PDA

View Full Version : Do Rules = Character?



The Dude
18-06-2007, 06:23
An interesting little side discussion that developed in the Chaos Rumours thread that I thought was best brought out of it before it clogged up the thread any further :D


Character does NOT come from the rules of the Army. Neither does it necessarily come from the units you pick (although it can help shape the broad theme). Character comes from the details you put in, and as has been shown recently, these things DO NOT all need special rules.

One army may be chock full of character because they have been hunting Orks for years, and so are festooned with Ork skulls, severed heads and other trophies. Another is recently turned, and so have no mutations or Daemons at all.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again I’m sure, Character DOESN’T come from the ability to break basic tenet of the game like the FOC, or other restrictions.


I'm glad that you do conceed that the unit types do effect the theme of the army to a certian extent.

I find that the rules for an army help shape its concepts to a large degree, and this is not limited to 40k or wargaming alone.

The use of advantages and disadvantages has been used for many years in role-playing games (games that are primarily about characterization) to help define characters beyond their basic stat lines. I was not suprised to see this type of concept applied in say; the Space Marine codex.

With this in mind it I do find it hard to believe that modeling and fan-based-fiction are the most defining characteristics of an army, above and beyond its rules-set.


And here is where we see the difference between “Theme” and “Character”.

The general theme of an army is realised by its rules, yes. What units you can select, in what quantities, and what their abilities are. Given even a moderate number of options, you will see quite a few different “sub-theme” possibilities in a single list.

The general theme may be “shooty”, “choppy”, “resilient”, etc. The “sub-theme” may be something like, shooty/manoeuvrable, or shooty/resilient. It essentially comes down to unit selection and which properties you want to base your army around. This can easily be self-imposed, and does not need special rules.

Character on the other hand, comes from the details like paint scheme, modelling, etc. All the things that help to make 2 armies distinct from each other, despite containing EXACTLY the same units.

I would argue that even in an RPG, the rules, no matter how detailed, serve only to define a theme for your Character. Once again, two characters that are exactly the same on paper can be completely different in-game. Their class, abilities, alignment etc, are nothing without the personality the player gives them.


While trying not to sound two dismissive I think this may be just a matter of sumantics.

At the risk of going wildly off topic; I guess I was trying to make a point of game mechanics influencing the "Theme", "Character", "Over-tone" "Mood" "What ever". One may well argue that two armies with exactly the same fan-based-fiction and modeling could be played differnetly by two seperate generals on the battle feild.

This view would make said point fairly moot!


I suppose it's not so much semantics as it is a question of terminology. I think we may be on a similar page here, but you feel more rules are needed, whereas I’m of the opinion that more imagination could do the job just as easily, but with less arguments :D

I will agree that in an RPG or even small-scale skirmish game, having options up the wazoo is good. Each one is a mini avatar of yourself, so you should care more and it should hurt more when they die (plus they will need to be able to handle more as an individual.

However, dealing with squillions of options on an army scale game is silly as the focus isn’t on the individual, but the force as a whole. If the options get used at all it will have a chance of bringing out the Herohammer, and that’s not what the game’s about.


Balance isn't necessary in an RPG though - they aren't designed to be 'competitive' games. The emphasis is different. D&D is quite the black sheep in that regard.

In a wargame though, where the players are DIRECTLY competing with each (unlike an RPG) balance becomes a huge issue.

Where an RPG is focused on telling a group story with all the players working synergistically, options are necessary to aid the telling.

Where a wargame is focused on competing factions with the players working antagonistically, options make it harder for an equitable game.

Does an Army's Character come from its rules? Does limiting the rules remove the Character?

Thoughts?

Hellfury
18-06-2007, 06:31
I think the rules do indeed make the character.

As was hinted at in one of your quotes, RPG characters are defined by their stats, as well as everything else that either enhances or detracts from their statistics and abilities.

Eldrad for example had very cool uses in either 3rd or 4th edition. Both are nearly different characters by the simple removal or addition of abilities and characteristics.

Clothes may not make the man, but it does define him.

Ronin_eX
18-06-2007, 06:48
I think saying that RPG characters are only defined by their stats is a gross over-generalization. There are many RPG systems that are fully narrative or highly abstracted to the point where stats aren't as important as who the character is.

40k is a fairly abstract game as far as things go and the system is highly granular as far as stats are concerned. RPG elements were fine in RT and 2nd edition where games were smaller and more personal but at this time the game is far too abstract and giving characters a butt load of rules and abilities only serves to make them more powerful than they should be. The game isn't about super-powerful characters anymore it is about armies. With the focus on troops finally coming to the fore after they failed to hit the mark in 3rd edition (where most characters became more powerful than in previous editions due to the rift between them and normal troops caused by all the rules they had) characters are finally getting toned down to a supporting role for the army.

They can still have a cool background without a load of rules attached. Character is something the player adds himself, rules neither help nor hinder this no matter the abstraction level of the game.

The Dude
18-06-2007, 06:54
I think the rules do indeed make the character.

As was hinted at in one of your quotes, RPG characters are defined by their stats, as well as everything else that either enhances or detracts from their statistics and abilities.

Eldrad for example had very cool uses in either 3rd or 4th edition. Both are nearly different characters by the simple removal or addition of abilities and characteristics.

Clothes may not make the man, but it does define him.

See, I look at it in totally the opposite way. The rules are simply a mechanic for representing a personality (be it that of a single character or a whole army) within the bounds of given situations (usually Combat), and the character itself comes from the trappings such as the look of the models, or the personality played by the Player.

If two things have exactly the same rules, do they have exactly the same character? Are the Marines of Tactical Squad 1 the same characters as those of Tactical Squad 2? Are the two Autarchs with Mandiblasters, Power Weapons and Shuriken Pistols the same Character? What about the two Ork Warbosses with Choppa and Slugga?

You can’t tell me that character can only be injected into armies by including more and more special rules. That just reeks of lack of imagination and the need for hand-holding.

Edit: Ronin_eX, you have put far better words to my feelings than I can myself, curse you ;)

Griffin
18-06-2007, 06:56
Rules don't equal Character. What YOU do with your army in terms of modelling, conversions, fluff and theme defines a armies character.

HalfEvil333
18-06-2007, 06:59
I'm going to have to disagree with you Hellfury.


As was hinted at in one of your quotes, RPG characters are defined by their stats, as well as everything else that either enhances or detracts from their statistics and abilities.

RPG stats define theme, but not character. You could make two wizard characters with the same stats and abilities, but you could play one as a brash, young fool that acts before he thinks, versus a cowardly opportunist waiting for any break he can take.


Eldrad for example had very cool uses in either 3rd or 4th edition. Both are nearly different characters by the simple removal or addition of abilities and characteristics.

While his uses changed from one edition to another, his character hasn't. He still has the same views and beliefs, and the same victories under his belt.

I feel the rules can help reflect the character, but can not force the character of an army.

Hellebore
18-06-2007, 07:12
I'm going to have to disagree with you Hellfury.



RPG stats define theme, but not character. You could make two wizard characters with the same stats and abilities, but you could play one as a brash, young fool that acts before he thinks, versus a cowardly opportunist waiting for any break he can take.



While his uses changed from one edition to another, his character hasn't. He still has the same views and beliefs, and the same victories under his belt.

I feel the rules can help reflect the character, but can not force the character of an army.


This is what I meant when I said options are necessary for the telling. I probably shouldn't have said 'necessary' though.

An RPG has a very large non-rules component - the actual RPing itself. No one forces someone to 'roleplay' a character a certain way, unless they have rules that govern their behaviour.

Wargames have the same thing, but it's visual 'rolepainting' - you make the model LOOK like you would make a PC ACT in an RPG.


Hellebore

Sgt Biffo
18-06-2007, 07:13
I think one of the most characterful armies of 40k is the Eldar. The difference shines an numerous engines of war allow for great diversity in modelling, painting, combined-arms composition, fluff, and tactics. about the only bases they don't have covered is high resilience and extreme range!

What I've just said here is a composition of all aspects (odd that word should arise) of wargaming. I don't think that any aspect is mutually exclusive, though rule sets will help determine choice.

No one is going to take an army with stats of 1 across the board seriously (though games like Blood Bowl do try to make this fun).


Wargames have the same thing, but it's visual 'rolepainting' - you make the model LOOK like you would make a PC ACT in an RPG.

I must confess I've never thought of it that way. Its a nice description of it!:cool:

Nurglitch
18-06-2007, 07:19
Rules provide a skeleton over which people can drape the contents of their imaginations. Obviously there is a problem when people lack imagination, and mistake form for content.

sebster
18-06-2007, 07:21
I like your distinction of theme and character, itís a good way of expressing the difference in the two concepts. There is a lot of imaginative, skilled hobbyists out there creating armies full of character, with concepts way beyond what the GW conceived of when they wrote the codex. Playing against those armies can make for a different experience, even though the list used in the game is functionally the same as another.

But the novelty of that experience is there only up to a point. I think it is really important for an army to Ďfeelí different in how it plays on the battlefield. It makes for a pretty dull time when someone brings out their veteran Tyranid hunters, with all sorts of trophies and battle wounds modeled onto the miniatures, and then you discover theyíre playing a vanilla list with a static gun line.

Itís cool when someone comes up with a great concept for an army, and it makes for a better game. That shouldnít be used in place of armies with unique playing styles, though, but in addition to it.

The trick would be how to make sure the rules provide for plenty of different themes, that support and encourage character, rather than restrict it. There are lots of Ďfluffyí marine armies out there with battle depleted squads that have bravely gathered for another brutal fight, which sounds really cool until you discover all that means is your opponent has taken nothing but six man las/plas teams. The challenge would be to make battle depleted forces something you could represent, without allowing players to create the optimum six man units.

The Dude
18-06-2007, 07:22
Wargames have the same thing, but it's visual 'rolepainting' - you make the model LOOK like you would make a PC ACT in an RPG.

hellebore, this is the best description ever. :D


I think one of the most characterful armies of 40k is the Eldar. The difference shines an numerous engines of war allow for great diversity in modelling, painting, combined-arms composition, fluff, and tactics. about the only bases they don't have covered is high resilience and extreme range!

What I've just said here is a composition of all aspects (odd that word should arise) of wargaming. I don't think that any aspect is mutually exclusive, though rule sets will help determine choice.

No one is going to take an army with stats of 1 across the board seriously (though games like Blood Bowl do try to make this fun).

Sorry Sgt Biffo, but I donít quite understand what youíre getting at. All the things youíve mentioned as making the Eldar ďCharacterfulĒ are, to me at least, merely options one could choose as an army theme. Even the perceived lack of resilience at range is merely part of the racial theme.

Letís look at Eldar for a moment. If an army consisted of 2 10-man Guardian Jetbike Squads with Warlocks on Jetbikes, a Farseer On Jetbike, and a Vyper (for example), I could either paint and model it as a hard and fast regimented Ulthwe Strike Force, or a mad and Impulsive Siam Hann Wild Rider Host.

The character is vastly different, but the rules are exactly the same.

Hellfury
18-06-2007, 07:59
Letís look at Eldar for a moment. If an army consisted of 2 10-man Guardian Jetbike Squads with Warlocks on Jetbikes, a Farseer On Jetbike, and a Vyper (for example), I could either paint and model it as a hard and fast regimented Ulthwe Strike Force, or a mad and Impulsive Siam Hann Wild Rider Host.

The character is vastly different, but the rules are exactly the same.

well, in that context I agree with you, emphatically. Though I thought we were discussing characters not character in general. My mistake.

The Dude
18-06-2007, 08:03
well, in that context I agree with you, emphatically. Though I thought we were discussing characters not character in general. My mistake.

Oops :D.

Ha ha, yeah, I probably could have been clearer on that :p

Hellfury
18-06-2007, 08:22
In fact, I am a huge proponent of your view.I have been told that because my perfectly repped Lysanderwing isnt painted yellow, that I cannot use lysanders rules.

Which of course I think is complete ********.

Use whatever is in the rules and make it your own. To stifle creativity means that you shouldnt be playing this game, most likely.

Reaver83
18-06-2007, 09:23
i think what's in your army and the way you play them creates their character.

Take your basic SM army, you can have an army of heavy weapons pounding from afar or an army of close combat specialist - that makes the character of your army.

Now as for list options defining the character of your army - well to some degree i think that is true, but it's not the only thing that is.

To use a good chaos example (IMHO) you can have a siege army of iron warriors without 4 heavy choices very easily.

Askari
18-06-2007, 09:40
I think rules and options help define a difference in character, especially in pick-up games when you don't have time to tell your opponent how your army behaves.

Think of it this way, you have a Chaos Lord with Bolt Pistol and Power Weapon... that's it. There are only a certain amount of ways you can portray that, either he's a hypochondriac that tries to save himself being targeted by looking like all his other marine buddies, or he's a type that feels a good sword is all he needs, or he's a gunslinger that got just too close to that tyranid once and carries a close weapon around as well now... etc. for a bit.

Add in, say, options for a Bolter, Power Fist or Daemonic Speed. And the level of how many "characters" you can make for your character or army increases.

Though you could possibly make the basic Lord act like a raving lunatic running towards the enemy swining weapons everywhere, giving him a faster movement mode let's your opponent more easily see what he's like.

Cleutin
18-06-2007, 10:27
Rules provide a skeleton over which people can drape the contents of their imaginations. Obviously there is a problem when people lack imagination, and mistake form for content.

Have to say I agree a lot with this.

But rules do provide some character I reckon, while most of the character comes from how you've painted it/developed background etc.

Character has to do with qualities or features of what one is. While theme of an army would be a unifying or dominant idea of what they do.

Take the Space Marine 'and they shall know no fear' rule. Without this rule your Space Marines would keep sprinting off the table if broken which isn't very characterful of the Marines training to control their fear.

One game that I've found you need to develop character is Inquisitor. I mind when it first came out everyone was taking Inquisitors or Space Marines tooled up with more gear than a small country. This however made for rubbish games. I'm actually playing at the moment in a Inquisitor campaign and the GM insisted on everyone playing guardsmen. So everyone has made a guy that in theory is quite similar but really they are all different. We've all come up with small background details and some have had to model on little details to reflect it.

The same thing can apply to 40K. I had a Blood Angel Veteran Sergeant armed only with a bolter kill a Genestealer AND knock a wound off a Lictor the other day in hand to hand combat (my opponents face was priceless btw). I'm now thinking of modeling on a 'nid head onto him as a sort of trophy :D

At the end of the day most of it comes from the individuals imagination I believe taking some general ideas from rules then developing them further into something quite special. I think you need a fine balance of rules to give enough for people to play around with but not so much it becomes off-putting to even use.

Draco Argentum
18-06-2007, 10:52
Rules and fluff are related. Space marines are genetically engineered super soldiers so they get better stats than a human.

This dosen't mean that a given rule can only represent one thing. For example ignoring armour saves can be done many ways in the fluff. Using a power sword or being really lagre etc.

It also dosen't mean that one fluff point can only be represented by a single rule. Resilient against damage could be multiple wounds or FNP or a save.

Not everything in the fluff needs a rule. Some equipment dosen't need rules. Some fluff battle your army fought years ago dosen't mean you need special rules for the veterans of it either.

Some things do need rules, which ones is dependant on the codex. Death company need rules in the BA codex. But if there was only a single marine dex then they would be a good candidate for folding into a veteran squad.

How much of that made sense?

fracas
18-06-2007, 11:48
Rules provide a skeleton over which people can drape the contents of their imaginations. Obviously there is a problem when people lack imagination, and mistake form for content.



agree
and some rules provide better characters than others
but it is game rule rather than game stats that does so

for example, i think the acts of faith rule really defines the character of the SoB army rather than its stats or saves

Voodoo Boyz
18-06-2007, 12:43
This idea works if you specifically go into it that way.

Try getting someone to believe this who started say, Iron Warriors because they liked the rules for Iron Warriors in the game.

For some people, the game is what is most important, not modeling or painting. The biggest difference between armies "in the game" are their rules. When you remove rules, armies lose their "character" because their "Character" is defined by how they work as an army on the table top.

How is this any less valid a way to play the game or look at armies than the "rolepainting" view being espoused?

Nurglitch
18-06-2007, 12:54
Cleutin, Draco Argentum:

Sorry, but the rules can be interpreted in terms of the standard 40k background, or they can be interpreted in some other way. We could, were we so inclined, play a game using the Warhammer 40k rules where models were named by capital latin letters and represented by appropriately marked bases, weapons by lower case latin letters, scenery was blocked out with construction paper marked with salient information such as size, and use a deck of cards to resolved any random variables that would normally be resolved using dice. The game could be played completely abstracted from the associated background of Warhammer 40k.

Similarly we could play a game representing some action in the Warhammer 40k setting wherein some salient difference in Warhammer 40k was not salient, such as the difference in effect between combat effects associated with boltguns and combat effects associated with lasguns.

Any connection between the rules and whatever they are held to represent is completely arbitrary. What you're trying to articulate is how some connections seem more appropriate, more relevant, than others, such as where a putatively fast soldier is represented by a model that moves more slowly than a model representing a slow soldier. That just means that statements about the putative speeds of the soldiers are not satisfied, not true, under that interpretation of the rules.

In a sense it's rather like drawing a map about an imaginary land by filling in a grid with symbols, or drawing a smooth curve with pixels. Sometimes, due to the size of the grid squares and the symbols filling them, the map will indicate mountains where the actual terrain is still a plain. The rules will not represent the natural character of the landscape perfectly, the pixels will deviate from the exact path of the curve, and it's simply a matter of how smoothly you want to represent those things relative to other maps of other areas or graphs of other lines.

In other words it's a matter of salience, like drawing a cartoon of a person by representing the characteristics that you want to communicate to observers by using the iconography available to you. Depending on the iconography available and how you use it, you'll be able to distinguish between some things and not between others. So some people will mistake rules for character because that rule, or set of rules, is unique to what it represents and correlates thusly in their minds. But they fail to notice that the rule is not necessarily unique to what it represents and that what it represents may be represented in infinitely many ways, and often by rules that are universal in scope.

jfrazell
18-06-2007, 13:01
From an opponent's viewpoint, the only differences that matter are the rules. Else you're playing the same army as everyone else. Pink angry space marines often play just like Blue angry space marines. In the end, absent rules differences/newlist items etc., they are still just marines with a different color.

aberrant_unc
18-06-2007, 13:07
I agree with The Dude. Homeade fluff and modeling decisions should define who your army is, not special rules made up for each possibility. GW shouldn't have to wrap everything up with a bow and drop it in your lap. If rules were the main defining factor of an army, every IW or BA or Eldar or whatever would seem very similar, but they aren't. Armies are defined more by fluff, modeling, and what decisions you make within the rules.

Most people grasp this on some level. Everyone has a few power weapons in their army and these aren't always swords. You can model a PW however you want, adding fluff and character as you go. The whole army should be like that. If we had different rules for power swords, power mauls, power whips, power hammers, power katanas, power axes, and power maces, guess what? You would only one or maybe two of them, people would be more limited in modeling choices, and everyone would pick the same one or two because they were rules-superior.

My problem with defining armies by their rules is mostly because GWW ignores its own fluff. Many of the rules simply don't define the armies according to the fluff, but define them according to the need to sell certain minis at that moment. Take IW for example. I was out of 40k for several years and when I heard IW were popular now I thought "Awesome, I wonder what all new cybernetic conversions are out there?" only to find out that rather than an all-bionics IW, they were the obliterator army now because GW wanted to sell obliterators. Ditto word bearers, which became the uber-daemon army because their white dwarf article coincided with a fantasy demon release.

aberrant_unc
18-06-2007, 13:10
From an opponent's viewpoint, the only differences that matter are the rules. Else you're playing the same army as everyone else. Pink angry space marines often play just like Blue angry space marines. In the end, absent rules differences/newlist items etc., they are still just marines with a different color.


I don't think anyone is saying all army list choices should go away. We are just saying that blue doesn't need to get +1 wound and pink +1 initiative for the armies to have character. You give the armies character by how you paint and model them, what you write about them, and the choices you make within the list, not through having special rules for everything. Plus pink may have a background of being assault specialists and using whips and chains for CCW, while blue shuns CC and carries bolters and gameboys into battle. Or whatever. You don't need special rules specific to each legion to give your army character. You can do it within the same list everyone else uses and its a lot easier for the 40k overfiend to get it balanced.

WLBjork
18-06-2007, 13:11
Character comes from the background.

Sometimes though, the character requires extra rules in game to avoid the gameplay to be uncharacterful - the aforementioned "And they shall know no fear" for example.

But, on the whole, rules to bring in character should be kept to a minimum.

sebster
18-06-2007, 13:28
Hang on, when did people assume was it decided it was an either/or thing? It's gone from Thedude pointing out two different parts of what makes an army feel the way it does, to people declaring one or the other the only way armies are built.

The two things aren't seperate, the character a player puts into his army and the rules supporting that army feed off each other. A player who builds a Tau army as badass close combat assaulters and plays them that way will be a laughing stock, no matter how well modelled they are. A player who takes units just because they're optimum shouldn't be surprised when he's told his army lacks character.

The two things feed each other, there's no point declaring one or the other the best.

jfrazell
18-06-2007, 13:40
I don't think anyone is saying all army list choices should go away. We are just saying that blue doesn't need to get +1 wound and pink +1 initiative for the armies to have character. You give the armies character by how you paint and model them, what you write about them, and the choices you make within the list, not through having special rules for everything. Plus pink may have a background of being assault specialists and using whips and chains for CCW, while blue shuns CC and carries bolters and gameboys into battle. Or whatever. You don't need special rules specific to each legion to give your army character. You can do it within the same list everyone else uses and its a lot easier for the 40k overfiend to get it balanced.


My "new" DA exarch is actually some 2nd Ed exarch so old it has the twirling bola of doom. But to my opponent its just an exarch, no different than any other. As your opponent I don't care if you have written books of fluff. I care about what your list makeup is, what the specifics are. If you're base list is limited (DA's as an example) or effectively limited with lots of no brainer (either take or don't take as in the old eldar list) then its still going to be the same list to me.

As have been noted, why can't we have both personal fluff/conversions whatever) and list options? Its a false argument that this is either/or.

Voodoo Boyz
18-06-2007, 13:49
See, jfrazell is making the point you guys are missing.

It doesn't matter if you spent hours converting your super-duper-farseer to be specific to your craftworld, to me it's still just Eldrad in the game and he's going to play exactly like Eldrad did when I played the other guy who was "Ulthwe" Eldar but still had the exact same loadouts your army does in Heavy Support (Skimmers with Holofields + Stones) and look, your army happened to come by the support of Harlequins as well, who always come in the number 6, are you sure these guys aren't Slanneshi or something? Might want to have Eldra...err...Your Super Duper Farseer Guy check on that...

Granted, Eldar don't suffer the problem with this a whole lot because their codex can be used to make a bunch of different types of armies, but I think you get the idea when things like this apply to Chaos or Marines, who are a bit limited.

I mean look, it's a Demon Prince..of Khorne...who is just like the Demon Prince of Slannesh I fought last game, who seemed to be a lot like the Demon Prince of Nurgle I played against the game before that....

Get the idea?

Nurglitch
18-06-2007, 14:03
If you can prove it's a false dilemma please do so and step up so you can receive your Nobel prize and title as the greatest logician humanity has ever produced. For reasons why see post #21.

Voodoo Boyz
18-06-2007, 14:22
If you can prove it's a false dilemma please do so and step up so you can receive your Nobel prize and title as the greatest logician humanity has ever produced. For reasons why see post #21.

If you could repost that in plain English, I'd love to respond.

Fourth
18-06-2007, 14:23
Not to be too picky about it, but, if rules don't make the character of the army, there's nothing wrong with playing Eldar using the rules for Space Marines, right?

Having different rules for different armies is the difference between 40k and playing Checkers with our miniatures.
(Though I'm sure if Jervis Johnson worked on Checkers he'd say that having kings be able to move forward and back was overpowered)

I hope we can all agree that different races need different rules. Eldar shouldn't play like SM's, who shouldn't play like Orks.

Given that--and I think it's safe to take that as given--the question I think, rather than "are rules important," is "Should army subsets have their own rules?"

Consider: Should Space Wolves have different rules than Ultramarines? How about Dark Angels?

I think they should. And, if Space Wolves aren't just Ultramarines painted grey, I don't think Night Lords should be Word Bearers painted blue. Different people, different rules. Much like the Imperial Guard and the Necrons should have different rules; they aren't the same, the rules should reflect that.
Thousand Sons and Alpha Legion aren't the same, either.

The question then becomes not if different groups should get different rules, but how different two factions need to be before they deserve two sets of rules. F'rinstance, Imperial Fists and Ultramarines--I'd say, might not need their own rules. One set ought to be able to cover both of them.

Dark Eldar and Orks? Very different. Need two codexes (luckily, they still have 'em). Goffs and Bad Moons? Now it becomes a question. Like with the Black Legion and the Death Guard, we don't all agree on whether they're different enough to merit their own list. They're at least as different as the Dark Angels are from the Ultramarines. Nobody seems to be arguing that there should just be one Space Marine codex, with every chapter using the same rules. However, the consensus seems to be that loyalist SM's are the only thing in the galaxy with any difference between the groups.

jfrazell
18-06-2007, 14:34
If you can prove it's a false dilemma please do so and step up so you can receive your Nobel prize and title as the greatest logician humanity has ever produced. For reasons why see post #21.
CHoice A. Its all about you-conversions, storyline etc.
Choice B. Its the particular list abilities of the IC.

Here it comes-wait for it....
Choice C: DO BOTH.

Snotteef
18-06-2007, 14:35
. Plus pink may have a background of being assault specialists and using whips and chains for CCW, while blue shuns CC and carries bolters and gameboys into battle

HAHAHAHAHAHA!! I love it! Gameboys. whoo.

As for the topic. I agree that character is more a function of modeling, painting and play style than it is from rules. The reasons have already been stated, eloquently in previous posts, so I'll save you more of the same.

Sgt Biffo
18-06-2007, 14:53
hellebore, this is the best description ever. :D

FFFrriCkin AMEN!!


Sorry Sgt Biffo, but I don’t quite understand what you’re getting at.


Umm... at the moment I hav a VB hindence But I've gon online to prove one of your pints.

I have a Bitter, biter tyranid opponent who revels in my (close as close) victories. Have you ever had an opponet who cheers yor repulising 9 gene stealers?

Said opponent used his calligraphy skills to write "Thunderchild" on a particularyly painful Leman Russ (ref. wor o\ world.)

Perhaps my friendly gaming group is blessed...!

But it does support your auguements above. Tomorrow I''ll sober up and defend my arguements.
.

Sgt Biffo
18-06-2007, 15:04
Rules provide a skeleton over which people can drape the contents of their imaginations. Obviously there is a problem when people lack imagination, and mistake form for content.

I hope I'm not double posting, but I've heard a great example of the ten commandments being a frme in which a person should ty to liv ther lives on th canvas inbetwen, and your exmple rekinded that imagery.

WLBjork
18-06-2007, 15:21
Not to be too picky about it, but, if rules don't make the character of the army, there's nothing wrong with playing Eldar using the rules for Space Marines, right?

Having different rules for different armies is the difference between 40k and playing Checkers with our miniatures.
(Though I'm sure if Jervis Johnson worked on Checkers he'd say that having kings be able to move forward and back was overpowered)

I hope we can all agree that different races need different rules. Eldar shouldn't play like SM's, who shouldn't play like Orks.

Given that--and I think it's safe to take that as given--the question I think, rather than "are rules important," is "Should army subsets have their own rules?"

Consider: Should Space Wolves have different rules than Ultramarines? How about Dark Angels?

I think they should. And, if Space Wolves aren't just Ultramarines painted grey, I don't think Night Lords should be Word Bearers painted blue. Different people, different rules. Much like the Imperial Guard and the Necrons should have different rules; they aren't the same, the rules should reflect that.
Thousand Sons and Alpha Legion aren't the same, either.

The question then becomes not if different groups should get different rules, but how different two factions need to be before they deserve two sets of rules. F'rinstance, Imperial Fists and Ultramarines--I'd say, might not need their own rules. One set ought to be able to cover both of them.

Dark Eldar and Orks? Very different. Need two codexes (luckily, they still have 'em). Goffs and Bad Moons? Now it becomes a question. Like with the Black Legion and the Death Guard, we don't all agree on whether they're different enough to merit their own list. They're at least as different as the Dark Angels are from the Ultramarines. Nobody seems to be arguing that there should just be one Space Marine codex, with every chapter using the same rules. However, the consensus seems to be that loyalist SM's are the only thing in the galaxy with any difference between the groups.

Actually, if you change the question to "Why should X have different rules to Y", you'll answer the question posed originally ;)

Maleficum
18-06-2007, 15:51
Does an Army's Character come from its rules? Does limiting the rules remove the Character?

Thoughts?

No, armies are not defined solely by their rules. Nor do characters need 'special rules' to add flavour, but it helps.

I remember the 3rd ed. Lysander, then a seargent, and his 'bolter drill' rule. A friend of mine made his own codex and had a veteran drill-seargent that used to go with the scout snipers and his ability* was that they could all re-roll the to-hit roll, but that if they did all needed to. It was basicly a fail-safe against very bad to-hit-rolls (as snipers hit on 2+), but not especially useful, especially for the price he had sat on it.

This little rule added character IMO, as it was backed up by "fluff text". (What we in role-playing call background text). It would by no way stand on it's own.


Note that I do not support the Alpha Legion players that whine about loosing their cheap infiltrate... it was frankly a bad way to define an army, almost as stupid as the 4 HW and loads of Oblitiators in the no-terrain-big-guns-ftw-environment that was back then.

If an army can't stand on it's own no rules would remedy that, though you'd probarly attract some players...



Sorry if I'm rambling, but I've followed a few "New Chaos Codex"-threads lately and am pretty tired of Alpha Legion-, Iron Warrior- and Word Bearer- players whining that their army is destroyed, while really just sad for loosing their free gimmickry and power-rules.

I don't think special rules make an army, but it certainly helps if it's well thought out and priced accordingly and not added as a side-thought.



* remember that Sgt. couldn't have sniper weapons then

Fourth
18-06-2007, 15:54
Actually, if you change the question to "Why should X have different rules to Y", you'll answer the question posed originally ;)


Largely, I think, because things that are not the same should not have the same rules.

Orks aren't Eldar. They need to have different rules. Luckily, they do.

Black Templars aren't Ultramarines. Luckily, they do, too.

I don't think that Word Bearers and Iron Warriors are similar enough that they don't need different rules. There's certainly less similarity between them than there is between, say, Dark Angels and Ultramarines.

Everyone seems to be arguing that everything should use the same rules, it's imagination that makes the difference.

Why isn't everyone playing checkers, then? Just use your Space Marines and whatnot for the pieces. It's imagination that matters, right, not the rules?


Alpha Legion-, Iron Warrior- and Word Bearer- players whining that their army is destroyed, while really just sad for loosing their free gimmickry and power-rules.

Not to pick on you here, Maleficum--this is an issue that's come up a lot, and I guess I'll address it.

Every list has some drawbacks and some advantages over other lists. That's why they aren't the same list.
Isn't it awesome how everyone who looks at a list that they don't play ignores the drawbacks, looks at the advantages, decides that, since they've ignored the drawbacks, there aren't any, and screams about how these guys get tons of benefits for free?

Alpha Legion: Got cheap Infiltrate. Got Cultists. Lost ready access to Daemons. Lost Plague Marines, Berzerkers, Thousand Sons, Noise Marines, useful marks on characters, and access to all four Gifts of the Gods lists.

Am I the only person in the world who noticed more than the first seven words in the above paragraph?

People bitch about the "free-champion" deal for the four dedicated Legions.

Whisky tango foxtrot.

Death Guard: Lost squad heavy weapons, raptors, bikes, Marks of Undivided, Khorne, Slaanesh, and Tzeentch, havoks, troops-choice rhinos, and so on. Got free champions if they took the right number of guys in a squad.

Yes, if you read only the last sentence in the above paragraph, it looks like they're getting something for free.

Iron Warriors got more than they gave up. No one else did.

sebster
18-06-2007, 16:42
But it does support your auguements above. Tomorrow I''ll sober up and defend my arguements.
.


As long as you're still drunk can you please translate post 21, because I really don't think it can be understood sober.

Torgo
18-06-2007, 16:50
Nobody seems to be arguing that there should just be one Space Marine codex, with every chapter using the same rules. However, the consensus seems to be that loyalist SM's are the only thing in the galaxy with any difference between the groups.

I would argue that. Blood and Dark Angels in particular have nothing that couldn't be easily folded into the Space Marine codex. Most of the sublists that are currently disappearing were slot reshuffling with a few special rules tacked on in an attempt to justify a new list. If you can do an army theme without special rules, why should you need special rules?

I play Biel-Tan, I can do an aspect warrior heavy army with the basic Eldar army, so why do I need a special list for it? I play Emperor's Children. I can apparently take an army entirely marked Slaanesh under the new codex. So why would I need a separate army list? Should Chaos have it's own army list, rather than be a subset of loyalists? Yes, because there are enough actual differences to justify it.

Fourth
18-06-2007, 16:59
In that case, Torgo, I've got no beef with you.

I don't agree, but I've got nothing against you for saying it.

By contrast, anyone who wouldn't be happy with every-SM-is-actually-an-Ultramarine shouldn't be insulting the Chaos players who aren't happy that all Chaos SM's are now stuck with one list-fits-all (actually, if it was a matter of one-list-fits-all, not you-can-only-play-armies-that-fit-this-list, I wouldn't much mind.)

Want to base your list on the Soul Drinkers? Well, you can't. (Sarpedon is stronger and faster than other SM librarians; Sgt. Luko has lightning claws.)

Want to have your Chaos Lord be a mutant? Well, as long as he's only got cosmetic mutations. What, you think that scorpion tail is useful in hand-to-hand? Well, it isn't. Think your army of 10,000-year veterans would've learned something about fighting that a newbie two weeks out of the Scout company doesn't know? Well, he didn't.

I think we'll come to miss having the rules be based on the fluff.

lord_blackfang
18-06-2007, 16:59
Alpha Legion: Got cheap Infiltrate. Got Cultists. Lost ready access to Daemons. Lost Plague Marines, Berzerkers, Thousand Sons, Noise Marines, useful marks on characters, and access to all four Gifts of the Gods lists.

Am I the only person in the world who noticed more than the first seven words in the above paragraph?

If the removal of other optional units is an appropriate downside for various bonuses, then why don't my Slugga boyz get any better (for free or almost free!) if I choose not to take any Dreadnoughts, for example?

Why are there some combos that get rewarded while others don't?

sebster
18-06-2007, 17:00
Cleutin, Draco Argentum:

Sorry, but the rules can be interpreted in terms of the standard 40k background, or they can be interpreted in some other way.

It might just that half bottle of the hard stuff I downed, but I just realised what this post was about.

To summarise;

Assertion 1 - we can play a game of 40K using stuff that isn't 40K miniatures, so that it doesn't look like 40K, but it would still be a battle in the 40K universe.

Assertion 2 - We cannot play a different game with 40K miniatures and have it represent a battle in the 40K universe.

I must sober up quickly because once I got into the map stuff I got lost again.

Anyhow, for the nobel prize, I present my rejection of the above...

No. Not even. Not even a little.

You're presently a false dichotomy, implying that someone has to choose between individual creativity in modelling and rules. We don't.

Both things, unique army rules and unique modelling of armies are integral to the hobby. If you disagree, ask yourself two questions;

1) If 40K miniatures stopped tomorrow but the rulebooks kept coming, would there be a fraction as many players? Do the rules alone provide all the character in the hobby?
2) If fifth edition was released tomorrow, and every army used the same rules but with different miniatures, would there a fraction as many players? Do the models alone provide all the character in the hobby?

Slaaneshi Slave
18-06-2007, 17:03
I think saying that RPG characters are only defined by their stats is a gross over-generalization. There are many RPG systems that are fully narrative or highly abstracted to the point where stats aren't as important as who the character is.


Minsc is only a ranger, and Eliminster is only a Mage, but they are very unique characters, made so by the details. Rules are rules, but details are what is important.

Fourth
18-06-2007, 17:05
If the removal of other optional units is an appropriate downside for various bonuses, then why don't my Slugga boyz get any better (for free or almost free!) if I choose not to take any Dreadnoughts, for example?

Why are there some combos that get rewarded while others don't?

Consider the Deathwing. They get to take more terminators, but can't take some other stuff.

Every list has some benefits and some drawbacks.

A variant list which had the upgrade of a Boy to a Nob (or whatever) for free on 14-man Slugga Boys squads, but which couldn't take Dreads, Flash Gitz, and another 9/10ths of the codex wouldn't be overpowered, I think.



1) If 40K miniatures stopped tomorrow but the rulebooks kept coming, would there be a fraction as many players? Do the rules alone provide all the character in the hobby?
2) If fifth edition was released tomorrow, and every army used the same rules but with different miniatures, would there a fraction as many players? Do the models alone provide all the character in the hobby?

Either you're sobering up, Sebster, or I'm getting a little tipsy, or you just made a hell of a lot of sense.

Right on.

Keichi246
18-06-2007, 17:12
Fourth -

Respectfully - I disagree with your position.

Here's the thing - 90% of what your were saying was "lost as a disadvantage" are units that the player can choose NOT to take in the new codex. But if it fits their individual army composition ideas - they can choose *to* take them.

So, logically, if you lose the "disadvantage" - doesn't that mean you should lose the advantage as well?

I have a buddy who plays a Nurgle army who is tickled pink at the incoming rumors. He can't wait to try some of the other units that it always seemed odd to him that Death Guard couldn't take, due to the artificall limits placed upon the Death Guard army composition.

***
I look at this all as a bit amusing, really.

I have a Dark Angel army. I've had it since 2nd edition. It's been through more variations than just about any army out there.

"Play it as a normal Space marine army. Here's a DA codex. Here's a modified DA codex. 4th ed - Play it as a modified basic space marine army with your best units mangled. Here's your 4th ed DA codex." Squads of landspeeder tornadoes? Gone. Deathwing terminator squads with more than 5 guys - to actually use the blending of heavy weapons and close combat weapons?? Gone.

But - as they say. ***** happens. I'm adjusting my army builds again...

Would I mind if the Dark Angels were rolled back to the normal SM codex - with only their two structural differences mentioned in a paragraph or two? Not really. I think there are too many SM codexes are there is...

***
Personally - I don't think that the slight differences between "sub- armies" should have special rules. Main army lists (Chaos, Space Mairnes, Tau, Eldar, Orks) Sure!. The specfic sublists though - it's not really needed. The scale of 40k is small/fluid enough that just about any variance in army composition from the "standard army" should instituted by the player - not by the host list.

If a specialty *unit* is called for - sure - make rules for that unit. But things like reduced point costs for certain equipment, messing with army force org slots, and such like? There's no real need.

Make the original list good and balanced. Give flavor text of why certain sub-armies do things the way they do - and then let the player decide how they want to build their list. If you want to play an Iron Warriors recconaisance company - with lots of fast attack, probing the edges of the enemies defenses to know where the weakest point of the enemies lines are before they start a seige? Why not? Just because the Iron Warriors on a whole don't use a lot of fast attack doesn't mean your small contingent for this game doesn't...

Personally - the best thing in the universe they could do would be to bring back the "Index Astartes" articles in White Dwarf - but don't include any rules. Instead - just include a sample army list with a description why they chose that particular build to represent that army. Three or four pages stating fluff, and then a sample army.

jfrazell
18-06-2007, 17:14
I play Biel-Tan, I can do an aspect warrior heavy army with the basic Eldar army, so why do I need a special list for it? I play Emperor's Children. I can apparently take an army entirely marked Slaanesh under the new codex. So why would I need a separate army list? Should Chaos have it's own army list, rather than be a subset of loyalists? Yes, because there are enough actual differences to justify it.

The difficulty is the belief, based on current rumors, that your Slaanesh army is going to look materially the same as the Iron Warriors army, to Nightlords, to WE. We shall have to see.

Giltharin
18-06-2007, 17:24
Hi all,
Rules does not entirely define the character of an army (for that's what we're discussing, right?), but at the same time in-game characterful representation of an army can't leave out of consideration the rules that apply to that army.

Then, what rules need defining which armies and to what extent to represent differencies through rules is just a matter of choice. In third edition GW chose to represent differencies among armies through different rules; in fourth edition the bar is being set at a different level. There's no "true" right balance in it, for it depends on how each one feels about it, so I'm not trying to say where the right choice.

Cheers
Giltharin

Skyweir
18-06-2007, 17:26
I would argue that. Blood and Dark Angels in particular have nothing that couldn't be easily folded into the Space Marine codex. Most of the sublists that are currently disappearing were slot reshuffling with a few special rules tacked on in an attempt to justify a new list. If you can do an army theme without special rules, why should you need special rules?

I play Biel-Tan, I can do an aspect warrior heavy army with the basic Eldar army, so why do I need a special list for it? I play Emperor's Children. I can apparently take an army entirely marked Slaanesh under the new codex. So why would I need a separate army list? Should Chaos have it's own army list, rather than be a subset of loyalists? Yes, because there are enough actual differences to justify it.

Really?
Well, I could certainly make a Chaos Army using the Space Marine codex. I'd paint my army black, add some spikes and BAM! Black Legion. You don't need fancy rules to play Chaos, just use your imagination!

The difference between the Space Marine chapters are minute, and smaller than the once between the Chaos Legions internally, if you ask me. Yet, apparently it is curcial that there are special rules for these chapters to define them in the game, but it is not crucial for the Chaos Legions?

As I see it, the Legions of Chaos has been sacrificed to the Tournament Gods. People is to focused on the holy grail of balance, failing to realize that there is no such thing as balance in a game this complex and interesting (although GW is making it less so by each year, it seems). If you want balance, play checkers. Make sure to do it blindfolded though, since the other player might have better spacial intelligence than you, thus making the game unbalanced.

For players that enjoy having acctual rules for their carefully personalized and converted forces, they are left high and dry.

To answer the original question, yes rules makes for a large part of the character. Background and painting is very important, but if it means nothing in the game then there is a disconnect between rules and background that makes the game less enjoyable.

When I fight the Alpha Legion, I want them to fight like the Alpha Legion, not the Black Legion.

Just as much as I want the Necrons to fight like Necrons, and not the Imperial Guard.
It's after all rules for different armies we are paying GW to make.

Dribble Joy
18-06-2007, 17:35
Rules provide a skeleton over which people can drape the contents of their imaginations. Obviously there is a problem when people lack imagination, and mistake form for content.

Gonna have to go with this one too.

If you really can't 'keep' your army due to a rule change you're either not playing it for it's character or you have the imaginative capacity of white fence paint.

Skyweir
18-06-2007, 17:43
Fourth -

*snip*

Make the original list good and balanced. Give flavor text of why certain sub-armies do things the way they do - and then let the player decide how they want to build their list. If you want to play an Iron Warriors recconaisance company - with lots of fast attack, probing the edges of the enemies defenses to know where the weakest point of the enemies lines are before they start a seige? Why not? Just because the Iron Warriors on a whole don't use a lot of fast attack doesn't mean your small contingent for this game doesn't...

Personally - the best thing in the universe they could do would be to bring back the "Index Astartes" articles in White Dwarf - but don't include any rules. Instead - just include a sample army list with a description why they chose that particular build to represent that army. Three or four pages stating fluff, and then a sample army.

I like options.
I like having a lot of different armies to choose among, and to play against. Removing the sublists is reducing these choices, making the game less complex and less interesting.

What constiutes sublists is also a matter of convention. Clearly it's not different species (humans have at present 7 main codices, while the Tyranid Hive Fleets have one consitiuting millions of different species), nor political affilations (the Imperium has 6, yet the Orks that outnumber them humanity and are splitt into millions of waring "states" have only 1). I think the line should be drawn further downwards, making room for more variant armies in the game, not less.
Most people seems to agree with GW though, leaving us with a smaller, more streamlined and more boring 40k game, and a far emptier universe.

Nurglitch
18-06-2007, 18:04
If you could repost that in plain English, I'd love to respond. It is plainer than plain english. Still, feel free to respond once you've read it and digested it. If you find any terms to unfamiliar I recommend doing some research into symbolic logic to familiarize yourself with them and their application. Even better, don't get distracted by the terms and try to consider the logical structure of how these terms are being related to one another.


Here it comes-wait for it....
Choice C: DO BOTH. Except that "Choice B", as you put it, is neither necessary nor sufficient to represent whatever character you're ascribing to the rules and "Choice A" is both necessary and sufficient. Hence there's no false dilemma between the two.


I hope I'm not double posting, but I've heard a great example of the ten commandments being a frme in which a person should ty to liv ther lives on th canvas inbetwen, and your exmple rekinded that imagery Mary Boole noted quite some time ago that when treated as an algebra, the "Hebrew Algebra" she called it, that this was so and that the first commandment is properly interpreted to mean there something (call it "x" in modern parlance) we do not know and that trouble started when we started treating it as something that we know something about. In other words when we started supposing that form, that is to say rules, implied some sort of content. Interestingly the logician Peter Scotch noted in a talk quite recently that when taken semantically the Ten Commandments were actually inconsistent.

Take the rule of conjunction, for example. It simply states that if you have some A and you have some B that then you also have A and B. We can fill in the content any way we like, so A could be Space Marines and B could be Eldar so if there are Space Marines and there are Eldar then there are Space Marines and Eldar. But we could also say that A could be Apples and B could be Beans such that we have Apples and Beans. Relevance logicians, concerned with the relevance of logically derivable statements, note that you cannot determine if the group Apples and Beans follows from the existence of both Apples and Beans on the basis of such a rule unless you also suppose the content, the semantics, of A and B to be such that your universe includes Apples and Beans and that they are not exclusive objects.

This is pretty easy to see if you take the rules for Warhammer and replace all instances of objects such atoms (models), sets (units), and classes (types of models or units or whatnot) with corresponding symbols. Once you take out all the words you still have the rules of the game without any implication of what those rules might be about.

Here's an example:

Rule 1
If a model can attack another model then roll 1D6 to hit.

Replace "model" with the constant letter "m", and distinguish between the first and second models by appending the cardinals "1" and "2".

Replace the relation represented by the verb "attack" with the predicate letter A.

Replace the "if...then" condition with the operator symbol "→".

Replace the term "1D6" with the variable letter x where x = [1, 2,...,6] and the one-part relation (aka 'property' or 'monadic relation') predicate "T".

You get the rule: [m1 A m2] → Tx|x = [1,...,6]

Like a water-bucket emptied of water is merely a bucket with the potential to be filled with such characterful substances as water or booze (making it into a water-bucket or booze-bucket, respectively), such a rule no longer has anything to do with a game like Warhammer. It is an abstract receptacle for meaning, and actually meaningless, according to the standard reading that no one thus far in the history of logic has managed to refute (although it seems Hilary Putnam was onto something when he proved the weaker thesis that syntax and semantics were at least "entangled").

Now, if you're playing Warhammer 40k rather than just analyzing the meta-properties of such a rule then you do the opposite and reinterpret each of those symbols as representing whichever models happen to be the attacker and defender in a single iteration of combat. You could interpret such a rule differently depending on what other rules apply in the system you're interpreting it in and what you're interpreting them to mean. m1 could be a token of a Mango, for instance, should you wish to interpret the rule in a game involving fruit where m is the set of Mangos.

Now here's the funny part: If any terms used in this post seem unfamiliar or jargon-y that's okay. Like a colouring book it doesn't matter whether how you fill in the shape or structure that I've used here to demonstrate how semantics and syntax, i.e. representation and form, i.e. character and rules, are complementary yet non-implicative.

Changing the rules of an army simply changes the way people shoe-horn character into them, not the character itself.

jfrazell
18-06-2007, 18:17
Gonna have to go with this one too.

If you really can't 'keep' your army due to a rule change you're either not playing it for it's character or you have the imaginative capacity of white fence paint.

Or you are Alpha legion and play an infiltrating force.

Voodoo Boyz
18-06-2007, 18:20
Gonna have to go with this one too.

If you really can't 'keep' your army due to a rule change you're either not playing it for it's character or you have the imaginative capacity of white fence paint.

Actually, I do play my armies based on how much enjoyment I get from you know playing the game with them. Seeing how the rules dictate how the army plays on the table, yes that's a very valid reason to not want to play an army.

Kind of why I haven't played with my Orks in so long, great army background and fluff, terrible rules that make for very boring games where I play.

jfrazell
18-06-2007, 18:24
Except that "Choice B", as you put it, is neither necessary nor sufficient to represent whatever character you're ascribing to the rules and "Choice A" is both necessary and sufficient. Hence there's no false dilemma between the two.

Only in your view. In the world of actual gaming, your epically done librarian who's been specially painted, has marks for each time he successfully passed a psychic test whatever is still the same plain jane librarian I've played against 20 times in the last year and by now bores me to tears to see, yet again.

aberrant_unc
18-06-2007, 18:38
Regarding options, you are going to have many more options in the next codex, its just that all the legions will have the same options. For example, everyone can take 3 units of oblits, not just IWs. Plague Marines are a troop choice for everyone, not just deathguard. Each army is going to have many more options. What people seem to dislike is that they liked being restricted by the rules for their legion better than being restricted by their own fluff choices. Before, IW couldn't take plague marines, period. Now, an IW army using the new codex can take whatever it wants because every army is really just chaos but it won't be fluffy if they are all painted as IWs.

Are you losing unit options? No, you are gaining them. Are you losing army list options? I guess, but who cares? If you want to field your IW the same way as before, you probably can, almost to a T.

jfrazell
18-06-2007, 18:41
So in other words everyone will be Black Legion (minus vet skills, most of the demonic gifts and non-gerneic demons of course).

Nurglitch
18-06-2007, 18:57
Only in your view. In the world of actual gaming, your epically done librarian who's been specially painted, has marks for each time he successfully passed a psychic test whatever is still the same plain jane librarian I've played against 20 times in the last year and by now bores me to tears to see, yet again. Nope, in everyone's view, whether they know it or not. You're confusing the character attributed to the model with the rules governing the model's behaviour in the game. That Librarian has plenty of character and that character doesn't make a lick of difference to how the model operates as an element in the game of Warhammer 40k. Of course if you're not interested in character and instead in performance then I'd have to agree that minimizing the amount of customization in Warhammer does tend to remove its saving grace as a game. It's not like it has interesting game mechanics to fall back on.

Voodoo Boyz
18-06-2007, 19:05
I wonder, how many games do you play on average.

I think that'll answer as to why certain players feel that the need for variety in choice in terms of the GAME has more to do with their enjoyment of the hobby.

Guess what, I play the game 2-3 times a week, some time more depending if the wife is away that weekend or not.

Hows about the rest of you?

jfrazell
18-06-2007, 19:08
Nope, in everyone's view, whether they know it or not. You're confusing the character attributed to the model with the rules governing the model's behaviour in the game. That Librarian has plenty of character and that character doesn't make a lick of difference to how the model operates as an element in the game of Warhammer 40k. Of course if you're not interested in character and instead in performance then I'd have to agree that minimizing the amount of customization in Warhammer does tend to remove its saving grace as a game. It's not like it has interesting game mechanics to fall back on.


Not at all Nurglitch, thats your confusion not mine. You view "character" as internal, something for self. I view character as external, as exhibiting badges and incidents differing from those of my opponent or what my opponent expects.

To you "all that fluff stuff" marks the libarian as being different. Fine good for you (I do that as well).

However I also denote that selection of gifts/wargear/psychis powers etc. defines your characters and army on an external basis. Without that IC character A is identical to IC charcater B and so forth.

However, it is a false argument that there is only either or. Both can be done. Rules can help define additional features to separate the character/IC, whilst your internal fluff can still define that internally.

It does not have to be either / or.

Edit: Gaming- Generally once a week, depending on work. Playing more is generally not possible due to work and family requirements. My compatriots also tend to game 4-5 times a month. OTT but would love to play you voodoo if you ever make it down Houston way (I'll even bring something non-eldary for ya-promise...)

Keichi246
18-06-2007, 19:11
So in other words everyone will be Black Legion (minus vet skills, most of the demonic gifts and non-gerneic demons of course).

And again - what's the difference?

Background - Nope, all still there.
Unit choices - Well, from here it looks like they got a *lot* bigger.
Certain - "perhaps unbalanced" freebies: they went away as part of the Codex reshuffle. Then again - new things will undoubtedly emerge.

Honestly - what EXACTLY do you lose again? And how are "THOSE SPECIFC RULES" critical to the existance of your army as a distinct entity in the 40k -verse?

Gaebriel
18-06-2007, 19:17
I think it's the way you build a list from the choices given (ie Codex), and the way you play them is what gives the personal touch (character, colour, whatever) to an army. How you model your models is a close second.

That's supposed to mean "within an army list" - I agree different factions (eg Eldars as opposed to Orcs) should have different lists, hence different rules. I do not think that rules are needed to underline the difference of a different layout within a section (eg Ultramarines as opposed to Imperial Fists). I also do not think every special character model needs it's special rules to be something special.

I guess it comes down to how much worth one places on actual impact on gameplay - 'needs special rules to impress', or 'the name is good enough' - I know players who would rather want to invent a specials rule to distinguish their Commander, others are content with choosing a specific wargear combo, even others take standard and just give him a name.

And I disagree with the notion that rules differences are needed to beef up a game from boring to interesting - looking at historical wargames, people mostly play with identical choices of units (infantry is infantry is infantry, as well as veryone has infantry, cavalry and artillery) - what gives colour is the way people play their units.

Skyweir
18-06-2007, 19:20
Regarding options, you are going to have many more options in the next codex, its just that all the legions will have the same options. For example, everyone can take 3 units of oblits, not just IWs. Plague Marines are a troop choice for everyone, not just deathguard. Each army is going to have many more options. What people seem to dislike is that they liked being restricted by the rules for their legion better than being restricted by their own fluff choices. Before, IW couldn't take plague marines, period. Now, an IW army using the new codex can take whatever it wants because every army is really just chaos but it won't be fluffy if they are all painted as IWs.

Are you losing unit options? No, you are gaining them. Are you losing army list options? I guess, but who cares? If you want to field your IW the same way as before, you probably can, almost to a T.

Restrictions are important. Plauge Marines shouldn't be a troop option for everyone.
Why can't I take a Leman Russ in a Space Marine army? It's not like the Space Marines don't have access to the technology, or even the acctual tanks?
Or why not Starcannons in Imperial Guard. I am sure that some regiments out there use looted once....
Because restictions is part of what makes armies different.

The point is that even if some of the Legions armylist could perhaps be fielded like they did before, losing the acctual rules means that you can't really play Iron Warrios army anymore.
Just like you can't play a Hrud army. You might convert an army of Hruds and use the Imperial Guard rules, but gamewise it's still an Imperial Guard army in the game so that is what you play.

Basicly all this comes down to the same. We could all play the different armies with only the Space Marine rules, using our imagination to make the rules cover every other army, since it is the paint and modells that count.
But we don't.
We want rules for our armies that are different from other armies.
And players of different Legions want rules for their Legions that set them apart form the generic legion.
Why does the line go between Black Legion (an army) and Alpha Legion (not an army), but not between Ultramarines (an army) and Dark Angels (also an army)?

And getting the ability to take more of one unit than before is hardly a lot of new options........but losing 8 armylists and 12 kinds of daemons is somehow not losing options....

lord_blackfang
18-06-2007, 19:23
Gonna have to go with this one too.

If you really can't 'keep' your army due to a rule change you're either not playing it for it's character or you have the imaginative capacity of white fence paint.


Or you are Alpha legion and play an infiltrating force.

All-infiltrating AL is neither characterful nor imaginative. Just saying.

jfrazell
18-06-2007, 19:24
1. 1. Issue of thread was, do rules equal character. I’d basically choosing C-rules help with that (My fluffy Champion of Law wouldn’t be nearly as cool without the rules that make him a character killer as befitting his mission, but without the concept he’s just an IC).

2. But to your query-no demonic gifts, no veteran skills, generic demons only makes the rumored chaos list distinctly Generic Marines with Spikes in feel. Again YMMV.

jfrazell
18-06-2007, 19:25
All-infiltrating AL is neither characterful nor imaginative. Just saying.

Well thats your opinion and its clearly wrong wrong really really wrong :angel:

Skyweir
18-06-2007, 19:27
And again - what's the difference?

Background - Nope, all still there.
Unit choices - Well, from here it looks like they got a *lot* bigger.
Certain - "perhaps unbalanced" freebies: they went away as part of the Codex reshuffle. Then again - new things will undoubtedly emerge.

Honestly - what EXACTLY do you lose again? And how are "THOSE SPECIFC RULES" critical to the existance of your army as a distinct entity in the 40k -verse?

In the 40k-verse, it's not critical. The faction will exist, but will be unplayable.
As for the game:
The same way the rules for the Eldar are critical for the existence of the Eldar as a distinct entity in the 40K-game....by having distinct rules for a distinct army, so that the Eldar are not Imperial Guardsmen with pointed ears.

Nurglitch
18-06-2007, 19:47
Not at all Nurglitch, thats your confusion not mine. You view "character" as internal, something for self. I view character as external, as exhibiting badges and incidents differing from those of my opponent or what my opponent expects. Like I said, you're apparently confused about the meaning of the term 'character' as you apply it indiscriminately to both games and the stories we might tell about games and their elements. In terms of games you seem to take it to mean something like 'differentiation' or 'variety', which is where the whole sorry non-argument at topic in this thread originates. Of course variety in the characterization of armies doesn't affect variety in games or elements of games. That's because games and the stories we tell about them are not connected; they are independent of each other. Of course rules are character if you take 'character' to mean variety. And of course rules are not character if you take 'character' to mean the story you tell about the elements of the game you might choose to call your 'army'. It's just amphiboly concerning the term 'character'.


To you "all that fluff stuff" marks the libarian as being different. Fine good for you (I do that as well). Nope. As I noted a Librarian is a Librarian is a Librarian where you call him Jerry or Joe or Epistoliary Marcus Antonius of the Hell's Griffin's Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes who served with distinction in the Golgotha Suppression, etc, blah blah blah. I don't confuse game pieces for the stories I might tell about them. Funny that eh?


However I also denote that selection of gifts/wargear/psychis powers etc. defines your characters and army on an external basis. Without that IC character A is identical to IC charcater B and so forth. The models and their options are identical where you're using the same rules, naturally. Who you imagine them to represent might not be.


However, it is a false argument that there is only either or. Both can be done. Rules can help define additional features to separate the character/IC, whilst your internal fluff can still define that internally.

It does not have to be either / or. Like I said, if you can make a sound argument to that effect I'd really like to hear it. So far you're just confusing games and their properties with stories about elements of games. I'm not sure why but I think it's worth exploring.

Maleficum
18-06-2007, 20:15
And again - what's the difference?

Background - Nope, all still there.
Unit choices - Well, from here it looks like they got a *lot* bigger.
Certain - "perhaps unbalanced" freebies: they went away as part of the Codex reshuffle. Then again - new things will undoubtedly emerge.

Honestly - what EXACTLY do you lose again? And how are "THOSE SPECIFC RULES" critical to the existance of your army as a distinct entity in the 40k -verse?

Right.



this is an issue that's come up a lot, and I guess I'll address it.

Every list has some drawbacks and some advantages over other lists. That's why they aren't the same list.
Isn't it awesome how everyone who looks at a list that they don't play ignores the drawbacks, looks at the advantages, decides that, since they've ignored the drawbacks, there aren't any, and screams about how these guys get tons of benefits for free?

I play Black Legion, Death Guard and World Eaters (well, at least I have a force).

My Death Guard will lose it's ability of all to infiltrate and the free champs from 'favoured units', but will gain Raptors, Heavy Bolters and Rhinoes for my TROOP choices.

None of which I am forced to take! (allthough why my Death Guarders can't use heavy bolters and missile launchers is beyond me).

For those who lost an all-infiltrating force...so? Alpha legionares are supposedly the most versitile force, why stick with just one gimmick?

I'd play games and write up devious tricks and choose missions that fits your army rather than use the same all, one-trick-bland-pony of undercosted infiltrating marines that play exactly the same in game after game.

I will miss my infiltrating Plaguemarines (somehow, probarly due to the Webcom lost in space :o ) I've thought of Plaguemarines as infiltrators. Might also have something to do with my playing WFRPG ... two words: "Enemy Within"

I do agree that rules help define an army, but as it's a game it really shouldn't be unbalanced (as some chaos legion-rules is, with only perceived weaknesses*), nor limit the army to a cockie-cutter list.



* You don't need daemons to make a competetive Chaos army, for instance...


Freebies that require the dismissing of unwanted elements is really a bad thing to do when designing games

Well, Whatever, Nevermind.

jfrazell
18-06-2007, 21:07
Like I said, you're apparently confused about the meaning of the term 'character' as you apply it indiscriminately to both games and the stories we might tell about games and their elements. In terms of games you seem to take it to mean something like 'differentiation' or 'variety', which is where the whole sorry non-argument at topic in this thread originates. Of course variety in the characterization of armies doesn't affect variety in games or elements of games. That's because games and the stories we tell about them are not connected; they are independent of each other. Of course rules are character if you take 'character' to mean variety. And of course rules are not character if you take 'character' to mean the story you tell about the elements of the game you might choose to call your 'army'. It's just amphiboly concerning the term 'character'.

Nope. As I noted a Librarian is a Librarian is a Librarian where you call him Jerry or Joe or Epistoliary Marcus Antonius of the Hell's Griffin's Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes who served with distinction in the Golgotha Suppression, etc, blah blah blah. I don't confuse game pieces for the stories I might tell about them. Funny that eh?

The models and their options are identical where you're using the same rules, naturally. Who you imagine them to represent might not be.

Like I said, if you can make a sound argument to that effect I'd really like to hear it. So far you're just confusing games and their properties with stories about elements of games. I'm not sure why but I think it's worth exploring.



So why have any difference? Why not play with generic marine IC? He'll have a sword and boltpistol. After all everything else is just rules and you don't need that for "character."
Of course at that point all we need is codex Guys. Anything else is just rules for need purposes, after all everyone should be able to be completely happy with choosing one fo the three lists from Codex Guys. Want to play Eldar? Just Play Codex Guys with troops. Just pretend they are fast and paint them bright colors? Want to play Kult of Speed? Just get lots of Transports (TM) and paint them green.

Tired of playing with Codex Guys? Just paint your troops red and say they're chaos. Paint some of them pink and they can be demonettes. Why you crying?

Meh.

Voodoo Boyz
18-06-2007, 21:19
By Nurglich's definition no army will be without "Character" so long as it has fluff in the Warhammer 40k storyline.

<----Name calling removed. WarSeer Inquisition---->

If you haven't seen the point that jfrazell and I have been trying to make, that rules for an army define it's "character in the context of the game" then this is just wasting bandwidth.

jfrazell
18-06-2007, 21:28
By Nurglich's definition no army will be without "Character" so long as it has fluff in the Warhammer 40k storyline.

<----Name calling removed. WarSeer Inquisition---->

If you haven't seen the point that jfrazell and I have been trying to make, that rules for an army define it's "character in the context of the game" then this is just wasting bandwidth.


Yes there is nothing wrong with both rules/list options, and personal fluff. But if you're going to play, to an opponent there is no difference unless your character has individual items selected or rules. Else you're just Eldrad in a different color. And if thats the extent you like differentiation thats fine too.

xanthalanari
18-06-2007, 21:37
Hi all. I'm new here, so I hope you don't mind me coming in so late in the conversation. :)

I think it's a bit of both - both the rules and the way an army's put together can effect the character. Little things like the choice of single or multiple shot for bolt throwers, or not being able to take a Necromancer in a Sylvanian army, can really make a difference to the feel of an army. At the same time, I don't think a shiny new straight-out-of-the-box army is going to have the depth to it that something that's been converted and added to will. Personally I try to have at least one conversion in every infantry unit, but that's because I have a short attention span and get bored with painting the same thing over and over. :D

Nurglitch
18-06-2007, 22:15
So why have any difference? Why not play with generic marine IC? He'll have a sword and boltpistol. After all everything else is just rules and you don't need that for "character." Actually I agree entirely. In my Bloodshot rules Librarians are just marines with a rule permitting them to use psychic powers and be equipped with force weapons, which is just to say they're a collection of rules differentiated from other collections of rules by six extra rules (one 'trait' rule, one 'weapon' rule, four 'psychic power' rules). But I like to imagine all that dice rolling and fiddling around with little plastic toys is a Librarian of the Adeptus Astartes smiting the enemies of Mankind.


By Nurglich's definition no army will be without "Character" so long as it has fluff in the Warhammer 40k storyline.

<----Name calling removed. WarSeer Inquisition---->. Nice trolling, but... A bunch of little plastic toys that you move around as a game has no character unless you give it some. They might be strategically useful, diverse, fun, and interesting to play with but unless you add your imagination they're as characterful as checkers. <----Response unnecessary. WarSeer Inquisition---->

Mr Zephy
18-06-2007, 22:21
I think it's the way you build a list from the choices given (ie Codex), and the way you play them is what gives the personal touch (character, colour, whatever) to an army. How you model your models is a close second.

Interesting you should say that, since I think these two things are the most important also, but the modelling is most important. A proud knightly chapter for example will look more colourful and have heraldry, e.c.t., while an urban siege style one will have deeply different colour scheme. The style of play however, can be explained away usually: e.g. they didn't charge because they wanted to keep back for something bigger, choosing instead to merely shoot.

Like you said also, when infantry=infantry, I think it's the uniforms e.c.t. that makes them special.

jfrazell
18-06-2007, 22:26
Nice trolling, but... A bunch of little plastic toys that you move around as a game has no character unless you give it some. They might be strategically useful, diverse, fun, and interesting to play with but unless you add your imagination they're as characterful as checkers. in

Ah but that doesn't work either. Your fluff has no bearing on the perceived "character" of an IC. Thats only internal. Externally its the exact same thing as every other "checker piece" unless it plays in some different manner.

Further, its not trolling, its just the red shift contrast to your own argument. You're effectively espousing the position that no differentiation is needed, without supporting how librarian A is any different then librarian B. In your mind, yes, but not in actual game play. Thats fine for an RPG, however, this is a game played partly for the different experiences. If not, we would all be playing chess or the much maligned checkers.

I think Mr. Zephy notes it succinctly, if indirectly above.

Character.
Is character a special paintjob/conversion? To some yes (Zephy emphasis).
Is charecter masterful involved fluff. To some yes (I'd put nurglitch imore in this category).
Is character an FOC that does something different, something tailored representing what you think it should be. To some yes (best represented immeditately by Voodoo).

In my LATD force its all three. Specialized rules with a character killer as a champion-designed specifically and completely to kill IC's. Converted and painted as a golden champion of law with wings and lots fruey stuff. Complete Fluff workup and leading protagonist (he's one of the points of the whole concept). All are equally relevant. Oh my its so 'can't we all get along' I'll have to get a guitar and start singing koombaya music.

Again the third option is clear - both.

Hydian
18-06-2007, 22:44
Huh...imagine that, the first listing for character from the american heritage dictionary happens to apply directly to this thread:


char∑ac∑ter (kār'ək-tər) Pronunciation Key
n.
The combination of qualities or features that distinguishes one person, group, or thing from another.

The rules that distinguish one army from another definately contribute to that army's character by any reasonable definition. If you strip away all of the paint, shapes, and background, an eldar army is always going to have a different character than a space marine army. It will play differently and will feel different. That is character.

jfrazell
18-06-2007, 22:46
Hydian, use of facts and logic will not be tolerated...;)

Worsle
18-06-2007, 23:04
All-infiltrating AL is neither characterful nor imaginative. Just saying.

No every one knows a legion famed for using a verity of tatics and strategies would just use the same same tactic over and over again, never doing any thing else.

NotElite
18-06-2007, 23:22
The more people argue this point, the more polarized the arguments become.

So let's take it to the logical poles using SMs as an example:

Space Marines would be just as characterful if they used the Imperial Guardsman stat block and weapon rules, but we still called their gear "power armor and bolters"

Space Marines just lack character if you can't customize the armylist to suit the exact Marine-to-Marine build style your list to match the background. All sneaky gits must have infiltrate, for example. All CSMs should be able to pick any weapon since they've had 10,000 years to find ones they want...

You can define character however you want to "prove" your point, but the fact is there needs to be a balance to the poles to make the armies fun to play, balanced and flavorful. (Since we seem to be arguing about the word "characterful" I'm not using it.)

My opinion, do rules add flavor? Of COURSE! Without differences in the rules, every army would play the same... I can just paint up chess pieces if that is all I wanted from an army...

Nurglitch
18-06-2007, 23:33
Ah but that doesn't work either. Your fluff has no bearing on the perceived "character" of an IC. Thats only internal. Externally its the exact same thing as every other "checker piece" unless it plays in some different manner. Okay, let us suppose that when I say "game" I mean what you mean when you say "externally", and when I say "imagination" I mean whatever you're calling "internal". Now, you seem to argue that "character" is something that only games have and not anything in the stories we tell about games because these are somehow "internal".

Now, do I think that no differentiation is needed between tokens of the type we could label "Librarian" or "Blue Space Marine" or whatever? No, in fact I already pointed out that Warhammer 40k is a lousy game and that such differentiation is its only saving grace as a game, and that it needs such differentiation to be remotely interesting. Fortunately it also has a background which engages the imaginations of players despite having game mechanics suitable for drunks and children, and diversity suitable for the slightly ADD sort of person that constitutes a majority of the players.

That's not the issue though. The issue is whether that differentiation in game elements give it character. Maybe in the weak sense of being "the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing." But not in the sense that we're discussing here, of being "in accordance with the role or personality assumed in a performance." That performance, of course, is the performance of the characters in the stories that we represent using toy soldiers. An army has character when it will behave much like it would in the background.

So do rules allow a model to better represent some figment of the players' imaginations? No, unless of course a player lacks imagination and confuses the rules of the game with its background. But do more rules allow a model or type of model to be differentiated from others? They can, but not necessarily. It depends on how they're implemented and thus according to their scope. Indeed the army depending on the most special rules, the Necrons, are the least varied and most undifferentiated armies seen in the game. Moreover whether an army behaves like it does in the background depends on how a player wishes to use it, which will be either motivated by narrative or competitive concerns.

Being motivated by competitive concerns rules out those armies that, for lack of a better term, 'play themselves'. A truly competitive player will play the game, not some other player's fantasy of what the game represents. Being motivated by narrative concerns (or by long term competitive concerns, as it is so often reducible to) means that special rules to force players into certain actions are superfluous. It follows then that character is solely a matter of whether elements in a game conform to the expectations that the players have for the army represented by those elements, rather than whether one set of elements is differentiated from another. The natural corollary to this is that there is no third option because the amphiboly of the term 'character' permits no characterization that follows the conjunction of the character of an army and the differentiation of its associated game elements from other sets of game elements that is not reducible (and thus unique) to the characterization of an army.

The question is then: what's up with players who think that the possibility of variation in game elements individuates an army? Do you people play a game after composing your army lists? A Librarian is still a librarian whether it has three options or no options. You people understand the type/token distinction, right?


Hydian, use of facts and logic will not be tolerated... Please? With cherries on top? You might like it if you try.

GreenDracoBob
18-06-2007, 23:42
I would say both, but I'm a little scared to...

In any case, imagination and creativity in the character you put into the army contribute a lot to deviate the force from other similar ones...

But rules are the imagination and creative of the designers put into a force to make it play like they believe it should. It's almost a self-fulfilling prophecy. The designers use their imagination to create rules, which we use to base our own creativity to make our own armies, which must use rules to continue the imagination on the tabletop. Both are needed in certain amounts, though those amounts differ from people to people.

I myself am a little conflicted, wanting to both say "Get over it!" and "What if it happens to my army?" In the end, I would probably choose the first and get over the losses, but I may still miss the days of the past.

So I say both, but sitting between the trenches is never very safe.

Lord Malek The Red Knight
19-06-2007, 02:03
rules (not necessarily special rules) can help define certain aspects of an army's character, but at the same time arent always necessary to define other aspects. i suppose it depends on how the game quantifies different things...

for example: Space Marines are much better shots than Imperial Guardsmen. now, wouldnt it feel wrong if a Marine scored the same number of hits (on average) as a Guardsman whenever he fired his weapon?

another example: Melta Guns are designed to destroy heavily armoured targets with relative ease. wouldnt it feel wrong if they had the same stats as a Bolter? the number of times you destroyed a vehicle with a "Melta Gun" would be about the same as the number of times you were able to do so with a normal Bolter (because they both need the same dice scores).

other things are harder to quantify - take an army that uses stealth to sneak up on the enemy, get close and attack without warning. this could be represented by the army all getting the Infiltrate rule. but by the time you are setting up your Infiltrators, the battle is already starting - the reasons for the battle, its time and location have all gone on behind the scenes (not represented ingame). who's to say an army represented by a list without Infiltrate havent snuck up upon the enemy and taken them by suprise? that could be why the game is taking place in the first place. and whats stopping them deploying out of sight or in cover, so they can strike without warning? a game of 40K already takes place at relatively close quarters (just outside small arms effective range) and if you add in a turn of advancing through/behind cover, you can get even closer.

you could emphasise this even further by taking units that fit into this style of war/play. for examples, small units that are easier to hide, fast moving units that can close the gap between their cover and the enemy quickly, weapons that can be fired on the move so they can be effective on the turn you break from cover. loud clanky Vehicles would be difficult to conceal as you advanced (fluff), and they just happen to be difficult to hide ingame (large physical size and Size 3).

combining all these things (and some stuff i probably havent even thought of... Pinning Weapons? lone ICs to utilise their Move Through Cover USR?) allows you to represent an infiltrating stealth army without them actually having a rule called "Infiltrate". if you practice the art of sneaking up on the enemy ingame you will get better at it, and you can also improve by tweaking your list even further to fit the tactics you use. by playing the army the way they fight they become more like the way they should feel.

now, compare that to the "its a Melta Gun (but it uses the stats of a Bolter)" example from earlier. no matter how good you are at using your "Melta Guns", no matter how in character you play them and their users, their chances of Penetrating a Land Raider do not go up - theres no way to make it feel better.

back to the Infiltrators... lets call them the "Stealth Lords". you play against an army of "Blood Lords" who supposedly favour close combat, daring charges with little regard to cover or enemy fire, and are bloodthirsty, rash and impetuous. sure they might have access to all the same units, weapons and rules that your army does, and they might be able to use the exact same tactics on the tabletop. depending on how their owner builds his list, deploys and plays, the could be just as "stealthy" as your army. it would feel wrong if that happened, wouldnt it?

well the difference here is that their player can do something about that: just because they can take the same units doesnt mean he has to, same goes for using the same tactics. he could take large units (more likely to make it into combat despite casualties, will make more of an impact when they get there, being able to hide easily isnt a concern), transport vehicles, big clunky walkers. they could deploy as close to the enemy as possible, with the clearest (fastest) route ahead of them. they could charge forwards as quickly as possible without stopping to ensure no-one can shoot them for the first couple of turns. guns could be limited to close range pistols, flame throwers etc, with most models armed for close combat rather than a moving gunfight.

they dont have to play like "Stealth Lords" painted red - they can feel just like "Blood Lords" are supposed to feel.

and thats another difference between the Infiltrators-without-a-rule-called-'Infiltrate' case and that of the puny "Melta Guns". the Blood Lord player chose to stop his army feeling like Stealth Lords, despite them both having the exact same options to choose from, where as I couldnt choose for my "Melta Guns" to Penetrate Armour better than my "Bolters".

so i guess that means im going for "C" too. ;)

~ Tim
p.s. a point from the thread:
IG looting Starcannons. Eldar tech is advanced, IG power supplies wouldnt necessarily be compatible, using it could be considered heretical. why not take a Tech Priest (Radical, studies Xenos tech), and give him a Plasma Cannon (or even Heavy Bolter) Servitor to count as a Starcannon. you could say that he is shunned by his fellow Tech Priests for his heresy, so no other Tech Priests would be taken in the same force. you could say that his lack of understanding, power source and spare parts explains the difference in the ingame capabilities between a fully functioning Starcannon used by the Eldar and what his Servitor is carrying about (couldnt get the grav platform to float so it cant move and shoot, for example).

or you could say the grav platform works, but the power cell for the weapon itself is drained and cant be recharged - represent it with a Grenade Launcher. and to stop it feeling just like the real grenade launchers your opponent faces every week when playing other guard armies? always keep a (radical) Tech Priest near by/never let the (puritan) Tech Priest see it. or randomly determine which kind of Grenade it will fire each turn (to represent the Guardsmen fiddling with the controls trying to get it to work). or maybe its valuable, so you make sure it never gets captured (if the unit takes heavy casualties they could retreat voluntarily, backing away from the enemy in spite of the mission's victory conditions). maybe its liable to explode (due to the damage it suffered before it was looted/the poor maintainance and prodding it has suffered since), so you always keep a Medic near by, or the Guardsmen "refuse" to fire it. or maybe the looted weapons are always used by the throw-away cannon fodder squads, so move them towards the enemy as quickly as possible, forcing Target Priority tests to protect the other, less expendable units. get the idea? :)

sebster
19-06-2007, 03:40
Character is most important.

No, rules are most important.

They’re both important, and no-one is making you choose one over the other.

Rules are most important. This game is getting too simple and childlike because my army has lost its special rule.

To the sum of its own ceterus parabus, it can be taken that the node token will be expressed in-so-far-as it relates to something to the distance of its, let us say… dance dance revolution. You are familiar with that moderately pleasant Japanese arcade sensation dance dance revolution, aren’t you?

Rules are most important.

No, character is most important.



Seriously, what are we arguing about here? If everyone accepts that there are rules and there is the player’s own efforts, and both these things can make an army what it is, what is left to discuss? These two things are not in opposition with each other.

The Dude
19-06-2007, 04:34
I hope I'm not double posting, but I've heard a great example of the ten commandments being a frme in which a person should ty to liv ther lives on th canvas inbetwen, and your exmple rekinded that imagery.

Ladies and Gentlemen. DONíT DRINK AND POST!!! :p


Largely, I think, because things that are not the same should not have the same rules.

Iíve never claimed that things that are not the same should have the same rules. I am saying the rules are there to establish the THEME of the army. Many different armies can share the same themes, but it is the CHARACTER that makes them UNIQUE.


Like I said, you're apparently confused about the meaning of the term 'character' as you apply it indiscriminately to both games and the stories we might tell about games and their elements.

I think this is the case.

Hydianís definition is quite correct, but you will note it specifies that Character distinguishes ONE thing from another, not a group of things. The character of your army is UNIQUE, possessed by only ONE army.

YOUR army.

This is the point Iím making. People saying that losing their extra HS slots, or Daemons going Generic removes the Character from their army is just plain silly.

Losing those things balances and clarifies the game (hopefully), but it in no way stops you from playing your army as you already have.

If it is a certain play-style (ie theme) that blows your skirt up, and itís not available through one Codex, maybe try looking elsewhere, as itís obviously not part of the theme of that army.

20th Century Boy
19-06-2007, 06:23
I think there is

Rules : the necessary evil ;)

Theme : the way players uses the confined package of rules to build their armies

Colour : the backdrop and story the players assign to their selection of forces (what's called character here).

Rules are the same for everyone, as in everyone uses the 40k-ruleset. No personal distinction (character) can be made at that level (choosing which specific army to play is already part of the theme). It's theme and colour where imagination and creativity kick in. More or less - some people use no-brainer themes, others bend a Codex to next to unrecognizable results. Theme and colour are highly dynamic concepts that influence each other : I have a story idea (colour). I'm confined by a more or less suitable Codex (rules). I try to find the best compromise between the two (theme).

After this to answer the question at hand. Can I play without colour (character)? Possibly - just take a Codex, and hammer away (I would call that a gamist approach) - though by my definition the choice of Codex already implies character - so let's say one can play with next to no all through to nothing but character. Can rules provide character? Not by themselves, though if I'm lucky, they can help me communicate my story idea to gamists. Do I need rules to provide character? Heavens, no - my army's colour shall shine whether I use one rule or another - rules are there only to play.

Ronin_eX
19-06-2007, 09:51
I think another way of looking at this is to show that just because something gets more abstract does not mean it gets less characterful.

Say one of my marines is armed with a meltagun. Now say we take out all the weapons and turn them into generic packages of rules (kind of like CCWs actually). Imagine if you will that all standard rifles (bolters, lasguns, shootas, etc.) were given the same stats with only a few different variations possible (rifle, AP rifle, etc.) so that each army would carry roughly the same weapon with at most a small alteration that would likely be shared by a few other armies (bolters, guass rifles and shootas have the same stats for instance). Do bolters now cease to exist because they don't have their own stat line? No, they still exist in the fluff and they have loads of background material detailing their workings. All marines still carry bolters but they have the same stats as a shoota due to abstraction. The bolter has not lost any character because of this, it has simply lost its own rules.

Just look at close combat weapons for an example of where this happened already. There is no such thing as a chainsword, knife, axe or spear in the rules. Yet we still refer to chainswords carried by models and they are still very much a part of 40k's fluff. The chainsword is still one of the signature weapons of 40k but it doesn't even have its own rules anymore, if that doesn't show a disconnect between rules and character I don't know what does.

Rules and variation are used to make game play interesting but they are not a prerequisite for it and they certainly aren't needed to give something character. Character comes from the player not from rules like master-crafted, spiky bits, individual weapon stat-lines and army special rules. I have to agree with a previous poster that the only reason 40k has these things is that the game system without them is rather weak. I look at some other games out there with much better systems and I think that if every army was a mirror of another in those games it wouldn't matter because the system and background are good enough to make up for the lack of variety. Unfortunately the 40k system lacks any interesting features without special rules and thus a lot seem to creep in. This has caused many players to believe that rules somehow make up for the imagination of the player. Hopefully as 40k streamlines the rules this notion will start to get weeded out of people as people are forced to use their own imagination to create theme and character for their army.

Skyweir
19-06-2007, 11:32
The more abstract rules, the less interesting game.
That is my opinion.
Seems like a lot of people thinks differently, though. Personally I think that might be because of the way the game is evolving a more and more competition focused community, and GW is making their game into a tournament-game more than a hobby game.

I sure don't want a bolter to function like a lasgun. I was against removing the special rules from the chainsword to. The fact that a knife and a huge, motorized chainsaw has the same effect in the game detracts from the fun of playing it, because it doesn't feel like the game accurately refelcts the background. And the background is the reason I play 40k, and not chess/checkers/random miniature boardgame.

jfrazell
19-06-2007, 12:23
Ladies and Gentlemen. DONíT DRINK AND POST!!! :p


See you lost me right there. Anyone who has seen the gift of Voodoo on a Friday night in Japan ranting about eldar knows that the best posts are the post made when deeply "in your cups" :)

Sgt Biffo
20-06-2007, 07:34
Sorry Sgt Biffo, but I donít quite understand what youíre getting at. All the things youíve mentioned as making the Eldar ďCharacterfulĒ are, to me at least, merely options one could choose as an army theme. Even the perceived lack of resilience at range is merely part of the racial theme.

Letís look at Eldar for a moment. If an army consisted of 2 10-man Guardian Jetbike Squads with Warlocks on Jetbikes, a Farseer On Jetbike, and a Vyper (for example), I could either paint and model it as a hard and fast regimented Ulthwe Strike Force, or a mad and Impulsive Siam Hann Wild Rider Host.

The character is vastly different, but the rules are exactly the same.

I guess I ment the various Aspect warriors allow to make for a more interesting army choice and play style wise than Marines/Scouts/Terminators (Meat and two veg if you will).

The sample Eldar hosts, and differences there in, to me is just a paint job. How they are used would be more part of their character in this instance. The characteristic tactics would favour speed and manouverability for example instead of hunkering down in cover an blasting away with heavy ordenence. Why would you choose this style of play over the other; the unit types chosen and the hit and run rules prevelent in the majority of said host are more advantageous.

If the concepts of charateristic of an army is anathema then the standard method of choosing an army list and the tactic used on a day would best be chosen by pulling them out of a hat, as they would have no baring on the battle at all.

Also there is army characteristics that have built in rules for game design purposes. Death guard will serve as an example for the moment. No bikes, no heavy weapons, limited transpost options are all characteristics of this type of army, but why. There is no real solid old fluff that would give any reason for this, instead it's game mechanics are the major influence in this area.

SamaNagol
20-06-2007, 08:14
Character = Rules. That is how it should be.

The character of the force should dictate both the theme and the style of play. The style of play is dependent on the rules, ergo the Character of the force should dictate the rules.

Obviously within a list you may have room to diverge into specific aspects of said character, but an army should always retain the same overall character when applicable.

I do not like it when the army background is ret-conned to fit into some stupid new rules they have written to try and give the force balance or make it unique. Rules do not equal character, but character should always dictate the rules.

The Dude
20-06-2007, 08:39
Also there is army characteristics that have built in rules for game design purposes. Death guard will serve as an example for the moment. No bikes, no heavy weapons, limited transpost options are all characteristics of this type of army, but why. There is no real solid old fluff that would give any reason for this, instead it's game mechanics are the major influence in this area.

I think this is where the problem arises. Many of these Characteristics (which I would say fall under the heading of Theme) have been added to armies in 3rd edition in an attempt to force-feed diversity on players.

Consequently we now have some armies that have become drastically one dimensional. Iron Warriors go from Masters of Siege Warfare (a far more complicated process than just pounding the enemy with artillery) to Lots of Big Guns, without allowing any creativity in between.

The character of the army comes from their penchant for Bionics, their rigid discipline etc, not from an ability to field 4 bloody heavy support choices.

My point when starting this thread was essentially this:

Does every little bit of background mentioned need some sort of rule to represent it?

My answer is no, and it would seem that after the problems that 3rd edition spawned with its spoon-fed approach to army lists, Games Workshop has realised their mistake, and is acting accordingly.

So, if Games Workshop is set on removing the rules they mistakenly put in place in 3rd, are they then removing the very essence of the character of the armies these rules are attached to?

My answer again is no. Stripping the crappy paint job off of a miniature does not make it any less of a miniature. You are simply removing something that shouldnít have been there in the first place, allowing the natural potential to come through again. Imagine if 40K used pre-painted minis *blech*.

SamaNagol
20-06-2007, 09:13
I think the problem is that there is absolutely zero subtlety in the rules and lists being published and used.

I agree entirely with your points The Dude. When trying to give character to a force instead of subtley gearing a force towards a specific style of play, they end up shoehorning everything down one narrow channel using simplistic rules.

World Eaters and Iron Warriors are the worst for this. And I think this problem mainly arises when trying to differentiate variant lists. you don't really get it with main codex books, but when they try and implement variant lists you get about 4 or 5 simplistic rules which are meant to reflect "character".

Fourth
20-06-2007, 12:16
Does every little bit of background mentioned need some sort of rule to represent it?


That's one extreme. I think a lot of us are hearing that question, though, as the other extreme, and the "you don't need rules" side (pardon the imperfect paraphrase) is hearing the other argument as in favor of that extreme.

The two extremes are a) every aspect (every aspect) of the background gets its own rules. Every character has his own stats. Hell, every model has unique stats.

I'm not sure anyone actually wants this.

The other extreme--and, The Dude, I suspect this isn't what you want, but that seems to be the impression a number of us have got--is what I will refer to as 40k 5th Edition.

Every model will have the following rules:

WS 4, BS 4, S 4, T 4, W 1, I 4, A 1, LD 8, SV 3+.

Equipment: Gun, knife.
Rules for Gun: Assault 2, 12" range (having actual rapid fire rules is too complex), Str.4, AP- (no need for AP for anything that isn't AP3).

Oh, and Rending. Of course.

They will cost 15 points and be fielded in units of ten. There will be no other options for anyone.

In this dark future, we will have this argument again. It'll all sound exactly the same--half of us will think the game has lost some character, half of us won't.
Can't you hear it already? "Your army's not gone--just call 'em Eldar! Or Orks! Or whatever!"

I completely agree with everyone who's said that you don't need special rules to have "character". 5th edition would be perfect. What, you think Aspect Warriors should have different rules from Guardians or Wraithguard? Don't you have any imagination? Any creativity?

W0lf
20-06-2007, 12:42
Rules =- Character.

My evidence?

all the special Character have special rules to make them the character hey are.

Asmodai is no longer usable in dark angel armies. Sure i can just use his model and a interrogator chaplain stats for him but it dosnt have the same feel...

there is a reason special characters have special rules..

Kharn the betrayer wouldn't be kharn if he was just a khorne lord with abilities. Abbadon wouldn't be Abbadon without his daemon weapon of death.

its all about the rules.

The Dude
21-06-2007, 04:03
I completely agree with everyone who's said that you don't need special rules to have "character". 5th edition would be perfect. What, you think Aspect Warriors should have different rules from Guardians or Wraithguard? Don't you have any imagination? Any creativity?

Okay, I think this particular argument is quite obviously moot, as nobody could possibly argue that different RACES or different UNITS donít need special rules. I get the feeling everyone who is claiming to see this on the horizon is either overly melodramatic, completely insane, or simply playing silly-buggers in an attempt to support their argument.

Of course different armies need different rules. Thatís one of the aspects of the army theme. Likewise different units need different rules to fill different roles within that theme, and to act differently on the table.

Where the rules become unnecessary, and strangely enough also where a lot of players claim Character resides, is in niggly special rules and piles of wargear options.

I suppose what Iím saying is that this isnít about broad lists like races, itís about needless over-complication WITHIN the lists, like sub-lists and multiple slightly different wargear choices.

People choose armies for many reasons. Play Style, Miniatures, Background.

The play style is determined by the basic overarching list, and not the pissy little rules. So what if your Bikers donít get ďskilled ridersĒ? You can still take a crap load of them, allowing the fast and manoeuvrable play style to be used.

If you like the minis, youíll probably take one of everything just because it looks cool. What does it matter that the huge blades coming off the Raider donít let you slice up infantry? They sure as hell look cool.

If youíre into the background of an army, you will be able to tailor your army to represent your force nicely with a basic list and your immense knowledge of the background, even if itís exactly the same on paper as the next guyís and your commanderís giant flaming sword is really only a Power Weapon.

This is the closest you can come to a rules-character connection. If the rules fail to accurately represent the background of the Unit or race, then you could be forgiven for being a bit put off. HOWEVER, I donít think you could claim the character was taken away, just that it wasnít accurately represented on the table. And in this world of evolving background and retconning, we all have to live with this sort of thing sometime.

Lord Inquisitor
21-06-2007, 05:43
Yes, I think special rules CAN add to the character of an army. Then again, too many special rules can equally be harmful to game balance.

As with most things, it is simply a matter of finding the right balance between the two.

The Imperial Guard doctrine system lead to a lot of really cool armies out there with decent narrative behind them. Some armies are really quite different from your average IG army, and it would be difficult to represent them adequately without some kind of special rule. I've been toying with the idea of making an Adeptus Mechanicus Skitarii army for 40K for a while. If the doctrines system wasn't there I'm not sure I'd be so tempted. Let's say I make my Skitarii army - give them carapace armour, bionics, hardened fighter Sentinels to represent Praetorians and chem-inhalers to represent hardware-enforced bravery. Then take away the doctrines system. While the theme and "character" of the army will still be there, it just won't feel right on the tabletop. Not that I wouldn't be able to play the army. Not that the army wouldn't be usuable. But it would have lost some of the tabletop uniqueness that set it apart.

To put it less strongly - the rules won't quite fit the character of the army as well they could. It's really nice that in the current IG codex there is a difference in armour save between a heavily armoured infantryman, a regular flack-armoured Guard and a catachan wearing a vest. Is it absolutely necessary? Probably not. All guardsmen having a save of 5+ is an abstraction we used to live with, and we can do it again. Doesn't mean it isn't nice.

Being able to tailor the rules of your army to suit your theme and character is a nice luxury -- and while the theme and character may be primarily determined by the models and unit selection made, allowing you to tweak the way your army is actually represented by the rules can make the games more rewarding.

Torgo
21-06-2007, 16:57
I think that rules can enhance character, but don't necessarily do so. For example, daemonic stature adds character, your Chaos Lord has been blessed with daemonhood and now towers over mere mortals. Kind of cool, if you're into that sort of thing. Spiky bits, on the other hand, are simply a game mechanical effect that makes you better at close combat. There's a disconnect there, does your character have a spike fetish? Is he slightly better at melee than other characters? How do those connect?

Another example of rules versus character conflict were the weapon stats for 3rd edition. The game designers apparently decided that not only couldn't races share weapons, they couldn't share weapon stats. Sometimes this worked out, take the big shoota for example. A weapon with those stats would be almost cheesy in a marine list, but combined with the ork's new BS 2, it became the ultimate "spray and Waagh!" weapon, and fits the orks character. On the other hand, because eldar couldn't have lascannons anymore, we got the lance rule. Slightly less effective vs. light vehicles, which doesn't matter much with all that strength six weaponry around, and more effective against land raiders. Is it characterful for the eldar to really hate land raiders and design a specifically anti-land raider weapon? This merely made the already overcosted and confused land raider an even worse choice.

So part of the reason I think that rules aren't strictly necessary for character, is that it forces the choice between character and effectiveness. Not a new argument, and not specifically limited to 40K, but it pretty much dominates any discussion about this game. It seems that to many players, that if you care about one side, you aren't allowed to consider the other side.

Worsle
21-06-2007, 18:04
Torgo your last point goes for most walks of life, American politics is very bad for this as well. You are either with us or against us, you have to fall in one camp and if you don't like one extreme you must want the other and it tends to make debates rather tiresome (even worse when most politician of all parties hold pretty much the same point of view any way). Rules clearly are required to have a game and diffrent races need diffrent rules other wise the game is going to have problems however adding in rules for the sake of rules causes just as many issues.

Any one who takes an real look at the current chaos codex would get a list of balance issues a mile long just based on internal balance. The other thing is much of these rules do not add much other than rules so you end up with stuff that really just seems to be there for no real reason. However just because I think that should be stripped out does not make it follow that I think the game would be wonderful if every race looked exatly the same. Rules are vital in helping create charicter however that does not mean continually adding on more rules will add in more charicter.

SamaNagol
21-06-2007, 18:40
I think we have seen that certain rules enhance character. Certain rules are the in game EMBODIMENT of the force's character.

And certain rules are merely inserted in order to attempt to give character. These are the bad ones.

Asmith
21-06-2007, 18:45
Any one who takes an real look at the current chaos codex would get a list of balance issues a mile long just based on internal balance. The other thing is much of these rules do not add much other than rules so you end up with stuff that really just seems to be there for no real reason.

Please illustrate some of these easy to find examples.

Worsle
21-06-2007, 20:35
Are you telling me you can't see clear internal imbalance in the chaos codex? We have weapon issues like the needle of desired 9 times out of 10 being a vastly inferior dark blade for the same price or spiky bits and master crafting doing the same dam thing but at diffrent prices. Or legion balance where some of the legions give up 90% of the codex and get a few points in return compared to other legions that give up a couple of things minor (many of witch other people give up with out any bonus in return) and then get massive benefits for it, really who is getting the better deal thousand son players or the alpha legion? It is just silly to pretend these problems are not there as I said originality if you take an really look at the chaos codex you will find a multitude of internal balance problems with out looking out side. look at the wargear, especially at the stuff you never see used and the stuff that is used a lot, same with units and then take a good look at what all of the legions give up and what they get in return.


I think we have seen that certain rules enhance character. Certain rules are the in game EMBODIMENT of the force's character.

And certain rules are merely inserted in order to attempt to give character. These are the bad ones.

The big issue is you will never get every one to agree one what rules are the ones vital to the character and witch ones are pointless or even detrimental.

jfrazell
21-06-2007, 20:48
I agree there are balance issues in the current codex. Fixable balance issues.
But the solution to balnacing issues is not to remove the great gob of choices that make chaos unique.

Seriously, after this codex loyalist marines will have more options then chaos. Thats a great big screaming Meh to me.

SamaNagol
21-06-2007, 20:52
The big issue is you will never get every one to agree one what rules are the ones vital to the character and witch ones are pointless or even detrimental.

This is exactly it.

Asmith
21-06-2007, 21:41
Are you telling me you can't see clear internal imbalance in the chaos codex? We have weapon issues like the needle of desired 9 times out of 10 being a vastly inferior dark blade for the same price or spiky bits and master crafting doing the same dam thing but at diffrent prices. Or legion balance where some of the legions give up 90% of the codex and get a few points in return compared to other legions that give up a couple of things minor (many of witch other people give up with out any bonus in return) and then get massive benefits for it, really who is getting the better deal thousand son players or the alpha legion? It is just silly to pretend these problems are not there as I said originality if you take an really look at the chaos codex you will find a multitude of internal balance problems with out looking out side. look at the wargear, especially at the stuff you never see used and the stuff that is used a lot, same with units and then take a good look at what all of the legions give up and what they get in return.

The big issue is you will never get every one to agree one what rules are the ones vital to the character and witch ones are pointless or even detrimental.

I really wanted to you to make lists so that you would realize there is only a small number of things that need tweaking, not gut out the entire list and start from scratch, while removing most of the options, and yes, character from the list.

Worsle
21-06-2007, 22:09
Define small? None of the legion rules have any sense of internal balance, is that a small problem or a very big one? Only a few problem items? Most of the god specific armouries are so useless you would not use them, really are you even looking at the same armoury I am? And yes there is all but no imbalance in the units at all, possessed are great, power armoured chosen are a worthwhile option, these get even better when you add the MoT, while we are thinking of marks all the cult options are highly balanced and all equaly useful, raptors are not over costed, daemonettes are all balanced and make sense compared to each other oops I mean daemons its just daemonettes are the only option that really gets much use.

jfrazell
21-06-2007, 22:12
I'm guessing you play against Chaos...

Worsle
21-06-2007, 22:17
No I play chaos, the fact I believe the MoT to be so wonderful I thought would have been the clue, I have also just singled out the underpowered stuff so it is hard to say I am bitching about how strong the list is.

jfrazell
21-06-2007, 22:27
So your answer is rip everything out?

Asmith
21-06-2007, 22:32
NONE of the legions? MOST of the god specific armories? I guess we aren't looking at the same armory. ONLY Demonettes get use? Good thing the new codex removes ALL of that stuff so we don't have to worry about it.

I happen to use possessed and power armored chosen and raptors for that matter, and all the types of demons and most of the armory. There is not much wrong with most of it. Most of the stuff you are complaining about in the armory is slightly underpowered but only a few point adjustment here and there required. That few points isn't going to matter to any but diehard powergamers anyway. As for legions what do they need to fix? Iron warriors (lets see moving the obliterators to heavy pretty much eliminates that problem), 1000 suns, (give tzeetch a little love), Alpha legion (I don't really think much wrong here). Maybe emporer's children need a slight point bump. So they need to tweak some point costs, and do a couple of small changes to tweak 3 maybe 4 legions. Yup we are much better off they trashed everything.

The Song of Spears
21-06-2007, 22:45
NONE of the legions? MOST of the god specific armories? I guess we aren't looking at the same armory. ONLY Demonettes get use? Good thing the new codex removes ALL of that stuff so we don't have to worry about it.

I happen to use possessed and power armored chosen and raptors for that matter, and all the types of demons and most of the armory. There is not much wrong with most of it. Most of the stuff you are complaining about in the armory is slightly underpowered but only a few point adjustment here and there required. That few points isn't going to matter to any but diehard powergamers anyway. As for legions what do they need to fix? Iron warriors (lets see moving the obliterators to heavy pretty much eliminates that problem), 1000 suns, (give tzeetch a little love), Alpha legion (I don't really think much wrong here). Maybe emporer's children need a slight point bump. So they need to tweak some point costs, and do a couple of small changes to tweak 3 maybe 4 legions. Yup we are much better off they trashed everything.

Nuff said :)

This is the truth of the matter from the mouth of someone who actually plays a chaos army, not the IG guy who is whining about what chaos gets over what IG gets.

Sure sure, you can model anything on your minis you want. But if it has no basis in the game then yes, your army has character in pictures, but in play you are a cookie cutter nobody.

Adding lots of special rules and weapons adds character to the way a army is played reinforcing the way the army was modeled.

By the by Iron Warriors loosing basilisks and vindicators VERY MUCH destroys my army's character, as those carefully modified models are not even allowed on the table anymore. :mad:

Worsle
21-06-2007, 23:32
Can we stop it with the stupid arguments already? You know I was trying to be fair about this but instead I get a bunch of border line insults thrown at me and the same old if you don't like this extreme you must want the other nonsense and told I don't play chaos? Right... I see this going well.

It is not like the new codex rips every thing out any way, sure you don't get your theme broken into small and not always constant with the background chunks for you but there is still going to be a lot there. Look at the Eldar codex can you make a lot of diffrent and characterful lists? Yes. Can you represent the craftworlds? Yes. Would a page of options for all the squad leaders make this more characterful? Not in any meaningful way and it would harm game play. I am sure it could be characterful to have rules for what your lord likes to eat before battle but I don't see it really adding any thing to the game.

Ravenheart
21-06-2007, 23:38
Nuff said :)
By the by Iron Warriors loosing basilisks and vindicators VERY MUCH destroys my army's character, as those carefully modified models are not even allowed on the table anymore.

Vindicators are still in the codex, btw..

The Song of Spears
21-06-2007, 23:44
Vindicators are still in the codex, btw..

And the Basilisk?

It doesn't matter what unit they remove, they should not remove any. They didn't with Eldar or DA, so they should not with Chaos.

However, I am wondering... Vindicators and Basilisks are not in the current codex, they are simply a subheading under the IW section. So maybe it will be the same in the new codex...

Fourth
22-06-2007, 01:54
I think we have seen that certain rules enhance character. Certain rules are the in game EMBODIMENT of the force's character.

And certain rules are merely inserted in order to attempt to give character. These are the bad ones.

This, I think, is the paraphrase of what I've been saying:

GOOD rules equal character. (Poorly-written rules don't; abstract rules don't.)
Or perhaps, "Rules should equal character. If a given rule doesn't it needs rewriting. Not removal, necessarily, rewriting.

Example: Assault cannons. They need fixing. Fortunately, the designers are actually fixing it (by only allowing one per squad), rather than simply erasing AC's from every book. (Those multibarrelled thingies on your Terminators? Just for show. They're just funny-looking storm bolters). This latter approach has been taken with almost everything that the 3.5 CSM codex did right, as well as most of the things it did wrong.

Instead of fixing the current Codex (arguably one of the best books GW has put out--or at least an attempt at the best), they decided to throw it out and go back to the old (terrible) 3.0 book, and update that. The 3.5 version tried hard, and, with a little fixing, would have been very good. I suspect the upcoming codex will spawn fan-done rewrites of the 3.5, in the manner of the good old Dark Elves.

(I mean, for heaven's sake, look at this: Possessed can get +1 Attack, Furious Charge, Rending, or Feel No Pain, and you don't even get to choose; Death Company get all of these. A Chaos Lord can have a 4+ Invul, Initiative 6, or an extra Attack. I bet everyone would scream BROKEN!!!! if you could take more than one Mark on the same model. I wonder what these people would say if they noticed that a SM character can have a Familiar, Terminator Honours and a familiar? Sell your soul to Chaos--get...a lot less power than you had before.)


Pardon. Back on topic.

I think even The Dude has agreed that if everyone used the same rules for every model then we'd lose some character from the game. However, (The Dude, sorry if I'm misinterpreting something here--if I am, please clarify) he and I disagree on how many rules you can lose before you start to lose character. If Mephiston was just a Librarian with a force weapon, Artificer armor, plasma pistol, and psychic hood, would he still be the same?
I think the same applies to a Night Lords army as opposed to the Red Corsairs or whatever. (For one thing, the Corsairs oughta have Assault Cannons and Land Raider variants that the Thousand Sons, f'rex, don't).

As Worsle said--and I wholeheartedly agree--you'd never get us all to agree on where you set the bar between "rules that you need to permit character" and "too damn many rules."

Hell, if you can get all of us to agree on anything, I nominate you for President. Or Prime Minister. Or Emperor. (though, it should be noted, the Emperor himself seemed not to be able to get everyone to agree...viz. Horus Heresy)

scarvet
22-06-2007, 02:25
Song, the Old DA Codex needs a SM Codex ;)

Worsle, I am totally agree with you. There is only benefits for some power gaming option in the current Codex. The way to fix it is to make every thing cost effective, or a big nerf hammer.....

Back to the original topic, some of you should learn more maths, logic, philosophy and english(oh, both language and literature, in case of literature, other language can do too) :
fluff =/=(not equal) character (they even spell with completely different letters)

While rules response and echo the fluff/background/theme of unit/army/race, character is the foreground of YOUR army as many other warseer said. Hell, you can even get character out from my cookie cunning "ASS-cannon army O doom", by being a " wise commander to stay back and shoot; or entrust my luck and make a big push.

The Dude
22-06-2007, 04:09
So part of the reason I think that rules aren't strictly necessary for character, is that it forces the choice between character and effectiveness.

I think this is a fair point. Where the rules differentiation between, say a power axe and a power sword makes the latter more effective than the former, the character of a force such as Space Wolves, who look really cool with axes, would either force a ďdetrimentalĒ wargear selection, or be ignored in favour of the more effective swords.


It doesn't matter what unit they remove, they should not remove any. They didn't with Eldar or DA, so they should not with Chaos.

This is silly. If something shouldnít have been there in the first place, I donít see any problem with removing it. The Eldar lost Unlimited Seer Councils and the Dark Angels lost multiple Land Speeder Tornadoes. Everyone is at risk of losing something in the process of ďparing backĒ the excesses of third edition though.


I think even The Dude has agreed that if everyone used the same rules for every model then we'd lose some character from the game. However, (The Dude, sorry if I'm misinterpreting something here--if I am, please clarify) he and I disagree on how many rules you can lose before you start to lose character. If Mephiston was just a Librarian with a force weapon, Artificer armor, plasma pistol, and psychic hood, would he still be the same?
I think the same applies to a Night Lords army as opposed to the Red Corsairs or whatever. (For one thing, the Corsairs oughta have Assault Cannons and Land Raider variants that the Thousand Sons, f'rex, don't).
Differentiation is probably a better term than character. Armies need to be differentiated from each other in order to give the game its unique feel.

Armies should behave differently because their background says they do. Their behaviour is part of their character, and the behaviour is dictated by the rules. Therefore Character leads to Rules.

The minis are the representation of the look of the army, which also relates to background and is the other aspect of the armies character in conjunction with its behaviour. So if an army looks and behaves like the background says it should in a 40K scale engagement, its character is fully realised on the tabletop.

Unfortunately the line has to be drawn somewhere. Just as they canít be reasonably expected to make minis that cover all of the possible looks of an army, they canít be reasonably expected to make rules for every possible behaviour. In both these cases, it is up to the PLAYER to fill the gap. If this means converting your minis, or making up house rules, then thatís what you do. Unfortunately, if you want to play the game on equal footing, you have to make some sacrifices.

This is where Counts As comes in.

GreenDracoBob
22-06-2007, 06:33
I agree that the player has to fill in where the rules cannot go. To create rules to differentiate every Chaos army, every Space Marine Chapter, every Tau Cadre, every Eldar force, every Imperial Guard company, etc., etc., would mean creating a new codex for every other purchase made by a customer. It's impossible.

Instead, Games Workshop puts it in the players' hands to create their own character to fill the infinite universe they established. The player gets a little help, for sure, but they should not get everything handed to them. The problem then becomes where Games Workshop's help ends, and where the player's work begins.

Many armies have to make their own way. Tau, for example, must show their character through the choices made in the list and the way it plays on the battlefield. This is the only way a Vior'la force can show its aggressiveness, or N'dras show its backwardness.

Others also have rules to show character. Imperial Guard can use doctrines to show the variety of the forces deployed within the Imperium. This is helpful because the Guard fight in many different ways that couldn't necessarily be shown through one standard list.

Only Games Workshop can decide which armies get which treatment. Eldar had it, but lost it. Space Marines have it. Much more so than others. Though they may lose some of that later. Chaos currently has it, though probably not in a few months. But to justify that any needs such a treatment must show a sense of deep division.

If you were to ask me, Chaos really doesn't need it (but neither does the standard Marine). How differently do the legions act? Other than the rules imposed by the last codex, nothing shows that Chaos operates as they did in that codex. They are a force well trained in all aspects of war, able to do whatever they need to to win a battle. The last codex made all the legions one-trick ponies that don't show much of how a real legion would act. Just because you're an Iron Warrior, or a World Eater, doesn't mean you suddenly lost the training you were originally given as a Marine. You may behave differently compared to a Night Lord, but you both look quite similar to a Tau, or an Eldar.

sebster
22-06-2007, 06:59
As Worsle said--and I wholeheartedly agree--you'd never get us all to agree on where you set the bar between "rules that you need to permit character" and "too damn many rules."

I don't think its about the quantity of rules, but having the right rules. Well written rules can make units and armies distinct and characterful with a couple of lines. Poorly written rules will probably have page after page of special options and tricks, most of which get ignored.

Personally, I think having big lists that include only a couple of 'real' options and a collection of sub-codices was an example of poor rules. For all the options in the book you end up with just a handful of fairly standardised armies being taken. You can create provide for more varied armies by creating a single list if you're clever about the design of that list.

Now, my mind isn't made up whether the new Chaos codex will be that clever list, because I haven't read the book, let alone seen it in action.

Nurglitch
22-06-2007, 07:20
Yup. The game only gives you a skeleton over which to drape the character of the armies. So some differences in character are cosmetic, and some reflect the difference in the rules between the armies. The problem is that people are wondering whether the skin needs to be tight over the bone, or more loosely so that players can play more freely with their imaginations. If the rules reflect the background then there will be exploitable sweet-spots in the rules for the sake of variety. If the rules are merely interpretable in terms of the background, however so, then you can more easily match the differences in the armies to the character of the background.

That's why increase in the number of rules differentiating an army doesn't increase its character. They may, for example, encourage players to arrange their pieces in some advantageous configuration and thus limit the game to specific interpretations of those rules. The proliferation of small "las-plas" configuration Space Marine squads, for example, is a result of the advantage conferred to the player that maximizes the number of units they use and the power [(St/Ap) x At] of the weapons those units field. The problem isn't so much that this is uncharacterful, as one can suppose that a Space Marine company on campaign might have suffered casualties and adopted the current configuration, or that some non-codex chapter doctrine requires the adoption of the configuration as standard. The problem is that it enforces a uniformity, a straight-jacket of the imagination where players either don't bother with character at all, or simply gloss their army using some formulaic story as an excuse as to its configuration.

That's not to say that some armies aren't characterful even when maximizing their configuration, but that's not because of the decision tree facing a playing selecting an army is lacking or abundant with options. That's because the player in question has taken the time and effort to turn lumps of plastic and metal into proper icons for the characters they represent. Since you can do that with an army regardless of its configuration, and is often done by so-called "fluff gamers" less interested in maximizing the configuration of their army and more interested it an artist's dummy on which they can paint the story of the upcoming battle, the rules lend no character that is not part of a background-based explanation for any advantages and deficits in the game.

That's the disconnect going on during discussions of whether the rules imply the character of an army in Warhammer 40k or visa versa. Your imagination isn't limited by the rules and the rules are abstracted from your imagination. The question is properly how these two things are brought together. Some people limit their imaginations to the narrow avenues provided by the rules and wonder why chainswords are treated as close combat weapons when the background or some magical intuitions about combat with fictional weapons suggests otherwise. Others let their imaginations reach beyond the background material provided by GW for the unimaginative players, and don't have an interest in the pantomime of the game (Kage 2020, for example). But imaginative people aren't the problem.

The problem is the cookie-cutter armies that appear because some people are less interested in creating characterful armies than they are powerful armies. Differentiating rules will not stop people from trying to maximize on those rules, and will not broaden the variety of armies we see on the table-top. Likewise homogenizing the rules will not result in everyone playing Ultramarines. Rules shouldn't imply character, specific or otherwise. Likewise character shouldn't imply rules; character comes from what a player does with an army, not what they're encouraged to do.

Side-note: Does anybody here know the difference between identity and biconditional implication? Just wondering...

jfrazell
22-06-2007, 12:23
The problem is the cookie-cutter armies that appear because some people are less interested in creating characterful armies than they are powerful armies. Differentiating rules will not stop people from trying to maximize on those rules, and will not broaden the variety of armies we see on the table-top. Likewise homogenizing the rules will not result in everyone playing Ultramarines. Rules shouldn't imply character, specific or otherwise. Likewise character shouldn't imply rules; character comes from what a player does with an army, not what they're encouraged to do.



The rumored nanny state chaos codex is designed to insure you will see nothing but cookie cutter lists as you will not have the option of anything else. I wouldn't worry about cookie cutter armies. If you pull everything out of a codex, they will all be the same. Elimination of rules differences, options, and other items will insure that.

Sgt Biffo
22-06-2007, 12:43
Consequently we now have some armies that have become drastically one dimensional.

If you take a "You beaut, off the rack, GW approved" Army I don't think that there is any reasonable ground for complaint about lack of dimesion. If the narrowing of scope means that a "home grown" army resembles one you can buy "off the rack" then there is a loss of choice for the entire army!


The character of the army comes from their penchant for Bionics, their rigid discipline etc, not from an ability to field 4 bloody heavy support choices.

With out picking at the time honoured scab of 4 heavy slots... Extreme examples rarely get your point across and usually only serve to irritate (though not in this case).

I put it to you; How then would you portay this penchant and discipline? Rules or a quick speel to your opponent about your fluff in the pre game set-up. I for one would opt for the former. After all what is the Bionic but a game mechanic in the game of 40k? As SamaNagol so elequently puts it:


Character = Rules. That is how it should be.


Does every little bit of background mentioned need some sort of rule to represent it?

My answer is no

Of course not. Every little bit of back ground is an extreme example... again.


, and it would seem that after the problems that 3rd edition spawned with its spoon-fed approach to army lists, Games Workshop has realised their mistake, and is acting accordingly.

So, if Games Workshop is set on removing the rules they mistakenly put in place in 3rd, are they then removing the very essence of the character of the armies these rules are attached to?

Chaplins, Blood frenzy of Khorne, Chaos renegades, Commisar's, Power of the Waargh!, IG platoons, Aspect Warriors... all of which are earlier than 3rd ed. Actually they all come from RT era. So it would appear that this type of thing was not endemic to the current set of rules alone! It would appear that 40k is actually built on these repeated "mistakes".


My answer again is no. Stripping the crappy paint job off of a miniature does not make it any less of a miniature. You are simply removing something that shouldn’t have been there in the first place, allowing the natural potential to come through again. Imagine if 40K used pre-painted minis *blech*.

A miniture, painted or unpainted, is an ornament. It's only when is placed in the context of a game that it becomes a game-piece. A game is; "a form or spell of play or sport, esp. a compedative one played according to rules and decided by skill, strength or luck" (or all three in the case of 40k Oxford concise bold post script. Where do the Bionic's and Iron Discipline fit into this definition? I'd say they are "strength"s of the army in question, wouldn't you?

A model of an X-wing from Star Wars is just that; a model. There is little to no interaction with it other than asthetic's. If you were to drop it amid a Star Wars ship to ship combat game it suddenly become a game piece. What if Luke and R2 are crewing said X-wing, would the craft have the same capabilities as its squadron? Darth Vader didn't seem to think so ("The force is strong in this one").

Some developmental psychologist would argue that even in a childs game the rules for something like this would be different for a "special" toy.

So we give Luke's X-wing character by rule's tweaks. After all not all men are created equal...

In conclusion, I maintain that character and rules are so entwined as to be dependant on each other.

Calden
22-06-2007, 12:58
A model of an X-wing from Star Wars is just that; a model. There is little to no interaction with it other than asthetic's. If you were to drop it amid a Star Wars ship to ship combat game it suddenly become a game piece. What if Luke and R2 are crewing said X-wing, would the craft have the same capabilities as its squadron? Darth Vader didn't seem to think so ("The force is strong in this one").

Some developmental psychologist would argue that even in a childs game the rules for something like this would be different for a "special" toy.

So we give Luke's X-wing character by rule's tweaks. After all not all men are created equal...

In conclusion, I maintain that character and rules are so entwined as to be dependant on each other.

Would you go so far as to make different rules for each individual pilot though, or would you just have three special characters, and three unit types present at the battle?
Special Character - Luke
Special Character - Vader
Special Character - Han
Unit - X-Wing
Unit - Y-Wing
Unit - Tie Fighter

Yes, a character CAN have special rules, but just how far do you take it? Just how many rules do you need to make these characters individual? Would there be a significant difference in the game if X-Wings and Y-Wings both used the same stats for example, and were just different models?

The Song of Spears
22-06-2007, 16:07
A lot of this stems from competition.

No one would care how cheesy any one list was if they could step aside and remake their own list to be as competitive. But at a tournament, you play only what list you brought. And so some powerful list many seem even more powerful due to the fact you are not allowed to step aside and tailor your list to the other guys.

While there were unbalance issues in Rogue Trader 40k, it was less of an issue as you would just stop for a sec and re-tool your own list to make it a fair fight.

But now that 40k is a game of tournaments, and all people quote are how well a army did at a tournament, its obvious that the game is going the route of balance due to the rules of a tournament.

The number of special rules, the quality of special rules is not corrected by some magic balance variable, thats a load of crap. Special rules make a model, no matter how uniquely painted, unique in gameplay from the next model. And the ONLY place this becomes a problem is when you are in competitive play. In a friendly game you simply remake your list to balance out the armys, in a tournament your list is set in stone without ever knowing who you will face. This will lead to unbalanced games, EVEN without special rules.

There are simply some very fluffy lists that IG does not do well against, same for nids, and so on. And at a tourney, this will happen a lot at play matchups are nearly random.

The ONLY way to ensure a fair tournament is to dumb down the rules, limit everything as much as possible, so that the areas for possible unbalance are lessened as much as possible.

Welcome to Chess. :rolleyes: No special rules for anyone that anyone else does not have access to, no special terrain that anyone can take advantage of, nothing.

By saying that you want to limit the number of special rules, for every rule you eliminate you get closer to the chess 40k.

As someone said, there has been crazy wargear since day one, and that must mean that this is supposed to be a part of the game.

Maybe 40k was never intended to be fair and balanced. Maybe Star cannons are supposed to be 3 shots str 6 ap2, maybe assault cannons are just fine, and so is six heavy support slots. Maybe those who think the game is too complex and needs to be simplified should go play chess and leave the game with lots of rules and special cases to the people who can handle it...


P.S.
To whoever said that Space Marines loosing the number of Tornadoes = Chaos loosing basilisk, I say what a lame brained comment. Sorry, i am not usually so rude, but that was simply lame. SM STILL get the Tornado, Eldar lost not ONE model in the seer council list, in fact they are now allowed to put them on jet bikes. Loosing the basilisk is not the same, if they remove the basilisk from the chaos codex, then it is no longer a valid model, you understand that right?.. not a valid unit in any fashion = can not use for any reason other than as a pretend Vindicator or Predator :rolleyes:

In IW case, the Basilisk fits the fluff more than any other part. To loose that would take away a nice model from IW players currently, and would loose out GW on revenue from conversions.

This is the very essence of rules = character

Saying that rules != character is like saying that Khorne does not need berzerkers, just take out berzerkers since they have special rules, and let the Khorne player have assault marines without jump packs.

Who honestly thinks that is a good idea???

Sure, it works. It allows Khorne players to model assault berzerkers, and it makes the entry in the chaos codex simple, but is it really a khorne army when their marines function actually exactly the same as my vanilla Space Marines?

Nurglitch
22-06-2007, 16:34
The rumored nanny state chaos codex is designed to insure you will see nothing but cookie cutter lists as you will not have the option of anything else. I wouldn't worry about cookie cutter armies. If you pull everything out of a codex, they will all be the same. Elimination of rules differences, options, and other items will insure that. If the Chaos Codex is anything like the Dark Angel Codex or the Eldar Codex then we will see an increase in the variety in configurations of Chaos armies because more options will be live options in terms of game-effectiveness. Variety in army configuration is simply a result of an army list's combinatorial flexbility, or the combinations that can be derived from the available options while maximizing the effectiveness of the army under any game conditions. Even if you removed all of the special rules from an army you could still have a great variety resulting from the core rules such as model profiles, weapon profiles, and unit sizes.

Indeed, one can appreciate the game of Warhammer 40k best by playing without all the extraneous cosmetic variation, say a game with four squads of Imperial Guardsmen a side. Then you can appreciate real variation rather than cosmetic variation, such as increasing model's armour saves inversely with the number of models, or increasing/decreasing the size of units while inversely increasing/decreasing some other variable such as WS, BS, S, T, W, I, A, Ld, Sv, Rg, S, AP, Tp, Sz, etc. Where these values are 'balanced' within an army, and player skill and scenario being equal, all possible configurations of an army list (all armies derivable from a list) are maximally effective and players have no reason to take any particular configuration or set of configurations while ignoring the rest. Variety comes from there being no reason to take one thing over another, so valuation comes from considerations of originality or aesthetics rather than game-maximality.

SamaNagol
22-06-2007, 16:38
Tournament play INEVITABLY leads to complaints of abuse. Complaints of over-powered builds. Complaints of "I can't beat this". It leads to excuses from players who aren't good enough. That does not mean there aren't flaws in the rules. there.... many in fact!

But when the over-whelming majority of whiners are simply mediocre gamers without the inventiveness or ingenuity to create rather than follow other people's power builds, you will never find solutions.

People who would rather sit down and bemoan someone else's list for being "too good" rather than come up with a build that can beat said new uber-list without exposing itself to other builds do no belong in competitive play anyway.

It happened in Magic for years and years and will never stop whilst there are mediocre players fooling themselves into thinking they can win tournaments. Weak players will always look for excuses. "The other army was too good, you can't beat it" is an excuse which perfectly covers up human inadequacy. It removes responsibility for the loss or win from any of the combatants and gives credit to some pre-ordained rock/scissors/paper theory.

But no-one wins tournaments undefeated everytime. There aren't gamers on win streaks as long as Bill Goldberg in WCW. You CAN beat power builds. Either through wiley tactics, or through being inventive and inventing a counter-build.

I just think people put too much stock in the imbalance of the game. it is unbalanced, but not to the extent that it over-rides good tactics. If you want a perfectly balanced game then play chess. Play with identical army lists on symmetrical terrained tables in a best of 7 series.

If you want to play a war game which you can not only reflect character of different forces in your list, but also YOUR OWN character, continue to play 40k and be realistic about it. Stop crying about things being unbeatable. Nothing is unbeatable. Quit exaggerating about things being broken. Nothing is broken. Certain things are MARGINALLY unbalanced. If you are serious about evoking change in GW, then why not try and campaign for beta testing of their rulesets before release. Why not campaign for more interaction between the gaming community and the Dev teams. Write in. Give them your concise, thoughtful and eloquent opinions.

That will make a difference. Not logging in and half assedly moaning about basilisks or obliterators or rhino rushes or starcannon and wraithlords. Your voice falls on deaf ears when you do not display full conviction in your words.

And posting on an internet forum does not display conviction.

Write a letter. They have much MUCH more impact on the staff than forum posts and emails.[/rant]

Personally I like what has been done with the Eldar and DA books. they just need to ensure people can still personalise their ICs and everyone retains a sense of "character" in their force.

Worsle
22-06-2007, 17:05
Tournament play is to easy a scape goat, just like "kiddies" it kind of devalues the argument in my eyes. Warhammer 40k is a completive game (buying and painting models is a hobby, the mechanics are a competive game to me any way) at the end of the day, in a match there will be a winner and there will be a loser and hopefully both sides had fun (completive games are still games). That fun in my mind is impinged on when you have options that despite being intresting (edit: I said fun here, what I get for repeating the word so often) or looking cool have very limited practical use, it is also hampered when one person has an overly large advantage over an other just based on their list/codex/sub dex rules both of these elements eat into the fun. At the other end the game would loose a lot of its charm if all armies where represented by the same set of profiles (though space marines could do with this, but they make money) or if a codex is lacking in options.

However the problem comes in when we add into thiss equation time and money, with infinite resources we could please most people (you can never please every one, even if we where all given a free puppy some people would say the are being slapped in the face as they wanted a kitten). Sacrifices have to be made some where, as I see this as a competitive game first I would like a reasonable sense of balance first, then I would like a good range of units that are all viable (not equal viable) and last comes the wargear. In my mind some of the mountain of wargear can be a nice extra but when you get to the level in the chaos codex you get situations like spike bits and master crafting/dark blade and needle of desire/pandemic staff and the manreaper/the book of Tzeentch there is only so many worthwhile distinctions you can make in this system. The armour as such is a rather unique situation to marine armies, no other army has an armoury as vast as they do/had or as free of restrictions and I don't see other armies being deprived of charicter because of it. I would also much rather have a varried selection of troops in the main army where I can pick my own theme rather than having one stuck onto me.

There is also add situation that we don't all have the same picture of the chaos forces, as far as I have always been concerned the where a fractious set of warbands head together by strong leaders or cults of personality. I am not 100% sure if this post follows so if this post needs cleaning up please tell me what you are not sure about.

jfrazell
22-06-2007, 17:43
Indeed, one can appreciate the game of Warhammer 40k best by playing without all the extraneous cosmetic variation, say a game with four squads of Imperial Guardsmen a side. Then you can appreciate real variation rather than cosmetic variation, such as increasing model's armour saves inversely with the number of models, or increasing/decreasing the size of units while inversely increasing/decreasing some other variable such as WS, BS, S, T, W, I, A, Ld, Sv, Rg, S, AP, Tp, Sz, etc. Where these values are 'balanced' within an army, and player skill and scenario being equal, all possible configurations of an army list (all armies derivable from a list) are maximally effective and players have no reason to take any particular configuration or set of configurations while ignoring the rest. Variety comes from there being no reason to take one thing over another, so valuation comes from considerations of originality or aesthetics rather than game-maximality.

Wow you're describing...checkers.

Sorry if I want to do that I'll play a real wargame (including other GW games, I'm not being persnickety to GW). We're talking about 40K here.

As for armies. We've seen an influx of eldar players, which floats with your argument. However, I've yet to see a DA player (hence my other thread I was concerned about that).

gorgon
22-06-2007, 17:46
If the Chaos Codex is anything like the Dark Angel Codex or the Eldar Codex then we will see an increase in the variety in configurations of Chaos armies because more options will be live options in terms of game-effectiveness.

The bolded text is only an assumption.

Moreover, the main problem is that GW's track record indicates that some units and options will always be better than others, and even a slight difference will still create separation (for instance -- Falcons and Dark Reapers). So who will benefit most from this new codex? By my estimation, mostly new and/or weaker players.

Let's assume you can organize the units in the current codex into four categories, "1" being most powerful and "4" being least powerful. Meanwhile, assume the new codex has more balance, and using the same power scale has only category 1 and 2 units, as the 3s and 4s have been increased in effectiveness (made more "live").

Under this premise, less competitive players will get an army power boost with the new codex. No matter what they select, they won't be able to field anything less than a category 2 unit. Seems like a positive, but winning isn't their motivation. So will they care about the new, more balanced codex? I dunno.

Competitive and strong players will still identify and focus on category 1 units. Selecting anything other than 1s won't hurt them as much as it would have in the past. But if winning is their motivation, they'll still field 1s. To paraphrase, why bring a "2" to a "1" fight? What's more, their ability to find strong units and combos will become less of a game advantage, as the armies they face will no longer contain 3s and 4s. It's hard to imagine them being particularly excited about the codex.

The big winners will be players who are competitive, but lack the ability to select the higher category units, either because they're learning the game or simply aren't good players. They'll get the higher win percentage they crave without being hindered by their weaker army building (and possibly tactical) skills.

While I support making 40K less of a list-building exercise, it's interesting to consider if this trend in codicies really makes the game better. More focused on tactical play? Sure. More tactical, per se? Probably not. More challenging? Probably not. Easier to market and sell? Probably.

I'm rambling and I'm not even sure what point I'm trying to make (hey, it's Friday), but I think it's kind of interesting to consider who these changes benefit and how they'll actually affect the game (although again, maybe it's just me on a Friday).

SamaNagol
22-06-2007, 17:50
To use your logic, it is entirely possible to utilise several 2's and a 3 together to take out 2 1's. And that is why we have points costs.

Effectiveness is only important when considered against the cost you pay for it.

gorgon
22-06-2007, 17:58
To use your logic, it is entirely possible to utilise several 2's and a 3 together to take out 2 1's. And that is why we have points costs.

Effectiveness is only important when considered against the cost you pay for it.

Point costs are part of the equation, however. A unit that's effective but overpriced would not be rated in the highest category. 240 points of SM Terminators with assault cannons (category 1?) do not equal 240 points of Tyranid Lictors (category 3 or 4).

Nurglitch
22-06-2007, 17:58
Actually I'm describing Warhammer 40k with four squads of Imperial Guardsmen apiece. Seems plenty 40k to me. Unless they can only move diagonally, and I get to king them when they reach my opponent's table edge, and there's no scenery, and there's no objectives beyond eliminating the enemy, and movement and combat are separate, and movement isn't regulated by squares on the board, and each player moves, and then shoots, and then assault-moves with all of their material rather than alternating moving individual pieces, and dice are rolled, and there's little toy soldiers representing Imperial Guardsmen...

As for the Dark Angels, give it time. Remember that your corner of the world is not the entire world.

Nurglitch
22-06-2007, 18:20
The bolded text is only an assumption. No, it's the premise by which the conclusion of the preceding conditional statement is deductively derived via the variable fixing principle. The only assumption is: "The Chaos Codex is anything like the Dark Angel Codex or the Eldar Codex...". The conclusion is: "We will see an increase in the variety in configurations of Chaos armies." The logical operator for the conditional is naturally "If...then".

If the Chaos Codex is anything like the Dark Angel Codex or the Eldar Codex, where the relation 'anything like' is interpreted to mean possessing an increased ratio of live options to possibilities and thus a necessary determinant in the possibility of deriving more maximally effective armies from the same list, then we will see an increase in the variety in configurations of Chaos armies.

It's certainly a premise of the argument, but unlike the first premise, that the Chaos Codex will indeed be like the Dark Angel or Eldar Codicies in the relevant ways, it is recursively provable and trivially so. So knowing that more live options is a necessary condition for greater variety in army selection, and assuming that more live options will be the case, then the conclusion follows with deductive certainty. It is a valid argument. It could be that the Chaos Codex does not give players more live options, but it will always be the case that more live options will increase the variety of maximally effective armies that players could select. The argument may be sound, that is the premises are true and the truth of the conclusion follows via deductive validity, but we will have to wait for the Chaos Codex to find that out the truth of the identity clause and thus the soundness of the argument.

That's just classical first order logic with a dash of modal logic and relevance logic thrown in for good measure. Glad I could clear that up for you.

/the more you know...

SamaNagol
22-06-2007, 18:30
Point costs are part of the equation, however. A unit that's effective but overpriced would not be rated in the highest category. 240 points of SM Terminators with assault cannons (category 1?) do not equal 240 points of Tyranid Lictors (category 3 or 4).

Depends where the Lictors are appearing from.

But maxing out your list with the biggest and best does not mean you will win. Those Terminators aren't very good against 240pts worth of Banshees. But then those 240pts worth of Banshees are pretty much useless against 240pts of Daemonettes.

You cannot model a game with so many variables using such limited conditions. there are so many abstract rules and decisions to be made that looking at individual entries in a list is redundant.

This is why more beta testing and gamer feedback should be sought out to fine tune Codices

jfrazell
22-06-2007, 18:35
Actually I'm describing Warhammer 40k with four squads of Imperial Guardsmen apiece. Seems plenty 40k to me. Unless they can only move diagonally, and I get to king them when they reach my opponent's table edge, and there's no scenery, and there's no objectives beyond eliminating the enemy, and movement and combat are separate, and movement isn't regulated by squares on the board, and each player moves, and then shoots, and then assault-moves with all of their material rather than alternating moving individual pieces, and dice are rolled, and there's little toy soldiers representing Imperial Guardsmen...

As for the Dark Angels, give it time. Remember that your corner of the world is not the entire world.


Incorrect. Its Texas. Texas IS the entire world. Just ask a Texan :p

And you're assuming the eldar and new DA codex gives you more viable options. Thats a true assumption on your part.

Nurglitch
22-06-2007, 19:04
And you're assuming the eldar and new DA codex gives you more viable options. Thats a true assumption on your part. Nope. As I pointed out in post #133 the only assumption I'm making is whether the Chaos Codex will follow the trend established by these books. The fact is that they do give you more live options than their third edition counter-parts, and you can sit down with these books and check their contents if you're so inclined.

Fourth
22-06-2007, 19:43
Personally, I think having big lists that include only a couple of 'real' options and a collection of sub-codices was an example of poor rules. For all the options in the book you end up with just a handful of fairly standardised armies being taken.

All in all, I agree with you except for this. I'm not sure it's poor rules as it is poor playtesting.
I think what, in a perfect world, the game designers would be doing is simple, though not the same as easy: Step 1. Write characterful rules that make each army, unit, or whatever behave on the tabletop the way they do in the fluff. Step 2. Playtest all of this and fiddle with it until every option is equally good.

And to SamaNagol and Gorgon--I think points-efficiency is the primary facet of whether something's a 1 or a 4--and, in general, the designers often try to jack up the points cost or cut the effectiveness of each 1 or 2 until it becomes a 3.5, while the 3's and 4's need to be either cheaper or more effective.

As long as they're cheap enough, the lousiest unit out there can still be a one--they've just got to be very cheap.

GreenDracoBob
22-06-2007, 19:46
The difference between the Dark Angels and former codices is that the Dark Angels have more variety within the codex, making a higher percentage choices viable internally in comparison to the former codices. Former codices are instead more competitive, more choices are viable externally against other lists.

This is arguable, of course, as some people consider the Dark Angels codex perfect as is.

The point is, Games Workshop is seemingly going to do this with every future codex. In the end, all codices will be balanced against one another (we hope), making Dark Angels a viable list. The problem is that former lists can still be used against the Dark Angels. The only way Games Workshop could fix this is to release every codex at the same time. An impossibility that we must live without.

But this topic isn't about the power of codices, so on topic...

There is character established for different armies such as the Iron Warriors. Do they need rules that show they are stubborn, use heavy weaponry and bionics? Maybe. But can those rules be self-imposed? Yes. Bionics can be modeled. They don't really need rules, because no one used them when they did. Stubborn can be part of a play-style. Sit there, take damage, and don't budge. Heavy weaponry is shown through army list choices. Vindicators, Obliterators, Terminators, Dreadnoughts.

So do they *need* rules created by Games Workshop to represent their behavior? No, but some rules could be made to show this better. Maybe not their own list, with dubious losses for maximum gain, but I do feel something like Doctrines would not go amiss.

jfrazell
22-06-2007, 20:43
The fact is that they do give you more live options than their third edition counter-parts, and you can sit down with these books and check their contents if you're so inclined.

Sorry if you can't realize that you're stating an opinion, not a fact, then we'll just have to agree to disagree at that point.

Skyweir
22-06-2007, 21:43
The difference between the Dark Angels and former codices is that the Dark Angels have more variety within the codex, making a higher percentage choices viable internally in comparison to the former codices. Former codices are instead more competitive, more choices are viable externally against other lists.

This is arguable, of course, as some people consider the Dark Angels codex perfect as is.

The point is, Games Workshop is seemingly going to do this with every future codex. In the end, all codices will be balanced against one another (we hope), making Dark Angels a viable list. The problem is that former lists can still be used against the Dark Angels. The only way Games Workshop could fix this is to release every codex at the same time. An impossibility that we must live without.

But this topic isn't about the power of codices, so on topic...

There is character established for different armies such as the Iron Warriors. Do they need rules that show they are stubborn, use heavy weaponry and bionics? Maybe. But can those rules be self-imposed? Yes. Bionics can be modeled. They don't really need rules, because no one used them when they did. Stubborn can be part of a play-style. Sit there, take damage, and don't budge. Heavy weaponry is shown through army list choices. Vindicators, Obliterators, Terminators, Dreadnoughts.

So do they *need* rules created by Games Workshop to represent their behavior? No, but some rules could be made to show this better. Maybe not their own list, with dubious losses for maximum gain, but I do feel something like Doctrines would not go amiss.


Excuse me?

If I wanted to make my own rules, I could. But I am paying GW to make rules for me, in fact that is the only thing I am paying GW for in the end. I would like those rules to not only reflect the background of the game correctly, but also giving me different rules for playing clearly distinct armies differently from other clearly distinct armies.

Non of us would be satisfied with Imperial Guard having the same codex as Space Marines, even though those armies serve the same nation and is of the same species. This is also true for the different Chaos legions.
Why is so many people satisfied with Iron Warriors having the same rules as the Alpha Legion (to 10000 old military units with completely different tactics and history)....?

Worsle
22-06-2007, 21:59
Because the tactics is the biggest difference, the equipment most traitor warbands have access too is is going to be rather similar (to a point). It is the same with craftworlds, while the prefer to use diffrent tactics you can use rules to enforce every part of the play style or you get to the point where you are not commanding your army the rules are (part of my dislike for the current world eaters).

The alpha legion is a little odd as they could easily work with a SM codex as they work in a rather diffrent way to most of the chaos forces in the eye.

GreenDracoBob
22-06-2007, 22:07
Excuse me?

If I wanted to make my own rules, I could. But I am paying GW to make rules for me, in fact that is the only thing I am paying GW for in the end. I would like those rules to not only reflect the background of the game correctly, but also giving me different rules for playing clearly distinct armies differently from other clearly distinct armies.

Non of us would be satisfied with Imperial Guard having the same codex as Space Marines, even though those armies serve the same nation and is of the same species. This is also true for the different Chaos legions.
Why is so many people satisfied with Iron Warriors having the same rules as the Alpha Legion (to 10000 old military units with completely different tactics and history)....?
Why do we think that Iron Warriors and Alpha Legion should have the same rules, while Imperial Guard and Space Marines have different rules? Well, for one, the Games Workshop we are paying to make rules separated the two quite distinctly since the early days of the game. Same species? Hardly, the Marines are genetically altered super-humans, the Guard unaltered everymen. Beyond this, the argument could be used to combine the Loyalists and the Traitors. They are made the same way, from the same species, just one doesn't like the other. Plus, as I have said before, the Chaos Legions look all the same to someone without the knowledge we have been given as the customers and players.

But you seemed to miss another of my points. Yes, I did say that you can play your army in a certain way to represent the Legion's character. I do say that we do not need separate lists for each of the Legions. But I also say that something like the Imperial Guard's Doctrines would be a useful addition to the Chaos Codex. This set of rules is one of the best ideas Games Workshop has come up with in my opinion. It gives additional rules to represent unique forces, with drawbacks that work (in most cases), that doesn't just hand the player a new list, but gives the player their own choices to make. Add in some examples with either more attributes or at least an idea of where to go, and you got a good list. That way you could make your Iron Warriors and your Alpha Legion or anything in between. They add something to the game, rules that represent extra character that couldn't be given with the standard list. They aren't needed to make a Imperial Guard or any other army (and will probably disappear with the next edition), but they add an extra dimension to the game.

Skyweir
22-06-2007, 22:33
Why do we think that Iron Warriors and Alpha Legion should have the same rules, while Imperial Guard and Space Marines have different rules? Well, for one, the Games Workshop we are paying to make rules separated the two quite distinctly since the early days of the game. Same species? Hardly, the Marines are genetically altered super-humans, the Guard unaltered everymen. Beyond this, the argument could be used to combine the Loyalists and the Traitors. They are made the same way, from the same species, just one doesn't like the other. Plus, as I have said before, the Chaos Legions look all the same to someone without the knowledge we have been given as the customers and players.

But you seemed to miss another of my points. Yes, I did say that you can play your army in a certain way to represent the Legion's character. I do say that we do not need separate lists for each of the Legions. But I also say that something like the Imperial Guard's Doctrines would be a useful addition to the Chaos Codex. This set of rules is one of the best ideas Games Workshop has come up with in my opinion. It gives additional rules to represent unique forces, with drawbacks that work (in most cases), that doesn't just hand the player a new list, but gives the player their own choices to make. Add in some examples with either more attributes or at least an idea of where to go, and you got a good list. That way you could make your Iron Warriors and your Alpha Legion or anything in between. They add something to the game, rules that represent extra character that couldn't be given with the standard list. They aren't needed to make a Imperial Guard or any other army (and will probably disappear with the next edition), but they add an extra dimension to the game.

Indeed, the loyalists and the traitors could be combined in one list. It makes as much sense as removing the lists and difference from the Legions.

I agree that the doctrines are a good thing. But GW is moving away from such options, and will not be giving them to the Chaos Codex. They want us to all play the same Black Legion warband, it seems....

I think that background should be thightly tied to the rules, so that the game does not become to much an abstraction of the story it is based on.

As such, rules to differensiate the different Legions is in my mind needed for the game to be as good as it should be. Just as it is needed that the Imperial Guard has their own list (with different doctrines to exemplify that the Guard is drawn from a billion different worlds) and that the Space Marines (and their chief chapters) has their own lists.

The Song of Spears
22-06-2007, 22:54
I don't think any of you read the published fluff.

For certain armys, especially the IW, the fluff is quite specific in saying they had established their own forgeworlds creating and maintaining their own wargear.

The Obliterator and Defiler are both examples of this. So if there is anything to support chaos wargear its that there should be very little similarity in wargear and vehicles between the Imperium and chaos. If anything chaos might get looted Imperial vehicles/equipment, but that would be about it.

Why so afraid of imbalance?

As someone posted about the GT in las vegas, thanks to soft scores, every army has a nearly equal chance of winning the tournament. Why not just keep it that way, and accommodate everyone?

Worsle
22-06-2007, 22:57
In the current codex I could make a "black legion" warband that is all but identical to all of the legion lists but I don't get a bonus for it, so how is that changing. Really I think people are complete exaggerating how "unique" the legion rules make things. Cheep infiltration is not some thing that adds charicter it just adds balance issues, plenty of black legion people play with out the god marks or daemons with out the need for free stuff after all if the alpha legion get it why should my own chapter not get some thing? Free aspiring champions is not charicter, it is just a poor attempt at balance. If you where able to play an all *insert god name here* army from the main codex with no balance issues why would those legion rules matter at all?

The iron warriors are one of the only legions that have retained any sort of order, nearly every other legion went into melt down. Most chaos legions still use the same sort of gear, the defiler was built on a commition by Abiddon after all and then its use was spread form there. Also the IW are listed as having stolen basilisks they are not producing them and you can't produce obliterators it is a virus instead of sneezing you sprout guns.

SamaNagol
22-06-2007, 23:32
Examples of characterful rules gone bad......

Sacred numbers:

Slaanesh getting a free champion for min maxed 6 man units when Tzzentch have to but another 3 models to get the same bonus is unbalanced in game.

Iron Warriors having more Obliterators in the background being translated into them being able to take them as Elites? Unbalanced.

Iron Warriors being able to take Basilisks? Meh that's fine. Certain rules which are added to represent the character and themes of the Army are good. Some are superfluous. Some are down right unbalanced.

Now where you place certain rules in that list of options is subjective.

The Dude
23-06-2007, 08:31
I put it to you; How then would you portay this penchant and discipline? Rules or a quick speel to your opponent about your fluff in the pre game set-up

Neither actually. I would portray bionics with lovingly converted miniatures and discipline with near Codex squad structure and avoiding unconventional units like Daemons and Possessed (the sorts of things that wonít cop your discipline). I see no need to explain it to my opponent, to force feed them my background, but if they ask, I can tell them, and if Iím in the mood, an in game narration can help convey it as well.


A miniture, painted or unpainted, is an ornament. It's only when is placed in the context of a game that it becomes a game-piece.

Okay, I think you misinterpreted my metaphor there. I half knew it was a mistake using a mini as an example :rolleyes:. Replace it with table and my point remains. Taking a poorly conceived veneer off of a good sound base doesnít detract from the base at all, it merely allows you to build upon it as you wish.

To take it further, it would be like GW minis coming pre-painted with a really poor ďclicksĒ style paintjob. Iím sorry if you want to express your own ideas for colour, but weíve done it for you already. Sure, the hardcore ones will strip them back and start again, but I guarantee youíd see loads more lazy players running with the pre-paints.

The same is true of the spoon-fed rules for sub-lists. People believe itís the only way to convey the slight differences. As if self imposed restrictions and some clever ďcounts asĒ arenít enough.


P.S.
To whoever said that Space Marines loosing the number of Tornadoes = Chaos loosing basilisk, I say what a lame brained comment

Luckily Iíve been offended by people with far more experience than yourself champ ;).

I would disagree, however, as any DA player who had more than 3 Tornadoes now cannot use all of them (until Apocalypse at least). Thatís up to 6 models unusable in a normal FOC. I think thatís fairly comparable to the 1 Basilisk the Iron Warriors players have lost (until and if the LatD Codex comes out).

jubilex
23-06-2007, 09:33
My most recently completed army is latd. It's my favourite one too. Not because it's all new and shiny (because it isn't!), but because of the fluff I have written for it. It's not the rules, everyone follows the same rules, but my fluff is my fluff and I like it dammit! :angel: I haven't done this for my other armies (eldar and multi chaos) but am presently doing some background for my up coming stealer cult. So, no rules are not character.
BUT.
My stealer cult is based in a mine/gulag in the remote mountains of Transgoyarsk. After a collaboration with grimdakka and the development of tunnel fighting rules, I have gone and built the mine, gulag and shanty town. Two weeks ago, I set the table up as the mine and, looking at it, the thought sprung to mind (as night fight is used in the mine) "Wouldn't it be cool to have night lords and space wolves fighting it out down there?" I think you see my perspective.
So, yes, rules do add character.
So, have I contradicted myself? I don't think so. :p
Btw, dude, saw your film a few days back, you were good in it. Hope you got your carpet cleaned. :)

lanrak
23-06-2007, 10:16
Hi all.
What a good thread!
Anyhow, my personal view is that rule sets define the available tools a player can take,and the properties of each type of tool.
What tools(units) the player takes and how they use them gives the toolset(army) its own character.

Rules should define the type and the level of unit interaction.
Players define the level of character ,IMO.


TTFN
Lanrak.

Draco Argentum
23-06-2007, 10:39
The big winners will be players who are competitive, but lack the ability to select the higher category units, either because they're learning the game or simply aren't good players.

No, because any fool can read Warseer and find out which units are 1s.

The big winners are people who like the fluff or models of a 4. They will now get to field these as 1s or 2s. Fluff and model lovers win because having a competitive army would no longer require ignoring half the codex. These guys get a more powerful force.

Tourney players only get more options since they've been ignoring the bottom feeder units.

gorgon
23-06-2007, 14:54
No, because any fool can read Warseer and find out which units are 1s.

Umm...do you actually read any threads around here? Fools are a-plenty, and they have little concept how to play or build an effective army.


The big winners are people who like the fluff or models of a 4. They will now get to field these as 1s or 2s. Fluff and model lovers win because having a competitive army would no longer require ignoring half the codex. These guys get a more powerful force.


If that's what they're excited about, they're not *really* fluff players, are they?

Mr Zephy
23-06-2007, 15:27
Apart from the fact that in the background some of these less useful choices are made out to be useful ones, e.g. piranha skimmers.

Ddraiglais
23-06-2007, 18:52
I think it's a combination of how you model/paint your army, how you use it, and the rules for it. I think the rules are more of the driving force behind character than the other two though. The rules allow you to play a certain way.

Take a look throughout history. As an example, WW II Germans are readily recognized by the blitzkrieg. The blitzkrieg was made possible through new tactics, but the driving force behind the blitzkrieg was the rules. You needed the tanks and mech units to be able to do it. Few people realize that France had more tanks that were faster, had bigger guns, and better armor. The one thing that brought it all together was the radio (wargear). Germany used tactics (massed tank formations) along with wargear (the radio), and France never stood a chance.

You could argue that the uniforms are also part of the character of the WW II German army, and I would agree. I just think that the blitzkrieg was the defining element.

Take away the composite horn bow from Central Asia and the various Persian, Turkish, and Mongolian tribes aren't quite as terrible (scourge of God) types that they were.

Macedonia and Alexander wouldn't even be a footnote without the pike. Although I would add tactics here with the masterful use of the Companion Calvary.

Would the Vikings have been the terrors they were without their longships?

Would the U.S. today have near it's reputation for military might it has without satellites, superior tanks, planes, ships, etc?

Every example above has certain allowable units and/or wargear that gave a certain character to that army. The loss of basilisks hurts the character of the IW. The loss of cultists hurts the character of AL. The loss of daemon weaponS (there will be only one DW in the new codex), vets, etc will hurt the character of Chaos as a whole.

Now the idea of two layers of marks is interesting. That might add some of the character they're taking away. I just think that the loss of RULES is taking a lot of the character/flavore/feel/whatever you want to call it away from the legions.

Nurglitch
23-06-2007, 20:52
Sorry if you can't realize that you're stating an opinion, not a fact, then we'll just have to agree to disagree at that point. Nope, I'm stating a fact about the content of the Codex books, much like I could make a factual claim about the number of pages in each book, or the page number of certain unit entries. The numbers are right there in the books for you to check any claims about them. That's the nice thing about facts.

Sgt Biffo
24-06-2007, 09:41
Neither actually. I would portray bionics with lovingly converted miniatures and discipline with near Codex squad structure...

Having rules for this sort of thing is, to me, a reward for those interesting and loving coversions.



Taking a poorly conceived veneer off of a good sound base doesn’t detract from the base at all, it merely allows you to build upon it as you wish.

I see what your getting at, but I still mantain that the veneer has been around as long as the base, and the two are so inter-link that they are almost indistinguishable.


To take it further, it would be like GW minis coming pre-painted with a really poor “clicks” style paintjob.

I'm unfamilair with "clicks".


...but I guarantee you’d see loads more lazy players running with the pre-paints.

No doubt you would. I don't think there is any danger of the pre-paints, as GW has always amde the modeling part of the hobby.


The same is true of the spoon-fed rules for sub-lists. People believe it’s the only way to convey the slight differences. As if self imposed restrictions and some clever “counts as” aren’t enough.

I'll agree its not the only way by far but I don't agree the differences are slight in many of the cases.

As for self restraint and clever: At the risk of sounding cynical and jaded, I'm not so sure that those term's are inclusive of the vast majority of humanity.:eyebrows:


Luckily I’ve been offended by people with far more experience than yourself champ ;).

Touche!:skull:


A lot of this stems from competition...

But now that 40k is a game of tournaments...

Welcome to Chess. :rolleyes: No special rules for anyone that anyone else does not have access to, no special terrain that anyone can take advantage of, nothing.

It started to drift into a bit of a rant towards the end but you have made an excellent point. Has the game been hijacked by tournaments.

Quite often players are only able to get a game by going to a tournament as their social network (if they have one) does not wargame. Well boo-hoo to them.

I've been 40king for 16 years and I've never entered a tournament because they are mostly (but not entirely) filled with munchkin, combat wombat's who are making up for their insecurities and social retardation by trying to utterly annihilate every opponent in the quickest and most humiliating fashion possible.

WHAO!!! Think I started my own little rant there. In short; I'd rather drink my own diahorrea than enter a tournament. If I have to play a tournament at home with good friends... well there's other pass-times available in life... maybe injecting battery acid into my eyeball...?

Draco Argentum
24-06-2007, 10:19
If that's what they're excited about, they're not *really* fluff players, are they?

Good point, its impossible to care about the fluff if you have even the slightest interest in winning.

Skyweir
24-06-2007, 17:45
Examples of characterful rules gone bad......

Sacred numbers:

Slaanesh getting a free champion for min maxed 6 man units when Tzzentch have to but another 3 models to get the same bonus is unbalanced in game.

Iron Warriors having more Obliterators in the background being translated into them being able to take them as Elites? Unbalanced.

Iron Warriors being able to take Basilisks? Meh that's fine. Certain rules which are added to represent the character and themes of the Army are good. Some are superfluous. Some are down right unbalanced.

Now where you place certain rules in that list of options is subjective.

Oh yes...how many games has I not lost because I need to take 3 more marines to get a free Aspiring Champion than the Emperor's Children. A horrible imbalance it is, wrecking the game completely.....:P

Seriously, if you think that is an imbalance that should prevent the game-rules from including something as extremely flavorfull as the Sacred Numbers, I recommend you play all the armies with just the basic Space Marines stats. It's the only way to avoid these things.
Frankly, most battles even in 40k is decided by what the player does with his units on the battlefield, not their slightly unbalanced rules. To test this, just play a few battles with uneven points on each side, you will find that the better player will still come out on top with less points to spend.....

I think balance is a very overused, and far to overemphizied part of this game (and many others). GW once held to the same view, that the fact that the game accurately portrayed the units and armies as shown in the background of the 40k universe was more important than the fact that every army played in nearly the same way (which is the only way to get true balance).
Sadly, they seem to be letting that idea go more and more, much to the horror of those who play 40k for the 40k universe, not for the 40k-gameplay (which frankly has its flaws).

SamaNagol
24-06-2007, 17:49
Slaanesh get's a far greater benefit from Sacred Numbers than Tzeentch. You can't say that's not true though?

Marius Xerxes
24-06-2007, 18:59
Well I guess the biggest problem I see with the idea is that what you are personally looking for out of the game of Warhamer 40k.

I keep seeing the RPG as a comparative example but they are totally different in point of play. An RPG, to me is the telling of a story and how you the player, acting as said character in a story, evolves in said story. Yes I know you can play 40k campaigns and make your own story, so im not saying an RPG holds this completely over 40k.

But let’s look at 40k. 40k is a game where you, as someone mentioned before; you are in direct competition with the person across the table from you. While I think all players of the game enjoy the history, stories and background of the 40k universe, when your competing with someone on that table, I know for me personally the background of my army and its character and how well converted and painted don’t help to achieve any goals like various rules do.

I guess is what im getting at is there are a lot of units in the game that get their love/hate for them because of rules. Give the ever popular Death Company as an example. When it comes down to game time, would anyone truly care who they were if they were treated like a standard Assault Squad, just with a sweet conversion and nice paint job?

Sticking with the Blood Angels as an example, I know in second edition when I started with them, despite having the Death Company, I did not see the army as a whole as frothing madmen of assulty doom. Now comes 3rd edition and the rules given to them completely changed a lot of peoples outlook on the army. Where the veterans like me, and many others still knew of the history of the Chapter, and how they were every bit as shooty as any standard Marine army, the new rules changed many peoples outlook, and surely any new player saw them as an mostly assault army. This meaning of the army has, through editions been cut back (I.E. no more Rhino Rush and Furious Charge on all models), but with the inclusion of Assault Squads as Troops choices they have made their mark as being defiantly on the Assault Side of the Shooty v. Assault line of tactical thinking, whereas in fluff and earlier editions (not including 3rd) this is not so much the case. It is my opinion, at least for this army, rules did shift the character and theme of the army.

Guess in summation, if you want cool story and background then read the books associated with the 40k universe, which I personally do. But when im playing a game, any game for that matter, where I am in direct completion with another person, I am not looking at anything but tactics. Rules and how they are applied affect tactics. Good tactics are going to be mirrored if they are sound, and once everyone is seeing that said army is most effective in said way, the army, because of rules and their influence on tactics, now has affected how people view it changed or cemented depending on already given background and history.

EDIT: I do want to clarify that I in no way intend to say there is only one way to play an army effectivly, as really, a truly fun army book can have 5 people look through it and play it 5 differant ways. However some armies, due to unit options and rules etc. get a definat advantage if played a certian way, which is what changes peoples idea on there Chatacter and Theme or the extreme to which said army follows that Character and Theme.

The Dude
25-06-2007, 02:30
Having rules for this sort of thing is, to me, a reward for those interesting and loving coversions.

But Why? Even at 40K scale, having Bionics wouldnít really make that much of a difference. At a skirmish level game sure, but not for 40K


I see what your getting at, but I still mantain that the veneer has been around as long as the base, and the two are so inter-link that they are almost indistinguishable.

But thatís just not true. The veneer was applied in 3rd edition.


I'm unfamilair with "clicks".

Lucky you :D


No doubt you would. I don't think there is any danger of the pre-paints, as GW has always amde the modeling part of the hobby.

Iím not saying there is a chance of it happening, Iím saying it is the equivalent in miniature terms of having a certain sub-set of rules forced on you. I agree GW would never do pre-pains, but neither should they do such rigid sub-lists as we saw in 3rd edition.


As for self restraint and clever: At the risk of sounding cynical and jaded, I'm not so sure that those term's are inclusive of the vast majority of humanity.:eyebrows:

But why would this affect the hobby at all? It they donít want to adhere to the background they are more than welcome to create their own. I really feel this is what GW are encouraging with their latest round of Codices. By allowing more flexibility, you allow people to use their imagination more.


The upcoming Chaos Codex is a prime example as it seems to have more of a focus on Renegades than before, whilst not neglecting the Legions, they arenít the be all and end all, as they are a bit restrictive for the new age of player-created army background.
I've been 40king for 16 years and I've never entered a tournament because they are mostly (but not entirely) filled with munchkin, combat wombat's who are making up for their insecurities and social retardation by trying to utterly annihilate every opponent in the quickest and most humiliating fashion possible.

I somewhat agree, and this is the same reason I have shied away from the tournament scene myself, but I donít see why even a friendly game should allow one army to gain an advantage over another built from the same base Codex, simply because of the colour itís been painted.

Lord Malek The Red Knight
25-06-2007, 02:35
I somewhat agree, and this is the same reason I have shied away from the tournament scene myself, but I don’t see why even a friendly game should allow one army to gain an advantage over another built from the same base Codex, simply because of the colour it’s been painted.
but if the only difference is the paint scheme, theres nothing stopping both players getting the same advantages, is there? if your 6 man Noise Marine squads get a freebie, then my 6 man "Doom Marine" squads can get the same freebie, thanks to identical lists and "counts as".

but i do see your point, though. :)

~ Tim

The Dude
25-06-2007, 02:57
but if the only difference is the paint scheme, theres nothing stopping both players getting the same advantages, is there? if your 6 man Noise Marine squads get a freebie, then my 6 man "Doom Marine" squads can get the same freebie, thanks to identical lists and "counts as".

Oh, of course, but I think we all know that's not the point of these lists. They were developed to represent a certain army, but some of the rules are so killer that some people who don't want to play the army will want to "counts as" to use the rules.

If the rules are to be available to everyone, why the hell not just put them in the basic list. At least that way they can be developed to be simple and balanced.

GreenDracoBob
25-06-2007, 02:57
A lot of the arguments I'm seeing are comparing apples and oranges in a way. As an example, The Dude says that you can represent character through self-restraint and cleverness. To retort this, Sgt Biffo says that that those are rare qualities in humanity. This may be true, but as I see it, someone who truly cares about the character of their army is much more likely to exercise those qualities when playing with said army. I may be wrong about this, and rather general, when I say The Dude is describing "Fluff players" while Sgt Biffo is describing "Competitive players." That may have not been the intention, but the argument loses its edge when the two sides are not comparing similar things. But that's just what I'm seeing.

In the end, as I have said, rules do not equal character, but they can be used to enhance its visibility on the tabletop. But the more rules you have to do such a thing, the more likelihood to get a bad egg in the bunch. Sacred Numbers, for example. For simplicity, we'll say all Chaos Legion Marines are 10 points, and they are all the same, with the same Champions. Looking at the rule, then a Slaanesh force gets a Champion for 60 points, while the Tzeentch force gets the same thing for 90. Fair, huh? Or getting free abilities when other armies in the same book don't, just for the color on the models. Or exchanging two useless Force Organization spots for an extra one of the most useful and crowded. The more rules you tack on, the more exploitable ones exist.

The Dude
25-06-2007, 03:14
The Dude is describing "Fluff players" while Sgt Biffo is describing "Competitive players."

Iím not describing any sort of player. Iím describing a set of behaviours that can be used to portray the characterful background of your army on the tabletop. If that behaviour is what is generally attributed to ďfluff playersĒ, then so be it, but the distinction merely highlights what Iíve been saying all along:

If players care about the background, they will FIND a way within the rules to represent it on the tabletop, even if that means making up house rules. If the player is merely trying to win, or gain an advantage for their army, they surely canít be too fussed about their background or how well the army fits it.

Many of the people you see complaining that some aspect of background should have a rule are arguing for some sort of buff. You RARELY see people arguing for restrictions or nerfs to their army, and on those occasions that you do, they are inevitable the less competitive players who do so.

In a similar vein, the ďbuff wantersĒ often ignore the negative aspects of the background when arguing for their changes, or if they are putting forward ďdisadvantagesĒ they are most often relating to units they would never use in their theme anyway.

The test is, if you were to present a player with a change that drastically altered the background of their army, but gave them a huge buff, do they complain?

Sgt Biffo
25-06-2007, 09:55
A lot of the arguments I'm seeing are comparing apples and oranges in a way.

We'll call your point of veiw "pares" then.:D

He is right though. I'm starting to get a bit bored with being told I'm wrong at every turn.

Catch you else where on the forum...:)

Skyweir
25-06-2007, 12:24
But Why? Even at 40K scale, having Bionics wouldnít really make that much of a difference. At a skirmish level game sure, but not for 40K



But thatís just not true. The veneer was applied in 3rd edition.



Lucky you :D



Iím not saying there is a chance of it happening, Iím saying it is the equivalent in miniature terms of having a certain sub-set of rules forced on you. I agree GW would never do pre-pains, but neither should they do such rigid sub-lists as we saw in 3rd edition.



But why would this affect the hobby at all? It they donít want to adhere to the background they are more than welcome to create their own. I really feel this is what GW are encouraging with their latest round of Codices. By allowing more flexibility, you allow people to use their imagination more.



I somewhat agree, and this is the same reason I have shied away from the tournament scene myself, but I donít see why even a friendly game should allow one army to gain an advantage over another built from the same base Codex, simply because of the colour itís been painted.


Because the rules should represent the background. This is more important than "balance" for a game like 40k.
The Thousand Suns should have different rules from the Black Legion. They are a very different sort of army. Just like the Imperial Guard is very different from the Eldar.
The fact is that the Thousand Sons army has been removed from the game, as has all the Chaos Legions. Just as I can make a Hrud army and make it "count as" an Imperial Guard Army, I can make a Thousand Sons Army that "counts as" a generic Chaos army. But that does not make the Hrud or the Thousand Sons an army in the 40k game.

And this is cheapening the hobby, making it more "soulless" if you will. I find it down right insulting, in fact. GW seems intend on removing everything that tastes of complicated from the game, and they are taking the feel and essence of 40k with the as they scourge the rules for every creative or interesting option or possibility.

SamaNagol
25-06-2007, 13:27
Well that isn't true.

You can still put together an entirely Thousand Sons army. Cult marines are still troops. You can simply use all Rubric marines, don't take any of the other choices other than maybe a unit of chosen or terminators as a retinue for your Sorceror lord.

There you go. 1kSons list. It isn't even a counts as list. Impose your own restrictions on yourself and you can build a fluffy 1kSons list.

eldaran
25-06-2007, 13:33
i would say that the rules can allow the character to be demonstrated on the table. For example, the alpha legion specialise in attacking on multiple sides at once. Therefore, to represent that, they get cheaper infiltrate. They do, however, get very little use of daemons, because the only platforms they can summon them from are from poorly armoured units.

Thats just an example off the top of my head.

I can see the point of "His army is painted in blue, green and silver, with a hydra symbol, so why does he get cheap infiltrate because of that."

I do however say that, from a modelling and fluff perspective, it constricts you, since there is a set colour scheme and background for AL, and in-game, there are weaknesses which offset the use of cultists and cheap infiltrate, like non-durable summoning platforms, which is a pain in the neck for me and stopped me using daemons, which i found a shame.

The Dude
26-06-2007, 02:30
He is right though. I'm starting to get a bit bored with being told I'm wrong at every turn.

Oh boo! You were the best contributor to this discussion :(


Because the rules should represent the background. This is more important than "balance" for a game like 40k.

Nothing is more important than balance. The basic game as presented by GW should be balanced. If players are happy to dispense with that balance, then that is up to them.


The Thousand Suns should have different rules from the Black Legion. They are a very different sort of army. Just like the Imperial Guard is very different from the EldarÖ

Once again, nobody is disputing that RACES need different rules, but why do Thousand Sons as an army need different rules to other CSMs? Surely just allowing a force consisting entirely of Rubrics and Sorcerers is enough? From the rumours I hear, you can do thin in the new Dex. Unfortunately some things like Rubric Terminators are done away with, but hell, if you give Chaos Termis the Mark of Tzeench, they will get a 4+ inv anyway. It can be done with a little imagination, and it can be done well.


And this is cheapening the hobby, making it more "soulless" if you will. I find it down right insulting, in fact. GW seems intend on removing everything that tastes of complicated from the game, and they are taking the feel and essence of 40k with the as they scourge the rules for every creative or interesting option or possibility.

My point is, does it need to be complicated to be characterful? If restrictions are left up to the player, and the rules are well written eliminating all no-brainer choices, then it only serves to open up the possibilities for different viable force compositions.


i would say that the rules can allow the character to be demonstrated on the table. For example, the alpha legion specialise in attacking on multiple sides at once. Therefore, to represent that, they get cheaper infiltrate. They do, however, get very little use of daemons, because the only platforms they can summon them from are from poorly armoured units.

The thing is, if the option for infiltrating units is there, the player can choose to take them over other options. They can also choose not to take Daemons. I donít see why space should be wasted spoon feeding this to players.

Nurglitch
26-06-2007, 05:16
My point is, does it need to be complicated to be characterful? If restrictions are left up to the player, and the rules are well written eliminating all no-brainer choices, then it only serves to open up the possibilities for different viable force compositions. Yup. If all options are equally effective then the only deciding factor between the options is the player. An example would be if the choice was A or B and A = B, then choosing A over B would either be abitrary or an expression of taste for As rather than Bs.

As for complication that's just a matter of combinatorial expressiveness. After all if you need three capital letters and you have A or B available then you could have [A, A, A], [B, B, B], [A, B, B], [A, A, B] assuming these aren't ordered sets. But where A = B + 1 and players want to maximize on the value of their letters you'll have four possibilities (as mentioned) but only one live option: [A, A, A]. Add the further restriction that you can't have all As and then [A, A, B] becomes the only live option. Add in Cs as well as As and Bs, such that C = A, then you get three live options: [A, A, B], [C, C, B], [A, C, B].

If you're going to characterize, that is to say 'distinguish', armies by the rules associated with them, then you're either going to homogenize the armies actually seen in the game as competitive players find the sweet spots in the army builds (or think they have...) or you're going to needlessly complicate the game by extraneously multiplying rules beyond necessity. Such extraneous rules won't actually differentiate armies beyond behaving as boxes into which more tidbits of background can be wedged.

A 4+ invulnerable saving throw against is a 50% chance against an element interpreted as a 'model' losing one resource interpreted as a wound' however you want to imagine it (forcefield, superlative reflexes, an incorporeal nature, etc, ad nauseum). There is a difference between a model with an invulnerable saving throw and one without, but the character of that difference is entirely in the imagination of whomever is playing with those rules.

Ddraiglais
26-06-2007, 05:32
The game will never be balanced. There's a thread on here right now discussing how "cheesy" ******* Eldar grav tanks are. No matter what GW does, there will always be someone crying about how powerful such and such unit is. I really don't think there is any such thing as cheese. Every army has rules that people can and will take advantage of. Even after Chaos gets nerfed this Fall, there will be some lists that people will win with. Then those lists will be "cheesy". Basically I see the game as being pretty balanced. Now they're just trying to ruin it.

So you want to draw the line at seperate rules for the various races? Then I demand that Space Wolves, Blood Angels, Dark Angels, etc imediately have their codices taken off the shelves. They should have to play with the standard rules for SMs. Oh, and do away with traits too. (please note that I do not want any of this to actually happen). All of those armies I mentioned are more flavorful because they get their own rules. Same thing goes for the Chaos forces. Without rules, Blood Angels are just Ulrtamarines painted red.

I think it needs to be a little complex to be characterful. I won't say complicated because I believe most people older than 14 should be able to get it. Not to mention certain armies are simple, others are more advanced. Let the people who were confused by the Chaos dex use something else. They don't need to nerf Chaos. I see what you are saying, and I do have self imposed limitations. However, this new codex takes away or nerfs almost every single unit that I enjoy using. I have hundreds of dollars worth of junk now. (sorry, I'm still a little touchy about that).

The option for infiltrating units is still kind of, sort of still there. It is an elite unit. That means AL players will have less infiltrating units, hardly any termies, and probably no dreads. They still won't be infiltrating like the can now and they will have to drop some useful units just so they can get a couple of squads to follow their fluff. Which is better? Not having rules so that an AL army plays close to what it should, or having a couple of rules and really being able to play AL.

The Dude
26-06-2007, 06:10
So you want to draw the line at seperate rules for the various races? Then I demand that Space Wolves, Blood Angels, Dark Angels, etc imediately have their codices taken off the shelves. They should have to play with the standard rules for SMs. Oh, and do away with traits too. (please note that I do not want any of this to actually happen). All of those armies I mentioned are more flavorful because they get their own rules. Same thing goes for the Chaos forces. Without rules, Blood Angels are just Ulrtamarines painted red.

Please see my previous discussion on behaviour. How an army behaves is a small element of their theme, and one that is determined by their rules. Iíd be more than happy for Space Wolves, Blood and Dark Angels to be rolled into the standard Marine Codex, as long as they were able to be built along the same theme from that list. In this case, Blood Angels wouldnít be simply Ultramarines painted red, as they could be built to follow their established theme of a near Codex Chapter with a leaning towards elite close combat units. The same goes for traits. As long as the different themes portrayed by them can be assimilated into the list, Iím more than happy to see the **** end of them.


I think it needs to be a little complex to be characterful. I won't say complicated because I believe most people older than 14 should be able to get it. Not to mention certain armies are simple, others are more advanced. Let the people who were confused by the Chaos dex use something else. They don't need to nerf Chaos. I see what you are saying, and I do have self imposed limitations. However, this new codex takes away or nerfs almost every single unit that I enjoy using. I have hundreds of dollars worth of junk now. (sorry, I'm still a little touchy about that).

Once again, I donít see how rules simplification = nerf. How are units nerfed in the new Codex? As far as I can see, they all look pretty bloody useful, and it would be a very difficult choice between them. Sounds pretty balanced to me.

Anyway, weíre not talking about nerfing or toning down or whatever, weíre talking about character. If youíre pissed that these units arenít going to be as powerful as before, thatís cool, thatís a different issue, but you canít say theyíve had their character removed.

Most of the time the extraneous rules are next to useless, or break a fundamental game rule. Surely that will provide an unfair advantage? If you want to do an all Raptor army, you will be unlikely to want to have tons of static heavy support in your force as well, so what kind of disadvantage is losing 1 HS slot to balance gaining more of what you actually want to use?


The option for infiltrating units is still kind of, sort of still there. It is an elite unit. That means AL players will have less infiltrating units, hardly any termies, and probably no dreads. They still won't be infiltrating like the can now and they will have to drop some useful units just so they can get a couple of squads to follow their fluff. Which is better? Not having rules so that an AL army plays close to what it should, or having a couple of rules and really being able to play AL.

Is it really in the Alpha Legion background that ENTIRE ARMIES can make their way behind enemy lines? That sounds like a logistical nightmare. I think itís far more realistic to have a few veteran squads forging ahead of the main force causing problems and popping out of hiding at the right time.

As for the Terminators/Dread comment, well thatís always going to happen where things share a FOC slot. You could never have more than 1 each of those things unless you want to drop one.

A Dreadnaught doesnít really seem to be a very stealthy unit to me anywayÖ

2 full sized Chosen squads with icons and a Terminator squad to drop in next to them sounds plenty sneaky to me.

Ddraiglais
26-06-2007, 07:32
The Dude, I get what you've been saying. I got it before you started this thread. I tend to disagree. I think special rules add to an army's character. Notice I didn't say defined it, or was all of the character.

Rules simplification doesn't necessarily mean that units are nerfed. In the case of the new Chaos codex, it does mean that my army is nerfed. Nerfed might be too strong of a word too. I have no doubt that I'd be able to win with a new list. I just wouldn't be able to play with a lot of my favorite units. My warsmith (technically a DP) would be gone with the new dex. My basilisk is gone. I can't use obliterators anymore (not that huge of a loss, but I still liked em). I can't infiltrate anymore. I never liked the defiler. It is an ugly model. It's only saving grace was indirect fire (which is gone).

So far I would have a lord or DP, a bunch of termies, a ton of troops, maybe a squad or two of bezerkers, and three from the following: vindis, havocs, and preds. That's a pretty bland and flavorless list. Now I can probably model up a couple of squads dedicated to bionics (Nurgle). Still, there is nothing that will compensate me for losing my favorite model, in both looks and rules. Maybe I shouldn't be saying that my army got nerfed. Most people will equate that with rules and effectiveness. I should start saying that my army will lose all of it's flavor/color.

So we're back to me not being pissed that my army is losing some of it's effectiveness (which it is, but I can deal). I'm pissed that my army won't be my army with the new codex. Rules changes are destroying the character and feel of my army.

I could see an entire AL army infiltrating. For starters, 40K isn't army sized. It's platoon-company sized. On top of that, AL infiltrate populations. They sow discontent. When the time is right, the people rebel, and AL supports them. AL has already been there for months, if not years. They would be hitting from every direction. That's how they function.

I understand that there are choices to make within every FOC slot. That's why I'm losing obliterators. I don't think they really stand up to the other choices I have. It just seems wrong to me that the only way AL can keep even a small element of their army is to cut out other needed units.

A dreadnaught makes sense to me. A dread would probably be easier to hide in a nearby cave or something waiting until the time is right.

That does sound very AL (sneaky) to me as well. I just think that a couple of extra squads infiltrated alongside their brethren would be even more flavorful.

Nurglitch
26-06-2007, 09:40
So how do special rules add to an army's character?

Sgt Biffo
26-06-2007, 12:18
Oh boo! You were the best contributor to this discussion :(

Alright. Back by popular demand...


Nothing is more important than balance.

Agreed that balance is probably the most important aspect of war gaming, but isn't points the mechanism for balance rather than rules?

Refering back to the point of the same army having the same abilities, etc...;

I think that 3rd ed. is not where this came up. In previous editions; World Eaters were different to Emperors Children, as were Dark Angels and Blood Angels even though both examples had the differing armys in the same book.

The 3rd ed expansion of this gives choice. I have a Night Lords army. I can use it as a legion Army or a generic army, paint job remaining intact. What benefits come from ensuring that all Chaos armies have exactly the same armoury irrispective of colour scheme and customised minitures (apart from balance that is dictated by something other than points)?

The specialisation of army types in Chaos and Imperial Guard has given rise to the universal rules section. I think this is an example that serves to high light the variety and individualality of units in the 40k universe!

The Dude
27-06-2007, 02:36
Alright. Back by popular demand...

Yay!!!


Agreed that balance is probably the most important aspect of war gaming, but isn't points the mechanism for balance rather than rules?

Points is the end result of balance. It is the grand sum of all the behaviours of the unit within the context of the army list as a whole. The rules arenít (or shouldnít) be there merely to balance the unit out, but to represent the way they behave in the background. Once the behaviour is determined, you can assign an appropriate points cost.

However in some cases points alone would make them restrictively expensive without a down side, in which case, you would need to build in some sort of restriction, be it behavioural (as long as it represents how they should behave), option limitations (heavy weapons etc), or simply what else they compete for FOC slots with. The new trend to have non slotted units is a great (in my opinion) way of giving a slight buff to units that may otherwise be ignored, such as Techmarines or Generic Daemons.


I think that 3rd ed. is not where this came up. In previous editions; World Eaters were different to Emperors Children, as were Dark Angels and Blood Angels even though both examples had the differing armys in the same book.

In the same book, but in complete lists (at least BA and DA were). The problem arises in 3rd edition when sub-lists come in. This means that points costs cannot be calculated based on the full list. They retain the basic list costs, which means the only other balancing factor available to GW is to change behaviours through more special rules, or to swap FOC slots of different units. Unfortunately this still isnít enough, and only through a fully integrated list with points costs determined for that specific list as a whole, can you hope to have a balanced (or as near as possible) list.

Delicious Soy
27-06-2007, 09:33
My point is, does it need to be complicated to be characterful? If restrictions are left up to the player, and the rules are well written eliminating all no-brainer choices, then it only serves to open up the possibilities for different viable force compositions.I think that in some cases its better to have optional rules that make the force play truly differently to a force composed purely from the standard list. The other issue is the notion of balance by integrating variants into the main lists. Personally I think this does little other than open a whole new can of worms and we can see how limited the results are by looking at the current bunch of releases.

While Codex Eldar makes allowances to create pretty much any army from the old craftworld codex (with the exception of Ulthwe) it did so by minimising differences. In effect it went backwards because if pathfinders and ranger disruption were in incorporated into the main army, the results would be utter mayhem. Similar things explain the lack of the Court of the Young King, Wildrider Chieftains, Black Guardians and to a lesser extent, the Seer Council.

Codex Dark Angels has a very similar story. Special Characters became enablers for the Ravenwing and the Deathwing. Ironic because somehow I doubt every Succesor Chapter's 2nd Company Captain is named Sammael but even worse was the inability to take an ordinary terminator captain for a Deathwing army. Then both were changed to integrate with the new rules for fielding in a standard DA force.

Chaos seems to be the codex doing the most backpedalling. I can almost understand removing the extra bit for undivided legions but the cults? Come on. Why should people be penalised for wanting a bit of character and something different.

This is how I see the link between character and rules. I think that sufficient elbow room should be created so that people can have variant lists. If this means modifications to standard rules then so be it. The problem is that the current bunch of codicies are punishing people a bit too much for deviating from the straight and narrow. I like giving my characters combos that I like and giving them a name that identifies them as my creation, not buying a precut and named character and renaming him in a vain attempt at appropriating him as my own. It feels hollow and detracts from the experience of making an army list.

Sgt Biffo
27-06-2007, 11:34
The new trend to have non slotted units is a great (in my opinion) way of giving a slight buff to units that may otherwise be ignored, such as Techmarines or Generic Daemons.

I'm not that sure that you will. I rarely have seen Warp Beasts in a Dark Eldar amry inspite of their "free" selection.




In the same book, but in complete lists (at least BA and DA were). The problem arises in 3rd edition when sub-lists come in. This means that points costs cannot be calculated based on the full list.

Thats a fair point. I've seen something on the rumours page about Legion specific armies being released in WD Blood Angels style. Which is probably a more sensible way of doing things (and may make me buy a White Dwarf for the first time in ten years).

I think how ever that lists like the current Eldar one will see the end of the Craft World concepts (not the Craft World lists *shivers at memory*). At the moment my frequent Iyundan opponent is feilding lots of Guardians on Jet Bikes, Wave Serpents and Rangers and I'm yet to see a Wraith Lord (Praise the Emperors name) and one Wraith Guard.

Is this whats in store for other armies? Is it a good thing?

Skyweir
27-06-2007, 16:45
Balance is the most important aspect of wargaming?

I see.....

Well, we seem to have such a fundemental different approach to the game that I don't see the point in continuing the argument.

Consider this: There cannot be an objective standard for balance in a wargame, since the game is unbalanced the moment one of the players is less experienced or has less tactical understanding than the other. This will ultimately favour one side over the other. The best you can hope for is that the rules does not add much to this unbalance, but seeing as every choice will be better than another in any given situation, I don't see how you can expect even this much. One player will always make a smarter choice than his/her opponent, thus making the game unbalanced.


The most important thing in a wargame is how fun it is to play. Secondly, how well does it simulate the war it is supposed to portray. Thirdly, how does it look and feel when you play it.

Balance is a distant fourth, if that.
Take the original Axis and Allies, for instance. The game is extremely fun, a passable simulation of World War 2, looks and feels quite like being generals in a war and it is not balanced for at all.
I mean, there is 3 against 2, and the US can outproduce both the Axis powers in a matter of a few turns.
In the amount of games I have played, the Axis has won maybe 20% of the time.
Does this make it a bad wargame?
I maintain no, in fact it is the game that introduced me to wargaming and made me love it.

Ddraiglais
27-06-2007, 17:09
Points is the end result of balance. It is the grand sum of all the behaviours of the unit within the context of the army list as a whole. The rules arenít (or shouldnít) be there merely to balance the unit out, but to represent the way they behave in the background. Once the behaviour is determined, you can assign an appropriate points cost.

However in some cases points alone would make them restrictively expensive without a down side, in which case, you would need to build in some sort of restriction, be it behavioural (as long as it represents how they should behave), option limitations (heavy weapons etc), or simply what else they compete for FOC slots with. The new trend to have non slotted units is a great (in my opinion) way of giving a slight buff to units that may otherwise be ignored, such as Techmarines or Generic Daemons.



In the same book, but in complete lists (at least BA and DA were). The problem arises in 3rd edition when sub-lists come in. This means that points costs cannot be calculated based on the full list. They retain the basic list costs, which means the only other balancing factor available to GW is to change behaviours through more special rules, or to swap FOC slots of different units. Unfortunately this still isnít enough, and only through a fully integrated list with points costs determined for that specific list as a whole, can you hope to have a balanced (or as near as possible) list.

I agree that the rules should reflect how that unit behaves. I take it further and say the rules should reflect how a particular army behaves as well.

Being expensive in points is a downside. I played LotR for a little while (it was the only game I could find opponents for). I came up with a 1000 point all troll list. My ten trolls got hammered in about every battle they were in. One on one there wasn't much they couldn't kill. They added a great punch to an army. However, using more than a couple of trolls gave my opponent so many extra troops, I'd get swamped if I tried to use too many. I know that's a different game with different mechanics, but it works for 40K too. Why do you think that most people shy away from land raiders even though they are one of the best units in the game?

I can agree with you about sublists. I have a different solution. If things are playtested and found to be a bit too extreme, then raise the points. I wouldn't mind paying 200 points for a basilisk even though the IG only pays what they pay (don't think I can put points costs out there). I even found that obliterators were great, but nine obliterators were very cost prohibitive (I only did that list once to see what all the hype was about). Now that obliterators are HS, I doubt I'll hardly ever use them.

Basically I'd rather see more units, more sublists, and more variety. I think GW could do that AND keep the abuse to a minimum if they really tried.

Hydian
27-06-2007, 18:30
But why would this affect the hobby at all? It they don’t want to adhere to the background they are more than welcome to create their own. I really feel this is what GW are encouraging with their latest round of Codices. By allowing more flexibility, you allow people to use their imagination more.

Not picking on you Dude...lots of people have made the same remarks.

How does removing choices allow more flexibility? I keep seeing people make this claim and have yet to figure out what parallel universe they live in where the math works out on it. By my quick count (and I'm sure that I'm missing something) 17 unit choices have been removed from the new codex. All 17 of those choices happen to be fluff units that would add character to an army and help to distinguish it from other chaos armies.

I'm not talking about legion specific rules, sacred numbers, wargear/armory or any of that stuff here, just unit choices that have been/will be removed. By the math of those who are in favor of Vanillahammer 40k, 17 fewer unit choices is a lot more flexibility. Why, that's probably double or triple the choices that you had before. :wtf:

I do like the arguments that legions are all still possible if you just squint hard enough when you look at them. That still makes me chuckle. :) Because those "berserker terminators" will be so impressive compared to those generic terminators that are exactly the same except for paint job. And those "noise marine havocs" will look so fluffy standing there with their heavy bolters.

Hopefully the Ork codex will continue this new trend and in 6 months when it is released, the unit choice will be "Ork" armed with "Gun" and "Stick" so as to not hurt anyone's brain with complicated rules or choices. It'd suck to have to actually need tactics when facing an opposing force rather than being able to just go with a simple formula based on the codex it came from.

I find the distain for the clix games among the GW crowd based primarily on the paint to be quite interesting. It isn't the kind of thing that you would expect gamers to say. Kind of gives you an idea of where GW players are situated in the gaming world.

Keichi246
27-06-2007, 20:25
Not picking on you Dude...lots of people have made the same remarks.

How does removing choices allow more flexibility? I keep seeing people make this claim and have yet to figure out what parallel universe they live in where the math works out on it. By my quick count (and I'm sure that I'm missing something) 17 unit choices have been removed from the new codex. All 17 of those choices happen to be fluff units that would add character to an army and help to distinguish it from other chaos armies.

I'm not sure where you got your number of 17 choices removed, but I'll bite...
(I can count 10 Demon types, the Basilisk, and cultists. As far as I can tell though - that's the majority of the choices removed. And the Legion lists - which is what most people are screaming about - only had access to a handful of the removed units. Some of the removed units existed ONLY in a specfic legion list.)

I know my position, and the position of my friend who plays Death Guard.
He was severely limited in what unit choices he was originally allowed to play. Now - with the removal of those 17 choices (or actually - the 4 or so he access to), he is allowed to play any of the remaining choices he chooses. Net result - he has more choice. Which allows more flexibilty....


I do like the arguments that legions are all still possible if you just squint hard enough when you look at them. That still makes me chuckle. Because those "berserker terminators" will be so impressive compared to those generic terminators that are exactly the same except for paint job. And those "noise marine havocs" will look so fluffy standing there with their heavy bolters.

And I quite enjoy the arguements of the people who seem to think that because one incarnation of a codex halfway through an edition GAVE the legions special rules (which, in some cases, had balance issues); suddenly those special rules are the entire thing that makes their legion unique. Seemingly forgetting that before that point - the Legions existed without special rules...

Here's the problem with GW sublists - pure and simple. Everyone feels that *their* sublist has to have something special to distinguish it from the parent list. The problem is that 40k is REALLY a small scale to work with. There are only 6 degrees of gradation available, and the scale of the battles is actually rather small. (200 people on a side? please...) In the effort to make the army lists "different" - they had to pile on special rules.

GW now thinks (and I agree with them) that THAT was the was the wrong way to go. The addition of dozens of variations on special rules just added confusion to the issue (generating FAQs). And people always complained that "sublist A has better special rules/gear/etc than sublist B! Make sublist B better!"

They came to the conclusion that the compostion of most of the sublists should NOT be *that* different than their parent lists - simply because *that* is the manner that that race/army/etc has chosen to fight. Instead of being a minor variation on the character of the Race/army/etc - the sublists were dominating the basic list - because they inevitably had "cooler" special rules. This had the result of diminshing the "core list". So they are trying to reduce and remove the exceptions - and by doing so - strengthen the core identity of the Race/army/etc.

A temininator with a Mark of Khorne will be different than a Generic Terminator. (They'll have a stat increase). But why should a World Eater Terminator who follows Khorne be any better than some Renegade Terminator who follows Khorne? They both follow the Blood God, and have obviously fought their way to their current position. Would khorne give extra gifts to the World Eater Terminator simply because he was lucky enough to be recruited into that specfic army? Probably not... Because the Blood god doesn't care who is adding skulls to the throne...

Finally - regarding Balance. Yes - it is impossible to fully balance anything in a Wargame - for certain definitions of "balance." The balance that I see GW heading for is:

Balance - where any two armies of the same point total, played by players of approximately equal skill, with similar luck in their dice rolls, should have an approximately equal chance of winning.

Anyways - that's enough on this topic for now... I still think the new direction of Chaos is a good one.

jfrazell
27-06-2007, 20:47
I know my position, and the position of my friend who plays Death Guard.
He was severely limited in what unit choices he was originally allowed to play. Now - with the removal of those 17 choices (or actually - the 4 or so he access to), he is allowed to play Black Legion with any of the remaining choices he chooses.

Sorry, corrected your typo :angel:

Keichi246
27-06-2007, 21:11
I know my position, and the position of my friend who plays Death Guard.
He was severely limited in what unit choices he was originally allowed to play. Now - with the removal of those 17 choices (or actually - the 4 or so he access to), he is allowed to play Black Legion with any of the remaining choices he chooses.
Sorry, corrected your typo :angel:

Oh come on, already!

If his troops choices are Plague Marines, and his army is painted in Death Guard Colors, with marks of Nurgle all over the place - it's a *******' Death Guard army. It's not "Black Legion" just because he no longer has special limitations on what he can and can't buy.

Rules didn't make Death Guard "Death Guard" in 2nd edition or the 3.0 codex. They won't now either.

As far as I can tell - just about any Chaos army will be as exactly as Legion as it wants to be (possible exception being the Alpha Legion). The rules may have changed, but the final arbiter on what any player's Chaos army will look like is *gasp* the player...

Asmith
27-06-2007, 21:17
Why doesn't he play black legion using the current codex? Wouldn't that greatly expand his choices too?

jfrazell
27-06-2007, 21:21
Why doesn't he play black legion using the current codex? Wouldn't that greatly expand his choices too?

Exactly. He already had the option, but with better choices. Now he is forced to take the same option, but with less choices. How is this better or more characterful?

Keichi246
27-06-2007, 21:31
Why doesn't he play black legion using the current codex? Wouldn't that greatly expand his choices too?

Because he plays Death Guard.

He has always liked the Nurgle theme. He built his army to be Death Guard because of that. Currently there are rules for the "Death Guard" - so he follows those rules. If/when the rules change - he will follow the new rules.

The Death Guard won't cease to exist as soon as there are no "special rules" for them. They have a paint scheme, a battle history and a motif of putresence and decay. Like Nurgle - that will never die...

Asmith
27-06-2007, 21:33
OK Mr. Semantics why doesn't he play black legion painted as deathguard using the current codex?

Keichi246
27-06-2007, 21:46
OK Mr. Semantics why doesn't he play black legion painted as deathguard using the current codex?

Did you read the second paragraph? He plays with those rules because that is what the rules for the Death Guard are currently.

We both follow the opinion that you play the rules as they are. I don't play my Dark Angels as "generic space marines" because the generic Space Marine rules are better now. My Dark Angels are Dark Angels - and I follow the rules for Dark Angels.

He plays Death Guard - so he follows the rules for Death Guard. When those rules change (go away), he will follow what rules come up next.

When your dice rolls are crap - you suck it up and adapt your plan.
When GW changes your codex, you suck it up and adapt your army.

It's the way it's always been....

Mad Doc Grotsnik
27-06-2007, 21:54
Rules help to suggest the character of an army, however, it is the sole domain of the individual player exactly how this character is brought to the fore.

For example, Saim Hann. A highly specialised combat style, which hits hard, but is as fragile as a Dragonflies wing. This is character pointing. However, the additional background describing the look and feel of the Craftworlds inhabitants helps to round this off nicely. They are wilder, and considered barbaric by the rest of the Eldar.

To me, as a player, this suggests the odd fur cloak, breaking up the sweeping lines of the craft, and re-modelling the Jetbike Pilots to be pulling off stunts, as if taunting the enemy.

In 3rd, I had a host of rules, and a special FoC to play with. Now, I just have a generic Eldar list with a penchant for Jetbikes. Yet *my* army is still very much Saim Hann. The character of the force is as much in the rules, and the conversions, as the way it is used on the battlefield. I always used my Saim Hann with a devil may care attitude. If things look bad, I will do my utmost to change them around in the most stylish way I can!

That to me, is the very essence of character! Never choose an army because of it's rules, they change to much. Choose an army because it's background appeals to *YOU*

Asmith
27-06-2007, 22:22
Did you read the second paragraph? He plays with those rules because that is what the rules for the Death Guard are currently.

We both follow the opinion that you play the rules as they are. I don't play my Dark Angels as "generic space marines" because the generic Space Marine rules are better now. My Dark Angels are Dark Angels - and I follow the rules for Dark Angels.

He plays Death Guard - so he follows the rules for Death Guard. When those rules change (go away), he will follow what rules come up next.

When your dice rolls are crap - you suck it up and adapt your plan.
When GW changes your codex, you suck it up and adapt your army.

It's the way it's always been....

So in other words... There really is no increase in flexibilty in the chaos list in particular and all the claims that there is going to be made in this thread is made up BS backed up by ridiculous rationalizations like the one you just made.

Guess what? the point me and gorgon are making is that there IS NO DEATH GUARD LIST in the new codex. I guess your friend will have to toss his minis.

Listen I don't care how much rationalization you guys do, there is no way you can look at the current list and the rumored new list and tell me with a straight face that you can make a more flexible or more CHARACTERFUL list with the new one. Maybe you can with DA, I don't know, butthe new change in direction surely is a huge step back in terms of the chaos codex.

Nurglitch
27-06-2007, 22:29
It strikes me that this thread isn't about whether character is the same thing as rules, but whether an army's character should be reflected by the rules used to represent it. After all that's what people do when they use the 'counts-as' convention.

Ronin_eX
27-06-2007, 22:38
Keichi really does have a point about his Deathguard friend. If his friend paints his chaos marines as deathguard and plays them as such then despite not using a special set of "deathguard" rules GW has force fed people he is *gasp* playing a Drathguard army. If GW were to take away all the marine sub-codexes tomorrow (I'm a DA player by the way) and give us a codex in the same style as the Chaos and Eldar codecies then I'd be quite fine with it. I could still play Dark Angels just as someone else could still be Crimson Fists. For years the thousand or so SM chapters lacked any rules to differentiate them from eachother, there were no traits, no special units, nothing. Yet somehow people still played different chapters with different background and themes and they were all just fine with it.

I think the crux of the entire rules != character for me comes from the myriad of sub-dexes that proliferated throughout 3rd edition. They were all rules for rules sake and didn't actually characterize the armies they portrayed any better than a themed list using "counts as" could. So just because the new chaos codex doesn't spell out what army you are allowed to take in crayon for you doesn't mean Alpha Legion or World Eaters stop existing. Thinking like this is just silly, those legions have only even had rules for a short period of time and before that they were just a theme that a player chose of their own free will.

A player will always be the one who should be adding character to the army they choose. Rules are simply cold statistics and in-game effects that can be interpreted in any number of ways (an invulnerable save could be didging skill or a power field for instance) and so it is up to the player to actually put life into the rules. Having four dozen codecies wouldn't add any more character to the game than having one for each actual race (i.e. no marine sub-dexes either) would. Rules are all well and good for representing how units should act and perform on the battlefield but rules lack any character in and of themselves (just making something master-crafted wont give it a cool background). Rules simply decide form and function, nothing else; they have no spark of imagination because that is something only the player himself can provide.

So in short, rules are needed to differentiate armies and allow for gameplay but they lack any inherent character as they are simply a pile of stats and capabilities. A marine's statline only shows you a tough trooper that has well rounded abilities beyond human norm, it could be a monster or a superhuman. Add in 'and they shall know no fear' and it doesn't make them any less of a statline, they simply are a more steadfast statline now. Character is added to this statline by giving it history and background not by adding on more rules. Rules are simply effects without anything behind them and that is why they don't add character.

jfrazell
27-06-2007, 22:45
OF course to the opposing player, that model has no more character differential than the next tac marine. Its an internal/external dichotomy.

Asmith
27-06-2007, 22:52
I'll give an example using my own chaos collection. This is this one among hundreds of ways in which the new ruleset for chaos is less characterful than the current one because of the huge reduction in options.

Now I base my collection on collecting a legion not on the platoon sized actions typically represented in 40K battles. The chaos codex is perhaps unique in the fact that it has the depth to really represent a force of this size.

Just as a for instance I have a Chosen squad which is highly tooled up and each member unique to represent the chosen of the legion leader. Each has his own stats weapons and gear. It's highly points inefficient and if they show up on the table at all it's because they are the aspiring champions which lead the squads in my force or as Lts. Now in the new codex these guys will be reduced to "Aspiring Champion: Power fist" or "Aspiring champion: power weapon". I already have 20 of these guys uniquely modeled up and outfitted. Which option gives more character again?

Asmith
27-06-2007, 22:59
Another example: I have another 1500 pt force that is made up almost entirely of a single chosen squad of sorcerers with spawn as wargear and the ability to generate more spawn from the enemies. Does it work? Almost always not (but its cool as hell when it does) Its also characterful as hell. Anything like it in the current dex? Most assuredly not.

Nurglitch
27-06-2007, 23:14
OF course to the opposing player, that model has no more character differential than the next tac marine. Its an internal/external dichotomy. Good thing Warhammer 40k is played with groups of models configured as 'armies' then eh? And that we play with painted models rather than pebbles. And that as we play, we talk about the game and imagine it to be a battle. Well, at least some of us do. I strongly advise that you should consider that there is no such thing as an "internal/external dichotomy". The players share the characters of their armies as much as they share the experience of gaming with the collections of models representing those armies. Warhammer 40k is co-operative game of shared fantasies as much as it is a competitive game of tactics and strategy.

Ronin_eX
27-06-2007, 23:47
I'll give an example using my own chaos collection. This is this one among hundreds of ways in which the new ruleset for chaos is less characterful than the current one because of the huge reduction in options.

Now I base my collection on collecting a legion not on the platoon sized actions typically represented in 40K battles. The chaos codex is perhaps unique in the fact that it has the depth to really represent a force of this size.

Just as a for instance I have a Chosen squad which is highly tooled up and each member unique to represent the chosen of the legion leader. Each has his own stats weapons and gear. It's highly points inefficient and if they show up on the table at all it's because they are the aspiring champions which lead the squads in my force or as Lts. Now in the new codex these guys will be reduced to "Aspiring Champion: Power fist" or "Aspiring champion: power weapon". I already have 20 of these guys uniquely modeled up and outfitted. Which option gives more character again?

Hmm, I don't see how a squad you've painted up in different legion colours and given a background now loses that background because you don't get that carrot (i.e. special rules) for it. So how have they lost any character, they are still a squad of chosen from multiple legions, which rule made them characterful, which rule made you think of the idea in the first place? You made a thematic choice, you're simply whining about it now because you didn't get a "reward" for it (hint: the creative endeavour is its own reward).


Another example: I have another 1500 pt force that is made up almost entirely of a single chosen squad of sorcerers with spawn as wargear and the ability to generate more spawn from the enemies. Does it work? Almost always not (but its cool as hell when it does) Its also characterful as hell. Anything like it in the current dex? Most assuredly not.

So how is a min maxed army characterful? I fail to see how just because it is highly ineffective means that it is all of a sudden rife with "character". Sorry but losing the ability to make a huge squad of chosen worth thousands of points doesn't take away character. Again this simply seems like whining for the sake of it. The super expensive chosen squad is as characterful as rending bunnies of Khorne. ;)

And I'll also echo the sentements of Nurglitch, sure the game lacks any character at all if you don't paint your army or talk to you opponent. But who the hell does this? The game is as much a modeling showcase and social event as it is a tactical wargame. Rules wont make that marine with a cool conversion and loads of wargear any more characterful than an unpainted marine with no conversion work at all no matter how many master-crafted widgets you add to his profile. Does a marine with a master-crafted power sword have more character than a marine without? No, because a master-crafted power sword is still just a re-roll. Is a re-roll especially characterful? Not unless you add the character yourself. So does this weapon need a history only if it gets some kind of mechanical advantage? No, any weapon can get a history advantage or no. This can be said any time a unit gets a rule or doesn't get a rule. Rules in and of themselves add no character, players and background writers do that. If you don't talk about your army or add any character to it it wont matter what its rules are, it will just be a bunch of plastic men. All the 'feel no pain' and 'rending' in the world can't suddenly make an army fun and creative, only players can do that.

Finnigan2004
28-06-2007, 00:53
I rarely post in the 40k section because I prefer warhammer, but I just looked at the new list for my blood angels in White Dwarf for the first time. A cursory glance made me glad I play mostly warhammer. Yes, balance is important and less options makes balance easier, but they've pared lists down to the point where all armies will soon look like clones and characters are entirely generic with no available customization. Unfortunately, some of us like the option of making our librarian slightly better in combat for an increased point cost, or giving him options for varied gear. This is hard to balance, but that's why I pay so much for GW figures and rules. Sorry if this has already been covered, but I'm very much not impressed with the new list.

P.S.. Even if this list makes blood angels a stronger army due to having assault squads as core, I still won't use them because of the nearly total loss of character customization. I'll probably shelf them with my other 40k stuff.

Hydian
28-06-2007, 01:31
I'm not sure where you got your number of 17 choices removed, but I'll bite...
(I can count 10 Demon types, the Basilisk, and cultists. As far as I can tell though - that's the majority of the choices removed. And the Legion lists - which is what most people are screaming about - only had access to a handful of the removed units. Some of the removed units existed ONLY in a specfic legion list.)

4 cult terminators
4 god specific daemons
4 daemonic beasts
4 god specific greater daemons
Nurglings
Noise Marine Havocs

I forgot Nurglings in my initial count and did not count anything that was only available in a legion sublist.


I know my position, and the position of my friend who plays Death Guard.
He was severely limited in what unit choices he was originally allowed to play. Now - with the removal of those 17 choices (or actually - the 4 or so he access to), he is allowed to play any of the remaining choices he chooses. Net result - he has more choice. Which allows more flexibilty....

Except that he had those choices in the old codex at a cost of not using the sacred number rule, so he isn't actually gaining anything. He is in fact losing 4 units that he used to have access to even under the deathguard restrictions.


And I quite enjoy the arguements of the people who seem to think that because one incarnation of a codex halfway through an edition GAVE the legions special rules (which, in some cases, had balance issues); suddenly those special rules are the entire thing that makes their legion unique. Seemingly forgetting that before that point - the Legions existed without special rules...

As I said, I'm not talking about legion specific rules, only unit choices. I wouldn't care if they removed the legion specific rules, but they removed the ability to represent many of the legions at all. What is killing the ability to field legions is *not* the sacred numbers or the extra heavy support slot. It is the loss of unit choices and/or abilities that help make the legions unique.

I've been playing 40k since the begining of 2nd edition. I'm aware of how Chaos used to be and I thank you for jumping on my side in this matter! It used to be that you could represent the various legions from the core list if you wanted to. Each codex was a step forward in customization and flexibility, allowing you to make forces that were unique from others. This Codex will be a definate step backwards in that regard.


In the effort to make the army lists "different" - they had to pile on special rules.

No, they just had to offer the unit options to allow people to make armies that were different. Taking both the special rules and the unit options away is over reacting to a non-issue.


GW now thinks (and I agree with them) that THAT was the was the wrong way to go. The addition of dozens of variations on special rules just added confusion to the issue (generating FAQs). And people always complained that "sublist A has better special rules/gear/etc than sublist B! Make sublist B better!"

IIRC, the Chaos FAQ was one of the shorter ones! As far as people complaining, that's always going to happen. Even if everything was exactly the same people would find a reason to complain.


A temininator with a Mark of Khorne will be different than a Generic Terminator. (They'll have a stat increase). But why should a World Eater Terminator who follows Khorne be any better than some Renegade Terminator who follows Khorne? They both follow the Blood God, and have obviously fought their way to their current position. Would khorne give extra gifts to the World Eater Terminator simply because he was lucky enough to be recruited into that specfic army? Probably not... Because the Blood god doesn't care who is adding skulls to the throne...

My example was specifically a cult terminator versus a normal terminator. Since cult terminators no longer exist, they will be no different than normal marines once they don the heavy armor. The legion that they belong to doesn't alter this. I used WE because they are typically a cult list.

What is there to differentiate a WE list from a 1kSons list in the new codex? They could be 100% identical on the table. That seems really fluffy for two lists that should be as different as possible.

What will happen is that with all of this supposed freedom and flexibility that was somehow injected into the chaos list by removing all sorts of options (I still can't fathom the logic in that) is instead of seeing a dozen or so chaos lists that play completely differently because they are emperor's children or iron warrors versus world eaters or some guy's DIY army, you are going to start seeing two or three chaos lists that are anywhere from slightly to very different. The same 30 people will be playing chaos. There just wont be as much variation because the list no longer allows it nor is there anything to encourage it.

This will carry over into casual play as the tournament scene continues to be stressed. Since the codex list wont encourage any sort of fluffy lists, there wont be that attachment to doing a "Death Guard" list. So the casual scene will start to see the same two or three chaos lists played over and over as well.

Then people will be posting on Warseer complaining that they're tired of seeing the same cheesy chaos list. They'll be talking about how it needs to be nerfed and pining for the old days when people actually played legion lists. Others will wonder aloud why people stopped playing legion lists. By then the reasons will be forgotten as we're all having these same exact discussions about the new IG codex which removes doctrines, rough riders, veterans, ogryns, ratlings, autocannon.

Darkangeldentist
28-06-2007, 02:46
I've only read so much of this debate but most of it has just been irkesome simpering from people who won't let go of their own specific gripe.

Do rules equal character? No.

Rules may emphasis character, which is a significantly different thing.

Now assuming (a bad thing but unavoidable) we're focussing on special rules for certain units and not their stats then rules are just an advantage to emphasis certain aspects of 'such and such'.

The most characterful portrayl of your army/character/unit is by writing some really cool background and/or giving them a fantastic paint job. However this won't reflect on their in-game performance which is where all our friction starts.

Special rules are invariably an indulgence unless that unit is so specialised as to not work at all without them. Genestealers would be a good example of the latter. Background, image and rules all work together to support each other. Without the rules they as a unit wouldn't work as intended by their background or character. Also they would serve no function whatsoever without at least one of their special rules. On the other hand Space wolf grey hunters would still serve all their roles adequately without any of their special rules (and they have a lot). I'm not saying they'd be as good but it's not as if I've taken everything that made them different. They still have unique options and unit organisation. That once might have been all that made them different.

Special rules are nice and make units feel special too. However most of the time that is because they also gave a certain advantage on the table. Whether you think this added to the character of the unit or not is moot. The rules simply made whatever it was behave differently.

It is easier to give than to take away. GW has always suffered under this burden and has never managed to convey the appearance of giving whilst disguising the taking away. People have always picked up on the ratractions and obsessed over them whilst overshadowing the additions.

If your unit has special rule yay lucky them. If not 'oh well' nevermind.

Final example/question. I stand an Ultramarine next to a Space wolf and a Dark angel which has more character? Each is from a first founding legion each is a basic trooper of that chapter.

The Dude
28-06-2007, 04:11
While Codex Eldar makes allowances to create pretty much any army from the old craftworld codex (with the exception of Ulthwe) it did so by minimising differences. In effect it went backwards because if pathfinders and ranger disruption were in incorporated into the main army, the results would be utter mayhem. Similar things explain the lack of the Court of the Young King, Wildrider Chieftains, Black Guardians and to a lesser extent, the Seer Council.

The problem with this argument is that it assumes that the special rules introduced in Codex: Craftworld Eldar were good rules. Clearly they are not, as they have been dropped from this version. If Disruption Tables werenít broken, they may have made the cut. BS4 Black Guardians is a fabrication of the Craftworld book alone. Wildrider chieftains can easily be made with an Autarch on a Jetbike.

They are still there, they just Work or are PURCHASED differently.


Codex Dark Angels has a very similar story. Special Characters became enablers for the Ravenwing and the Deathwing. Ironic because somehow I doubt every Succesor Chapter's 2nd Company Captain is named Sammael but even worse was the inability to take an ordinary terminator captain for a Deathwing army. Then both were changed to integrate with the new rules for fielding in a standard DA force.

Well it says specifically that successors have their own versions, but they wield the same wargear. Seriously, itís sad that GW even has to print that, but there you go. Why would you need a generic captain for a company that has ONE CAPTAIN? He even has multiple weapon options. Something only seen on a special character before for Marneus, and thatís only because they didnít want to invalidate the old mini.

The Dark Angels are strict and regimented. This is perfectly represented by their rules. Their strict nature puts all sorts of restrictions on what Commanders would take to war. Tradition would dictate how many artefacts were passed down too, so thereís your lack of Artificer Armour and Master Crafting.

It makes me laugh when people ignore the inconvenient bits of the background (like the rarity of certain things) when making their arguments.


This is how I see the link between character and rules. I think that sufficient elbow room should be created so that people can have variant lists. If this means modifications to standard rules then so be it. The problem is that the current bunch of codicies are punishing people a bit too much for deviating from the straight and narrow. I like giving my characters combos that I like and giving them a name that identifies them as my creation, not buying a precut and named character and renaming him in a vain attempt at appropriating him as my own. It feels hollow and detracts from the experience of making an army list.

So how is renaming a Generic Captain with all the skills/equipment you like different from renaming a predefined Character with all the skills/equipment you like?


Consider this: There cannot be an objective standard for balance in a wargame, since the game is unbalanced the moment one of the players is less experienced or has less tactical understanding than the other. This will ultimately favour one side over the other. The best you can hope for is that the rules does not add much to this unbalance, but seeing as every choice will be better than another in any given situation, I don't see how you can expect even this much. One player will always make a smarter choice than his/her opponent, thus making the game unbalanced.

Oh please! The balance we are talking about is rules balance. One players skill or knowledge of the rules are factors outside of the scope of the rules, and so have nothing to do with it.



The most important thing in a wargame is how fun it is to play.

That is the most important thing in ANY game. However, playing a game that is skewed in favour of one player (unless both players agree to these conditions) is not fun. Imagine playing a team sport where the rules dictate that you as the visitors have 3 less players on the field than the other team. How fun is that? If the rules are balanced, and your team is just not as good as the opposition, that is no fault of the rules.


Secondly, how well does it simulate the war it is supposed to portray. Thirdly, how does it look and feel when you play it.

These are factors relating to the rules and balance has nothing to do with them because not all war is balanced, and the feel of an individual army has nothing to do with how it compares to its opponent. However if fun is indeed the most important, then that implies that balance is more important than effective simulation or look and feel.


I agree that the rules should reflect how that unit behaves. I take it further and say the rules should reflect how a particular army behaves as well.

Thatís what Iíve been saying. Thereís nothing wrong with army-wide special rules or anything of that nature, so long as it accurately represents the background and makes them behave appropriately. However, if for whatever reason the rules are NOT present, that does not detract from the background of the army one iota. It merely means that at 40K scale, that facet of the background has NO NOTICABLE EFFECT.


OF course to the opposing player, that model has no more character differential than the next tac marine.

But If I chuck a half dozen special rules onto it, it still has no more character differential than the next Tactical Marine with the half dozen special rules. Whatís your point?

GreenDracoBob
28-06-2007, 04:11
Well, I guess we're all screwed. The only army I ever played never had a sublist. I guess it doesn't have much character. And when GW comes with "No More Character for You" Hammer I'll have "Battlesuit with Gun" and "Tau Line Troop." Then I will wish I was playing back in the days of sublists and characters with things like "Master-Crafted" and "Chaos Armor."

If I did play Chaos, I know want I would be doing this fall. Buying Codex: Space Marines and using the traits system to set up my army. All I know is that Chaos will have less choices, and the choices they do have offer no variety whatsoever, leading to massive amounts of clone lists. Yep, I'd switch to basic Marines to play my army because it has more choices, meaning more character.

And I suggest everyone do the same. It's only right, since it does have the most character.

Oh, I've heard of this list, using wounded veterans in remnant squads. They picked up weapons from their fallen brethren, and now fight in their name with renewed vigor. It's the best character I've ever heard. I suggest you try it.

[/sarcasm (for those that didn't know)]

So rules make character, huh? The more rules, the more choices, the more options, the more character. Then how come GW feels the need to change up a codex with some of the most options because it has too many clone lists showing up? Getting rid of superfluous options does not create a new problem of clone lists. At worst, it prolongs it. At best, considering GW's "new" emphasis on internal balance, it leads to more variety. Sure there are less physical options. But hey, look, I might actually want to take possessed, and they might do pretty well in the game.

Black Legion? Iron Warriors? Alpha Legion? The most I get is a Special Character that limits choices so I can get a assault character in a ranged army. How do I represent the different Septs? No rules, so they must not exist.

So give it a rest. I'm tired of hearing "Oh, they won't be an Iron Warriors army," "He'll be playing Black Legion with green paint. In fact, they'll all be Black Legion." I'm sorry you lost you're dang sublist, but some of us don't even get SIX, yes SIX, troop choices, not counting transports, or summoning, or AP3 Bolters. I'll miss character customization and traits and doctrines as much as any other, but seriously, grow up and deal with it.

Delicious Soy
28-06-2007, 05:48
The problem with this argument is that it assumes that the special rules introduced in Codex: Craftworld Eldar were good rules. Clearly they are not, as they have been dropped from this version. If Disruption Tables weren’t broken, they may have made the cut. BS4 Black Guardians is a fabrication of the Craftworld book alone. Wildrider chieftains can easily be made with an Autarch on a Jetbike.

They are still there, they just Work or are PURCHASED differently.Thats something of a false arguement thats based on the assumption that they were dropped because they were broken. A more likely arguement is that they did not fit into a condensed singular list. Just because Gw had the perogative of cramming everything into one list doesn't mean that those ideas should've been abandoned. Honed and refined yes but outright discardment and going backwards seems a poor choice to me.




Well it says specifically that successors have their own versions, but they wield the same wargear. Seriously, it’s sad that GW even has to print that, but there you go. Why would you need a generic captain for a company that has ONE CAPTAIN? He even has multiple weapon options. Something only seen on a special character before for Marneus, and that’s only because they didn’t want to invalidate the old mini.

The Dark Angels are strict and regimented. This is perfectly represented by their rules. Their strict nature puts all sorts of restrictions on what Commanders would take to war. Tradition would dictate how many artefacts were passed down too, so there’s your lack of Artificer Armour and Master Crafting.

It makes me laugh when people ignore the inconvenient bits of the background (like the rarity of certain things) when making their arguments.It GW tieing themselves down with their move back to monotony and then covering it over with background modification. Whats to stop another member of the Deathwing taken a batch of 1st company to secure one of the fallen? Apparently on elevation to captain of any company but the 1st, every memeber of the deathwing suddenly forgets how to use terminator armour. Yet somehow their hidebound tactical doctrine doesn't prevent them bouncing around the battlefield strapped to a jet pack. If what you say was really true then why not cut the crap and name every captain and the equipment that tradition binds them to wield?




So how is renaming a Generic Captain with all the skills/equipment you like different from renaming a predefined Character with all the skills/equipment you like?Because I obviously haven't created that character have I? I haven't slected the specific wargear I wish for him to possess, the weapons I want him to have that mean something in my army. Instead I have to fit my army around that special character.

Nurglitch
28-06-2007, 05:58
It strikes me that the diversity of Tau, Space Marine, and Eldar branded armies has increased since GW started releasing codecies based on its 4th edition plan for the game. As for the benefit of creating your own character, appropriating a profile for a new character is the same as selecting a profile for a new character in terms of creativity. In both cases you're choosing a profile - the former from a list of one and the second from a list equal to the combinatorial elements of options available (and further limited by the options preferable...). That you have to fit your army around that pofile in order to maximize its potential effectiveness in the game simply means it has a particular character rather than a one-size-fits-all variety of characters, a similar monotony to when one combination of the associated rules is clearly preferable to players. This one just so happens to maximize its potential effectiveness in the game and isn't the particular character discussed in the supporting material characterizing the army portrayed in the background.

I mean if you want creativity, go write your own game and its associated background. Then you can actually create characters rather than selecting rules from a list and painting the associated model blue instead of black. And you can write a game that plays just like the background reads, because the rules reflect the character displayed in the background. Until then you're just playing GW's game in GW's universe.

The Dude
28-06-2007, 06:15
Thats something of a false arguement thats based on the assumption that they were dropped because they were broken. A more likely arguement is that they did not fit into a condensed singular list. Just because Gw had the perogative of cramming everything into one list doesn't mean that those ideas should've been abandoned. Honed and refined yes but outright discardment and going backwards seems a poor choice to me.

I don’t like this argument much either. Just because it’s removed, does not mean it’s a step back. Sideways at the most. Why should we continue to build on what is there? This only leads to Codex Creep.

They were poorly conceived rules in the first place, and only included in a vain effort to shoehorn armies into a restrictive theme. Is the Disruption table in there to represent the rangers acting behind enemy lines, or to prop up the deficiencies of the shoehorn restrictions? Surely Infiltrate or Scouts represents the former well enough. If it’s the latter, it just proves my previous point that many of the sub-lists special rules are there just for their own sake.

If self imposed restrictions on unit selection leave a player short on some aspect, that’s their own fault. At 40K scale, I don’t see any situation where a sub-list army would have absolutely NO access to a main list unit, and most armies will have more than one way of dealing with different threats anyway.

Ultimately, you should be picking an army theme because you like it and it matches your style of play, not because of the great special rules that come along with it. If it doesn’t match your style of play, or you find it difficult to win with, either practice, or find something else, don’t whinge for special rules to prop you up.


It GW tieing themselves down with their move back to monotony and then covering it over with background modification. Whats to stop another member of the Deathwing taken a batch of 1st company to secure one of the fallen?

Nothing, but he will either wear Power Armour for the mission and command some reserve forces as well, or can be sufficiently represented by using the same rules for Belial.


Apparently on elevation to captain of any company but the 1st, every memeber of the deathwing suddenly forgets how to use terminator armour.

I haven’t forgotten how to drive, but I catch the bus to work because I don’t have a car. If the equipment isn’t available, you can’t use it.


Yet somehow their hidebound tactical doctrine doesn't prevent them bouncing around the battlefield strapped to a jet pack. If what you say was really true then why not cut the crap and name every captain and the equipment that tradition binds them to wield?

Because GW are meeting us half way. There are 2 unique Captains in the Dark Angels (both of which have alternate fieldable configurations BTW), and GW have outlined how Marines who attain these positions will traditionally take to the field. By all means feel free to make up house rule changes if it irks you that much. Anyone who won’t let you use them in a friendly is a Jerk.


Because I obviously haven't created that character have I? I haven't slected the specific wargear I wish for him to possess, the weapons I want him to have that mean something in my army. Instead I have to fit my army around that special character.

Well if the special character doesn’t fit with what you want, why take it? You have to take the good with the bad, and if you want Terminators as troops, you need to be prepared to be limited to 3 different weapon options. If you want more control over the weapons taken, you need to sacrifice having Terminators as troops.

Vise the Stompy
28-06-2007, 06:22
Personally I think it is important to take both sides in to consideration for personal armies charachter. You can use rules to support self created fluff, say giving a unit wings and useing your jetpack unit rules to represent them. Alternativly you can use fluff to support self created rules, as in always maxing out fast attack choices an never taking elites for a young inexperianced army who likes to get in their opponents faces.

Likewise I can see both sides of this particulare debates point.Last legions rules were fundementally imbalanced and a few players exploited the them for sake of victory over a real love the army faction and armies can always have variety from a little creativity and self restriction.

I can also see why flat out deleteing them is irritating to people who did love these faction themselves because they basically gave them new concepts to play around and then were taken away in one go for balance instead of trying fix them. Also having less potential units will kill some unique army structure concepts for the sake of preventing the min/max ones.

So who do I support in the end. For this Im going to have to side with the legion rules group. Not because anything the fluff over rules group is saying is wrong. They have good reasons for feeling how they do and the codex does sound like an excellent representation at what all chaos marines legions should have access to.

However while you can create house rules to represent your armies charachter as easily as you can make fluff toom, only one of these can legitamently be used in tournements and gaming groups outside your own personal circle.

The other problem I have is as the codex stands, by having cult support for the the four gods you are indirectly favoring the 4 cult legions over the legions that have technically undivided. With the exception of the last codex I always found this irritating much in the same way I was irritated over the support of three Imperial SM chapters over the rest.

Blood Angels, Dark Angels, and Space Wolves were consitantly given with their own unique rules and the remaining founding chapters were left with almost nothing. They managed to address this gripe very well with the trait system and allowed all other fan made chapters some new flexibility.

Yes you can convert the cult groups to represent something else for the unidivded groups, but doesn't really support anything special these legions have devloped or represent, its still the chaos gods philosphy underneath regardless of the coat of paint it is wearing.

So I guess my point is if Gamesworkshop is going to create subfaction within a specific races army, they either support all of them with special rules, like in the SM codex trait system, or none of them, like the new Eldar one accomplished.

Delicious Soy
28-06-2007, 06:54
I don’t like this argument much either. Just because it’s removed, does not mean it’s a step back. Sideways at the most. Why should we continue to build on what is there? This only leads to Codex Creep.Build does not necessary mean improve. Tone down, modify, rework but outright discard? I think there's a real problem with doing that.


They were poorly conceived rules in the first place, and only included in a vain effort to shoehorn armies into a restrictive theme. Is the Disruption table in there to represent the rangers acting behind enemy lines, or to prop up the deficiencies of the shoehorn restrictions? Surely Infiltrate or Scouts represents the former well enough. If it’s the latter, it just proves my previous point that many of the sub-lists special rules are there just for their own sake. Yes dude I get your hate of the disruption table :p. But other things I thought contributed greatly to the Eldar army. The Seer Council was a fantastic creation and what drew me to the Ulthwe force. Here was a HQ that was actually not just a big dude with a hammer! The problem was that silly oversights created a problem with a abuse. With the mandatory restrictions in the current dex on warlock weapons and powers, one would have thought it had a place, but it was simply cast into the too hard basket. I willa gree that some things were overpowered and needed revision, but not everything was fatally flawed.


If self imposed restrictions on unit selection leave a player short on some aspect, that’s their own fault. At 40K scale, I don’t see any situation where a sub-list army would have absolutely NO access to a main list unit, and most armies will have more than one way of dealing with different threats anyway.I guess this depends on how you view it. I'm not really into picking something because of "ZOMG I can take lots of X unit lolz!" but "I like the character of this army or with these extra bit the army behaves like this, neat." Shades of Grey maybe buts its an important differientiation IMO.


Ultimately, you should be picking an army theme because you like it and it matches your style of play, not because of the great special rules that come along with it. If it doesn’t match your style of play, or you find it difficult to win with, either practice, or find something else, don’t whinge for special rules to prop you up.If they are propping you up to make it viable then yes. But if it enhances the flavour of the army then why take it away? The problem I have is simply giving people rules then removing them because it no longer suits the strategic marketing aims of GW. THere was a time when there was outlets like the Journal or Chapter Approved, but in the current environment GW is taking the closed fist approach and making it their game not ours.




Nothing, but he will either wear Power Armour for the mission and command some reserve forces as well, or can be sufficiently represented by using the same rules for Belial.I like the use of the term 'sufficient.' Personally I find the special character restricion pointless, but I'll get to that later. I just find it irritating that the restrictions have gotten to that stage. Sure its rediculous to want to play an army composed of five captains armed with battle cannons, but is it so much hassle to allow an experienced captain, knowledgeable in the use of terminaor armour to don it and fight with his deathwing bretheren? Can he not be charged with a special mission or something? Not wanting to start a background war but there always seemed to me to be more Inner circle members than there were companies.




I haven’t forgotten how to drive, but I catch the bus to work because I don’t have a car. If the equipment isn’t available, you can’t use it.It not like he has to purchase it. Just waltzx down to the armoury, flash his little deathwing card and slap it on. Though now he also has to change his name to Belial and deal with having a specific sword permanently strapped to his fist.




Because GW are meeting us half way. There are 2 unique Captains in the Dark Angels (both of which have alternate fieldable configurations BTW), and GW have outlined how Marines who attain these positions will traditionally take to the field. By all means feel free to make up house rule changes if it irks you that much. Anyone who won’t let you use them in a friendly is a Jerk.But the need to meet halfway is entirely superfluous. It didn't have to be that way, except on GW's say so. Now I have to don my GD hat and figure out how much I want to value terminator armour and whatnot. I'd prefer to operate within the allegedly blanced system that GW has worked on.




Well if the special character doesn’t fit with what you want, why take it? You have to take the good with the bad, and if you want Terminators as troops, you need to be prepared to be limited to 3 different weapon options. If you want more control over the weapons taken, you need to sacrifice having Terminators as troops.I wouldn't take them. If GW didn't make them mandatory to take the type of army I want! Why is it such a sin to give people the option of making their own terminator captain? Give options for a changable bike commander? There was no reason to do it and it takes away from making 'your' army 'yours'. It was only made worse by the sudden inclusion of a jetbike that supposedly every Unforgiven possesses. Its fan **** to the extreme.

The Dude
28-06-2007, 08:07
Build does not necessary mean improve. Tone down, modify, rework but outright discard? I think there's a real problem with doing that.

My point is that if it was unnecessary to begin with, why bother trying to fix it? Why not just chuck it altogether?


Yes dude I get your hate of the disruption table :p.

Actually I donít have any particular feelings about the Disruption table, itís just a convenient example. The same could be said of BS4 Black Guardians. They were never BS4 before the Craftworld Codex. Is the rule there to represent the abundance of warriors in the general population, or was it was a mechanic put in place to encourage people to take them over Aspect Warriors? As Iíve said before, these petty restrictions are not needed in a 40K scale game. Thereís no reason an Ulthwe army canít have Dire Avengers etc. Hell, I could even see times when a 40K scale engagement would feature NO Guardians AT ALL.


But other things I thought contributed greatly to the Eldar army. The Seer Council was a fantastic creation and what drew me to the Ulthwe force. Here was a HQ that was actually not just a big dude with a hammer! The problem was that silly oversights created a problem with a abuse. With the mandatory restrictions in the current dex on warlock weapons and powers, one would have thought it had a place, but it was simply cast into the too hard basket. I willa gree that some things were overpowered and needed revision, but not everything was fatally flawed.

I understand this, and agree that GW could have allowed more Farseers per HQ selection, but once again, I think itís a scale thing. You do have the opportunity to run 2 Farseers and up to 20 warlocks, which is heaps of psykers. The plain fact is that whilst Ulthwe do have more psykers, I still donít think youíd see them banding together in that big of a group at 40K scale.

Apocalypse, howeverÖ


I guess this depends on how you view it. I'm not really into picking something because of "ZOMG I can take lots of X unit lolz!" but "I like the character of this army or with these extra bit the army behaves like this, neat." Shades of Grey maybe buts its an important differientiation IMO.

Thatís cool, but Iím just saying that the halfway point that GW are aiming for will allow for many different themes and army behaviours. Sure, they wonít all be able to fit in the list, but we as gamers have to make the best use of them as possible.


If they are propping you up to make it viable then yes. But if it enhances the flavour of the army then why take it away? The problem I have is simply giving people rules then removing them because it no longer suits the strategic marketing aims of GW. THere was a time when there was outlets like the Journal or Chapter Approved, but in the current environment GW is taking the closed fist approach and making it their game not ours.

It needs taking away if it is superfluous. If it doesnít need to be there, or doesnít work the way they wanted it to. Yes they could attempt to fix it, but they could just as easily remove it altogether and attempt to realise it in a different way.

Saying that this is somehow Marketing based is a bit rich though. Surely many lists would be a better way to sell more? Sell more lists, and increase the range of kits, or at least bits bags etc, that they sell. But thatís not what they want. They are trying to lay a solid foundation for the community to stand on. A firm hub around which all aspect of the hobby can radiate.

By creating a solid, balanced, and well defined series of BASIC rules, they can expand them without fear of treading on anyoneís toes. Tourney gamers have the balanced rules they need in the ultra-competitive environment they play in, Fun gamers (who can always mod the rules however they want anyway) will have expansions such as CoD and Apoalypse (and I wouldnít be surprised to see an expansion for making uber characters and squads in the future either), and GW themselves have a simple game that they can easily sell to new players.

Everybody wins.


I like the use of the term 'sufficient.' Personally I find the special character restricion pointless, but I'll get to that later. I just find it irritating that the restrictions have gotten to that stage. Sure its rediculous to want to play an army composed of five captains armed with battle cannons, but is it so much hassle to allow an experienced captain, knowledgeable in the use of terminaor armour to don it and fight with his deathwing bretheren? Can he not be charged with a special mission or something? Not wanting to start a background war but there always seemed to me to be more Inner circle members than there were companies.

No, but the point Iím making is that heíd have Captain stats, terminator armour, lead a force comprised mostly of Terminators, and should wield the traditional Terminator weapons of a Storm Bolter and Power Weapon; Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield; or Twin Lightning Claws. What then, are you missing out on? Please tell me because Iím genuinely confused.


It not like he has to purchase it. Just waltzx down to the armoury, flash his little deathwing card and slap it on. Though now he also has to change his name to Belial and deal with having a specific sword permanently strapped to his fist.

The Chapter only has so many, and if youíre not in the first company, you donít get it. So it is written, so it shall be.


But the need to meet halfway is entirely superfluous. It didn't have to be that way, except on GW's say so. Now I have to don my GD hat and figure out how much I want to value terminator armour and whatnot. I'd prefer to operate within the allegedly blanced system that GW has worked on.

Itís a decision better made between you and your opponent, so 2 heads are better than one. Still, itís not something to agonise over, you just say, ďIím going to sub this guy for Belial. Heís the same points, but has different weapons, are you cool with that? Do you want to do something similar?Ē As long as itís in the ballpark, Iím sure your opponent will just let it go. If it turns out too powerful, you can always tweak it next time.


I wouldn't take them. If GW didn't make them mandatory to take the type of army I want! Why is it such a sin to give people the option of making their own terminator captain? Give options for a changable bike commander? There was no reason to do it and it takes away from making 'your' army 'yours'. It was only made worse by the sudden inclusion of a jetbike that supposedly every Unforgiven possesses. Its fan **** to the extreme.

Well I suppose the Dark Angels is a poor example as they do represent a small number of Chapters, and I do agree a Bike-mounted option would have been good for Sammael. Still, if you donít like the Jetbike, you do have the Landspeeder option. As I said before, what are you missing out on with options for the Terminator Captain? Combi-weapons, Power Fists and Chain Fists?

Anyway, this is drifting a bit far from the main point which is that (IMO) these rules themself do actually represent the specific background, behaviour and look of the Dark Angels and their successors.

Sgt Biffo
28-06-2007, 09:16
They were poorly conceived rules in the first place, and only included in a vain effort to shoehorn armies into a restrictive theme.

The Craft World Eldar codex was the (thankfully) death-throes of the "Gav Thorpe as game designer" era. I'd say more but I've been suspended by forum admin for covering such a topic!

jfrazell
28-06-2007, 13:04
It strikes me that the diversity of Tau, Space Marine, and Eldar branded armies has increased since GW started releasing codecies based on its 4th edition plan for the game.


Not to me.
I see Tau Fish of Fury. Thats it.
I see vanilla marine drop pod/deathwing style with lots of speeders and dropping dreads. I don't see wolves, 13th company, DA (hence my query on the other list), ravenwing, white scars, landed marines.
I see Eldar mech heavy or eldar landser, but mostly mech heavy (falcons, natures perfect vehicle)

yabbadabba
28-06-2007, 13:59
I think that predominately

Rules = Playing Style when related to any army.

As most armies have at least one way of being played within the rules that maximises it's chance of winning. For instance Obliterator cults, Dryad Grove armies e.t.c. In this case the idea is to play to your army's strengths as you believe they dramatically outwiegh your opponents strengths and your own weaknesses.

There some people who go against this. Those who don't follow this tend to follow

Character = Playing style

For instance there was a friend of mine who couldn't be doing with magic or shooting in Fantasy. He said he couldn't get his head around it. So naturally he went Khorne. After a while he started looking at other armies and adapting their lists to fit his "charge and be damned" approach to gaming. He liked the whole character of just going hell for leather and then lamping your enemy some.

However GW do write some rules into the game to influence character. Great examples are the Dwarf Oathstone and the Commissar rules (Imp Guard Codex and Catachans). While these have an impact, particularly on individual models, they are rarely the reason for themeing an entire army.

Of course there are always those who just collect an army of the ones with the biggest guns :)

Nurglitch
28-06-2007, 14:33
Not to me. Like I said before, you're not the world. Your comments by comparison to the comments of others on these boards suggest that your experience is an unrepresentative sample and that we'd need to accept an unreasonably large margin of error generalizing from your local perspective.

jfrazell
28-06-2007, 15:06
As is yours. Please provide some support for your statement that Tau, eldar and marines forces being played are now more varied.

Delicious Soy
28-06-2007, 16:21
My point is that if it was unnecessary to begin with, why bother trying to fix it? Why not just chuck it altogether? Are specific chapter rules for DA, BA, Bt and SW necessary? Are Doctrines Necessary? No but they make things interesting. I couldn't give a brass tack about bringing things back to the absolute core, because it just means we have to go back out again. Its one step forward two steps back.




Actually I don’t have any particular feelings about the Disruption table, it’s just a convenient example. The same could be said of BS4 Black Guardians. They were never BS4 before the Craftworld Codex. Is the rule there to represent the abundance of warriors in the general population, or was it was a mechanic put in place to encourage people to take them over Aspect Warriors? As I’ve said before, these petty restrictions are not needed in a 40K scale game. There’s no reason an Ulthwe army can’t have Dire Avengers etc. Hell, I could even see times when a 40K scale engagement would feature NO Guardians AT ALL.This idea of scale bugs me too. If it was true then there really needs to be a greater number of lists so you can represent the fraction of the battle front most accurately. If you're fighting breakthrough then we really need some more armour units. We need logistics unit, we need guy digging latrines! The truth is 40k is a bit abstract. You do have a point about guardians in the craftworld list, but I think the concept was handled better in the USF. An amalgamation between the two would've been a very interesting list to me.




I understand this, and agree that GW could have allowed more Farseers per HQ selection, but once again, I think it’s a scale thing. You do have the opportunity to run 2 Farseers and up to 20 warlocks, which is heaps of psykers. The plain fact is that whilst Ulthwe do have more psykers, I still don’t think you’d see them banding together in that big of a group at 40K scale.

Apocalypse, however…Well if were talking scale we wouldn't see them at all. Then again IG Colonels, SM Captains, Hive Tyrants and Necron Lords would be a rare sight too. Lets not even touch the absurdity of seeing an etheral or inquisitor.




That’s cool, but I’m just saying that the halfway point that GW are aiming for will allow for many different themes and army behaviours. Sure, they won’t all be able to fit in the list, but we as gamers have to make the best use of them as possible.
I don't argue that we just get on with it. But I'm just arguing that it was pointless and a misinterpretation of what gamers wanted in the wake of 3rd ed. I think GW almost had it right, in the case of the Eldar codex had it had the Seer Council it would've been excellent, but since then they're becoming more and more arbitrary in the name of clarity. Trouble is that I feel they aren't striking the happy medium between the reference fest of say C:SM or the banality of the Necron list.



It needs taking away if it is superfluous. If it doesn’t need to be there, or doesn’t work the way they wanted it to. Yes they could attempt to fix it, but they could just as easily remove it altogether and attempt to realise it in a different way.THat assumes that it continues to be represented. I'd also argue that a lot that isn't superfluous is at risk of getting discarded because what is 'superfluous' is arbitrary. Then again like I said earlier, just because its not absolutely essential doesn't mean its automatically worthless.


Saying that this is somehow Marketing based is a bit rich though. Surely many lists would be a better way to sell more? Sell more lists, and increase the range of kits, or at least bits bags etc, that they sell. But that’s not what they want. They are trying to lay a solid foundation for the community to stand on. A firm hub around which all aspect of the hobby can radiate. Which as I have said in several threads, is fine, except they have no intention of building on it. If these thing were going to be backed up by the Journal or Chapter Approved then it'd be all good but they're not. What I meant was that its GW's aim to reach a broader audience, which requires a greater level of simplicity and straight-forwardness. Elitist as this is going to sound, catering to the Lowest Common Denominator is not necessarily the greatest thing, not if you appreciate the littl nooks of the ruleset.


By creating a solid, balanced, and well defined series of BASIC rules, they can expand them without fear of treading on anyone’s toes. Tourney gamers have the balanced rules they need in the ultra-competitive environment they play in, Fun gamers (who can always mod the rules however they want anyway) will have expansions such as CoD and Apoalypse (and I wouldn’t be surprised to see an expansion for making uber characters and squads in the future either), and GW themselves have a simple game that they can easily sell to new players.

Everybody wins.On the assumption that fun players have the time and willingness to devise new rules completley invalid to anyone except their small little group. Heaven forbid they branch out and so have to embark on the same tired process of negotiation with each new opponent. This is the problem of slanting the game so obviously towards tournaments. It seems perfectly acceptable to hand the Tourney players everything on a plate while telling the 'fun' players to sort it out youself because you obviously have too much time on your hands. Either that or I can spring huge amounts of cash for a giant army just so I can have some element of 'fun' in my force. Why do I suddenly need a 5000pt army to have fun now within the existing ruleset?




No, but the point I’m making is that he’d have Captain stats, terminator armour, lead a force comprised mostly of Terminators, and should wield the traditional Terminator weapons of a Storm Bolter and Power Weapon; Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield; or Twin Lightning Claws. What then, are you missing out on? Please tell me because I’m genuinely confused.Yeah and whether to master craft them, give him purity seals, an iron halo and all the other little bits and bobs.




The Chapter only has so many, and if you’re not in the first company, you don’t get it. So it is written, so it shall be.Dark Angels? The guys famous for the ludicrous amounts of terminator plate that they possess? Of all the chapters that routinely allow captains to wear terminator armour, they are the ones who can't hand it over? :p




It’s a decision better made between you and your opponent, so 2 heads are better than one. Still, it’s not something to agonise over, you just say, “I’m going to sub this guy for Belial. He’s the same points, but has different weapons, are you cool with that? Do you want to do something similar?” As long as it’s in the ballpark, I’m sure your opponent will just let it go. If it turns out too powerful, you can always tweak it next time.Like I've said, I'm often hard pressed for time, and I don't want to have the Geneva Convention just to give my captain/character whatever a piece of wargear he's not usually allowed anymore. It may seem insane, but I didn't think I was asking the world to be given the options in system without me having to meddle with it. I might as well start inroducing a new race of lego men or use my model of EVA01.


Anyway, this is drifting a bit far from the main point which is that (IMO) these rules themself do actually represent the specific background, behaviour and look of the Dark Angels and their successors.Reaaly? I think it the perfect progression for this arguement because arguing the absolutes is pointless. If character is completely divorced from the rules then why bother having different statlines or special rules at all? If its completely entwined then why doesn't every specific unit have a raft of rules to heighten its independence?

Fourth
01-07-2007, 19:09
The Craft World Eldar codex was the (thankfully) death-throes of the "Gav Thorpe as game designer" era. I'd say more but I've been suspended by forum admin for covering such a topic!

According to Jervis Johnson, the new Chaos codex is the Return of the Gav. Feel my pain.

Nurglitch
01-07-2007, 19:20
As is yours. Please provide some support for your statement that Tau, eldar and marines forces being played are now more varied. Nope. The evidence in support of that statement is the discussion on these boards. Taken with a nice big margin of error, of course, but as a sample it extends well beyond the backwoods of Texas.

jfrazell
02-07-2007, 12:53
Brilliant Nurlgitch. can't support your argument so you start insults. Now I see where you're coming from.

gorgon
02-07-2007, 16:11
Are we talking about diversity across all players or across players building competitive lists? They're different things. There'll always be some diversity among casual players because they're limited in model selection or not selective about what they field.

Among more competitive players, I'll second that "Godzilla" Tyranids and mech Tau are dominant builds, and that Eldar never leave home without a convoy of Falcons. SMs come in a few different colors from a limited palette.

I think it's impossibly naive to think that the new CSM codex won't bring dominant power builds. We have a two-decade track record with both streamlined and complex army lists that says it will. Things could change, but Jervis's coronation doesn't exactly represent a new direction at the studio.

Zerosoul
02-07-2007, 16:51
As is yours. Please provide some support for your statement that Tau, eldar and marines forces being played are now more varied.

Anecdotal evidence fight!

I've never seen a Fish of Fury list, though I've seen lots of Tau lists. I've only played one drop pod list my entire time playing 40K. And I've never seen an Eldar list like you've described. So, our anecdotal evidence cancels each other out. Or, it actually means nothing, and you can realize that your local metagame is your local metagame and that's it.

I just think it's an amazing coincidence that the only lists you see are the ones that cause the most Internet bitching. What a remarkable stroke of luck!

jfrazell
02-07-2007, 17:24
Anecdotal evidence fight!

I've never seen a Fish of Fury list, though I've seen lots of Tau lists. I've only played one drop pod list my entire time playing 40K. And I've never seen an Eldar list like you've described. So, our anecdotal evidence cancels each other out. Or, it actually means nothing, and you can realize that your local metagame is your local metagame and that's it.

I just think it's an amazing coincidence that the only lists you see are the ones that cause the most Internet bitching. What a remarkable stroke of luck!
1. FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! sorry had to add that in. You're right, it is only anecdotal evidence and YMMV.
2. I have seen different guard, lATD, and eldar lists. I've seen a few mech marine lists but nothing competitive.

Nurglitch
02-07-2007, 17:33
Brilliant Nurlgitch. can't support your argument so you start insults. Now I see where you're coming from. Yet I did support the soundness of my argument by referring to the discussions held on these boards. In particular, since apparently I need to do it explicitly, I refer you to the 40k army list (http://www.warseer.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=36) sub-forum. Moreover reiterating the fact that the sample of army lists found in your neck of the woods, which you say is Texas and about which we charitably take your word, is less representative of the total set of army lists than the ones found on this board is hardly insulting. It's merely true.

So how about you take the time to explain how I'm wrong and how the sample of army lists found in the Texas community is in fact a more representative sample than the one found on Warseer?

jfrazell
02-07-2007, 17:55
So you're citing the entirety of warseer threads to support your statement. Thats..er..vague. I'll freely admit in the "backwoods" as you call it, my view is purely anecdotal. But look to tourneys. Competitive builds are fairly limited-look at necrons as an example. Removing options will only further increase the few variants seen.

Nurglitch
02-07-2007, 18:21
Actually I'm just citing those army lists that have been posted after the release of their associated 4th edition codicies, which can be easily found by searching the relevant forum by date and subject. Thankfully Warseer has provided a search function for our pleasure and convenience.

Limitation often has the strange effect of nurturing creativity rather than curtailing it. Take the Necron army list, for example. We tend to see a fairly homogenous range of armies because Necron players are a particularly unimaginative bunch of people, generally speaking. That is to say they often miss the interesting tactical and strategic implications that options like Pariahs, Wraiths, Flayed Ones, and other rarely used units have. These units are rare not because they aren't genuinely useful in tournament competitive armies, but because the players generally have a shallow understanding of how they maximize the game-effectiveness of a Necron army and towards what ends (i.e.: in which scenarios). Now there are players out there willing to take a risk and suffer a steep learning curve and amongst them the diversity of armies we find is both an aesthetic and a strategic choice. Limited strategies overwhelmingly selected for by weaker players such as the "Phalanx" are non-existent because they are boring to play with and actually quite weak at competitive play.

The Necron and Tau lists are full of live options and empty of decorative options, and where we add unimaginative players to interpret those lists as armies it is no wonder we see homogeneity. Similarly lists like the Dark Angels, Space Marines, and Eldar that have reduced decorative options in favour of increasing live options appear less diverse to players used to having their imagination substituted by decorative options (what colour space marines are we playing today?) and their strategies transparent at a glance. When army lists are the sum total of your strategic thought these armies, like Necrons, must appear terribly bland. However as players take the risk of learning the lists, since they're often too lazy or ill-equipped to properly consider their implications, they're realizing how these lists allow players to play more interesting games as well as build interesting lists.

The moral of the story? The more you play Warhammer 40k, diverse it gets.

gitburna
02-07-2007, 18:56
That is to say they often miss the interesting tactical and strategic implications that options like Pariahs, Wraiths, Flayed Ones, and other rarely used units have. These units are rare not because they aren't genuinely useful in tournament competitive armies, but because the players generally have a shallow understanding of how they maximize the game-effectiveness of a Necron army and towards what ends

Woo,since i use all three, i think this makes me a strategic genius !

Sorry, just had to lighten the tone a little there.

I suspect that, as ever, the middle ground of your two points [nurgle a thingy and jazzy jeff frazzy] is the truth. I havent seen many [any?] fish of fury lists, or skimmer heavy eldar either. And I would truly find boring an army which had the same choices everywhere. I mean the 8 man misile plasma powerfist x 3 type of thing. Those kinds of Magic the gathering lists just dont float my boat. Its also why i like to stick a variety in my necrons... after all, the with the list designed the way it is, the core of most peoples armies is identical anyway, so any kind of variety i can introduce maintains my interest beyong just being able to win with it or not..

jfrazell
02-07-2007, 19:14
The moral of the story? The more you play Warhammer 40k, diverse it gets.


Mel Brooks? :)

UltimateNagash
02-07-2007, 20:34
I read the background before normally deciding whether to use something, or is there's a really cool model out there or something I just made could be used as that. Then I look at the rules :) Plus I like my armies as diverse as possible, with lots of different things (even if it is just models) to make them "mine"...

gorgon
02-07-2007, 21:34
Limitation often has the strange effect of nurturing creativity rather than curtailing it. Take the Necron army list, for example. We tend to see a fairly homogenous because Necron players are a particularly unimaginative bunch of people, generally speaking. That is to say they often miss the interesting tactical and strategic implications that options like Pariahs, Wraiths, Flayed Ones, and other rarely used units have. These units are rare not because they aren't genuinely useful in tournament competitive armies, but because the players generally have a shallow understanding of how they maximize the game-effectiveness of a Necron army and towards what ends (i.e.: in which scenarios). Now there are players out there willing to take a risk and suffer a steep learning curve and amongst them the diversity of armies we find is both an aesthetic and a strategic choice. Limited strategies overwhelmingly selected for by weaker players such as the "Phalanx" are non-existent because they are boring to play with and actually quite weak at competitive play.

LOL. That's the funniest thing I've read all day.

I know I'd love to hear your insight. Maybe you've actually thought of something competitive Necron players haven't considered tried years ago?


The moral of the story? The more you play Warhammer 40k, diverse it gets.

Methinks the more you actually play 40K (not theorize about it), the more you learn what works and what doesn't.

The Necron list is not full of "live" options. It has some live options, some twitching options, and some stone cold dead ones.

lord_blackfang
02-07-2007, 21:52
Methinks the more you actually play 40K (not theorize about it), the more you learn what works and what doesn't.

Coming from someone who has decided months in advance which CSM units will and won't be worth taking. ;)

jfrazell
02-07-2007, 22:10
It has some live options, some twitching options, and some stone cold dead ones.

Sounds like my past employers...

gorgon
03-07-2007, 14:01
Coming from someone who has decided months in advance which CSM units will and won't be worth taking. ;)

Oh, I actually haven't decided as much as you think. ;) The new codex gets a "meh" from me based on its focus and flavor, but it'll certainly be competitive and there'll be some army builds and new ideas that surprise everyone. That always happens.

I've mostly been playing devil's advocate because these conversations have been too dominated by one side. I think the changes to the CSM codex are radical and controversial enough that they deserve discussion. If you're going to claim that the changes are a good thing, that opinion should be supported and explained as much as a contrary one. Claiming "GW knows what's good for you" is as empty as saying "GW is just trying to screw me over."

I've defended GW quite a bit on Dakka, to show you the other side of the equation. ;)

Voodoo Boyz
03-07-2007, 14:30
Actually I'm just citing those army lists that have been posted after the release of their associated 4th edition codicies, which can be easily found by searching the relevant forum by date and subject. Thankfully Warseer has provided a search function for our pleasure and convenience.

Limitation often has the strange effect of nurturing creativity rather than curtailing it. Take the Necron army list, for example. We tend to see a fairly homogenous range of armies because Necron players are a particularly unimaginative bunch of people, generally speaking. That is to say they often miss the interesting tactical and strategic implications that options like Pariahs, Wraiths, Flayed Ones, and other rarely used units have. These units are rare not because they aren't genuinely useful in tournament competitive armies, but because the players generally have a shallow understanding of how they maximize the game-effectiveness of a Necron army and towards what ends (i.e.: in which scenarios). Now there are players out there willing to take a risk and suffer a steep learning curve and amongst them the diversity of armies we find is both an aesthetic and a strategic choice. Limited strategies overwhelmingly selected for by weaker players such as the "Phalanx" are non-existent because they are boring to play with and actually quite weak at competitive play.

The Necron and Tau lists are full of live options and empty of decorative options, and where we add unimaginative players to interpret those lists as armies it is no wonder we see homogeneity. Similarly lists like the Dark Angels, Space Marines, and Eldar that have reduced decorative options in favour of increasing live options appear less diverse to players used to having their imagination substituted by decorative options (what colour space marines are we playing today?) and their strategies transparent at a glance. When army lists are the sum total of your strategic thought these armies, like Necrons, must appear terribly bland. However as players take the risk of learning the lists, since they're often too lazy or ill-equipped to properly consider their implications, they're realizing how these lists allow players to play more interesting games as well as build interesting lists.

The moral of the story? The more you play Warhammer 40k, diverse it gets.

WOW is all I can say.

First there's the broad sweeping generalization of all Necron palyers as boring and unimaginative. Lovely.

Then there's the assumption that "if one just decides to learn the lists and use the other units" then they'll understand how they can be useful.

Spoken like someone who never plays against people who are actually good players AND use really good army lists.

I got news for you:

Not all armies created by GW are equal.
Not all units in a given codex created by GW are equal.

People will take the good options from a given codex, because in many cases in the new 4th ed codex's, they're so blatantly better than their competitors.

And let me assure you, when a "really good player" who's using the best stuff from an army plays against another "really good player" who's using the less used units you're describing, the player with the better army selection will win.

The game is flawed like that, and changing things like they're doing in the new Chaos Codex and what they did in the Dark Angels Codex isn't going to stop that.

And FYI, my Necron lists don't use units like Pariahs, Wraiths, or Flayed Ones because I design my armies to "maximize the game-effectiveness of a Necron army" towards being useful in every possible scenario I'll play in. Your example units don't provide me with that; Immortals, Destroyers, Scarabs, ResOrb/Veil Lords, and Monoliths do.

The game simply is not complex enough to do what you are claiming is possible.

Nurglitch
03-07-2007, 19:52
First there's the broad sweeping generalization of all Necron palyers as boring and unimaginative. Lovely. Actually it's a broad sweeping generalization about most Necron players.


Spoken like someone who never plays against people who are actually good players AND use really good army lists. And supposing I actually do? A couple of years back near the end of the 3rd edition my brother was Canadian Grand Champion, using a list that included both Shining Spears and Fire Prisms incidentally.


And let me assure you, when a "really good player" who's using the best stuff from an army plays against another "really good player" who's using the less used units you're describing, the player with the better army selection will win. I can see how you might reach that conclusion, but given the role of luck and strategy in the game it's an invalid conclusion. If one really good player uses a better strategy than another really good player when all else is equal then they should win. Likewise if one really good player gets luckier than another really good player when all else is equal then they should win. An army you consider powerful won't be powerful unless it's in relation to the scenario it's employed in, the manner in which it is employed, and the good fortune that the player gets to work with.


The game simply is not complex enough to do what you are claiming is possible. I disagree. There are plenty of flaws in Warhammer 40k, but the ratio of live options to possible combinations in the Necron Codex is not one of them.

Voodoo Boyz
03-07-2007, 20:14
Actually it's a broad sweeping generalization about most Necron players.

Cute. Fine, most necron players, not all of them. It's still a nice lovely sweeping insult based on your view of the army.


And supposing I actually do? A couple of years back near the end of the 3rd edition my brother was Canadian Grand Champion, using a list that included both Shining Spears and Fire Prisms incidentally.

I can see how you might reach that conclusion, but given the role of luck and strategy in the game it's an invalid conclusion. If one really good player uses a better strategy than another really good player when all else is equal then they should win. Likewise if one really good player gets luckier than another really good player when all else is equal then they should win. An army you consider powerful won't be powerful unless it's in relation to the scenario it's employed in, the manner in which it is employed, and the good fortune that the player gets to work with.

Then I'm going to have a hard time to see how you can get to the conclusion that taking "underpowered units" and using them better than your average player can result in you beating an equally skilled player taking much more efficient options.

If two players are equally skilled, and dice rolls work out as standard, and the only difference is between one list having underpowered units where as the other has units that are undercosted or are overpowered, then the player with the better list will win.

40k is flawed in such a way with some codex's that I've seen much better players lose to inferior players because the stronger players army list couldn't stand up to the weaker players army list. This is taking Missions/Scenarios into account.

Recently I won a local tournament with my Space Marines. I also happened to do well at the Baltimore RT, winning all 3 of my games again with my space marines. Playing against the exact same missions vs the exact same opponents in each game I can easily say that I could not have done so had I used an army list composed out of the options in the Orks codex. The Mech Eldar, Godzilla Nids, and Blood Angels (old rules) armies would have walked all over the Boyz.


I disagree. There are plenty of flaws in Warhammer 40k, but the ratio of live options to possible combinations in the Necron Codex is not one of them.

You misread my comment, I'm discussing the fact that some units in dex's are far better than their competitors in the same codex/FOC choice. Because of such inequalities and the rules of 40k the inferior choices have little chance of being able to be as useful in as wide a variety of scenarios.

Here's a question for you: Do you think that certain options in a given codex are much better than others?

lanrak
03-07-2007, 20:31
Here's a question for you: Do you think that certain options in a given codex are much better than others?

Absolutley, YES!!!

Is 40k 'ballanced' in any sense of the word,NO!!
GW use 40k as a method to market thier range of 28mm scifi minatures and models.

The dev team do not decide what is updated/revised released next.
So who does?
(My best guess is corprate finance or marketing.)

Nurglitch
03-07-2007, 22:19
Cute. Fine, most necron players, not all of them. It's still a nice lovely sweeping insult based on your view of the army. Or maybe it's just an observation of a representative sample of Warhammer 40k players.


Then I'm going to have a hard time to see how you can get to the conclusion that taking "underpowered units" and using them better than your average player can result in you beating an equally skilled player taking much more efficient options. Perhaps you won't if you take the time to unpack what terms like "efficient" and "skilled" means in terms of unit selection in armies, and then filter out the randomizing effect of the dice.


Here's a question for you: Do you think that certain options in a given codex are much better than others? I think that certain options in a given codex are much better than others in certain scenarios and in certain arrangements of terrain given certain adversaries when used in a particular way. Indeed some options in any given codex are more effective in a wider range of scenarios, in a wider range of terrain arrangements, against a wider range of adversaries, under a greater set of strategic options.

Voodoo Boyz
03-07-2007, 22:55
Or maybe it's just an observation of a representative sample of Warhammer 40k players.

Or it's your take on what's "boring" and "unimaginative" for an army and it's insulting to hear.


Perhaps you won't if you take the time to unpack what terms like "efficient" and "skilled" means in terms of unit selection in armies, and then filter out the randomizing effect of the dice.

You've lost me here, I can't quite follow what you're trying to say.

My point is


I think that certain options in a given codex are much better than others in certain scenarios and in certain arrangements of terrain given certain adversaries when used in a particular way. Indeed some options in any given codex are more effective in a wider range of scenarios, in a wider range of terrain arrangements, against a wider range of adversaries, under a greater set of strategic options.

I feel 100% exactly the same way.

Except in my view it's units like Pariahs, Wraiths, and Flayed Ones that are the units that are only useful "in certain scenarios and in certain arrangements of terrain given certain adversaries when used in a particular way" and that units like Warriors, Immortals, Destroyers, Scarabs, and Monoliths are "more effective in a wider range of scenarios, in a wider range of terrain arrangements, against a wider range of adversaries, under a greater set of strategic options."

You seem to differ in opinon on this, and have yet to quantify that with a HOW or justify why you can say that using other options in the dex is "boring" compared to these alternatives. I can go over many ways in which say, Immortals are a better unit choice for Elites than Pariah or Flayed Ones against a majority of foes, in a wider range of scenarios, with a wider range of terrain arrangements, with more options in terms of effective tactics. I can do the same thing with Destroyers or Scarabs vs. Wraiths.

Does that make me a "boring" or "unimaginative" Necron player?

Nurglitch
04-07-2007, 00:26
Or it's your take on what's "boring" and "unimaginative" for an army and it's insulting to hear. I know, the truth hurts sometimes.


You've lost me here, I can't quite follow what you're trying to say. Okay, so maybe you are going to have a hard time understanding how the effectiveness of a unit and the skill of a player is constituted in a game of Warhammer 40k. Seeing as that's pretty wildly off-topic I'd suggest starting a new thread and we can discuss it there. It'll take a while but then so do all potentially good things.


You seem to differ in opinon on this, and have yet to quantify that with a HOW or justify why you can say that using other options in the dex is "boring" compared to these alternatives. I can go over many ways in which say, Immortals are a better unit choice for Elites than Pariah or Flayed Ones against a majority of foes, in a wider range of scenarios, with a wider range of terrain arrangements, with more options in terms of effective tactics. I can do the same thing with Destroyers or Scarabs vs. Wraiths. Well yes, I suppose I could hijack the thread and turn it into an impromptu lecture on Necron tactics but I won't. As for how to unpack the term "boring", something that is relevant to this thread, I should point out that using only a few commonly seen options in preference to a greater variety of rarely seen options is boring. I mean supposing that you're right and that the units you've mentioned are always and at all times better than the alternatives it doesn't make it any less boring to select those choices because they actually maximize the chance of winning a game than because everyone just thinks that they maximize the chance of winning a game. The people you play with end up with the same experience of playing the same army and can only rely on a variety of scenarios and tactics to make the experience less monotonous from the perspective of playing a game (as opposed to hanging out with someone interesting and shooting the shiat). Indeed, it suggests that you're unwilling to take risks and uninterested in challenging yourself in a game.


Does that make me a "boring" or "unimaginative" Necron player? It certainly could. It depends on how you do it. Depending on the scope of your analysis and the errors of reasoning it involves it may very well indicate that you are an unimaginative player. If that is the case then doing the exercise and having the errors and limited scope pointed out to you might stimulate your imagination and encourage . If not then obviously you are not an unimaginative player, just boring and unadventurous since you're concerned with minimizing the risk of losing rather than maximizing on interesting game-play.

But that's all rather off-topic. The topic is whether the character of an army is a result of the rules governing its behaviour in the game. The short of it is that the character of an army is not the result of the rules governing its behaviour in the game as a simple lemma of the fact that the character of an army is the result of the character attributed to that set of rules by the imaginations of the players. Where we are concerned with how specific arrangements of rules add or diminish the variety of strategies that players might employ in a game, and aware of the amphiboly such usage creates, the rules governing the game behaviour of an army does define its 'character' or differentiate its set of strategic options from those of other sets of pieces called 'armies'.

In that case the ratio of live options to the possible combinations available to each army partially determines the maximal variety of strategies open to players of the game. I say partially because although the number of possible combinations of units available to an army may be smaller than that of another, the difference in that number may be cosmetic with regard to the varieties of strategies that a player may actually be able to employ in a game.

For example suppose that army A gives you five options to select for x number of units and army B gives you three options to select for x number of units. Does that necessitate that army B maximizes the number of strategies that a player using it may employ? No, because the options may not combine to maximize the number strategies that a player using it may employ. The options may be such that they only differ in degree rather than in role, or the options may only serve a limited range of uses. If three options both differ in their roles, and serve in a wide range of roles, and serve equally well in the roles that they share, then the ratio of combinatory live options to all possible combinations of options approaches 1:1.

After all of the army with five options three options may share the same set of roles and if one options performs better than the others in all of those roles then it would be a "no brainer" and hence the army may only have three live options out of a number of possible combinations derived from five options in total. Where the remaining two options don't share any roles with each other, and only one or two with the third live option suddenly out of five options you see the same army composed of those three options being produced.

Note that this is done under the assumption that the player desires to maximize their chance of winning a game rather than the desire to field particular units that fit the character of the army better, or the desire to challenge themselves with solving particular tactical and strategic problems, or the desire to field a unique army unlike the cookie-cutter armies that the motivation to maximize overwhelmingly produces.

So we have three things affecting the diversity of strategic options: the motivation to use an army, the options available to constitute an army, and the strategic use of those options. If a group's motivation is to maximize the probability of winning then diversity will only appear if there is more than one live option in the options available to constitute an army and there is more than one role for that option to fill. Likewise diversity can disappear not because players wish to maximize on the probability of winning, but on the ability to play as the increase of so-called "Nidzilla" armies attests. Nidzilla armies aren't particularly effective, but they don't play so slowly as armies with larger model counts so they are preferred by Tyranid players who want to play quicker games than otherwise.

Incidentally that's why rules like "Rending" suck, because units bearing them can fulfill several roles preferably (i.e.: to the exclusion of units that share those roles) and there's plenty of people with the motivation to have that preference.

If we consider the motivation to maximize the limiting factor on the diversity of strategic options, given that GW can change the way the game rules work but not the attitude of the players using them, then equalizing the ratio of live options to possible options in each possible role will increase the diversity of armies insofar as players are motivated by other considerations like the desire to be unique, the desire to be challenged, being under time pressure, or being under financial constraint, and so on.

Voodoo Boyz
04-07-2007, 05:07
But that's all rather off-topic. The topic is whether the character of an army is a result of the rules governing its behaviour in the game. The short of it is that the character of an army is not the result of the rules governing its behaviour in the game as a simple lemma of the fact that the character of an army is the result of the character attributed to that set of rules by the imaginations of the players. Where we are concerned with how specific arrangements of rules add or diminish the variety of strategies that players might employ in a game, and aware of the amphiboly such usage creates, the rules governing the game behaviour of an army does define its 'character' or differentiate its set of strategic options from those of other sets of pieces called 'armies'.

In that case the ratio of live options to the possible combinations available to each army partially determines the maximal variety of strategies open to players of the game. I say partially because although the number of possible combinations of units available to an army may be smaller than that of another, the difference in that number may be cosmetic with regard to the varieties of strategies that a player may actually be able to employ in a game.

For example suppose that army A gives you five options to select for x number of units and army B gives you three options to select for x number of units. Does that necessitate that army B maximizes the number of strategies that a player using it may employ? No, because the options may not combine to maximize the number strategies that a player using it may employ. The options may be such that they only differ in degree rather than in role, or the options may only serve a limited range of uses. If three options both differ in their roles, and serve in a wide range of roles, and serve equally well in the roles that they share, then the ratio of combinatory live options to all possible combinations of options approaches 1:1.

After all of the army with five options three options may share the same set of roles and if one options performs better than the others in all of those roles then it would be a "no brainer" and hence the army may only have three live options out of a number of possible combinations derived from five options in total. Where the remaining two options don't share any roles with each other, and only one or two with the third live option suddenly out of five options you see the same army composed of those three options being produced.

Note that this is done under the assumption that the player desires to maximize their chance of winning a game rather than the desire to field particular units that fit the character of the army better, or the desire to challenge themselves with solving particular tactical and strategic problems, or the desire to field a unique army unlike the cookie-cutter armies that the motivation to maximize overwhelmingly produces.

So we have three things affecting the diversity of strategic options: the motivation to use an army, the options available to constitute an army, and the strategic use of those options. If a group's motivation is to maximize the probability of winning then diversity will only appear if there is more than one live option in the options available to constitute an army and there is more than one role for that option to fill. Likewise diversity can disappear not because players wish to maximize on the probability of winning, but on the ability to play as the increase of so-called "Nidzilla" armies attests. Nidzilla armies aren't particularly effective, but they don't play so slowly as armies with larger model counts so they are preferred by Tyranid players who want to play quicker games than otherwise.

Incidentally that's why rules like "Rending" suck, because units bearing them can fulfill several roles preferably (i.e.: to the exclusion of units that share those roles) and there's plenty of people with the motivation to have that preference.

If we consider the motivation to maximize the limiting factor on the diversity of strategic options, given that GW can change the way the game rules work but not the attitude of the players using them, then equalizing the ratio of live options to possible options in each possible role will increase the diversity of armies insofar as players are motivated by other considerations like the desire to be unique, the desire to be challenged, being under time pressure, or being under financial constraint, and so on.

I'll save the Necron discussion for another thread to be created later, since I'm quite very interested in continuing that.

However a lot of what you are saying about the rules impacting the number of "live" strategic options has a whole lot to do with what we were discussing for Necrons. And that also has to do with what you're arguing as having to do with being a "boring" player or some such rubbish.

Lets look at this for a game of 40k. An army, in this example Tyranids, has a number of options that are available to it for use in 3 "Elite" FOC slots.

These options (in games of 1500 points or more) are:

Warriors
Lictors
Carnifex's costing under 115 Points.

Now inside each unit there are X number of options and combinations, just as there are 3 options competing for a players choice to take as an "Elite" in it's army.

What ends up happening is that 1 unit out of these three options is the only "Live" option when held in comparison to the others, a Carnifex. And of the X possible variations you can have for a Carnifex that costs under 115 Points, the version that has Enhanced Senses and 2X Twin Linked Devourers (The DakkaFex) happens to be the only "Live" option that there is.

Because the "live" option as I seem to be able to define it from your explanation, is the option that stands out as the "no brainer" choice compared to other combinations available.

Certainly there are other combinations that can be used for the Elite Carnifex or for the Elite unit choice, but in terms of efficiency and in-game effectiveness nothing quite stands up to the aformentioned DakkaFex.

This is what I mean when I say that the rules for Warhammer 40,000 are not complex enough to do what you suggest. The way the rules work in the vast majority of situations that a player can find himself in, there happens to be a very limited number of "live options" in any given codex. Because of this we find 40k as a game to be limited because there are the "live options" which perform well in the game and then there are the "dead options" which either perform poorly or are lackluster in comparison to the "live" options.

This is how the rules define the character of an army. Because the old Chaos codex happens to contain a larger number of "live options" than seems to exist in the coming codex, may people are saying that it is removing the character of the army list.

Because to many people, the character of an army list is defined by how that army plays in the game. Because the new rules for armies like Dark Angels and the coming Chaos codex happen to drastically remove the number of Live options that were available and change the remaining ones around so drastically from what they used to be, you have people saying that the character of their army is being taken away.

Nurglitch
04-07-2007, 06:07
Because the "live" option as I seem to be able to define it from your explanation, is the option that stands out as the "no brainer" choice compared to other combinations available. A live option is an option whose value qualifies it for consideration. For example suppose you selecting two apples from a batch of forty apples ranging from 400g to 1300g. If you prefer apples weighing at least 500g and only twenty five apples weigh at least 500g then although you forty options in the form of apples only twenty five of those options are live. If there was a preference for the biggest apple then the single 1300g apple would be the "no brainer" because it would be the only live option.


This is how the rules define the character of an army. Because the old Chaos codex happens to contain a larger number of "live options" than seems to exist in the coming codex, may people are saying that it is removing the character of the army list. So if we want to use the term "character" in an amphibolous way to describe the variety of strategic options available to the sets of rules that we imagine to be armies as well as the way in which we imagine those armies, then you suppose that reducing the number of options in army creation reduces the variety of strategic options in total.

Supposing that's what you're saying I should mention that I've already pointed out that's false. In reducing the total number of options in a 4th edition codex the designers have reduced the number of "no brainer" options with the benefit of enhancing the variety of battlefield decisions facing players because they are forced to employ a smaller set of live options during army selection. Variety of strategic option is then derived from what an army can do as well as what it is composed of. That is to say although the number of options, and thus decisions, facing a player in army selection may be reduced the total number of live options facing a player is increased because the limitations on the army create more decisions during the game and the limitations imposed by no brainer options do not prevent the more limited set of options from being more combinatorially fruitful.

Five options where three options are live and one of those three is a no brainer, given a particular motivation for selecting options, delivers less variety than two options where two options are live and neither is a no brainer. Indeed we get more real variety from the combinatorial fruitfulness of having only the latter two options than the homogenization imposed by the combination of cosmetic options and no brainers.

In the case of the Space Marine, Eldar, Dark Angel, and Tau codicies GW has traded reduced cosmetic options for enhanced live options, usually for a net loss of army selection options and a net gain of strategic options in the game. In the case of the Necron codex GW has almost entirely dispensed with cosmetic options and settled for a limited set of almost completely live options that results in the most strategically interesting set of rules in Warhammer 40k. Yet the fans generally opt for the sub-maximal and dull "phalanx" strategy and wonder why Necrons are so dull to play with. It's rather like preferring a car that changes colour to a red car that transformers into a boat and an aeroplane. Maybe people are exciting and interesting for wanting a car that changes colour (and yes, may be slightly better at off road or slightly faster) rather than a red vehicle with three distinct modes.

To belabour the point I made earlier, limitation often has the strange effect of nurturing creativity rather than curtailing it. In the case of recent codicies the reduction in both cosmetic options in favour of fewer live options results in players facing a wider variety of strategic and tactical decisions during the game, which is as it should be.

Now if Warhammer 40k was just about writing a list and checking whether it would win then players would certainly suffer from a reduced variety of cosmetic options. But it isn't and the game itself is analogous to an algorythm to check which player wins, not which army wins.

BrainFireBob
05-07-2007, 01:06
Let me help you out here, Voodoo- Nurglitch is (roughly, my apologies, Nurglitch) saying there's more viable units in return for a loss of units numerically, most of which were mere "fluff" decorative army choices; resulting in more worthwhile choices at the cost of more choices absolutely- this shifts the focus of winning the game from efficient army selection to efficient play and adaption to other variables, such as opponent and terrain.

gorgon
05-07-2007, 15:47
Likewise diversity can disappear not because players wish to maximize on the probability of winning, but on the ability to play as the increase of so-called "Nidzilla" armies attests. Nidzilla armies aren't particularly effective, but they don't play so slowly as armies with larger model counts so they are preferred by Tyranid players who want to play quicker games than otherwise.

This statement says a lot. "Godzilla" Tyranids ARE very effective, it's just not obvious that they would be when you first consider them. I've been playing Tyranids since the mid-'90s, and even I was skeptical at first. But I came around once I started wrapping my mind around how the list works and some of the synergies involved.

I don't think diversity (at least on the tournament level) dies due to a lack of imagination as much as natural selection. It's true that there's a certain conservatism that sets in when *attending* a tournament -- players tend to bring what they know works. But I believe competitive players experiment quite a bit when not attending a tournament. And that's why I asked for some specific insight regarding Pariahs and Flayed Ones. It could be that there are "killer" builds or tactics with these units that have gone undiscovered after years and years of gaming by thousands of players. But the odds are that they would have been discovered, displayed on the tournament scene and then naturally selected by the player base.

On a side note, Wraiths are an interesting case. They're not a bad unit, and I'd put them in the live category based on their own merit. However, they have competition for FA slots that players have determined to be more live (Destroyers) or equally live (Scarabs). The result is that Wraiths are used infrequently by many Necron players.

I don't see the live factor as a binary thing. It's a scale -- and with a scale comes a pecking order.

So here's the potential issue regarding the new CSM codex. Even if we make an assumption that a greater percentage of the codex will be live, competitive players will still gravitate to the live units that carry the most amps. So diversity may not increase among competitive players even if more units fall into the live category. It could even decrease when you consider the current CSM codex actually contains several separate "lists" instead of one.

Perhaps diversity will improve among less competitive players, but those players probably aren't selecting units based on their live factor in the first place. I think it's going to take some time and much testing before we'll know whether this codex will lead to more or less diversity. Maybe it will. Personally, I'm still skeptical.

GreenDracoBob
05-07-2007, 18:34
Increasing the amount of live units in an army list probably won't diversify the tournament scene too terribly. The units that work the best will be the ones people use because they want to win. It's the purpose of the tournament.

Hopefully, increasing these live options will diversify from the lower ends first. Competitive tournament players won't start taking Generic Demons right away because they see more effective options to them. But newer players, who play at local clubs without making winning their primary function will start buying whatever they feel like, having a greater chance to use that unit as an effective choice in their games. Therefore, the hobby becomes more accessible, a greater variety of models are sold, and GW is happy making their money.

The only way this will diversify tournaments is if the tournament players play against other players who use different units and realize their effectiveness. But this is unlikely, as tournament players are not going to change their list if they win, and will not emulate the person who beat them unless that person creates a reputation for winning often. The psychology of these gamers is such not to change unless something better comes along (such as a new list winning large tournaments) or they have to change (which may have other results, see Chaos Space Marines 2007).

Nurglitch
05-07-2007, 19:30
This statement says a lot. "Godzilla" Tyranids ARE very effective, it's just not obvious that they would be when you first consider them. I've been playing Tyranids since the mid-'90s, and even I was skeptical at first. But I came around once I started wrapping my mind around how the list works and some of the synergies involved. Being very effective is consistent with not being particularly effective where being particularly effective is equivalent to being maximally effective. It's certainly a live option, but it's not as game-effective as some mixed lists. Just thought I might make that clear so that statement isn't taken to say more than it does.


But the odds are that they would have been discovered, displayed on the tournament scene and then naturally selected by the player base. The interesting thing about natural selection is that it does not always select for fitness. Take Fire Prisms and Shining Spears in the 3rd edition codex. Because many players considered them in competition for roles filled by the Falcon and Vipers/Warp Spiders (respectively), rather than the roles they actually performed well, they were typically selected against. If people are using faulty reasoning in their selection process, and that habit is widespread, then the selection process will yield errors (aka maladaptions).

I don't see the live factor as a binary thing. It's a scale -- and with a scale comes a pecking order. Yeah, that's how live options work, the set of options within a broader set of options whose value far exceeds the dead options. I thought that was clear from the apple example. Here's another example. Supposing you have the choice of (1) a 50% chance of $100, (2) an 80% chance of $70, or (3) a 99% chance of $40 dollars and your motivation is acquire at least $45 dollars from a single selection then the first two options are live although they only differ from the third by degree rather than kind.

So diversity may not increase among competitive players even if more units fall into the live category. It could even decrease when you consider the current CSM codex actually contains several separate "lists" instead of one. As I pointed out earlier where people share motivation, method, and resources you should expect homogeneity of results. Increasing the number of live options available to players only results in diversity of results (army lists) where there's a corresponding diversity of motivation. After all units that are live options according to one combination of both motivation and the application of those options to that motivation

Because many gamers fetishize empirical results to the detriment of thorough analysis, as seen by the constant whinging about how some product x needs more play-testing when all it needed was more rigorous system design, the results of tournaments merely serve to reinforce their prejudices and encourage group-think ("Oh, it says on Warseer that the Eldar do well in tournaments, it must be because the new Eldar Codex is teh cheeeeeeese!!!!1eleventy!!1"). Considering the quality of analysis typically demonstrated in what is colloquially known as "math-hammer" it's understandable really. But the fact is that empirical results are only grist for analysis and if that analysis is somehow deficient then no matter how representative the set of results may be conclusions drawn from them will be unsound.

Couple this with the strange risk-aversion that so many competitive Warhammer 40k players have such that if they don't win they usually blame the army and not their weak play, and you won't have a situation where all possible lists of any given army are tried and then carefully winnowed down through a thorough selection process to a couple of objectively maximal-effective lists.

And that's ignoring the unbalanced distribution of armies such that facing Space Marines 9/10 means maximizing against Space Marines is considered maximizing in general. At best it will be possible that some lists are popularly considered powerful and competitive people will gravitate towards the advantage of what they consider to be a powerful list rather than risk playing what they consider to be a weaker list and possibly losing because of it.

So it's certainly not correct to expect diversity to increase where the number of live options in a list increases, because live options aren't necessarily best options. But where the total number of options gets smaller and cosmetic or dead options are trimmed the emphasis is shifted to game-play rather than army selection. By focusing player attention on playing the game rather than setting it up the players are better able to learn that game and appreciate the variety of in-game situations that should motivate them to consider a particular live option as a best option.