Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
JPjr

What with current posts on whether PTG is balanced and the 'Gunkulator'...

Recommended Posts

Also gets to my point on what's a good unit when wielded by a high level tournament player (or tournament player alone) is not the same as what's good when wielded with and against the average player (most of whom don't play in large scale tournaments.) 

Example - a Stradivarius violin is capable of incredible music in the hands of a skilled violinist.   In my violin loving but not particularly talented for her age 10 year old's hands it's not going to sound much better then her cheap mini sized student violin.   Her low level of skill prevents the audience from hearing what that super expensive violin can do.   There are well established Warhammer examples over the years as well I've mentioned some of the previously in this thread.  

If you balance points based on what units do in very skilled hands the average basement gamer (which is the vast majority of gamers) aren't going to feel you've got the points right.   That careful rebalancing is going to feel incorrect to them and really won't reflect whats effective or not effective in their games.  Something different is going to actually be better then it's points would suggest in their games and something else will feel overpointed.

Which just goes back to game balance (getting the points right per unit being the biggest step) isn't a simple one track answer IMO.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to disagree regarding balance. And to bring up a different traditional game that uses a limited resource for what you can field: Magic the Gathering clearly uses some kind of metric for how they cost cards that works well that doesn't chase every possible interaction the game state can reach. 

To give an example, Giant Growth is a card that gives +3/+3 but the fact that it can make a 10/10 into a 13/13 isn't valued more highly than it's ability to turn a 1/1 into a 4/4. The reason the cost of the card doesn't have to reflect what it could be used on is the thing its being used on has its own cost that is drastically different. A 1/1 may cost 1 mana while the 10/10 may cost 8, or cost 6 but require two or three different colors of mana or a creature sacrifice to bring onto the table.

And that's the point I've tried to bring up before: the ability itself doesn't change value in the hands of different models. A model with a 4" move and a model with a 10" move with the same ability shouldn't cost the ability differently but instead be pointed by a wider array of points to include their movement speed, their total wounds count, and the range of the ability (to name a few). Likewise, larger models should be taxed for their size due to how much more from their base their ability can reach.

I get that my point of view isn't particularly popular for some people, largely because I just refuse to agree that the game can't be broken down into smaller parts and we assemble those parts like building blocks to reach a whole, but there is a reason I have this conclusion: because this is something that needs to form the bones of a game system if it's going to grow strong and healthy. Magic launched with 295 cards, meaning the game launched with well over (assuming 60 card decks) 2,937,981,588,997,347,261,345,092,658,957,732,632,492,316,489,892,522,304,581,968,480 possible card combinations inside of a single deck.

And you know what? Magic wasn't perfect out of the gate either. It definitely didn't value some things as well as they should, but as the game has evolved and the number of combinations increased they've gotten better and better at looking at a card and knowing what it should cost. And with a game with a number of possible of combinations greater than the stars we can see in the sky being able to do it means there is definitely more going on to determine how to assign cost things to the cards then what GW has been doing in AoS, WFB or even 40k.

And maybe I'm missing something, do people thing i'd argue for such a system to be introduced in pieces? Because I'd argue the only way such a thing could be rolled out is by working out the metric, reworking ever model in the game and then rolling it out for every model at the same time. This does mean a massive and drastic shift to game sizes (again) as well as people needing to relearn what they should and shouldn't think as good, but it also means that it'd be easier to shift the meta when certain builds caused by certain rules or model types get too strong: you change the value of those things the same ways and adjust every model who shares that common thing up or down by the same points cost.

Again, that's just my "hot take" on how I feel the game should be designed at its deepest components.  And I'll freely admit that points alone can't solve every single thing in the game. Sometimes things are written in such a way that allows unintentional abuse (just look at what happened with the "ignores vertical distance" stuff in 40k that allowed for 0" charges and had to be addressed for an example), but I feel that for most of the game it'd do a lot to allow for a more subtle shift in the meta from year to year by revaluing smaller aspects that change how much it's  reflected well as bring the game to the same baseline  so things follow a more consistent logic on points costing (to stop beating that SCE example, let me use another example: a Bloodseeker Palanquin is the midpoint between a Coven Throne and a Mortis Engine but costs as much as Akhan despite the Coven Throne coming in around ~300 points (give or take, I'm not breaking out exact numbers as this is an example not me ranting over this again. This reflects the lack of consistent internal points costing and is something that could have been prevented and could have even sold more Coven Throne kits for people to build their own Bloodseeker Palanquins with but rarely sees play because of how overcosted it is). 

I won't say my way is the only way to approach game design, but at the end of the game if you want to sell models you need to give people a reason to buy them other than making them intentionally better than older options for the same cost or less only to nerf it later (oh, hi Grey Knights!). By making every choice a person has available "worth taking" it means players have more reasons to buy more models and build more varied armies. How many armies do we see running the same exact list because of how limited the "good stuff" is in the list? 

Maybe it's just my "special snowflake" army desires kicking in where I want people to have more options and not have to rely on only running the "good stuff" in a book to win games more than by accident.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think people are missing the point here. 

As I see it the question is not “is this point system good?” Or even “can this point system be perfectly in balance?” 

Rather, the question actually being asked is, “How does GW come up with their point values and can we figure that out?”. 

So basically can we recreate the method GW itself used to decide what points are what. 

Its less about the end results of the system and more about how did the system even get built in the first place?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/19/2018 at 9:07 PM, Sleboda said:

I'm glad you're interested in the conversation and that you understand I'm not attacking you or your idea.

 

I'll come back with more comments (fighting a cold, so focus is limited ATM), but I'll pick this one line out for a quick reply.

I'd suggest that, even though I'll use an extreme example, this isn't true ... Because of Battleplans.

If a Battleplan said "the army with the largest base on a model is the winner" and I owned 3 arachnaroks and my opponent only owned Skaven slaves, the point cost of the spider is meaningless. If it's on the table, I win.

In my opinion, there cannot be a perfect points system.

I kill your Arachnaroks and now you have no bases on the table therefore I win....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/29/2018 at 10:19 AM, gjnoronh said:

I think we're talking past each other possibly but I hear you both.  

I am not arguing that the game shouldn't be well designed!

I am arguing that in a chaotic data set it's essentially impossible to get highly precise math to guide you in design.   You can get  rough math at best but you can't get better then that. 

@Fulkes I don't understand why we wouldn't want points value to reflect in game value.   I also see I can dissuade you.

 

Here's the background. I've been playing Warhammer in various incarnations for 28 years.  I've participated in competitive composition rules/ points value/unit value discussion for essentially that entire time.  In the 1990's I helped run one of the early WFB tactics websites at the 'dawn' of the warhammer internet.   I've watched a lot of math hammer discussion in almost 30 years  and suggestions that with tighter math we can do better design.     There are at least two different highly detailed and highly iteratively desiged add on math systems I've seen WPS and Swedish comp that were additions to the listed GW point values that tried to better capture unit value (because we all knew the GW points weren't quite right.) I've played in large scale tournaments run with those systems and debated them (and other approaches to balance the game) on the internet over the years.   These highly detailed math systems have  got their pros and reflect a huge investment of work on their designers- but they never reached a high degree of accuracy IMO.   

Here's an old swedish comp rules set. The details may vary in the AOS world but take a look at the careful conditional thought processes they used to help reflect incremental value in different situations (i.e. one thirster is X value on the table top 3 blood thirsters may not be 3 X value) This team put a lot of work into this system to think through those types of  issues.   I never liked the system but I respect the work involved - it had a world wide following in 8th ed.  

http://buckeyebattles.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Swedish-Comp-System-v16.0.pdf


AoS IMO is much more complex in terms of  unit value and game play then WFB was.   As a result the math to get it 'right' is much more complex then it ever was in the past.   At the same time the point granularity on unit pricing is  intentionally far less precise then it ever was before.    I'm coming from the perspective I've seen it (intense effort to develop the perfect math of game value) before and seen the pitfalls before.    I am simply based on that history arguing do not   overestimate our ability to 'get the math right.'  I do think "getting the design right" is absolutely important but high precision math  to guide design may functionally not be possible given that complexity.  

And yet you’ve missed the entire point. 

LemonKnuckles is not saying “Let’s get tighter math and make the best possible but still not perfect point system.” 

What LemonKnuckles is actually asking is, “How did GW come up with their point value in the first place?” 

Basically what is the structural foundation the point system is built upon and can we understand it and why did they build it that way in the first place? 

Its not a question of “what’s our purpose in life?” It’s a question of “where did we come from?” 

LemonKnuckles is asking where did we come from as far as how did this point system become what it is in the first place and how does it work internally? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Ravinsild said:

Its not a question of “what’s our purpose in life?” It’s a question of “where did we come from?”

Some guy at gw hq is now going to print this out as a motivational poster to troll the rules team with.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Ravinsild said:

What LemonKnuckles is actually asking is, “How did GW come up with their point value in the first place?” 

Dude GW points are a cluge (or kludge). The whole point of the GHB's existence is due to the points system having no absolute certainty and so the game requires a continual macgyver solution to re-adjust the meta. GW guesstimate points and play test them before release, then set them up at book launch, maybe shift a few that year in the GHB and then after another year change them. IF there was a formula that wouldn't happen and there would be no need for a GHB.

Edited by zedatkinszed
  • LOVE IT! 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, zedatkinszed said:

Dude GW points are a cluge (or kludge). The whole point of the GHB's existence is due to the points system having no absolute certainty and so the game requires a continual macgyver solution to re-adjust the meta. GW guesstimate points and play test them before release, then set them up at book launch, maybe shift a few that year in the GHB and then after another year change them. IF there was a formula that wouldn't happen and there would be no need for a GHB.

Well... I’m willing to admit that’s entirely possible. 

On the other hand though, Riot Games who makes League of Legends has a whole formula for creating heroes and they’ve adopted a consistent philosophy and redone many heroes to align with that, and even sort of coined/stole/made popular common terms like “toxic gameplay” and “anti-fun” etc. 

Yet still they buff/nerf heroes and swap the meta around and it can look totally made up on the spot.... some people swear up and down the design team doesn’t read comments from the community and are baffled when certain strong heroes stay strong etc.... 

The point being just because a company adjusts things in ways you disagree with or that they didn’t nerf the exact thing you thought should have been nerfed doesn’t mean they’re making it up as they go along. They could have a formula they follow (GW), just as Riot does, but it may look super random and thoughtless. 

Theres also possibly a third explanation like a mix of what you said and what I said with a formula but maybe they also like trying new things out (Malign Sorcery) and just creating new abilities or rules to see what happens... maybe like DotA, where everything is OP so technically nothing is because it’s all extremes and new stuff that pushes the game and breaks it for a bit til they fix it... etc. 

I still think it’s worth looking into. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Ravinsild said:

The point being just because a company adjusts things in ways you disagree with or that they didn’t nerf the exact thing you thought should have been nerfed doesn’t mean they’re making it up as they go along. They could have a formula they follow (GW), just as Riot does, but it may look super random and thoughtless. 

[...] 

I still think it’s worth looking into. 

 

I take your point but really I think one is better taking on a project that departs totally from Warhammer with this kind of exercise. There's too much baggage to balance (lore, abilities, synergies, equivalences).

Also it's not that GW make random points decisions (well maybe Forgeworld do :P) but the tweaking they do is not "to formula" it's "to taste".  The whole Match Play points thing is an evolving and living ruleset. And I actually don't think GW decisions are "random" at all. Many of may dislike them but actually, they make sense and tend to relate to how people play the game (at Tourney level for the most part) and how GW want it to be played. 

Edited by zedatkinszed
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Ravinsild said:

And yet you’ve missed the entire point. 

LemonKnuckles is not saying “Let’s get tighter math and make the best possible but still not perfect point system.” 

What LemonKnuckles is actually asking is, “How did GW come up with their point value in the first place?” 

Basically what is the structural foundation the point system is built upon and can we understand it and why did they build it that way in the first place? 

Its not a question of “what’s our purpose in life?” It’s a question of “where did we come from?” 

LemonKnuckles is asking where did we come from as far as how did this point system become what it is in the first place and how does it work internally? 

 

I think you've missed much of the thread if you think I've missed the point :).   That is  indeed Lemonknuckles goal, that is not the goal of all posters in this thread who are pro developing an underlying formula to balance the game.   In fact that post you quoted is in response to a specific poster who is not LemonKnuckles (and is tagged in the post)  and has a long post right above your first on this page! 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, gjnoronh said:

 

I think you've missed much of the thread if you think I've missed the point :).   That is  indeed Lemonknuckles goal, that is not the goal of all posters in this thread who are pro developing an underlying formula to balance the game.   In fact that post you quoted is in response to a specific poster who is not LemonKnuckles (and is tagged in the post)  and has a long post right above your first on this page! 

 

That’s the problem with English. I didn’t mean Tu I meant Vous :P

The plural you as it were. I just happened to grab your post in the quote. 

The main points I see being brought up are never actually discussing the issue at hand though, it’s always talking around it. 

Basically from what I can tell people come with responses to questions not even asked. 

Question: How is our point system built and can we find out the formula for it? 

Answer: GeTtInG pOiNt VaLuEs RiGhT wOn’T fIx BaLaNcE. 

Er... okay... that has nothing to do with the question though... 

Basically I keep seeing people say this, more or less: 

No amount of point or math systems will ever balance the game. 

This doesn’t address how the point systems are built in the first place which is the main question. 

Im just not sure why this is the case, nobody is actually talking about or even theorizing how the point system was developed or made, they’re talking about the merits of undertaking such a project in the first place, or about the state of the current point and whether or not it can ever be balanced, neither of which actually address the question being asked. 

Its like someone is asking what is the atmosphere made of and people either keep responding, “it’s blue dumbass” but nobody asked what color the sky was they asked what comprises  the components of the sky, or being like “we will never see the Martian sky on actual Mars so there’s no point in knowing what the sky is even made of.” It’s like... what does that have to do with anything? 

 

Edited by Ravinsild

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are going to quote me and write something below my quote I'm going to assume you are responding to me :) 

Well LemonKnuckles has a separate thread working on the Gunk approach.    While a few of us has responded to that - no one has really argued about him doing it.  We may have had some conversations  e  on underlying assumptions and generalizability of his work  and also some feedback from what I know of the GW design process and past attempts to do math.  That's intended as informational as we  know in the post AoS era a lot of old knowledge about  design process/history of the game has been lost.  We haven't really argued though - which doesn't generate a lot of posts. 

While we've had some good discussions here. I believe no one has argued 'there is no way to balance the game'  or that 'getting point values right won't balance the game" or even 'No amount of point or math systems will ever balance the game. '

There are people who have argued ( @Fulkesin particular) that  "an in depth math approach can produce points values that better balance unit choices and better game balance." 

I've argued in counter point to that, that it is "exceedingly hard/impossible to use a mathematical approach to accurately determine 'the correct' unit points values in AoS if your goal is game balance"  That assertion is for reasons delineated in my various responses and in my opinion demonstrated by other well researched symptoms published previously as well as specifically noted by GW  themselves in previous editions.

That's been a pretty active discussion and has been most of the thread and it's really not related to Gunk except in as much the issues brought up are things LemonKnuckles should consider in his work.

So the reason we aren't addressing Lemon Knuckles work as much as whether 'you can fix points by using math' is no one disagrees with him spending his time doing what he's doing.  There are other assertions by myself and others that are generating the point- counter point discussion.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel like my arguement is being misrepresented, or at least misunderstood. I've argued for a standardized metric not for "accuracy" but consistency in how we point things. Accuracy can only come from playtesting, but consistency comes from having a systematic approach to pointing things which we can see that GW does not have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This conversation is awesome, and has grown in all sorts of weird and unexpected ways.  I'm enjoying reading everyone's thoughts here.

My current take on it has perhaps led me in a slightly different direction, but I'll share here as previously promised.  I've glossed over the balance question pretty hard as that wasn't the point of the below entry, but will gladly explore the balance question more here if there's still juice left in that topic.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, Fulkes said:

I feel like my arguement is being misrepresented, or at least misunderstood. I've argued for a standardized metric not for "accuracy" but consistency in how we point things. Accuracy can only come from playtesting, but consistency comes from having a systematic approach to pointing things which we can see that GW does not have.

Are you arguing consistency is better then accuracy?    Right now points are determined through playtesting rather then mathematically  (unless things in the design world have changed quite a bit in the last few years)   so by your statement    they  currently may be more accurate but less consistent then a math based approach.  

I've pointed out examples (see behemoth, various AoE buffs examples in this thread) where consistency would be inaccurate. That assumes that the  goal is to have points reflect value on the tablet top  as the primary means to allow us to have balanced armies show up on the table.   You may have a different goal then balance so I may have misunderstood you.   

Edited by gjnoronh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Lemon Knuckles said:

This conversation is awesome, and has grown in all sorts of weird and unexpected ways.  I'm enjoying reading everyone's thoughts here.

My current take on it has perhaps led me in a slightly different direction, but I'll share here as previously promised.  I've glossed over the balance question pretty hard as that wasn't the point of the below entry, but will gladly explore the balance question more here if there's still juice left in that topic.

 

My friend I think you are needlessly complicating the separation.  

Yes Points are used to delineate access to resources. But the way those points are determined  by the game authors (or presumably Gunkulators) and the way we choose to allocate those resources (points) in army building is based on assumption of  projected value.    Projected  and actual value may both be highly variable  in response to factors related to player and environment (a unit with high rend has less value if your local meta has lots of Nighthaunt, if I stink at target selection actual value of a shooting unit may be worse then projected by others.)   

You could theoretically separate the concepts but in wargaming systems with a list building component how we spend our Points (resources) tends to reflect where we think a unit's Value will be.    They are different but we'd like them to be in line. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, gjnoronh said:

Are you arguing consistency is better then accuracy?    Right now points are determined through playtesting rather then mathematically  (unless things in the design world have changed quite a bit in the last few years)   so by your statement    they  currently may be more accurate but less consistent then a math based approach.  

I've pointed out examples (see behemoth, various AoE buffs examples in this thread) where consistency would be inaccurate. That assumes that the  goal is to have points reflect value on the tablet top  as the primary means to allow us to have balanced armies show up on the table.   You may have a different goal then balance so I may have misunderstood you.   

Accuracy as we know it is relative to the way the game is pointed. They are hand in hand concepts that I feel like you prioritize one part over another. By pointing the game more consistently the accuracy increases. Perfect accuracy can never be achieved in a vacuum just as a well balanced game can't be achieved in a vacuum.

Basically while I feel accuracy is important, I feel like you put too much important on how "accurate" a points system can be over all other aspects of the game. You also put too much importance, in my opinion, on the strongest possible states of a rule but ignore the possibility of their weakest states. The fact that any rule can have such a wide range of strengths or weaknesses in any game is why I feel like the potential target of the rule isn't important for "accuracy", "balance" or anything else. The rule should be pointed based on what it does (range it affects, bonus or penalty it provides) and not who it does it to (unless it has restrictions like SUMMONABLE or BONESPLITTER that weaken the rule in which case it should see a slight discount over standard versions of the rule that don't have restrictions that are as tight).

 

I'm not claiming to be the ultimate bastion of balance, and I've even argued that for balance to be achieved changing the values of specific abilities would need to change. If you find that attacks that do mortal wounds on a 6 are becoming too common or two powerful then increasing the value of those attacks and adjusting all models who have access to them by the same points cost is the thing I'd like to see done. Basically the premise is applying consistent and fair changes across the board instead of buffing some units or nerfing others without paying full attention to others who fit the same bill as the ones who are being affected in the first place.

Maybe giving an example would make it easier to see what I'm thinking. Let's take the humble Skeleton and lay out how I'd approach points costing using some of the example information I provided:

+4 for the 4+" of movement
+1 for the 1 wound
+1 for having a 6+ save
+1 for the shield save bonus
+5 for 10 bravery (+1 for every point over 5, under 5 I'd subtract 1 for each point under)
+9 for either weapon (+1 to hit and +1" of range are interchangable for points costing the way I offered before as you add +1 for every point either has) (example of the sword for a breakdown: 1 for range + 1 for attacks + 3 to hit + 3 to wound + 0 for rend + 1 for damage)
+1 for the Serve in Death ability
+3 for the full command (+1 each)
+1 for the Skeleton Legion ability
SUBTOTAL: 26 points

And then we take THAT and divide by 3 (because let's be honest for not being a monster (I'd double those points instead due to base size), hero (I'd add a tax for this as well as only divide it in half if it's not a monster) or wizard (also add a tax for this and follow the same rule as heroes) and we get 8 .666666666666666666... points per Skeleton which I'd round up to 9. So 90 for 10 in this example.

What about a Zombie?

+4 for having 4" of movement
+1 for the wounds count
+0 for having a - save
+5 for bravery
+7 for attacks (1 for range + 1 for attacks + 2 to hit + 2 to wound + 0 for rend + 1 for damage)
+1 for Dragged Down... ability
+1 for Serve in Death ability
+1 for Vigour Mortis ability
+2 for full command
SUBTOTAL: 22 points

Once again we divide by 3 and we get: 7.333333333333 points which we should call 8 (I'd only round down if it turned out that 80 for 10 was too much).

What about something tougher and from another book? Something like a Stormcast Liberator?

+5 for the 5+" of movement
+4 for the 2 wounds
+2 for having a 4+ save
+1 for the shield save bonus
+1 for 6 bravery
+11 for either Warblades or Warhammers (+1 to hit and +1 to wound are interchangable (example of the warhammer for a breakdown: 1 for range + 2 for attacks + 3 to hit + 4 to wound + 0 for rend + 1 for damage))
+1 for Grandhammer or Grandblade access (Since not every model can have them I don't add the full points I would normally for the extra rend and damage but instead divide the difference in the upgrade by half and then tax it onto every model)
+3 for the full command (+1 each)
+1 for the paired weapons ability
+1 for lay low the tyrants
SUBTOTAL: 29 points
Divide by three and we get 9.66666666... or 10 after rounding.

Now you'll noticed I applied the same method for everything (only charging 1 point for each command element, only charging 1 point per special rule, only valuing wounds at 1 point each) and that means if it comes across through playtesting that certain things are worth more than they're being charged for then they can go up in price (for example, maybe wounds go up to 2 points each) while other things (such as saves) might get cheaper if it's found that they're not worth as much (say dropping a 6+ to 0 and subtracting a point for a - save). This allows individual elements to be addressed more completely and they whole game to change because of it. For example, if we value wounds at 2 points each but drop the value of saves as mentioned above the points values would shift as follows:

Skeletons: 26/3=9ppm

Zombies: 21/3=7ppm

Liberators: 30/3=10ppm

Basically we could play with values like this all day and it's something you could even manage on a spreadsheet which would make revaluing all the models in the game a lot simplier if you're changing how you value components of the whole over everything else.

Now I -know- that there is some heavy discrepancy between what I points costed everything out to and what they are in the books, but these are examples taken in a vacuum how a standardized system could work, not a complete 100% playtested and established method how it should work. I presented this sort of thing to try and illustrate a clearer picture how one could use such a system and even how the way adjusting the points cost of components could shift the entire game up and down at the same time by addressing the issues of certain attributes being too strong or weak.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Fulkes as you noted in your previous post accuracy and consistency are two different things.   "Accuracy can only come from playtesting, but consistency comes from having a systematic approach to pointing things"   You are right I want points to accurate I firmly believe consistency may be the enemy of accuracy - again for reasons well established by GW (and other manufacturers) in context of army design.  

I absolutely agree we can't achieve perfect accuracy (too many at the table variables for that) regardless of system chosen to derive points.   

I've given you clear examples why consistency may not be accurate.  Can you explain why  in the above post you then assume consistency is automatically going to lead to more accuracy.   I'm hardly assuming best possible use of abilities   just basic army  interactions a beyond minimally experienced wargamer would look at when army building.   

For reasons I mentioned - including in the post you quoted mathematical point consistency may not be accurate.  If your goal is balanced armies.  If your goal is consistent pointing irrespective of how balanced lists are on the table top then consistency may be helpful.  

The  mathematical approach you've described is very similar what GW published in 2nd edition in the core rule book.  They moved away from it as the accuracy was lower when taken in context of an army list and in terms of designing units to fill specific roles in a specific army  (particularly given the way wargamers tend to minmax to try and build a better army.)   

A good example of that would be a unit with very very low movement and very very low attacks but high wounds and armor.  They'd potentially have a relatively low points value on a straight calculation basis but would be very good in the context of an army that has summon/deep strike abilities to be placed on objectives and hold them (the win condition in AoS.)    You could then playtest to adjust the underlying universal  mathematical formula effecting all units but the utility of that unit depends on the army that allows them to be summoned easily.   

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You keep talking about the 2nd edition design team like they're the same design team who is working on AoS. They're not and the choices of one don't really reflect the choices of the other.

2nd edition was around what, 30 years ago? The game has gone through a lot of upheaval since then and even the last 3 years have given us more changes to the way it works. What was once true doesn't always hold true in the future. Heck, just because they couldn't work out how to do it then doesn't mean they couldn't do it now. I mean the tools we have available (like spreadsheeting software) make such an undertaking a lot easier than it used to be and we're not longer looking at a company run by a bunch of guys out of their flat.

The biggest advantage of a consistent approach is it prevents us from having as many outliers (Bloodseeker Palanquin for example) where the points are way off from the rest of the game (seriously it's over three hundred points for what is basically a cross between two cheaper options) and allows us to address mechanics at a game wide scale by addressing only the mechanic in question and then applying the change across the entire board. For example, maybe shooting is too so we change how we value the range of weapons that can reach further than 3 inches by charging 2 points per inch instead of 1 point per inch of reach. Or maybe we value attacks as being equal to the total of the rest of the weapon profile and multiple the profile by the number of attacks given by that weapon.

Accuracy is a shifting target and I feel like you're choosing ignore that changing how the game is pointed will change what is "accurate" to said method as well due to the method meaning it won't result in points that are accurate to how we currently points cost things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, gjnoronh said:

My friend I think you are needlessly complicating the separation.  

Yes Points are used to delineate access to resources. But the way those points are determined  by the game authors (or presumably Gunkulators) and the way we choose to allocate those resources (points) in army building is based on assumption of  projected value.    Projected  and actual value may both be highly variable  in response to factors related to player and environment (a unit with high rend has less value if your local meta has lots of Nighthaunt, if I stink at target selection actual value of a shooting unit may be worse then projected by others.)   

You could theoretically separate the concepts but in wargaming systems with a list building component how we spend our Points (resources) tends to reflect where we think a unit's Value will be.    They are different but we'd like them to be in line. 

I enjoy talking with you, however in this instance I feel like you've radically misunderstood what I've written.  Of course the way we choose to allocate resources in army building is based on an assumption of projected value (and those who do it especially well do so within the context of a cohesive strategy).  That's by necessity given how points and army building have to work in a universalized system with incomplete information.  My intent with what I wrote was to explore the consequences of this assumption as assumption.  The point, it seems to me, is that it is a mistake to continue this type of thinking once the actual game starts.  It is wrong to play as if value in real game terms is simply an extension of the same mode of thought as points.  They are different.  

How often do you hear someone say something along the lines of, "unit X is great... I killed 600 points with it yesterday."  Does that necessarily tell you anything about the value created by that unit in that game?

Within the pointing system, degrees of magnitude always represent degrees of projected value (to use your term).  In game, however, incremental degrees of magnitude are often irrelevant.  In game, entire vectors of force are often irrelevant if they lead to a less advantageous position.   

You seem to implicitly recognize this yourself when you mention target selection, unless you mean target selection as simply a computational exercise that projects value in the same way as points project value in army building.  I think you are way too smart to mean that, though.  If you don't mean that, then there are other principles at work in value, principles that are not in the domain of the points system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah ha if that was your point (maybe rephrased as what you paid for it pregame doesn't mean anything about how you should value it in game)   I did indeed misunderstand it.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Fulkes said:

You keep talking about the 2nd edition design team like they're the same design team who is working on AoS. They're not and the choices of one don't really reflect the choices of the other.

2nd edition was around what, 30 years ago? The game has gone through a lot of upheaval since then and even the last 3 years have given us more changes to the way it works. What was once true doesn't always hold true in the future. Heck, just because they couldn't work out how to do it then doesn't mean they couldn't do it now. I mean the tools we have available (like spreadsheeting software) make such an undertaking a lot easier than it used to be and we're not longer looking at a company run by a bunch of guys out of their flat.

The biggest advantage of a consistent approach is it prevents us from having as many outliers (Bloodseeker Palanquin for example) where the points are way off from the rest of the game (seriously it's over three hundred points for what is basically a cross between two cheaper options) and allows us to address mechanics at a game wide scale by addressing only the mechanic in question and then applying the change across the entire board. For example, maybe shooting is too so we change how we value the range of weapons that can reach further than 3 inches by charging 2 points per inch instead of 1 point per inch of reach. Or maybe we value attacks as being equal to the total of the rest of the weapon profile and multiple the profile by the number of attacks given by that weapon.

Accuracy is a shifting target and I feel like you're choosing ignore that changing how the game is pointed will change what is "accurate" to said method as well due to the method meaning it won't result in points that are accurate to how we currently points cost things.

So again consistency is more important to you then accuracy?  

I bring up second edition (and WPS and Swedish Comp)  to highlight "mathematicaly determined unit point values is not a new idea, others have tried it, and it repetitively doesn't seem to work."  

How would a consistent approach avoid outliers?  But maybe we are arguing from different premises.

Maybe you don't care if a unit choice is less useful in some armies as long as it's points matches it's statline.  So an army book with few synergies and poor internal design cohesion should be pointed the same per unit profile as an army with excellent synergies.   Example a character model with the same statline that offers a +1 to hit in close combat buff in a Khorne army (where unit abilities tend to trigger on  a 6+ roll) vs one in say Wanderers where the goal is to stay out of close combat.  I'd argue accuracy would be to value the models differently based on their value in context of the way they will be used.  You might argue consistency is all about keep the cost the same irrespective if they are equivalently useful in the context of their army list.  

Is that the difference?   I'd say your  approach results in armies that have very different effectiveness on the table for their points.  

Just a thought more generally on GIGO (Garbage in Garbage Out) which is an old programming term meaning if the inputs are bad doesn't matter how good your programming is you'll get bad output.  

Right now points are probably initially a best guess refined by playtesting and then looking at the meta after a book release to possibly be readjusted in the next GHB.

You are suggesting this system is a failure because it clearly misspoints some units.   Best guess, playtesting and readjustment after watching game results doesn't entirely work.    I am NOT arguing with that you are right it doesn't always work perfectly well.  

You are suggesting math will fix this issue.  How will we determine the math?  Best guesses initially,  then play testing.  

Are you sure you are going to end up more getting more accurate results from your math by using playtesting and best guesses as your inputs?  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@gjnoronh, @Fulkes, butting into your conversation.....

1 hour ago, gjnoronh said:

So again consistency is more important to you then accuracy?  

I think it is a very false dichotomy.  In fact, you had brought up the point previous that there could well be legitimate commercial reasons to introduce inconsistency into the points system as a means of driving sales for new product.  Implicit in that statement is the idea that inconsistency yields greater inaccuracy (which under any reasonably constructed system it would).

1 hour ago, gjnoronh said:

I bring up second edition (and WPS and Swedish Comp)  to highlight "mathematicaly determined unit point values is not a new idea, others have tried it, and it repetitively doesn't seem to work."  

What that highlights is the problem with methodology, and it is the same methodological problem that I believe fulkes is making with his practical examples of how a consistent points system could work.  It makes no sense to me to try and ascribe a points value to each and every individual stat in a stat-line.  All stats are are variables in an equation.  It is the output of the key equations that matter and that need to be pointed.  Wounds, Saves, Bravery, Re-Rolls, Damage Prevention Rolls, Ethereal, Heals, Debuffs, etc., are all variables that calculate the Effective Number of Wounds a unit brings to the table.  Attacks, ToHit, ToWound, Rend, Re-Rolls, Exploding Damage, Mortal Wounds, etc, are all variable that calculate the Effective Wounds of Damage a unit can output.  The value of each and every one of those variables is directly influenced by all of the others in the equation, and it is meaningless to cost any of them on their own.  Likewise, stats like Movement or Range or Fly have no value in and of themselves... their value is derived as a function of how they modify the utility of the Effective Wounds or Effective Damage with which they are associated.

The problem I have here is with the notion that the insights gained from play-testing can be universalized into points in a way that can never be subsequently articulated mathematically.  That just really doesn't make sense to me.  It borders on a belief in magic.  I absolutely agree that play-testing can and should be used to test and reform the mathematical assumptions, but what kind of knowledge is it that is gained from play-testing if we are forced  to say of it "the unit should cost X but I don't know why?"  I am highly skeptical and suspicious of this kind of assertion.  Even if we say that X just "feels right," it seems wrong to say that it would then be impossible to solve for for a method that satisfies X.

1 hour ago, gjnoronh said:

Maybe you don't care if a unit choice is less useful in some armies as long as it's points matches it's statline. 

I certainly don't!  That is part of the entire point of having different armies.  I may want my Wanderers army to play like a Khorne army, and I am free to try and build it that way, but it would be wrong to demand of a points system to accomodate me in such a way that my Wanderers could do Khorne as effectively as Khorne could do Khorne.  

The obligation of any points system to ensure balance only extends so far.  The players have responsibility too.  Balance does not mean that I can just throw anything into a list and expect it to do just as well as a list that was carefully and thoughtfully constructed, regardless if both lists cost the same number of points.

I take very seriously the assertion that AoS is more Rock/Paper/Scissors than it is Chess (I think you made that point, but I'm not sure).  In that context, balance is not about ensuring Scissors and Rock are equally viable against each other, but rather about ensuring that Rock doesn't beat everything.

All lists can do Rock, Paper and Scissors to varying degrees.  Points is really about setting up an economy that governs how I choose to invest my resources into an allocation curve of Rockness, Paperness and Scissorness.  If I decide to invest heavily into Scissorness, and part of the my scissorness comes from Rend, and I sit down for a game against Nighthaunt, all that means is I have effectively overpaid for Scissors relative to that game.  It is basically an instance of "inconsistency" in resource price, but it is an "inconsistency" created by my choices as a player and by the game state, not by the points system.  It may or may not impact value created in game, depending on play.       

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh I certainly agree math can help refine and develop values and I'm sure there is a rough math involved in the baseline stat's for playtesting.   You certainly can work backwards from playtesting data to math to explain what you are seeing.    But it's another step from there to use  the math to predictively and accurately determine what the next unit's cost should be.    You can develop a multivariable complicated equation that retrospectively explains every lottery number for the last year but getting it to predict the next one is the trick!

If we're talking about magic steps I"m asking about the magic step  involved in the transition from   'innacuracies in the system are the result of the limitaitons of playtesting and best guesses" to  we will generate a more accurate system by "math informed by by playtesting and best guesses"

The issue is to do good quality math (science) you need enough of a grasp of the variables in operation to derive a reasonably accurate formula.   If there are a lot of variables we know effect the result materially and we don't have the data (i.e. as discussed  earlier in the thread regarding average terrain  on the average table and utility of fly for example)  or there are variables we know about but are excluding from the analysis (how a unit synergizes with the rest of the units and special rules in the army book we're looking at) I think the best possible output is very rough math.

And I don't think very rough math is going to be more accurate then what we have  now - maybe more consistent but not more accurate.  

I am absolutely (for the reasons noted) arguing an accurate system may not be a consistent system .  Again GW has commented on this in the past in WD about the playtest process.   An ability that synergizes better with a given army  book may add more value to army X then army Y.  If you point them the same and army X ends up with more synergies then Army Y is going to feel underpowered.   Note I'm not comparing two armies from the same book - but two different army books or factions.    AoE buffs is an example but also the Behemoth example from earlier in the thread.    The AoS army books so far have been built around army specific special rules (Blood Tithe, army specific summoning rules) that drive efficiency of the armies. 

There may be intentional inefficient choices (and innacurate)  to give people flexibility to follow  an unusual theme and intentionally inefficient choices for commercial or other reasons.  Part of the joy of wargaming is finding the 'great list' and also 'finding the unusual but fun list."    But an army book with consistently pointed but highly inefficient choices in the context of  the overall army design  is going to do worse then one with consistently pointed but efficient for the army's design and special rules choices.  

A consistent approach to pointing that ignores the more complex math of army design synergies would give you less accuracy if your goal is  'these two books are generally equally competitive.' 

Edited by gjnoronh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I completely track with what you are saying.  I don't track at all with why you are saying it.   

We seem to have radically different notions of what balance means.

Within your framing of balance, everything you say is correct.  But what you are saying is correct because is true by definition, and the "issue" is therefore insoluble, and unproductive.  It seems pointless.  I don't see the value of holding onto that conception of balance.

I don't think any of it ultimately has to anything to do particularly with AoS, or even with math.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×