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View Full Version : Herohammer returns. How do you cope?



Walls
21-04-2009, 03:12
Each new codex seems to bring about a new proliferation of character use. Bl

You never see a Blood Angel list without one. Most marine armies have them and often mix and match between the bigger chapters. I've seen many Vulkan's in blue armies and so forth. Now guard. Every new list and battle report I see has a character or more! 1850pt battles with both Creed and Al Rahem?

What is your/your clubs general policy on character use? Should they be limited to certain point levels? Do you use them yourself or even like playing with/against them?

Myself? Anything short of apocalypse I really dislike it. Putting a single character on the table to completely change the game and rules for your army seems, to me, to go against the spirit of the game, not to mention fluff. Yes, yes, your small fight is part of a larger war going on. I get that. But wouldn't these characters not be in the thick of it but rather surrounded in the back by a ton of trusted advisors and bodyguards? Would Creed really be battling it out on the front line surrounded by only a couple guys?

I dunno. I am not too keen on it but will rarely complain when someone else plays one. Hell, the reason for my post is because I can't see to do so without characters.

I'd just like to hear everyone else's thoughts on the return of Herohammer.

And yes, its just as bad in Fantasy.

holmcross
21-04-2009, 03:14
A: Implant Attack.

Most of the people that I play with use special characters begrudgingly; some of the SCs are just too good to pass up.

Snotteef
21-04-2009, 03:19
I'm with you on this one. I've always hated Special Characters and now they're an integral part of the game; it's very frustrating, but there's very little you can do about it. I don't thinki I could find a gaming group who would agree not to use them and some armies REQUIRE them (what else can the 10 year veteran of Deathwing do except take the darned special character whether he wants to or not?).

evilsponge
21-04-2009, 03:20
none of the above since our gaming club believes in playing by the rules and letting people use GW supported special characters for which they payed for and put time into painting and assembling.

Acolyte
21-04-2009, 03:22
Herohammer is not back. Herohammer in 2nd was all about obscene, expensive characters running around the board as one-man armies and ruining stuff.

I personally like the new IC upgrades, especially the non-HQ ones. It adds a lot of flavour and variety to a codex, especially the new Imperial Guard characters.

druchii
21-04-2009, 03:25
I'm with you on this one. I've always hated Special Characters and now they're an integral part of the game; it's very frustrating, but there's very little you can do about it. I don't thinki I could find a gaming group who would agree not to use them and some armies REQUIRE them (what else can the 10 year veteran of Deathwing do except take the darned special character whether he wants to or not?).

Uhm, not play.

Seriously. Why do people stick so hard and fast to "it has a name, it suuuucks!" train of thought? You don't want to take the DA special character? BAM he's captain bob of the interplanetary whatever!

Look at characters for their RULES not their NAME.

Hero hammer has NOT returned. Most special characters are decent (some downright suck) but most of the time they're there because they change the way an army specifically plays.

If anything, characters who WERE broken got more expensive (although you might be able to make an argument for Kharn, or Eldrad) or more restrictive. I'll take an unnamed commander on a bike with a relic blade and storm shield over any named character anyday.

Fantasy special characters are NOT at all analogous to 40k special characters. There are NO Thoreks or Dwarf kings, or Mazdamundis, or Teclis', or Galrauchs, or hell, even Settras in 40k.

Nothing even compares, so I think it's pretty disingenuous to say so.

d
ps. How do you cope? Bite your tongue, or heck, go play FoW...

Sypher21
21-04-2009, 03:29
Came in at the beginning of 4th edition, bought two Space Marine commander boxes and spent several weeks assembling converting and painting the two baddest SM commanders the universe has ever seen ( according to me ).

Now, game wise they're useless compared to the new shiny 20 dollar blister each special characters. But I still use the original 'generic' commanders, because I've poured my heart and soul into them. They represent 'Me', not some generic character who's not all that 'special' if every kid on the block has an exact copy of him.

Yes I'm bitter, yes I absolutely despise special characters. It's sad to see Vulcan in blue fight his twin brothers(clones?) Vulcan in red and Vulcan in yellow, on battlefields that should in no way have a chapter master attend anywhere except the bloody battle barge.

Snotteef
21-04-2009, 03:30
Look at characters for their RULES not their NAME.



To some of us, there IS more to a character than their rules. For me a character is as much his name and history as he is "rules."

Raibaru
21-04-2009, 03:30
This is funny, I just responded to a thread talking about this. But like I said in that one, I've never liked heroes. I've played throughout second, third, and briefly during 4th and I just can't stand them at all.

Now I understand in 5th some armies need to take them because they aren't valid without them (Like Deathwing for example), but it's unbelievable that GW couldn't find a better solution to this problem.

The new Eldar Codex made it redundant to have a Craftworld Codex, Space Marines would have been just as easy with a few considerations needing to be made.

And considering how unbelievably bloated the new SM codex is (I laughed looking through it at the store and calmly put it down knowing full well I wouldn't be getting back into 40k using it) it's hard to believe GW couldn't find some way to do away with the need of 5 different space marine codex.

starlight
21-04-2009, 03:39
Since 5th Ed is the edition furthest from Herohammer of all the ones we've had I'm going to get back to important things like gaming. :p


Seriously, 5th Ed *isn't* Herohammer...not even close. :p All they've done is tack some names onto formerly generic collections of stats to assist in forming lists, nothing more. As noted, actual *Herohammer* was back in 2nd Ed when your General took up half your total points and your entire army existed primarily to deliver your General into combat with your opponent's General. What we have now isn't even close...

druchii
21-04-2009, 03:45
Since 5th Ed is the edition furthest from Herohammer of all the ones we've had I'm going to get back to important things like gaming. :p


Seriously, 5th Ed *isn't* Herohammer...not even close. :p All they've done is tack some names onto formerly generic collections of stats to assist in forming lists, nothing more. As noted, actual *Herohammer* was back in 2nd Ed when your General took up half your total points and your entire army existed primarily to deliver your General into combat with your opponent's General. What we have now isn't even close...

Thanks for being rational.

Somehow I don't buy that suddenly bog standard characters are somehow sub-par compared to special characters.

I'd rather have my commander on a bike than Khan anyday!

Sure, make up your own characters (Hell, my space wolves Wolf Lord has a matched pair of frost blades that he made after yanking them out of an Ice Dragon's mouth!)-but like all "stories" he has to be represented in the RULES of the game accordingly. Should my Wolf Lord be t5 because he was horribly scarred by the Dragon's breath weapon? Yea. Absolutely, but that's not how the GAME RULES work.

40k is not DND (and it doesn't even work that way in rulebook DND either!). Make up your characters, cool! Then use your standard commander or chapter master template. Oh, your chapter really likes fire? But your captain actually runs around with a sword and shield, but you STILL want the benefits of vulkan? Well, model him with a shield and sword and use vulkan's rules!

You're telling me you put ALL this thought into your character's story, but can't rationalize why he'd use a special character's stats? Forgive me if I don't believe you.

d

RampagingRavener
21-04-2009, 03:45
I'd just like to hear everyone else's thoughts on the return of Herohammer.

When a single character can personally ruin most of an enemy army without worrying about being killed himself, then people can start complaining about herohammer.

As it is? The current state of affairs? No. There's nothing wrong with it and it certainly isn't herohammer. The vast majority of Special Characters aren't much harder to kill than their regular counterparts; an extra wound here or a slightly buffed T value or save there, but nothing insurmountable. I've yet to encounter a Special Character that can't be dealt with in the same way a regular Character can be dealt with; you just need to hit them harder.

I don't use Special Characters myself, being an Ork player the only one I'd ever be really interested in is Snikrot and only then at higher point games, but I do not, and will never, begrudge people for using Special Characters. And why should I? It's their armies, they can play them how they like.

People who simply take a stock Special Character model, paint it in their chapter colours, and field it like that? Okay, it's a bit disappointing. I like to see people putting in some more effort. But if someone slaps down a Space Marine commander model with a pair of Lightening Claws and a Jump Pack, and says he's using the rules for Shrike, who am I to say no?

These days, Special Characters are pretty much just a template to allow people to vary their army composition, and can be themed towards one chapter or another. Hell, in the Space Marine codex it even outright says this. I suppose you could take the view that Special Characters have swung from "Almost never used", as they were in 3rd edition, to "used too much" now. But personally I don't see the problem. Seeing a Special Character being fielded as that character will often add a fantastic extra narrative layer to the game; it ceases to become just another border-skirmish and turns into an assassination attack, or whatever else one can think of. And if they're just being fielded as a counts-as character? Well, so what? Just means I'm up against an army that's going to play a bit differently to the norm.

So, OP, to answer your questions? My group has no policy on character use, beyond "use what you like and what is legal". They shouldn't be limited to certain points levels. I don't use them myself, because my army has none I'm interested in, but if it did then I would. And yes, I like fighting against them; from a narrative perspective the game becomes more 'important', and from a gaming perspective, the opposing army is going to play a little differently from the norm.

druchii pretty much says everything I can, but in a far more eloquent fashion.

Maine
21-04-2009, 03:48
Seriously. Why do people stick so hard and fast to "it has a name, it suuuucks!" train of thought? You don't want to take the DA special character? BAM he's captain bob of the interplanetary whatever!


The characters aren't even that much tougher than regular infantry in the army... especially with most of the IG characters. Most of the new IG characters would get their rears handed to them in a one on one fight against a scout marine. With the IG, they're more like unique upgrades of special rules for squads than they are characters.

IG Codex did it right - a lot of them as upgrades to offer variety and limited availability rules options. Think of Creed as a 0-1 Heroic Senior Officer, Pask as a 0-1 tank accuracy upgrade, Harker as a 0-1 "Tanith" upgrade to Veterans, etc.

Sypher21
21-04-2009, 04:06
Thanks for being rational...

...You're telling me you put ALL this thought into your character's story, but can't rationalize why he'd use a special character's stats? Forgive me if I don't believe you.

d

I don't want to be forced to take a 200+ point character to get my chapter to really like fire.

I do not want this said character to have the wargear he's been already given.

I do not want this said character to use the exact template he's been given.

I want my character to be 'me', why can't my chapter be classified as pyromaniacs and have 'me' with a lightning claw for example? Or even forgo 'me' completely without my comrades suddenly losing their fiery mindset. And have a small skirmish somewhere else while 'I'm' busy fighting elsewhere.

The way it's designed is you're forced to take an expensive model with a concrete and rigid set of rules with no room for customization in order to represent an entire chapter's way of fighting. And from my standpoint that's not how it should be. I'd rather have doctrines with MEANINGFUL disadvantages rather than have a specific set of rules shoved down my throat.

Snotteef
21-04-2009, 04:10
You're telling me you put ALL this thought into your character's story, but can't rationalize why he'd use a special character's stats? Forgive me if I don't believe you.

d

No, that's not what we're saying at all. Of course we an rationalize why he'd use special character stats. We're saying we shouldn't have to. I shouldn't have to model my Terminator Company Captain/Flamey Captain/Veteran Captain after Belial/Vulkan/Pedro; I should be able to have my own Terminator/Flamey/Veteran commander who is somewhat unique and/or customizable. Those special rules could have just as easily been incorporated into the bog-standard Captain at an additional points cost and we wouldn't need to have this conversation. If army style options were part of basic characters and SC's were still opponent's permission specialties in the back of the codex, then we could retain the current style of "commander determines army style," without upsetting those of us who simply cannot stand SC's. It would be the best of both worlds and wouldn't have required any more work by the design team.
Edit:
Ack! Ninja'd

Walls
21-04-2009, 04:12
I agree with most of the points above, all qutie valid and thought out. Excellent.

Transcending rules, what about fluff and spirit? It IS quite disappointing, as one poster said, to have blue Vulkan fighting yellow Vulkan.

The whole story is the Salamanders live on an inhospitable lavatype world. Being better at using those type weapons kinda makes sense. It's when Ultramarine Vulkan or Imperial Fist Marneus Calgar or Crimson Fist Lysander start flying around that I get bothered. To me it's especially bad when it's an established, story heavy existing chapter using another equal status chapter's characters.

Basically, by Herohammer I meant HAVING to take characters nowadays. It seems a must. You see it in list critiques and everywhere.

evilsponge
21-04-2009, 04:25
Everyone one keeps talking about story this and fluff that, but the whole reason 40k is intentionally a little vague is so people can make up their own fluff. Sorry I just don't buy the argument "Well you shouldn't run that character because he would never fight this and this army".

Johnnyfrej
21-04-2009, 04:25
I usually cope with lots of HE ordnance. That tends to work well.

Snotteef
21-04-2009, 04:29
Everyone one keeps talking about story this and fluff that, but the whole reason 40k is intentionally a little vague is so people can make up their own fluff. Sorry I just don't buy the argument "Well you shouldn't run that character because he would never fight this and this army".

It's not that vague. It's pretty clear that Vulkan is a Salamander and would not lead Ultramarines.

Most will use the "counts as" idea, of course, and that's fine, but it's not the way I like to play the game.

Kirasu
21-04-2009, 04:30
"special characters" are a must for certain armies.. I think a lot fail to realize that the special characters are meant to replace former generic characters that could be made

Why limit armies vs other armies that dont use special characters? IE tyranids who can build bad ass hive tyrants

I play Blood angels using whatever codex GW gives me and if I couldnt use special characters I might as well just not play against any decent player because the generic BA characters are beyond worthless.. same with DA

Need to stop the narrow minded view of special characters

starlight
21-04-2009, 04:35
It's not that vague. It's pretty clear that Vulkan is a Salamander and would not lead Ultramarines.

Most will use the "counts as" idea, of course, and that's fine, but it's not the way I like to play the game.


So don't.


Seriously? Are your buddies such analtightbutts that they wouldn't allow you to swap out weapons or use Shrike's model and rules but have Vulkan's army rules?:eek: Man, I feel sorry for you if those are the sort of people you game with. Most of the people I've played against are more fun than that. :(

The rules are just there as a convenience to allow you to get to a pickup game quickly. If you and your buddies want to play differently, then fill your boots and have fun. :)

Creeping Dementia
21-04-2009, 04:35
What? Herohammer is back??? Why am I always the last to realize these things?!?!?!

Anyway, playing Tau I never take special characters (cause they suck) but a lot of the people I play against do (generally space marines of one flavor or another). To be honest they just don't seem like that much of a problem, they die just as easily to massed firepower as other characters do.

My experience may be a little off though. I guess some people have to evaluate the situation "will that special character beat me in close combat???" and then decide on a course of action. With me, the answer is always "Yes, he will beat me in CC, just like that Tac squad will", so the decisions made are easier and the course of action is the same regardless of which character it is.

Eldrad is annoying as hell, with him spreading fortune all over the place (and every Eldar player in my area takes him), but thats about it.

dblaz3r
21-04-2009, 04:37
It's not that vague. It's pretty clear that Vulkan is a Salamander and would not lead Ultramarines.

Most will use the "counts as" idea, of course, and that's fine, but it's not the way I like to play the game.

Heaven forbide that there be 2 personalities in the galaxy with the same stats and rules ;)

Snotteef
21-04-2009, 04:39
Most people like things to be "official." Once you start letting people make their own rules and swap things around, then someone in the group (whether on purpose or inadvertantly) ends up creating something very unbalanced. Also, whether we like it or not, tournaments have changed people's attitudes toward the game.

Anyway, if the Codices had been written better, it wouldn't even be an issue.

MajorWesJanson
21-04-2009, 04:40
Eldrad is annoying as hell, with him spreading fortune all over the place (and every Eldar player in my area takes him), but thats about it.

Oh, Eldrad. Why can't you just stay dead?

Snotteef
21-04-2009, 04:42
Heaven forbide that there be 2 personalities in the galaxy with the same stats and rules ;)

I didn't say there was anything wrong with SC's and "counts as," only that it wasn't the way I like to play. Also, there are waaaay more than 2 of each. Apparently, every third Space Marine chapter is led by a hero exactly like Pedro Cantor (who shows up at every battle the chapter is engaged in) and over half of the Eldar Craftworlds are lead by ancient Farseers who are nearly identical to Eldrad. :p

holmcross
21-04-2009, 04:43
I have no experience with the SM special characters. With that being said, the only SC which I face that's a "auto-include" is Eldrad. It's almost always a mistake not to run him in normal-sized games.

Vote Kantor
21-04-2009, 04:44
i play guard, i like charachters, but dont use any, i just mostly convert them for my friends, I made a Shrike using HOME MADE JUMP PACK and custom lightning claws, and made a Daemon prince with a bonesword and wings, but i still MISS DOCTRINES, and dont understand why they were gone, they just need more of a downside so i can make a balanced list WITH a custom charachter.

druchii
21-04-2009, 04:46
I don't want to be forced to take a 200+ point character to get my chapter to really like fire.

I do not want this said character to have the wargear he's been already given.

I do not want this said character to use the exact template he's been given.

I want my character to be 'me', why can't my chapter be classified as pyromaniacs and have 'me' with a lightning claw for example? Or even forgo 'me' completely without my comrades suddenly losing their fiery mindset. And have a small skirmish somewhere else while 'I'm' busy fighting elsewhere.

The way it's designed is you're forced to take an expensive model with a concrete and rigid set of rules with no room for customization in order to represent an entire chapter's way of fighting. And from my standpoint that's not how it should be. I'd rather have doctrines with MEANINGFUL disadvantages rather than have a specific set of rules shoved down my throat.

I don't want my second wave of demons to come on in like normal reserves, I want to pick what comes when, where. Doesn't mean that it's the right or good thing to do (especially from a game balance mindset).

It's been shown in games past that letting the players do what they want is a bad idea. Ever played last edition's chaos codex? I did. A lot. It sucked. I mean every demon prince was completely totally custom done with their own rules, background, fluff and paint scheme. But they were all broken as crap.

Don't want to take Vulkan? Then he's no longer vulkan. Don't like the fact he's got a super flamer? Well now he's breathing fire! Don't like his relic blade? He's got SUPER lightning claws! A list of "I don't want" is not a convincing argument that something is amiss.

You aren't forced to take Vulkan to represent Salamanders. In fact, you can still take tactical squads with flamers and Multimeltas, Th/SS terminators in a redeemer, and such! In fact, what makes you think the inclusion of Vulkan automatically makes an army a Salamanders army? Isn't there an example in the Marine book of a Salamander army WITHOUT Vulkan? :eek:

You can even forgo "me" in order to have a smaller (or not so epic game) but it just so happens that "your" flamers and thunder hammers haven't been getting the right sort of tune-ups and so aren't as good as they once were.

Doctrines with "meaningful" disadvantages is a subjective point of view. What if you "don't like" the meaninfgul disadvantage? It used to be that Salamanders had the "meaningful disadvantage" of having I3, while I liked this, what happens when someone wants a flame based chapter that isn't from a high gravity world? The answer? They post on warseer saying they don't like "meaningful disadvantages."


No, that's not what we're saying at all. Of course we an rationalize why he'd use special character stats. We're saying we shouldn't have to. I shouldn't have to model my Terminator Company Captain/Flamey Captain/Veteran Captain after Belial/Vulkan/Pedro; I should be able to have my own Terminator/Flamey/Veteran commander who is somewhat unique and/or customizable. Those special rules could have just as easily been incorporated into the bog-standard Captain at an additional points cost and we wouldn't need to have this conversation. If army style options were part of basic characters and SC's were still opponent's permission specialties in the back of the codex, then we could retain the current style of "commander determines army style," without upsetting those of us who simply cannot stand SC's. It would be the best of both worlds and wouldn't have required any more work by the design team.
Edit:
Ack! Ninja'd

To be fair: Belial (lol I called him Baal before...sorry!) can have just about any combination of gear a normal commander in terminator armor could have, so you've got no point there.

Oh, and you're assuming you "whom cannot stand SCs" should be listened to, which I've been arguing you should not. I don't mean to sound snotty, but just because you don't like "set" characters (when most characters are pretty "set" already) doesn't mean they shouldn't exist.


I agree with most of the points above, all qutie valid and thought out. Excellent.

Transcending rules, what about fluff and spirit? It IS quite disappointing, as one poster said, to have blue Vulkan fighting yellow Vulkan.

The whole story is the Salamanders live on an inhospitable lavatype world. Being better at using those type weapons kinda makes sense. It's when Ultramarine Vulkan or Imperial Fist Marneus Calgar or Crimson Fist Lysander start flying around that I get bothered. To me it's especially bad when it's an established, story heavy existing chapter using another equal status chapter's characters.

Basically, by Herohammer I meant HAVING to take characters nowadays. It seems a must. You see it in list critiques and everywhere.

I agree Walls. I can't honestly say I approve of someone running Shrike AND marneus together.

Although how can you possibly say that marneus doesn't fit the chapter master of the Imperial fists perfectly? He does! Just model him with two thunder hammers (like the picture of the *******' sweet chapter commander in the book!). The bog standard chapter commander and commander are there so everyone who "wants to make their own super special and neato" character can. Sometimes the benefits (like Vulkan's) REQUIRE you to be stuck with a specific template! That's their drawback (their "meaningful disadvantage if you will)! :D

Again you're focusing too much on the name, not just the rules. The rules give you a template by which you can create your own character off of (and regardless of what a previous poster said) you can STILL give a pre-existing "special character" his own special story!

You don't HAVE to take special characters. But you MUST take characters (as in a HQ for the FOC).

That being said, simply assigning a points cost to something does not make it balanced.

d

ps. This boils down to the essential question of warhammer, or indeed any game you electively play: Whom do you chose to play against?
Since when did it become mandatory to play against people you dislike, or who are doing something you dislike? Don't like a blue army with Vulkan? I think you're foolish enough to let colors blind you, but, magically! Don't play that person!

Easy.

Snotteef
21-04-2009, 04:56
To be fair: Belial (lol I called him Baal before...sorry!) can have just about any combination of gear a normal commander in terminator armor could have, so you've got no point there.

Oh, and you're assuming you "whom cannot stand SCs" should be listened to, which I've been arguing you should not. I don't mean to sound snotty, but just because you don't like "set" characters (when most characters are pretty "set" already) doesn't mean they shouldn't exist.


ps. This boils down to the essential question of warhammer, or indeed any game you electively play: Who do you chose to play against?
Since when did it become mandatory to play against people you dislike, or who are doing something you dislike? Don't like a blue army with Vulkan? I think you're foolish enough to let colors blind you, but, magically! Don't play that person!


But, why should they determine army compostion, when a standard commander with an upgrade could do exactly the same thing WITHOUT upsetting the numerous veteran players who have supported this company for decades who don't like SC's?

If Pedro, with his abilities, is balanced at his points cost, then it stands to reason that a standard character, who can buy those same special abilities (but still have somewhat customizable equipment and not be named) for the difference in price would also be balanced.

If GW can create the SAME effect, without upsetting so many of their gamers, then it seems like that would be the BETTER choice.

As to the second point: there is more to playing warhammer than a person's army. I'm not going to upset a good friend by refusing to play him, just because he has a different view of how the game should be played than I do. Sometimes, not playing, isn't an option. And for about the millionth time, I'm O.K. with people using "counts as" SC's since it is now the only option. I can dislike something without believing that no one should do it.

Johnnyfrej
21-04-2009, 04:56
Heaven forbide that there be 2 personalities in the galaxy with the same stats and rules ;)
Yes, heaven forbid there be two people in the galaxy that both have the same relics of the Salamanders that there is
only one of :eyebrows:

But why stop there?! How about two Nightbringers? You thought one unstoppable C'tan was enough. How about Five Talons of Horus (Abaddon)? I mean c'mon. Horus must have made at least a dozen of them. How about Typus? There has to be at least five Terminus Est's.

Thrax
21-04-2009, 05:04
HUH??? No, the point is not that special characters are bad per se, it's just that the current trend of GW is to shoehorn them into typical army lists. How is that possible? Well, just re-read some of the posts already made here! Are they overpowered? Not really, but I don't think that's the main point even though most are a bargain when compared to generic characters.

The whole idea that 'legendary hero A' must be along so 'special trait B' can be used is lame and insipid, and the new space marine codex is the worst example. It's just a lazy and weak way of addressing the need for variety, not to mention a hamfisted way of selling models. Those who think it's all wonderful go ahead and have at it! Some of us just would rather make our own traits and characters, regardless of points cost and such.

dblaz3r
21-04-2009, 05:09
Yes, heaven forbid there be two people in the galaxy that both have the same relics of the Salamanders that there is
only one of :eyebrows:

I'm sorry smarty pants, I did not realize that in the history of 40k there has only been one master crafted relic blade in the shape of a spear or gaunlet that fires lots of flame. Sure drake scale cloaks might be in short supply but I'm sure the blue and yellow versions are just sporting some sort of similar adamantium-hard material. ;):p

General Squeek Squeek
21-04-2009, 05:12
But, why should they determine army compostion, when a standard commander with an upgrade could do exactly the same thing WITHOUT upsetting the numerous veteran players who have supported this company for decades who don't like SC's?

If Pedro, with his abilities, is balanced at his points cost, then it stands to reason that a standard character, who can buy those same special abilities (but still have somewhat customizable equipment and not be named) for the difference in price would also be balanced.

If GW can create the SAME effect, without upsetting so many of their gamers, then it seems like that would be the BETTER choice.


I really don't see the problem with SC's here. They didn't do this to upset the veteran players (or at least I hope that wasn't their intention. that really wouldn't make much buisness sense if it was). They could have said "Standard Marine Commander Template A" (guy that allows multiple honor guard and is a baddass in assault) oh and Calgar fits his description. But it reads much better to just have that character named and understand it can represent other people.

Personally I field Cassius for my chaplain. I don't use his model and instead have a kinda dreadnaught/termie hybrid conversion represent him. In my chapter the chaplain was so badly hurt he had to be put in a dreadnaught, but he refused to be fully intigrated into the machine so they instead hooked up just his lower half to a dreadnaught (he was blown in half). For me that expains the T5 feel no pain. I don't use his hellfire rounds or flamer, even though its in his rules cause thats just not equipment he uses.

starlight
21-04-2009, 05:15
Sad to say, but if you don't like it and it's that big a deal that you can't get around it...


You're stuck with it until the next edition, so either enjoy gaming your own way (which is cool, and we used to do it when I played regularly:)) or play something else and have fun doing that.:)

druchii
21-04-2009, 05:19
Yes, heaven forbid there be two people in the galaxy that both have the same relics of the Salamanders that there is
only one of :eyebrows:

Except they aren't always the relics of the Salamanders. What if they're the basic armament of my Fire Dragons Chapter Master? It isn't The Gauntlet of the Forge, but The Blessing of The Red Dragon! A special modification of the marine's ability to spit acid! What? That's not The Spear of Vulkan, but the Sword of The Ruby Flight!

See?


HUH??? No, the point is not that special characters are bad per se, it's just that the current trend of GW is to shoehorn them into typical army lists. How is that possible? Well, just re-read some of the posts already made here! Are they overpowered? Not really, but I don't think that's the main point even though most are a bargain when compared to generic characters.

The whole idea that 'legendary hero A' must be along so 'special trait B' can be used is lame and insipid, and the new space marine codex is the worst example. It's just a lazy and weak way of addressing the need for variety, not to mention a hamfisted way of selling models. Those who think it's all wonderful go ahead and have at it! Some of us just would rather make our own traits and characters, regardless of points cost and such.

No, actually it IS the point that special characters are bad, per se. That's what the majority of the complaints are: I don't like special characters!

Like I said, adding a points cost to something, and then letting people kit a commander out however they want is NOT the answer! What happens if you point, say, vulkan's "flamer/melta/TH ability at 40 pts" but I only want a commander with that, and a bolt pistol?

What then if I want to take that SAME ability for 40 pts on a guy on a bike, with a storm shield? Suddenly that dude is a TON more survivable and still very choppy!

Im arguing that vulkan, and his wargear and his ability are a package deal. They're pointed, equipped and balanced with the specific intention that he will NOT be riding a bike or jump packing around the board.

Another example is the demon prince from the demons codex. Breath of chaos is a specific point cost. So is wings. Their pointed with their individual performance in mind, but should they have another points cost if they're combined? Because Breath becomes infinitely better when you have a 12" move rather than a 6", but including wings doesn't increase it's points cost!

I don't like it!

Shrike is intentionally balanced so that he may NOT ride in a land raider with terminators!

Finally: tossing in "GW SELLS STUFF AND WANTS MONEY OMG!" is not a new revelation, and really should be entirely ignored when talking about aesthetics of the game-and to my knowledge they actually don't have models for: khan and vulkan-arguably the two most "seen" special chracters.


But, why should they determine army compostion, when a standard commander with an upgrade could do exactly the same thing WITHOUT upsetting the numerous veteran players who have supported this company for decades who don't like SC's?

If Pedro, with his abilities, is balanced at his points cost, then it stands to reason that a standard character, who can buy those same special abilities (but still have somewhat customizable equipment and not be named) for the difference in price would also be balanced.

If GW can create the SAME effect, without upsetting so many of their gamers, then it seems like that would be the BETTER choice.

As to the second point: there is more to playing warhammer than a person's army. I'm not going to upset a good friend by refusing to play him, just because he has a different view of how the game should be played than I do. Sometimes, not playing, isn't an option. And for about the millionth time, I'm O.K. with people using "counts as" SC's since it is now the only option. I can dislike something without believing that no one should do it.

Well, you can also TALK to your opponent. I remember when we had an escalation league where a player was taking a land raider crusader in the 1k pt section of the league. Not very fair and balanced. So we sat down with him, talked it over, and everyone came away happier. What would have happened if he refused to take it out of the list? Well, I'll let your imagination run.

Not playing is always an option. This isn't the military or food we're talking about here. It's toy soldiers where people get too hung up on the names of things and not enough on the ideals.

d

ps. I've never once intentionally implied that you weren't cool with playing agaisnt special characters, and if I did I apologize.

Johnnyfrej
21-04-2009, 05:29
I'm sorry smarty pants, I did not realize that in the history of 40k there has only been one master crafted relic blade in the shape of a spear or gaunlet that fires lots of flame. Sure drake scale cloaks might be in short supply but I'm sure the blue and yellow versions are just sporting some sort of similar adamantium-hard material. ;):p
That's Mr. Smarty Pants to you, buddy ;)


I don't really care if I sound whiny. I have an opinion and damnit, if it isn't the American way to shout it to the world (or in this case a forum). I don't really care if my opponent takes special characters, I just roll my eyes and introduce said character to the business end of a Battlecannon.

Snotteef
21-04-2009, 05:33
And the truth of the matter is, I did stop playing for a year; that's how much I dislike GW's current design trends, but I've been playing 40k for 17 years and I love the models and the background and the comraderie far too much to give it up for long. So I play; and I have fun, but not nearly as much as I used to.

Whether it was GW's intent to upset veteran players or not; they HAVE and they don't seem to care (which is almost as bad). I'm not saying ALL old-school players are upset, but a great deal of us are (a lot of my old buddies won't even touch the game anymore) and GW doesn't ever seem to address that. There was a time when companies appreciated their long-time customers, but that time (sadly) seems to have passed.

You might be right that Vulkan is balanced for the equipment he has and that a standard commander with ALL the options could easily enter ther realms of cheese, but it doesn't have to be that cut and dried. All I want is no name and a few basic options. Playtest it and leave out the options that are overpowered. There ARE other options than the one GW has chosen that can provide both balance and choice, but it seems like the people who are pro SC are unwilling to admit that.

Thrax
21-04-2009, 05:36
I agree, Johnnyfrej! And just because I don't use special characters doesn't mean I mind facing them! In fact they are even more satisfying to kill...

Landsknecht
21-04-2009, 05:37
For those of you who haven't watched Barney...

Believe in the power of imagination! Counts-as is your friend! Just because a special character has a certain name and background doesn't mean you can't represent them with a different model and background.

Special characters are currently better ways to modify lists than the old traits/doctrine systems were, and require a minimum investment of imagination to get around the "but I dont wanna use an established characterr" problem

dblaz3r
21-04-2009, 05:55
That's Mr. Smarty Pants to you, buddy ;)

I'll be sure to remember that ;).


I don't really care if my opponent takes special characters, I just ... introduce said character to the business end of a Battlecannon.


I agree, Johnnyfrej! And just because I don't use special characters doesn't mean I mind facing them! In fact they are even more satisfying to kill...

My thoughts exactly.

Can't say I've used a named character since 2nd ed. in a normal game, at some stage I might feel the urge to roll one out though.

massey
21-04-2009, 06:16
The more factors you add, the more difficult it is to balance.

What if I want a super-commander who combines all the best traits?

Well, he's gotta have a 2+ armor save and a 3+ invulnerable. And Sicarius has Feel No Pain, so I gotta have that (we'll say that's 20 points or so). And he's gotta let my army outflank. So that's another 20 points. And he lets my army fleet. Another 20. And he lets me twin link, umm... something awesome. Like Lascannons, cuz we, umm, like them. And he lets Devastators count as scoring. And he gives everybody an additional attack.

See the problem? The same problem with traits. It's a lot easier to unbalance the game when you start adding on things to pimp your army. As much as people hate Vulcan, imagine if you could put that "twin-link fire stuff" ability on a guy with any equipment you wanted.

I don't use marine special characters. I generally prefer my own equipment layout to their rules. I want my bike captain to have a storm shield. Now, I've thought about bringing some, but I'd convert them first.

Heck, I thought about making some Legion of the Damned, since they don't have new models. I was thinking of equipping a squad with all storm shields, to represent the 3+ save, and possibly posing them halfway crouching to represent slow and purposeful. They'd be a special SWAT team of vets that would teleport in to save the day. Rule wise? LotD. It sounds like a lot of people don't like seeing Pedro Kantor painted up in 15 different colors. Eh. I think the same thing when I see the same generic Demon Prince. "Geez, that guy gets around." It's a great model, but c'mon, experiment a little. It's just the downside to cool unique models. People like them, and then they're not so unique.

The thing is, without Pedro Kantor, or the Salamanders guy, you'd just have... less options. I don't have any problem at all with there being more versatility in the marine book. You can still field very nasty armies without those guys, you know.

Snotteef
21-04-2009, 06:34
Massey, I think you are misunderstanding me. I don't want one guy who can combine all the options into one giant cheeseball. He can let me outflank OR he can let me use heavy flamers OR he can let me use terminators as troops, but never all three. Additionally, I don't want them to have the SC's PERSONAL characteristics (ala 5 toughness, master-crafted relic blade, adamantium cloak, etc) only to be able to have the same army changing options on a standard guy with standard, but limited equipment options.

That leaves room for SC's which are opponent's permission only to be put in the back of the codex and THAT is where you get the guy with high toughness, or the guy with adamantium cloak.

I just want to separate the options that let you customize your army from the SC's. That shouldn't be too hard to balance. It doesn't have to be as difficult as people are making it out.

Blackwolf
21-04-2009, 07:06
Massey, I think you are misunderstanding me. I don't want one guy who can combine all the options into one giant cheeseball. He can let me outflank OR he can let me use heavy flamers OR he can let me use terminators as troops, but never all three. Additionally, I don't want them to have the SC's PERSONAL characteristics (ala 5 toughness, master-crafted relic blade, adamantium cloak, etc) only to be able to have the same army changing options on a standard guy with standard, but limited equipment options.

That leaves room for SC's which are opponent's permission only to be put in the back of the codex and THAT is where you get the guy with high toughness, or the guy with adamantium cloak.

I just want to separate the options that let you customize your army from the SC's. That shouldn't be too hard to balance. It doesn't have to be as difficult as people are making it out.

Actually it is see previous versions of codex Chaos,Imperial Gaurd, Space Marines, Tyranids. Less options makes it a lot easier to balance things. As for veteran players I have been playing for 10+ years and most of my friends have been playing since RT and we like the way things are going GW gives us just enough to use some imagination but still have a fairly balanced game against other people.

the1stpip
21-04-2009, 07:36
.I used to have an issu with SCs, but these days, they are integral to army design.

I us Vulkan. Fact. I have started painting an entirely new Sallies army to accomodate him, I have background for him and the army (of all the SM SCs, he is the most likeliest to turn up in a smaller battle, its him and a small party looking for relics).

I don't tend to use the other, more powerful chars, but I hav faced them, and it doesn't bother me. Yes, I am sick of every Eldar army bing led of Ulthran, but surely that is GWs fault for making him too cheap for his abilities.

Be thankful you don't play War Machine. You HAVE to take a SC to play the game.

druchii
21-04-2009, 07:47
And the truth of the matter is, I did stop playing for a year; that's how much I dislike GW's current design trends, but I've been playing 40k for 17 years and I love the models and the background and the comraderie far too much to give it up for long. So I play; and I have fun, but not nearly as much as I used to.

Whether it was GW's intent to upset veteran players or not; they HAVE and they don't seem to care (which is almost as bad). I'm not saying ALL old-school players are upset, but a great deal of us are (a lot of my old buddies won't even touch the game anymore) and GW doesn't ever seem to address that. There was a time when companies appreciated their long-time customers, but that time (sadly) seems to have passed.

You might be right that Vulkan is balanced for the equipment he has and that a standard commander with ALL the options could easily enter ther realms of cheese, but it doesn't have to be that cut and dried. All I want is no name and a few basic options. Playtest it and leave out the options that are overpowered. There ARE other options than the one GW has chosen that can provide both balance and choice, but it seems like the people who are pro SC are unwilling to admit that.


First off: "old" nergame players (like roleplaying gamers, wargamer, etc) whine. A lot. A lot more than is becoming of older adults. Really, you won't touch the game because you don't like a few changes? Do you know what? I've played every single of warhammer 40k since it was called that. You know what? I can tell you that this is the best edition. Hands down. There are very few things broken or lame or cheesey or unbalanced about it. Not that any other edition of the game can boast that.

So forgive me if I don't shed a tear when GW ignores the grumpy old farts (hell, they make FUN of you in the dwarf codex!). I've seen my share of those guys around my LGSs (yeah, we're lucky to have like four around here that support living gaming communities), and really they're just spitting sour grapes.

The problem is the time involved balancing the things you've brought up. Could it be done? Sure. Is it a valuable investment of GWs time? No way! I can't for the life of me understand why people assume GW doesn't value its long time customers. Why the heck do you think Witch Hunters (namely Sisters) are still around? Why do you think armies like DA and BA get their own codexes? It's because there is a LONG LINE of people who have been playing those armies since the game because as iconic as it is.

Notice how the codexes released now are allowing you to take "old" unit choices that were previously invalidated? (seekers of slaanesh are a perfect example, hell, so are fiends!) That's cause all those grumpy old dudes moaned so much, and GW listened AND worked them into the new codexes!

Can you tell me how GW is "angering" their long term customers? I mean, are people really that hung up on a name?

Again: don't focus on the name of the character, that's why the whole "counts as" rule is neat! Do you turn your nose up at people who use the guard codex as counts as Skitari? I mean, they're already "named" Imperial Guard, that's rubbish they can be "used as" something else, totally! (that's internet sarcasm, sorry.)

I understand you want basic options and no name, but as I've said a trillion times before, that's why you get the Basic Commander. Basic Chapter Master. Basic Chaplain. Basic Librarian. Basic Master of the Forge. THOSE are your blank templates.

d

ps. Again, there are OTHER options, but they're subpar compared to what GW's already produced.

Born Again
21-04-2009, 09:28
I think characters of a certain level should be limited to 1500pts, like they were in 3rd. If your playing a 1k pt game, I can handle Boss Zagstruk, Telion, etc turning up. I'm not really buying Abaddon or Marneus showing up at little scraps like that.

genestealer_baldric
21-04-2009, 09:44
With the utter rubbish of the new marine codex of oh its not lysdander and calger they are just purple marines with the same stats, if you are going to have heros make them exclusivley for the right chapter. hell why not start mixing armys fully have abbdon riding a carnifex into battle and magar riding in on a manta.

i have no problems with special chacters but this modern trend of having various diffrent ones in the same army is just rubbish. so you run around with 2 speical chacters from diffrent chapters its silly but 2 from the same chapter i thinks ok.

RichBlake
21-04-2009, 10:35
As noted, actual *Herohammer* was back in 2nd Ed when your General took up half your total points and your entire army existed primarily to deliver your General into combat with your opponent's General. What we have now isn't even close...

Hey, that sounds like fun! :p

Poseidal
21-04-2009, 11:09
People say 2nd war bad but I really think 3rd war worse.

In 2nd, characters could only kill those in base contact with them each turn, and apart from a couple of exceptions like the Eversor, could easily get overwhelmed in combat too due to the way the rules were.

Arbedark
21-04-2009, 11:15
People say 2nd war bad but I really think 3rd war worse.

In 2nd, characters could only kill those in base contact with them each turn, and apart from a couple of exceptions like the Eversor, could easily get overwhelmed in combat too due to the way the rules were.

"Easily get overwhelmed in combat"?

What are you talking about?

In 2nd Edition you rolled for each individual combat seperately, with each model allowed it's full attacks each time. So a Bloodthirster in combat against say 10 Terminators would most likely end up with somewhere in the region of 4+ hits on EACH Terminator, and this is a low estimation. Then considering the way wounds and saves worked, it wasn't even funny.

Characters could work through every single model they were in base contact with in a turn, with ease.

catbarf
21-04-2009, 11:23
Arbedark, in 2nd Ed, unless your opponent is a *****, your uber-killy character can not kill more than one or two guys per turn- he can only kill enemies that are very close to him, so he's never going to recoup his cost. It's very easy to deploy your troops in a long line and then that character is stuck.

samiens
21-04-2009, 11:25
lol, the 2nd ed combat rules were subject to much misinterpretation-but Arbedark is right- I remember when Calagr vs 10 stealers was a joke (dead stealer anybody?). Frankly, I play a Deathwing variant and must take my Belial clone to make the army legal- frankly i'd rather have another character- he's useless! The point i guess is taht there is only one chapter master of the DA, or one chief blood angels librarian so naming them isn't so bad and their rules are no longer the hyper powered mess they used to be so I think its fine- the game really isn't about character's any more and those who herald the return of herohammer are quite possibly doing something wrong....

Sholto
21-04-2009, 11:28
It's not Herohammer. The special characters are not like they were when that term was coined, and are now largely a low-cost way of giving new options to the codex. Long may it continue (so long as none of them are unbalanced, but that is the same problem as units being unbalanced, and has nothing to do with any return of Herohammer)

Sholto

Arbedark
21-04-2009, 11:39
Arbedark, in 2nd Ed, unless your opponent is a *****, your uber-killy character can not kill more than one or two guys per turn- he can only kill enemies that are very close to him, so he's never going to recoup his cost. It's very easy to deploy your troops in a long line and then that character is stuck.

Indeed, assuming that you're also a *****. And charge your Bloodthirster into a mob of Gretchin or somesuch.

2nd Ed was a complete joke for melee.

Xelloss
21-04-2009, 11:41
No matter how much "count as" you can use, people will still call it ultramarine pedro kantor.

If special characters where from the beginning named with archetypal denomination (like "master of the fleet" and the other apocalyptic formation models), with as description the fluff of the corresponding named characters, it would have been ok.

Bunnahabhain
21-04-2009, 11:54
I have no problem with special characters existing, or being used in the game.

I do wish that GW had not made their way of altering the FOC, or giving units alternate deployment options, so they are ridiculously common though. They should not be the standard way of doing interesting things with your army.

The New Guards codex has carried on this trend wonderfully. Captin Al Rahem was an already established charcter in the background, and the 2nd ed codex. His outflanking platoon is a very powerful tool indeed, so will see a great deal of use.
This one officer is clearly the only one in the whole Imperium who has though that something other than a head long charge at the enemy is a good idea, so now all these flanking platoon are lead by a officer with a special power weapon.....

Creed will be used alot as the orders system makes him much more useful than a standard commander.

I would have far preferred that we had options like this, in the relevant sections:
Flanking platoon:
+ xpts. One platoon is sent on a flanking mission. It is placed in reserves, and MUST outflank.

Inspiring presence:
+xpts. Only one company commander may have this upgrade. The company commander is a veteran of several campaigns, and his troops have great faith that he will direct the battle well, and minimise their casualties.
He may issue up to 4 orders a turn, at ranges of up to 24".

Sholto
21-04-2009, 12:13
I think Creed's key benefit is his rule that lets one unit outflank. The flexibility this grants (different unit each game? No problem) is huge, although his order rules are hard to pass up on as well.

As for replacing characters with upgrades it would make no difference in practice, and would work just as well. However, GW don't sell models for upgrades ;)

Sholto

John Wayne II
21-04-2009, 12:33
As for replacing characters with upgrades it would make no difference in practice, and would work just as well. However, GW don't sell models for upgrades ;)

And herein, ladies and gentlemen, lies the rub of the matter. GW is a company that sells models. The rules it creates for its game systems are meant to emphasize this, not the other way round.

Case closed. ;)


The New Guards codex has carried on this trend wonderfully. Captin Al Rahem was an already established charcter in the background, and the 2nd ed codex. His outflanking platoon is a very powerful tool indeed, so will see a great deal of use.

I think if you use a little imagination you can fit in a few of the special characters given to us in the last few books. For example, Al Rahem can quite easily represent a Tallarn officer of your choice; after all, surely there's more than one guy with the same name in the whole of the Imperium? What's more, the fluff given to us about him in the IG codex actively encourages this use of creativity; it is implied there has been more than one Al Rahem in the 40K universe, so you could just as easily state in your army's background that your officer took a past Al Rahem as inspiration and so went on to do great deeds, etc etc. Makes as much sense as a time travelling human officer, anyway...

Xelloss
21-04-2009, 12:35
I would have far preferred that we had options like this, in the relevant sections:
Flanking platoon:
+ xpts. One platoon is sent on a flanking mission. It is placed in reserves, and MUST outflank.

Inspiring presence:
+xpts. Only one company commander may have this upgrade. The company commander is a veteran of several campaigns, and his troops have great faith that he will direct the battle well, and minimise their casualties.
He may issue up to 4 orders a turn, at ranges of up to 24".

I totally agree. But then GW couldn't "hammerfist their new minis" into our shop bag (really nice expression someone used previously)



Edit : seems I've been ninja'ed by the previous post

Lordmonkey
21-04-2009, 13:31
Hm. Thread went from "HeroHammer" to "Space Marine Special Characters Hammer" really quick, didn't it? :rolleyes:

I like the idea of lending chapter identity to your army. It's the implementation of it in the codex's (codii?) I can't agree with.

Good example: Vulkan

When you trade a global buff for a fixed amount of points it is immediately apparent that the buff does not scale. Does Vulkan's special rule grant the same benefit in a 1000pt game compared to a 2000pt game? No, because there are (probably) more flamers in a 2000pt army.

Why does Vulkan actually need to be on the table for the weapons to become better? Yes he's a master artificer. No, he isn't paranoid about his toys and doesn't follow his soldiers around the galaxy making sure they don't scratch the paintwork :eyebrows:

Why do the Raven Guard forget how to run quickly when Shrike isn't around?

I feel that the buff should have been such that in a chapter-specific force, certain weapons/units cost more but gain a benefit. Yes it's dirtier than simply purchasing one dude... but it's balanced.

Generally speaking however I dislike special characters because they tend to break the rules a lot. Too many exceptions. Ghazghull Thraka is overpowered and has defined a template for tournament cookie-cutter army lists... and apart from Nob Bike Deathstar lists there doesn't seem to be much else out there that can compete.

So much for original ideas in a competitive environment...

Chaos and Evil
21-04-2009, 13:46
Special Characters are appealing to kids, and kids aged 11-14 are GW's core market.

Thus we get more of 'em.

massey
21-04-2009, 14:18
Hey, that sounds like fun! :p

Oh, it was. :)


No matter how much "count as" you can use, people will still call it ultramarine pedro kantor.

If special characters where from the beginning named with archetypal denomination (like "master of the fleet" and the other apocalyptic formation models), with as description the fluff of the corresponding named characters, it would have been ok.

It still is okay. How is someone taking Pedro Kantor in a 1000 pt Ultramarines army any less fluffy than them bringing 2 Chapter Masters, both painted up in Ultramarines colors, in a 1000 pt army (especially given that we know Calgar is the Ultramarine Chapter Master).

It could be any number of things. The SM book mentions some guy who is the 1st company Captain (and how he's irritated that Sicarius is more popular). So can you use Pedro for him? Sure. Or maybe the Ultramarines are on deployment, and like Scooby Doo meeting up with the Harlem Globetrotters, "Hey look! It's Pedro Kantor, our old friend from the Crimson Fists!" "Hey gang, my Chapter got killed again. Can I hang out with you? Let's go check out this old abandoned amusement park."


lol, the 2nd ed combat rules were subject to much misinterpretation-but Arbedark is right- I remember when Calagr vs 10 stealers was a joke (dead stealer anybody?). Frankly, I play a Deathwing variant and must take my Belial clone to make the army legal- frankly i'd rather have another character- he's useless!

Just to note, the name "Belial" translates as "worthless". :) Seriously.


I totally agree. But then GW couldn't "hammerfist their new minis" into our shop bag (really nice expression someone used previously)


Aw, gee, the miniature company wants to sell profitable miniatures. Shame on them.

As I said, I haven't used any of the new characters (though I've got some perfectly nice Blood Anel characters sitting in the case). While they help you specialize, they also limit your tactical flexibility. It's nice to have TL meltas, but it also means you're probably not taking a lot of Assault Cannons or Plasma weapons. I'm perfectly competitive without using those guys.

Murrithius
21-04-2009, 14:29
Or maybe the Ultramarines are on deployment, and like Scooby Doo meeting up with the Harlem Globetrotters, "Hey look! It's Pedro Kantor, our old friend from the Crimson Fists!" "Hey gang, my Chapter got killed again. Can I hang out with you? Let's go check out this old abandoned amusement park."



Oh, so that explains the composition of the SM Spearhead box...:p

SPYDER68
21-04-2009, 14:34
If people even think that 40k taking a character is even close to herohammer like fantasy..

all i can say is.... thats sad...lrn2play lol.


Vulkan and Eldrad are the only one's that can effect the entire game, rest can go down to mass fire or insta killed, or beat by base HQ's with proper wargear.

self biased
21-04-2009, 14:34
i have quite a few posts that i'd like to respond to, so bear with me.


"special characters" are a must for certain armies.. I think a lot fail to realize that the special characters are meant to replace former generic characters that could be made

Need to stop the narrow minded view of special characters

named characters are indeed a must for deathwing, ravenwing, and most dark eldar armies. i agree that much could be rolled into generic characters that fulfill the same roll (allowing terminators as troops, etc). i also agree that there's quite a bit of whining about special characters in general, and i'm just as guilty as the next person for doing it.


Eldrad is annoying as hell, with him spreading fortune all over the place (and every Eldar player in my area takes him), but thats about it.

this is indicative of the problem that the choice is a 'no brainer,' much like chaplain lemartes. why on earth would anyone use the garden variety chaplain when lemartes is only a few more points, and provides an exceptional amount of bang for the buck?


Anyway, if the Codices had been written better, it wouldn't even be an issue.

QFT.


To be fair: Belial (lol I called him Baal before...sorry!) can have just about any combination of gear a normal commander in terminator armor could have, so you've got no point there.

Oh, and you're assuming you "whom cannot stand SCs" should be listened to, which I've been arguing you should not. I don't mean to sound snotty, but just because you don't like "set" characters (when most characters are pretty "set" already) doesn't mean they shouldn't exist.

i agree with your point, belial is just about as generic as his station allows. in my mind, the way the Dark Angels codex is laid out in regards to belial and sammael, is that it works because there's only one company commander that runs around in terminator armor, there's only one company commander that rides a bike (or a reasonable facsimile thereof). it works because it's contained within a single chapter. where the strange stuff comes in is when ideas get cross pollinated from multiple chapters; eg. shrike and calgar.


Shrike is intentionally balanced so that he may NOT ride in a land raider with terminators!

and thank god for that, although he is pretty... undercosted for what he does. first turn charges should only be available to the person going second, and only if the first player advances.


For those of you who haven't watched Barney...

Believe in the power of imagination! Counts-as is your friend! Just because a special character has a certain name and background doesn't mean you can't represent them with a different model and background.

Special characters are currently better ways to modify lists than the old traits/doctrine systems were, and require a minimum investment of imagination to get around the "but I dont wanna use an established characterr" problem

you have a point, and i agree with it. i find it sad though, that a ravenwing army can be better represented with the space marine codex, rather than the dark angels codex. the ravenwing have been reduced to a delivery system for the deathwing.


I think characters of a certain level should be limited to 1500pts, like they were in 3rd. If your playing a 1k pt game, I can handle Boss Zagstruk, Telion, etc turning up. I'm not really buying Abaddon or Marneus showing up at little scraps like that.

i wholly agree with this. i often wonder if Vulkan goes to every birthday party and backyard barbecue he's invited to. i'd take it one step further, which i'll get to later.


I understand you want basic options and no name, but as I've said a trillion times before, that's why you get the Basic Commander. Basic Chapter Master. Basic Chaplain. Basic Librarian. Basic Master of the Forge. THOSE are your blank templates.

i think the problem is that most of the named characters are viewed as superior to the 'build-your-own' characters. they all have some nifty additional ability or two, and while expensive, still pack a punch for their cost. shrike would be useful at twice the cost. not wholly for the model specifically, but for how he alters the rest of his army.

ask yourself: how big are the games of 40k do i play? my own group tends to top out at about 2500 on special occaisions with 1850 and 1000 being common. for marines, you're looking at a little more than a platoon's worth of marines with support (led by a lieutenant). a guard army might see a full company at 2500 (led by a captain). is it appropriate for these armies of this size to be personally led by the general? i am fully aware that i'm mixing metaphors a bit, but warhammer 40k has its roots in Napoleonic style wargaming, so the ideas fit, however not well.

personally, i'd like to see all these special characters get the royal treatment. three to four hundred points each, wacky abilities, killer wargear &c.. the kicker would be that they'd be meant for use with apocalypse, used immense battles where the true and heroic nature of these characters cab truly come to light.

captainramoz
21-04-2009, 14:36
Each new codex seems to bring about a new proliferation of character use. Bl

You never see a Blood Angel list without one. Most marine armies have them and often mix and match between the bigger chapters. I've seen many Vulkan's in blue armies and so forth. Now guard. Every new list and battle report I see has a character or more! 1850pt battles with both Creed and Al Rahem?

What is your/your clubs general policy on character use? Should they be limited to certain point levels? Do you use them yourself or even like playing with/against them?

Myself? Anything short of apocalypse I really dislike it. Putting a single character on the table to completely change the game and rules for your army seems, to me, to go against the spirit of the game, not to mention fluff. Yes, yes, your small fight is part of a larger war going on. I get that. But wouldn't these characters not be in the thick of it but rather surrounded in the back by a ton of trusted advisors and bodyguards? Would Creed really be battling it out on the front line surrounded by only a couple guys?

I dunno. I am not too keen on it but will rarely complain when someone else plays one. Hell, the reason for my post is because I can't see to do so without characters.

I'd just like to hear everyone else's thoughts on the return of Herohammer.

And yes, its just as bad in Fantasy.
First if u don´t use them you shouldn´t care
them they are made to be used actually
Consider their point cost from 150 and beyond(except guard and some new sergeant caracthers) Are u really going to spend 10%(or more in some cases)
of your army point cost in a single mini:eyebrows:.
If you have a problem use lascanons at least it works for me:D
Then they are made of AWSOME AND WIN sometimes you have to admit that:D

Snotteef
21-04-2009, 14:40
First off: "old" nergame players (like roleplaying gamers, wargamer, etc) whine. A lot. A lot more than is becoming of older adults. Really, you won't touch the game because you don't like a few changes? Do you know what? I've played every single of warhammer 40k since it was called that. You know what? I can tell you that this is the best edition. Hands down. There are very few things broken or lame or cheesey or unbalanced about it. Not that any other edition of the game can boast that.

So forgive me if I don't shed a tear when GW ignores the grumpy old farts (hell, they make FUN of you in the dwarf codex!). I've seen my share of those guys around my LGSs (yeah, we're lucky to have like four around here that support living gaming communities), and really they're just spitting sour grapes.

The problem is the time involved balancing the things you've brought up. Could it be done? Sure. Is it a valuable investment of GWs time? No way! I can't for the life of me understand why people assume GW doesn't value its long time customers. Why the heck do you think Witch Hunters (namely Sisters) are still around? Why do you think armies like DA and BA get their own codexes? It's because there is a LONG LINE of people who have been playing those armies since the game because as iconic as it is.

Notice how the codexes released now are allowing you to take "old" unit choices that were previously invalidated? (seekers of slaanesh are a perfect example, hell, so are fiends!) That's cause all those grumpy old dudes moaned so much, and GW listened AND worked them into the new codexes!



First of all, many of your statements in this post were simply rude. There is no need to call people names (grumpy old fart?).

Second, I've also played every edition of this game and I can tell you that it is NOT the best edition ever. That is a matter of opinion.

Third there is NOTHING wrong with disliking GW's current design philosophy, nor is there anything wrong with complaining about it. In fact, according to you, complaining about it just MIGHT get GW to change it for me, since you claim these kind of complaints have effected change in the past.

Let's be civil. I never made any rude remarks, nor did I claim that those who like the GW design philosophy were fanboys or any other such malarky, yet you see fit to call those who disagree with you "old farts, whiners, and spitters of sour grapes." It's a discussion, not a forum for name-calling.

BuFFo
21-04-2009, 14:50
I'd just like to hear everyone else's thoughts on the return of Herohammer.

I don't think you are using the term 'Herohammer' correctly in your initial post.

At least, my idea of Herohammer is far different than yours.

Herohammer, to me, since I have been playing the game for 20+ years, means only one thing; 2nd edition. For me, Herohammer is a term used for 2nd edition because your HQ easily dominated games by itself. You could have a sister of battle Canoness, or a Hive Tyrant, or Space Wolf HQ model, by itself, destroy entire armies. No exaggeration. This is Herohammer.

Your version of Herohammer, to me, makes no sense. And why?

Instead of taking a special character, what else do people tend to do? Max out wargear/options, essentially creating identical HQ choices across the board anyway.

To me, there is ZERO difference between taking a DE Lord with the same 4 items or Lelith.

And lets be honest here, about IG heroes; they do not win game by themselves at all. Shove Creed in the middle of the battlefield and hes toast. That is no Hero. That is rather pathetic. Like a regular guardsman should be.

To me, generic 'lash whips and Ork Biker Nobs' are far worse than any 'herohammer' you can currently cook up.

Frontier
21-04-2009, 14:52
Hm. Thread went from "HeroHammer" to "Space Marine Special Characters Hammer" really quick, didn't it? :rolleyes:

Exactly. I stopped taking anyone seriously the moment they brought up marines. THAT is the problem for most of them. The Marine characters. Wait till the Guard codex really gets going people. You want something to bitch about then? Or how about the next codex after Guard. Are characters going to be too powerful then? Jeebus! Stop with the complaining about marines already. They don't break the damn game.

Hellgore
21-04-2009, 15:05
I agree with most of the points above, all qutie valid and thought out. Excellent.

Transcending rules, what about fluff and spirit? It IS quite disappointing, as one poster said, to have blue Vulkan fighting yellow Vulkan.

The whole story is the Salamanders live on an inhospitable lavatype world. Being better at using those type weapons kinda makes sense. It's when Ultramarine Vulkan or Imperial Fist Marneus Calgar or Crimson Fist Lysander start flying around that I get bothered. To me it's especially bad when it's an established, story heavy existing chapter using another equal status chapter's characters.

Basically, by Herohammer I meant HAVING to take characters nowadays. It seems a must. You see it in list critiques and everywhere.

Can't say I agree to that. I have a working um-list with no special character except Telion because he's cool. It would work even without him, he's definitely no "must". And so I think it is with all the other lists. The only exception I see is Belial and that just because of that rule change in 5th concerning troops.
I also play against more lists without SC than with.

I liked playing SCs already since 3rd but then my UM-SCs were rather crap. Now they make sense to take, and after putting some hard work in painting them I want to take em if I like.

I'd even rather call it powergaming, if anybody could first design his captain/chaplain/librarian by his wishes and then afterwards add some special rules like GoW or the Vulkan-specialty.
Of course, Tigurius would be much harder with an inv. save and mastercrafted armor. But he doesn't have em, so it's a risk taking him.

I can see the point with yellow Vulkan against blue Vulkan. But I still believe, that anybody can make up good fluff to justify his version of this or that SC, including their equipment. But I don't see "herohammer" anywhere.

totgeboren
21-04-2009, 15:30
Count-as?
I have never likes special characters, not even now, but some of them have quite interesting rules.

For example, Chenkov in the new guard codex. He is not a powerful character at all, but he allows you access to a fun rule.

I think I will use his rules for a specially converted model I own. That model will always use his rules, and have the same gear, but he has a different name, and different fluff.

I don't use the special character, but I use his rules. Works well enough for me.

Though, I don´t think I would even use one of the "über-powerful" special characters like Abbadon, Calgar, Gahzkull or Eldrad.

But I use Kaptin Badrukk (mine is called Kaptin Badrum) for my flash gits for example, and when you make up your own fluff, it doesn't feel like you are cheating anymore. :)

Threeshades
21-04-2009, 15:31
Thanks for being rational.

Somehow I don't buy that suddenly bog standard characters are somehow sub-par compared to special characters.

I'd rather have my commander on a bike than Khan anyday!

Sure, make up your own characters (Hell, my space wolves Wolf Lord has a matched pair of frost blades that he made after yanking them out of an Ice Dragon's mouth!)-but like all "stories" he has to be represented in the RULES of the game accordingly. Should my Wolf Lord be t5 because he was horribly scarred by the Dragon's breath weapon? Yea. Absolutely, but that's not how the GAME RULES work.

40k is not DND (and it doesn't even work that way in rulebook DND either!). Make up your characters, cool! Then use your standard commander or chapter master template. Oh, your chapter really likes fire? But your captain actually runs around with a sword and shield, but you STILL want the benefits of vulkan? Well, model him with a shield and sword and use vulkan's rules!

You're telling me you put ALL this thought into your character's story, but can't rationalize why he'd use a special character's stats? Forgive me if I don't believe you.

d


I don't want to be forced to take a 200+ point character to get my chapter to really like fire.

I do not want this said character to have the wargear he's been already given.

I do not want this said character to use the exact template he's been given.

I want my character to be 'me', why can't my chapter be classified as pyromaniacs and have 'me' with a lightning claw for example? Or even forgo 'me' completely without my comrades suddenly losing their fiery mindset. And have a small skirmish somewhere else while 'I'm' busy fighting elsewhere.

The way it's designed is you're forced to take an expensive model with a concrete and rigid set of rules with no room for customization in order to represent an entire chapter's way of fighting. And from my standpoint that's not how it should be. I'd rather have doctrines with MEANINGFUL disadvantages rather than have a specific set of rules shoved down my throat.

There is truth in both of these. It's lame that an army has to take a certain character in order to be played according to its intended fluff.
It would be better to have each special character's "force organization" listed separately from them and let the player choose one. And then I think it would be a good idea to reduce the choice of special characters if a player chooses a certain "force organization/trait", for example Calgar has no business in a Biker army.

Aside from the changes to the FOC i think special characters are a nice addition, though I would use most of them rather to represent my own character because I like a certain character's equipment better, or because it is what I imagine my character to be armed like.
For example, I don't want tu use wazzdakka, but I have a guncrazed biker boss in mind for my ork kommander, so why not use wazzdakka's rules.

So all they should change is taking force organization changes off special characters and make them choosable separately.

KazenX
21-04-2009, 15:52
I fail to see the comparison with fantasy, fantasy is supposed to have epic characters as in keeping with the tradition of the genre. 40k now has, with few exceptions, characters that exist within the scope of their army norm. If anything the old way of piling relics, medals, and all of master crafted items that mars could produce (coupled with rules that let these death machines bounce from one assault to the next) was far more "herohammer" than we have today with explicit instructions count as if a particular naming convention or paint scheme is not to your liking.

Also 2nd ed was far worse, 3rd ed was better but worse than 4th ( the prior incarnations gazkull and abaddon just to name a few) and now 5th seems to be striking a decent balance.

Somerandomidiot
21-04-2009, 15:54
Good lord, another one of these? As someone who doesn't usually use special characters (I play Daemonhunters and Elysian Guard... who exactly would I use?) I find it absolutely silly that some of you have this stick up your rear regarding them.

If I ever chose to run Brother-Captain Stern in my Grey Knights, would you have a problem with it? Or perhaps Inquisitor Cortez? Do you even know the rules for them? I sincerely doubt it (and I'd be surprised if any of my opponents even realized Stern was a special character, if I didn't point out his special model). For almost all of you, it's not the fact that they're "special characters" that bothers you- it's the fact that they're good. Just admit it, I promise it'll feel better.

It's no surprise that every time a thread like this pops up, the specific characters mentioned are ones like Vulkan, Shrike, Eldrad, etc. You're all tired of seeing Eldrad in every Eldar army, Vulkan in every marine army (even when the rest of the army makes no sense for him), Shrike leading terminators not jump marines, and that's perfectly fine. But you're fooling yourselves if you think the problem is special characters in general.

Cane
21-04-2009, 15:56
I didn't like special characters because I started in third edition where SC's had to be agreed by players to use, which was never for my gaming group.

Now that they can be used freely I can see how it could present fluff inconsistencies but seriously who cares? Fluff is fluff, its not in stone and SC's are fun additions to an army. I can't wait to use the new Sly Marbo. And for fluff nutters, just pretend that the SC is just another heroic character since in this universe where a billion humans would be readily sacrificed and replaced; heroes are a dime a dozen!

Durath
21-04-2009, 16:58
Herohammer is not back. Herohammer in 2nd was all about obscene, expensive characters running around the board as one-man armies and ruining stuff.

I personally like the new IC upgrades, especially the non-HQ ones. It adds a lot of flavour and variety to a codex, especially the new Imperial Guard characters.

I agree and disagree with this. Please bear in mind, this is just opinion.

You are correct in saying that the current Codecies do not have over the top unbeatable characters which wipe out armies single handedly like in 2nd edition.

However, in the current line-up there does seem to be a built-in advantage to use certain special characters in tournament settings.

For example, Eldrad. He really is a no-brainer for Eldar players. I can't count the number of times I've fought against him.

As someone else pointed out, Vulkan seems to be increasingly present.

The motivation is the problem. If people were bringing these special characters because they strongly felt passionate about their model or fluff, it would make sense.

But GW has created many characters that are TOO effective for their points(perhaps over-powered), which drives people to bring them. Why put in a Farseer when I can bring a much better version (Eldrad) for not a whole lot more points. Not that I am trying to pick on Eldrad mind you... every Codex has a "wow" special character in there.

This then means unless you have the better rules for the special character of the month, then you are going to play at a disadvantage. Eventually you wind up fighting the same character against one another. This not only doesn't make sense, but also means they aren't "special" anymore... they are generic.

So in that regard, we indeed do have a scaled down "Herohammer" of sorts.

Personally, I feel special characters should be restricted from tournament play. Part of playing 40k, in my mind, is the metagame of creating an army. Players should create HQ units which mirror their army traits, or bolster them in some way. Building an army around special characters just cheapens their uniqueness.

Orwin
21-04-2009, 17:04
Count-as is my friend?

Will someone mind if i count-as the current Chaos Codex with the last one, since i like it more because of the demon bombs?

Will anyone mind if i take the points needed to field Calgar and create a new character using the armoury system and still keep Calgar's special rules?

I think counting as is not as friendly as it seems, despite my absurd examples. Really, if count-as was so friendly, 40K would be a system that would be commonly played with models from various ranges other than GW's, we would see many more home-made rules and even more, those would be more accepted in the playing community.

I myself believe that many of the "you must follow this because you may play somebody who never played you and having an equivalent ruleset of a model he already knows" leads to more unnecessary streamlining the game should need.

But the worst it not having a single statement from the designers saying: hey, we did this because we felt like Y. Instead, one can clearly notice that, despite they're following a direction, the books themselves change as much as their author in terms of rules settings and GW is always trying a new way to fix the game rules (Armouries, Doctrines, Traits, Special Characters) and never seems to get satisfied or set something. All this at the expense of our sanity, of course :D

Blackwolf
21-04-2009, 17:14
Count-as is my friend?

Will someone mind if i count-as the current Chaos Codex with the last one, since i like it more because of the demon bombs?

Will anyone mind if i take the points needed to field Calgar and create a new character using the armoury system and still keep Calgar's special rules?

I think counting as is not as friendly as it seems, despite my absurd examples. Really, if count-as was so friendly, 40K would be a system that would be commonly played with models from various ranges other than GW's, we would see many more home-made rules and even more, those would be more accepted in the playing community.

I myself believe that many of the "you must follow this because you may play somebody who never played you and having an equivalent ruleset of a model he already knows" leads to more unnecessary streamlining the game should need.

But the worst it not having a single statement from the designers saying: hey, we did this because we felt like Y. Instead, one can clearly notice that, despite they're following a direction, the books themselves change as much as their author in terms of rules settings and GW is always trying a new way to fix the game rules (Armouries, Doctrines, Traits, Special Characters) and never seems to get satisfied or set something. All this at the expense of our sanity, of course :D


Neither one of your examples has anything to do with counts as.

Orwin
21-04-2009, 17:16
Count-as: to field something that in the place of another, in most of the cases using that other thing's rules.

Doubts?

starlight
21-04-2009, 17:28
So how about players who have only ever (15ish years now) played Salamander Successor Marines, even when they were I3 and considered the *weakest* Marines...? I actually think it's a bit sad to see the Vulkan bandwagon, but maybe sales will lead to more toys, so I'll deal... ;)

I'll use Belial and Sammael because I have to in order to field the 'Wings, but they're renamed and repainted... Otherwise I only use Named Characters (we don't actually have *Special* characters anymore:p) when required to field a given list.

How about players who *stopped* using Boss Zagstruk because he isn't as cool as his old rules...? Interesting model, but I liked the old rules better...more *Orky*. :)

Overall...I just keep building and gaming because it's all about having fun. :) When it stops being fun...I'll pack it in and find something else to do... :)

massey
21-04-2009, 17:30
I agree and disagree with this. Please bear in mind, this is just opinion.

You are correct in saying that the current Codecies do not have over the top unbeatable characters which wipe out armies single handedly like in 2nd edition.

However, in the current line-up there does seem to be a built-in advantage to use certain special characters in tournament settings.

For example, Eldrad. He really is a no-brainer for Eldar players. I can't count the number of times I've fought against him.

As someone else pointed out, Vulkan seems to be increasingly present.

The motivation is the problem. If people were bringing these special characters because they strongly felt passionate about their model or fluff, it would make sense.

But GW has created many characters that are TOO effective for their points(perhaps over-powered), which drives people to bring them. Why put in a Farseer when I can bring a much better version (Eldrad) for not a whole lot more points. Not that I am trying to pick on Eldrad mind you... every Codex has a "wow" special character in there.

This then means unless you have the better rules for the special character of the month, then you are going to play at a disadvantage. Eventually you wind up fighting the same character against one another. This not only doesn't make sense, but also means they aren't "special" anymore... they are generic.

So in that regard, we indeed do have a scaled down "Herohammer" of sorts.

Personally, I feel special characters should be restricted from tournament play. Part of playing 40k, in my mind, is the metagame of creating an army. Players should create HQ units which mirror their army traits, or bolster them in some way. Building an army around special characters just cheapens their uniqueness.

Maybe people take Eldrad because the regular Farseer isn't that good.

The problem is, Eldrad is your uber-Farseer. If you want one with all the fixin's, a Farseer becomes too expensive for what he does. Why spend an extra 20 points or so on Eldricht Storm if you're only going to Guide and Fortune all day? If you really add up a pimped out Farseer, he's not worth it. That's why Eldrad is better for his points.

But he's not an automatic include. You'll never see him in a seer council. Because he can't take a bike. And he's a waste if you want to just use him to babysit some Wraithlords (i.e., Mindwar the Power Fists).


Count-as is my friend?

Will someone mind if i count-as the current Chaos Codex with the last one, since i like it more because of the demon bombs?

Will anyone mind if i take the points needed to field Calgar and create a new character using the armoury system and still keep Calgar's special rules?

I think counting as is not as friendly as it seems, despite my absurd examples. Really, if count-as was so friendly, 40K would be a system that would be commonly played with models from various ranges other than GW's, we would see many more home-made rules and even more, those would be more accepted in the playing community.

I myself believe that many of the "you must follow this because you may play somebody who never played you and having an equivalent ruleset of a model he already knows" leads to more unnecessary streamlining the game should need.


That's NOT counts-as. Counts-as isn't "I make up my own rules". Counts-as is "I use the existing rules and change the models to my liking (while still being clear to my opponent what I'm using)". So Abaddon becomes Lord Herod the Vile. You model him as some huge monstrosity with big mutated claws. And you say "yeah, I use Abaddon's rules".

Tzeentch2003
21-04-2009, 17:37
Count-as: to field something that in the place of another, in most of the cases using that other thing's rules.

Doubts?

Lots of them. Count-as allows you to field a miniature of your choice using a set of rules that are valid for your army. Both of the examples you gave involve rules that are not valid. This is open and shut.

Characters are far, far less dominant in 5th edition than they have been in some previous editions. Certain special characters in 5th edition are probably too cheap for what they do (Eldrad and Vulkan leap to mind), but that is a far cry from things like the Shield Bug and Unstoppable Librarian of Doom that dominated 2nd.

Every single game system of which I am aware that has included some kind of advantage/disadvantage system ends up being min-maxed within an inch of its life. Chapter traits, doctrines, merits/flaws, edges/hindrances, whatever name you give it people will identify advantages or pairs of advantages that are too good for their point costs and meaningless disadvantages.

Every. Time.

Is the special character system a slightly clunky way of implementing army differences? Absolutely. Does it work better than most of the alternatives they have tried, outside of a codex for every single army variation possible? Again, absolutely.

Arcadian
21-04-2009, 17:41
I use Belial and Sammie in my DA list so that I can Doublewing.. as they are required to do so and play that army in its particular style. When playng my eldar I have never taken a Special Character, as none of those listed really fit what I envision the fluff for my Eldar to be.

Poseidal
21-04-2009, 18:16
"Easily get overwhelmed in combat"?

What are you talking about?

Characters could work through every single model they were in base contact with in a turn, with ease.

In 2nd If a character is outnumbered in combat, the opponents get +1 result and +1 attack dice to use for each combat that characters have been through.

The Eversor got bonuses that allowed him to circumvent it, but for everyone else get into combat with enough guys and you're facing a big problem, especially if your WS wasn't much better than theirs.

And every single model in Base to Base for a character size one was about 3 in a good scenario. Kill them all and you get your follow up move, which you can move 2" and engage others in the unit, but the combat is not done until the next turn.

The main exceptions were things with truly large stats, like Bloodthirsters and Avatars who had high toughness so were hard to wound, and had lots of wounds to boot. But even these had to rely on fear breaking the enemy.

In 3rd edition, a single character could win a combat and sweep an entire unit. There was no sweeping in 2nd.

3rd edition was Herohammer, not 2nd. Look at beyond the über stats in 2nd edition and look at the rules.

starlight
21-04-2009, 18:22
In 3rd, a single Grot could sweep an entire unit, so there was nothing specific to characters... :p

druchii
21-04-2009, 19:20
First of all, many of your statements in this post were simply rude. There is no need to call people names (grumpy old fart?).

Second, I've also played every edition of this game and I can tell you that it is NOT the best edition ever. That is a matter of opinion.

Third there is NOTHING wrong with disliking GW's current design philosophy, nor is there anything wrong with complaining about it. In fact, according to you, complaining about it just MIGHT get GW to change it for me, since you claim these kind of complaints have effected change in the past.

Let's be civil. I never made any rude remarks, nor did I claim that those who like the GW design philosophy were fanboys or any other such malarky, yet you see fit to call those who disagree with you "old farts, whiners, and spitters of sour grapes." It's a discussion, not a forum for name-calling.

Calling the color red, red is not rude. Unless you inherently think something is wrong with the color red (which there isn't. Red is nice.).

And to be honest, from the few arguments I've seen, people are whining. I've heard "I don't like special characters!" and I've heard "They could have done it differently!" Both of which I've addressed in my previous posts, and both of which have either been ignored, or cleverly skirted.

Let make this clear: You MAY dislike what GW is doing, but for me or the majority of people to care you have to give concrete examples and reasons why. The whole "I've been playing forever hur hur and GW doesn't respect us!" argument is weak.

Sure, this edition being better than other editions is opinion, but it's the prevailing opinion. And yeah, in a game that appeals to a population of people majority matters. I've played second, third and fourth. They were terrible, awful games that were wastes of my time. I've not met a single person who has played each edition with a decent amount of game time, that has NOT called this edition the best, most balanced (least lame if you like).

A smarter man than I once said that dissent is the highest form of patriorism. I believe him. But he also said that with that dissent must come intelligent, supported thought.

Complaining does not fix anything. GW is very smart and ignores the complainers (sometimes for the wrong reasons, why do you think they issued that RAW IS RAW DEAL WITH IT! statement? so they don't have to deal with complainers) but they do create books and models for those "old school" gamers which apparently they ignore.

I'll ask again: Why do your old grumpy farty buddies dislike the new edition? Solely because of named characters being more accessable?

Why do you think this edition is not the best? Because of the supposed Herohammer?

d

ps. When I said YOU I didn't mean specifically you, I can see how that was confusing, and I apologize.

Durath
21-04-2009, 22:09
Maybe people take Eldrad because the regular Farseer isn't that good.

The problem is, Eldrad is your uber-Farseer. If you want one with all the fixin's, a Farseer becomes too expensive for what he does. Why spend an extra 20 points or so on Eldricht Storm if you're only going to Guide and Fortune all day? If you really add up a pimped out Farseer, he's not worth it. That's why Eldrad is better for his points.

You've gone into the mechanics of why is he better. Honestly I hadn't done the math, only been told he is better by Eldar players.

And this is pretty much evidence of what I meant. Custom built characters are usually not as cost effective (or lack must-have special rules), and are somewhat discouraged in the light of the special characters out there in the new regime of Codex.


But he's not an automatic include. You'll never see him in a seer council. Because he can't take a bike.

Well, that's if you want a Seer Council on bikes. I've seen him with Councils before not on bikes. In fact, wasn't the first "Seer Council" an Eldrad-only entry from the Eye of Terror campaign rulebook?

Poseidal
21-04-2009, 22:14
You've gone into the mechanics of why is he better. Honestly I hadn't done the math, only been told he is better by Eldar players.

And this is pretty much evidence of what I meant. Custom built characters are usually not as cost effective (or lack must-have special rules), and are somewhat discouraged in the light of the special characters out there in the new regime of Codex.
He's better because he's the only Farseer that can cast 3 spells a turn and knows all the spells. Buying all the spells is expensive, and you're limited to two casts a turn anyway so it's usually not worth doing.

So it's either a Budget Seer (Seer with just Doom and maybe Runes of Warding), Fortune/Doom Seer (same as before, but with Spirit Stones) or if you want more, it might as well be Eldrad. If you're on bikes, Eldrad is out of the question too.




Well, that's if you want a Seer Council on bikes. I've seen him with Councils before not on bikes. In fact, wasn't the first "Seer Council" an Eldrad-only entry from the Eye of Terror campaign rulebook?

The Bike Council is generally regarded as the 'problem' council. The 'Seer Council' was coined in Kraftworld Eldar, but the unit is more like the Warlock retinue from the vanilla 3rd edition Codex.

Durath
21-04-2009, 22:42
He's better because he's the only Farseer that can cast 3 spells a turn and knows all the spells. Buying all the spells is expensive, and you're limited to two casts a turn anyway so it's usually not worth doing.

So it's either a Budget Seer (Seer with just Doom and maybe Runes of Warding), Fortune/Doom Seer (same as before, but with Spirit Stones) or if you want more, it might as well be Eldrad. If you're on bikes, Eldrad is out of the question too.

Just to clarify, I never implied taking him was Automatic. I've seen Eldar running tandem Autarchs (this isn't that common though).

But I've been told that he is a better buy. You're first statement seems to back this up too. And my experiences match that too, I've seen far less custom Farseers than Eldrads.

Thus the question you have to ask about special characters is this "Is he/she/it a better value for the points than a character I can build?"

The answer is based not just on raw wargear, but special rules too.

To me, it seems like every codex has one or more characters that is a "yes" to that question.

Ronin_eX
21-04-2009, 23:10
lol, the 2nd ed combat rules were subject to much misinterpretation-but Arbedark is right- I remember when Calagr vs 10 stealers was a joke (dead stealer anybody?).

Yes they certainly were. :p

I'd first have to wonder what kind of player would let his M6 stealers get held up in combat against something he didn't want to assault. But leaving that alone and assuming Calgar engaged them, well good for Calgar he is now stuck killing maybe one or two a turn. By the end of the game the only way that squad will be dead is if he had a squad with him, but if that's the case the stealers will make sure that squad doesn't last long (WS6 S6 amour mod -3 and about four attacks means they were monsters against normal troops).

Sure Calgar wouldn't likely die but he wouldn't be much use hacking through a squad of stealers for 3-4 turns. Any 2nd Edition player would know not to attempt to gang up on him either (a viable tactic for elite melee troops in 2nd, especially stealers) because his special rules prevented him from taking negatives due to outnumbering.

Hell even a large based model like a Bloodthirster can be strung out against troops. Sure he may distrupt plans but for the amount players paid for him there were better tools for the job. Not to mention with multi-wound dealing heavy weapons being quite common there were a great many chances to kill him (overwatch anyone).

I'd say the creation of engagement ranges in close combat and the way morale has worked out in combat has made characters much more killy than they were and thus made them much more of a presence on the table top in combat.

In every game of 2nd Edition I've played (and mind you I still play it regularly and am not relying on half-remembered games nearly a decade old ;)) the character has had more use as a morale booster and support unit with some tricks up their sleeve than an all-conquering army killer. Let's look at a kill count from my last game!

Master of the Deathwing - 2 Nob Bikers (including one with a gunner on it)
Techmarine - Nothing
Brother Bethor (a special character on noez!) - Nothing
Dreadnought - 1 Nob Biker, 2 Crew and damaged several bikes

Devastator Squad - 9 Nob Bikers
Deathwing Squad - 30 Goff Boyz
Scout Squad - 3 Stormboyz (the other 3 met the end at the hands of their own jump packs) and a Big Boss

Hmm and what did Ghazkgul Mag Uruk Thraka do? Became invincible to damage for a turn, killed nothing and was blinded and ignored on the last turn of the game. Wow, hero-hammer abounds! ;)

So my answer to the OP is: It left?

Characters have been much deadlier in 3rd Edition and on and their price has come down. Sure they have less options but what options they get tend to be better overall. Hell back in my day an normal marine got a save against a power weapon! No everything worth its salt in combat seems to ignore armour and people are up in arms when a character is without his precious power weapon (alas poor Tycho).

Characters in the current editions are perfectly capable of killing entire squads on their own via direct kills and then morale. That kind of thing is unheard of in 2nd Edition. Even if a character causes a squad to run he only gets a free attack against units that are in base to base with them. If he wants to run them down then he is still stuck chasing each one down and killing it.

As for the proliferation of special characters, they aren't forcing you to use them, they are simply easy ways of handing out packages of rules to make themed armies and they are easier to balance than customizable units.

Finally for those lobbying for minimum points values go read every rulebook since 2nd Edition. Battles in 40k are always described as small snapshots of the happenings during a much larger battle. So do you know why that chapter master is leading a 1000 point force? Its because those were the nearby forces when he called for a massed assault on an enemy position.

Go play a game or two of Epic to see how this works. When you send in your troops on an Epic-scale assault you are playing out what is essentially a 40k fire fight. In Epic the armies involved are huge, entire companies of marines fight close to thousands of opponents. But they don't stay bunched up.

So when you charge your supreme commander in from his personal Thunderhawk with his attacking detachments in tow when they assault an enemy held objective you have two relatively small (1000-2000 point equivalent) forces clashing with a special character (Supreme Commander) leading the charge. So while this snapshot may only involve a handful of troops on either side it still involves the guy at the top of the command structure. And the reason for this is that it is not showing the whole battle, just one of the more climactic parts of it.

If you want a game that represents the full battles fought in 40k then go for Epic. If you are complaining about Special Characters in a snapshot of a larger battle you may as well complain about vehicles deploying so close together (hell things like Whirlwinds and Basalisks should be deploying off table) because that is another artifact of the game not representing an actual battle but a climactic point in it.

Finally for those who hate seeing the same character in each game thinking "why are they everywhere" try thinking about it in the opposite way. Just as one never thinks, when watching a movie, "why the hell is this all about the protagonist, they could have chosen anyone else" why would the same special character showing up to battle be any different. You aren't playing a handful of random battles in which the same characters show up coincidentally every time, you are only playing the games about their career. So if every game contains Marneus Calgar it isn't because he is everywhere, its because you, as players, are only playing the battles in which he appears.

I also have to ask, for people who come up with their own characters because they dislike using special characters, does it ever seem odd that the same character shows up to battle? Just because you made his fluff yourself doesn't make him any less unique then a named character and if you find the same special characters showing up time and again then you should really be thinking the same of self-made characters.

The new style of ubiquitous named character was one of the few ideas GW had (sure they more or less cribbed it from PP but I can let it slide as it shows that they may actually know about other games). Counts-as involving them is no less valid than letting players do the same with equipment. In the end the rules are just a bunch of numbers and the attached fluff is no more sacrosanct than anything else. Yes this means you can counts-as Genestealers as Imperial Guard or any number of other crazy ideas, but am I the only person alive who sees nothing wrong with that? If it makes you throw a wobbly then you can choose not to play against it but I doubt many of the worst-case scenarios thrown up by those that hate counts-as ever happen. More often then not they are used to make nice conversions or create armies that exist in the fluff but not in rules (Squats, Genestealer Cult, etc.).

But each man's fun is another's badwrongfun I suppose. :D

Poseidal
21-04-2009, 23:23
Finally, some sense!


Sure Calgar wouldn't likely die but he wouldn't be much use hacking through a squad of stealers for 3-4 turns. Any 2nd Edition player would know not to attempt to gang up on him either (a viable tactic for elite melee troops in 2nd, especially stealers) because his special rules prevented him from taking negatives due to outnumbering.
Calgar was beaten by other characters though, because while his stats were great, Powerfists could be parried so someone with similar weapon skill and a sword will make him reroll his good attacks meaning he's more likely to lose.

Then, he only had Power Armour to protect him which would be modified to a 6+ save with a Power Sword (wounding him on a 4).

Aaah, good times.

Corrode
21-04-2009, 23:32
http://warseer.com/forums/showpost.php?p=3401944&postcount=89

I'm just going to link this in every single one of these whiny-ass threads until people stop complaining.

starlight
21-04-2009, 23:39
So...until the end of Teh Internets...? Or even longer? ;)

:p

Corrode
21-04-2009, 23:47
So...until the end of Teh Internets...? Or even longer? ;)

:p

I live in hope :(

Durath
21-04-2009, 23:54
But each man's fun is another's badwrongfun I suppose

It's a flavor thing.

When I think of someone like Abbadon, I think of a campaign lord, someone who is running things on a large scale. Thus, to me, he is much less likely to show up to a small battle than a petty Chaos Lord. Same thing with Marneus Calgar... he should be up on the barge commanding thousands of Space Marines and Planetary Defence Auxilia, not wading through Ork boyz. There are 8 other Company Commanders that can run the show on the ground and fight if they have to.

Sure, there are exceptions when the big boys have to throw down. But when I'm playing a tournament, seeing two Eldrads in 2/3rds of my battles makes the character cheap, and generic, and smears the uniqueness of them.

Some people like to play "whatever-hammer", where there isn't restrictions on anything. Ok, fine... but realize there are some of us who like to have a modicum of practicality to enhance the flavor of the game.

2099
22-04-2009, 00:09
Hey I'm a grumpy ole' man...
The ABILITES of named charters and the POINT COST outshine any nameless hero's.

1. Eldrad....say no more.

1a. The Phoenix lords... how wonderfully boring when compared to likes of hero's from the other books.

2. Every single Demon Herald. Why bother with a 'nesshy one? The masque! Please explain to me the benefits of a Nurgle herald over king fatty? What did some fiend... rip the Skull Taker page out your book?

3. Da' Orks.... a squig can point a dat out to ya' I do't ave da' time!

4. The cash cow that is the Space Marine. G.W... kudos to you. I'm sure it saved the company.

5. Now the it's the Gurd's turn and Creed and his buddies will be gett'n around more than the prom queen. Heck... I'd better introduce Ole' Krell to my sister...

6. Oh wait...err... No more creativity...plain and simple.

So... in summery... old man... play till... I die. Naming Trend...Boring. Things will change...probely glue my fingers to my....
:eek:

Threeshades
22-04-2009, 00:26
Hey I'm a grumpy ole' man...
The ABILITES of named charters and the POINT COST outshine any nameless hero's.

1. Eldrad....say no more.

1a. The Phoenix lords... how wonderfully boring when compared to likes of hero's from the other books.

2. Every single Demon Herald. Why bother with a 'nesshy one? The masque! Please explain to me the benefits of a Nurgle herald over king fatty? What did some fiend... rip the Skull Taker page out your book?

3. Da' Orks.... a squig can point a dat out to ya' I do't ave da' time!

4. The cash cow that is the Space Marine. G.W... kudos to you. I'm sure it saved the company.

5. Now the it's the Gurd's turn and Creed and his buddies will be gett'n around more than the prom queen. Heck... I'd better introduce Ole' Krell to my sister...

6. Oh wait...err... No more creativity...plain and simple.

So... in summery... old man... play till... I die. Naming Trend...Boring. Things will change...probely glue my fingers to my....
:eek:

Eldrad? While i dont see the actual listed point in most of these, eldrad? Sure he's an awesome psyker and has powers beyond all others. But there is two things he doesn't have: a jetbike and a point cost that would not take a quarter of an army in a smaller game.

massey
22-04-2009, 00:29
You've gone into the mechanics of why is he better. Honestly I hadn't done the math, only been told he is better by Eldar players.

And this is pretty much evidence of what I meant. Custom built characters are usually not as cost effective (or lack must-have special rules), and are somewhat discouraged in the light of the special characters out there in the new regime of Codex.

Basically, custom built characters can begin to suffer from diminishing returns (and in the case of Farseers, they do).

I won't quote exact figures from the codex, but let's go with some "estimates".

1: Cheap-ass Mindwar Farseer ~75 points
This is just a guy with Mindwar. No special wargear. Adding things like runes, etc, will make him more expensive. He fills an HQ slot and can walk around zapping lower Ld models. Good for popping Sybarites, Sergeants, heavy weapons troops, etc.

How does he compare versus Eldrad? For his role, he's much better. Eldrad is almost 3 times the price. If what you want is a cheap-ass Farseer, this is your guy.

2: Intermediate Guide/Doom Farseer ~120 - 130 points
This is your basic two power Farseer. Guide and Doom, or Guide and Fortune, or whatever. He's got spirit stones and two powers. Add an extra 10 or 15 points if you want him to have the extra cool psychic protections, but those aren't really necessary. Good for overall squad support.

How does he compare versus Eldrad? For his role, he's great. Eldrad is another 80 to 90 points, and he doesn't cast Doom any better. If all you want your Farseer to do is run around supporting Dire Avengers, or Warwalkers, or whatever, this is your guy.

3: Seer Council Farseer
Eldrad can't take a bike, so you can't really compare him to this guy.

4: Bling-bling Farseer ~215 points
This guy has all the tricks, except a jetbike. He's got every bit of wargear and knows all the psychic powers.

How does he compare versus Eldrad? He sucks. He's got a lower toughness, a worse invulnerable save, can do one less psychic power per turn, and he costs more points. Why? We did he fall apart so fast when the other guys were doing well? Because he took too many options. He's unfocused. The other guys, they took just what they needed to do their job. This guy loaded up on so much stuff that he's suffered from cost bloat.

And this is who Eldrad is meant to replace. He's meant to give a sensible player an upper limit on that cost bloat. Because while Mind War might be worth its cost, and Eldricht Storm might be worth its cost, and Doom (etc., etc., etc.), they aren't worth those costs all together. The Space Marine codex allows you to take a character with two power weapons (not PW and pistol, but two actual power weapons). What is the point? There isn't one. You're just wasting points. This is the case here. The point cost equation for the regular Farseer breaks down at that point.

Now, they could have made things more complex. "Your first two powers cost this much. The third power costs the amount listed after the slash. The fourth power costs the amount listed after the second slash. The fifth power costs the amount listed after the third slash. Increase these costs by 35% if you've taken Spirit Stones." That would be more mathematically sound. It would also be more work. So instead, they simply created Eldrad, the "upper limit" Farseer, and basically guaranteed that anyone wanting a uber-Farseer would simply take him instead of overpaying for someone else.


It's a flavor thing.

When I think of someone like Abbadon, I think of a campaign lord, someone who is running things on a large scale. Thus, to me, he is much less likely to show up to a small battle than a petty Chaos Lord. Same thing with Marneus Calgar... he should be up on the barge commanding thousands of Space Marines and Planetary Defence Auxilia, not wading through Ork boyz. There are 8 other Company Commanders that can run the show on the ground and fight if they have to.

Sure, there are exceptions when the big boys have to throw down. But when I'm playing a tournament, seeing two Eldrads in 2/3rds of my battles makes the character cheap, and generic, and smears the uniqueness of them.

Some people like to play "whatever-hammer", where there isn't restrictions on anything. Ok, fine... but realize there are some of us who like to have a modicum of practicality to enhance the flavor of the game.

My thought is that Abaddon and Calgar are fighting on top of a hill, or in the city center, or something like that. It is important that they meet. Nobody watches Star Wars and says "OMG cheese. I can't believe Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader are fighting each other. There's like, a whole Death Star there. Luke should be fighting like stormtroopers. What are the chances he just happens to run into Darth Vader?"

So let's say the assault on the city is made up of 10K points per side. Calgar sends 2000 points to attack from the north. He sends 2000 to attack from the south. Abaddon deploys his forces in response, to counter those moves. Calgar then splits the remaining force into 6 1000 point attack forces. They split up and each of the 6 goes after a different potential weak point. Calgar leads one group by himself. Abaddon, however, uses his sorcery and forsees this. So he decides to send his men to deal with Calgar's forces, but he'll handle Calgar himself, surrounded by a core of his finest warriors. When the battle begins, reinforcements are only a few minutes away. Why, Sicarius is only a half mile away, still in comm range! But this confrontation will be over before anyone can arrive.

Snotteef
22-04-2009, 00:31
Calling the color red, red is not rude. Unless you inherently think something is wrong with the color red (which there isn't. Red is nice.).

And to be honest, from the few arguments I've seen, people are whining. I've heard "I don't like special characters!" and I've heard "They could have done it differently!" Both of which I've addressed in my previous posts, and both of which have either been ignored, or cleverly skirted.

Let make this clear: You MAY dislike what GW is doing, but for me or the majority of people to care you have to give concrete examples and reasons why. The whole "I've been playing forever hur hur and GW doesn't respect us!" argument is weak.

Sure, this edition being better than other editions is opinion, but it's the prevailing opinion. And yeah, in a game that appeals to a population of people majority matters. I've played second, third and fourth. They were terrible, awful games that were wastes of my time. I've not met a single person who has played each edition with a decent amount of game time, that has NOT called this edition the best, most balanced (least lame if you like).

A smarter man than I once said that dissent is the highest form of patriorism. I believe him. But he also said that with that dissent must come intelligent, supported thought.

Complaining does not fix anything. GW is very smart and ignores the complainers (sometimes for the wrong reasons, why do you think they issued that RAW IS RAW DEAL WITH IT! statement? so they don't have to deal with complainers) but they do create books and models for those "old school" gamers which apparently they ignore.

I'll ask again: Why do your old grumpy farty buddies dislike the new edition? Solely because of named characters being more accessable?

Why do you think this edition is not the best? Because of the supposed Herohammer?

d

ps. When I said YOU I didn't mean specifically you, I can see how that was confusing, and I apologize.

Of course it's not ONLY because of SC's being such a big part of the game, but that is part of it.

I can name about a million reasons why I don't think 5th edition is the best, but this isn't the thread to do so (I have done in the appropriate threads several times).

You may consider those of my ilk complainers and whiners and grumps; whatever. In my mind, this endless need to defend everything GW does is blatant fanboyism (though I've tried to avoid saying so, because it is rude). GW are NOT perfect. Just because they've decided to do something a certain way does not make it right, nor does it make it better than certain alternatives.

I'm happy to praise GW when they do something right. I praised the return of running; I praised the Eldar codex's ability to generate nearly every craftworld w/o resorting to cheesy sublists OR must-have special characters; I praised the end of consolidation into new units during the assault phase and many others, but I have always and will always complain when I think they've gotten it wrong.

If you think you're going to change any of our minds with your arguments, I think you're going to come away dissappointed. This is not a subject ruled by logic, but by emotion. If a person doesn't like the idea of SC's; they are making that decision out of a sense of pathos, not of logos. I don't LIKE SC's. They bother me. I like home-made characters, not GW's creations. It doesn't matter what logical arguments you make for them; it won't change my feelings (nor, I think you'll find, the feelings of others).

I've stated why I don't like them and what I'd rather see. You've stated why you DO like them and why you'd rather not see anything else. We still don't agree. I don't have a problem with that. Variety, as they say, is the spice of life. My mistake was staying in the discussion AFTER saying my piece. There's not much point really. I'll keep reading others' statements, but I'm (most probably;)) done posting in this thread. Thanks everyone for listening.

evilsponge
22-04-2009, 01:13
If you think you're going to change any of our minds with your arguments, I think you're going to come away dissappointed. This is not a subject ruled by logic, but by emotion. If a person doesn't like the idea of SC's; they are making that decision out of a sense of pathos, not of logos. I don't LIKE SC's. They bother me. I like home-made characters, not GW's creations. It doesn't matter what logical arguments you make for them; it won't change my feelings (nor, I think you'll find, the feelings of others).

I've stated why I don't like them and what I'd rather see. You've stated why you DO like them and why you'd rather not see anything else. We still don't agree. I don't have a problem with that. Variety, as they say, is the spice of life. My mistake was staying in the discussion AFTER saying my piece. There's not much point really. I'll keep reading others' statements, but I'm (most probably;)) done posting in this thread. Thanks everyone for listening.

So you don't like SC because of some knee-jerk emotional reaction to them and no amount of logic will sway you, got it. I just hope others follow your example so we don't see threads like these popping up every other day.

Snotteef
22-04-2009, 01:33
I try to get out, but they just keep draggin' me back in! :p

That's not what I said at all. My emotional opinion is not knee jerk, it is carefully constructed from 17 years of experience, but it is still emotional.

This is not the kind of opinion that can be changed through argument. Any person's (not just mine) like or dislike of SC's is based on emotion, not upon logic, so logic will not change it. Some people like SC's: they are epic, exciting, cinematic! Some people do not like them: they are unoriginal; cookie-cutter; they take the attention off of the humble trooper. Either way they are preferences based on pathos, which are not likely to be swayed by logical argument, because they are based on feelings.

If anyone is showing a classic "knee-jerk reaction," it is you, with your sarcastic jibe at my post. I just don't understand why people feel the need to be so darned adversarial about this. I don't like them, Druchii loves 'em. They're both fine choices. They are preferences; not religions... no need to go to war over 'em.

Corrode
22-04-2009, 02:08
Let's break this down even more simply.

Special characters are just a rule set with a name attached. If you take the name away, they'd be the same, except now they'd just be generic templates with an extra ability or something. Shrike can be Raven Guard Captain, Ghazgkull can be Exceptional Goff Warlord, Abbadon can be Supreme Chaos Undivided Lord. There won't be any of these problems with characters being 'too rare' or 'unique' or whatever, because they'll be no different to choosing a Predator or a mob of Boyz.

You'll also have just ripped out a good bit of fluff for no good reason except some small-minded idea that special characters are 'playing wrong'. The simple fact is that special characters are neat rules with some nice fluff attached, and both of them add to the game. Whatever your personal feelings on the 'rarity' of SCs, or how 'overpowered' they might be (and generally in the newer books they aren't), do you really want to see flavour removed from the game because it's a flavour you don't like?

evilsponge
22-04-2009, 02:35
I try to get out, but they just keep draggin' me back in! :p

That's not what I said at all. My emotional opinion is not knee jerk, it is carefully constructed from 17 years of experience, but it is still emotional.

This is not the kind of opinion that can be changed through argument. Any person's (not just mine) like or dislike of SC's is based on emotion, not upon logic, so logic will not change it. Some people like SC's: they are epic, exciting, cinematic! Some people do not like them: they are unoriginal; cookie-cutter; they take the attention off of the humble trooper. Either way they are preferences based on pathos, which are not likely to be swayed by logical argument, because they are based on feelings.

If anyone is showing a classic "knee-jerk reaction," it is you, with your sarcastic jibe at my post. I just don't understand why people feel the need to be so darned adversarial about this. I don't like them, Druchii loves 'em. They're both fine choices. They are preferences; not religions... no need to go to war over 'em.

Sorry I don't have too many feelings for a space fantasy game. If i take a special character it's because it helps my goals for the kind of army i want to play. Actually now that I think about I haven't used a special character in months.

There was nothing knee-jerk about my reaction, I was just pointing out how silly it sounded. You're not the only one though so don't take it personal, alot of posters on this forum think hating special characters gives them some kind of elitist creditability

Squallish
22-04-2009, 02:48
Personally, I love Special Characters. In a larger battle (1500pts+), they are fun options to either represent a powerful hero or to form a fluffy list around. I tend towards the former.

As a newer player, I really don't understand some players adamant opposition to their use. They're in the codex and new ones don't require permission to use. Almost all of them don't say how the rest of their list must be formed.

I understand how in their fluff they *should* be taken in higher confrontations and with a specific combination of choices.. but this game is all about choice. I have no problem with your army as long as it's rules legal.. and the same should be said of my army.

Taking Eldrad with masses of Guardians or Yriel with mass Wraiths is not their most efficient use on the field. If they wanted them to be used fluffily only, then they would have rules like: "Eldrad can redeploy and cast Psychic powers on Guardian Units only" or "No Wraith units suffer from Wraithsight while Yriel is leading them."

The fact is, in an open history universe, Eldrad could have led a Wraith army and Yriel could have lead a Mech Wing.

/rant

gunmnky
22-04-2009, 03:05
As a Dark Angel player, I REFUSE to pay $20 for a special character that was $7.50 when I started playing 13 years ago. Sadly, I sold off my DA special char's just before the price hikes. (with the exception of the original Master of the Ravenwing, which I still have and use).

That being said, I will use conversions as counts as characters, generally to accent an army. However, I mock anyone who takes a "power character" like Marneus, or the deciever. The last thing calgar and his 10 honor guard saw in my last game was 3 vindicators...

In general, I stick to characters that have lots of army wide abilities that I can use for tactics. I can't see putting special characters in my guard army ever (well, maybe the rough rider special character, but that's it).

Applesauceninja
22-04-2009, 05:04
I use my own commanders and such because i like to model them and stuff.

Solar_Eclipse
22-04-2009, 05:57
Im going to use the same arguement i usually do when people say "special Characters shouldnt be in the game!"

Here are 3 scenarios.

How many Salamanders are in existance? 1000
How many will you have in, say, a 2000 point army? You can get maybe 70-80. Thats almost 1/10 of the chapter.

If 1/10 of the entire Salamanders chapter is being deployed somewhere it had better be an important mission, meaning why would someone like Vulkan not be with them?!

Space Marine Captains are usually known from attacking from the front anyway.

Scenario 2:

Would you disallow armies which were based around a specific special Character?

If i took Dantes Blood Angels, in Homage to something like the war on Armageddon or something, will you say that you cant use Dante? because he wouldnt possibly be in the war that he is known to be in?

Scenario 3:

Anyone who doesnt like Special Characters is usually masquerading as a fluff nut.

Now, any real fluff nut will have a massive load of fluff written about their characters in their army.

So...why are they appearing in the army every game?

If you have Captain Gehardt of the Krieg 56th infantry as your commander, why is he appearing in every game you have?!

You are saying that Special Characters are special, but normal characters cannot BECOME special.

this doesnt make sense from a fluff perspective.

Hellebore
22-04-2009, 06:09
I like what Solar_Eclipse said there is sense there.

I'm not a massive fan of special characters on the table. I like reading about them more than playing with them. But so long as they are a balanced with the army then there shouldn't be a problem.

The problem I see is when you get SC that are so unique and/or cheap that they are simply better than a non special character you don't really see anything but (Eldrad comes to mind).

But then it really isn't that easy to balance a special character vs a mundane character so that they are both competitive options.

Hellebore

Zahr Dalsk
22-04-2009, 06:34
If I played tabletop, here's what I'd do:

Use my normal commander (let's say converted or whatever) with his name, backstory, etc., following the Special Character's rules.

I don't see that there could ever possibly be a problem with that.

EDIT: As for groups disallowing Special Characters, or for that matter any unit, it sounds akin to how scrubs will often whine about certain weapons, abilities, or units in a video game because they can't beat them and hate the idea of not getting victory handed to them on a silver platter.

Logarithm Udgaur
22-04-2009, 06:47
More than one SC in an army list irks me fiercely, but it is apparently how the game is supposed to be played now. Since GW deemed that the non-SC HQ choices will be so limited in options that it is hard to customize a character to individual specs, the most common way to represent someone's cool HQ conversion is with a SC.

Gorbad Ironclaw
22-04-2009, 07:04
Herohammer is not back. Herohammer in 2nd was all about obscene, expensive characters running around the board as one-man armies and ruining stuff.

I always find it a bit ironical that 2nd get's called Herohammer as characters actually got to kill more models a turn in the later editions than they ever did in 2nd.

Anyway I don't see a problem with the named characters. If any of them is broken then that's a problem related to that character in question, most of them are fairly minor. Like the DA one to let you play Deathwing. It's a terminator captain with a different name, that is all.

Yes, some of them opens up different army combinations, but it can hardly be against the spirit of the game if the game is designed that way!

dblaz3r
22-04-2009, 07:40
... no need to go to war over 'em.

But that's all there is in the grim dark future ;)

Xelloss
22-04-2009, 08:26
Special characters are just a rule set with a name attached.

Then why couldn't it just be a template ?

From what I look the argument is almost :

- I don't like SCs, why would I have to use them ? Some people are fine with it, if they want to use them fine for them, just don't make me do it

- I like SCs, so if people don't like then it must be they are whining. Why people wouldn't love SCs ? Just use them and change the name.

The problem isn't there are SCs. The problem is you must use them to have upgrade for the *others* units. No matter how different the name, the fluff and the look, in "count as X" you still use the "X" name.

Poseidal
22-04-2009, 08:38
It's better to have them named, because it feels more flavourful. I don't think Asurmen would be as interesting called mega Dire Avenger lord with no background.

Why are people so hung up on a name?

Ronin_eX
22-04-2009, 08:47
It's a flavor thing.

When I think of someone like Abbadon, I think of a campaign lord, someone who is running things on a large scale. Thus, to me, he is much less likely to show up to a small battle than a petty Chaos Lord. Same thing with Marneus Calgar... he should be up on the barge commanding thousands of Space Marines and Planetary Defence Auxilia, not wading through Ork boyz. There are 8 other Company Commanders that can run the show on the ground and fight if they have to.

Sure, there are exceptions when the big boys have to throw down. But when I'm playing a tournament, seeing two Eldrads in 2/3rds of my battles makes the character cheap, and generic, and smears the uniqueness of them.


That's just not how 40k works though. Leaders in 40k do so from the front. Even in Epic your force's overall commander is deployed on the field. The only time this isn't true is when he is deployed via space to the field for that daring strike at the enemy. Though it isn't realistic at all (and never attempts to be) commanders in 40k lead from the front because the leaders are better fighters than the grunts.

So when these two big boys throw down it isn't happening because it's coincidental, it's happening because the battle you are playing out is the climactic conflict that decides the campaign. Even if it is only 1000 points the battle isn't really in a vacuum. That 1000 points is simply a detachment of a 3000 point Epic force several hundred strong.

Who is "likely" leading it has not one thing to do with it. As a poster above me said you likely didn't balk at Luke Skywalker fighting Darth Vader (and the Emperor too!) because they were the protagonists and antagonists of the story. Well guess what the reason Calgar and Abbie are trading blows is because the battle you are playing is one in which that happens. Each game of 40k is supposed to represent an important part of a larger battle.

As for the tourney bit, well, I hate to say it but that is your own fault. If you prefer narrative games then why would you play competitively? Tourney games don't have to make sense fluff-wise because they are simple tests of skill. In short think of them as alternate "what-if" 40k universes. In short though, expecting consistency from a tourney is a bit odd. Who cares if five people bring Calgar? You aren't likely playing for the rich background and story if you head to a tournament.


Some people like to play "whatever-hammer", where there isn't restrictions on anything. Ok, fine... but realize there are some of us who like to have a modicum of practicality to enhance the flavor of the game.

Wow, and you were doing so well up until you pulled out the superiority. Yes everyone who enjoys "whatever-hammer" is having badwrongfun. So you like the flavour of 40k and such but you haven't noticed that leaders tend to lead from the front or that the flavour of the game since the 90's has been the cap-stone conflicts of major battles? So what is this "modicum of practicality" you're talking about. Because to me it sounds like high-horse posturing to make your chosen (and equally valid) playstyle sound superior to that of others.

Special Characters showing up every battle is no weirder than your own characters showing up every battle. It is no weirder than "Chapter Master" or "Company Captain" showing up because in the grand scheme of things Lysander, Belial, Sammael, Sicarius and any other captain are no more important than any other regardless of possessing a name. Nor is Azrael or Calgar more important than a generic chapter master you made up.

The only way I can see this getting to you is if you don't name your characters or come up with any background in which case what is the trouble with adding named characters to a game without any apparent narrative framework.

All I can say is GW did a great job of demonizing special characters, I just wonder why. Hell they even went against the spirit of their rules in 3rd and 4th by putting point caps on characters (even though they made it clear that the size of the battle had no baring on the actual size of the fight going on around it). Hell I'd say that the point cap itself was rather unfluffy considering how the game has been framed for nearly two decades.

But hey it's okay I'm sure people will enjoy their "whatever-hammer" with or without your consent, try not to let their badwrongfun get to you though, just remember that you're right and it should be okay. :p

The_Outsider
22-04-2009, 09:07
"Oh, you play Iron Hands?"
"Yep, I loves'em I does"
"ooh, well see, you've got a chapter master in your army"
"Yep, I find he adds that extra punch to my vanguard"
"Well i'm not going to play you know because that blatant powergaming"
"What!? Why?"
"Fluff-wise the IH do not have a chapter master, they have a ruling council of the clans, so therefore you are a powergamer, good day to you".

Once you start imposing your values of what is "fluffy" or not it very quickly becomes a slippery slope that always hits you back with twice the force.

IJW
22-04-2009, 09:48
But when I'm playing a tournament, seeing two Eldrads in 2/3rds of my battles makes the character cheap, and generic, and smears the uniqueness of them.

Some people like to play "whatever-hammer", where there isn't restrictions on anything. Ok, fine... but realize there are some of us who like to have a modicum of practicality to enhance the flavor of the game.
By their very nature, tournament lists gravitate towards the choices that are perceived to be the 'best value' for their points cost - that one of them for Eldar is an SC and that one of them for CSM is a non-SC lash-prince is just how it is. You won't see many tournament lists using Phoenix Lords even though they are SCs, because they are (in comparison) more expensive for what they can achieve on the battlefield.


In my mind, this endless need to defend everything GW does is blatant fanboyism (though I've tried to avoid saying so, because it is rude).
That's perilously close to saying that anyone who disagrees with you is a GW fanboy. :eyebrows:


If you think you're going to change any of our minds with your arguments, I think you're going to come away dissappointed. This is not a subject ruled by logic, but by emotion.

[...]

This is not the kind of opinion that can be changed through argument. Any person's (not just mine) like or dislike of SC's is based on emotion, not upon logic, so logic will not change it.
Strictly speaking, one basis for liking/disliking SCs is emotional. That particular basis doesn't apply to everyone - I have no particular emotional attachment to SCs one way or another and find my opinion on the matter swayed by arguments such as Corrode's or Solar_eclipse's.


Then why couldn't it just be a template ?
Because templates don't inspire much interest or emotional attachment.


EDIT - I dislike Eldrad - because he's unbalanced points-wise compared to other units in the codex, upsetting the internal balance of the codex.

Xelloss
22-04-2009, 10:06
Because templates don't inspire much interest or emotional attachment.

That was a rhetorical question...

Corrode and Solar_eclipse posts seem to be emotionally distanced, but in fact only present the pro-SC point of view. They are right, but just put aside the equally right arguments favouring the other side...

Maybe templates don't inspire, and SC do, but by doing a templatish SC you just combine the bad side of each : on one hand this isn't objective templates so people that don't like SCs are unhappy, on the other hand the "heroic" image of these SCs is decreased, as they are seen just as "the guy who give special rule X". GW brings a new theory on negotiation : the lose-lose situation.

Bassik
22-04-2009, 10:19
When I see a special character painted as if it's part of another chapter/legion/etc, I grit my teeth a bit. It is obvious they just use the character to gain its benefits.
Like for instance, a friend of mine has a Death Guard army, leaded by Kharn.

Yes.
But this is not GW's fault, its the player's fault.
Just because you can, doesn't mean you should, you know.

How I cope with it?

BLOODTHIRSTER TO THE FACE! :evilgrin: Not even Kharn kan fight that! :D

Ronin_eX
22-04-2009, 10:24
Which is all well and good but for everyone that repaints a model with another chapter's iconography there are just as many that convert their own mini and simply use the named character's rules.

But in the end it is just a game and the fluff has always been maleable to a player's wishes so counts as working however we like is a strength not a weakness. But hey, at least your opponent took the time to paint the model in his force's colours. ;)

ironmani
22-04-2009, 11:08
Or maybe the Ultramarines are on deployment, and like Scooby Doo meeting up with the Harlem Globetrotters, "Hey look! It's Pedro Kantor, our old friend from the Crimson Fists!" "Hey gang, my Chapter got killed again. Can I hang out with you? Let's go check out this old abandoned amusement park."
"Now gang, lets find out who this Chaos Lord really is!"
*GASP*
"Its old man Abaddon!"
"And I would have gotten away with it too, if it werent for those meddling marines!"
:p

What I keep hearing over and over again in this thread is "I dont like named chracters!"
Why?!
"I want to use my own guy not Pedro Kantor!"
Ok whats his deal?
"Ok hes got a master crafted storm bolter, Artficer armor, Iron Halo, Master crafted Power Fist, and he lets Sternguard become scoring units."
Wait isnt that what Pedro Kantor is?
"NO! NO! This is MY guy his name is Fred the power fisty smasher heroic non chapter master, chapter master, captain."
/facepalm.
As a side note I miss 2nd edition. The game where if you didnt have a techmarine, with a jump pack and Grav Gun (remember those! Good times!), you got rolled. Lol good times good times! I loved the psychic power phase. THAT always led to many laughs.:D

Corrode
22-04-2009, 13:54
Then why couldn't it just be a template ?

Read the rest of my post, where I mentioned that having 'just a template' would exterminate some fluff for no good reason. Tournament players won't care, but then they don't care about SCs anyway unless they affect gameplay adversely. Fluff players (the ones who most often seem to dislike SCs) SHOULD care, unless somehow fluff they don't like isn't as valid as their own interpretation.


The problem isn't there are SCs. The problem is you must use them to have upgrade for the *others* units. No matter how different the name, the fluff and the look, in "count as X" you still use the "X" name.

Well, that's the point. The post I linked on the last page (or possibly the next one in that thread) talks about this, but essentially the point is that the character represents a heroic figure who inspires his men (through discipline, camaraderie or bloody-minded brutality) into going above and beyond their normal abilities. Whether that heroic figure is Pedro Kantor or a counts-as doesn't matter. You can represent most variations on the Marines with the vanilla characters, and the specialist 'dexes like BA and DA exist to cover those things outside of the Codex spectrum.


Corrode and Solar_eclipse posts seem to be emotionally distanced, but in fact only present the pro-SC point of view. They are right, but just put aside the equally right arguments favouring the other side...

That's because if you look at the situation rationally there's no worthwhile arguments being put up by the anti-SC side. Let's examine:

1) I don't like SCs because I want to customise my own characters.

You can. There's nothing stopping you using a generic Captain or Warboss. They might not be as good, but then that's choice. What a lot of people forget about the SM characters is that you actually lose something in the tradeoff nowadays - Chapter Tactics replaces Combat Tactics. CoT isn't half-bad, and in the right situation is actually far more valuable than something like Stubborn or Outflank. Same for Orks - I don't believe Ghazgkull allows Nobs as Troops, neither does Wazzdakka give you Dreads as Troops. Most people see SCs as categorically 'better' without considering what the standard version gives you.

This isn't true for all armies, of course - Eldrad is always going to be the best Farseer unless you want JetCouncil or the cheap'n'cheerful Mind War sniper mentioned earlier in the thread. I can see this trend continuing, though.

2) I don't like special characters because I want to write my own fluff.

Related to 1, but dissimilar enough to get its own line. You can write your own for your counts-as characters as well as generic HQs. Personally I use Kantor as an IF Chapter Master - the model's gorgeous and I like the rules, and they fit the character of the Fists just fine. I wanted my own name and fluff, though, so I've had to think of why he's not Vladimir Pugh. I've put far more thought into that than I did my generic Captain (who pretty much just got a name and some vague idea of 'fist, stubborn, fought at some battle, 'sallgood).

3) I don't like special characters because I think it's unfluffy if they're in an xxxx points battle, since there's NO WAY they'd be there.

This has already been done to death, so to summarise:

- Any 40k battle is a small part of a larger conflict, usually the most interesting involving the highest concentration of key elements. Calgar vs. Abbadon is an epic conflict, Land Raider Formation Runs Over Cultists isn't.
- Special Characters aren't that special. Many of the SM ones are just captains, so the chance of them appearing with their company is pretty high. Again, most armies have their HQ leading from the front.
- The numbers involved mean that any battle is a key battle. Maybe an Orks vs. Guard or Guard vs. Tyranids slog could conceivably be just some random battle on a no-name world, but anything involving Marines, Eldar, Dark Eldar, Chaos Marines, Chaos Daemons, Daemonhunters, or Witch Hunters will automatically involve a large number of elite warriors being deployed, definitely enough for a 'special' character to take an interest. How many Grey Knights even exist? Do you really think a battle involving 30 of them isn't enough to have a Grand Master along? How rare is it for Craftworld Eldar to actually fight in a pitched battle? How often do Daemons actually manifest in the physical realm, anyway?

But SCs rob me of options because they're so good for their points compared to generic HQs it's silly not to take them!

This is one I semi-agree with. Not entirely - I mentioned the CoT vs ChT tradeoff above, and Orks have a similar differentiation in that taking Ghazghkull is a choice which affects the rest of your list construction. There's certainly characters which are ridiculous, though - Eldrad is the one most often mentioned. Better than the generic option for less points shouldn't really be the case, and those should be re-assessed. I never claimed some SCs weren't imbalanced, though, and it's the kind of thing which really has to wait until a new codex to be fixed.

All of the above are emotional reasons to not like SCs which are based in nothing except a person's innate gut feeling. Once you break down the numbers and take a detached view the arguments don't stand up on their own.


Maybe templates don't inspire, and SC do, but by doing a templatish SC you just combine the bad side of each : on one hand this isn't objective templates so people that don't like SCs are unhappy, on the other hand the "heroic" image of these SCs is decreased, as they are seen just as "the guy who give special rule X". GW brings a new theory on negotiation : the lose-lose situation.

You really don't. The only reason they're not objective is some weird idea
people have that a) special character = killing machine and b) if it has a name it's a special snowflake only suited for battles of a million points or more involving an entire Guard Regiment and three Marine Chapters. If people could get over that and see them as neat stories which add to the game attached to rules which also add to the game, we'd have no problems at all.

Orwin
22-04-2009, 14:53
Let me guess...would it be cool if i exchanged Calgar for 250 points worth of Marines and keep the rules he gives to the army, for example?

Corrode
22-04-2009, 15:22
Let me guess...would it be cool if i exchanged Calgar for 250 points worth of Marines and keep the rules he gives to the army, for example?

This isn't even worthy of a real reply. Let me just say that reductio ad absurdium is a stupid way to argue a point.

eek107
22-04-2009, 15:35
Let me guess...would it be cool if i exchanged Calgar for 250 points worth of Marines and keep the rules he gives to the army, for example?

Isn't that just the same as asking for some free bonus special rules?

I mean, it's not as if I can plonk down my Salamander army and say "yeah, all my flamers and meltas are twin-linked, but I bought a tactical squad instead of Vulkan, okay?" Well, I could, but it's not like I'd be taken very seriously.

starlight
22-04-2009, 15:39
Let me guess...would it be cool if i exchanged Calgar for 250 points worth of Marines and keep the rules he gives to the army, for example?

No, because Calgar isn't a 10W, 10 weapon, 10+A unit. :p

Darkangeldentist
22-04-2009, 15:59
I make a lot of use of Special characters, since I like my Deathwing and Ravenwing a lot I have to.

My attitudes to special characters has changed over few years. Originally I felt they were best left out of games and simply made a nice bit of background that you could once in a while agree to play a special mission/game to use them. This is a bit of a waste considering most have models and it's a shame if you can't use them unless it's a specially organised game.

The only time I have problems with special characters now is if I feel that character is particularly underpriced or just overpowered. Ghaz is one, Eldrad another, they are just badly concieved and a bit unpleasant to face on a regular basis. This is the same as with regular units that are badly designed.

Zedsdead
22-04-2009, 16:43
I have a Salamanders and i field Vulkan.
I have RavenWing and field sammael.
I have an O'shava suit army

I have Iron warriors and never field a named character.
I have IG non cadian and have never run a named character.

I have no problem with others running named characters in the army they belong to.
I have no problem with people using the model as a generic HQ.

However i find it a bit lazy when i see people plugging in Special characters into there lists to simply get the characters benefit.

There are some characters that dont require a special army so its cool to use them anywhere.

If you like a character so much... build an army around it...or dont use it at all.

Walls
22-04-2009, 17:06
I hadn't intended this to be a rules discussion but...

the problem with newer special characters is they make a large part of (say platoon) or your entire army benefit in one way or another.

My OP was more a discussion on fluff. Anyhow, keep going. Keep it civil. No sticking out tongues.

Walls
22-04-2009, 17:09
I'd also like to add Ronin_eX has easily the best argument FOR SC's in the entire thread so far. Everything he said made plenty of sense and got me thinking quite a bit. Not necessarily about using a character, but in certainly softening my stance on them. Kudos!

Durath
22-04-2009, 17:40
@Ronin_Ex:

Please realize, I prefaced my contribution to this thread by stating all of what I'm saying is personal opinion.

That being said, I don't disrespect people who play "Whatever-hammer". I only used the term lightly. In fact, I've played many "adaptive" games. I find the hobby to be a great way to explore creativity.

However, I feel this approach in competative environments to be, well, 'messy'. Please realize, this isn't elitism. It is JUST personal preference.

So the modicum of practicality I speak of is MY perception of the law of averages based on the fluff. In that fiction, there is only one Eldrad, and he's dead. There are hundreds (if not thousands) of Farseers. Yet, I've fought Eldrad more than generic Farseers.

Here's another perspective that might make my viewpoint clearer...

Just like Eldrad, there is only one Prince Yriel. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of Autarchs. Unlike Eldrad, I've have never seen him on the field. Ever. Not in a Tournament game, not in an Apocalypse game, not in a pickup game.

Now... let's be honest why. His rules aren't that effective. He's 155 points, about double an Autarch with gear, for only one more attack and intiative. One of his special rules is dated. He really doesn't bring twice the effectiveness to the table that an Autarch would.

I'd be willing to bet that if Eldrad's rules and points were as less effective, I wouldn't see him as much either.

(edit: Before someone says it, I'm SURE there is SOMEONE out there who brings Yriel to every game. I've yet to meet, in dealing with hundreds of 40k gamers, anyone who does... so this is, again, my personal experience talking.)

Ergo, the Codex has a "wow" SC which is a no-brainer enough for people to "over-populate" him. This has an effect of actually REMOVING creativity from the hobby, as people build templated power-lists and a vast marjority of people's armies look the same, bastardizing the "Special" status of the character to create WAAC armies.


Who is "likely" leading it has not one thing to do with it. As a poster above me said you likely didn't balk at Luke Skywalker fighting Darth Vader (and the Emperor too!) because they were the protagonists and antagonists of the story.

Despite this analogy sounding good on the surface, there are a couple points to consider.

It took almost 2 movies before Vader and Luke met face to face. This only happened because Vader lured Luke to the duel. It was not on the "field of battle" that they fought hand to hand. Their second meeting was because Luke purposefully went to confront Vader. Again, they were not on the "field of battle". Luke had turned himself in without a fight.

Their only exchange in open combat was in starfighters. It was a contest of piloting and vehicle tech, not personal combat (and actually Luke pretty much ignored Vader to take his shot on the Death Star). The analogy would then be like saying Abaddon was driving a Predator taking on Marneus Land Raider as he tried to blow up an objective. It really wouldn't matter who was in it at that point.

So really, this isn't a good analogy for 40k.


Well guess what the reason Calgar and Abbie are trading blows is because the battle you are playing is one in which that happens. Each game of 40k is supposed to represent an important part of a larger battle.

I've no problem with playing games with your friends in a non-competative setting using Special Characters. The rules are there to be used. In fact, Apocalypse gives ample opportunity to create the background story to give weight to their use.

But when people use SCs because of a mathmatical advantage in competative situations like a tournament, it sullies the flavor of these special characters. "Eldrad" becomes a template (as someone else pointed out). This makes the character "feel" generic.

Bunnahabhain
22-04-2009, 17:54
But when people use SCs because of a mathmatical advantage in competative situations like a tournament, it sullies the flavor of these special characters. "Eldrad" becomes a template (as someone else pointed out). This makes the character "feel" generic.

Well said!

In particular, that last paragraph sums up the problem. Some SCs are too good, so get used excessively, and so now seem generic. However, they're not generic, so have all the issues of lack of flexibility of SCs, and so get the worst of both worlds.

Make the SCs no better than the generic alternatives, and make all their FOC altering abilities, alternate deployments and such like available to generic ones. Now you can use them if you want to for background reasons, but will never have a simply rules driven one.

Durath
22-04-2009, 18:10
Well said!

In particular, that last paragraph sums up the problem. Some SCs are too good, so get used excessively, and so now seem generic. However, they're not generic, so have all the issues of lack of flexibility of SCs, and so get the worst of both worlds.

Make the SCs no better than the generic alternatives, and make all their FOC altering abilities, alternate deployments and such like available to generic ones. Now you can use them if you want to for background reasons, but will never have a simply rules driven one.

I think the problem would be better resolved by inflating their points cost. If Eldrad cost 450 points, people would think twice about bringing him to a 1500 point tournament.

But if you were playing a narrative game, or Apocalypse, you could mandate that a Special Character that costs 450 points from the opposing army's codex(s) be included. The points would then be a wash.

Giving wide reaching special rules (like FOC alterations, etc) to standard characters would add a tremendous amount of complexity to the game. Lord knows its complex enough as it is for the average playerbase.

Corrode
22-04-2009, 18:23
Make the SCs no better than the generic alternatives, and make all their FOC altering abilities, alternate deployments and such like available to generic ones. Now you can use them if you want to for background reasons, but will never have a simply rules driven one.

At which point there's no reason for SCs to exist at all. FoC-alterations, army-wide special rules, and unique bonuses don't have to be restricted to special characters - but removing the special characters removes a bit of a choice. The point should be to make both SCs and generics equally viable options, not to simply remove one set of options and tack them all on somewhere else.


I think the problem would be better resolved by inflating their points cost. If Eldrad cost 450 points, people would think twice about bringing him to a 1500 point tournament.

You're totally wrong. This was exactly the case in 3rd edition - besides being opponent's permission and restricted to certain point levels, many characters were horribly overcosted. Result? Nobody used them. This might be good from your point of view, but from the larger view of the game it's really not.

Again, I'm not saying 'lol SCs should be usedall the time and should be the bestest option and cost 10 points each!', and I certainly think some of them need recosting next time they're looked at (hi Eldrad), but to simply inflate the costs "'cos they're special and now no-one will use them!" would be foolish in the extreme.

Durath
22-04-2009, 19:09
many characters were horribly overcosted. Result? Nobody used them. This might be good from your point of view, but from the larger view of the game it's really not.

Your statement assumes that SCs, if over priced, would never be used. This would be far from the truth.

3rd edition didn't have Apocalypse (and soon to be added Planetstike) to compliment competative tournament play with more narrative play.

3rd edition is gone. It's history. Using experiences with that mess of a ruleset is a dis-service to the current "larger view" of the game.

What we're discussing is the profileration of Special Characters in tournament play. My point has been because they are too effective for the point's cost. I don't see how increasing their costs is "wrong". This is just a personal preference. The way I feel about this isn't "wrong".


Again, I'm not saying 'lol SCs should be usedall the time and should be the bestest option and cost 10 points each!'

Understood, but here's the thing...

In competative play, there will always be people who only use the best units. The customizability of generic characters give an advantage over the non-flexible static SCs, so they have long been the best. This can only be outdone by the special rules of a SC.

Since these special rules can (and usually do) affect things in a variable degree mathmatically, BALANCE is hard to attain. Ex. Marneus has "God of War" which affects all SM units . In a 1850 point game, more units gain benefit from this than in a 1000 pt. game. How do you mathmatically account for this? Well.... you can't. His ability scales up in overall effectiveness because more units can take advantage of it.

So, really, "re-tooling" the SCs just means there is a better chance the generics will overtake the SCs in effectiveness again. You really can't have the best of both worlds. It will either be "Herohammer - part 2" like we have, or generic characters fighting the generic tournaments.

I personally feel that SCs belong in the realm of grandoise narrative events. Not common tourney games.

The_Outsider
22-04-2009, 19:18
I think the real problem with SC's is there are no mid-range SC's anymore. Characters like Cortez, old lysander, Xavier were all characters that were just middle of the road, no real thrills characters.

It seems (outside of telion, chronus and that gunnery guy in the new IG codex) all characters are being designed to be top tier killing machines in their own right - it is nice to have a couple guys that stand out as being paticularly badass, but to have tons of them is why this debate rages.

Take the 3rd ed SM in general - only Calgar, Dante and Azrael were true powerhouses over the standard force commander and their cost reflected that. The basic force commander was nearly always the "best" choice simply because of their highly mutable loadout and sensible points cost.

Badger[Fr]
22-04-2009, 19:38
Yes I'm bitter, yes I absolutely despise special characters. It's sad to see Vulcan in blue fight his twin brothers(clones?) Vulcan in red and Vulcan in yellow, on battlefields that should in no way have a chapter master attend anywhere except the bloody battle barge.
Blame the lack of internal balance for that.

Ork players don't spam Special Characters because their vanilla HQ choices are still interesting compared to the named ones. Ghazkull or Wazzdakka have a lot of potential, but a cheap, efficient Warboss is quite appealing too, whereas E'Stan is barely more expensive than a Space Marine Captain, yet creates such synergies that fielding him is almost a no-brainer.

Phazael
22-04-2009, 19:45
At least the SMs have the option to recreate their old specialist lists. The Eldar got jacked in that department, not even aspects becoming troops with the appropriate Phoenix Lord/Autarch. Of course Eldar have the second most abusive SC in existance, with Eldrad.....

The real issue I see is the complete imbalance of the specials against the stock characters. I mean, why would anyone NOT take Pedro? With what he costs while granting stubborn, a crippled guy on a unicycle would be sufficient, but Pedro has great wargear and the sternguard plus chapter banner abilities on top of that. He is one example of several.

The_Outsider
22-04-2009, 19:49
At least the SMs have the option to recreate their old specialist lists. The Eldar got jacked in that department, not even aspects becoming troops with the appropriate Phoenix Lord/Autarch.

Ever heard of Dire Avengers?

Badger[Fr]
22-04-2009, 19:53
I mean, why would anyone NOT take Pedro? With what he costs while granting stubborn, a crippled guy on a unicycle would be sufficient, but Pedro has great wargear and the sternguard plus chapter banner abilities on top of that. He is one example of several.
What about Iron-Hand Straken? He's almost as strong as a Space Marine Captain, yet cheaper, and makes a conscript strike as hard as a Space Marine.


The Eldar got jacked in that department, not even aspects becoming troops with the appropriate Phoenix Lord/Autarch.
Yet, their Codex is designed in such a way that you can easily recreate balanced, Craftworld-themed army lists.

Corrode
22-04-2009, 19:56
Your statement assumes that SCs, if over priced, would never be used. This would be far from the truth.

3rd edition didn't have Apocalypse (and soon to be added Planetstike) to compliment competative tournament play with more narrative play.

3rd edition is gone. It's history. Using experiences with that mess of a ruleset is a dis-service to the current "larger view" of the game.

What we're discussing is the profileration of Special Characters in tournament play. My point has been because they are too effective for the point's cost. I don't see how increasing their costs is "wrong". This is just a personal preference. The way I feel about this isn't "wrong".

Putting in units you know are overcosted with the justification 'well it's ok because you can still use it in Apoc!' would be lazy in the extreme, and a terrible mistake. The Codices as they stand are designed to be used with the base 40k game, and that shouldn't change regardless of what expansions are available.

I'm not exactly understanding what your problem is here. If you prefer narrative games which tell a story and give you the chance to explore the fluff, that's great, I'm happy for you, but what the **** are you doing commenting on tournament playstyles? How on earth does it affect you if lots of people at tournaments use SCs? At the moment you're basically complaining that Taco Bell doesn't sell Big Macs; sure, they're both fast food, but they're two separate domains and there's nothing wrong with them co-existing.


In competative play, there will always be people who only use the best units. The customizability of generic characters give an advantage over the non-flexible static SCs, so they have long been the best. This can only be outdone by the special rules of a SC.

There's nothing wrong with this. If you don't want to play competitively, then don't play in competitive tournaments or against competitive players. If you think you do want to play competitively, well guess what, you don't get to decide where the 'WAAC bar' is set for anyone except yourself. There's nothing wrong with a competitive playstyle when it's used against other, equally competitive players.


Since these special rules can (and usually do) affect things in a variable degree mathmatically, BALANCE is hard to attain. Ex. Marneus has "God of War" which affects all SM units . In a 1850 point game, more units gain benefit from this than in a 1000 pt. game. How do you mathmatically account for this? Well.... you can't. His ability scales up in overall effectiveness because more units can take advantage of it.

Of course it's not a perfect science, but then 40k points costs aren't. I believe it's stated explicitly that the designers expect 'most people' to play games of around 1500 points, and it's not hard to imagine that point costs are assigned within that framework. Larger and smaller games work fine up until about 500 and 2500 points; lower than that SCs aren't an issue anyway, higher than that and you're probably playing Apocalypse in which case we've moved on from anything so futile as trying to achieve balance.


So, really, "re-tooling" the SCs just means there is a better chance the generics will overtake the SCs in effectiveness again. You really can't have the best of both worlds. It will either be "Herohammer - part 2" like we have, or generic characters fighting the generic tournaments.

You really can. It's probably not going to happen, because it would involve GW spending a huge amount of time fine-tuning options against each other which I doubt they're willing to invest, but with enough effort it's likely that you can present a bunch of clear choices, none of which are clearly better than the other 100% of the time. A large part of the Ork and Marine codices work like this anyway, there's no reason SCs have to be an exception.


I personally feel that SCs belong in the realm of grandoise narrative events. Not common tourney games.

That's great. Good for you. That's not a very good reason to deny people who enjoy tournaments more than fluff the chance to use units they like - what about the people who paint and play but don't like the stories? Or the people who do wicked conversions for their favourite character and take them to a tournament with a paint job the average eight-year-old could do? Too often people lash out at 'tournament' or 'WAAC' players for not understanding that it's a hobby, not just a game, and then those same people dismiss three sides of the hobby to push their 'gut feeling' about fluff.

LonelyPath
22-04-2009, 19:56
Herohammer, I never thought I'd hear that term again, it still makes me laugh when I hear or read it to, but then I always found the word funny for reasons best left unsaid (to rude for this forum, heh). To me Herohammer is still 2E when people overloaded their armies with as many special characters as possible. Abaddon wth his termie retinue plus whoever else, SW with 3 special characters in every army. You get the idea. It's a far cry from what we have today.

Calgar was also a combat monster, nigh on invincible in CC during those days, yet I still managed to kill him routinely with termagants! He's weaker now than he was then and trust me, I still kill him with gaunts, but it's more of a habit these days, hahaha.

SC these days are there to open up new avenues and options for armies, not overpowering them like they used to. I routinely play 2 SC since I field Deathwing and Ravenwing forces. If my force is below 2000 points then I am less likely to field a special character unless required, in larger games they tend to appear depending on what is needed or the scenario involved. I'm currently planning a small Rynns World campaign around patrol point forces, no SC at the early stages, but later when the patrols start joining up Kantor will eventually appear at some point.

Since I don't tend to take part in tournies I don't have to worry about SC fuelled forces in that respect, not that it would bother me if every army I faced included at least 1 SC.

I've never found fault with whether people play them or not, afterall I started in WFB and before the 40k Herohammer took over it was in full swing on the fantasy side of things. Imagine a force containing both Nagash and Vlad Von Carstein? That was pretty standard for alot of Undead armies, high Elves nearly always had Tyrion (or Eltharion) and Teclis running about the battlefield. Why? Vecause they were about to slaughter entire regiments singlehanded. Same with 40k SC at the time, can they do that now? POssibly with some luck of the dice, otherwise they're no more powerful than other IC besides the odd effect or ability here and there.

Speaking of Fantasy, in both that and 40k Daemon armies I face seem to have alot of Skulltakers or Epidemius running about the Old World/Imperium and the Realms of Chaos must have cloning facilities set up for the number of times the Masque of Slaanesh jumps into the swing of things. Do I have a problem with it? Not really, do I play to these same SC standards? Sometimes. My VC collection has all of the SC in it, including older versions of some miniatures and often they represent non-named characters and have to inflorm my opponents of this which usually leaves them shocked until I point out that instead of 500 points on a SC I've saved 150 for them 3 extra Waraiths guarding my flank.

Durath
22-04-2009, 20:05
Ever heard of Dire Avengers?

I think he meant the specific shrine becoming troops if you bring that PL.

Ex. Banshees becoming troops if you bring Jain Zar.

(Which makes me ask... did they have this before? 3rd ed? I didn't play 3rd ed much.)

The_Outsider
22-04-2009, 20:12
(Which makes me ask... did they have this before? 3rd ed? I didn't play 3rd ed much.)

IIRC that only applied to the biel-tan craftworld list and wasn't dependant on phoenix lords.

Poseidal
22-04-2009, 20:12
In 2nd ed, all aspects were troops, not 3rd.

jsullivanlaw
22-04-2009, 20:24
My group doesn't allow them. Just seems dumb that in the massive scale of 40k, the same 10 guys are running around in every little skirmish.

Durath
22-04-2009, 20:38
I'm not exactly understanding what your problem is here. If you prefer narrative games which tell a story and give you the chance to explore the fluff, that's great, I'm happy for you, but what the **** are you doing commenting on tournament playstyles? How on earth does it affect you if lots of people at tournaments use SCs?

It affects me because it detracts from the flavor of the game. It makes "Special" Characters generic because power gamers bring them.

It's insulting to the fluff to see the "guy who wins every tournament or cries about how someone cheated" (you know the type), plop down the uber-nurgle herald of death (see Epidemius) and proceed to mop up every player in the tournament, when he doesn't even know that Nurgle is the chaos god of death and decay.


At the moment you're basically complaining that Taco Bell doesn't sell Big Macs; sure, they're both fast food, but they're two separate domains and there's nothing wrong with them co-existing.

I'm complaining that Taco Bell is acting like McDonalds.

If I want to encounter fluffy all-powerful demi-god characters, I have the outlet to have an Apocalypse game (aka, go to McDonalds for a Big Mac). If I want to have a test of dice and tactics, I'd go sign up for a tourney (aka, go to Taco Bell for a chalupa).

What we have now, is the all-powerful fluffy being put in every-day tournament play. (My taco is being served with pickles and a side of fries). This leaves a bad taste in my mouth for tournament level play (I'd throw up if I tasted a pickle on a taco incidentally).


There's nothing wrong with this. If you don't want to play competitively, then don't play in competitive tournaments or against competitive players. If you think you do want to play competitively, well guess what, you don't get to decide where the 'WAAC bar' is set for anyone except yourself.

Huh? Of course I don't. GW sets that bar.

So I can't comment on how I feel about what I perceive as a mistake?


Of course it's not a perfect science, but then 40k points costs aren't. I believe it's stated explicitly that the designers expect 'most people' to play games of around 1500 points, and it's not hard to imagine that point costs are assigned within that framework. Larger and smaller games work fine up until about 500 and 2500 points; lower than that SCs aren't an issue anyway, higher than that and you're probably playing Apocalypse in which case we've moved on from anything so futile as trying to achieve balance.

You've hit the nail on the head, but somehow completely missed driving it in...

Points are points. Period. We're not talking about that. We're talking about why special characters have become used so much.

I just gave what I saw as the reasons why this is happening. The why is because power gamers found the SCs to have more effectiveness than generics.

If the reasons were "fluff" or modeling, then I wouldn't have any comments on this. But that's not what's happening (in my experience).


That's not a very good reason to deny people who enjoy tournaments more than fluff the chance to use units they like - what about the people who paint and play but don't like the stories? Or the people who do wicked conversions for their favourite character and take them to a tournament with a paint job the average eight-year-old could do? Too often people lash out at 'tournament' or 'WAAC' players for not understanding that it's a hobby, not just a game, and then those same people dismiss three sides of the hobby to push their 'gut feeling' about fluff.

Bah, I've given my opinion and reasons. I think I've explained my perspective well enough. Some of us here (edit: many of us where I live) DO see the rampant SC use as a discredit to the FLAVOR of the game. If you can't see that, then I can't light the candle of reasoning for you to see it that way.

IJW
22-04-2009, 21:05
In 2nd ed, all aspects were troops, not 3rd.
In 2nd ed. there wasn't a FOC, just characters/squads/support. ;)

druchii
22-04-2009, 21:11
Hey I'm a grumpy ole' man...
The ABILITES of named charters and the POINT COST outshine any nameless hero's.

1. Eldrad....say no more.

1a. The Phoenix lords... how wonderfully boring when compared to likes of hero's from the other books.

2. Every single Demon Herald. Why bother with a 'nesshy one? The masque! Please explain to me the benefits of a Nurgle herald over king fatty? What did some fiend... rip the Skull Taker page out your book?

3. Da' Orks.... a squig can point a dat out to ya' I do't ave da' time!

4. The cash cow that is the Space Marine. G.W... kudos to you. I'm sure it saved the company.

5. Now the it's the Gurd's turn and Creed and his buddies will be gett'n around more than the prom queen. Heck... I'd better introduce Ole' Krell to my sister...

6. Oh wait...err... No more creativity...plain and simple.

So... in summery... old man... play till... I die. Naming Trend...Boring. Things will change...probely glue my fingers to my....
:eek:

Ok: Let me warm up with these
Eldrad: No argument here, as I've stated before.
Phoenix Lords: You know most of them don't have an invulnerable save, right? And are t3?

Every single demon herald is pretty useless. The only one I can really fathom running is Epi-just for the tally (which is essential to a mono-nurgle list). The Masque is terrible. Notice she's not an IC? One round of bolter fire (or a few storm bolters from rhinos..) and there she goes. Skulltaker? Uhm..slow? Suddenly what to shoot at is a no-brainer, KILLIT WITH FIRE. Finally, LOL bluescribes!

The "nameless" heralds are fantastic. I can get a 95 pt slaanesh herald on a chariot who can zoom across the board with Might and Musk, butchering combat squadded marines (or devs!) or tau battle suits, or lootas..or..or..AND she's tougher by far than the more expensive Masque. You do have a point, though, on the nurgle herald, they're awful.

Did you actually compare a mek with a KFF to any of the named characters? How about a warboss on a bike?

SO which marine characters do you see? I've not seen a single one. The one's I see most netlisted are Vulkan (lets make one of the coolest chapters cool again! Woo! or Khan (again with the cool chapter)

Again: I think you're hyping the special character thing up. Did you menton that the majority of special characters, atleast in the marine book are 200+pts?

No more creativity? What? What are you basing this off of? The internet? Your local scene? The tournaments you've been to? I can tell you from my experience (logging six games a month, since the demon codex has been released) that I've seen a special character once. once.

I also went to Adepticon, and watched their gladiator tournament, participated in their team tournament, and watched the invitational tournament and saw special characters very rarely. I saw an ork team with FOUR special characters (each representing a different clan), Kharn, Eldrad a few times in the gladiator (as you'll see...), and after that-rarely any others.


Of course it's not ONLY because of SC's being such a big part of the game, but that is part of it.

I can name about a million reasons why I don't think 5th edition is the best, but this isn't the thread to do so (I have done in the appropriate threads several times)..

That's fine, I'll have to go look those up, then.


You may consider those of my ilk complainers and whiners and grumps; whatever. In my mind, this endless need to defend everything GW does is blatant fanboyism (though I've tried to avoid saying so, because it is rude). GW are NOT perfect. Just because they've decided to do something a certain way does not make it right, nor does it make it better than certain alternatives.
.

There is no endless need to defend GW. There seems more to be an endless need to whine about what GW does. Take a look at this very forum, what sort of thread do you think predominates? The "WAAAAH GW RUINED MY LIFE" sorts or the "OMG GW OWNZ!1one" ?

No one's said GW is perfect, we're just saying you whine too much about something that is completely inane. What GWs done with special characters is superior to what they've done before, and aside from the few tweaks I've offered neither you, nor any of the old grumpy farts in this thread have offered any alternative.


I'm happy to praise GW when they do something right. I praised the return of running; I praised the Eldar codex's ability to generate nearly every craftworld w/o resorting to cheesy sublists OR must-have special characters; I praised the end of consolidation into new units during the assault phase and many others, but I have always and will always complain when I think they've gotten it wrong.

If you think you're going to change any of our minds with your arguments, I think you're going to come away dissappointed. This is not a subject ruled by logic, but by emotion. If a person doesn't like the idea of SC's; they are making that decision out of a sense of pathos, not of logos. I don't LIKE SC's. They bother me. I like home-made characters, not GW's creations. It doesn't matter what logical arguments you make for them; it won't change my feelings (nor, I think you'll find, the feelings of others)..

You're more than welcome to condone or condemn what you wish, but someone earlier pointed out that this debate isn't about logic, but feeling. Well from where I'm from (and from where/what I've learned) feelings are nothing without logic to back them up.

To be honest I'm more interested in having my opinions and beliefs challenged (for that strengthens them, or changes them, both are good outcomes) than changing anyone's mind. What I'm really interested in is showing people that whining incessantly without thought is not the way, and that we can be civil and enlightened.



I've stated why I don't like them and what I'd rather see. You've stated why you DO like them and why you'd rather not see anything else. We still don't agree. I don't have a problem with that. Variety, as they say, is the spice of life. My mistake was staying in the discussion AFTER saying my piece. There's not much point really. I'll keep reading others' statements, but I'm (most probably;)) done posting in this thread. Thanks everyone for listening.

You will be missed.

d

Poseidal
22-04-2009, 21:22
In 2nd ed. there wasn't a FOC, just characters/squads/support. ;)

I was waiting for someone to say that!

25% or more must be Squads
Up to 50% on Characters
Up to 50% on Support (vehicles, weapon platforms, bike and all go here)
Up to 50% OR Exactly 100% Harlequins

Azhrarn
22-04-2009, 21:44
Every single demon herald is pretty useless. The only one I can really fathom running is Epi-just for the tally (which is essential to a mono-nurgle list). The Masque is terrible. Notice she's not an IC? One round of bolter fire (or a few storm bolters from rhinos..) and there she goes. Skulltaker? Uhm..slow? Suddenly what to shoot at is a no-brainer, KILLIT WITH FIRE. Finally, LOL bluescribes!

The "nameless" heralds are fantastic. I can get a 95 pt slaanesh herald on a chariot who can zoom across the board with Might and Musk, butchering combat squadded marines (or devs!) or tau battle suits, or lootas..or..or..AND she's tougher by far than the more expensive Masque. You do have a point, though, on the nurgle herald, they're awful.


Going to have to disagree here for a bit. :D
Skulltaker is far from useless, Rending on a +4 isn't exactly bad and when mounted on a Juggernaut he's anything but an easy kill, especially in a small units of the little buggers.
Yes they're pretty pricey, but so are terminators and these tend to be a bit more lethal.

The Masque: not an IC, which makes her borderline useless.

The Blue Scribes: not that bad, nice and versatile weapons platform for its price.

Epidemius: only useful with a LOT of nurgle in your list or a Death Guard ally. (since all Marks of Nurgle kills count, not just your own units)

The Greater Daemons:
Ku'Gath: Gimmicky with its Nurgling launcher, but not that bad.

Fateweaver: Awesome, but with a nasty Achilles Heel in that "Fails a Ld test and go poof" kind of way.

Skarbrand: Again, pretty good, but if you're facing a CC heavy opponent he's probably getting more benefit out of the special rules than you are.

Having said all this, the Generic Heralds aren't bad at all, and neither are the Generic Greater Daemons. Wouldn't consider any of the characters mandatory except perhaps Changeling since for 5 points he adds an aweful lot to a unit.

ironmani
22-04-2009, 23:13
Look what it comes down too is this. Play the game they way YOU want to play it. If you want to take a yellow Vulkan, go ahead. Its not my place or anyone elses to tell you how to play your army. Yes I use Pedro Kantor. But I use him as Pedro Kantor, Master of the Crimson Fists, not Brick Steeljaw, Master of the Vanilla Marines (With Ranbow sprinkles!)
Just remember, its a game, have fun and play it the way you want to with SC or without. And if you face one of those SC heavy armies, just follow the advice an old Imperial Guard player gave me back in the day....
"Throw enough shells, bullets, las shots, or bodies at something and it will die."

Durath
22-04-2009, 23:37
What I'm really interested in is showing people that whining incessantly without thought is not the way, and that we can be civil and enlightened.

I once thought as you. I'd argue and rave about complaints I thought didn't deserve merit.

But I discovered, it's often a waste of your energy to try and convince someone against their will. You can be dead on logically with what you are saying, and someone will always step in and fail to see your point of view, or present counter-logic which either ignores certain facts or presents facts unrelated to the point at hand. Usually by then the flaming is rampant.

I digress... this whole 'debate' really isn't a debate if you get down to it. The perception of how 40k should be represented is what the gist of the topic is. I don't believe anyone can really "rule" right or wrong on that. GW has set their standard, and some people don't like it. We can complain, indeed we SHOULD complain as patrons of their products.

Unfortunately, the main GW boards are long gone (in a way bad, in many ways good), so we can't go to the source anymore. But we have BoLS, B&CS, and WS to go to. I happen to think Warseer is the most diverse crowd of them all (which is also bad in some ways, but in many ways good). I'm willing to bet some of these posts are read by GW eyes. Who knows, maybe they are reading this now.

massey
23-04-2009, 06:14
My group doesn't allow them. Just seems dumb that in the massive scale of 40k, the same 10 guys are running around in every little skirmish.

Do you think it is dumb that in Star Wars, in an endless galaxy, the story follows some stupid farmboy around the whole time?

Luke is the main character. He's the hero. So the story follows him. Is it stupid that the movie shows his battle with a Wampa? After all, what are the chances that every single battle would involve Luke? Even in a mere 100 point game, where there's only one model on each side, "oh yeah, you just know Luke's got to be there".

In 40K, the SC can be (note: can be) the hero. It makes perfect sense for every game to involve Calgar if you're playing a "Calgar and his merry men" army. Calgar is the hero, so of course the battle will focus on him. From a narrative perspective, it makes perfect sense. Are there other guys out there fighting? Of course, but we don't focus on them because they aren't the hero.

I have a SM Captain. He's what you would call "generic". He's one of my chapter's greatest heroes. I've never lost a game when he was fielded. He's never died in battle, either. A Tau Hammerhead got close to him on the final game turn. The opponent wanted to be petulant, and so he fired his Rail Gun at the Captain just so that he could say he killed him (the Hammerhead was the last Tau unit on the board). He hit and wounded. I made my Iron Halo save. Then, on the bottom half of the turn, the Captain moved into the side arc, fired his plasma pistol, rolled a 6 to penetrate, and then rolled another 6 and blew it up. That's why he's awesome. He's the hero, and when I bring him, it's because the engagement is simply that important.

So why are characters on both sides? Why does Mad Max mostly kill hordes of nameless bad guys? Because in a movie, we've got one protagonist. In a game, both players have the opportunity to have their own protagonist. That's why Luke only fights Darth Vader a few times, despite being onscreen most of the time.

Ultimately, though, how do you guys justify telling me how to play? I don't want to play armies of scrubs. I don't want to play unimportant battles. In my fluff, my marines run roughshod over the losers. By the time we've gotten to the battle in question, they've already gunned down hordes of orks or cultists or whatever. The games I play? They're the turning point. They're the climactic battle that will decide the fate of a star system. That's why the big guys show up. Maybe your battles don't involve anyone important, but mine do.

Walls
23-04-2009, 06:32
Maybe your battles involve too much caffeine?

No one demanded you play a certain way. We are simply tossing out opinions as to what we think is right/wrong regarding SC whether rule wise or fluff wise.

Koris
23-04-2009, 13:57
Each new codex seems to bring about a new proliferation of character use. Bl

You never see a Blood Angel list without one. Most marine armies have them and often mix and match between the bigger chapters. I've seen many Vulkan's in blue armies and so forth. Now guard. Every new list and battle report I see has a character or more! 1850pt battles with both Creed and Al Rahem?

What is your/your clubs general policy on character use? Should they be limited to certain point levels? Do you use them yourself or even like playing with/against them?

Myself? Anything short of apocalypse I really dislike it. Putting a single character on the table to completely change the game and rules for your army seems, to me, to go against the spirit of the game, not to mention fluff. Yes, yes, your small fight is part of a larger war going on. I get that. But wouldn't these characters not be in the thick of it but rather surrounded in the back by a ton of trusted advisors and bodyguards? Would Creed really be battling it out on the front line surrounded by only a couple guys?

I dunno. I am not too keen on it but will rarely complain when someone else plays one. Hell, the reason for my post is because I can't see to do so without characters.

I'd just like to hear everyone else's thoughts on the return of Herohammer.

And yes, its just as bad in Fantasy.

I play blood Angels and dont use a character...
Hardly ever use them, and I mostly play 1500pts, so not exactly hard to fit in Corbulo or Lemartes...
I dont have a problem with them tbh.

Phazael
23-04-2009, 15:52
Ever heard of Dire Avengers?


Yeah, I hear this a lot, but good luck trying to hold an objective with Dire Avengers, who mind you, actually get outshot AND outfought by equal points of Ork Shoota Boyz or Tactical Marines. Saying you can flop ten Dires out there and you have a Biel Tan list is silly, when Pedro lists can score with Sternguard and there are things like scoring Nob Bikers and double wing Terminator lists. Those armies get to have their theme and their power rules at the same time. Maybe I am just miffed because my 40 striking scorpions are collecting dust on the shelf....

The_Outsider
23-04-2009, 22:47
Yeah, I hear this a lot, but good luck trying to hold an objective with Dire Avengers, who mind you, actually get outshot AND outfought by equal points of Ork Shoota Boyz or Tactical Marines. Saying you can flop ten Dires out there and you have a Biel Tan list is silly, when Pedro lists can score with Sternguard and there are things like scoring Nob Bikers and double wing Terminator lists. Those armies get to have their theme and their power rules at the same time. Maybe I am just miffed because my 40 striking scorpions are collecting dust on the shelf....

Ork boyz get outshot by equal points of obliterators, your point? DA are an aspect. They are troops. They are a good choice.

What more do you want? Rending shruiken catapaults and I10 power weapon toting avengers?

In b4 that actually happens.

Walls
23-04-2009, 22:55
Orks and Marines should be outfighting Dire Avengers.

Besides, in cover and blade storming there won't be much left of a marine tactical squad and if you're leaving a group of DA"s all alone, you're not really using the synergy of Eldar aspects to their potential.

Johnnyfrej
24-04-2009, 00:38
But I discovered, it's often a waste of your energy to try and convince someone against their will. You can be dead on logically with what you are saying, and someone will always step in and fail to see your point of view, or present counter-logic which either ignores certain facts or presents facts unrelated to the point at hand. Usually by then the flaming is rampant.

It's good to know I'm not alone in this world :D

Templar Ben
24-04-2009, 00:42
Special Characters are not the one bad part of 40K.

Don't get me wrong. I would prefer for officers to be officers and not the best killing machines. You know like officers are now in real life. It is not like I would rather have a squad of Marines shooting at me instead of that Major in real life. Officers should serve to give leadership and allow for things like army composition. At least 40K is half right. :)

Edit:

Was I the only one that missed that?

I'd throw up if I tasted a pickle on a taco incidentally.

Joewrightgm
24-04-2009, 01:01
All that I know is if I'm going to play my Black Legion in Planet Strike, Abaddon is going to get his hands dirty.

And honestly, I'm not sure why people don't like using them or facing them. I find it enhances my game greatly if I'm going against an opponent with a Special Character or am using one myself.

For me its just a lot of fun to try and put down that "unkillable" special character, or having my enemy soiling themselves trying to deal with mine. Either way, its good fun for me and the people I typically game with.

samiens
24-04-2009, 01:54
The problem I have with not allowing Scs is that, for example, Belial is as likely to be leading the fighting as any other company master- of whom at any snapshot in time there are all of 10- so in effect a special character will be in my force whether he's named or not. Now Azrael maybe less likely as there are no equivalent ranks. Look at it this way- chances are that there will be a commanding officer in a DA army 9chaplains etc follow the same logic) of which (masters etc only) there are 11 in the DA chapter. Now if we seperate the rank of Supreme Grand Master- the odds of a named company master from the Da codex accompanying a DA force is 1/5! Hardly unlikely then. Ok, so Orks might be different (Don't think I've got enough zeros for the chance of Gazghkull turning up) but he's bound to be somewhere!

So either there should be no characters at all or its fair game- the distinction between Named caharacters and standard characters seems odd to me. As for their in game effects- lately the points seem fairer but that is always going to be a matter of opinion.

Durath
24-04-2009, 04:14
Massey, I think you've derailed slightly from the main point...


Do you think it is dumb that in Star Wars, in an endless galaxy, the story follows some stupid farmboy around the whole time?

Considering that the author of the entire SW-Universe either wrote, or directed, or produced these movies, then no, it isn't dumb that Luke is the focal point of the original trilogy (actually there is strong argument that Anakin/Vader is the focal point of the entire 6-movie span, not Luke).

But we aren't really talking about story driven games in this thread (well, maybe a bit). This is more about tournament play.

If a GW designer busted out Abaddon and started playing with him in a tournament, it would kind of make sense. Just like reading about Abaddon in the center foldout battle report in Apocalypse makes sense. They are the authors of this fictional universe. They have the right to depict these characters any way they choose.

You seem to understand that Games Workshop has given us tools to create our OWN story. Our own heros. They have given us a whole galaxy from which to fashion our own chapters, or craftworlds, or renegades, or clans, or septs or whatever.

Yet, people choose to ignore this. Not because of their desire to re-enact the stories they read, but because they are playing a numbers game TO WIN TOURNAMENTS. And these same people who come to tournaments aren't the authors of the fiction for the characters they bring. Hence my point about Eldrad... in the current 40k timeline, he's DEAD! Yet amazingly I fight him over and over and over.


In 40K, the SC can be (note: can be) the hero....... we don't focus on {other guys} because they aren't the hero.

I think you're a bit off the mark here. If the person you replied to advocates exclusion of ALL SCs ALL the time, then yes, that is a problem.

I think most of us are simply tired of seeing power-gamers abuse the "special" in Special Characters in tournament settings.

I digress, if he DID mean that, then you're spot on to blast him a bit. As I said before, the rules are there to be used. I just don't think tournaments are the stage for it.


I have a SM Captain. He's what you would call "generic". He's one of
my chapter's greatest heroes. ....He's the hero, and when I bring him, it's because the engagement is simply that important.

And this is wonderful creativity. This is the kind of thing I see the developers trying to have happen.


Because in a movie, we've got one protagonist. In a game, both players have the opportunity to have their own protagonist. That's why Luke only fights Darth Vader a few times, despite being onscreen most of the time.

Yes, but enough with the dramatic references to Star Wars. We aren't movie producers (well, most of us aren't).


Ultimately, though, how do you guys justify telling me how to play? I don't want to play armies of scrubs. I don't want to play unimportant battles. In my fluff, my marines run roughshod over the losers...

Well, this is really the crux of the matter.

In a tournament you automatically accept how someone else is telling you how to play.

You have to bring an army with X'# of points. You have to sometimes meet certain painting criteria. You have to be there a certain time. You have to play certain scenarios. You have a set time to play.

The removal of the Special Character restriction in tournaments was a pandora's box, because the SCs have gotten cheaper, and better. So, lets stay focused on that.

Orca
24-04-2009, 06:44
I think the focusing on a tournament setting as the basis for "these characters appear to often" is the wrong way to go about the background. I have a good friend who has claimed that he will play a game about Dog Poo if the rule system is well done and balanced.

His interest in the background of a setting is completely divorced from his interest in the rules of the game that take place within that setting. This is a matter to which I am coming to agree with.

In a situation where winning is "important" then people will play a build or army that they feel is most likely to acomplish their goal of winning. In a setting where narrative is more "important" people are likely to want a reason for Abbadon and Belial to show up.

Both these are perfectly legitimate uses of the game! Personally I have no problem with a Named Character in a game. Tying special army rules to them makes sense - the rule and character cost X points and Y force org slots. And I think of it as a failing on my part if I can't give a good reason for why Eldrad is showing up. (Ok the Elf is cheating here too... Farseers always have an excuse to show up wherever they're needed.) But why is it hard to believe that someone noteworthy is in the portion of the battle that I'm gaming out?

Do Historical wargamers have these problems when they put Napoleon at Waterloo?

Finally, as far as them being unstopable killing machines, in my group at least that title remains with the Flyrant that's killed 3 titans to date.

massey
24-04-2009, 16:48
Massey, I think you've derailed slightly from the main point...

Actually, I think you've derailed a bit from the point of this thread. This isn't about "Special Characters in Tournaments". The discussion has merely drifted there for short periods. Check the OP.


Considering that the author of the entire SW-Universe either wrote, or directed, or produced these movies, then no, it isn't dumb that Luke is the focal point of the original trilogy (actually there is strong argument that Anakin/Vader is the focal point of the entire 6-movie span, not Luke).

What are you talking about? There are only 3 Star Wars movies. The last one was Return of the Jedi in 1983.

:)


But we aren't really talking about story driven games in this thread (well, maybe a bit). This is more about tournament play.

If a GW designer busted out Abaddon and started playing with him in a tournament, it would kind of make sense. Just like reading about Abaddon in the center foldout battle report in Apocalypse makes sense. They are the authors of this fictional universe. They have the right to depict these characters any way they choose.

You seem to understand that Games Workshop has given us tools to create our OWN story. Our own heros. They have given us a whole galaxy from which to fashion our own chapters, or craftworlds, or renegades, or clans, or septs or whatever.

Yet, people choose to ignore this. Not because of their desire to re-enact the stories they read, but because they are playing a numbers game TO WIN TOURNAMENTS. And these same people who come to tournaments aren't the authors of the fiction for the characters they bring. Hence my point about Eldrad... in the current 40k timeline, he's DEAD! Yet amazingly I fight him over and over and over.

See, I don't see this as a problem. Tournament players aren't playing for storyline at all. It's like those Magic players who use umm... Urza's Gonads or something (I haven't had someone talk Magic at me for like 12 years, so I don't remember any of their "fluff"). Why do supposedly rare Magic cards show up all the time? Because they aren't playing it for fluff, they're playing for competition. They aren't telling a story any more than the guys who play poker on ESPN 8. In that sense, Eldrad is a valid unit.

I think there's a general disconnect between fluff players and hardcore tourney players. In 4th ed, what were the odds that every Eldar army was a flying circus? You think Imperial commanders would ask "Hey, where the hell did all these harlequins come from? Like two years ago, I didn't even know what one looked like. Now we're attacked by a million David Bowies." Armies aren't going to be particularly fluffy if you're just building them to win. That's not the fault of Eldrad. What percentage of Ork armies in-universe are Nob Bikers? One percent? How often do you see this at tournaments? More often?

People build armies to win within the confines of the tournament rules. It has nothing to do with special characters.



I think you're a bit off the mark here. If the person you replied to advocates exclusion of ALL SCs ALL the time, then yes, that is a problem.

I think most of us are simply tired of seeing power-gamers abuse the "special" in Special Characters in tournament settings.

I digress, if he DID mean that, then you're spot on to blast him a bit. As I said before, the rules are there to be used. I just don't think tournaments are the stage for it.

I don't see the term "special character" in any book published after 3rd edition. Where is Eldrad listed as "special"? I think you're trying to place certain characters on a pedestal, where the masses can't (or shouldn't) use them. I don't think that's fair or needed.

You seem to think that only, say, one guy out of ten should use Eldrad or Abaddon or whoever. Then you get distressed because everyone seems to want to take the good stuff. Eh. I don't see us as needing a game police to go around and say "sorry, but Eldrad is already taken in this tournament," or "sorry, but contestant #346 has Vulkan in his list, you'll have to change yours".

oni
24-04-2009, 16:54
Simple... Don't play at 1850 pts. Drop it down to something sensible like 1500. If you allow a large points allotment then players not only have the ability, but also the right to play multiple special characters.

And "herohammer" is far from being back.

Durath
24-04-2009, 18:34
Actually, I think you've derailed a bit from the point of this thread. This isn't about "Special Characters in Tournaments". The discussion has merely drifted there for short periods. Check the OP.

The OP referenced 1850 pt. games. He didn't directly SAY tournament play, but this value is the most common level for tournaments in my area.


What are you talking about? There are only 3 Star Wars movies. The last one was Return of the Jedi in 1983. :)

lol. good point.


See, I don't see this as a problem. Tournament players aren't playing for storyline at all...

They aren't telling a story any more than the guys who play poker on ESPN 8. In that sense, Eldrad is a valid unit.

Well, my point is that SCs used to not be a valid unit for T-level play. GW changed this, and detracted from the flavor of the game.


I think there's a general disconnect between fluff players and hardcore tourney players

Well. Yeah. That's to be expected. And this is another reason why fluffy named "special" characters really shouldn't be in the tournament setting.


People build armies to win within the confines of the tournament rules. It has nothing to do with special characters.

Again, more reasons for them to be exlcuded from T.-level play.


I don't see the term "special character" in any book published after 3rd edition. Where is Eldrad listed as "special"? I think you're trying to place certain characters on a pedestal, where the masses can't (or shouldn't) use them. I don't think that's fair or needed.

Not sure if you are being coy or are truely naive to this; "Special" Characters is a hold over term, yes, but it still applies to any named character with unique wargear or special rules for a set points value.


You seem to think that only, say, one guy out of ten should use Eldrad or Abaddon or whoever. Then you get distressed because everyone seems to want to take the good stuff. Eh. I don't see us as needing a game police to go around and say "sorry, but Eldrad is already taken in this tournament," or "sorry, but contestant #346 has Vulkan in his list, you'll have to change yours".

No this is not what I'm saying at all. I'm saying no one should have special characters in tournaments (except maybe a GW dev, but why would they be playing in a tournament?). For any non-competative (i.e. no prize given), one-off games, narrative games, Apocalypse games, PS games, or whatever else suits your fancy, "Special" Characters are a great thing!

Walls
24-04-2009, 18:36
The 1850 was actually referencing a specific army list on the forums that got me thinking about this.

Heimlich
24-04-2009, 18:56
To some of us, there IS more to a character than their rules. For me a character is as much his name and history as he is "rules."

It's a game...

Johnnyfrej
24-04-2009, 19:26
What are you talking about? There are only 3 Star Wars movies. The last one was Return of the Jedi in 1983.

Odd, I distinctly remember six movies...

-Phantom Menace
-Clone Wars
-RoTS
-New Hope
-Empire Strikes Back (my fav)
-RoTJ

Unless my math is wrong that's six movies, right?
Actually would it be seven if you include the Clone Wars animated Movie

Snotteef
24-04-2009, 20:04
Johnnyfrej: I can't tell if you are piling unnecessary irony on top of irony or if you didn't realize they were joking!

There are definitely only 3 Star Wars movies! :p

RustyKnight
24-04-2009, 20:46
Fluffwise- Can't any argument about using SC's be made about using Space Marines or Eldar or any of the other rarer forces? Shouldn't all games be just IG vs. Orks or Tyranids unless a designer shows up?

Ruleswise- If you ban SC's because they are over-used, when do you ban Nob Bikers? Or Kairo/Crusher? Or flying Seer Council? Banning SC's does nothing to the fact that people will still min/max.

druchii
24-04-2009, 20:52
Fluffwise- Can't any argument about using SC's be made about using Space Marines or Eldar or any of the other rarer forces? Shouldn't all games be just IG vs. Orks or Tyranids unless a designer shows up?

Ruleswise- If you ban SC's because they are over-used, when do you ban Nob Bikers? Or Kairo/Crusher? Or flying Seer Council? Banning SC's does nothing to the fact that people will still min/max.


You know what? I'm sick of seeing every marine army with tactical marines. And for that matter every ork army having tons of boys!

I mean, sometime, somewhere, scouts have to be fighting grots right?!

Seriously, this is a great point that I never thought of. Does the fact that EVERY space marine army feature tacticals in rhinos, or burnas in an open topped vehicle, or a def rolla on a battle wagon, or a soul grinder or whatever make those specific units lame/broken/etc?

I mean, there HAVE to be OTHER demon engines besides the Soul Grinder, right?! I mean it's lame we only have ONE!

Damn GW!

d

Durath
24-04-2009, 21:40
Odd, I distinctly remember six movies...

-Phantom Menace
-Clone Wars
-RoTS
-New Hope
-Empire Strikes Back (my fav)
-RoTJ

Unless my math is wrong that's six movies, right?
Actually would it be seven if you include the Clone Wars animated Movie

Whooosh? LOL.

Durath
24-04-2009, 22:38
You know what? I'm sick of seeing every marine army with tactical marines. And for that matter every ork army having tons of boys!

I mean, sometime, somewhere, scouts have to be fighting grots right?!

Seriously, this is a great point that I never thought of. Does the fact that EVERY space marine army feature tacticals in rhinos, or burnas in an open topped vehicle, or a def rolla on a battle wagon, or a soul grinder or whatever make those specific units lame/broken/etc?

I mean, there HAVE to be OTHER demon engines besides the Soul Grinder, right?! I mean it's lame we only have ONE!

Damn GW!

d

Except we aren't talking about min-maxing or spamming broken models... I think that these topics are on this forum somewhere. ;)

We're talking about "Special" Characters (unique names/wargear/rules with offical fluff).

massey
25-04-2009, 07:22
See, the problem that I had back in 3rd edition is that most of those special characters really weren't that good. There were a few gems, but for the most part, they kinda sucked. And then you needed opponent's permission, which you would never get.

I much prefer them to be included as a standard part of the codex. After all, that's how they were in 2nd. I don't think they need to be treated as "special". I do think they need to be balanced, but as I showed earlier, I don't think Eldrad is unbalanced.

victorpofa
26-04-2009, 01:15
Now I understand in 5th some armies need to take them because they aren't valid without them (Like Deathwing for example), but it's unbelievable that GW couldn't find a better solution to this problem.

I have said it before, and I will say it again. They found the exact solution they wanted. When you could only use a special character at certain point levels and with opponent's permission how many special character models did they sell besides Ghazgull (the template for Mega Armored Warbosses)? Not many. How many do they sell now? Lots.

Special characters had a very bad reputation and nobody would let you use them so why buy them? GW has fixed their issue with nobody buying their special character models. Why would they want to keep from selling their models by doing what you suggest?