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Lord_Crull
17-08-2007, 01:09
Now I just got my white dwarf in the mail. Reading the battle report I noticed that both generals made poor unit choices. Both chosing impractical army lists for the occasion. Then I realized that it was a trend in all of WD battle reports.

For example in a battle report during Medusa V Graham McNeil chose a land raider and a group of termies in a 1500 point game. In the same game he also chose a captain and a chaplain as well as a dread.

Obviously he lost.

In the new white dwarf the chaos general took mostly footslogging troops against the Imperial Guard. Itís a wonder why he didnít win. They should have been shot to pieces before they even reached the firing line. Maybe itís due to the face that his opponent took equally bad unit decisions and deployed in the opposite side of the board.

He had a group of foot slooging termies that the IG player ignored most of the game intil they got in close combat. His termie lord was also footsloging.

Why are they making such ridiculous unit choices?

Khornies & milk
17-08-2007, 01:13
imo it has nothing to do with choosing a good tactically viable list. It's about using models that plant the seed that these choices are indeed viable, and so people, especially newbie's, buy these models.

ehlijen
17-08-2007, 01:24
maybe, just maybe they are trying to encourage people to make fun army lists rather then pure power motivated ones?

Baneboss
17-08-2007, 01:26
These days WD is a big advertisement for which you have to pay while receiving little to nothing in return.

Vaktathi
17-08-2007, 01:30
maybe, just maybe they are trying to encourage people to make fun army lists rather then pure power motivated ones?

you can make a fun list that is still solid, but making a list just because it looks cool but loses all the time for obvious reasons is just silly and is no fun.

for instance, making a marine list with lots of close combat oriented assault marines and lightning claw terminators can be fluffy, but if you get thrown against a mechanized eldar army or a guard army with a couple tanks (or an Armoured Company) and forgot to bring some predators or devestator squads it may not do so well.

RampagingRavener
17-08-2007, 01:33
First, the Battle Reports in WD are nearly always fixed, or fiddled around with to increase the odds of getting a 'better' result. In other words, one that advertises a new release, or otherwise shows something off that they want to show off. Besides, these arn't Tournament games being played. They don't have to take the most powerful, cookie-cutter minmaxed army they possibly can. In the rare occasions when the players own army is being used instead of the studio army being rolled out as a glorified advert, said players can take units they enjoy using for fluff, theme, looks, or whatever. Not everyone simply spams the board with the most powerful units they can in order to get the biggest possible win.

dcikgyurt
17-08-2007, 01:35
imo it has nothing to do with choosing a good tactically viable list. It's about using models that plant the seed that these choices are indeed viable, and so people, especially newbie's, buy these models.

Quoted for truth.

It's all about advertising miniatures, highlighting certain codex options and opening people's minds to the view that the models and units they don't use are viable options.

Helicon_One
17-08-2007, 01:44
White Dwarf armies, and usually in-store armies aren't designed to be tactically optimised, they're intended as showcases to display a model range. You see alot of battle reports where the armies consist of basically one of every unit type in the codex so people can see what every unit does.

Take it for what it is, as a showcase rather than an optimised army selection.

Tim

carlisimo
17-08-2007, 02:03
They play several games, and write up the article on one of them (in WD they refer to those as "practice games.") I suppose they might switch out a unit every time they replay it, and pick a suspenseful one, or one where units did stuff worth blurbing about.

As for WD being nothing more than a big advertisement catalog... I looked at some of my 1996-7 WDs and they weren't better or worse. They did have fewer modeling articles, and maybe those are what look like advertisements... but I love the new modeling and "here's what's on the sprue" articles. Less stories though, that I admit.

Bunnahabhain
17-08-2007, 02:42
The army lists as showcases for models, background etc is fine and dandy.

It's the dodgey tactics that stand out though. Guard ignoring Terminators until they're in CC? That's not good for anyone. If you run a comment along the lines of ' plan was to clobber the terminators with a mass of rapid fire, but all 8 plasma gunners cooked themselves', then things make sense

I can also quite accept the tactically unsound vengeance decisions. You might be about to lose horribly, but you will get that unit that's been a pain all game, even if another target is more sensible.

Lord_Crull
17-08-2007, 02:54
First, the Battle Reports in WD are nearly always fixed, or fiddled around with to increase the odds of getting a 'better' result. In other words, one that advertises a new release, or otherwise shows something off that they want to show off. Besides, these arn't Tournament games being played. They don't have to take the most powerful, cookie-cutter minmaxed army they possibly can. In the rare occasions when the players own army is being used instead of the studio army being rolled out as a glorified advert, said players can take units they enjoy using for fluff, theme, looks, or whatever. Not everyone simply spams the board with the most powerful units they can in order to get the biggest possible win.

Well it's just that some tactics are baffling for me. The Guard player shot evereything at the Possesed and Defiler, letting the main units of the choas army close in.

This also reminds me of a report with the Black Templars where the commander took a plasma cannon in a close combat squad with only ccw and bp.:wtf:

That's just pure stupidity.

Polonius
17-08-2007, 03:05
I love white dwarf battle reports, but they take a suspension of disbelief greater than your average action movie. As long as you just lean back and enjoy reading about the uber-cool units doing uber-cool things, it's fun and enjoyable. If you think too much about army selection, tactics, missions, etc; your brain will pop. My favorite example was a mission where the IG had to get an inquisitor w/ retinue (bought out of the army's points total) to a ship. Their transport was a chimera, but they started 5 feet from the objective... Meaning the tooled up squad would have to move every turn, and never have their chimera destroyed (which is pretty easy). Needless to say, the IG did not succeed.

Is it just me, or do the fantasy battle reports seem a little more plausible? It might be that there are fewer duff choices, and even un-upgraded models are useful in WFB.

As for WD in general: there's a joke I heard that said that the best run for White dwarf was whenever you started the hobby. WD isn't very good, but going back and looking at old ones... it was never very good. The ad content was always high, the tactica were superficial, and the new unit features were pretty transparent. As another poster said, the new modeling features are far superior, though the fluff/background seems to have disappeared. And don't even get my started on the joy that once was Chapter Approved.... Fun new rules! For free! Kroot Mercs! DKOG! the original Elysians! Oh, what a fun time that was, back when variety was encouraged and sublists proliferated....

Lord_Crull
17-08-2007, 03:11
I love white dwarf battle reports, but they take a suspension of disbelief greater than your average action movie. As long as you just lean back and enjoy reading about the uber-cool units doing uber-cool things, it's fun and enjoyable. If you think too much about army selection, tactics, missions, etc; your brain will pop. My favorite example was a mission where the IG had to get an inquisitor w/ retinue (bought out of the army's points total) to a ship. Their transport was a chimera, but they started 5 feet from the objective... Meaning the tooled up squad would have to move every turn, and never have their chimera destroyed (which is pretty easy). Needless to say, the IG did not succeed.

Is it just me, or do the fantasy battle reports seem a little more plausible? It might be that there are fewer duff choices, and even un-upgraded models are useful in WFB.

As for WD in general: there's a joke I heard that said that the best run for White dwarf was whenever you started the hobby. WD isn't very good, but going back and looking at old ones... it was never very good. The ad content was always high, the tactica were superficial, and the new unit features were pretty transparent. As another poster said, the new modeling features are far superior, though the fluff/background seems to have disappeared. And don't even get my started on the joy that once was Chapter Approved.... Fun new rules! For free! Kroot Mercs! DKOG! the original Elysians! Oh, what a fun time that was, back when variety was encouraged and sublists proliferated....

I miss Andy Chambers.....

Spleendokta
17-08-2007, 03:13
Whats this White Dwarf magazine you speak of??




























Oh that magazine I use to subscripe too. The funny part is, theres better 40k/WFB fluff, painting guides, and general chatter on websites... such as this one thats free! Why pay for a monthly catalogue?

sebster
17-08-2007, 04:28
You can tell reading the battle reports the White Dwarf crew donít play ultra-competitively. And thatís cool, its how I enjoy playing.

But you can also tell that they make deliberate choices that certain units will perform very well in a battle report. Generally this involves the other side not taking the unit or weapon type best suited to stopping that enemy, or simply not firing on that enemy unit, or only firing weapons that will do little or no damage. Then half the summary is taken up with the loser saying ĎI canít believe I didnít focus more on xyz, theyíre such a good unit and have such gorgeous new models, I wonít make that mistake again!í

The result is battle reports that have a strange feeling of wrestling to them, the spectacle is there but it just isnít sport.

TwilightOdyssey
17-08-2007, 04:32
The funny part is, theres better 40k/WFB fluff, painting guides, and general chatter on websites... such as this one thats free! Why pay for a monthly catalogue?
Because:
I can read it on the train
I don't have to be sat in front of a computer to do it
It looks great
I find it inspiring to see all those phenomenal paint jobs
I like the interviews with the 'Eavy Metal painters
I still find the modeling and painting pointers useful

Shadow-BOT
17-08-2007, 05:10
WD Battle Reports? Can you even call them that?
I have in my hand a Tau VS Dark Eldar bat rep. It is VERY obvious the Dark Eldar player barely knew the rules (He took a punisher on a jetbike)

They are horribly set up for the Flavour of the month. Some of the stuff that you see will almost never happen regularly.

Even the lists themselves are hideously awful. The flavour of the month always has the advantage.

carlisimo
17-08-2007, 05:46
It's weird, the "flavor of the month" armies ALWAYS used to lose in battle reports.

Grimshawl
17-08-2007, 05:51
They have been doing this for years, its one of the few things about white dwarf that you cant say is a result of the downslide of WD quality they have always been rigging these games and using terrible army builds, heck some of the showcased games dont even get the army rules correct for their own games. I dont know why but this type of crud has been the norm for ages.

Its like step one, randomly throw darts at model cabinet untill a force has been pincusioned by one players darts.


step 2, have first player pick up all models in both hands and spin around on his side of table untill dizzy with eyes closed and then release figs 12 inches above table to set up.


repeat step 2 on other side of table only while singing catchy beatles tune loudly while blindfolded.


step 3 Have danish and ham sandwitche lunch sitting on codex so as to not have to open it and just coin flip for rules decisions. soda can goes on rule book so dont acidentally open it either.


step 4 roll lots of dice and move figs around to be photogrpahed, forget to take precise notes on turns or placement it doesnt matter anyway.


step 5 Halfway thru game ask someone higher up which side is suposed to win battle report and check time before have to be back to work, forget to write down more details of game.


step 6 slip out for smoke break and quickly scribble down what you can remember about game, including whatever result the shop wanted.


step 7 put darts and models away, oh wait snap another couple pics, then put darts and models away, whipe crumbs from codex and toss over on unopened rules book. pick up coin of decision making and drop off scribbled notes to be wrote up into semi coherrent battle report.

A job well done.

Gorbad Ironclaw
17-08-2007, 06:40
They play several games, and write up the article on one of them (in WD they refer to those as "practice games.")


As I understand it, they don't actually quite do it like that, but they will replay games if the first game didn't produced a decent game to write a report about(and reading about a one-sided massacar is boring) or if there was something with the scenario that needed changing or whatnot.


That being said, frequently you will be puzzled about what's going on anyway. One thing is the strange army selection choices. Granted, they don't have to be the most powerful armies around, but at times you would expect a bit of 'common sense', but also the wierd tactical decisions. it would help if they actually had people that regularely played the game do the battle reports.

Grand Master Raziel
17-08-2007, 06:50
My personal favorite was the batrep they did to showcase the Tau when Tau Empires got released. Tau vs. Dark Eldar. Now, anyone with half a brain can read that matchup and say to him/her/itself "If the DE player loads everything up in Raiders and goes hellbent-for-leather into the Tau lines, the Tau player doesn't stand a chance". Did the DE player do this? Of course not, because the Tau were the army being showcased. Instead, the guy plopped units of Warriors on the objectives and tried to hold them (with T3, 5+ save troops, mind you) in the face of Tau gunfire. Oy!

My second favorite was the batrep between the Ultramarines and the Necrons when the plastic Terminators got released. Pete Haines played an all-termie army against the Necrons in this one, with a special one-off scenario. What really got me was, at one point in the game, Pete could have had a unit of Assault Terminators (bristling with L-claws) smash into a unit of Necron Warriors, and from there probably kill their way through half the Necron Army, one unit per turn till the end of the game. Instead, he laterals with the Assault Termies in order to "intercept" the Warriors or some such nonsense, and they got smoked. I guess the old pewter models couldn't outshine the new plastics they were hawking with that batrep.

Chaplain Mortez
17-08-2007, 07:04
It was a disgrace to Templar players everywhere between Eldar and Black Templar in one issue. I think they played a 2000 point game. The Templar player took two special characters, a Land Raider Crusader, two 20 man Crusader Squads, a unit of terminators, and I think two full units of Assault Marines. Wow. All of his eggs in a few baskets. The Eldar player took about 14 different units (if my memory serves me correctly) and fried most of his army by turn three. It was terrible. I distinctly recall the terminators getting charging by howling banshees and the Land Raider sucking on brightlance.

It's a shame, too, that they use it as a showcase, rather than teaching new players tactics.

Captain Micha
17-08-2007, 12:39
The thing is, if they are using such crapfested tactics *note who cares about the army composition as it -should- be a show case of sorts* how do they expect to actually sell those new models when said new models and rules are not being used properly?

Ie why on earth didn't they assault the crons. Nuff said. If you are going to use a less than optimised list, which I don't mind. At least use a brain while you are playing it.

logosloki
17-08-2007, 13:01
I actually don't read the battle report anymore- unless I'm bored. I simply move to the aftermath section and if I get a serious :wtf: feel then I go back. Its like an action movie, the enemy does it because they are fodder.

I wish they would bring back chapter approved or some index articles, those were the actual fun bits of WD, although the whats on a spruce section is good as it helps with the planning out.

As an aside-maybe there should be short stories in WD?

The_Outsider
17-08-2007, 13:05
Take the battle report of Tau vs DE when the tau were released.

Absolute joke on the DE part and even then the DE player was moving his raider 6" a turn vs a tau gunline.

last great battle report I read was under 3rd ed rules - it was Space wolves vs Iron warriors - played by 2 tournament players (and these were their armies).

Needless to say they didn't bugger about looking cool they got stuck in and by the end o the game only a handful of models survived. It really did show how players actually think and play to win, no "ill walk my termies cos they look cool on the table, lolz!" malarcky.

I think when the GT takes place GW should try and get their mits on people who get knocked out and ask them to play a battle for WD - since the people are no longer in it (well, or in a position to get a high place) they can bugger about taking their time recording the batrep.

I dunno, just something that shows real playing.

Brother Loki
17-08-2007, 14:20
Don't forget, the battle reports are usually done with the 'Eavy Metal armies which have been painted up for photography for the codex. For that reason they generally consist of one of each unit type. The players have very little choice about what they take - if there's only one of a particular unit painted in the cabinet, they can't take two units. They are expected to showcase the new releases as well.

Also, often (though not always) the person playing the army isn't particularly experienced with that particular force. Sometimes its the first time they've played with that army. How many times did you have to re-read your codex before you nailed all the special rules?

Personally I'm not too keen on reading about games of minmaxing powergamer A vs. minmaxing powergamer A. Some of us build armies because we like the background or models, and the act of playing the game - winning or losing is less important.

colmarekblack
17-08-2007, 14:43
As has been suggested the WD bat reps particularly the ones featuring a new army will always be rigged. When's the last time you saw a guard army win in WD? Dark Eldar? Well that build in UK WD 315 was utter tripe that could have been beaten by a newbs marine army.

If WD had tourney gamers on with their armies in an unrigged bet rep then they would be worth reading.

Avian
17-08-2007, 14:51
Personally I'm not too keen on reading about games of minmaxing powergamer A vs. minmaxing powergamer A. Some of us build armies because we like the background or models, and the act of playing the game - winning or losing is less important.
There is a middle ground that battle reports used to stay in, though. Back in the old days, battle reports were not cut-throat stuff, but you could still read and enjoy then without cringing.



It's weird, the "flavor of the month" armies ALWAYS used to lose in battle reports.
Not quite. I used to keep a track record of "new army" battle reports and up until around 2003 the results were pretty much 50-50, with half the new armies winning their first report and half not winning. Nowadays the new army always wins.

Grimshawl
17-08-2007, 15:27
Don't forget, the battle reports are usually done with the 'Eavy Metal armies which have been painted up for photography for the codex. For that reason they generally consist of one of each unit type. The players have very little choice about what they take - if there's only one of a particular unit painted in the cabinet, they can't take two units. They are expected to showcase the new releases as well.

Also, often (though not always) the person playing the army isn't particularly experienced with that particular force. Sometimes its the first time they've played with that army. How many times did you have to re-read your codex before you nailed all the special rules?

Personally I'm not too keen on reading about games of minmaxing powergamer A vs. minmaxing powergamer A. Some of us build armies because we like the background or models, and the act of playing the game - winning or losing is less important.

Its funny this, the only people on planet earth with every reason to have whichever model composition of forces irregardless of price and their some of the most restricted army lists imaginable, likewise on the understanding and experience part, I mean these are the people who " Make " these games and yet often do not understand/ comprehend them? :wtf:

Galvatron1701
17-08-2007, 16:32
If I recall correctly the Ultramarines and their Guard allies were victorious in the medusa V issue.

The thing I hate about the modern white dwarf, and in particular the battle reports, is the complete lack of a narrative. Gone are the days when Battle reports follwed a story-line, for example the armegeddon batle reports, or the battle report between the elder and dark elder many years ago (when Vect was released I think).

Grand Master Raziel
17-08-2007, 18:57
It was a disgrace to Templar players everywhere between Eldar and Black Templar in one issue. I think they played a 2000 point game. The Templar player took two special characters, a Land Raider Crusader, two 20 man Crusader Squads, a unit of terminators, and I think two full units of Assault Marines. Wow. All of his eggs in a few baskets. The Eldar player took about 14 different units (if my memory serves me correctly) and fried most of his army by turn three. It was terrible. I distinctly recall the terminators getting charging by howling banshees and the Land Raider sucking on brightlance.


I think I remember that one. Yet another example of Pete Haines mismanaging a good army, and that report was done shortly after the release of Codex: Black Templars, I think. Somehow, it took Pete three turns to get a Land Raider Crusader across the table and into assault range of the Eldar lines. Another little tidbit that annoyed me: the army had two big Crusader squads, one with pistol-ccw and one with bolters. Okay, fine. However, they gave a plasma gun to the pistol-ccw crew and a meltagun to the squad with the bolters. :wtf: It may be a small detail, but it annoyed me because it could have been fixed so easily.


Don't forget, the battle reports are usually done with the 'Eavy Metal armies which have been painted up for photography for the codex. For that reason they generally consist of one of each unit type. The players have very little choice about what they take - if there's only one of a particular unit painted in the cabinet, they can't take two units. They are expected to showcase the new releases as well.

I'd be fine with that if they didn't then proceed to play the armies they're stuck with like stoned monkeys.


Also, often (though not always) the person playing the army isn't particularly experienced with that particular force. Sometimes its the first time they've played with that army. How many times did you have to re-read your codex before you nailed all the special rules?

Some players are better than others. Owen Rees and Phil Kelly usually seem to give competent efforts, at least in the batreps I've read. On the other hand, supposedly experienced players are just as capable of playing like knuckleheads as rank newbs. Take the Orks vs. Ultramarines batrep that showed up in WD as a showcase for the (then) new Codex: Space Marines. Graham McNiel played the Ultramarines force, which he played in a dismayingly poor fashion despite the fact that he wrote the freaking codex! The only reason he was able to get a win in that one was because Pete Haines, playing his personal Ork army, snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Seriously, Graham had sallied forth with a 5-man Assault Squad and Tigurius on one flank. If Pete had ignored that and kept pressing forward with the bulk of his army, the Orks would have cleaned the Ultramarines' clocks. Pete even had a unit of Skarboyz that were too far away to reach the Ultramarines' lines, but could have been pitched into the fight against Tiggy and the Assault Marines. Instead, ol' Pete takes everything he has and piles it into the fight on the flank. As a result, he never reached the Ultramarines lines and got his force annhiliated practically to an Ork.


Personally I'm not too keen on reading about games of minmaxing powergamer A vs. minmaxing powergamer A. Some of us build armies because we like the background or models, and the act of playing the game - winning or losing is less important.

I can understand that. However, it'd be nice to see armies that were both thematically appropriate and practical, used by players who know what they're doing.

Von Wibble
17-08-2007, 19:51
Can't remember the WD it was in but the best battle report was one between 2 tournament winners using their own armies, explaining all of their decisions. It was Space Wolves vs Chaos I think.

Personally I dislike the 2 page story telling reports - they are far better when the player reports on what the did and why they did it each turn. The format was much better in the Robin Dews/ Jake Thornton era.

In general the new army wins a lot more often than it loses, both now and in the past. Dark Angels, Dark Eldar and Eldar are the only armies I can think of in 40K (though DA managed it in 2nd and 3rd ed!), and in WFB Dark Elves, Mercs, and 4th ed Dwarfs, with Brets and SoB both getting draws. Huge bias to the new army.

Biggest case of such bias I recall was High Elves ve Daemons (5th ed rules). Such a fight would normally have been a cakewalk for the elves so they were forced to have half their army set up in reserve - the half containing their war machines and wizard lord!

DoctorTom
17-08-2007, 22:59
It seems like they should actually include more Battle Reports so that they can have ones that are not just shlepping the newly-arrived model line. Or, at least, do two or three months with the 'army du jour' going against different opponents. Maybe with Apocaplypse there will be a more interesting battle report (since presumably they'll do a Chaos vs. Imperial battle where both sides can have Baneblades and such). It's be nice though if they could have had some extra battle reports supplementing the 'tactica' articles so as to show how well some of the tactics might work (of course, if one side's playing like a bonehead then you wouldn't get an idea of how well the tactic really works).