced (its never the 51vs49 usally more 70vs30).

edit: i know the pain, can be hard to write what you want to say either correctly or without sounding like your shouting or being rude.

Well one could start a thread in General 40K. People can argue for an against raising and lowering point values. Just agree that this unit in X Army is assumed to be correct and based on that (say Space Marines) where should we have every other unit in that Codex. Then you can say based on these prices lets do Army Y. Lather, rinse, and repeat as necessary. You would have a few thousand playtesters that can give you feedback and you could probably add each new codex a week or so after release. Naturally you need some sort of correction for when Z army fanboys try to crash the poll and over power their own army.

You could do that in General Fantasy but in a couple of days points will no longer be an issue there. Then again maybe people would want to have points again so you can do it and have a fan sourced 8.5 edition.

Not perfect but that may get closer to what you would like.

Mawduce
10-07-2015, 00:28
It depends on the missions at hand. The Relic is easier for faster armies while objective games are easier for slugger armies. It all depends on the mission. I prefer to play secret objectives that way I can't setup for what my opponent has to do before hand. How would a soldier know anyway? It makes the game a hell of a lot harder to win.

itcamefromthedeep
10-07-2015, 16:48
Well one could start a thread in General 40K. People can argue for an against raising and lowering point values. Just agree that this unit in X Army is assumed to be correct and based on that (say Space Marines) where should we have every other unit in that Codex. Then you can say based on these prices lets do Army Y. Lather, rinse, and repeat as necessary. You would have a few thousand playtesters that can give you feedback and you could probably add each new codex a week or so after release. Naturally you need some sort of correction for when Z army fanboys try to crash the poll and over power their own army.

You could do that in General Fantasy but in a couple of days points will no longer be an issue there. Then again maybe people would want to have points again so you can do it and have a fan sourced 8.5 edition.

Not perfect but that may get closer to what you would like.I've already started exactly that.

howmanypoints.org

I powered through the Age of Sigmar stuff so that it could be up for the official launch, and left the first 40k army (Eldar) half-done, but I can update and fill it out as I go.

You can vote on the points value of most unit configurations, and I'll translate that into a comp system as the data comes in. I give suggestions as to points values and some friendly reminders about interactions, but you can feel free to ignore me. Google forms can let you go back and change any vote if you change your mind on something.

Greyhound
13-07-2015, 14:28
I found that the meta you play in influences a lot the results. For instance where power armours are king ap3 seem to be highly rated. In my meta it's a nice to have but doesn't really get you a win. Ap4 is what you want.