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The great big Generals Handbook 2019 Discussion Topic

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23 minutes ago, Dead Scribe said:

That is why most competitive armies are the armies that have hammers that are ideally not just priced right, but underpriced.

Let me make this statement more specific.

The most competitive builds include units who are the strong in their role mechanically, and at a price that fits the list. This is especially true of combat units. It is an important distinction, and I hope I am communicating it decently. 

No one would care that the GKoTG if it realistically only put out 2 points of normal damage, even if it was under priced for its 2 dmg output. Even it is was priced to the point that you could field 50 of them, and thus 100 dmg. For two reasons; a) the mechanics of the game don't benefit that kind of unit, and b) its counter narrative so the designers won't price it that way anyway. A lot of that makes the GKoTG so strong is outside the warscroll, primarily it is two things, the factions ability to generate bodies without buying them in the list building stage. And, the ability to heal the factions important models. Without those two things for all the vaunted power of the GKoTG,  FEC as whole would have a much worse winrate because you would have to spend resources on things besides directly supporting the model.

I think the various Bloodthirsters are a perfect example of this. They aren't bad really from a mechanics point of view on their warscroll, and they are competitively priced I would say. They are just really mediocre at applying their dmg because you need multiple activations to apply the dmg that their points costs gives you. Tyrants of Blood is so popular because it bypasses this weakness of their power/point equation. (I don't think it actually solves the problem though.) The idea solution would be 1 BT that applied the dmg of all of them, so longs as its reliably get it to combat. On the other hand from a design perspective they got the KoS correct, in regard to everything that is wrong with the Bloodthirster.

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1 minute ago, Enochi said:

You know this would be easier to believe that you  actually read what I wrote if you bothered to get my name right. Considering you have gotten it wrong multiple times

I'll edit the post just for you. Realistically your name is less important to me than your argument. 

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3 hours ago, whispersofblood said:

Its funny because one of the first things I said was that effective points drops would bust the narrative, and @swarmofseals essentially confirmed GW has a similar point of view. You can check the time stamps, it is a critical data point to the conversation I am trying to have.

I also think people are misunderstanding my position on points or more accurately resources expenditure. I have never said there is a point where any unit could be made cheap enough to be viable, if you can quote me and show where I have said that I would appreciate it and I will edit it out. Enochi has created some strawman to attack my argument, and it is derailing what I'm trying to get across.

Price is obviously a critical component. Cost is about competitiveness, capacity or capability is the first consideration ie; role. No one is going to choose Namarti Reavers as their main damage dealer, regardless of the point cost.  Especially as @swarmofseals confirmed there is a floor when it comes to point cost. They could theoretically be priced at a point where they could be the main dmg dealer. But, that place is so low it would fray the narrative and is thus untenable.

So in a world where their cost is in line with the narrative they can't fill the role.

In a series of critical measures, cost is the last to consider given the context I've previously established. That doesn't mean it isn't critical at all. Cost should be used determinate of how well a unit is fit for purpose. Gors vs ungors is the perfect example. Both are effective chaff units, and light combat units, relatively close in output. Either could fill the role well, but one is just cheaper and it's weaknesses are manageable or marginal in comparison. But, you never reach the points if ungors couldn't do the job, and you would take gors even if they were 1 pt per model overpriced. On the other hand you could price Gors as a heavy combat unit, and they would never see the light of day because their rules and points would be at cross purposes. An example of points trying to assign role.(Closed world example)

Cost is often the determiner of competitiveness, the best factions tend to have good rules first and foremost though. But, if your battletome is in the middle of the rules deviation you still need a hammer even if you have to overpay, or you don't play the game.

 

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Posted (edited)

I think the idea of a narrative pts floor makes a lot more sense of the "why" for a lot of GW's point changes, as well to explain why for so many years they have continuously baffled with many of the pt costs in their armies.  Definitely something I haven't thought much on in the past.  This is hard, because the narrative of the game defines the roles of units, but there are plenty of narrative roles that just have no purpose within the confines of the real world game rules.  Additionally there are plenty of narrative dictated unit mechanics that are next to useless in the actual game but are assigned point costs non the less, something that GW feels they probably have to do, but reduces the usefulness of a unit. 

I think GW could do a better job in the future of spending more time in army construction with tying the narrative to the game mechanics rather then the other way around, but at the end of the day the majority of AOS players are not competitive.  The online community is going to be scewed towards that, but I would guess most are more concerned with the narrative then game balance, because that is what GW has always produced a narrative focused game first.  So I think there will always be units in books that are not competitive and never really can be, and honestly that is okay.   They will always find a place in narrative play, but GW needs to recognize this in list building. 

I think to some extent the company understand their own limitations, but they spend a lot of time I think trying to pretend they don't exist and that is the problem.  If GW would recognize the holes in their rules, and that they have a narrative game at the core they essentially must retrofit for competitive play I think they could be significantly more successful at balancing it.  Instead I think sometimes they want to pretend the competitive game is something different then the game they made (making assumptions that people will always try to take combined arms lists because that's what they wish people would do rather then what their rules actually encourage people to do, seems to be a common theme in unit design and pt allocation as an example). The other thing is for diverse ranges its okay to have hyper specialized units that only see play in open and narrative play, but for the ranges that are small there is no room for this type of unit.

In my opinion, I was very encouraged by the slaanesh book as the last major release.  I think it hit all the notes of what a strong, but balanced book should look like.  This is in stark contrast to FEC, deepkin and fyreslayers in the higher tiers which have terrible internal balance and each have "that 1 build" and precious little else.  Skaven is decently internally balanced, but horrifically externally balanced breaking all of the rules followed by pretty much everyone else.  DoK I think wasn't a huge problem minus morathi having a terrible rule mechanic that should have gotten canned in development, they just were largely undercosted in a fixable way and definitely have a couple of overly specialized units, though I think there range is large enough to bare them.  And they just happened to be released at a time that allowed them to go a full year without point fixes,  think the new GHB might actually have fixed them to the point where they are just good, not broken though.  So I think GW just had a bad run of army books in the first half of this year which has caused a lot of the issues that has everyone on edge.  But Khorne is definitely not broken, though perhaps uninspired, and the two preceding FEC were definitely not broken (though potentially underpowered, but GW has never figured out how to make greenskins good so what else is new). 

I wish GW would release more of these books "by committee" because the quality variations from book to book are honestly probably the most problematic thing.  Every edition of fantasy you would see a slew of well written books that worked well, only for a baffling release to hit that completely f***ed the meta, which GW then would overreact to for a couple of strait books causing intense power creep, before trying to reign it all in again near the end of an edition far too late.  7th edition daemons, 8th edition chaos etc.  There was a reason nearly every competitive player in the US that didn't live in the midwest had switched to almost exclusively playing comp by the end of WHFB.  Aos has been better in that regard thanks in large part to the advent of the GHB, generally smaller book ranges, tighter rules and regular pt adjustments, but if GW starts routinely making fec and skaven tome mistakes they are very quickly going to start running into the same exact issues that helped lead to the death of fantasy.  I understand why they switch authors every book, but the rules and pts at least really need much more colaboration then in the past, because there is still far too much variation in quality and design principals from book to book.

Edited by tripchimeras
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4 hours ago, whispersofblood said:

Especially as @swarmofseals confirmed there is a floor when it comes to point cost. They could theoretically be priced at a point where they could be the main dmg dealer. But, that place is so low it would fray the narrative and is thus untenable.

I want to be absolutely clear that the idea of there being a floor when it comes to sensible point cost is my personal opinion. I can't speak for GW and I don't work for GW. 

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Point bickering aside - 

Is there any further information about the updated missions? From the GMG video, it looked like the same missions but with different maps, or are there more changes (perhaps to Scorched Earth scoring, etc)?

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1 hour ago, swarmofseals said:

I want to be absolutely clear that the idea of there being a floor when it comes to sensible point cost is my personal opinion. I can't speak for GW and I don't work for GW. 

I agree with there being a floor to points costs and a ceiling for that matter.  It was something that came up when I used to play Warmachine/Hordes a few years ago.  You can move the point costs of units around, but at a certain point, they become too cheap or too expensive for their rules and their role.  Too expensive and they are not providing you with enough bodies relative to their rules and points.  Too cheap and they become more important as bodies, almost regardless of the rules: holding objectives, blocking charges, laying down buckets of attacks hoping a few get through.  

Take a unit like Namarti Thralls.  They are priced as elite line infantry, at 140 for 10 bodies with solid statlines and a good special rule.  GHB 2019 comes along and at 140 they were a tad expensive for what they did, so they were brought down to 130  This frees up points in a list as a whole and makes certain combos more manageable, hopefully changing the meta.

But what if we went too far?  What if they were taken down to 90 a unit, nearly as cheap as moonclan?  Now bringing lots of them becomes a no brainer because they have elite line infantry stats at horde infantry pricing.  But even taking out their sweeping blades they are still good and can, by sheer numbers of bodies and attacks, they can win the day against anything.  Their rules no longer matter so much as how many you can bring, how many attacks you can lay out, how many units you can bring to do different tasks.  We've gone to far.  By the same token , if we go too far in the other direction, at 200 a unit, and we find that they are too expensive.  They have heavy infantry pricing but not the rules to back it up.  They are neither dangerous enough, no survivable enough to justify the cost in the list.

It's a balance in short, and it goes both ways.

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On 6/17/2019 at 5:49 AM, Asimov said:

Nobody seemed to care about Tzeentch, but the army got a lot of point changes:

 

Tzaangor Shaman 160 (-20)
Tzaangor Englightened 160/480 (+20/60)
Ogroid 170 (-10)
Gaunt Summoner 160 (-20)
Changeling 180 (-20)
Pinks 180 (-20)
Blues 90 (-10)
Brimstones 60 (-10)
Flamers 140 (-20)
Burning Charriot 150 (-10)
Exalted Flamer 90 (-10)

The Changehost will probably come back as a competitive list (100 points of reduction considering you are taking 3Pinks, 2Blues, 2Brims), allowing for another hero (auto included LoC, Blue Scrib and Gaunt summoner), or more endless spells. 

We get a new viable and very tzeentchian trick: Changeling with Purple sun of Shyish combo went down of 70pts to 230

Some of the reduction costs will be eaten up by endless spell increases, but thankfully the vortex did not change. 

One of our only very competitive unit got nerf with the Enligthened, but it seems fare looking at how they perform. It is a bit compensated by the Shaman decrease. 

The one thing I am really concerned about is the disapearence of the Gaunt Summoner with familiar from the point list. Remains only the regular Gaunt Summoner and the Gaunt Summoner on Disc who both went down to 160 . Hope we will keep our familiars for the +1 to cast an the extra 4 wounds. 

Also, I am curious to give a new try to the flamers and charriots again. 

 

 

Skip the rest and go with the last Mate!  my Chariot list "Billy Blake and the Blue Boys Batallion"   

Picked up an extra 140 free points to play with, and it was magic before. The one bit of advice is don't get suckered into using the points to pick up the Warpflame host... its a mug's move.  The host's positioning needs conflict with the strength of the list.  

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On 6/17/2019 at 6:54 AM, Lucky Snake Eyes said:

Hordes are still playable and popular man, check out the 6Nations lists on honest wargamer (was recently looking at these because I heard some mad man brought KO) plenty of hordes of rats, reapers, skeletons, etc even some hearthguard blobbing (while not a traditional horde it is internally a horde by fyreslayers standards)

FREE PEOPLES!!!!!!! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

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4 hours ago, tripchimeras said:

, I was very encouraged by the slaanesh book as the last major release.  I think it hit all the notes of what a strong, but balanced book should look like. 

Really? I agree with the built of what you're saying, but not this. They are better, by a mile, at fighting and stopping magic than the book for the god of fighting and stopping magic.

Something went very wrong there.

 

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8 hours ago, EMMachine said:

Yeah, this could basicly be a point. Let's compare them for example with Freeguild Guard.

The Freeguild has 1" more movement (the warriors are more stable in case of running with a hornblower)

Warrors have more +1 Bravery, are hitting/wounding better bepending on the weapon (Freeguild needs basicly 30 models to hit better), can have Double handed weapons + Shield (for some reason), can have two banners.

And with the generals Handbook 2018 both cost the same, which means warriors are favored.

oh contraire mon frere, 

The Guard get's +1 at 20, +2 at 30, and +3 at 40.  More importantly, they have the militia weapon option that gives them 14" range attack! and the melee attack as well and remember units shoot through themselves so the entire unit will fire a volley at 2 or 3 to hit before piling in with a 2 to hit. That's twice the attacks on your turn.  Also, the guard have counter charge which can buy you some sweet free movements on your opponent's turn. Finally if need be you can pick the halberd build for -1 rend if you want, or the sword build for 4 saves, rerolling 1's for both with shields, but honestly I always pick the militia for the much high damage output.   

  Granted, the warriors have much better beards. 

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7 minutes ago, Sleboda said:

Really? I agree with the built of what you're saying, but not this. They are better, by a mile, at fighting and stopping magic than the book for the god of fighting and stopping magic.

Something went very wrong there.

 

Problems with the Khorne book do not make the slaanesh book bad, particularly since due to their releases they were being worked on at the exact same time so slaanesh cannot be seen as a response to khorne, its rules were set in stone right around the same time Khornes were in all probability.  In fact they likely were being play tested around the same time, it would certainly have made sense then as such to have done so in conjunction with the two books and ensure each were strong where they should have been in comparison to one another.  This honestly just goes back to what I was saying about GW needing to create the rules for their books more by committee.  By assigning each to a different author without huge overlap, things like this occur. 

However, the slaanesh book is, for the most part, both internally and externally balanced, it has multiple ways to play, contains many subtle and interesting rules, and is powerful without their being the 1 singularly OP build.   And the way it plays feels true to the god it portrays.  The Khorne book not working as intended is not a reflection on Slaanesh, but on Khorne and its writer.  Again the fact that GW does not craft its tome rules by committee or at the very least have the same team tackle like tomes in tandem, particularly with something like the chaos gods, is unfortunate.  But its the way GW has always designed army books, so saying slaanesh sucks because its better then khorne at what khorne is supposed to be the best at when slaanesh itself is not unbalanced, simply means khorne is bad.  That being said I do not think Slaanesh is better at fighting then khorne, they are complete glass cannons and get slaughtered if there is anything left after they hit, and since nothing in the army flies your ability to pick and choose how and what they hit is by no means limitless. I dont think that is there best play style.  I also don't think Khorne is quite so bad as many act like they are, they are a bit worse then they should be most definitely, and don't quite function the way you would expect khorne to, but they are not off by a huge margin.

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Posted (edited)

From what I saw from those leaked video, GHB 2019 is not fixing any of the following issues that I think doing harm to the game:

1. Attack at the beginning of the combat phase or make your opponent fight at the end of combat phase. This creates a very unpleasant situation that one player just wipe out his opponent's unit and his opponent cannot do anything, it is not fun from every aspect, no matter in what kind of play. 

Besides, GW doesn't give a clear and simple system for how the spell and ability leading to this kind of weird attack sequence affect each other. Hence we can see that in some cases, ability/spell causing opposite effect(leading to attack at the beginning and leading to attack at the end) will cancel each other while some other times the most recent one remove the previous effect.  This is too chaotic for beginners or  even for many players. 

2. Unlimited summoning. While the designer claim in the white dwarf that the summoned unit points are considered in the summoner. I really want to ask are you serious? The arch regeant who can summoned 200 points ghouls just worth 200 points?  The slann who can summoned a and a half unit skinks(which is about 90 points) every turn just worth 260 points? 

Edited by HammerOfSigmar
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6 hours ago, tripchimeras said:

However, the slaanesh book is, for the most part, both internally and externally balanced, it has multiple ways to play, contains many subtle and interesting rules, and is powerful without their being the 1 singularly OP build

2053414898_ScreenShot2019-06-18at11_44_5

Sorry but slanesh is overpower,they have skyrocket in tournaments and every tournament they get more and more wins,soon they gonna be at the top with skaven,fec and dok

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We need more data before we can say Slaanesh is in the broken tier.  I would say they are a solid army, but not broken.  

And the GHB coming out saturday is going to change things up as well.  We won't have a good idea of the new tiers until about october or so when we get more data.

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This tier chart will definitely be outdated once the GHB officially released, I don't think DOK will stay on the top after those points added. 

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Yeah I have a feeling they will be strong, but not as easy to use as they are now. 

I have a few people interested in buying my DoK army.  I'm going to hold out until end of July or so and see how they are still panning out before I hawk them for whatever slides in their place on that chart.

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1 hour ago, HammerOfSigmar said:

Unlimited summoning. While the designer claim in the white dwarf that the summoned unit points are considered in the summoner. I really want to ask are you serious? The arch regeant who can summoned 200 points ghouls just worth 200 points?  The slann who can summoned a and a half unit skinks(which is about 90 points) every turn just worth 260 points? 

100% agree with you.

 

Also i dissgree with the people that think that the tiers gonna changue after the gh,the nerfs and buffs have been so low that wont impact the tiers.

I hope the faq incoming bring big changues as they did with last fyreslayers gh,changing every within auras to wholy withing of dok and those armys

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@HammerOfSigmar
 You touched on one of the issues that confuses me, a 200 point unit able to summon a 170+ point unit is ridiculous. Even if you take into account buying a command point to use that ability, that still leaves the archregent as a 80 point model. I think they planned to nerf the summoning ability by limiting you to one purchaseable command point, but that simply means they will have to wait 1 or 2 turns to complete all of their summons.

@prochuvi

I feel underwhelmed by the GHB changes so far, but if they do a decent job of the july FAQ and reign in the newer factions a little I will feel significantly better about it overall.

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19 minutes ago, Qrow said:

@HammerOfSigmar
 You touched on one of the issues that confuses me, a 200 point unit able to summon a 170+ point unit is ridiculous. Even if you take into account buying a command point to use that ability, that still leaves the archregent as a 80 point model. I think they planned to nerf the summoning ability by limiting you to one purchaseable command point, but that simply means they will have to wait 1 or 2 turns to complete all of their summons.

@prochuvi

I feel underwhelmed by the GHB changes so far, but if they do a decent job of the july FAQ and reign in the newer factions a little I will feel significantly better about it overall.

Flesh eater court have a fraction terrain which allows them  to do summoning without using CP .....unless GW faq that terrain, otherwise it makes no difference😰

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I agree with people on the returns for summoning being too high. I also think its too easy to make a charge with summoned units on the turn they arrive. Cogs, Command Point re-rolls, and all the army specific abilities can pretty easily make it a better than even chance for your charge to be successful.  I would have liked to see some change that summoned units show up at the end of the turn, or can't charge the turn they arrive. 

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Just now, HammerOfSigmar said:

Flesh eater court have a fraction terrain which allows them  to do summoning without using CP .....unless GW faq that terrain, otherwise it makes no difference😰

Ahh... so the archregent is a 30 point model, that is totally balanced and in no way breaks any semblance of point efficiency 😣

Yeah, no idea what GW was thinking these past few battletomes. Feels like they just decided to completely change the baseline power of the game and somehow thought it wouldn't frustrate the rest of us.

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With regards to FEC summoning, I struggle to see how ghouls are 100pts for 10. As far as battleline units go they really should be 80pts, so using the argument that a 200pt model can summon 200pts of models shows that some of the cost of the summoning isn't just in the summoning model but also in the summoned as well. 

I am not a fan of unlimited summoning, playing against a friend who regularly plays lizards, he'll regularly bring on 700pts+ in each game, sometimes more. When playing with an army that lacks any summoning ability it sucks major plums, but I also know that outside of the summoning his army doesn't have the usual meat and bones that a lot of other armies have, so should he be punished by not being allowed to summon?

I think if given the option between having better stats and no summoning or sub par stats and unlimited summoning all players would prefer to see summoning disappear, the issue is that it's an integral part of the narrative, summoned demons, endless hordes of the undead. If you get rid or summoning or put a cap on it, then armies that currently rely on it as one of their core mechanics would need a suitable replacement, and I've no idea what that could be? 

TL:DR - Summoning points come out of the units as well as the summoner. And it's a pain but also what's the alternate for armies that rely on it? 

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I have been wondering if this ghb is the start of a new approach by GW. In previous ghbs GW has tried adjust points to a 'correct' level. This has seen some units points yoyoing up and down as they try to figure out the right mark. 

In this ghb it feels like GW has decided to look at which way points need to move and then adjust a little bit in that direction. Of the hundred or so points changes there are only about 3 that seem to have moved in the wrong direction. 

These minimal changes make even more sense if GW is moving to a more frequent update schedule. 

I could imagine a scenario where GW commits to a 3 month update schedule but also promises to never change a units cost by more than 20 points at a time. 

You could still see units change points by up to 80 points over a year, but you would eliminate the problem of someone buying a model  today and seeing it's points change dramatically tomorrow. 

Of course we could still find that the meat of this year's changes are in the FAQ and not the points. It will be interesting to see what happens. 

Any idea when we can expect the FAQ to drop? I am very curious to see what it contains.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Sleboda said:

Really? I agree with the built of what you're saying, but not this. They are better, by a mile, at fighting and stopping magic than the book for the god of fighting and stopping magic.

Something went very wrong there.

 

Oh come on, I know you're making it your mission to complain about Khorne at every given opportunity but you can't honestly say that Slaanesh is better at stopping magic than Khorne is. Khorne has the skulls, the bloodsecrator, the altar, a hilarious number of unbinds and dispels, a host that specifically targets magic, and multiple ways to get bonuses to dispel. Slaanesh has the enrapturess, rerolls from the epitome and... what, a couple wizards? If you're going to complain about the problems in the Khorne book, try complaining about things that are actually a problem. Khorne is devastating against magic. 

On another note, I'm really looking forward to this book. The point changes are small, but they're breathing some life into stuff that I haven't been able to play in a long time. I'm really curious to get a look at the scenarios as well, there's a lot that could've been cleaned up in the last GHB and I'm specifically hoping they added some clear measurements to the more vague layouts.

Edited by Grimrock

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