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thegrumbliestpuppy
26-07-2015, 23:27
This is just my opinion, but I'd love to hear from the rest of you.
The argument that points are inherently flawed isn't logical. The issue with previous editions of Warhammer was with the company writing the rules, not the concept of rules themselves.
The issue is that a game so complex shouldn't get balance updates once every few years. Look at the most competitive video games. They get patches and small balance tweaks constantly, and it takes years but there are plenty of balanced games with complex costs for in game units (star craft, for instance). I don't know how balanced Warmachine/Hordes is, but I've heard they do this (or at least used to).
Sure once in a while a major update throws the balance way off in a game, but after a few weeks they see the problem and makes steps towards fixing it.
Games Workshop always suffered from keeping one foot in the door. They sort of liked the idea of points and competitive rules, but also wanted to keep it casual and focus on storytelling and player-made house rules. It seems like there's always been a split in their design team, with half of them loving trying to make it balanced for competition and the other half hating the idea and thinking it ruins the game. They've been extremely open with their policy of "if it isn't balanced, just talk with your friends about what you think is fair!"
By trying to keep the game from being "too competitive" to make it fun, they left such gaping holes in the balance that this policy made "fun" so much harder. Being competitive is fun when there's a balanced ruleset. But it's hard to have fun when the rules are so glaringly broken that there's only one way to build an army if you want to win. If you don't enjoy being competitive, having the rules there doesn't stop you from home-brewing or story-telling or changing things to how your group of friends thinks it will be fun.
But competition *requires* universal rules that everyone can reference from a third party. If you're trying your best to win, players can't be an unbiased source. I'm not talking about "win at all costs" types of people, if you can't have fun losing then you shouldn't be playing a game. But for those who like to test themselves and their skill against other players, and have fun with the struggle of trying to be the best.
Individual players can't just "make up your own rules to make it fair", because they will always have different ideas about what is and isn't balanced because of bias, and because the concept of skill inherently implies that many players wont understand what is strong or not.
Look at League of Legends. Definitely not perfect, but the way they do balance is by aggregating stats about which characters are performing the best, in which situations, by what tier of players. And then they compare that data to the opinions of pro players.
Some of the characters who are statistically the worst in casual and professional play still get thousands of regular players complaining about how they are overpowered, or vice versa.
So you *need* an unbiased 3rd party to take up the role as arbiter, and instead of doing that, Games Workshop has just decided "screw it, we're not going to balance AT ALL. Do it all yourselves."

Tau_player001
26-07-2015, 23:57
Magic the gathering should allow you to have as many cards as you want in your deck.
When playing chess, you should be allowed to have as many pieces as you want, and whichever you prefer.
And it keeps going on and on and on...

It's just delusional thinking to believe that not providing a point cost framework to the game is something good, any reason or attempt to justify it in this forum is an example of mental gymnastics. I don't give a damn if you enjoy the game, to be honest, good for you guys, but when you speak about points as something that didn't allow you to play uneven battles (or "just playing for for FUN", whatever that means since it's a word completely prostituted in this forum that has reached the level of words like Austerity or Terrorist) i am certainly mindbaffled. In reality it is mostly the justification is because it doesn't really affect them since they either don't play tournaments(like) or pick up games. But i guess choice is overrated, and if a company specifically target me as an audience instead of an wide array of customers withouth affecting me is better. Logic, huh ?

lorelorn
27-07-2015, 00:01
They aren't necessarily pointless, but can be useful as a balancing mechanism. They aren't the only balancing mechanism by any means, but they often allow a level of granularity in unit choices that Warhammer players in particular are used to having.

For example how do you discriminate between a unit with light armour and shields, and one with heavy armour and shields, but otherwise identical stats? Points are a useful way of doing so. Better armour costs more points. I am sure as you are reading this you are thinking of other ways this could be done and you're right. Point aren't the only mechanism, but they are a useful one.

Coming back to Warhammer there were a number of mechanisms used:
Units and characters were restricted to a single 'army list'
Units were given a core/special/rare designation and players were limited to how much from each they could take
characters were divided into heroes and lords and players were limited to how many they could take
Units and characters and equipment and magic items were each given points costs and players were limited to a number of points agreed to in advance. Points are also used to define the limitations of the above criteria.

Result: Pages and pages of additional rules intended to provide a 'balanced' environment for competitive play.

I'm not surprised GW moved away from points and other restrictions.

cotillion989
27-07-2015, 00:24
I'm just going to go ahead and say no to the title of the post and leave this here... https://sites.google.com/site/ageofsigmarsdk/pointtables

Spiney Norman
27-07-2015, 00:28
Some kind of method of balancing two opposing forces is necessary for a game like warhammer to work, whether that is points or some other method. IMHO AoS fails as a war game precisely because of this issue.

HelloKitty
27-07-2015, 00:37
They aren't pointless. A point-less system is like playing chess where you get to use any pieces you want, cards where you can draw however many you want, monopoly where you can be as many pieces as you want, etc.

You can do that if you want, but points give us a semblance of a fairly even start.

Shandor
27-07-2015, 00:55
They aren't pointless. A point-less system is like playing chess where you get to use any pieces you want, cards where you can draw however many you want, monopoly where you can be as many pieces as you want, etc.

You can do that if you want, but points give us a semblance of a fairly even start.

We dont agree alot but here i agree with you 100% :)

big squig
27-07-2015, 05:04
Playing without points can be a lot of fun. It's fun to play a narrative game where winning or losing isn't really important...much like an RPG. Problem is, you can do that with ANY game. You can always ignore the points and play for fun.

A game like AoS on the other hand gives you no choice. You can't play a pick up game, you can't pay a balanced game, you can't compete.

With 40k, warmahordes, infinitiy, malifaux, xwing, flames of war, or any other game I can play both normally or narrative unbalanced fun with my friend. With AoS, I cant.

Mawduce
27-07-2015, 05:34
Playing without points can be a lot of fun. It's fun to play a narrative game where winning or losing isn't really important...much like an RPG. Problem is, you can do that with ANY game. You can always ignore the points and play for fun.

A game like AoS on the other hand gives you no choice. You can't play a pick up game, you can't pay a balanced game, you can't compete.

With 40k, warmahordes, infinitiy, malifaux, xwing, flames of war, or any other game I can play both normally or narrative unbalanced fun with my friend. With AoS, I cant.

Exactly, the irony of AoS is that choice is limited despite it saying, take whatever you want. yea you can field anything, but be damned if you want to play any other way than what GW wants you to.

Best example of this I can think of is a 40k game Strikingscorpion82 put up with Nids versus Craftworld Eldar. The Nid player would place back on the table any unit that was destroyed up to a rolling wall to simulate the rolling tide of space bugs coming at the space elves. The Eldar were fixed in their points where the Nids had infinite numbers. The winner was chosen at the end of turn 5 or something. All either player had to do was hold an objective called the life tree. Which was just a dead bonzi tree ironically. Now here is the thing, both started with equal points. It wasn't like the nids had 10,000 points on the board and the eldar had 1500. It was 1850 v 1850 with one side slowly getting whittled away. They chose to play this way, they had the option. If this was their only option, would the game have been as fun?

And that is the crux of the issue I'm making. AoS gives you one way to play unless you play the scenarios that GW sets up for you. They tell you exactly where you will deploy, they tell you exactly what models you will play with and they tell you exactly how those models will be fielded. Even in 40k you can at least kinda field your units how you choose. My units can take different weapons and transports and relics and warlord traits and some can take different powers... you can't do that in AoS.

GrandmasterWang
27-07-2015, 05:47
AOS gives you a basic ruleset to play anyway you want.

I have seen plenty of people play pick up games of AOS with no worries at all so obviously it is possible. I personally have not played a pick up game of AOS.

Mawduce you bring up a great point regarding "customization". Customizing my characters is one of my joys in Warhammer Fantasy Battle which AOS does not have in any meaningful way which is a significant reason why 8th/Chillhammer will remain my main "Warhammer" game.

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Shifte
27-07-2015, 08:00
AOS gives you a basic ruleset to play anyway you want.

Not true. I can't easily play a nominally balanced game. Age of Sigmar is more limiting than previous editions. As someone else said - you can always agree to ignore points/use houserules when playing with someone on the same wavelength as you. Constructing rules for a competetive and nominally balanced game without the foundations is monotonous and unlikely to be genuinely agreed upon by both parties.

Danceny
27-07-2015, 08:02
I've started reading rule set for Black Powder, written by Rick Priestley and Jarvis Johnson. The system does not include a framework of points or slots you can use. However, Black Powder is a historical game where stats of each unit are the same, differing slightly with equipment (muskets, breach loading rifles) and special rules (that includes experience and training). Now, for a system like that it is ok to go pointless as even going by a number of units you want to play there will not be much inbalance and the game is playable. There are also scenarios, both historical and not that make it possible to have a "fair" game. After playing AoS few times I can't see lack of point/slot system a good solution for a game with that many different units, monsters, characters, abilities. It's just too complicated to figure it out what is "fair". Scenarios are a good way but in my humble opinion these should not be the only solution to a balanced game.

GrandmasterWang
27-07-2015, 08:13
Not true. I can't easily play a nominally balanced game. Age of Sigmar is more limiting than previous editions. As someone else said - you can always agree to ignore points/use houserules when playing with someone on the same wavelength as you. Constructing rules for a competetive and nominally balanced game without the foundations is monotonous and unlikely to be genuinely agreed upon by both parties.

I was just talking from my personal experience. I have never played a pickup game with AOS. I have only played AOS against friends who are fellow veteran gamers or people who are new to wargaming all together.

I have personally had no problems playing balanced games with AOS. Almost all the games I have "eye balled" to look roughly balanced have played out that way.

I'm honestly surprised people are having so much problem having roughly even games if they are playing among friends. People having problems with pick up games I can understand more.

That said on Friday I was in GW and I watched 4 pickup games, 2 of AOS and 2 of 40k. Both AOS games were really close meanwhile the 'balanced with points' 40k games were both uncompetitive landslides. Of course both 40k games I saw were dominated by Craftworld Eldar and I have made my thoughts on the balance problems that book poses very clear in the mega Eldar Codex thread. I actually felt kinda sorry for the guy who played his cool looking Militarum Tempestus army vs 3 Wraithknights, an avatar and a bunch of jetbikes. I looked at the 2 players setting up and thought to myself "this isn't going to end well".

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Harwammer
27-07-2015, 08:51
I have friends who I play 40k with that we ignore points/construction rules when choosing our armies as we are able to give each other more balanced, more enjoyable games this way. It works really well between familiar gentleman, not so sure it will work quite so well with 'faceless pick up games' that everyone on the internet seems to play.

Shifte
27-07-2015, 09:01
I was just talking from my personal experience. I have never played a pickup game with AOS. I have only played AOS against friends who are fellow veteran gamers or people who are new to wargaming all together.

I have personally had no problems playing balanced games with AOS. Almost all the games I have "eye balled" to look roughly balanced have played out that way.

I'm honestly surprised people are having so much problem having roughly even games if they are playing among friends. People having problems with pick up games I can understand more.

That said on Friday I was in GW and I watched 4 pickup games, 2 of AOS and 2 of 40k. Both AOS games were really close meanwhile the 'balanced with points' 40k games were both uncompetitive landslides. Of course both 40k games I saw were dominated by Craftworld Eldar and I have made my thoughts on the balance problems that book poses very clear in the mega Eldar Codex thread. I actually felt kinda sorry for the guy who played his cool looking Militarum Tempestus army vs 3 Wraithknights, an avatar and a bunch of jetbikes. I looked at the 2 players setting up and thought to myself "this isn't going to end well".

Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk

Fair enough anecdote, but there are veritable essays on this forum by people who have played AoS and leople who have played fantasy wargames for years which deconstruct the notion that Age of Sigmar is balanced and suitable for competetive pick up games. Many are well written, too.

40k might have problems, but AoS has NONE of the safeguards that 40k has. Imperfect balance is better than anarchy, because you can always just decide to ignore the restrictions if you and your opponent are minded that way. Without any points or restrictions, anyone seeking a competitive game is relying on both participants being able to reliably;

1) Aim for the creation of a fair game.

2) Accurately judge the balance of both battle forces.

3) Agree on both of these subjective judgements. (Trust is earned. "Fairness" and "Balance" are not objective calls.)

It is great that you enjoy the game, but are you against the inclusion of points and balancing mechanics so that the rest of the less enlightened can join in too? :P

Deadhorse
27-07-2015, 09:09
As far as I can tell, there are three possible explanations for the lack of points:

"Can't be bothered": GW believes that people buy their minis because they like the look of their minis. Thus, any money spent on rules is superfluous.

"It's not the right way to play": Jervis, head designer, has long bemoaned the tournament way to play as inferior. He has this idea that players should get together and figure out scenarios for their games. Thus, removing points and making the game imbalanced pretty much forces them to not play the tournament way any more. They can now only play the way Jervis believes is the most FUN.

"Kid's don't understand points": The game is meant for little Timmy who just bought two boxes: arachnorok and Chaos knights and little Johnny who has just bought three boxes: mortis engine, demigryphs and bloodletters. This way, they can play with their mismatched collections, and if one of ''em loses, he's incentivised to just buy some more.

To me, all of these options reflect a level of ignorance and arrogance that's hard to believe.

Whirlwind
27-07-2015, 09:33
As far as I can tell, there are three possible explanations for the lack of points:

"Can't be bothered": GW believes that people buy their minis because they like the look of their minis. Thus, any money spent on rules is superfluous.

"It's not the right way to play": Jervis, head designer, has long bemoaned the tournament way to play as inferior. He has this idea that players should get together and figure out scenarios for their games. Thus, removing points and making the game imbalanced pretty much forces them to not play the tournament way any more. They can now only play the way Jervis believes is the most FUN.

"Kid's don't understand points": The game is meant for little Timmy who just bought two boxes: arachnorok and Chaos knights and little Johnny who has just bought three boxes: mortis engine, demigryphs and bloodletters. This way, they can play with their mismatched collections, and if one of ''em loses, he's incentivised to just buy some more.

To me, all of these options reflect a level of ignorance and arrogance that's hard to believe.

There is one other:-

Cost Saving - To have balanced armies requires extensive play testing which requires several members of staff working on each release continuously. Instead an unbalanced game requires only one/two games designers (because they can just make something up on a whim and it doesn't have to be balanced in any shape or form). Hence you can cut overheads by 'culling' unnecessary staff. I think this is likely to be one of the major factors for AoS (and probably the upcoming changes to 40k), streamlining and removing overheads; maximum profit for minimum effort. You'll probably need only need two members (one for each game) of the design team and an overseer (JJ). After all how hard can it be to come up with one/two warscrolls a week?

thesoundofmusica
27-07-2015, 09:37
Points are not pointless.
AoS does not use points. I dont really care why. I'm having a great time. I am not a child or a simpleton.
Would I have enjoyed 9th more? Or points? Possibly, but that doesnt really take away from the fun I'm having.
To each his own.

Deadhorse
27-07-2015, 10:05
Would an optional system of points added to AoS have made your experience less positive?

Wallack
27-07-2015, 10:15
The comparison with videogames is nice but the problem is that is easier to balance a digital product when you have tons of data about it. Starcraft 2 for example, they started to balance after they had thousands of results in high tier leagues when they saw the different matchups between races and which of them were sightly favored (they aimed for a 50-50 so a 48-52 wasn't balanced). Although in WH what I would do would be to see the what are the under performing units and buff them. I never liked to have an army book with tons of options but having half of them moved aside because they weren't competitive.

jtrowell
27-07-2015, 13:34
There is one other:-

Cost Saving - To have balanced armies requires extensive play testing which requires several members of staff working on each release continuously. Instead an unbalanced game requires only one/two games designers (because they can just make something up on a whim and it doesn't have to be balanced in any shape or form). Hence you can cut overheads by 'culling' unnecessary staff. I think this is likely to be one of the major factors for AoS (and probably the upcoming changes to 40k), streamlining and removing overheads; maximum profit for minimum effort. You'll probably need only need two members (one for each game) of the design team and an overseer (JJ). After all how hard can it be to come up with one/two warscrolls a week?

I think that it is very probable that it was at least one big factor for them, after all they have been doing cost cutting more and more in addition to their price increase those last years in order to preserve their revenue. If this is the case, then I think that we can say that they have finally started cutting the meat ... :eyebrows:

TheGreatestGood
27-07-2015, 13:55
The thing is people would probably play test for free from the gaming community if they incorporated a beta style system like that used in pc games. I know I would play with experimental rules and provide feedback

llort
27-07-2015, 15:25
The presence of a point system simplifies the game; it doesn't make it more complex.

The people who would pay for and play a $100+ board game (that takes hours/days of assembly) are the type of people who need a points system. They are thinkers/strategists. The people who would pay $20-$30 tops for a board game-- one that can easily be accessed at a popular brick and mortar retailer-- they are less likely to care about such things. The latter is the new market share GW hoped to cut into. That was a bit of a mistake on GW's part.

The lack of a point system is "off brand." I think that points were so important in WFB that excluding it in a WFB replacement hurts the GW fantasy brand and all related IP. It was a bonehead decision to exclude it...particularly among so many other changes. It was obviously done for profit reasons...hoping that players would get larger and larger armies-- and that no model would become-- "too expensive" from a points view to be valuable in game. Since a miscalculation in points for a given model could make the model less useful in a game, it would be less likely to be purchased. Easy solution...get rid of the points.

I generally understand what GW is doing from a business perspective. The solution now is to keep making great models and create two sets of rules-- basic and advanced. The basic rules are free and lack a point system. Advanced rules contain the point system and complexity that current WFB players have in their blood.

Inquisitor Kallus
27-07-2015, 15:52
As far as I can tell, there are three possible explanations for the lack of points:

"Can't be bothered": GW believes that people buy their minis because they like the look of their minis. Thus, any money spent on rules is superfluous.

"It's not the right way to play": Jervis, head designer, has long bemoaned the tournament way to play as inferior. He has this idea that players should get together and figure out scenarios for their games. Thus, removing points and making the game imbalanced pretty much forces them to not play the tournament way any more. They can now only play the way Jervis believes is the most FUN.

"Kid's don't understand points": The game is meant for little Timmy who just bought two boxes: arachnorok and Chaos knights and little Johnny who has just bought three boxes: mortis engine, demigryphs and bloodletters. This way, they can play with their mismatched collections, and if one of ''em loses, he's incentivised to just buy some more.

To me, all of these options reflect a level of ignorance and arrogance that's hard to believe.

What is it with people just wanting to find fault with everything these days. He has never said its not the right way to play. He is simply saying that he isnt pleased as punch that the tournament thing is seen as the 'de facto'/only way to play.

llort
27-07-2015, 16:45
What is it with people just wanting to find fault with everything these days. He has never said its not the right way to play. He is simply saying that he isnt pleased as punch that the tournament thing is seen as the 'de facto'/only way to play.

There is some irony in that you have found fault in what he wrote, but are citing your annoyance with people finding fault with everything. This sounds like a classic case of projection. What annoys the living hell out of me, are people who are not licensed psychologist freely using psychological terms like "projection"-- and also people finding fault in people annoyed by people finding fault in everything. That's just wrong. I just blew my own mind with that one. We all do it. Peace.

GW took the point system out because "It's a profit deal.": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TobEiGVwoI8

Tokamak
27-07-2015, 16:54
Tournament style isn't the only way to play, it's a benchmark. Any game that is playable in a highly competitive setting is also playable in any other way. The other way around doesn't work.

Chess can be played in a tournament style and by a bunch of kids making up their own rules. Most ESL video games are played by athletes and by casuals and modders. Board games like Catan or whatever is going on in boardgame land these days, they all run tournaments while you could play them with your grandma and little nephew on the same table.

AoS fails the 'tournament litmus test' so to speak. That's why people put emphasis on it.

Vos
27-07-2015, 17:25
The problem with railing for or against points is that there are different kinds of players and different kinds of groups.
Some players are competitive and want to WIN. Points help to balance the field here but never entirely as with a game as complex as Warhammer there will always be cheese optimal options.
Some groups just want a reasonably 'fair' game and points is a way to have throw down games with strangers and friends.
Others however don't play with points. We play games like WW2 (Blitzkrieg Commander) with no points, we play what looks right historically. Some of these games are unfair but they are still fun. (How many turns can the british paras hold the bridge vs the waffen SS?)
AoS games can be played like this as well.

Neither is 'superior' to the other. People are already creating points for AoS in the community. Relax.

Vos

The_Real_Chris
27-07-2015, 17:25
I want to know whent he scrolls for 40k models get added so people can use all their collections of GW currently on sale models!

Thirdeye
27-07-2015, 17:42
There is one other:-

Cost Saving - To have balanced armies requires extensive play testing which requires several members of staff working on each release continuously. Instead an unbalanced game requires only one/two games designers (because they can just make something up on a whim and it doesn't have to be balanced in any shape or form). Hence you can cut overheads by 'culling' unnecessary staff. I think this is likely to be one of the major factors for AoS (and probably the upcoming changes to 40k), streamlining and removing overheads; maximum profit for minimum effort. You'll probably need only need two members (one for each game) of the design team and an overseer (JJ). After all how hard can it be to come up with one/two warscrolls a week?

You guys missed the obvious one. Its frick'en hard to do a points system. First complication is GW's D6 Three-roll combat revolution system. Then ya got all your different war gear, and the different ranges for missile troops to factor in, then the magic stuff. Don't even get me started on all the special rules!... Just look at all the different fan developed stuff. Will any one ever become cannon? And as GW well knows, its a thankless and never-ending task, with constant tweaks, up-dates, and headaches every time a new model is introduced. That's reason ONE, followed by, 2. its really about the models anyway, 3. its a cost saver, and 4. JJ's "your better-off without them anyway".

Shifte
27-07-2015, 17:51
The problem with railing for or against points is that there are different kinds of players and different kinds of groups.
Some players are competitive and want to WIN. Points help to balance the field here but never entirely as with a game as complex as Warhammer there will always be cheese optimal options.
Some groups just want a reasonably 'fair' game and points is a way to have throw down games with strangers and friends.
Others however don't play with points. We play games like WW2 (Blitzkrieg Commander) with no points, we play what looks right historically. Some of these games are unfair but they are still fun. (How many turns can the british paras hold the bridge vs the waffen SS?)
AoS games can be played like this as well.

Neither is 'superior' to the other. People are already creating points for AoS in the community. Relax.

Vos

Nah, there is nothing wrong with railing for the inclusion of points. It's a very different argument to the one that you are suggesting is being made.

The exclusion of points means that players who like points can't really play the game (realistically, barring with the creation of subjective, unsupported and unofficial house rules at great effort). Their inclusion would still allow others who dislike competitive play to play the game and enjoy it because they could literally ignore points and still play. I actually think people arguing for the exclusion of points/competitive restrictions are being hugely selfish. The same can't be said for those arguing in favour of points, who wouldn't be forcing anyone to abide by them.

It is therefore unfair to suggest that those arguing for points are being unreasonable. Their whole method of playing Warhammer just got relegated to unofficial online rulesets and the 'specialist games' bin. Why should they just "relax", shut up about it and play? They've every right to make it clear what they want, why they're (presumably) not buying AoS and what it will take for Games Workshop to win back their business.

Konovalev
27-07-2015, 18:04
Magic the gathering should allow you to have as many cards as you want in your deck.

Last I heard it did. There is a 60 card minimum, but beyond that you could deck 600 cards if you wanted. It would be stupid to do so because of the statistics involved in drawing a given card, but there are no rules against it.

Tokamak
27-07-2015, 18:11
Neither is 'superior' to the other.

Points systems include playing without points systems. Non-points systems do not include playing with points systems. If one includes the other but the other does not includes the one then one is clearly superior to the other.

Putting it differently: There's no such thing as too robust rules as you can always relax them if you feel the need. Tightening up rules that are already lax is only rule into a lot of trouble, subjectivity and controversy, like we're already seeing with the attempts to make AoS workable again.

CrystalSphere
27-07-2015, 18:53
Points are useful because they are a way to try to keep the game balanced - while allowing almost total freedom in what miniatures you bring.

The alternative is to either
1) Keep the freedom: you can use any miniature you like, but the game loses any pretense of a balanced match, instead is a game that relies on both players not being dicks and abusing to gain advantage over the other.
2) Keep the balance: you must use pre-made forces that comprise of X miniatures, you cannot bring your own customised collection, it has to match the one listed in the pre-made force. The game remains relatively balanced, but using the same forces over and over again also gets tiring.

Gw is obviously ditching points and going with number 2, because it is so obsessive with sales that it wants to make a roadmap that people must buy through.

Tyranno1
27-07-2015, 19:26
Last I heard it did. There is a 60 card minimum, but beyond that you could deck 600 cards if you wanted. It would be stupid to do so because of the statistics involved in drawing a given card, but there are no rules against it.

A better comparison would be no mana cost then.

Griefbringer
28-07-2015, 09:39
The alternative is to either
1) Keep the freedom: you can use any miniature you like, but the game loses any pretense of a balanced match, instead is a game that relies on both players not being dicks and abusing to gain advantage over the other.
2) Keep the balance: you must use pre-made forces that comprise of X miniatures, you cannot bring your own customised collection, it has to match the one listed in the pre-made force. The game remains relatively balanced, but using the same forces over and over again also gets tiring.

Gw is obviously ditching points and going with number 2, because it is so obsessive with sales that it wants to make a roadmap that people must buy through.

Actually, other than the AoS starter set scenarios, is there any evidence of GW going with the option 2 with AoS?

Spiney Norman
28-07-2015, 10:41
Actually, other than the AoS starter set scenarios, is there any evidence of GW going with the option 2 with AoS?

Not that I have seen, the scenarios in the recent 45 book did explicitly not contain scripted force list, or even vague guidelines on force size for the scenario, like all the warscrolls we have seen so far they were completely open-ended. The difficulty with providing a balance mechanic is that it requires extensive play testing to get the balance right, it seems to me that one of the reasons why AoS has no way of balancing forces is because GW does not want the associated cost connected with paying people to carry out that play testing.

Holier Than Thou
28-07-2015, 10:55
Not that I have seen, the scenarios in the recent 45 book did explicitly not contain scripted force list, or even vague guidelines on force size for the scenario, like all the warscrolls we have seen so far they were completely open-ended. The difficulty with providing a balance mechanic is that it requires extensive play testing to get the balance right, it seems to me that one of the reasons why AoS has no way of balancing forces is because GW does not want the associated cost connected with paying people to carry out that play testing.

Why would they when there are clearly so many people willing to do it for them for free? It's like paying a plumber to watch you fix a leak.

HammerofThunor
28-07-2015, 11:46
Except that the rules are free, and aren't GW's primary product (as they see it, it seems). More like ranting at a plumber (called Gareth West, GW) after he fixed your leak because he doesn't do tiling any more. He's been saying for ages that he was a plumber and not a tiler and people just retorted with why was he offering tiling services then? So he dropped the tiling service for just some free (sparse) advice. But then people complain because they wanted him to continue tiling, and there are loads of tilers out there (most of them better) and provide plumbing (mostly not as good as this guys plumbing but cheaper). Then there are others who are happy to use his plumbing services and tiling advice to do their own.

I've seen more metaphors in the last few weeks than I've seen in the previous year I think.

Holier Than Thou
28-07-2015, 12:54
Except that the rules are free, and aren't GW's primary product (as they see it, it seems). More like ranting at a plumber (called Gareth West, GW) after he fixed your leak because he doesn't do tiling any more. He's been saying for ages that he was a plumber and not a tiler and people just retorted with why was he offering tiling services then? So he dropped the tiling service for just some free (sparse) advice. But then people complain because they wanted him to continue tiling, and there are loads of tilers out there (most of them better) and provide plumbing (mostly not as good as this guys plumbing but cheaper). Then there are others who are happy to use his plumbing services and tiling advice to do their own.

I've seen more metaphors in the last few weeks than I've seen in the previous year I think.

Touche, an excellent retort. I would however point out that Gary's business is called Tiling Workshop and he was happy to charge a premium rate for his tiling, which was not up to the same standard as all those other tilers. And the free advice he is giving is the equivalent of "You can use tools and materials to tile but I won't tell you which tools or quantity of materials to use." And now Gary is charging a premium rate for his book that tells you that there are other ways to tile but, again he won't tell you about them.

HammerofThunor
28-07-2015, 14:01
But instead of sorting out their bathroom, they keep banging on about Gary's lack of tiling. We know there are other tilers out there, and if Gary is/was so bad at it, why not take it up with them and leave Gary to get on with the plumbing. After all, if he can't get enough work as a plumber without the tiling aspects he might have to change his business or go bust. He might have cut off contacts with the supplier of those wonderful tiles that everyone loved so much but the possibilities of the new tiles is there (even if I'm not a big fans of some of them). Gary could even try and re-establish the supply chain to his previous tiles if needed, and people haven't gone on to other tilers, never to return.

I realised that 'tiles' became the fluff which doesn't really work. Would have been better if Gary was a tiler who was giving up plumbing rather than the other way round but I'm committed now.

Sephillion
28-07-2015, 16:26
Why would they when there are clearly so many people willing to do it for them for free? It's like paying a plumber to watch you fix a leak.

Probably because it means the rules are all over the place, so one group has this balancing mechanism, this other uses another, and so on. Also, the many who will not be bothered with making their own balance mechanism or use Joe’s will go elsewhere for their gaming.

Holier Than Thou
28-07-2015, 16:41
Probably because it means the rules are all over the place, so one group has this balancing mechanism, this other uses another, and so on. Also, the many who will not be bothered with making their own balance mechanism or use Joe’s will go elsewhere for their gaming.

But today's GW don't seem to care about whether or not their game is balanced or playable and they don't seem to care about established players. All they're interested in is getting as much money with as little expenditure as possible. That's why White Dwarf is little more than a glorified catalogue. I got an email from them a couple of days ago saying they missed me because I hadn't bought anything for a while. Any other company that sends me these types of email try to tempt you back with an incentive, 5 off or 10% or something like that. Not GW though, they just say come back but give you no reason to. For a company that used to be so customer-focused, not just the customer's money but their actual experience, it's tragic.

EagleWarrior
28-07-2015, 17:09
I am not a competitive player, I focus on story, army theme and having fun, and I think points are very important. Perfect balance isn't critical, but knowing the rules are approximately balanced frees me to concentrate on things I find more interesting. When I do make house rules for a story or a new unit I created, I do so within the context of existing points at it makes it way easier to stop one or other player getting stomped, which isn't fun for anyone even when you're not being competitive. Without points it takes so much time just to make the game basically playable that it makes it harder to include story elements.

Competitive play is not the only reason points are worth having.

Tokamak
28-07-2015, 17:34
Yeah same here. I'm not a competitive gamer and my armies are more fluffy than sensible. However, the whole charm about it is that these armies were still made under rules and conditions that every other player has to apply to. Making a proper themed army is as challenging as making a proper competitive one. If you take away the points then that whole element is gone.

Shifte
28-07-2015, 17:43
But today's GW don't seem to care about whether or not their game is balanced or playable and they don't seem to care about established players. All they're interested in is getting as much money with as little expenditure as possible. That's why White Dwarf is little more than a glorified catalogue. I got an email from them a couple of days ago saying they missed me because I hadn't bought anything for a while. Any other company that sends me these types of email try to tempt you back with an incentive, 5 off or 10% or something like that. Not GW though, they just say come back but give you no reason to. For a company that used to be so customer-focused, not just the customer's money but their actual experience, it's tragic.

If they continue down this path they will lose my business. That's my threat - and thats the only real threat that any of us can make. If they decide that they're a purely miniature company that's fine; but most of us are not purely miniature consumers. We want a game, the miniatures and the lore. For me it's non-negotiable.

Either way GW will not get any more of my money for AoS products until they fulfil my gaming requirements. If they don't, they might still succeed with a host of current, new and returning customers who are enthralled by this new creation of their's. I remain sceptical of that being the case, though. My own anecdotal evidence (so entirely unscientific) suggests that this is not going well for them at all. I think they'll have to fix the game once the initial sales boom disappears and the first release schedule of the four core factions has passed.

Charistoph
28-07-2015, 18:53
My first tabletop game was Battletech 2nd Edition.

Do you want to know how force building was handled? Tonnage. C-Bills were complex and just considered advanced. Battle Value came in later, and still is as complex as C-Bills. Even those have not been well balanced, as many things were undervalued.

We still had fun playing it, but I guess we didn't know better.

It is interesting to see the reaction to when a game reverts.

Griefbringer
28-07-2015, 19:10
You guys missed the obvious one. Its frick'en hard to do a points system. First complication is GW's D6 Three-roll combat revolution system. Then ya got all your different war gear, and the different ranges for missile troops to factor in, then the magic stuff. Don't even get me started on all the special rules!...

Somewhat ironically, the simplified mechanisms of AoS mean that it gets really straightforward to run mathhammer evaluation for the different aspects of game, since most of the factors are situation-independent (e.g. you always hit on the same score, regardless of conditions), at least as long as no special rules are introduced. For example, the expected damage output for a given weapon can be simply calculated as:

Expected damage output = (number of attacks) * (probability to hit) * (probability to wound) * (probability for target to fail save) * (damage per failed save)

out of which all except saving throw are situation-independent. Thus, to obtain all possible scenarios you will just need to run the above calculation for all possible target saving throws (presumably from 2+ to none, so six different cases). Then by assigning somewhat arbitrary relative weights for the different target armour save cases, you can then obtain a weighted expected damage output score.

Expected survivability is even easier to calculate, being essentially (ignoring special rules and bravery scores for the time being) as follows:

Expected survability = (number of wounds) / (chance of failing armour saving throw)


where chance of failing armour saving throw is again situation dependent, so scenarios need to be calculated for the different rending values, which again need to be somewhat arbitrarily weighted to obtain a weighted expected survivability score.

Once you have both of the above calculated out, it then becomes relatively straightforward to calculate relative point costs based on them as:

Relative cost = (square root of (expected weighted damage output)) * (square root of (expected weighted survivability))


Presuming a situation where all attacks take place simultaneously (not fully true for AoS) and that all combatants on both sides are able to attack.

That was for the starting point, it is relatively straightforward to write a spreadsheet that will do all of the above once you will in the necessary data. I will discuss some of the other aspects in a later post.

Griefbringer
28-07-2015, 19:58
Expanding on what I wrote above, some other aspects that need to be taken into account:

1.) Multiple melee weapons: since models get to attack with all of their melee weapons, this one is pretty straightforward - just add the expected damage outputs of the different weapons together to obtain a total expected damage output.

2.) Range for melee weapons: in most cases this is 1". Weapons with a longer reach provide a degree of bonus if you have sufficient numbers to take advantage of it, though quantifying this would take some thinking - remember that it is of no benefit for the guys in the first line most likely, and you will need to pay the price for those guys in the rear too. Situation is complicated by the measuring being from model-to-model rather than base to base, which makes it more difficult to estimate in which situations the guys in the rear get to attack (lesson: write the rules so that they use base-to-base measuring, and things get a whole lot easier).

3.) Missile weapons: the output of these should be also added to the total expected output score, weighted by an arbitrary factor based on the range (these need to be given some thought). Since the models can shoot missile weapons and melee at the same time, there is no need to weight the probability of being in close combat or not.

4.) Bravery: this again may require some thought, since the benefits of bravery are situation-dependent (ie. based on how many models you lose), even though the battleshock tests work pretty mechanically. But as a general concept, the expected survivability score should also include a desertion factor used to multiply the number of wounds. For single model units this should be 1 (since they never desert) and for others somewhere in the 0.4 to 0.9 range or so (the lower the bravery score, the lower the factor).

5.) Movement: this is most important in case of units facing other units with longer ranged missile weapons, since it affects how many rounds of shooting they will take before being able to attack back. Considering the relatively short ranges of missile weapons, and the movement bonuses for running and charging, and this won't be particularly long period of time. Maybe factoring this as a some sort of factor that is again used for multiplying the number of wounds when calculating expected survivability (maybe value of 1.0 for low movement values and up to 1.3 or so for high values).

6.) Special rules: these can get a bit complex, I must admit. Some are non-situational and thus easy to quantify, such as allowing to always re-roll to-hit rolls of 1 (which simply affects universal hitting probability, and is thus already included in the formula above). Rules that are situational, such as to-wound bonuses for charging may simply expand the number of scenarios for expected damage output scenarios, requiring calculating all of those scenarios and then issuing them arbitrary weights for calculating final score. Some special rules can get tricky to value, but it is not like anybody forced the designers to put them there in the first place - if they wanted to come up with an easy point system, they could have stuck to special rules that are more straightforward to work out values for.


Well, that was all just math-hammering things out. Of course things need to be playtested out (especially for evaluating all the arbitrary weights given for different aspects), but it should give a reasonable starting point.

Anyway, if there is a desire to minimise the effort required for working out point values for units, then the most obvious solution is to write the system from the beginning in such a fashion that most of the factors are easy to quantify.

Tokamak
28-07-2015, 20:05
You guys missed the obvious one. Its frick'en hard to do a points system. First complication is GW's D6 Three-roll combat revolution system. Then ya got all your different war gear, and the different ranges for missile troops to factor in, then the magic stuff. Don't even get me started on all the special rules!...

It's called depth! The whole game is infinitely complex. Nobody will ever figure out the perfect formula because there's no end to the rabbit hole. There are countless 'best' ways to play and there's vastly more 'wrong' ways to play. There are some standout obvious goods and bads (daemons vs beasts) but that doesn't stop that we're dealing with a huge spectrum of possibilities. It takes an enormous amount of intelligence and creativity to navigate this into consistent wins.

thegrumbliestpuppy
29-07-2015, 03:08
Exactly this! I played tournaments as well as casual/fluffy, and at tournaments youd see the top 10 players all have vastly different armies in 8th. Not the case in 7th, sadly. Some themes were definitely more common in the winners circles, but it was always fun being shocked by how good someone's weird new strategy worked out. I always loved losing to the innovative players.

ElOrso
29-07-2015, 06:47
Some kind of method of balancing two opposing forces is necessary for a game like warhammer to work, whether that is points or some other method. IMHO AoS fails as a war game precisely because of this issue.

This thread proposes a simple solution for the balancing issues that we see in AoS.

http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?411981-Easy-way-to-Balance-AoS-games&p=7508533&viewfull=1#post7508533

jtrowell
30-07-2015, 10:29
The problem is that some units are so different that even someone doing it is good faith can manage to completly miss the balance.

To take an extreme, let's say that someone what to play with his Nagash model and maybe a few undeads to go with it, what would be an appropriate opponent army against Nagash alone ?

Of course, it's not always as difficult, but even without going so extreme, it's fairly hard to do the balancing, that's one of the points of a point system : that the devs have already tested the units and given an evaluation of what they though they were worth. It's not always perfect, but it's a good start, and without that it's a pain do try to balance units in a system as varied as AoS, with 21 different shield rules, freeform summoning rules, and synergies that can break the game.

Spiney Norman
30-07-2015, 15:54
The problem is that some units are so different that even someone doing it is good faith can manage to completly miss the balance.

To take an extreme, let's say that someone what to play with his Nagash model and maybe a few undeads to go with it, what would be an appropriate opponent army against Nagash alone ?

Of course, it's not always as difficult, but even without going so extreme, it's fairly hard to do the balancing, that's one of the points of a point system : that the devs have already tested the units and given an evaluation of what they though they were worth. It's not always perfect, but it's a good start, and without that it's a pain do try to balance units in a system as varied as AoS, with 21 different shield rules, freeform summoning rules, and synergies that can break the game.

To look at a few 'less extreme' examples, fighting a chaos warrior army with something like skaven or goblins is a little tricky because unless you outnumber them 3:1 you don't stand much chance unless you do something like spamming trolls or stormfiends, but by that point you e already given away an instant death condition to the superior force.

Ogres are even worse as an army that uses 1W grunt troops realistically needs to outnumber them at least 5+:1 to equal their power, and again instant death is working against the balance of the game rather than in its favour.

memitchell747
30-07-2015, 16:53
A "bring anything" game has no staying power. It has no theme, no balance, no reasonable limits. An all Chameleon Skink army is literally placed on the table and then removed from the table, to appear anywhere at any chosen time. Of course, a 30 Bloodthirster army would be a good counter. Or, 300 Chaos warriors. Whatever, it does not work as written (or in this case, not written).

Instead of points (which is probably pointless), the local gaming group is using the number of warscrolls in an army to balance the game for league play (right now, it's 12 Warscrolls). Only two of each warscroll allowed. And, some other limits on wound counts. And, armies built within "factions," instead of bring anything. Plus, a few restrictions on summoning, etc. It's not arbitrary and they are doing a fair bit of playtesting. That's probably the kind of work required to make it work.

Even at that, I get the impression this will favor existing armies, and make it hard to field a new AoS army without taking out a second mortgage. But, this is an OLD GUARD group, so nothing new there. They seem to like how it's shaping up. People are warming up to the game itself. And, yes, Virgina, there is a game there. You just have to find it.

HelloKitty
30-07-2015, 16:56
Just limiting by warscrolls does nothing to balance the game if you are looking for any type of balance. Balancing by wounds also does not really the balance the game at all because it does not take into account offensive damage output by the model. A model with 1 wound that hits on a 5 and wounds on a 5 with no rend and does 1 damage is completely inferior to another 1 wound model that hits on a 3 and wounds on a 3 with 1 rend and doing 1 damage but also has 2 attacks, for example.

Tokamak
30-07-2015, 16:58
A "bring anything" game has no staying power. It has no theme, no balance, no reasonable limits. An all Chameleon Skink army is literally placed on the table and then removed from the table, to appear anywhere at any chosen time. Of course, a 30 Bloodthirster army would be a good counter. Or, 300 Chaos warriors. Whatever, it does not work as written (or in this case, not written).

Yes. Without constraints no army sands out any more. You need the limits of an army list in order to truly to work towards unique armies.

thesoundofmusica
30-07-2015, 17:57
Yes. Without constraints no army sands out any more. You need the limits of an army list in order to truly to work towards unique armies.

Wow apparently anything can be twisted into a disadvantage. This is just jibberish.

Sephillion
30-07-2015, 18:43
This thread proposes a simple solution for the balancing issues that we see in AoS.

http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?411981-Easy-way-to-Balance-AoS-games&p=7508533&viewfull=1#post7508533

No, this thread proposes even sillier “solutions” than the already deficient base AoS rules.

memitchell747
30-07-2015, 19:41
Just limiting by warscrolls does nothing to balance the game if you are looking for any type of balance.

Umm, OK, whatever.

For anyone who does care, that bunch of guys have each only been playing WFB for 20+ years. Probably have played 30+ AoS games a piece by now. They think it IS working. They even seem to be enjoying themselves. I just put it our there to say there is at least one approach that seems to be working. It's a lot easier than cobbling together a comprehensive points base. And, more fruitful than giving up.

Overtninja
30-07-2015, 20:30
To me, with four pages of rules and stats and special abilities that are really easy to parse, any player should be able to understand and realize the strength of any given warscroll relative to any other warscroll, and understand that certain things don't stand up to other things on a model-per-model basis. You shouldn't need any specific system to do this with, really, even as a relatively new player. People can figure out that an ogre is not equivalent to an empire halberdier or single-wound infantry without a points system, i should hope.

I know the promise of a points-based system was that it would actually tell you what the relative strengths of any model were vs. any other model - but that never actually panned out thanks to each codex being written by a different person who had a different idea of what balance was. We're actually in a better place now that people can sit down with every warscroll in front of them and decide how strong it is by looking at the overall perspective - but we're still going to see each person or group that decides to do this using a different conception of balance themselves. Just like a tournament comp or local meta, there will be different rules for different groups - but the relative simplicity of AoS's rules (and the fact that even if you are going to make your lists up ahead of time, you can do that on the fly really easily in AoS anyway) means that adjusting isn't too much of an issue.

Players really want a points system because they want the feeling of an 'official' balance scheme, I think, one that they can plan a meta around and theorycraft and number-crunch and netlist with. It was, as far as I can tell, most of the point of forum communities like this one and many others.

I think the real issue is that without this to bind and motivate this online community, the community can't sustain itself in it's current state - which is the greatest threat. People are instead spending their time complaining about how terrible AoS is and the like, since they can't discuss the most potent meta or the strongest possible WoK list or whatever now.

memitchell747
30-07-2015, 20:50
Look at from a store owner's viewpoint. To support and promote AoS (I hope we all agree that's a worthy goal), and assuming the store has open gaming, he/she can discuss, demo, form a club, have tournaments and leagues. The last two are the least time consuming BIG promoters, over which the owner can exercise some control (time, place, fair play, etc.). But, impossible without some sort of balancing. It's certainly doable for two players to create a game of any sort (balanced, unbalanced, narrative, theme, bring it on, etc.). And, it always was and still is doable, anyway. Now, for those two players to create games with two other players, and then be able to judge who played the best among the four in separate games, without some sort of comparative format is an iffy proposition. No, this is NOT the penultimate form of gaming. But, it is undeniable popular. For many reasons. Good for the store owner, good for competative players, good for any player new to the store (or group), or the game system.

Tokamak
30-07-2015, 22:43
To me, with four pages of rules and stats and special abilities that are really easy to parse, any player should be able to understand and realize the strength of any given warscroll relative to any other warscroll, and understand that certain things don't stand up to other things on a model-per-model basis.

It's pretty straight forward. You pick the most powerful models and you don't pick the weak models. Weak models only harm your chances.

HelloKitty
31-07-2015, 00:13
Thats kind of how classic warhammer worked as well


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Scribe of Khorne
31-07-2015, 00:18
Its a given truth for any game with the level of variety we see in WHFB/AoS/40K. At what point do you just have too many unit types, meaning some MUST be worse and how do you ensure new units can sell?

/shrug

Spiney Norman
31-07-2015, 07:41
Umm, OK, whatever.

For anyone who does care, that bunch of guys have each only been playing WFB for 20+ years. Probably have played 30+ AoS games a piece by now. They think it IS working. They even seem to be enjoying themselves. I just put it our there to say there is at least one approach that seems to be working. It's a lot easier than cobbling together a comprehensive points base. And, more fruitful than giving up.

It only works if you apply some kind of upper limit to your warscrolls, when a single warscroll can contain any number of ogres, it's pretty obvious that is not a viable way of balancing the game.

If you put down a warscroll of 50 state troopers, I will put down a warscroll of 70 ogre Bulls, is that balanced? Not remotely.

"Strategy" in AoS currently consists of picking the most elite unit in the game and bringing as many as you can without taking so many that you activate an instant death condition for your opponent, then you just proceed to wreck face.