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swarmofseals

My experience providing GHB feedback to the design team and my thoughts on GHB2019

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Posted (edited)

Largely because the win rate at tournaments is the only solid datapoint most of us have to go by.

It seems to be a universal that tournament win % is the gauge for all of AOS balance.

The biggest flux is at what level of the % is acceptable or unacceptable.  Ex: some people would like to see everything at 50% which is untenable in my opinion.  Others see anything higher than 60% or lower than 40% as bad.  The threshold is different from person to person.

This does not take casual game win percentages as the high end tournament lists are typically known to be the most optimal and efficient and represent the entire faction in terms of overall balance.

Edited by Dead Scribe

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31 minutes ago, Forrix said:

In all fairness to LLV he does often state that his stats should be taken with a grain of salt and him and Rob tend to dive into their meaning more. That said, I've noticed some players do like to just point to win rate as an end all or an excuse to ignore a faction's issues.  

I agree that its a huge first step, but margins matter especially on whatever data point you want to put out there as the objective measure of quality. I think at one point they said they had got a calculation on a player skill multiplier I would like to see that number being taken into account as well. Lets move into some advanced stats, so we can properly nerd out over this stuff. 

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Posted (edited)

Well, the current FEC mechanism is far more than interesting and fun from my point of view......

This mechanism can help many lower tier fraction bump up by 2 or even 3 tiers.....

Edited by HammerOfSigmar

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1 hour ago, tripchimeras said:

 

I agree that a lot of people asking questions like this just want assurances what they are getting isn't going to make for completely joyless games, but the answer to those questions is entirely contingent on how good their opponents are at the game in combination with how competitive their opponents' lists are, something they probably don't even know the answer to.  I'm not saying I don't disagree that we are all far too ready to just focus on competitive sometimes, but it can be hard to know what the balance is where you are guiding someone away from doing something they will be completely disappointed with, while simultaneously not pushing them down a path that will lead them towards perpetual meta chasing.  The "just take whatever you want" answer is not what people are looking to hear when they post a question of this sort online.

While I agree that trying to let people know how bad certain parts of the army can be, the fact is the discussion often runs "don't run this EVER" with little explination of why it might not be that good. It's rarely about what the unit seems to be tailored to do so people can decide if they actually need said unit or not (of if they're committed to a particular unit, letting them then figure out how to build around that unit in a meaningful way). Basically I'm saying the conversations we have about armies need some work as they are unbalanced and are creating the issue of the over-focus on competitive play by the community.

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3 minutes ago, HammerOfSigmar said:

Well, the current FEC mechanism is far more than interesting and fun from my point of view......

The FEC mechanics aren't really the problem as much (and to steal a bit from Vince over on Warhammer Weekly) the issue of "and then". Because some of the issues come from these combos that just keep letting you stack more and more stuff into the base rule which takes a reasonable rule and turn it into a hot mess of feel bads that just makes it no fun to play against.

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Problem with FEC is they have every broken mechanic in the game.

 

Free summon need to be balanced. Rigth now gw says it is summed on army points but if that is true that cost is way too low. Noone can say a unit sumoning 50-80% of his points is balanced.

 

Always atack first. In a balanced game it could be ok. Since you coukd takedown those units with shotting or magic. Problem is shotting is overpriced right now in aos and is useless on most of the units. And magic, some armyes havent any or have bad mages or useless spells.

 

Atack 2 times mechanic.... Undead drake, hearthguards, skelletons atacking 2 times arent good for the game.and i think noone should be able to double up his value so easy.

 

So the problem isnt only fec points. Problem are all those broken mechanics and the fact they have all them. And that isnt easy to balance. Even harder with only a errata.

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17 hours ago, prochuvi said:

Dispossesed players disagree with this.

I am a new player(never played to fantasy) and started 3 years ago with dispossesed.

I dont want dispossesed at dok,skavens,fec levels.im happy with order draconis or phoenyx levels

I thought I was clear about this but perhaps I wasn't -- I was specifically talking about armies that have received a modern battletome. Non-battletome armies are a completely different story, and I fully agree that their outlook is dire until they get updated. I'll say this again: I completely agree that GW should have done more to give these factions a boost, but I don't think GW could possibly have boosted them enough to make them competitive.

17 hours ago, PlasticCraic said:

Bit of a sidetrack here - and I'm probably preaching to the choir - but I would argue that the concept of mobility is just as important as straight-line speed.  Things like the Gorefist can be fast, but they are also predictable in that they move across the board towards you, and are therefore easily countered. 

...

I do think that it’s important to distinguish between armies being left behind and factions being left behind.  Let’s look at what was the most feared and respected armies were this time last year: Changehost and Vanguard Wing.  When was the last time you saw either of those around the top tables, or at all? 

Tzeentch I think is actually in a decent place right now, but anyone running Changehost has probably had to buy a whole lot of new models to keep going. 

...

And people live with it, so for that reason I don’t agree that whiplash would be any worse than that in practice.

...  

The point therefore being that if people can live with that, and I believe my examples above illustrate that they can, we could also (as a community) live with the whiplash effect you described.

So it’s a matter of opinion (and yours obviously carries a lot of weight), but I personally wouldn’t judge any potential whiplash effect to be sufficient reason to prevent bolder moves in points reductions.  That’s my premise in a nutshell, for reasons outlined above.

I can definitely agree on mobility vs. speed, and I agree that it's important to the success of DoK. That said, I think IJ does have some decent mobility too and their buff game is arguably better than DoK's. A Gorefist is easily counterable now because their predictable charge down the table isn't that efficient. If Goregruntas were efficient at the level of eels or Witch Aelves, then opponents would have a MUCH harder time countering it and the lack of mobility would be less of an issue.

The point you make about armies vs. factions is a good one, but I think it is largely most relevant for people who are chasing the very top of the meta. If you buy into a broken army with a 60+% win rate, you are likely going to end up having to shelve a bunch of your stuff or buy new things after the next balance pass. Anyone buying into something like Changehost with the expectation that it'd go unscathed was fooling themself. Personally, I've been avoiding working on DoK for exactly this reason. I think the points changes to DoK are just fine and the faction will end up in a decent place, but if the FAQ crushes some of DoK's mechanics then it'll be a whole different story. So I wait until the FAQ hits before deciding to pursue or not to pursue. 

Re: people living with the whiplash, I think that when it's moderate that's totally fine. When an enfranchised player buys into a faction, they can realistically expect that over the next year or two they may need to supplement with some additional purchases and there's always a chance that the faction will go through a dark age if they get over-nerfed or something unexpectedly broken shows up in the meta. If you are only happy being in the top tier, then this is a risk you know you have to take. I think this sort of player is generally OK with the churn (like you said), although there are some who still hate it.

What I am more worried about is a new player buying into an army, looking at the points values and finding that they need to spend, say, $600 to fill out a viable army. Then 3 months later the battletome drops and they find that they could have had a functional 2k force with only $300 spent, and furthermore they need to drop another $100 or so on the battletome, terrain, and endless spells. That's the kind of whiplash that concerns me. Even some enfranchised players would feel really burned by that. Let's say you have 2k of Army X, and the GHB comes out and now you only have 1K of army X. You're happy because now your army is actually good, but you still have to go drop a chunk of change to fill out your forces and get back to 2K. Then 3 months later the battletome hits and you no longer need all those extra boxes to field 2K. Yes you might have more options now (although not if you just bought more of the same stuff that you already had), but it sure would feel like GW tricked you into buying all that new stuff when they knew full well that you'd only be able to use it for a brief window. 

That kind of move by GW would be stone-cold premeditated shenanigans and a profound breach of consumer trust. 

Overall though I do agree with you that I'd have preferred to see bolder points reductions in some cases. I just think that a lot of factions need less of a reduction than people think, and that the factions that really need the reductions are basically not going to be functional until they get a battletome anyway and that sufficient points reductions to make them functional would not be realistically doable for the reason I cited above. Should GW have thrown a bigger bone to those players? Yeah, probably. But they just can't realistically throw a big enough bone.

13 hours ago, JackStreicher said:

I disagree on that.

The best example remains Idoneth:

it‘s 4 Unit’s that are being used to achieve that high win rate. 4 Units and one possible army build don‘t represent a faction, so I think that complaining in this case is absolutely warranted.

I'm not sure how your Idoneth example fits with my point at all.  I'm not even really referring to Idoneth players. I'm referring to players who have factions that are sitting in that 45%-55% window and complain that their faction is unplayable. I suppose I could broaden the argument to cover Idoneth as well though. I don't know how the points changes will affect Idoneth overall, but I would be shocked if the faction didn't manage to post a win rate of at least 45%. I totally agree with you that 4 units and one or two builds don't fully define a faction, but there are only 12 warscrolls in the deepkin lineup. If you completely ignore the top 4 warscrolls in your faction your expected win rate is going to be lower, yeah. I'd bet though that even a sub-optimal Idoneth build will still put up respectable numbers, particularly when you factor in the fact that most if not all of the top lists that it is competing with are getting taken down a peg.

Also, I claimed that a lot of players misrepresent how good or bad their faction is. That doesn't mean that there aren't cases of justified complaints. The two things are not mutually exclusive.

12 hours ago, RuneBrush said:

Can't agree with this more, but I think I'd go one step further.  Hopefully this doesn't come across as too controversial, but there is a portion of gamers out there who let themselves be convinced that they're not going to like an army because it isn't any good* - and by not any good I mean not competitive.

As an example of this, I've a friend who recently posted on a couple of Facebook groups that he was looking to build a new army (this will be his third) and a list of options that he fancied doing in the form of a poll.  The vast majority of the responses were telling him not to go for specific factions and listing the problems for it.  Now he'd made it clear that he was doing this for his own enjoyment not for winning tournaments (in fact many of the options weren't very often seen armies) and the poll results bore no resemblance to the comments, but it's a good example of how somebody is immediately steered down the route of focusing on what's competitive/dominant.

I'm sure we've all heard it "don't go for that model because they're rubbish in game".  This also becomes a self-deprecating issue too - that new player that's been swayed as to what's they'll enjoy promoted the same views onto the next one.  This means that when GW rolls out something to identify the problem (normally points, sometimes errata), people feel really aggrieved that their previously dominating army is now merely "competitive".

* I will quickly add that I don't think this applies to any of us TGA!  This comment is meant more from the aspect of social media

So true. It also irks me that a lot of the people giving this advice don't actually know what they are talking about. When you look at the rhetoric of the armchair champion brigade it's often so much more extreme than what the actual top players are saying. I'll cite @ianob's podcast as a great example. They will call out some options as trash, but when they do they usually have a nuanced reason for it and they are usually calling out the worst of the worst. They will also identify what they think are the best and most competitive options, again with a nuanced argument. Everything else typically falls into the range of viable or at least interesting even if it's not overtly the best option. They recognize that a skilled player can take a pretty wide range of options to a tournament and do well with it. But if you listen to the armchair champion brigade you'd think that only the absolute exact top netlist build can win a game under any circumstances ever. This is getting way harsher than I intended, but I just wish that more people would listen to the folks that really do know what they are talking about like @ianob and the Facehammer guys and not to some random panoply of facebook strangers. 

6 hours ago, Fulkes said:

I've seen this a lot myself. If I go out somewhere asking what models I need to get first for Bonesplitterz the first thing most people will tell me is to not play Bonesplitterz rather than answer the question.

This is so sad, especially given that Bonesplitterz are actually decent despite having a D- battletome. Honest answer to the question? Don't worry so much about what models you get. What you really need to invest in is a lot of paint and a lot of patience 😄

6 hours ago, Forrix said:

I'm going to very strongly disagree with that. I think a lot of players are looking to have games that they feel they can at least participate in.  If I take Nurgle and play 2 games, one against LON and one against Nighthaunt I'll walk away with a 50% percent win rate and a 0% fun rate.

I don't know what to say to this. I think the percentage of faction vs. faction matchups that are truly predetermined is so far smaller than what people say. While I'm sure you can build a Nurgle list that will nearly always lose to LON and you can build a Nighthaunt list that will always lose to Nurgle, it's just a gross exaggeration to say that, given two players of equal skill, Nurgle will always lose to LON and always beat Nighthaunt. It's simply not true, and if it was there is absolutely no way we'd see the faction win rates that we do. 

5 hours ago, Dead Scribe said:

Thats likely because the default conversation setting is competitive tournament context, at least online.

Without chasing the meta and being smart about the army you buy and play from season to season, this is not possible by default without heavy social engineering with your opponent to get them to not play as hard as they can, which many people are heavily opposed to doing.

I think you only need to engage in social engineering if you don't want to chase the meta and your opponents do. If nobody is chasing the meta then what is the issue? If your opponent is bringing tournament lists and you aren't, then that's a conversation that is going to need to happen. I doubt we will ever see a level of combined internal and external balance that will make any conceivable kitchen table list suitable to play against a tournament list. I don't know if I've ever heard of a game that involve significant player choice/design that has achieved let alone maintained this level of balance.

3 hours ago, whispersofblood said:

This is a fundamental problem I have with LLV's stats on the honest wargamer. If win percentage is the measure of a faction's quality how are we not measuring the quality of those wins. 

Because regardless of what you may say there is a difference between a faction that closely loses 55% of its games, and a faction that has no chance of victory in 55% of its games qualitatively. 

If for example we find out that FEC is winning most of its games by between 2-5 points. Regardless of how it might feel, small point increases might actually do the job AND the faction keeps all its interesting mechanisms.

This is a very good point -- the win rates are a starting point for discussion about balance, not an end point. I cite them mostly as evidence that the situation is not as dire as many people let on. There are lots of folks who talk like their faction win rate is in the single digits, and I think pointing to an actual win rate near 50% is enough evidence to confidently refute that framing.

2 hours ago, Fulkes said:

While I agree that trying to let people know how bad certain parts of the army can be, the fact is the discussion often runs "don't run this EVER" with little explination of why it might not be that good. It's rarely about what the unit seems to be tailored to do so people can decide if they actually need said unit or not (of if they're committed to a particular unit, letting them then figure out how to build around that unit in a meaningful way). Basically I'm saying the conversations we have about armies need some work as they are unbalanced and are creating the issue of the over-focus on competitive play by the community.

Such a good point. It's amazing how quickly people forget that people have different motivations other than simply maximizing their win rate. There definitely are some examples where players do need to be warned about what they are getting into. For example, if a Stormcast player wants to use Liberators over Sequitors that's fine, but they should really know the consequences of that decision. But if you want to use Gors over Ungors? Yeah you might be giving up a tiny amount of expected win rate but it's going to be small enough that it's not worth stressing over. 

I just posted in the Sylvaneth thread about how greatsword Kurnoths are now mathematically better than scythe Kurnoths in the vast majority of situations. Does that mean you should never build your Kurnoths with scythes? Of course not! 

I think we are at our best as a community when we recognize that people have a wide range of reasons for playing this game and a wide range of things about the game that they derive satisfaction from. I have no problem when people present information about the tradeoffs that players are making, but it goes too far when we start assuming that other players have the same motivations as we do. 

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1 hour ago, swarmofseals said:

but I just wish that more people would listen to the folks that really do know what they are talking about like @ianob and the Facehammer guys and not to some random panoply of facebook strangers. 

Absolutely 100% agree with you on all counts.  The JustPlaying and Faceahmmer podcasts are really good at explaining all the little bits and bobs that it's so easy to miss.  I think the problem is two fold; one social media (specifically Facebook actually) is convenient, there's phone apps and notifications that just make it easy.  The second is that a lot of people who reply aren't what I'd call "invested" in the hobby - I know that if they came into an environment such as TGA they'd realise that there's quite a wide range of options out there.

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3 hours ago, swarmofseals said:

I don't know what to say to this. I think the percentage of faction vs. faction matchups that are truly predetermined is so far smaller than what people say. While I'm sure you can build a Nurgle list that will nearly always lose to LON and you can build a Nighthaunt list that will always lose to Nurgle, it's just a gross exaggeration to say that, given two players of equal skill, Nurgle will always lose to LON and always beat Nighthaunt. It's simply not true, and if it was there is absolutely no way we'd see the faction win rates that we do.

While there is some hyperbole to my statement, this is a dice a game with a high level of randomness after all, I picked those examples as I'm literally rocking a 0% win rate against LON and a 100% win rate against Nighthaunt as Nurgle. I don't want to turn this thread into a Nurgle tactics discussion, its well discussed in its thread in the chaos forum but its bad idea to dismiss an armies issues just because its win rate over the past year is within a given parameter.  Nurgle is far from the bottom of the barrel but when I look at the emerging power level among 2nd edition battletomes I get very concerned for how Nurgle will be doing in the forth coming year. 

On a side note, if anyone knows of a Youtuber or Podcaster who plays a lot of Nurgle by all means let me know as I don't know of any currently. A lot of my frustration with this conversation and the recent discussion is that I've struggled with Nurgle, particularly against LON, and literally cannot find any tactical advice beyond "Just be glad he didn't take more Grimghast reapers". Then you come on forums and hear about how Rotigus should be 400 points and you must suck or are just a try hard. Hell, in a facebook group a guy said Nurgle belongs up in A tier with Fyreslayers then declined to give any reason as to why.

Side side note: When I play my Fyreslayers I magically become a very skilled player....

 

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Win rate in a vacuum is nearly useless on its own. When we break it down to which builds are over/underperforming and against which other faction builds and the data starts gaining enough meaning to make fully informed statements. It's uncommon for the data to be filtered to that level. 

For example it's not all of FEC people cry foul over, it's Gristlegore. It's not all DoK, it's Hagg Nar. And yet when we start talking about what's broken the discussion aims a finger at DoK or FEC as whole factions.

So yeah, the statistics as we generally discuss them are useless because they don't properly identify the specific common threads in the faction that are causing the faction to win far more games than they should average.

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 And yet when we start talking about what's broken the discussion aims a finger at DoK or FEC as whole factions.

I think thats because largely people see the same DoK or FEC build... the broken one, that the rest of the faction is not seen and therefore doesn't exist to the mind.

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31 minutes ago, Dead Scribe said:

 

 

I think thats because largely people see the same DoK or FEC build... the broken one, that the rest of the faction is not seen and therefore doesn't exist to the mind.

It's not seen at top tables but something is losing games in a game meta that largely lacks meaningful shooting.

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10 hours ago, swarmofseals said:

This is so sad, especially given that Bonesplitterz are actually decent despite having a D- battletome. Honest answer to the question? Don't worry so much about what models you get. What you really need to invest in is a lot of paint and a lot of patience 😄

I don‘t know about bonesplitters, but there can be a good reason to advice against a faction:

if you are trying to „recruit“ a new player or a Warhammer 40k player I would advice against „weaker“ armies since it will be more likely that that person quits the hobby if they are being stomped each game. 

Though I‘d usually not say „don‘t get it“ but something along the lines: „They‘re cool and fun but they‘re not that strong, so keep in mind that you might have a hard time with them“

in my experience (I‘ve given 15-30 Introduction Games each year since I started) it is more likely people will stay in the hobby if they start with a „strong“ faction, they‘ll fan out to buy other faction anyway but they‘re not put off due to their chosen faction causing them frustration.

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Posted (edited)

The problem I have is if someone is passionate about an army outright telling them to not start said army can equally backfire. 

My advice is to never tell the person no, but instead try to explain the strengths and weaknesses of the faction they like. If that ends up helping them find a new army, them they made the choices themselves instead of feeling forced to do so.

Heck, I've had people try to tell me "no" over the Bonesplitterz only for me to point out that I'm building both a 40k and a AoS army with the same models (conversions inbound for the stuff I can't run "count as" on). Basically all my building for a legal Bonesplitterz force is to let me get more put of my hobby dollar, but if I listened to people telling me "no" then the cool Feral Ork army I've wanted for years (basically since I saw my first Savage Orc, followed by reading Imperial Glory which reinforced how cool Feral Orks are). And losing thay kind of project can really kill someone's motivation.

I won't pretend we don't have bad armies in the game right now, but the choice on if someone wants to collect them or not should be on the collector, all we can do is help them make an informed choice.

Edited by Fulkes

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The problem with changing points too frequently so new players are dissapointed can easily be flipped. 

I imagine most new players buy what they like the look of first and foremost and only then, once they are into the game, do they start to think more about building a full army and how effective it would be. 

For those players, if they pick up the models they like and they are gerwlly considered overpriced in matched play and everyone they speak to says they are no good in matched play, it's very dissapointing for them. They would certainly be happy if their overpriced models got an adjustment to put them back in line with others in that scenario.

If they've picked up models that are under pointed and great in matched play, then it's rare for those models to get adjusted so badly that they are no longer worth taking, it's more likely they're still worth taking but just not too effective for their points (e.g. New witch aelf points - noone who has got Witch Aelves is going to feel they have to stop using them) 

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I'm curious, the STD army only have a few drop points on chariots and marauder horsemen.

But STD is actually the last army on % of victorys.

In fact, the problem of this ppl are 2.

His battle traits are pretty poor, and his point value are simply expensive.

For example, the chaos warriors are so similar to the ardboyz, but the ardboyz cost 140 points, while the chaos warriors are 180 points.

The chaos lord on Manticore don't have rend, a monster for 250 points...

same for sorcerer lord, 160 for a guy with a good spell and skill, but one spell at least, similar in raw power to a necromancer..

The chosen for 140-5. Maybie it looks well if they have 3 wounds, but they have 2. 

Why they remain at this prices?

 

The only explanation it's GW is going to made a darkoath/std book. I have the hope, but... if not.... just delete it from the AOS scene, is better for STD players give us hope and do nothing after.

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STD is in a place where points alone can't fix their issues. They need a proper book with updated rules.

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The problem I have is if someone is passionate about an army outright telling them to not start said army can equally backfire. 

I'm not sure this is the game for people passionate about an army if they are also passionate about having competitive games.  You can't have both in AOS unless you just happen to have your passion army also be one of the powerful armies for a cycle.

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38 minutes ago, Fulkes said:

STD is in a place where points alone can't fix their issues. They need a proper book with updated rules.

Fully agree.  Slaves to Darkness is trash because they are both very overcosted for what little they do... and for what little they do.  They are a faction I'm not even sure I understand why they keep around because their rules are so bad.

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2 minutes ago, Dead Scribe said:

Fully agree.  Slaves to Darkness is trash because they are both very overcosted for what little they do... and for what little they do.  They are a faction I'm not even sure I understand why they keep around because their rules are so bad.

My prediction is that we'll be seeing the rolled with Everchosen into one book and from there the army will see the love it needs to at least be playable again.

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My trivial questions: Are Liberators locked at 100 points for 5? Is this used as a metric for assigning any points?

What happened to the Deathrunner?

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On 6/22/2019 at 2:08 AM, JackStreicher said:

in my experience (I‘ve given 15-30 Introduction Games each year since I started) it is more likely people will stay in the hobby if they start with a „strong“ faction, they‘ll fan out to buy other faction anyway but they‘re not put off due to their chosen faction causing them frustration.

Yep. Let the wookie win. It used to be (still is?) a mantra for store staff when teaching new player-recruits.

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On 6/22/2019 at 10:27 AM, Forrix said:

On a side note, if anyone knows of a Youtuber or Podcaster who plays a lot of Nurgle by all means let me know as I don't know of any currently.

I think Terry Pike from Facehammer still plays Nurgle, specifically Thricefold?

Must admit I don't listen to the show any more, so I'm not sure how much he talks about Nurgle on there if at all.  But it could be worth exploring.

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On 6/21/2019 at 5:27 PM, Forrix said:

On a side note, if anyone knows of a Youtuber or Podcaster who plays a lot of Nurgle by all means let me know as I don't know of any currently.

http://facehammer.co.uk/2018/01/07/episode-49-maggotkin-of-nurgle-army-review/

38 minutes ago, PlasticCraic said:

 I think Terry Pike from Facehammer still plays Nurgle, specifically Thricefold?

 Must admit I don't listen to the show any more, so I'm not sure how much he talks about Nurgle on there if at all.  But it could be worth exploring.

The episode above is over a year and a half old but Terry did a good job talking about the book and not a lot has changed for Nurgle since then. I think one of the Event reviews after this episode, Terry took Thricefold and talks about it. 

I also stopped tuning into Facehammer as well! Literally my favorite AOS podcast for 3 years and I haven't listened for maybe 9 months now. It's not a bad show but I like to think of myself as a total GW fanboy and they have become overly GW apologist even for my taste. 

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