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Community Comp

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I know where you are coming from Joe, but the flip side is for some games and some systems there are Negative Play Experiences (NPE) that aren't just fixed by 'get good.'   I think there is a tension from some segments of the fan base who say 'make the game as balanced as possible' (recognizing 'balanced' is a nebulous term) and others who say 'the game is what it is, if unbalanced we should just accept it.'   They aren't inherently right or wrong positions as they both have clear benefits to those who've been around the comp argument discussions from quite some time.

NPE I've seen in the AoS era was an army (to go nameless) at a large event that tabled 4 skilled opponents running well designed lists in the first 2-3 turns lost a close one to a 5th opponent.  Wins were based on a specific high powered combo that has attracted attention at other events the specific combo doesn't matter as much as there was something most armies and players had no answers to.    If your opponent has no chance at a win  before they start setting up is that where we want the game to be?   If one player just sets up and then has all their models removed without a chance to 'strike back' are they likely to have a good time.?

I don't think there are a lot of combos like that in AoS 2 and I don't know that any should be 'banned' but I think as an event organizer what's most important to me is that the people who pay to be in the event have a good time.    Those NPE's may drive people away from the game or competitive events which would be a darn shame given how great AoS is to play 99% (arbitrary number) of the time. 

I know locally I've got a thriving AoS group where most of the players don't want to do tournaments because of past experiences with NPE's.  That's a darn shame in my book as tournament play is my favorite play because of the comraderie that comes from a weekend of new opponents.   

If in AoS1 we said no balewind vortexes on objectives, or models that can't be attacked (Carrion, changeling) can't score objectives that's effectively comp though it would be called house rules in the rules pack.    There's a lot of variation in how terrain is handled, or even what terrain is available at different events that can actually have a major impact on how competitive different armies are we'll see that even more with nighthaunts on crowded boards in this edition of AoS.   Folks don't call that 'comp' but it effects win loss ratios quite a bit and needs to be considered.  

That being said I'm firmly in the minimal comp is the best approach for most past versions of WFB and for AoS so far.  I'm watching AoS 2 closely as i write my   event pack for Da Boyz. 


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Honestly I think that a lot of those negative play experiences can be fixed by having sessions with your players that shows them how to counter those combos.

I totally get where you are coming from and I have watched players wring their hands in frustration when they come across a strong combination because they feel it is unbeatable, but it only becomes a problem when either the player in question does not want to overcome the combo and adapt, or when the people using those combos aren't willing to teach the players that aren't as good how to play better and overcome those combos.

Once players learn how to overcome those powerful combos with their own powerful list building, they don't feel as helpless and the experience is not as negative.  But if no one is there guiding them or showing them the ropes, it can be easy to just throw your hands up in the air and quit.

Personally I had a lot of growth by tournament players beating the snot out of me and then showing me what I was doing wrong or where my listbuilding was not so good.   If anything I think that there is a lot of that missing (tutorials addressing powerful combos and how to address those).

There is very little in this game that is truly "broken" in my opinion.  I think that the designers created a pretty solid game.  Players just have to be willing to change their lists up or if they do not want to do that, accept that the math in the game will put them at a serious disadvantage and they have to be ok with that.

Otherwise its a slippery slope.  Whats next?  Shooting is too powerful?  Magic is too powerful?  What defines what is too powerful?  To me it would be something that literally has no counter, but I don't really know right now of much that exists in the game that has no counter.  However, I may have to use models I'm not used to using to counter the powerful things, and thats part of the game I think.

Edited by Dead Scribe

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I get your point but in this particular  NPE of concern  it was was 4  skilled players at a large scale event who hit lots of events nationally (and internationally)  one of which went 4-0 the rest of the weekend to come back  to win the event overall.   These weren't inexperienced folks and chatting with them after they didn't think there was anything they could have done in terms of play to change the result of the game.   The particular combo in discussion was a widely recognized bear in AoS 1.    

I agree often cries of 'X is broken'  most often can be fixed by 'getting good.'    

The point being though there is the potential in a complicated game system to have unintended poor balance.  How much/what degree and to what extent the player community wants to tolerate it is up to your local community.    I think having the base assumption that the game works and we should play it as designed is appropriate.

On the other hand in the last two weeks a huge number of new variables have been introduced into a complicated meta. It's hard to predict what's going to shake out of it as thousands of players get their hands on the new rules.

   _If_  the community discovers an 'instant win' combo without clear counters that's probably going to be a negative effect on the growth of the AoS community.  Folks want to play a game they feel like they have a chance.   If something takes that away on a large scale and irrespective of army build/skill it's from my perspective a problem not an intended design feature.    

At that point event organizers can say 'play the game as written I don't care if far less players want to play/come to my event  because this combo takes away their enjoyment' or 'we better adjust our rules to make it a more enjoyable game for most.'   It's of course preferable that GW does that through an errata or Beta Test rule but GW is going to generally be less nimble in response to these challenges then a local community would be. 


One other point there is a lot of 'stuff' in AoS at this point Realm of Battle,  various campaign products, the old compendiums,  older versions of warscrolls vs newer ones and standard battle tomes GHB's and core rules.    As a TO you're going to have to make a call on what to allow.     And unless you allow everything that's a 'comp' decision that's going to upset someone who thinks everything should be allowed.   But most TO's even in 'un comped' events are making those calls so far in the first three years of AoS.  

Edited by gjnoronh

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14 hours ago, Jamie the Jasper said:

There are one or two silly aberrations discovered by a minority within a minority who were deliberately trying to create broken lists. For 99.9% of people in 99.9% of circumstances, this nonsense isn't even on their radar. The game is in a great place. End of.

Maybe historically GW were bad at points, but the key word there is 'historically'. They have a whole team of seasoned professional game designers working on this as a full time, paid occupation. And they now rebalance the points at least once a year. Maybe some arrogant grognards who judge GW by a set of prejudices that are no longer relevant think they can do a better job on their own in their spare time. I disagree.

I think it's actually quite incredible that a new version was just introduced and the combined, internet-connected might of the global warhammer community found around a dozen things that need minor tweaks to bring them into balance... Basically the small list of changes BOGO is implementing.  And there are some of those that you could reasonably argue don't need "fixed."

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3 hours ago, Richelieu said:

I think it's actually quite incredible that a new version was just introduced and the combined, internet-connected might of the global warhammer community found around a dozen things that need minor tweaks to bring them into balance... Basically the small list of changes BOGO is implementing.  And there are some of those that you could reasonably argue don't need "fixed."

This is both underselling how powerful the things that are broken are and really doesn't represent the truth of what's going on. The thing is, the things we're seeing now may not actually be the most broken things out there, they might just be a specifically good matchup against something that's actually MORE powerful against OTHER armies that's being crowded out because its counter is prevelant.

These are also NOT the most broken uses of these things. People need time to learn how to use them as efficiently as possible. The theory crafting only gives you an idea of how busted it can be, not the reality. Once people have figured out how to fully utilize these crazy abilities and shut-down their opponents counters the gap between the busted and the in line is going to GROW.

The fact that we started at this level of OP is very dangerous because it's only going to get worse over time as people get used using these strategies. Even learning to 'counter' these rules won't stop them from getting stronger relative to everything else.

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