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View Full Version : which army book has the highest skill cap to play



SilentHunter
22-10-2015, 09:10
in the latest edition of the game

Opinions?

Karhedron
22-10-2015, 09:51
Dark Eldar certainly seem to require some finesse to get the best out of. They fit the Eldar "Fast but fragile" motif even more than their Craftworld cousins. I haven't had much experience with the new mini-armies like Harlequins or AdMech. These would probably provide something a bit different and challenging while you get the hang of them.

Ironbone
22-10-2015, 10:51
Eldar players like to claim, that they are most skillful, but that's very far from truth :D.

Skill is IMHO most importants in armies that are, either "glasscanony" (so player tactics help avoid worst harm), or particulary unwieldy (so player can make up for it's shortcomings ).

Dark Eldar, Guard, Sisters, and possibly Orkz, all fufill this criteria to some extent.

MajorWesJanson
22-10-2015, 11:12
Dark Eldar (without Eldar Allies)
Besides a couple of specific builds, Orks and Nids as well.

Karhedron
22-10-2015, 11:28
Eldar players like to claim, that they are most skillful, but that's very far from truth :D.


It was true in 3rd and 4th editions (thank you Gav Thorpe :mad: ) but since the 6th Ed codex dropped, Eldar have been more Fast and shooty (with a dash of tough from vehicles and Wraith units) than Fast and fragile.

Denny
22-10-2015, 11:31
Another vote for Dark Eldar.
More than any other army, you can lose a game by making a single mistake.

A.T.
22-10-2015, 11:36
Some of it will depend on if you are looking at skill to win (which would favour the weakest armies) or skill to get the most out of an army which favours those with difficult to set up combinations, options to significantly change the shape of an army mid-game, curveballs thrown up by the army that need to be managed, etc.

So the current Sisters for example benefit less from skill than the old witch hunters, not because they are more or less powerful but because there is less a player can do on the table to affect their odds. 3e sisters could turn games for better or worse on faith management, ebook sisters just want to roll 6s.


Mechanicum and daemon armies are first to come to mind in terms of planning/adapting during the game.

iamcjb
22-10-2015, 11:44
Dark Eldar.

Their Codex isn't overly weak or anything (it's arguably one of the best for balance), but for the units to work you need them to work in cohesion with each other. It's not like some other books where as long as the list is ok you can afford to make mistakes.

If you do happen to win a game with DE, 95% of the time it's down to playing well.

Ironbone
22-10-2015, 11:51
It was true in 3rd and 4th editions
Even back then Eldar have some nasty tricks to pull of (unkilable falcons, starcannon spam in 3rd, invisible harlequins, moto council in 4th).

SilentHunter
22-10-2015, 12:38
I was personally thinking sisters of battle might be up there for a high skill cap, they really seem to need that 12-24 spacing to really make the most out of them and can easily enough be shut down and would take quite a skilled player to really show some counter moves to punish your opponent with overwelming melta and bolter without risking melee and being bogged down.

A.T.
22-10-2015, 12:57
I was personally thinking sisters of battle might be up there for a high skill cap, they really seem to need that 12-24 spacing to really make the most out of them and can easily enough be shut down and would take quite a skilled player to really show some counter moves to punish your opponent with overwelming melta and bolter without risking melee and being bogged down.I think there is a difference between skill and skill cap here - a good player with a sisters army could beat a worse player with a stronger army, but there comes a point with sisters where your skill is somewhat 'capped' by a lack of capabilities, and that cap is not particularly high.

The sisters simply don't have any complex or carefully co-ordinated combinations of units/rules/strategies available to them. At the end of the day their counter to things that stay out of 12" range or are resistant to meltas/flamers is to just try and push stuff closer to 12" with more flamers and meltas. They have no surprises to spring.


Essentially the gap between a good and a poor sisters player will be smaller than the gap for some other armies, IMO, because other armies give you more ways to actually use (or fail to use) that skill.

shin'keiro
22-10-2015, 14:39
Harlequins... very fragile and with hardly any armour save.

Incarno63
22-10-2015, 14:47
From what I've seen you can identify how skilled a player is in 40K by how they rationalize the choices they make in their list.

A beginniner takes units he likes the look of/can afford.
A decent player takes units he thinks are good because of their rules.
A good player takes units that synergize well with each other and are good.
A great player does the above, plus increases efficiency by taking only the best value units.
A top level player does the above, and plays 2 or more games a week against other great or better players.

On the topic of this post, certain army codices such as Dark Eldar fail to appeal to 'Great' level players because their units perform poorly for their points costs. There can also be cases where an army has a lack of synergy such as Orks (their Heavy support slot is packed to the gullets for some reason and their new walkers sort of suck) which makes it not appeal to good players either.

One could also mention that due to the prevalence of allies and mish-mash armies (I'm sure you've played one of those Dark Angels-Space Wolves-Imperial Knights-Guardsmen-Whatever hybrid armies floating around) the skill caps for individual codices are irrelevant.

A.T.
22-10-2015, 15:12
A top level player does the above, and plays 2 or more games a week against other great or better players.I have to say that's a definition of skill i've not seen before.

Daenerys Targaryen
22-10-2015, 22:48
Chaos Marines.

They have no real identity or niche of their own, except for being the most neglected 'in-store' army. (especially our model line!)
They have no synergy within their codex.
The model line is abysmally incomplete with numerous options missing entirely.
Everything about them is over costed. What they can do, everyone else does better and for fewer pts.

Basically, the army still looks & more importantly, acts and plays like it's still 3rd edition.

SpawnOfChaos
23-10-2015, 02:26
Chaos Marines.

They have no real identity or niche of their own, except for being the most neglected 'in-store' army. (especially our model line!)
They have no synergy within their codex.
The model line is abysmally incomplete with numerous options missing entirely.
Everything about them is over costed. What they can do, everyone else does better and for fewer pts.

Basically, the army still looks & more importantly, acts and plays like it's still 3rd edition.



Chaos Marines may be over costed, but they are still marines, therefore being flexible and forgiving to play with. Not to mention the codex doesn't really have any tactical blind spots.

I would agree with mono Dark Eldar and mono Harlequins being the highest skill level wise, they are incredibly fragile and (especially Harlequins) have tactical gaps in their armies.

Saunders
23-10-2015, 03:51
I'm surprised about the numerous votes for Dark Eldar, to be honest. Warriors in Raiders aren't exactly rocket science.

Losing Command
23-10-2015, 05:34
I'm surprised about the numerous votes for Dark Eldar, to be honest. Warriors in Raiders aren't exactly rocket science.

But how you place them to get the best line of fire on the right priority targets whilst also trying to make sure they don't all evaporate by using the terrain, therein lies the difficulty. When any unit you leave exposed is technically guaranteed gone, your in-game decisions tend to matter a lot more. Dark Eldar and also Harlequins certainly get a vote from me. But it has to be said that on planet bowling ball, basically all armies are far from rocket science.

I'd also like to bring up a Thousand Sons army. I've played loads of games with it, and still feel I haven't fully mastered the how to deal with each different army with the very limited tools the army has. There is also a measure of decent dice rolls requiered with how heavy the army relies on psychic powers, but extensivey playing this army has tought me more about how to get the most out of an army than all the years before it - because every wrong decision is extremely punishing. It only lacks in he handling morale department, as everything is fearless.

Okuto
23-10-2015, 05:59
I'm surprised about the numerous votes for Dark Eldar, to be honest. Warriors in Raiders aren't exactly rocket science.

yeah but not all of us want to take kabalites in raiders/venoms all the time....

I actually would like to take wyches from time to time.....insane I know:eek:



I'd agree that dark eldar require the highest skill cap, purely because they screw you if you mess up. However you sprinkle some CW eldar and your sloppy bar fight turns into something more respectable;)

H3L!X
23-10-2015, 07:05
I Vote for Harlequins (mono).
Very fragile melee army, shooting is mainly pistols with only 4 units having heavy weapons. Maximum shooting range is 24" for the army.
No armour value greater than 10.

Strongest ranged weapon is S7, so outside of melee and without Haywire grenades its hard to fight vehicles.

murgel2006
23-10-2015, 11:11
From what I've seen you can identify how skilled a player is in 40K by how they rationalize the choices they make in their list.

A beginniner takes units he likes the look of/can afford.
A decent player takes units he thinks are good because of their rules.
A good player takes units that synergize well with each other and are good.
A great player does the above, plus increases efficiency by taking only the best value units.
A top level player does the above, and plays 2 or more games a week against other great or better players.


Quite an inherent logic your argument has there. And you might even be correct for a certain style of gaming (the ugly tournament/competitive gaming ;))
As I disagree totally with your basic assumptions on what good gaming is, I present my own thoughts (based on yours).

A beginner takes units he likes the look of/can afford.
A decent player takes units he thinks are good because of their fluff.
A good player takes units that synergize well with each other in the fluff and tries to make them work like that.
A great player does the above, plus takes only the units fitting in his personal fluff and tactical style.
A top level player does the above, and plays often, goes a long way for campaigns, limits resources in his games for fun (and still makes tank-noices and gun fire even if he is over 50).

A.T.
23-10-2015, 12:06
Knowing exactly what the OP means by 'skill cap' would definitely help.

Hardest army to win with in general or tournament settings, greatest gap between new and skill players with the same army, army that benefits most from more skilful use (all other things being equal), least forgiving in listbuilding, etc.

SilentHunter
23-10-2015, 14:45
I mean in general, it can take all those things into account, i guess the best way to say it would be what book offers the biggest difference from a player going from a complete newby to a book to reaching the ceiling of what the book can offer then in the game.

SilentHunter
23-10-2015, 14:51
I find i can play with my space marines and have bad game and the book feels like it carries me and i can still go ok, have bad game with something like eldar and it ends up very one sided unforgiving but if i have a great game with eldar or space marines it feels more rewarding to get a solid win with eldar

deathrain-commander
23-10-2015, 15:03
I'm gonna throw in another vote for Dark Eldar as requiring the most skill to play at their best, especially given how fragile and overall underpowered the current codex is.

I will add that Sisters go from "Need a lot of skill for not a lot of payoff" to "Need a lot of skill for a HUGE payoff" if you're willing to involve allies. Especially if those allies aren't Flesh Tearers...that needs a little less skill.

A.T.
23-10-2015, 15:29
I will add that Sisters go from "Need a lot of skill for not a lot of payoff" to "Need a lot of skill for a HUGE payoff" if you're willing to involve allies. I don't know... most times I see sisters with allies (other than flesh tearers) it's either less sisters and more knights, or sisters just taken for dominions and exorcists.

It's a tricky question. Lots of armies punish you for making mistakes, but which reward you the most for making the right choices...

deathrain-commander
24-10-2015, 14:12
It's a tricky question. Lots of armies punish you for making mistakes, but which reward you the most for making the right choices...

That's why I went with Dark Eldar as my first choice. If you play them right, they can be pretty brutal. I love my Sisters (and they are admittedly more forgiving of mistakes than Dark Eldar) but they don't reward good tactics as much as they just punish bad ones. If you play Sisters right, you'll do okay, you play them wrong, you'll do bad. I win a lot, but rarely in brutal curb-stomp matches. If you play Dark Eldar right, you will crush a lot of people under your heel, you play them wrong and your army will evaporate by turn 3.

gwarsh41
27-10-2015, 17:59
I think daemons require the most skill to play. I am not saying they are the hardest to win with, but put in a beginners hands, they will fall flat on their face. Here are my reasons.

1. Troops, the backbone of armies. Daemon troops are all very fragile, and are also sort of a trap to new players. Bloodletters appear to be AMAZING when you start. that cheap and they have power weapons? Hell yes! Instead they are terrible. PBs need to hug cover, or DS and be a threat to enemy back field. Pinkies need to either roll a good power, hide as a battery, or flickering fire when needed. Nettes have the damage you want, but they are just as fragile as bloodletters.

2. The wargear and spells. No other army has as much prep time as daemons. Not only do you roll for spells, which other armies do, but you roll for wargear as well. The rewards are another new player trap. Greater rewards can be tempting to put on your "sergeant", so can lessers. Though its rarely worth it to do so. The exalted table is a big "free candy" sign, but instead is filled with bleh stuff that may not ever activate. So you have to keep track of what you rolled for everything as the game continues.

3. Warp storm table. First, you need to be quick about it. Otherwise your opponent complains. Second, you need to prep your army around it. Nothing sucks worse than your only character being your 300pt warlord and having them sucked into the warp. Also, many people straight up hate the warp storm table, so be prepped for that.

4. More trap units. Is it red and angry and not a bloodthirster or flesh hound? Don't use it.

5. Severe lack of anti tank. Daemons may have the least amount of anti tank in the game right now. As it stands we have some powers, melee, and a BS3 tongue shot, which takes the place of other, useful guns on a soul grinder.

6. Inability to deal with SH/GC. Daemons only really have belakor and the SD thirster.

7. Loads of strange special rules that are easy to forget and may or may not matter. Soul blaze, screamers vector strike, pink horror explosions, stinger on plague drones, defensive grenades, buffs/debuffs from warp storm....

8. Daemonic instability. You really need to know if that charge is worth it.

9. Knowing when to deep strike. Our whole army has it, and generally I see people either never do it, or do it too much. Sometimes a group of 10PB dropping down near a juicy target and grabbing cover can horribly throw off your opponents plans. If you do deep strike, bring icons, they work on the same turn you arrive.

10. Got enough HQ choices?

In the hands of a new player, daemons are a big cluster of 4 little armies in one. It can be confusing and overwhelming, and with only a ++5 invul, many new players will think that even flesh hounds are too vulnerable to take. In an experienced player though, 15+ flesh hounds with a khorne herald will eat up just about everything.

Erik_Morkai
27-10-2015, 21:02
Harlequins (by themselves) are very tough. Models are expensive point wise. Fragile, not much in the terms of ranged support. Dark Eldars have access to fliers and Monstrous Creatures. Harlies have none of that.

Aluinn
28-10-2015, 18:53
Just wanted to second the votes for pure Harlies or pure DE, for fragility, very low or relatively low model count on top of that, respectively, and general underpoweredness vs. allied armies and other recent releases -- though I think either can win consistently with a skilled player behind them, and careful list-building. The points about Daemons are good, but they do have enough big, scary, tough stuff that can rampage through an army (and fly), and enough power units, to put them a rank down, IMO.

I find pure AdMech (especially sans-Knights) to also be tough, but they're probably still on a level with Daemons re. difficulty, more or less. Likewise CSM -- their only power builds are really one-dimensional and can run into hard-counters -- Turkey spam, for example. (Oddly, Spawn -- especially Nurgle Spawn -- spam is strong, but happens to be hard-countered by DE, Eldar with the D, or anything that wounds on fixed values in sufficient quantity.)

Zombie P
28-10-2015, 19:18
I'm going to say pure DE from experience. Also Harlequins and Deamons from the other side of the table. Looking back at those games, there are literally hundreds of things I would have done differently and they would have cost me the game!

ZP