Monday, December 2, 2013

The Era of Rampant Supplements

Is it time we take a stand on these things as TOs?

Do we need to implement some kind of basic control here?

40k is still an amazing game made so by the massive # of people who play it, enjoy it, compete in it, etc.

BUT do things such as the random allowance of 2 Broadside Units and 1 Riptide outside the FOC onto almost any army actually advance the game for anyone - competitors or narrative-forgers alike - out there in a tournament or organized gaming setting?

Curious what the field thinks.

52 comments:

  1. It's funny...

    When Codex: Inquisition first came out, I added a comment to the Frontline Gaming article, which said, "Imagine if they came out with a Codex: Broadsides, which consisted only of one sentence: If you bought this, you can have Broadsides." I pointed out that C:Inq was only a small step away from that.

    It seems I can't out-absurd the real GW. Kinda scary stuff.

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  2. Anyway, to be more direct, I think it's becoming very clear that "Rules as GW wrote them" is no longer the best way to maintain a healthy, competitive play scene (if it ever was). Let's do what the Warhammer Fantasy community has done and make a "fixed 40k". Can you help make it happen Mike?

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  3. GW took the Force Org chart out back and shot it on this one.

    We're looking at being able to play units from 4 Codexes in a single list. While this Tau one isn't necessarily bad on it's own(it is rather expensive to run), we've got 23 more days of this stuff. The releases do seam to be trending towards, "play whatever models you want, including super-heavies!."

    There's a kind of wrongness to this development outside of the game balance considerations. It feels very un-40K like to be able to mix and match so much. Kind of like the game is loosing the individual identities of the factions. You can no-longer be just a Tau player or a Space Marine player. I don't like it.

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    Replies
    1. Though I just realized the Tau formation could end up being a huge boon for Demons. They get some great anti-tank shooting that they lack, don't have to waste point's on non scoring troops and keep their allied slot open if they need it.

      Delete
  4. It's ridiculous.

    I'm a closet "comp" fan (well...out of the closet now, I guess). I'm also down on allies.

    Here's an easy way to make it work: ban allies.

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    Replies
    1. Well, easy to say when all you need is a good old screamer star.....

      Delete
    2. Or a Seer Council, or Wave Serpent spam, or ETC winning Tau lists...

      plenty of solid combinations are possible without allies, right?

      Thanks for the dig, though! Very productive!

      Delete
    3. The issue with Screamerstar is that it's just an unfun game. If everything goes right for the demon player, they pretty much just win....though yeah, if they don't get the rolls they need, it all falls apart. Point is, it's much more luck dependent than skill dependant. I'm sorry, you're a good player, but that's just how it is.

      Seer council is essentially the same as screamerstar, though it does work better with DE.

      O'Vesa star is a completely different, yet similar freak accident of the rules.

      Conversely, reg Tau and Eldar are certainly powerful, but they're just not BROKEN in the same ways.

      I guess my real point is that corresponding to banning formations, I would want to remove 2+ reollables (however you get them) as well as things like joining Riptide units.

      Yes, let's just remove the stupid mistakes of rules. But allies are not the problem.

      Delete
  5. "Is it time we take a stand on these things as TOs?"
    Um, so it's now time to play "Mike/Reece/Neil/ 40k" where only the codexes and supplements that the TO's like are allowed? Frank, who was recently ROFLstomped by a Farsight bomb hates it and has now disallowed it for his local tourny. I hardly think that is a good direction for the hobby.

    Further, anything that breaks the iron grip on Eldar (and Tau/Daemons to a lesser degree) stomping face everywhere is a good thing.

    Lastly, how about we actually try it and see how things are going before we collectively flip out at GW providing more options to the game. I seem to recall a great deal of gnashing of teeth about allies ruining 6th before it even came out.

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    Replies
    1. I'm not sure freely allowing eldar to take 2 riptides and 9 broadsides while remaining primary is going to do anything good for anybody. I'm not really talking about belakor, who will have exactly zero impact on the meta (though he's good enough, and ignores dangerous tests twice!)

      Delete
    2. I'm also unsure how you'll enjoy belakor no matter his powers when 18 missile broadsides are firing up at him (an investment that lets a tau player still spam scoring kroot, trick commander, riptide, etc)

      Delete
    3. It's not "freely" allowing them to do anything. they still have to pay the hefty point cost.

      Delete
    4. IT is free, it costs ZERO points than what the Tau player would be paying anyway.

      Delete
    5. How is this really different than double foc, which would allow a tau player to take 18 broadsides and six riptides?

      Or even tau players taking nine broadsides now? Have you ever seen a nine broadside list? Know why? Its a waste of points in anything less than 2500.

      He won't, as he won't have any troops left. While that combo would be powerful, it wont really do a lot on the board.

      Besides, if you think this is bad, wait for the eldar formation...

      Delete
  6. I'm so sick of the ridiculous supplements and releases GW is coming out with. At this point we might as well play Warhammer 40k, take any units from any codex at at a given point level and see what happens. TO's need to take a stand as you've said and more or less create a ban list of certain units, supplements, combinations, and so on. I'm seldom pro-comp, but at this point the 40k community is in dire need of it.

    Nick

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    Replies
    1. This a thousand times over.

      Cheers,
      Nate

      Delete
    2. I feel the opposite of you. people for years have been asking for more rules to more units.... Kroot armies, gene stealer cults...ect.

      Guess what? We are getting them now. This is nothing different than the glory years of Chapter Approved in 3rd edition. Rules were coming out in every other WD. So many they made 2 compilation books of them. You had to pay $8 for the WD too, so these are a bargain compaired to them.

      I'm so tired of people complaining about getting new rules when we haven't even played with them yet!!

      Delete
    3. This isn't what I would call "new rules". It's basically giving everyone access to the most efficient pre-existing units from other armies. It will lead to less variety rather than more. Like, how can anyone justify buying a unit of devastors (or similar units) when enhanced broadsides are available to EVERYONE (except tyranids)?

      Delete
    4. Ditto what Nick said; this kitchen sink approach is a terrible addition to an already flagging game. I can see why GW does it (sell more minis! sell more codexes! Whee!) but it's turned their game into something that's not fun.

      The fix? One codex, one army, like it used to be.

      Delete
  7. Yeah, this is getting out of hand quickly. Simply put, there will have to be a "GW 40k," and a "Competition 40k". Not to the point of Stelekness with creating another ruleset, but a "banned list," would be totally acceptable. I don't want to see 3 Broadsides, a Riptide, and Coteaz allied into every GD army.

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  8. Might have to start running single codex events.

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  9. I think single force org is the best answer I've seen. Ie., you can take allies as normal, but both detachments still have to fit into a single force org.

    -hippo

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  10. Look, we need to be clear that this stuff (and I'm including the inquisition codex with this) is for fluffy, friendly play only. It is just ridiculous for competitive play.

    Why even have a force Org Chart? Why bother with restrictions at all?

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  11. OK, let's get it over with, (yawn)...

    2 Farseers on bikes
    8 Warlocks on Bikes
    4 units jetbikes

    Baron
    5 warriors

    3x Better broadsides /w/ 6 drones
    3x Better broadsides /w/ 6 drones
    1x Better riptide /w/ something

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    Replies
    1. I hate to say it, but did the broadsides and riptides even matter in this list? This was already five year old aged stinky cheese....did the extra two days in the cellar matter a lot ?

      Delete
  12. I love the Digital Codexes. I play SoB, Inquisition, and my SM codex is on the ipad. The more stuff in digital, the better.

    my thoughts..

    http://2centson40k.blogspot.com/2013/12/dataslates-formations-and-new.html

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thinking of going to a single FOC for local tournaments... So, just small, local events, nothing like the big ones of course... Seeing this as the bigger issue so far, but who knows, there is still time for more to break with the rapid pace of releases...

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    Replies
    1. This sounds reasonable. Let players use whatever variant codex they want (e.g. black legion) but not ally back in anything else. It would take away a lot of the good flavor that allies bring and push us back to 5th, but it would fix the ally problem with a single universal rule. Tournaments already disallow dual force org. This is just a variant on that.

      The flip side to all of this is that providing the same tools to every player evens the tournament playing field (tyrannies excepted).

      Delete
  14. I was thinking this morning that 40K for competitive play may need to go to a percentage system. (10% HQ, 45% Troops, 15% Elites. 15% Fast, 15% Heavy). It would need to tweaked and tested to get the best balance.

    The FOC is insufficient to balance the effects of the new updates and allies. The current amount of exceptions to the FOC has opened up too many ways to min/max. I've never been a fan of telling people they can't use a particular rule/model, so I don't see any other way. .

    I've been thinking for a long while that there needs to be a community group focused on creating errata and handling balance issues. Not something directly in the hands of the TOs. Not that there's anything wrong with how TOs do things, I just think the support has to be broader and above the regional differences that are in play between the various tournament scenes. I would like to see a a site that uses a voting style message board like Reddit or Stack Exchange that uses consensus to raise issues and appoint a rules council to deal with issues like this.

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  15. How about,

    1) single codex system. No allies. The mixing and matching was a fun experiment, but now the novelty has worn off and I can see that the future consists of the same units in different combinations with each other. Let's go back to when your choice of army brought with it certain strenghts and weaknesses, and when the gulf between a tuned tournament army and a regular ole army wasn't so extreme (giving players more tools undeniably increases that gap). A greater percentage of games played would once more be "real games".

    2) Just ban rerolling any 2+ save. There is never a scenario where this actually leads to fun gameplay, so, let's tackle the issue head on! Just ban it.

    I think that with those changes, 40k might regain a little of its "casual-competitive" sheen. You could bring a 100% sisters of battle army, or something, and while you wouldn't expect to win a tourney, you would at least expect to have 3 entertaining games.

    And for these rapid fire crappy digital supplements... gah... I just wish they would go away. But maybe the potential for damage would be limited if the other pillars of degeneracy were knocked out.

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    Replies
    1. Seriously, Allies are not the problem.

      Delete
  16. Your Primary Detachment should be exactly that. Perhaps a rule along the lines of "You may not spend more points on any Allied Detachment, Fortification, Lord of War or Formation than you have spent on your Primary Detachment"

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  17. The only thing I think steps over the line is Formations. And honestly not even this formation as it's not a massively huge deal since the cost is so high (1/3 of most standard GT point levels). But future ones could be annoying. Granted it looks like these are mostly going to be their bundles that they sell so it won't be to bad as they should all cost rather heavily. Either way that would be the only thing I would put on the chopping block. Everything else still seems in synch.

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  18. I am of the same mind as brad. The formations are the only thing that truly bother me. Otherwise the digital stuff has yet to break the game(or advance the game) more than regular codices. Formations should be monitored and possibly limited

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  19. I think you guys are missing the point that most people want to take these anyway.

    In a Tau list, you can now readily field 18 Broadsides, a standard 205-cost
    Riptide, an Ethereal and 6 x 10 Kroot+Hound. As spammy and simple as it is, it's a very very strong list against almost anything.

    Moreover, any army that would rather spend 595 on 6 Missile Tides and a Riptide than on whatever they were going to buy for their anti-tank / torrent type fire are now literally freely able to do so here ... b/c rather than spend that on grav centurions or burning up an Ally detach while having to invest in needless kroot+ethereal, they can just ... shit, tack on a pair of Heavy Support choices and an Elite from an entirely independent codex.

    People are thinking the problem is that folks will spam the formation. It's not. It's that people basically just had a fairly optimal army component given to them for 0 cost ... I don't have to sac my ally choice, I don't have to choose a primary for 2 missile tide units, I don't have to invest in an HQ and Troop to legalize them, I don't have to pay MORE points if I'm Tau in order to gain the Tank Hunter benefits, I don't even have to burn my primary HS/Elites to do it if I'm Tau, etc. etc. etc. It literally threw the FOC out the window.

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    Replies
    1. Addendum - there's literally nothing flavorful or narrative about this either, no matter what BS they spin in the dataslate. It's a power-gamer's boon, with no other merit. I am struggling to understand what it brings to the game at all. I guess variety? If you call Marine biker spam armies adding random broadsides and riptides variety?

      Delete
    2. Another addendum ...

      Just to drive home the point, it is actually a pretty good idea power-game wise to take 6 broadsides, a riptide, and your khan / 6 biker squad / command squad build .... you're going to have better firepower support from the broads/rip than with anything else the marines could pick, and you don't have to pay the ethereal/kroot tax.

      Moreover, you've now got a formation whose fluff is they have PREFERRED ENEMY MARINES and are HATED BY MARINES ... battle brothered to Marines.

      Delete
    3. Some creative list ideas:
      - Jetseer council with enhanced broadsides + enhanced riptide
      - Beastpack council with enhanced broadsides + enhanced riptide
      - Screamerstar with enhanced broadsides + enhanced riptide (desperate allies, but who cares, they're not scoring anyway)
      - White scars bikers with enchanced broadside + enhanced riptides
      - FMC's with enhanced broadsides + enhanced riptide?

      Delete
    4. Mike,
      Using fluff to justify any sort of list building guidelines is a fool's errand. Fluff changes over time and as new authors retcon old material.

      "Moreover, you've now got a formation whose fluff is they have PREFERRED ENEMY MARINES and are HATED BY MARINES ... battle brothered to Marines."

      Tau were /already/ bro-fisting with marines, per the BRB. So, your objection there is with the BRB and has nothing to do with the new Tau formation.

      "I am struggling to understand what it brings to the game at all."
      How about the ability for multiple army builds to plug holes in their lists, in exactly the same spirit as allies. Oh, NOES, ALLIES LITERALLY THROUGH THE SINGLE FOC OUT THE WINDOW!!!11!! WE FEAR CHANGE!!111 Oh, wait, the formations are more of the same kind of thing as allies. Need some different troops? Use allies. Need anti-tank /and/ can take Tau as some sort of ally? Use this Tau formation.

      Along with adding this formation to the various current power builds, you can also add this formation to every other non-power build and generally give them a leg up. So, power builds will continue to be power builds (shocker) with some better anti-tank, average/poor lists will continue to be average/poor with some better anti-tank. Good players will continue to be good players, and middle/poor players will continue to be middle/poor players.

      This is hardly a scary development.

      Delete
    5. Except that in the scenario you described, all armies now consist of the same exact units with a little flavor sprinkled in. So variety of armies has decreased and yawns have increased.

      Delete
  20. The no allies things sounds great for the Tau/Eldar/Marine power builds, but it would also snuff out Chaos marines and Daemons,.which isnt overpowered as they got hosed on the whole battle brothers thing.

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  21. I think we let it go for a few months and reassess how it has impacted the hobby - literally see how it plays out. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water just yet.

    Now this does remind me a lot of 3rd edition with chapter approved which included a wide variety of forces to use/play against - it was a lot of fun back then (12+ years ago) even when we only had printed copies.

    In the meantime I'm going to embrace the GW crazy and run IG+SW+INQ+TAU just for fun! Maybe if they come out with one more formation I might be able to tack on a 5th by cutting a few points here and there! [;-)

    To finish on a serious note - depending how the next few months go this may be the advent of tourney wide comp.

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  22. As a casual player that hits a couple tournaments a year, I'm half-and-half on all these mini-dex's. No way I'll be able to keep up with all of them, so I will be surprised often as I line up against crazy mix and match armies, which is the downside. Upside is that there will be crazy mix and match armies that I get to play.

    As a lower-middle of the pack player, I probably won't always hit the same cut and paste lists that the high level players see, but losing a game because I didn't know the weird rules to all the different dataslates would be very annoying.

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  23. I hate to say this but the TOs opinion are really meaningless to the overall scope of the game. I have been a member of a 'Top 5' Tournament staff for quite awhile and the sheer ego bullshit just astounds me. I am a bit older, and an actual veteran of real war so I tend to laugh at the whole 'competitive' nature of this hobby. Guess what?..you all couldn't fight your way out of a wet paper bag so forget the whole competitive thing and realize you are in the entertainment business.
    Embrace the entertainment aspect of it and flow with it. If a zillion builds and rules makes it more entertaining for the vast majority of your attendees then go with it. No One comes to your Tourneys because they want to match up with the so-called 40K gurus..except the guys who think they are one. They come to have fun, show off their armies and spend some time away from real life.
    You will probably think I'm some jerk who is degrading the current system, but I actually move around at Tournaments and listen to people. They don't care what you guys think about the game as TOs..just put on an event with the current rules (whatever they are) and put out cool tables and a decent chance to get a good memory. Most guys KNOW they are not going to win the damn tourney..they just want to have fun.

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    Replies
    1. You point out something important, the top level tourny players and TOs have a very different perspective than the average player. However the average player who decides to attend a GT/RTT is not going to enjoy playing vs a 2+ rerollable, 5+ wave serpents or 20 broadsides. When those 3 lists are 50%+ of the field will not be entertaining.

      Also, I don't understand your comparison between real war veterans and competative gamers. Competative people are "competative" at whatever they choose to do. You don't have to go to war to compete right?

      -JB

      Delete
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