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RuneBrush

The great big Generals Handbook 2019 Discussion Topic

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35 minutes ago, Nin Win said:

Yep.  I can see that.  But surely you agree that they used the tool incorrectly?  The second they tried to game the system to get the most powerful thing possible for the roll was when things went off the rails.  If you know the unit strengths well enough to know you are getting an advantage over your opponent based on your selections... just don't.  Choose another unit instead.  They intentionally unbalanced the game and then were unhappy the balance wasn't there.

Must be something wrong with Open Play, amiright? 🤪

You do realise @Dead Scribe never said there is something wrong with open play, iamright🤪 

;) but seriously from this conversation I understand two people that normally play ‘pro sports competive level’ got the ghb, where excited enough to give it a try didn’t like it. And dead scribe offered it up as a play experience for those wondering about open play. 

I think the conclusion is it wasn’t for them but big props for trying something new. Maybe give it another go playing someone who does enjoy it so they can show them the ropes. Instead of blaming them for not doing it ‘right’.

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On 6/14/2019 at 5:14 PM, HollowHills said:

Actually this is all based on my own experience playing deepkin. I've never actually used more than 6 morsarr in a game. I've played with large units of thralls and used both types of eidolon. 

I have had moderate success on a local level, for instance winning a small tournament, using mixed idoneth lists. However, I am very much aware of where the army struggles against those at the cutting edge. 

 

I want to run a mixed list of Sharks, Thralls, Leviadon and melee infantry with calvary support in a little bit of everything list myself. I would love to have moderate success on a local level haha. 

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2 hours ago, Belper said:

bunch of rude nitpicking

I see you haven't actually read any of GW's financial reports.  They actually do indeed state the things I am referring to.   And that new releases represent a third of GW's sales.  And a whole bunch of other things.

Tournament players, by definition, attend a tournament.  If you never play in a tournament, you can't really claim to be a tournament player. 

We're talking about a quarter of a billion pounds and the largest events being attended in the hundreds and the vast majority being 12-80ish attendees.  There's just no way they're anything but a minority.

GW is really smart to keep concentrating on Three Ways to Play and not making AoS matched play as the primary focus.

This GHB is a perfect example of a product that shows their beliefs about the community and it's interests.  Loads of stuff for everyone with lots of different things.

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Kramer said:

You do realise @Dead Scribe never said there is something wrong with open play, iamright🤪 

Yes, it was a rhetorical flourish.  In the context of years of people bashing open play.  I apologise to Dead Scribe and anyone else if it looks like I was misrepresenting what he was saying.  Not my intent.

As for the players doing it wrong, yes, they kinda were.  They ended up with a negative experience as a direct result of intentionally seeking out imbalance.  It might be the unintended consequence of taking one approach and forcing it onto another without realizing it, but I'd expect people like Dead Scribe described to know their army list construction and know that it would have been unbalanced.

Now if anyone in the local store talks about using it they can point to their negative experience with it and poo poo it.  So they got that out of it, so maybe it was a success after all.  :D

Edited by Nin Win
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I think that it was really an experiment to see just how unbalanced open play could be.  The community here is mostly about balanced tournament play but yes they were trying to see if other formats would appeal to them as well.  So far they have not.  Whether or not they were playing it wrong I don't know.  

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12 minutes ago, Dead Scribe said:

I think that it was really an experiment to see just how unbalanced open play could be.  The community here is mostly about balanced tournament play but yes they were trying to see if other formats would appeal to them as well.  So far they have not.  Whether or not they were playing it wrong I don't know.  

You can play narrative with points.

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10 hours ago, Dead Scribe said:

I think that it was really an experiment to see just how unbalanced open play could be.  The community here is mostly about balanced tournament play but yes they were trying to see if other formats would appeal to them as well.  So far they have not.  Whether or not they were playing it wrong I don't know.  

I think it's one of the reasons GW introduced the 3 defined "ways to play".  They knew that not all of them would appeal to everybody and you'd end up gathering similar minded individuals together to play in a similar style.   Providing the people doing the experiment weren't expecting the new rules to be more balanced or coming our super disappointed with the game, having oddball games like that can be quite good fun.

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12 hours ago, xking said:

You can play narrative with points.

That's what we generally do- we use matched play as the base then make whatever nudges we need to make it fit the scenario we had in mind. 

Also custom units - some stuff just fits the story.

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, Dead Scribe said:

I think that it was really an experiment to see just how unbalanced open play could be.  The community here is mostly about balanced tournament play but yes they were trying to see if other formats would appeal to them as well.  So far they have not.  Whether or not they were playing it wrong I don't know.  

I don't mean wrong in the technical sense of not following the procedures correctly, but in the sense of using a screwdriver held backwards to drive a nail in with the handle.  And then being unhappy with how poorly the nail was driven in.

If the goal going into a game was to make the game as one sided as possible, then they got what they wanted and should be happy with how it worked.  It let them produce the exact experience they were looking for :D

What I'm doing with some local tournament minded people is running a "shelf sitter" event.  Bring only the models you have but you never take them because they're not good enough.  We'll do a 15 FP open war generator and play three games.  It's going to be a day of Shadespire/Nightvault warbands, Kharadron, Knight Questors, Wanderers and the like.

Edited by Nin Win
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Its a difficult proposal for a lot of people to decouple from competitive mindsets in games like this.  It does take a certain type of person to be able to enjoy the game in a non competitive "open" format I've found.

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4 minutes ago, Dead Scribe said:

Its a difficult proposal for a lot of people to decouple from competitive mindsets in games like this.  It does take a certain type of person to be able to enjoy the game in a non competitive "open" format I've found.

The trick, I've found, is decoupling list design from the victory conditions.  You come up with whatever non-standard list selection mechanic you like, try to follow it in the spirit in which you think it was intended rather than competitive-first, and then once the dice start rolling switch to competitive-mode and play your best to win. 

Open Play doesn't (and shouldn't) mean "don't try to win".  It usually just means giving up the min-max army selection subset of the game.

That said, if you can manage the Open Play mindset within the confines of Matched Play rules, you can still have that Open Play style of fun.  Whenever I'm not practicing for a tournament, it is how I roll.  I don't min-max club game lists, I do stuff that will be fun or different or interesting.  And I can often find opponents who do the same.  Even though we are both operating within the 2000 pts battleline/leader/etc paradigm.

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1 hour ago, Nin Win said:

What I'm doing with some local tournament minded people is running a "shelf sitter" event.  Bring only the models you have but you never take them because they're not good enough.  We'll do a 15 FP open war generator and play three games.  It's going to be a day of Shadespire/Nightvault warbands, Kharadron, Knight Questors, Wanderers and the like.

I like that idea. It sounds like MTG "strictly worse" cube (for those unaware - cube is a format of MTG when players build their decks out of card pool constructed by themselves and "strictly worse" means using only cards that are usually considered bad and are almost never used).

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I generally agree with the decoupling of the competitive mindset.

Let me give you an example of 2 lists:
3x30 Wytch Elves, 3 Hag Queens, 1 Caultron of Blood. All the heroes are named with little half-page backstories, and is located in Chamon, where it was established due to the temple fervently believing the metallic blood of the local creatures was more satisfying to Khaine than regular blood. They typically hunt in large groups of wytches to bring down such beastly foes, and the metallic blood gives them increased durability when they drink from their goblets (reflected in-game by the Hagg-Nar rules).

3x30 Wytch Elves, 3 Hag Queens, 1 Cauldron of Blood using Hagg-Nar. Built for a local tournament.

One of these is competitive, and one if them is narrative, despite the actual on-paper lists being literally identical. 

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10 minutes ago, Unit1126PLL said:

I generally agree with the decoupling of the competitive mindset.

Let me give you an example of 2 lists:
3x30 Wytch Elves, 3 Hag Queens, 1 Caultron of Blood. All the heroes are named with little half-page backstories, and is located in Chamon, where it was established due to the temple fervently believing the metallic blood of the local creatures was more satisfying to Khaine than regular blood. They typically hunt in large groups of wytches to bring down such beastly foes, and the metallic blood gives them increased durability when they drink from their goblets (reflected in-game by the Hagg-Nar rules).

3x30 Wytch Elves, 3 Hag Queens, 1 Cauldron of Blood using Hagg-Nar. Built for a local tournament.

One of these is competitive, and one if them is narrative, despite the actual on-paper lists being literally identical. 

Seems like the only difference is that you feel better about yourself for playing a WAAC list because you wrote a little backstory about the models

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, PJetski said:

Seems like the only difference is that you feel better about yourself for playing a WAAC list because you wrote a little backstory about the models

I don't actually play that list, actually, FYI. But it came up in a discussion yesterday locally, so I used it as an example here.

What it sounds like you are truly mad about though isn't the list I've proposed, but rather the imbalances caused by Games Workshop. Here is a reply, with myself taking on the role of this hypothetical player: 

I'm not writing the backstory to feel better about myself. I don't need to justify myself to other people. I wrote the backstory because I truly and earnestly love the lore of the game, including the idea of a deluded cult of half-naked woman shedding blood on behalf of their God, Morathi Khaine. It's WAAC now, sure, but it won't always be and wasn't always before. Unfortunately, the game is imbalanced enough that even myself, who loves the lore and their army and have no competitive goal (you don't win Best General at narrative events), still makes it unfun for my opponent. But, crucially, that is Games Workshop's fault, not my own. There's nothing unfluffy about the list I proposed above (save perhaps the idea that Wytch Elves will travel around in EXACTLY 30 PERSON GROUPS but that's hardly a critcism exclusive to this army list). Yet it will crush a narrative list built out of components of, say, the Ironweld Arsenal (which is actually what I as a poster play, by the way. I also play Slaanesh narratively, but that's a story for another time).

The difference is in mindset, not lists.

Edited by Unit1126PLL

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This is why if one wants to play a game that is not one-sided and they care about the quality of the game, that the person should regardless of if they are tournament "WAAC" or narrative, pick a force that is not gimped by the rules.  

And that means if they are narrative and they still care about non blowout games that they too will have to chase around what is strong and what is garbage.

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22 hours ago, Dead Scribe said:

Its a difficult proposal for a lot of people to decouple from competitive mindsets in games like this.  It does take a certain type of person to be able to enjoy the game in a non competitive "open" format I've found.

Usually it‘s enough that you re-realise that this is a GAME 🙂

try to tell a story with your games. The ultimate goal is a great battle-story, winning or losing is just an unimportant event in the narrative.

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1 minute ago, Dead Scribe said:

This is why if one wants to play a game that is not one-sided and they care about the quality of the game, that the person should regardless of if they are tournament "WAAC" or narrative, pick a force that is not gimped by the rules.  

And that means if they are narrative and they still care about non blowout games that they too will have to chase around what is strong and what is garbage.

TBF, I don't chase around what is strong, because I don't care so much about non-blowout games.

That is also a mindset thing. If I play against the above list with my Ironweld Arsenal and get creamed, that's fine. Unless the narrative for the game is "I destroy the city you are defending" or something equally harmful to my fluff (in which case we'd have to negotiate before the game, perhaps giving me some city walls or something to aid in the defense), then it doesn't really matter if the Glimmerforge loses yet another army. Part of the whole narrative of the city is that it's unique placement gives it a surprisingly strong industrial base, and so the loss of one army is only meaningful because of the loss of the people. 

Of course, there are certain character's I'd like to preserve the lives of, so we might negotiate that, but in general outside the characters, using the army as slaughter-fodder is kinda the Glimmerforge's way of doing things.

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If you don't mind blowout games then you are definitely not the aim of what I was saying.  There are a lot of people that do care about that kind of thing.  For those people, narrative or tournament, they need to keep that in mind when choosing forces.

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22 minutes ago, Dead Scribe said:

If you don't mind blowout games then you are definitely not the aim of what I was saying.  There are a lot of people that do care about that kind of thing.  For those people, narrative or tournament, they need to keep that in mind when choosing forces.

Right but we're back to the mindset thing. If someone cares about blowout games, then perhaps semi-competitive is a better fit than fully narrative.

Narrative players should want to win, and even win hard, but that should only start at the table during scenario setup. When selecting forces ('listbuilding'), your primary concern should be the narrative of the force and not the ability of the force, I would argue, because that's what a narrative mindset means.

That is to say:
1) When selecting armies, choose for lore reasons first and 'winningness' second. If you like the lore of (as in my case) the Ironweld Arsenal the most, then build an Ironweld Arsenal force, even if it isn't as 'winning' as, say, Flesh Eater Courts.

2) When selecting units, choose for lore reasons first and 'winningness' second. If, while building your Ironweld Arsenal list (as in my case), you realize that Celestar Ballistae far far outperform cannons, you still bring cannons, because they're Ironweld Arsenal and you're playing them, not Stormcast.

I had a huge debate with myself under GHB2018 if I wanted my mixed-order-but-actually-IA list to have Celestar Ballistae or Cannons as its artillery element. I ended up choosing cannons, because they're narratively more sensible to me than Celestar Ballistae were.

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15 minutes ago, Unit1126PLL said:

Right but we're back to the mindset thing. If someone cares about blowout games, then perhaps semi-competitive is a better fit than fully narrative.

Narrative players should want to win, and even win hard, but that should only start at the table during scenario setup. When selecting forces ('listbuilding'), your primary concern should be the narrative of the force and not the ability of the force, I would argue, because that's what a narrative mindset means.

That is to say:
1) When selecting armies, choose for lore reasons first and 'winningness' second. If you like the lore of (as in my case) the Ironweld Arsenal the most, then build an Ironweld Arsenal force, even if it isn't as 'winning' as, say, Flesh Eater Courts.

2) When selecting units, choose for lore reasons first and 'winningness' second. If, while building your Ironweld Arsenal list (as in my case), you realize that Celestar Ballistae far far outperform cannons, you still bring cannons, because they're Ironweld Arsenal and you're playing them, not Stormcast.

I had a huge debate with myself under GHB2018 if I wanted my mixed-order-but-actually-IA list to have Celestar Ballistae or Cannons as its artillery element. I ended up choosing cannons, because they're narratively more sensible to me than Celestar Ballistae were.

Except for the fact that it is impossible to field a Ironweld Arcenal Army as soon as you need Battleline units thats the point.

I think my Tribesmen in my Faithful of Elony project is another good example (after most other armies in that project have fanmade rules):

I wanted to have the Tribetheme for my Free People, so I have chosen not to use crossbows, pistols and handguns, because this would most likely break the theme. And modelwise a have a little disadvantage because the Tribesmen needed 32mm Bases (so I can't use the 25mm < 1" ruling).

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Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, Unit1126PLL said:

Right but we're back to the mindset thing. If someone cares about blowout games, then perhaps semi-competitive is a better fit than fully narrative.

Narrative players should want to win, and even win hard, but that should only start at the table during scenario setup. When selecting forces ('listbuilding'), your primary concern should be the narrative of the force and not the ability of the force, I would argue, because that's what a narrative mindset means.

That is to say:
1) When selecting armies, choose for lore reasons first and 'winningness' second. If you like the lore of (as in my case) the Ironweld Arsenal the most, then build an Ironweld Arsenal force, even if it isn't as 'winning' as, say, Flesh Eater Courts.

2) When selecting units, choose for lore reasons first and 'winningness' second. If, while building your Ironweld Arsenal list (as in my case), you realize that Celestar Ballistae far far outperform cannons, you still bring cannons, because they're Ironweld Arsenal and you're playing them, not Stormcast.

I had a huge debate with myself under GHB2018 if I wanted my mixed-order-but-actually-IA list to have Celestar Ballistae or Cannons as its artillery element. I ended up choosing cannons, because they're narratively more sensible to me than Celestar Ballistae were.

I think at that point its just a matter of mincing words.  I have encountered four types of player this year that call themselves "narrative".

1) competitive players that create hard lists that write a narrative background for their force and battleboard.  They care about their narrative but the force is still selected based off of the mathematical optimal coefficients.

2) players that may be considered "semi competitive" that create fairly hard lists that want to tell stories that are not blowouts.  They write stories and battle reports and while winning is not their first priority, having a good engaging game is, because a one sided story bores them.

3) players that build armies that are representative of what is in the books, and want to face armies that are equally what is in the books but also want to enjoy the game and not get blown out.  These players tend to get annoyed when players like me only field optimal lists because we don't care about the books or stories.

4) players that want to tell stories that don't care about the outcome and are happy to play anyone regardless of outcome.  This is the rarest type but I have encountered this person.  They like the stories, see the game as telling a story, but are not concerned with the outcome or if they win or not.

Based on this, the term "narrative" means different things to different people.  

There was a good convo at adepticon this year where we discussed narrative campaigns and how adepticon the tournament could also be considered a campaign since it was a linked set of battles, and in fact there were a few guys there playing the tournament as a campaign for their own head canon.

Edited by Dead Scribe

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, EMMachine said:

Except for the fact that it is impossible to field a Ironweld Arcenal Army as soon as you need Battleline units thats the point.

I think my Tribesmen in my Faithful of Elony project is another good example (after most other armies in that project have fanmade rules):

I wanted to have the Tribetheme for my Free People, so I have chosen not to use crossbows, pistols and handguns, because this would most likely break the theme. And modelwise a have a little disadvantage because the Tribesmen needed 32mm Bases (so I can't use the 25mm < 1" ruling).

You only need Battleline for Matched Play, not Narrative Play. 

And it's not impossible to field an Ironweld Arsenal army, even in Matched Play. The Allegiance is "Mixed Order" technically, but if someone asks me what faction I play, I say the Arsenal. Again, it's a case of GW holding back the narrative players, at least the ones that use Matched Play rules.
 

18 minutes ago, Dead Scribe said:

I think at that point its just a matter of mincing words.  I have encountered four types of player this year that call themselves "narrative".

1) competitive players that create hard lists that write a narrative background for their force and battleboard.  They care about their narrative but the force is still selected based off of the mathematical optimal coefficients.

2) players that may be considered "semi competitive" that create fairly hard lists that want to tell stories that are not blowouts.  They write stories and battle reports and while winning is not their first priority, having a good engaging game is, because a one sided story bores them.

3) players that build armies that are representative of what is in the books, and want to face armies that are equally what is in the books but also want to enjoy the game and not get blown out.  These players tend to get annoyed when players like me only field optimal lists because we don't care about the books or stories.

4) players that want to tell stories that don't care about the outcome and are happy to play anyone regardless of outcome.  This is the rarest type but I have encountered this person.  They like the stories, see the game as telling a story, but are not concerned with the outcome or if they win or not.

Based on this, the term "narrative" means different things to different people.  

There was a good convo at adepticon this year where we discussed narrative campaigns and how adepticon the tournament could also be considered a campaign since it was a linked set of battles, and in fact there were a few guys there playing the tournament as a campaign for their own head canon.

The first one are not really narrative players. They're competitive players, who happen to like a narrative sideboard.

The second one are narrative players who like a competitve sideboard. This is probably the most common class, but I don't think they chase the optimal armies to the degree that you claim they do. They don't want blowouts, but they also don't plan around the S-tier armies exclusively, and so don't feel the need to pursue the army wagon with the same vigor as the first category. 

I am not sure what the difference between the third category and second category is. Is there some reason the person in the second category would not be making an army that is representative of the books? If they are creating an army that is deliberately designed to compete, they're competitive, if they're creating an army that's deliberately designed to tell stories, they're narrative. If they're somewhere in between, then it's a matter of degree. I would also consider myself a member of the third category.

The fourth category is hardcore narrative and is admirable.

Edited by Unit1126PLL
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The second category doesn't harbor negative emotions toward competitive players like the third category does.  The third category expects that the people they play will field forces appropriate to the lore and can get bent out of shape if they don't.   They are typically the ones posting verbal tirades about "waac players".   The second category is ok with competitive players playing harder lists though prefer people tone things down a notch.

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1 minute ago, Dead Scribe said:

The second category doesn't harbor negative emotions toward competitive players like the third category does.  The third category expects that the people they play will field forces appropriate to the lore and can get bent out of shape if they don't.   They are typically the ones posting verbal tirades about "waac players".   The second category is ok with competitive players playing harder lists though prefer people tone things down a notch.

Oh, I see. I think this is contextual, which is why I didn't identify the difference.

For example, a player might find competitive players tolerable at Club Pick-Up-Game Night or the like, but sneer and be snide if a competitive player shows up at an Organized Narrative Event that spans a weekend.

In my case, for example, I'm typically fine with competitive players. But if a player shows up with Gristlegore Terrorgheist spam and 5 models (or whatever) at an Animosity narrative event or at AOS Narrative NOVA 2019, I'll probably be salty, especially if I ask "what's the name of that guy" and they say "Royal Terrorgheist" instead of something like "Ancalagon" or whatever, lol. That's just effortless, and you signed up in advance (taking someone else's spot) for a narrative event....

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