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Storak
29-11-2009, 12:08
i think the release of the Skaven book gives a good opportunity to take a look at the (power) changes over 7th edition.

for a comparison, we would want armies that are somewhat similar. i argue, that O&G and skaven are. both armies are considered horde armies. and there are units in both armies, that are incredibly similar.
there are important differences though. the biggest one is the O&G access to cavalry. we just need to keep this in our mind.

the comparison only gives any information about power changes in 7th edition, if the two armies are representative of different phases of 7th edition. while this is obviously true from a time line perspective (orcs among the first, skaven among the last books), i argue that it is also true from a power perspective.

orcs were not considered massively underpowered, when the book came out. most players were happy with the new choppa rules there was no immediate outcry calling the book weak.

the same is true for Skaven now. the true power level will only show in tournaments and over time, but the current reception of the book seems to be strong but not overpowered.


now i ll take a look at three units from both armies:

goblins and clanrats.

the return of half points make a massive difference between those units. skaven with LA and shield only cost 1/2 a point more than gobbos with the same equipment. and they have serious stat advantages (M, WS, ini and most often even Ld)
the skaven units can be used outside the generals LD bubble, and they don t suffer from animosity . gobbos are seriously outclassed.
the comparison to nightgoblins is more complicated, but should basically gie the same conclusion. clanrats are much better, for just a minor price increase.

savage orcs and plague monks

ouch. with similar equipment (extra choppa) the orcs are 30% more expensive than the monks. they profit from the choppa rule (s4 during first turn) and from a 6+ ward, but suffer animosity. and they come with some minor stat disadvantages (M, ini) on the other hand, the orcs are core, while the monks take up a special slot.
i would still argue, that the orcs (animosity is really crippling for 2 HW frenzy troops) should not cost really more than the skaven do.

giant and hell pit abomination

i will not waste time on this comparison. the difference is obvious.

------------------

my conclusion:

there is no mathematically formula to base this on, but from the units above, i see a price advantage of about 20% for the skaven. this is pretty extreme, as it boils down to about an extra greater daemon in a 2000 points game.

i would love to hear your opinions on this assessment. i expect many of you to have a different take on this?!?

OldMan
29-11-2009, 13:03
Sorry to say, but You have just discovered America.
Skaven outclass Orcs, there is no need for detailed analyse. It is obvious since first reading of the skaven codex.

Vermin-thing
29-11-2009, 13:18
Sorry to say, but You have just discovered America.
Skaven outclass Orcs, there is no need for detailed analyse. It is obvius since first reading of the skaven codex.

You sir, are missing the point.

I think the vast difference demonstrated here is the work of GW not knowing what derection to take, or rather having far to many heads for one body.

Lets go this way, and make all the army books streamlined, and under powered. One month later... Whoo lets do the exact opposite!!! Whoot! LOL! We'll sell SO much if we make each book better than the one before it. LOLZZZZLZ!!!?@!A!!1! :rolleyes:

But really, if I had a dime for every time GW HQ changed their mind I'd be rich right now.

Kuroi
29-11-2009, 14:13
Wasnt the OnG updated at the end of 6th:ed/really early in 7th?
And Skaven just came out... It is what was to be expected really... New armies have more or less always came out stronger/with more new toys than they had in earlier editions <.<.

Storak
29-11-2009, 14:33
Wasnt the OnG updated at the end of 6th:ed/really early in 7th?
And Skaven just came out... It is what was to be expected really... New armies have more or less always came out stronger/with more new toys than they had in earlier editions <.<.


yes, power creep can be expected. but i think these books offer an opportunity, to get estimates about the level of power creep over an edition.

this is possible because the armies are similar and have similar units. and because they seem to be representative of the power level of their stage of 7th edition.

you could not do a similar comparison between empire and daemons. the armies are very different, the units even more so and daemons are definitely not representative of other armies power level.

so this is a unique opportunity, and i would like to hear some more opinions.

ps: this is not about power creep happening or not. about it being good or bad. or even being a necessity for the company and the customers. this is about the fact, that we can get estimates about the effect and size of power creep.
i would love to hear some opinions on my estimate. whether you believe that i got it somewhat right or completely wrong.

Thunderfist
29-11-2009, 14:39
i think the release of the Skaven book gives a good opportunity to take a look at the (power) changes over 7th edition.

for a comparison, we would want armies that are somewhat similar. i argue, that O&G and skaven are. both armies are considered horde armies. and there are units in both armies, that are incredibly similar.
there are important differences though. the biggest one is the O&G access to cavalry. we just need to keep this in our mind.

In my opinion it doesn't matter that much.
Unless you are talking about savage orc cavalry (which has a terrible save and frenzy + animosity to make them easy for the enemy to destroy) O&G cavalry is terrible. No chance I will pay 30pts for that Boar Boy Big'Un. The only thing that can make them somewhat worthwile is Nogg's banner.

Also, if you consider cavalry to be important to take care of the flanks of the army, know that Skaven will probably field an abomination/doomwheel on both sides. Which are FAR better flank protectors for a reasonable amount of points (well, true that they are a bit slower and a bit random. But they don't suffer from animosity)

True that O&G have lots of fast cavalry. But that cavalry will get in trouble if they have to take terror test (which by the way both the Doomwhell and the Abomination has) or if you simply face elves. Also, animosity is horrible for fast cavalry.



the comparison only gives any information about power changes in 7th edition, if the two armies are representative of different phases of 7th edition. while this is obviously true from a time line perspective (orcs among the first, skaven among the last books), i argue that it is also true from a power perspective.

orcs were not considered massively underpowered, when the book came out. most players were happy with the new choppa rules there was no immediate outcry calling the book weak.

I agree. But I've come to the conclusion that O&G will never be a good army. Have O&G ever done well on any larger tournament? There are those odd goblin/spear chukka armies, but other than that I don't think they EVER have...



the same is true for Skaven now. the true power level will only show in tournaments and over time, but the current reception of the book seems to be strong but not overpowered.


now i ll take a look at three units from both armies:

goblins and clanrats.

the return of half points make a massive difference between those units. skaven with LA and shield only cost 1/2 a point more than gobbos with the same equipment. and they have serious stat advantages (M, WS, ini and most often even Ld)
the skaven units can be used outside the generals LD bubble, and they don t suffer from animosity . gobbos are seriously outclassed.
the comparison to nightgoblins is more complicated, but should basically gie the same conclusion. clanrats are much better, for just a minor price increase.

Goblins are horribad. They also fear elves (dangerous now that elves are cheaper and Dark Elves are one of the "big 3"). Orcs are just better.



savage orcs and plague monks

ouch. with similar equipment (extra choppa) the orcs are 30% more expensive than the monks. they profit from the choppa rule (s4 during first turn) and from a 6+ ward, but suffer animosity. and they come with some minor stat disadvantages (M, ini) on the other hand, the orcs are core, while the monks take up a special slot.
i would still argue, that the orcs (animosity is really crippling for 2 HW frenzy troops) should not cost really more than the skaven do.

Well, s4 does a lot on the first turn. But a Savage Orc with 2nd Hand Weapon costs almost as much as a Saurus. And a Savage Orc ain't even remotely close to that good.



giant and hell pit abomination

i will not waste time on this comparison. the difference is obvious.

I agree to 100%.



------------------

my conclusion:

there is no mathematically formula to base this on, but from the units above, i see a price advantage of about 20% for the skaven. this is pretty extreme, as it boils down to about an extra greater daemon in a 2000 points game.

i would love to hear your opinions on this assessment. i expect many of you to have a different take on this?!?

In my opinion the big problem is that the only unit that followed the 7th edition "horde" cost was the regular Orc Boy. You can compare him to most skaven units, and he will probably win most combats even for the same points. However, they are far less mobile so the skaven may win out in the end anyway.

Now, the rest of the army used 6th edition costs (or even ABOVE that for Boar Boyz) so unless you field an army FILLED with Orc Boyz (which would in no way be a decent army) you are going to end up "wasting" a bunch of points.

Skaven feels a little like an Orc Army done right. A horde army with loads of dangerous things happening for both sides. An army that you will end up thinking "how the heck am I going to kill that?" if you face it.

Skaven is an army where both you and your opponent will giggle when things explode on both sides.
O&G is an army where your opponent will giggle when things explode on your side.

Djekar
29-11-2009, 14:48
I just want to say, in response to the last point from Tunderfist that I miss my 28 point Night Goblin shaman... oh, how the heads would pop!

Also, I am holding out hope for the new O&G book, but I think that overall Mean Green will always be a weak(ish) army because of animosity - it's like stupid on LD 9 for your whole army. Doesn't sound that bad until you realize that you're fielding more than a dozen "eligible" units in every army. I still love "da Boyz" though.

Drakcore Bloodtear
29-11-2009, 14:56
I don't get it how can O&G be better without changing the Skaven book
For example Goblins to make them better you need to cheapen them up but then you'd need to cheapen Gnoblars which are already cheap enough
What GW need to do is make another Ravenous Hoards book for the mean time while they fix this problem

Tastyfish
29-11-2009, 15:23
Biggest problem for the O&Gs is animosity at the moment, each individual unit is generally worse than the opponents (due to being a horde army) but currently its very hard to get the units to work in conjunction with each other. However Animosity is pretty much the Greenskin rule so you can't do away with it completely.

Were I to change O&Gs I would do that following

Animosity applies to any unit with a unit strength of 12 or more (so fast cav and boarboyz aren't bothered by it, you need a certain number of greenskins for the 'There's aways one' factor to kick in. Troublemakers need somewhere to hide, and when there's only 5 of you its not going to happen.

Only happens on a 1, after charges are declared. If they're charging the enemy then no problems - orcs squabble when bored, not when they're about to kick some heads in. If they can charge an enemy, then they charge, if not but they can charge a friendly then they'll charge them, if none of the above, squabble.

Make savage orcs skirmish and add Doom divers as a Screamer type flyer unit (if flying over a unit they do a S3 hit, on a 1 they die and cause a S5 hit). Goblins with 1/2 point equipment is all you need there I think, with fear elves reduced to just outnumbering rather than 2 to 1.

enygma7
29-11-2009, 17:43
How does comparing anything to orcs and goblins show power creep? They were crap when they came out as well, not just in comparison with new armies.

yorch
29-11-2009, 18:07
Yep, actually 6th ed Skavens were also superior than O&Gs... and if you take in account that by then weapon teams were nearly unkillable by shooting...


By the way, I don't think that there is power creep... but less playtesting every new book iteration. Books are becoming really unbalanced and unplaytested, leaving a lot of space for abusive lists, but the majority of new books are at more or less the same powerlevel. They are just poorly written, tested and executed.

Kahadras
29-11-2009, 20:53
How does comparing anything to orcs and goblins show power creep? They were crap when they came out as well, not just in comparison with new armies.

When they were released the O&G book was the template on which all the other books were ment to be built on. GW said they wanted to tone down stuff like cavalry and promote a more balanced approach to army building. Ultimately this failed as yet again progressive armies books ramped up the power levels.

Kahadras

Avian
29-11-2009, 21:35
Well, yes and no. The greenskin book was a disappointment when it first came out and though it wasn't terrible, it was a step backwards from the old book, which wasn't amazing either.

Review I wrote when the book was released: Orcs & Goblins Army Book review (http://www.avianon.net/news/orc_armybook.php)

Kalec
30-11-2009, 02:13
OnG will be fine once animosity goes the way of intrigue at court.

Aliarzathanil
30-11-2009, 05:01
Nice review Avian, most of your points have held up nicely.

Gork or Possibly Mork
30-11-2009, 06:51
I don't really think that is a good comparison for power creep. While certain elements of each army are similar thats true of all armies. A better comparison would be Skaven 6th ed.>Skaven 7th...Duh

I agree though the difference is quite huge with access to unbreakable/stubborn plague blocks, abomination, tunneling, exploding slaves, storm banner for anti shooting/flying and some nasty new lores to boot. Not to mention all the nasty shooting they always had but now complete with doomwheel and autohit templates.

Not many drawbacks and they gained alot of strengths. Sadly it appears all new books have fewer and fewer drawbacks but somehow O&G kept thier weaknesses and gained little strength.

The only big thing O&G have over skaven is the size matters rule, they can call a waaagh which is nice but is still crippled by animosity and they have cavalry. That's about it.

decker_cky
30-11-2009, 07:20
Skaven did lose quite a bit compared to last edition. They lost raw power in their cheap magic (storm daemon, 2D6 warp lightning), shooting into combat, lead from the back, cheap effective magic items, tunnelers, skirmishing jezzails, cheap 20 pt drops of globadiers, WLC shooting through terrain, etc...

I'd more say the book is very different rather than better.

Gork or Possibly Mork
30-11-2009, 08:02
Skaven did lose quite a bit compared to last edition. They lost raw power in their cheap magic (storm daemon, 2D6 warp lightning), shooting into combat, lead from the back, cheap effective magic items, tunnelers, skirmishing jezzails, cheap 20 pt drops of globadiers, WLC shooting through terrain, etc...

I'd more say the book is very different rather than better.

Thier magic lores are better overall , shooting in combat who cares when everything auto template hits and slaves can still be shot and they explode now. Lead from the back is not so much needed now when your trouncing everything with atrotious bell/furnace plague blocks, censors and abominations, who needs cheap magic items when you have a storm banner that makes up for lack of good items, they can atleast have a fully ranked tunnel unit and charge the turn they appear and who needs WLC when you got underpriced HPA and doomwheels not to mention a nice new plague catapult that will unfortunately not get used because the other options are just too good.

They gained far more then they lost. Id say they are way, way better in every respect. No so much on a unit per unit but as a whole in particular synergy and in every phase of the game they are far better off than before. I would even go as far as to say that 6th edition list with only a few tweaks will fair much better then before.

There not broken by any means ( besides stormbanner with a certain build ) but they are far more powerful and competitive in every way that they weren't before and then some.

yorch
30-11-2009, 08:12
Agree with that. The skaven book is now more abusable than ever, but in terms of normal playing is very different than the 6th ed book, and not strictly superior by any means... only doomwheels and HPA are setting the difference, but the nerf of engineers, magic (worst arcane item list in any army hands down), tunnelers, ratling guns, PWD and WLC is still there... Not saying they are worse now, but the style play has changed notably.


I don't think there is such a big power creep. It all depends in the armies. I will write my opinions about the armies released after O&Gs, when GW decided to change it's policy again:

DoC:
Power creep from HoC previous iteration (I got a 40/50 chance of winning back then with maxed out lists... now I have to soften them if a want to give chances in friendly playing). Balance issues and undercosting everywere. However, if you play mono-god lists, save from tzeentch armies, they are not all that powerful. Power creep: Yes. Abusable: Yes

DE:
HUGE power creep. Half of the units are undercosted, and some magic items are just rediculous. Power creep: Yes. Abusable: Yes.

VC:
They were a very well designed army back in 6th ed, and they were not improved that much. However, the list was made abusable (exaclty the lists that people complain about). Power creep: No. Abusable: Yes

WoC:
A dull revision of the HoC book... I don't see powercreep or abusable lists. The same kind of lists that you could do before, with little improvements to compensate the loss of daemons and beasts. Power creep: No. Abusable: No.


Lizarmen:
They are more or less as before, with some improved things and better internal balance. The only problem is the stegadon balance issues. Power creep: No. Abusable: Yes


HE:
ASF was hard at the first time, but when you are used to it is not that game breaking and at least puts elite elven infantry in a good place in the metagame. Not the better solution but a solution anyway. They were one of the weaker lists in 6th and needed an overhaul. Power creep: No. Abusable: No.

This is, of course, my personal opinion, in line with the battles I've played. I am mainly a DoC & Skaven player but I did play a lot with empire and mixed HoC (apart form deamon pure armies, I also played slaanesh themed mixed armies) back in 6th. I don't see a sustained power creep, but balance issues everywere, and a lot of space for abusive gaming, which is even worst than power creep.

Power creep has not to be bad if all armies get redone. I mean, one good thing of DoC is that the paradigm of playing with the minis you want to field can be done. You still have to think tactics and play well, but it's the first time I can play a fully mono god slaanesh army without seen my army totally underperforming (while still has it's weaknesess) and that is a good thing. The bad thing is that this also lets space for min-maxing, and that's the real problem in the DoC book. This is also true, to a lesser extent to DE and VC. If some limitations were included these list will work better (lose more) in the metagame.

enygma7
30-11-2009, 20:33
I don't see a sustained power creep, but balance issues everywere, and a lot of space for abusive gaming, which is even worst than power creep.


Agreed. I get frustrated when I see threads on power creep with everyone just blindly accepting its happening. If it were you'd see each army book being better than the last when in fact what you see is varying degrees of power between lists. I think part of this is due to a change in ethos around the release of high elves and partly bad balancing between lists. Also, except for a blip with dark elves/vampires/daemons I think the various army books since high elves are fairly balanced against each other, although granted that 3 entire army books is a pretty huge blip.

willowdark
30-11-2009, 20:53
Well, yes and no. The greenskin book was a disappointment when it first came out and though it wasn't terrible, it was a step backwards from the old book, which wasn't amazing either.

Review I wrote when the book was released: Orcs & Goblins Army Book review (http://www.avianon.net/news/orc_armybook.php)

This has essentially been my point everytime I speak up in one of these threads.

It should be reasonable to assume that GW realized right away that intentionally nerfing an army in the name of "game balance" doesn't really make the game better, for anyone.

Storak
30-11-2009, 21:05
thanks for all the replies!

Adrian, i guess i actually had your review in mind, when i wrote that first perception of the book was not as a weak book. a book with problems, but not horribly weak.

i think that the theory of power creep is stronger, than the assumption that the power level of books is completely random. they obviously have tried to make new books weaker than daemons, but we are no where close to orcs.

i tried a simple thing: i used the army tiers results from this topic (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=231472) and the release schedule posted by Avian (with dwarfs added in)


Army books released so far during 7th edition
Orcs & Goblins (oct 2006)
Empire (jan 2007)
High Elves (nov 2007)
Vampire Counts (mar 2008)
Daemons of Chaos (may 2008)
Dark Elves (aug 2008)
Warriors of Chaos (nov 2008)
Lizardmen (feb 2009)
Skaven (nov 2009)

and did a simple regression analysis with open office calc. (against number of release..)

a logarithmic regression gives a Rē of about 40%, which is not so bad...
(very few data points though. one has to be very cautious about such results..)

comparing 6th edition books to 7th edition books could also make sense, IF they were released at about the same position during both editions. i did not think about that!

decker_cky
30-11-2009, 21:18
I don't think it's so much power 'creep', it's more just a rebalancing of the power level to around where HE, Lizardmen and Warriors are. VC, Daemons and DE came out a little higher, but overall, newer books can compete amongst themselves quite well.

Storak
30-11-2009, 21:24
... overall, newer books can compete amongst themselves quite well.

this sounds like a pretty perfect description of power creep....

i think that it is rather interesting, that the tiers post i linked to above, ranks both lizards and skaven slightly above HE...

decker_cky
30-11-2009, 21:26
Power creep implies a constant upward trend. Changed power level has books designed for it balanced around an average level.

Storak
30-11-2009, 21:36
Power creep implies a constant upward trend. Changed power level has books designed for it balanced around an average level.

i disagree. there is a serious random part in the power level of books.

power creep describes a general trend of books getting stronger, the later they get released during the edition. i would expect outliers.

ps: has anyone done a comparison between clanrats and orcs?

Malorian
30-11-2009, 21:38
Looking at the new book I'm no more worried about skaven than I was in their last edition.

6.7X 35 point spear chukka > 235 hell pit if you ask me

There are things like the storm banner that need to be FAQd but otherwise they seem fine.


P.S. One thing you have to remember in the monks vs savages combat is that savages can take spears ;)

Storak
01-12-2009, 13:50
P.S. One thing you have to remember in the monks vs savages combat is that savages can take spears ;)

i thought about this. but it is a more complicated comparison. savage orcs with spears most often are the better option, even though they lose the choppa bonus. but they definitely aren t nearly 30% better than the plague monks either.


There are things like the storm banner that need to be FAQd but otherwise they seem fine.

this post is not an attempt to talk about skaven being too strong or orcs being too weak. it really just is an attempt to get a grasp of how power levels have changed over this edition.


6.7X 35 point spear chukka > 235 hell pit if you ask me

i think that such a comparison is basically useless. the units you compare, are simply too different to make this viable. 12 jezzails can kill one giant every turn.

those spear chuckas would kill 2 giants. factoring in the storm banner, they will need 3-4 turns to kill one abomination. and from turn 2 on, it might cause terror checks on those chuckas, that you refused to give any bullies to...

Malorian
01-12-2009, 15:07
The comparision is difficult but either way the savage orcs with spears are going to compete.

Take 18 monks vs 14 savage orcs with spears (same points) and make each 6 wide (even though the orcs would be better at 7 wide).

Monks have 18 attacks, 9 hit, 3 wound, 2.5 get past ward.

9.5 savage orcs attacks back with 19 attacks, 9.5 hit, killing 3.2.

Looks pretty even to me, and even though the savages lose when you factor in ranks and outnumber it's really not by much, and definately not enough to cry power creep.

If the charge goes the other way and they still use spears then the orcs kill 2 and the monks kill 2, and if they use their single choppa the orcs kill 3 and the monks kill 1.5.


And you can't discount my comment about the storm banner and then try to use the storm banner at the same time. If you don't assume that the storm banner works every turn (and if you add a 40 point item that means another 35 point spear chukka) then they kill the abomination even faster.

Storak
01-12-2009, 15:14
The comparision is difficult but either way the savage orcs with spears are going to compete.

Take 18 monks vs 14 savage orcs with spears (same points) and make each 6 wide (even though the orcs would be better at 7 wide).

Monks have 18 attacks, 9 hit, 3 wound, 2.5 get past ward.

9.5 savage orcs attacks back with 19 attacks, 9.5 hit, killing 3.2.

Looks pretty even to me, and even though the savages lose when you factor in ranks and outnumber it's really not by much, and definately not enough to cry power creep.

losing combat means losing frenzy. you are left with some really expensive guys, which are now worse in combat, than common orcs...


And you can't discount my comment about the storm banner and then try to use the storm banner at the same time. If you don't assume that the storm banner works every turn (and if you add a 40 point item that means another 35 point spear chukka) then they kill the abomination even faster.

i will expect to find the storm banner in every skaven army. i factored in 1.25 turns of effect...

selone
01-12-2009, 15:17
Welcome back Storak, where have you been :)?

For the record I think the Skaven book is a good book. Its characterful, fun and at a decent power level, not outrageous but certainly not weak. As an orc and goblin player I'm a bit envious as I think the 7th ed orc book is mediocre and dull.

Orc's will have their day though and I sincerely hope they can make a competitive list some day that isn't artillery tastic and can include cavalry :) and I don't mean fast cavalry :P An army with lots of good choices rather than a few, average ones.

Malorian
01-12-2009, 15:18
Yes and so who ever gets luck in that first combat is going to get a big boost, the point is that they are fairly close in power and not one sided like some people make it seem.


I too expect to see the storm banner in each army, but if you add that cost then you need to add another spear chukka ;)

Storak
01-12-2009, 15:19
i have a 4th unit comparison to look at:

squig hoppers and plague censer bearers.
the latter got cheaper, so they now cost only one point more than the hoppers, and they got an additional attack. movement is very different, but on average similar. hoppers can charge units they can t see, which is an advantage, but they are really bad, when they get charged. the plague censer bearers are frenzy (a dissadvantage) but pack much more power (3 hatred S5 attacks plus the toughness test) and are scary for chargers (T test before combat).

and the hoppers are considered a strong choice for O&G.

Malorian
01-12-2009, 16:21
The fact that hoppers can charge the things you can't see is way they are taken. They flush out scouts in woods that are march blocking your line.

Why don't you compare the doom flayer to a wolf chariot? or to two fanatics?


How about we start getting some actual battle reports together so we can see how the armies work on a whole.

Do you have any skaven players in your arena Storak? Have a game against them and post the report (not just the result).

Skaven players are a little bit rare over here but I can see what I can do.