View Poll Results: What's more important

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  • Internal Balance is more important

    11 12.36%
  • External Balance is more important

    22 24.72%
  • They are equally valid, both must be considered

    52 58.43%
  • You're all missing something crucial (explain)

    4 4.49%
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Thread: Internal Vs External Balance

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  1. #1
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    Internal Vs External Balance

    A few recent threads having been discussing this particular concept lately. One position is that units must only be balanced within their respective Codices, while others have asserted that every unit must be balanced comparitivley to like units (ones that serve similar functions, etc).

    What I find fascinating though, is that this idea is usually only brought up when someone personally disagrees with how cheap something is in another Codex, while another person asserts it's fairness based on the confines of its own Codex.

    As an example, many people have been talking about how much a Cult Tzeentchian Terminator would cost. And when they do it's usually compared directly to TH+SS Terminators from the SM Codex. So what happened to the idea of internal balance here?

    The poll options were the best I could think of at the time, but I wanted to open a dialogue on this idea for discussion. What do you think about this concept?
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  2. #2
    Chapter Master The Guy's Avatar
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    Re: Internal Vs External Balance

    I think a combination of both is required, but with a priority on external balance, internal balance is worthless if the codex itself turns out to be Over or underpowered, as it would take balancing with one overpowered unit to make the entire codex OP.

    So IMO, balancing with a seperate codex is more important as that gives two fairly balanced codices as opposed to one strong or weak one.
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  3. #3
    Chapter Master Max Jet's Avatar
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    Re: Internal Vs External Balance

    My view is that external balance is the key to an overall balanced and fair game.
    Units with equal powers and statlines should preferably cost the same throughout the Codicies (not including army special rules)
    In a fair and even game both players should be able to provide a characterized and thought out army without being forced to make use of certain "no brainer" Choices. Two people bringing almost the same units should have equal chances. It is hard to understand why a Dark angel player should not have the same chances to score a victory as a generic space marine player does, even when their army compositions are almost exactly the same.

    Now there is an argument against this, as every unit can be supported by other exclusive Choices in the Codex and army special rules. While an army special rule, that supports a certain unit should be included in the cost (describing an overall performance of said unit) supporting units should not.
    The supporting unit itself should be costed appropriately, regarding its abilities and powers, not the unit POSSIBLY taking a benefit from it.
    You cannot be penalized for sticking to prefered units and then finding out, that your oponent takes exactly the same but pays a lot less!

  4. #4
    Chapter Master Lordsaradain's Avatar
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    Re: Internal Vs External Balance

    Internal balance means that all units in the book are viable choices, and it is definetly needed. Why stuff a bunch of units into a book if noone will ever field them?
    External balance is necessary everytime two forces using different codexes want to battle, otherwise the game will be unbalanced and dull. So I think that both are equally needed.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Internal Vs External Balance

    External balance 90%, fluff 9%, fun 0.9%, internal balance 0.09%.

    External balance makes the game FUN.

    Its not fun to always win or always lose.

    Fluff defines the army, playing with and army you like is fun.

    Internal balance is last.

    Termies ARE space marines, this is where points come in, with points there is no such thing as internal balance. if it was well made, everything would be internally balanced.

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  6. #6
    Chapter Master Max Jet's Avatar
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    Re: Internal Vs External Balance

    Quote Originally Posted by "TheEndIsHere
    Termies ARE space marines, this is where points come in, with points there is no such thing as internal balance. if it was well made, everything would be internally balanced.
    I would like to emphasize this point and repeat it. If everything would be perfectly external balanced, there would be no need to balance units internal as it would be an automatic thing, following the guide, needed to balanced external.

    It is much more easy to balance a codex internal than external, therefore I think the design team was just a little bit lazy.

  7. #7

    Re: Internal Vs External Balance

    The idea of there being internal and external balance is a bit of an odd one. There's just balance, plain and simple. If something is balanced internally but not externally (or vice versa) then it shows the codex is not balanced at all. It's possible to avoid having 'bad' and 'good' units within a codex by having every unit balanced in points.

    If you get that points cost right, you're balanced against other armies and therefore balanced against other picks from your codex.

  8. #8
    Chapter Master grissom2006's Avatar
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    Re: Internal Vs External Balance

    To the OP this whole balance issue and compairing between the books happens every single time a new Codex or Battlebook comes out.

  9. #9
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    Re: Internal Vs External Balance

    Quote Originally Posted by grissom2006 View Post
    To the OP this whole balance issue and compairing between the books happens every single time a new Codex or Battlebook comes out.
    True, which motivated me to actually make a thread about it. When I start looking at the comparisons and the arguments, they seem very inconsistent. One person mentions how cheap Orks are compared to Guants, then another person comes in and mentions how Gaunts are priced compared to their Codex.

    Intead of seeing how certain people reacted to each respective example, I wanted to see how people took just the concept of the argument on its own merits. With how often it comes up, I'm suprised on the results of the poll and people's responses so far.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Internal Vs External Balance

    Quote Originally Posted by Revelations View Post
    Intead of seeing how certain people reacted to each respective example, I wanted to see how people took just the concept of the argument on its own merits. With how often it comes up, I'm suprised on the results of the poll and people's responses so far.
    That because there are no sensible arguments to be made for internal balance in what is supposed to be a fair game.

    The only time "internal balance" makes some sense is when enforcing specific army builds, i.e. "if you take unit A, you Must take unit D, E and F." Which is a crappy stance in a game where you're supposed to be able to customise your own army.

  11. #11
    Chapter Master IcedAnimals's Avatar
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    Re: Internal Vs External Balance

    I believe "external" balance is the more important of the two. If two units are identical in stats and abilities they should have an identical point cost to represent this.

    Space marine A should not be cheaper than space marine B simply because A is newer. Special rules (such as the case of the vindicator tanks which im assuming is where you got this idea) should be applied after the base points value. If the tanks are equal they should be equal until upgrade options make them different.

    So from a balance point that is what I wish for. However from a business point it makes sense that new stuff gets cheaper. If you use to be able to field 10 marines and the points dropped and now you can field 11 marines. You now need to go out and buy another marine. By allowing you to field more of something they are increasing the chances you will buy more of their models.

    And GW has said they are a model company first and foremost and selling those models is their main priority.
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  12. #12
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    Re: Internal Vs External Balance

    Quote Originally Posted by IcedAnimals View Post
    And GW has said they are a model company first and foremost and selling those models is their main priority.
    This.

    I think that most people will agree that while it would obviously be preferable that there was no significant power creep between codexes, in all honesty - if there wasn't, the company would take a significant financial hit.

    By reducing costs, creating new deployment options - and allowing new "counts as" types, they increase sales on miniatures.

    Internal and External balance are both important, just not as much so to GW.
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  13. #13
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    Re: Internal Vs External Balance

    External balance is not necessarily relevant on a unit by unit basis across codices, what is important is that the army as a whole is balanced. as an example. the resources required to "recruit" (or call it what you will) two similar units may be very different across two different races, however each race will have alternatives or units which fill the gap between the two in suich a way as to make it balanced.
    Therefore I would put it to you that internal balance is important to reduce redundancy in Codices and to enable each unit to compete with another within a codex, and external balance *is* required, but at a macro level, not a micro one, across armies.
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  14. #14
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    Re: Internal Vs External Balance

    I voted that you’re missing something – that something being the Sci-fi/Fantasy context of the game. From a mechanical perspective, internal and external balance is equally important.

    However, If GW through out all their codex and decided to take the rules sets within the game and apply them to Beanie Babies – how popular would the game be?

    You could, theoretically make your living room a 40k “table”, scale up distances by a ratio of about 4/1 depending on it’s size and play with your little sisters stuffed animals who “shoot” sugar coated hearts and “wound” by making the opposing stuffed animals giggle uncontrollably. CC could, instead of being the vicious swirling melee of blood and gore that we envision, it could instead be a hug session between Teddy Ruxbin and Barbie… the best hugger wins.

    None of you would play. The whole idea would be insane to you. 40k would die a well deserved death.

    If a Terminator is this legendary butt-kicker who slices through the enemies of man like a hot knife through butter – his stats better resemble that level of coolness within the game (with attention paid to balance). His model should at least ATTEMPT to come close.
    If a Carnefex is a bestial shock troop of bundled death – he had better resemble that level of coolness within the game.

    We don’t play with toys – we play a science fiction strategy game with models. There’s a HUGE difference… because 40k could instead be called “Fluffy lovy-kins in your living room” plaid with squads of “Brats” dolls and teddy bears.

    EDIT: I may have gotten a little off topic with what I was trying to say. The heart of my position is that mechanically, a codex must be balanced internally and externally – but above all, it’s gotta be cool. The context of the game is sci-fi/fantasy and there’s little point in writing a perfectly balanced codex whose units are not at least as cool as most of what else is out there.

    Anyone planning on buying the new “My Little Pony” codex being released a few years from now? Ponies cost 100 point a model and each has the stats of a Landraider.
    Last edited by incarna; 06-10-2009 at 21:47.

  15. #15
    Chapter Master IcedAnimals's Avatar
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    Re: Internal Vs External Balance

    incarna, that is great and all but what does it have to do with the thread? This isnt a thread about "fluff or models".
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  16. #16
    Commander incarna's Avatar
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    Re: Internal Vs External Balance

    Quote Originally Posted by IcedAnimals View Post
    incarna, that is great and all but what does it have to do with the thread? This isnt a thread about "fluff or models".
    The thread is asking about internal balance vs. external balance and whether those were the only factors that determine a units value/playability. Both factors are important but, they are not. A unit must be balanced within the context of game mechanics but it must ALSO be cool within the context of the game itself.

  17. #17
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    Re: Internal Vs External Balance

    I voted "External". Balance is balance.

    I base this determination on the simple fact that stat lines are where the game outcome is determined, and 99% of each unit type shares the same category of stats. It is inconclusive to not factor in comparitive stats across codecies.

    I think the problem is that GW's methodology for assigning point values are heavily skewed by whims... be it a marketing scheme, or the individual author's bias in writing the books... mathmatically, there is no way some units should cost what they do.

    But this is par for the course. GW has never been able to nail down a solid core game mechanic or baseline for game value. I've found myself wondering in recent times if GW failed as a company if someone else wouldn't come along, buy them up, and finally put out a solid core game and core baseline stat-value system that would be fun, and fair to play.

    Not saying I want them to go south... but after 14 years of seeing this same sad pattern repeat, I'm beyond jaded.
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  18. #18
    Chapter Master Promethius's Avatar
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    Re: Internal Vs External Balance

    To me, both are equally important. A choice that costs x points in one book should be at least competitive with a choice doing the same role in another book; however, it is acceptable to alter the cost slightly if the role within the army is more important (so tau would pay a premium on a cc choice compared to 'nids, because although the two choices might be very similar, the value of the cc unit to the tau player would be greater). To ignore one over the other is to invite disaster, essentially.
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  19. #19
    Chapter Master Bunnahabhain's Avatar
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    Re: Internal Vs External Balance

    Both are needed.
    Internal balance is needed to prevent codexs having useless and no brainer choices.
    External balance is needed, to prevent the Orks Vs daemon hunters problem. Ideally, write a new rules set and then a complete codex set, together.

    As to the Model company issue:
    More powerful rules for certain models sell more of those models.
    Better ( ie characterful, well written, and better balanced, not simply overpowered) rules for the whole codex, and more generally for the whole game system, sell more models across the whole game system.
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  20. #20

    Re: Internal Vs External Balance

    When you have internal balance without external balance, you get Orks, where their power level on hyper-builds (Nob Bikers) are so strong that they single-handedly invalidate the competitiveness of entire codecies (Necrons, Tau).

    When you have external balance without internal balance, you get Tyranids, where there are maybe three units that you will always see in everybody's list (Carnifex, Tyrant, Genestealers; bonus points if you can correctly guess what they're armed with), and everything else is only reasonable if you just don't care how powerful your army is.

    Both are important, and IMHO are just as important as each other.
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