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View Full Version : Its all about composition



Vivioius
22-01-2007, 18:47
I have recently been looking the army lists and have notice something disturbing....no one plays enough troops! (ie troop choices) In the old tourny rules for army composition you loose points for not spending at least 40% in the troop catagory. What i have seen( especially in the 1500+ armys) is sometimes less than 15%!!! Its kinda like having an army of all f-15 fighters and 2 dudes to scrape the bird dung off the runway sooooooo......

1. should gw moderate this more for casual play?
2. is this trend agains the spirit of the game?
3. does it smell of cheddar?
4. how do you control this in your own gaming group (if at all)?

viv

ReDavide
22-01-2007, 19:29
The 40% criteria is a pretty blunt instrument to use for solving a complex problem like Troops minimizing.

There are lots of factors that affect how easy it is to reach 40% in different circumstances:

-Game Size: It's easier to hit 40% Troops in small games since your compulsory choices will fill up a larger portion of your overall army.

-Mission: Troop choices make more sense in some missions than in others.

-Army: Some armies whose Troop choices are especially expensive and versatile will be naturally high in Troop % (like Thousand Sons). Other armies who rely on secondary choices to fill crucial roles will have fewer Troops (Eldar). Still other armies have Troop choices that are just fundamentally cheap - an unmechanized FW-based Tau army starts to have trouble maintaining 40% Troops at points values over 2000 because its FOC fills up.

-Theme: Some well-established variant armies are skewed against Troop choices: Swordwinds, Ravenwings, Deathwings, Kults of Speed, Night Lords, Godzillas, Wych Cults, etc. Some of these do have their own army lists where their trademark units are metamorphosed into Troops choices, but all that does is make the distinction all the more arbitrary. Why should a pure Deathwing force pass the composition test while a hybrid Marine/Deathwing force fails?

Cheesy composition is also not exclusive to low-Troop forces. Some of the most broken lists out there are ones that overload on Troop choices. These will pass the 40% criteria with flying colors.

The spirit of the game is to pick the units you'll have fun playing with. If you find that your opponents use units you don't have fun playing against, then the solution is to find new opponents or to show your current ones the joys of a Troop-heavy force. Shaming them by pointing at a Golden Percentage isn't very helpful.

cailus
22-01-2007, 21:09
I too believe that Troops are the essential part of an army. I use 45% troops in my Ork army (currently 1200 points) and 34% in my Marine one (currently 1275 points).

In the Ork army the troops give it numbers even though all of them die by turn 4 (it's only 47 models - 35 sluggas, 12 shootas).

In the Marine army the 10 man tactical units are the workhorses of the army. They rarely use their heavy weapons but their massed bolter fire is pure gold.

Angelus Mortis
22-01-2007, 21:20
In the old tourny rules for army composition you loose points for not spending at least 40% in the troop catagory.
You know theres a reason why they are the "old" tourney rules. Its because its not fair to people who have cheap troops(Tyranids) and very nice to people who have expensive troops(Daemonhunters). Think about how many troop slots you would have to fill(or at least number of models) with 40% in 'nids vs. Daemonhunters. Now dont get me wrong, I am not disagreeing about the lack of troops, but just saying 40% rule was very flawed. However, I would like to point out that the more succesful lists have more troops in them and via the "make your opponent roll a lot of armor saves" theory.

The Song of Spears
22-01-2007, 21:32
The 40% criteria is a pretty blunt instrument to use for solving a complex problem like Troops minimizing.

There are lots of factors that affect how easy it is to reach 40% in different circumstances:

-Game Size: It's easier to hit 40% Troops in small games since your compulsory choices will fill up a larger portion of your overall army.

-Mission: Troop choices make more sense in some missions than in others.

-Army: Some armies whose Troop choices are especially expensive and versatile will be naturally high in Troop % (like Thousand Sons). Other armies who rely on secondary choices to fill crucial roles will have fewer Troops (Eldar). Still other armies have Troop choices that are just fundamentally cheap - an unmechanized FW-based Tau army starts to have trouble maintaining 40% Troops at points values over 2000 because its FOC fills up.

-Theme: Some well-established variant armies are skewed against Troop choices: Swordwinds, Ravenwings, Deathwings, Kults of Speed, Night Lords, Godzillas, Wych Cults, etc. Some of these do have their own army lists where their trademark units are metamorphosed into Troops choices, but all that does is make the distinction all the more arbitrary. Why should a pure Deathwing force pass the composition test while a hybrid Marine/Deathwing force fails?

Cheesy composition is also not exclusive to low-Troop forces. Some of the most broken lists out there are ones that overload on Troop choices. These will pass the 40% criteria with flying colors.

The spirit of the game is to pick the units you'll have fun playing with. If you find that your opponents use units you don't have fun playing against, then the solution is to find new opponents or to show your current ones the joys of a Troop-heavy force. Shaming them by pointing at a Golden Percentage isn't very helpful.

Wow, well said, bravo. :)

The FOC and its min 1x HQ + 2x Troops requirement is limiting enough when it comes to forcing armies to take troops IMO.

FarseerUshanti
22-01-2007, 23:48
Using 40% of points on troops is unfair. My local store doe suse a rule for our tourneys and campaigns that requires that 30% of the FoC slots be troops choices. Other times we use the rule you can only have 2 more slots than the number of troops you have in Elites, Fast Attack, and Heavy SUpport. This allows us to eliminate army composition from player judging

Laughingmonk
22-01-2007, 23:50
I personally hate the whole idea of a Force Org chart. Take eldar, for example. In different things act like troops. I play swordwind, so my "troops" section spans across Troops, elites, and fast attack evenly. Jetbikes, however in my troops section, don't really belong there in terms of their role.

The force org chart is just a blunt and unimaginative way to balance an unbalanced game system. Too bad it doesn't work, at all.

What if there were no Force Org Chart at all? Just percentages: Up to 50% on characters, for example.

I think Tactical squads would still be used as troops. So would necron warriors. In fact, if you look at an army, and have to minimize your troops to make it effective, then it is a poorly designed army.

I would rather just see limits on characters, or especially rare or unusual squads, like in fantasy.

The whole army composition deal is absolutely retarded, IMO. If they throw it in the book, then you shouldn't be docked for it. If your opponent brings out minimal troops, and his army is more effective, then it is a direct product of a poorly designed army list. But tournaments imposing further restrictions on ary selection is downright aburd. If it's a legal army, then it should be usable without any loss of points or any other nonsense lke that.

Furthermore, how is more troops going to be fluffy? I play Biel-Tan, and I love Guardians, and sometimes I like to use my Craftworld Auxilary Force. Is it unfluffy for Biel-Tan to use a Guardian Heavy Force? It could be argued. However, like I told my buddy, since the Guardians of Biel Tan outnumber ALL space marines combined, there you have it. The odds of space marines showing up at all is about the same as an all Guardian Biel-Tan force showing up. Neener, Neener! However, it still goes against the Fluff. This has thrown into a bad spot.

The solution?

In a perfect world, making balanced lists that encourage the use more troops, yet removing all of this "Force Org" Chart nonsense.

In the Real World, Still Remove the Force org chart, but you have to take a unit of troops for every Other unit Taken. All you would need to do is broaden the defintion of "Troops." Simple, yet can be very effective. Even if you minimized you're troops, It would still mean that the Iron Warriors Army of doom would have a MINIMUM of around 40 marines (With 4 heavies and 3 Elites,plus HQ, in current incarnation).

Morgrad
22-01-2007, 23:57
I actually don't see this as a problem at all......

Some people like to play with more troops (and have armies where it's fluffy/useful to do so), some people like to play with fewer troops. I think the FOC helps keep armies balanced to a degree, and I'm more than happy to either field or play against an army with only 2 troops choices used (or six!).

studderigdave
23-01-2007, 00:01
*looks over armies*

Orks - 3 squads of 30 sluggas and 2 squads of 30 grotz, 1 squad of tankbustas

Deathguard - 4 squads of 7 plague marines, 2 packs of plague bearers
Eldar - 6 squads of 5 pathfinders

Tyranids - 6 squads of 6 genestealers

im clear. troops seem to be the staple in the gaming group i am in.

The_Outsider
23-01-2007, 00:03
Oh god imagine the size of the death company.

Also it would really make necrons laugh, since most troop choices they have no trouble with, its actully the elites and FA that cause them problems. I can see ti now, the future of gaming dominated by necrons.....

azimaith
23-01-2007, 00:06
Certain armies just do better with more troops. I often find myself wishing I had *more* troops choices for my tyranids, rather have 7 troops and 2 elites or even 1 elites and 8 troops over how it is now (but thats just me and my particular playstyle).

On my necrons however, I don't want to play the phalanx of doom. Necron warriors are to expensive to have along with my wraithwing themed army.

ReDavide
23-01-2007, 00:41
What if there were no Force Org Chart at all? Just percentages: Up to 50% on characters, for example.

Why, then we'd be playing 2nd edition 40k.

Dammit where'd all those worms come from.

Laughingmonk
23-01-2007, 01:02
I personally hate the whole idea of a Force Org chart. Take eldar, for example. In different things act like troops. I play swordwind, so my "troops" section spans across Troops, elites, and fast attack evenly. Jetbikes, however in my troops section, don't really belong there in terms of their role.

The force org chart is just a blunt and unimaginative way to balance an unbalanced game system. Too bad it doesn't work, at all.

What if there were no Force Org Chart at all? Just percentages: Up to 50% on characters, for example.

I think Tactical squads would still be used as troops. So would necron warriors. In fact, if you look at an army, and have to minimize your troops to make it effective, then it is a poorly designed army.

I would rather just see limits on characters, or especially rare or unusual squads, like in fantasy.

The whole army composition deal is absolutely retarded, IMO. If they throw it in the book, then you shouldn't be docked for it. If your opponent brings out minimal troops, and his army is more effective, then it is a direct product of a poorly designed army list. But tournaments imposing further restrictions on ary selection is downright aburd. If it's a legal army, then it should be usable without any loss of points or any other nonsense lke that.

Furthermore, how is more troops going to be fluffy? I play Biel-Tan, and I love Guardians, and sometimes I like to use my Craftworld Auxilary Force. Is it unfluffy for Biel-Tan to use a Guardian Heavy Force? It could be argued. However, like I told my buddy, since the Guardians of Biel Tan outnumber ALL space marines combined, there you have it. The odds of space marines showing up at all is about the same as an all Guardian Biel-Tan force showing up. Neener, Neener! However, it still goes against the Fluff. This has thrown into a bad spot.

The solution?

In a perfect world, making balanced lists that encourage the use more troops, yet removing all of this "Force Org" Chart nonsense.

In the Real World, Still Remove the Force org chart, but you have to take a unit of troops for every Other unit Taken. All you would need to do is broaden the defintion of "Troops." Simple, yet can be very effective. Even if you minimized you're troops, It would still mean that the Iron Warriors Army of doom would have a MINIMUM of around 40 marines (With 4 heavies and 3 Elites,plus HQ, in current incarnation).

max the dog
23-01-2007, 01:04
Certain armies just do better with more troops. I often find myself wishing I had *more* troops choices for my tyranids, rather have 7 troops and 2 elites or even 1 elites and 8 troops over how it is now (but thats just me and my particular playstyle).

I'll second that. It's the vast horde of nids that win my games. The Fax's just provide backup.

Deadly Buddah
23-01-2007, 01:13
Speaking as a LatD player myself I would gladly trade away an elite or heavy suport choice for another troop choice. I just can't get enough traitors and mutants, and hell should gibbering hoards even cost me a slot?

I'm all for tossing out the force org chart if it means I can get even more bodies onto the table.

Curufew
23-01-2007, 01:17
I would rather have a FOC like the one in fantasy

Prince Facestab
23-01-2007, 01:22
Does that 40% count transports? Because if it doesn't, every time I get a full squad of dire avengers, the transport they ride in means that I'm just about breaking even with percentage troops versus percentage not-troops.

Angelus Mortis
23-01-2007, 01:26
Does that 40% count transports? Because if it doesn't, every time I get a full squad of dire avengers, the transport they ride in means that I'm just about breaking even with percentage troops versus percentage not-troops.I would say yes, as long as its a dedicated transport bought as part of the squad and not another slot choice (such as a Heavy choice Land Raider).

Mr_Smiley
23-01-2007, 01:29
I play Necrons and If I could have more fast attack I would take it in an instant, however my army also consists of large numbers of troops, I play Necrons in a way that's fun and fluffy and that's all that should really matter.

hellfire
23-01-2007, 01:44
I personally hate the whole idea of a Force Org chart. Take eldar, for example. In different things act like troops. I play swordwind, so my "troops" section spans across Troops, elites, and fast attack evenly. Jetbikes, however in my troops section, don't really belong there in terms of their role.

The force org chart is just a blunt and unimaginative way to balance an unbalanced game system. Too bad it doesn't work, at all.

What if there were no Force Org Chart at all? Just percentages: Up to 50% on characters, for example.

I think Tactical squads would still be used as troops. So would necron warriors. In fact, if you look at an army, and have to minimize your troops to make it effective, then it is a poorly designed army.

I would rather just see limits on characters, or especially rare or unusual squads, like in fantasy.

The whole army composition deal is absolutely retarded, IMO. If they throw it in the book, then you shouldn't be docked for it. If your opponent brings out minimal troops, and his army is more effective, then it is a direct product of a poorly designed army list. But tournaments imposing further restrictions on ary selection is downright aburd. If it's a legal army, then it should be usable without any loss of points or any other nonsense lke that.

Furthermore, how is more troops going to be fluffy? I play Biel-Tan, and I love Guardians, and sometimes I like to use my Craftworld Auxilary Force. Is it unfluffy for Biel-Tan to use a Guardian Heavy Force? It could be argued. However, like I told my buddy, since the Guardians of Biel Tan outnumber ALL space marines combined, there you have it. The odds of space marines showing up at all is about the same as an all Guardian Biel-Tan force showing up. Neener, Neener! However, it still goes against the Fluff. This has thrown into a bad spot.

The solution?

In a perfect world, making balanced lists that encourage the use more troops, yet removing all of this "Force Org" Chart nonsense.

In the Real World, Still Remove the Force org chart, but you have to take a unit of troops for every Other unit Taken. All you would need to do is broaden the defintion of "Troops." Simple, yet can be very effective. Even if you minimized you're troops, It would still mean that the Iron Warriors Army of doom would have a MINIMUM of around 40 marines (With 4 heavies and 3 Elites,plus HQ, in current incarnation).

More Guardians than SM's!?, I was under the impression that there were more SM than craftworld eldar

As for 40% troops, I don't like it. that favors armies like marines (not biast I play them) but I imagine is very hard for other armies.

cailus
23-01-2007, 02:04
*looks over armies*

Orks - 3 squads of 30 sluggas and 2 squads of 30 grotz, 1 squad of tankbustas

Deathguard - 4 squads of 7 plague marines, 2 packs of plague bearers
Eldar - 6 squads of 5 pathfinders

Tyranids - 6 squads of 6 genestealers

im clear. troops seem to be the staple in the gaming group i am in.

Interesting indeed! Minimising troops is a common theme in my group unless they're Tyranid or Necron players.

Here's some of the more common configurations I've come across

Marines: 2 squads of scouts
OR 2 squads of 6 marines with las/plas
OR 2 squads of 5 marines with no upgrades whatsoever

Imperial Guard: 1 minimal platoon (25 men) + Armoured Fist squad
(Every single Guard player I've met uses this configuration so they can load up on tanks and other heavy weapons. Often it's a very stupid setup as they quickly run out of infantry).

Chaos: 2 squads of 6 marines with las/plas or if they're Cult troops two units with Blessed Number.
(other than my brother who plays Word Bearers and usually fields 3-4 large Marine units plus up to 3 packs of Daemons (Word Bearers can field up to 9 troop units)).

Necrons: 2-3 squads of Warriors depending on size of battle.

Orks - I've only ever met 2 other Codex Ork players and they minimised troops as well. One used 1 squad of 10 Grots plus a squad of 10 shootas. The other uses a unit of 15 sluggas and about 20 Grots. They then load up on vehicles and Nob retinues. I did know a Kult of Speed player and he did load up on troops. Use 3 units of Orks (2 sluggas + 1 shoota, combined points value is 543 points in a 1,200 point army) and want more but am awaiting new models.

Nids: Usually 1 squad of 16 Hormaguants, 1 unit of 16 Termagaunts, Ripper squad, 2 units of Genestealers. I have seen this configuration in about 4 different Nid army.

Laughingmonk
23-01-2007, 02:22
More Guardians than SM's!?, I was under the impression that there were more SM than craftworld eldar

As for 40% troops, I don't like it. that favors armies like marines (not biast I play them) but I imagine is very hard for other armies.


Well, the numbers on a craftworld's populace are purely speculative, but numbers on the larger ones have been estimated anywhere from 10,000 to serval billion. Even with the conservative 10 million estimate, I'd imagine that a Craftworld with a long martial tradition like Biel Tan could easily deploy a good percentage of their populace as guardians, especially since (on Biel-Tan) a eldar is required to take the Path of war upon maturity.

Even with the conservative estimate ( I personally, believe that a caftworld has at least 10 billion, but then again, I play Eldar :p ) it wouldn't be unfeasible for Biel-Tan to deploy over 1 million guardians when the whole craftworld is mobilized.

But this has gone off topic! :p


I agree that that the 40% favors space marines. But then again, most of what shows up to tournaments is Marines, so there you go :p