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jason_sation
15-01-2010, 22:25
While I only play Imperial Guard, when I look over the Codexes for other armies, the one thing I feel makes my Codex a good one is the amount of redundancy. I know that sounds dumb, but let me explain.

Lets say you want to go with a lot of heavy ordinance, you have choices in vehicles for anti-infantry, anti-vehicle, anti-hiding in cover, anti-skimmer, etc. But what if you don't like artillery, you like tanks. Well, flipping to the Leman Russ section of the book you see many different tanks that all fill the same role. Maybe you want to go more of an infantry route. You can find infantry units to fill that role, or even add in some Sentinels to fill out the roles that you need.

Why would redundancy be a good thing? Because it lets you pick the units you want, that will fill the role you need. The Codex doesn't have units that do something really well, that you can't find another unit to fill the same role, for a comprable price. You aren't forced to only take Leman Russes because that's the only good thing at wiping out hordes of enemies. You have so many choices that you can do it however you want.

Just wondering what your thoughts are on this. Any Codexes you have noticed only have maybe one really good unit for taking out vehicles, or really don't have a way with dealing with hordes except for one or two units? Any other Codexes that follow this idea and are great for letting you design an army how you want? (Assuming you are really competitive, which I'm not.)

starlight
15-01-2010, 22:35
Codex IG is great because nothing is awesome, yet nothing sucks...just the way a Codex should be. :) Awesome should be the realm of tactics, not army selection. :)


Lots of older books fall into only having one strong build and lots of junk, but this trend is vanishing under the weight of the new trend of *good and better* units. :)

Netfreakk
15-01-2010, 22:40
The nid codex seems eh (4e) due to the lack of anti-tank though against opponents that aren't heavy mech it does fine. Hopefully the new one will.

WinglessVT2
15-01-2010, 22:47
Many varied choices available, interesting background that's not rehashed a thousand times over, options for customizing and personalizing units, impressive documentation, and epic narration.
Marines, space wolves, imperial guard, and tyranids are examples of good books, while chaos marines is the best example of a bad book.

Whereas regular marines get lots of options and choice, chaos gets one valid unit in all but one category.
Chaos has Swane Wulfbad saying 'GIVE ME GLORY, OR GIVE ME DEATH!!!!!!!!' whereas regular marines have brother-marines going gangsta on wraithlords, carving them up with knives, and Marneus Calgar defeating the god of war. It's ridiculous, but preferable to the alternative, and a lot fresher than 'hark! And thusly tactical squad Orion advanced downhill, and gunned all the orks to death. The end.'
Marines get large lists of equipment for their characters, while chaos don't.

druchii
15-01-2010, 22:57
Many varied choices available, interesting background that's not rehashed a thousand times over, options for customizing and personalizing units, impressive documentation, and epic narration.
Marines, space wolves, imperial guard, and tyranids are examples of good books, while chaos marines is the best example of a bad book.

Whereas regular marines get lots of options and choice, chaos gets one valid unit in all but one category.
Chaos has Swane Wulfbad saying 'GIVE ME GLORY, OR GIVE ME DEATH!!!!!!!!' whereas regular marines have brother-marines going gangsta on wraithlords, carving them up with knives, and Marneus Calgar defeating the god of war. It's ridiculous, but preferable to the alternative, and a lot fresher than 'hark! And thusly tactical squad Orion advanced downhill, and gunned all the orks to death. The end.'
Marines get large lists of equipment for their characters, while chaos don't.

I agree with the first half of this post and vehemently disagree with the second.

The chaos book is fine, and chaos players on the whole, over-inflate this sense of "blandness" for their own advantage. The book is VERY varied and open to a wide style of builds, it's just that chaos players are stuck in the same rut that 'Nids were-building the same or similar lists to the ones they see online. Constantly.

The fluff? Huron and his attack on the SW cruiser are AMAZING. Not to even mention "The Long War".

Chaos lords actually have more wargear than SM captains.

As to the topic, it depends on your definition of the word good. You mean powerful (like the IG Chimera Hull Spam?, Lash Lists, Nob Bikers) or varied and still decently competitive (like the entire Chaos Demons book)? Or a bit of both?

A bit of both would be a wide variety of units that are decently utilitarian and can make for a fun, challenging game in a variety of builds. That's my definition of a "good" codex, and at the moment you most likely see the highest number of said codex around:
Chaos, Space Marines, Demons, Tyranids, Orks, IG, Eldar and Space Wolves. The rest are getting there (or will be soon, I bet, as is the case with BA) but they're also older codexes.

d

WinglessVT2
15-01-2010, 23:23
Chaos are very bland.
Very, very bland, even.

A million units, and only one from each 'slot' is really worth your time.
The demonprince beats out your other options without really trying.
Troops, we have plague marines and berserkers, and the plague marines tend to be better at the jobs you'd expect of troops.
Heavy, we've got obliterators, and nothing else really compares.
For elites, there are terminators.
Fast attack? None of them are really worth it.

A chaos lord can get: power weapon, demon weapon, powerfist, combi-weapons, plasmapistol, and lightning claws.
He has no bling to speak of, other than the marks of chaos.
My marine captain can get: thunderhammer, powerfist, power weapon, relic blade, plasmapistol, combi-weapons, storm shield, and lightning claws.
He has a lot of bling to pick from, like digi-weapons, artificier armor, hellfire ammo, auxiliary grenade launchers, and some other stuff.

The captain also lets you pick bikes as troops if he happens to have a bike himself, starts with an iron halo, plus lets you field a command squad.

Your chaos lord is fearless.
Yeah, that's about it.

I mean 'good' as in 'viable.' You can run spawn, and I can run vanguard, but we're not going to run either, are we?
The problem is, you have a lot of units that are useless, like the spawn, while I have a lot of units that aren't, so my codex is instantly more fun than yours, and all my marine armies don't look like clones of each other.

Plus I'd rather have Marneus Calgar beating up the god of war than reading lame speeches like 'let no good deed go unpunished. Let no evil deed go unrewarded.'

If you want raw power, the boring, bland, one-dimensional books, like the dark eldar and chaos marines, are the way to go, because the few viable units they have are extremely good.

Vepr
15-01-2010, 23:39
One my army can beat up on... :P

That is what everyone means but is not saying. ;)

Gaargod
15-01-2010, 23:43
Go read ork codex. Done? There you go.

With a couple of exceptions, most stuff in the codex works. That means green tide is just as viable as a kult of speed as is battlewagon rush. They all have different support required, etc, and some units turn up in all of them (a necessity of 5th ed troops rules), but even so... that's just awesome.

Compare to current nids. Stealers, hive tyrants, carnifexes, WoN gaunts. That is pretty much the entirety of the usable parts. DE are even worse in some respects - warriors and wyches in raiders are great, ravagers are amazing, dracons/archons are good. That's about it.

The new fantasy beastmen book is unfortunately an example that actually no, its not just older books that have this problem. I've read it: there's way too many 'why would you take this?' options. To be honest, the whole book has its issues, but there's simply no comparison between ungor units and a tuskgor chariot - not only is the chariot cheaper, but it hits harder and is (sort of) faster. Both of them are core, so that's not an excuse either.

Fluff is different of course, and more down to personal taste. As long as its written well, and not completely off the ceiling, that's fine by me. If its written badly... well that's just inexcusable.

starlight
15-01-2010, 23:49
One my army can beat up on... :P

That is what everyone means but is not saying. ;)

Nope, just you.


The rest of us want decent battles that provide a challenge that can be overcome through skill...backed up with lots of interesting background to read. :)

Bunnahabhain
15-01-2010, 23:55
Internal and external balance.
All units viable
Multiple builds possible.
Not invalidating older models and set ups too badly- they may not be optimal, but keep them legal.
Good background
Clear and straight forward special rules that work as intended ( ie IG orders) not messes like living metal and WBB

and two I'd like to see more of.
Generic, not special characters modifying FOC slots etc.
Armouries, not pointlessly listing the same option 28 times over...

Toe Cutter
16-01-2010, 00:13
I'm surprised noone has made the obvious joke, this being the internet and specifically Warseer.

Anyone mind if I make it?

Phil Kelly.

Wingless have you actually played with the chaos codex for a good long while or are you just regurgitating what you've heard on here? In the last month or so I've seen several chaos lists that did reasonably well and didn't conform to your 'thesis on the cookie cutter'.

What makes a good codex? You've got to give at least some kudos to the authors of the dark eldar codex. Its getting to the point where that thing is older than some of the people I'm seeing in the local gamesworkshop. That you can make anything at all thats not only serviceable but actually very competitive when played well from it is astounding.

WinglessVT2
16-01-2010, 00:34
Chaos was my first ever army, and I stuck to them through the ages.
I tried the 'new' book when it had been freshly relased, and gave it a few more tries later on, but I found it to be very lacking, soulless, boring, and all the ultra-powerful units were obvious right from the start.

Dark eldar lucked out, but yeah, it's surprising how powerful they still are.

azimaith
16-01-2010, 00:55
A good codex shows evidence of careful consideration of options while respecting the fluff.

Signs of a bad codex are things like inexplicable points values, cost increases for nearly similar items, clumsy redundant choices in the same force selection, and no brainer choices.

Furthermore units bloated with overwhelming numbers of upgrades and special rules as part of their minimum cost is also a sign of a bad codex as it reduces the codex' ability to perform in low point games.

A good codex should have rarely cause someone to utter the line "Why would I ever take X when I could take Y which is cheaper and does the same job better."

enygma7
16-01-2010, 01:29
I'd agree with the people have said "all units viable". The alternative leads to a small number of standard builds (witness nidzilla with the old nid book) and an artifical gap between fluff and the way the army is actually played. Also, some units just seem to disappear from the 40k universe (are all the swooping hawks on holiday somewhere?). But in addition I'd have to add fun play style. Dwarves in warhammer are an excellent example of an army true to fluff but with a boring play style. The army should be fun to play both with an against and have numerous tactical options, whether it be through deployment options, unit synergies or special rules and wargear. And it should have character and play true to its background.

jason_sation
16-01-2010, 01:52
I'd agree with the people have said "all units viable". The alternative leads to a small number of standard builds (witness nidzilla with the old nid book) and an artifical gap between fluff and the way the army is actually played. Also, some units just seem to disappear from the 40k universe (are all the swooping hawks on holiday somewhere?). But in addition I'd have to add fun play style. Dwarves in warhammer are an excellent example of an army true to fluff but with a boring play style. The army should be fun to play both with an against and have numerous tactical options, whether it be through deployment options, unit synergies or special rules and wargear. And it should have character and play true to its background.

I think this was the best change in the IG Codex. They made them more maneuverable yet didn't alter the army drastically. By lowering the cost of Chimeras you aren't losing a large investment of your army just to make a unit or two better at moving around the table. And of course there are the Valks/Vendettas.

You can still have your hordelike gunline yet still have some clutch units that go grab the objectives as needed.

For me it made IG more fun to play yet kept with the flavor of the army.

Seismic
16-01-2010, 02:43
I'd boil it down to 2 core issue.

1) A sense of continuity from the previous edition to the new one. If its a first release, or something pertaining to an original release (Dark eldars or Necrons for example), it should be primarily based on point 2.

2)Internal consistency & Balance. Like others have pointed out, having viability equally distributed amongst all entry.

To go into some of the details: Its terribly hard to consider a codex "Good" if it makes a significant part of your models obsolete/pointless. Even if it is good in every other way. This is where continuity comes in; It should grow , almost in an organic way , your army: trimming some parts , changing functions of some units, adding new models to your list without feeling necessary to do so in order to stay "Alive". In other words: Core characteristics, emblematic of the army in question should , at the very least, be represent in the book , even if they have changed in purpose.

Internal balance , i think, is self explanatory: Why bother with a unit entry, if an other fulfills the same role better/cheaper ? There is nothing wrong with having a narrow purpose, as long as its very efficient in that role. I think balance revolves a lot around synergies and competition between force organization charts entries.

Overall i think both issue are resolved , rather easily, with new units & models all together. The more you remove Models/units from one edition to an other , the less "Good" it is, generally speaking. So while having eliminated Unit "X" from the codex may not disturb some, it may be very disconcerting to others. However adding a new unit "Y" will ,at worst ,get a ":wtf:" from the community without alienating any players. At some point the codex would get bloated with units and models, at which point it may be easily remedied by a consolidation of units, say for example: Vanguards & Assault marines. They both , basically look alike, serve more or less the same goal, and could easily be a single unit.

Anyways , that was my 2 cents on the issue.

CKO
16-01-2010, 04:34
An army that have clear choices that will beat marines, but at the same time most of its units have a clear way to be beaten by marines.

LKHERO
16-01-2010, 06:33
Internal and external balance.
All units viable
Multiple builds possible.
Not invalidating older models and set ups too badly- they may not be optimal, but keep them legal.
Good background
Clear and straight forward special rules that work as intended ( ie IG orders) not messes like living metal and WBB

and two I'd like to see more of.
Generic, not special characters modifying FOC slots etc.
Armouries, not pointlessly listing the same option 28 times over...

This man knows what he's talking about.

Darthvegeta800
16-01-2010, 07:19
I agree with the first half of this post and vehemently disagree with the second.

The chaos book is fine, and chaos players on the whole, over-inflate this sense of "blandness" for their own advantage. The book is VERY varied and open to a wide style of builds, it's just that chaos players are stuck in the same rut that 'Nids were-building the same or similar lists to the ones they see online. Constantly.

The fluff? Huron and his attack on the SW cruiser are AMAZING. Not to even mention "The Long War".

Chaos lords actually have more wargear than SM captains.

As to the topic, it depends on your definition of the word good. You mean powerful (like the IG Chimera Hull Spam?, Lash Lists, Nob Bikers) or varied and still decently competitive (like the entire Chaos Demons book)? Or a bit of both?

A bit of both would be a wide variety of units that are decently utilitarian and can make for a fun, challenging game in a variety of builds. That's my definition of a "good" codex, and at the moment you most likely see the highest number of said codex around:
Chaos, Space Marines, Demons, Tyranids, Orks, IG, Eldar and Space Wolves. The rest are getting there (or will be soon, I bet, as is the case with BA) but they're also older codexes.

d


I agree in part. I like the new CSM codex though I dislike some elements.
The Chaos Lord should be better and Tzeentch/Thousand Sons more playable/competitive. Some of the 'heroes' need a revamp too. Overall I rather like my CSM 'dex. Especially the fluff!

Frostmane
16-01-2010, 07:33
To start, interesting post, and a valid question.

In my opinion, versatility and multiple choices to fill similar roles make a good codex. Like jason-sation stated, multiple tanks with different play styles that roles overlap are a great thing, because now I can choose the best option for the job based on the army I am fighting. Versatility is key, Daemon Hunters while strong are boring to play. I have 1 tactic, which is to march up the field taking heavy fire and casualties. No transports like rhinos or drop pods make your options quite limiting.
Not all codexes need be versatile in the same manner either. Take Eldar, Orks, and Space Marines. All have some versatility, but the manner and execution are drastically different.

Lastly, the one thing I don't care for, and really hurts the codex is the must have. As in without blank, you are not playing your army correctly. As previously mentioned, a chaos player must take obliterators because the other heavy choices pale in comparison.

Bloodriver
16-01-2010, 07:34
I think the most important thing is that the points values for all units and upgrades within a Codex should be closely balanced. There are very few units that are entirely useless, but there are many that nobody ever uses because they represent poor value when you have a finite number of points to spend (i.e. pretty much always).

Other things, in no particular order are that the army's rules and units should reflect the character of the army (Orks do a good job of this), the army should be fun to play and distinctly different from the other armies (which is probably the biggest failing of the current CSM Codex), and the book itself should look good - the artwork especially should be of a high standard, which is another failing of the current CSM Codex. The only good illustrations in it were handed down from the previous edition - all the new work was crap. This might seem like a minor point, but I find a lot of my inspiration for conversions and interesting themes comes from good quality artwork, so it's important to me.