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JPjr

A Modest Proposal / Balance / Allegiance Abilities / Sub-Factions

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Here are a couple of thoughts from a poor nighthaunt player (1- yes there are some left and 2- yes we guys do know what grief means):

  • I will not buy speeches about playing narrative games or house rules and then having fun and being happy again. We are not discussing the same thing anymore. I want to play AoS. I am not obsessed by being competitive, but to some extent this is also a little bit why we play: it does not matter if we eventually win with the beloved army we created, we are just buying a tiny hope of victory.

  • Armies cannot be perfectly balanced internally or externally - that’s impossible and that’s why we all love AoS. In other words I am prepared to play with an army which is considered as weak in the meta, that’s fine.

  • There is no perfect system to give a fair value to everything (whether subfactions, artefacts, etc.) so I am not convinced that points for subfactions would solve the problem - just because we would then have endless debates on the right amount of points; on top of that I have the feeling that this issue only relates to some subfactions (I do not whine when playing against SCE Hammers of Sigmar or Anvils of the Heldenhammer) .

  • IMO the issue is more simple than that: GW should just be more "balance focused" and not issue subfactions with rules which are OP -despite their sales targets. In this respect Elite Petriflex is too much IMO. I have not played against all the armies in the game and I am prepared to be tabled out round 3 and well yes, this might and will happen. But at least when the game starts there is a hope. Against OBR Elite Petriflex there is no hope. After the couple of games I played, I’ll just give up. And when you reach a point when there is no hope, the game is dead. I am not saying that OBR are unbeatable (you'll probably need a better player than me !::P), but seriously, how many armies are able to deal with an OBR competitive list? So it all boils down to having reasonable rules and as far as Petriflex is concerned GW should just nerf it. They did nerf Archaon in StD recently so why not? (I guess OBR players will not agree at all and I will understand - my son is on the top of the list J).

At the end of the day, I dream of GW meeting their marketing goals with no power creep…

Just my feeling J

 

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That is my thoughts as well.  I did not sign up to play narrative-guy's version of AOS or his version of balance.  No house rules.  No "narrative mode" where someone tries to tell me what rules that GW endorses are bad.  No one goes to the store to pick up models that fit in with what narrative-guy thinks you should take, they buy models based off of what the rules allow.

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4 minutes ago, Dead Scribe said:

That is my thoughts as well.  I did not sign up to play narrative-guy's version of AOS or his version of balance.  No house rules.  No "narrative mode" where someone tries to tell me what rules that GW endorses are bad.  No one goes to the store to pick up models that fit in with what narrative-guy thinks you should take, they buy models based off of what the rules allow.

I mean this isnt actually true with me as proven fact. I dont go to buy models based off of what the rules allow I actually go to buy what fits my narrative and theme and then shape the rules around them. You probably meant "Not everyone", absolutes such as "No one" are easy to refute by even one person, myself in this instance, not fitting your world view.

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I'm a long time slaanesh player. So when the new battletome and models dropped I was, understandable, overjoyed after my years of waiting. But after a few months of experimenting with the new stuff I found that my army just wasn't terribly enjoyable to play against. In my opinion, in a casual setting, it's made me a lot more conscientious about what lists I bring. 

So I'd like to echo one of the sentiments from @RuneBrush post from the last page. I think its healthy to do some self-regulating where you can when playing casual games with your friends. One of the mental checkboxes I now have is, "Do I think this list will be fun for my opponent to play against?".

That being said, its hard to self-regulate. People disagree on what is fair and balanced (just read these forums). People disagree on what is fun to play. People like to win. People don't like to lose. Then multiply all these feelings by the sheer amount of time and love we put into building our armies and prepping for our weekly (or even monthly) games. 

What I'm trying to say is its a complicated topic and a hard ask to put all the solutions on Games Workshop. Thanks for reading my morning pondering!  

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Adding point costs is smart on paper, but that essentially just creates 1 big battalion. The design philosophy so far in 2nd edition has seemed to be to rein in battalion power and move that to sub factions. This in turn has created problems, as one was already costed but sub factions is not and "too much" power has been put into sub factions in SOME cases.

Reading through pages of artifacts and traits also seem sort of silly now, as we just after reading through all these options and fluffy descriptions are faced with some no brainer choices often, that just makes all the previous stuff pointless in many cases. 

This balance is way off between armies, while it might not mean that 1 army as a whole is stronger. Allegiance abilities are not just a 1 to 1 comparrison and sub factions also a 1 to 1 between books. 

I feel sub factions are not really needed with the correct design, The Gitz being the odd one out having 0 subfactions as we know them now, yet still managing to present a wide variety in units. This is often handled by X general making X battleline and the overall allegiance abilities having different effects on the units, letting you unlock the combos yourself and also actually use all those traits and artifacts in the book.

Then we have the reverse situation in the nighthaunt book with also 0 sub factions in a 2.0 book. These guys got so terrible allegiance abilties people just use the models with the allegiance for a completely different book. Grief helped the models some, but the tome is the allegiance and that still sucks, while they kept battalions underwhelming too. 

So the Gitz and nighthaunt are examples of how well a tome can be put together and how bad it can be without sub factions. And I am not just talking about tournament bashing power here, none of these books steamroll anything in that regard, but one is clearly superior overall and also where many agree the balance should be at for the game overall.

In general I do not like how sub factions are put together. Making them override all the options for command traits and artifacts is sort of used as the "cost" right now, which is why we talk about "tax" in this context instead of pure points. This is further influenced by things like Malign sorceries realm artifacts, which puts a lot of pressure on the performance of factions and the tax, in order to not just grab a decent command trait and throw an ethereal amulet on that monster hero in a meeting engagement game. Some subfactions are worth this tax.

If points are introduced for this, then the tax should go as well and let people enjoy the other options more instead of that part of a book being almost pointless for several books now.

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1 hour ago, Melcavuk said:

This is an interesting point of view, if we use the much talked about Petrifex elite suballegience here as a standpoint.

Mortek guard cost 130

Mortek guard with permanent +1 save cost 130

It's not quite that- Mortek Guard cost 130 with a choice of different additional allegiance abilities, one of which is +1 to save. 

You point about allies is spot on, but then you make a choice on if those units are worth it without having allegiance abilities- bringing in a wizard in an army without one, or some shooting without one- that makes them worth it. 

I guess I think this whole thing is a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. Points changes can balance things. If petrifex is too powerful, they can increase points for those units that particularly benefit from it. 

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32 minutes ago, Dead Scribe said:

No one goes to the store to pick up models that fit in with what narrative-guy thinks you should take, they buy models based off of what the rules allow.

In fairness, it should be pointed out that plenty of people buy models with zero interest in their rules, just wanting to paint a cool model.

I've bought plenty of models for armies and games I don't even play. I'm unaware of their rules. They are just really cool models.

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3 minutes ago, hughwyeth said:

I guess I think this whole thing is a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. Points changes can balance things. If petrifex is too powerful, they can increase points for those units that particularly benefit from it. 

This makes no sense. Then you just make the lesser choice even worse and by making the best choice, which in this case is so far ahead, the milestone, then you effectively kill anything else and a emblance of choice.

This kind of thinking also causes other poor balancing, like Slaanesh keeper lists being too strong, as they generate a lot of summoning points as they are monster heroes and can take and dish out a lot of wounds. What does GW do? increase the cost of all summoning, fixing absolutely nothing but perhaps bring down the books win % a bit at events, but changing nothing about list building and internal balance in the tome.

Balance where balance is needed! Balance points if a Warscroll is too strong, at least combined with the primary tome abilities. If you just increase points becuase a unit is good 1 place, you see stuff like Grimghasts who were increased because they work well in LoN but you punish the Nighthaunt armies which should be their main tome! This made even fewer people interested in playing "real" nighthaunt, a sad and lazy attempt at balancing.

Despite the Slaanesh changes being the wrong ones (The only real problem was keepers, they still are) I am glad to see GW addressing allegiance rules. As an OBR player i really hope they change Petrfex to remove that nagging feeling of nerfing your army potential on purpose, and even then opponents might still roll their eyes the second they see your models before even knowing your chosen less optimal legion. Fix their rules and fix their reputation so I can start my games in a positive manner please!

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I don't believe GW can balance the subfactions with point costs if they can't balance them at zero cost.

Also, I believe equally balancing all subfactions was never their goal.

Edited by Smooth criminal

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2 minutes ago, Smooth criminal said:

I don't believe GW can balance the subfactions with point costs if they can't balance them at zero cost.

Also, I believe equally balancing all subfactions was never their goal.

Changing meta benefits GW but also makes for an interesting (albeit expensive) hobby!

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🚨BREAKING NEWS🚨

so just got off the phone with the big boys in Nottingham and you’ll be pleased to hear that ‘Narrative Guy’ is now officially in charge of the game’s rules.

whilst this particular sub-faction idea clearly requires some more ‘workshopping’, my team of hardworking narrative guys’n’gals do have a few more obvious & less controversial ideas that will be strictly enforced at all future official tournaments.

To start you off gently, all heroes must now have a suitable, faction and theme, appropriate name. You’ll also receive a 15% discount on that model’s points cost if you can provide an entertaining and original back story on demand. A solid 25% discount will be awarded to players that can produce at least 2000 words of fanfic for your army.

Failure to comply could result in disqualification and a ban from future events.

Sorry, I’d like to say that I don’t make the rules just enforce them but that’s no longer true. Please stand by for further updates as and when out crack team conjures them up.

 

 

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Just reintroduce the imaginary horse and twirling mustache rules for rerolls and get it over with already

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1 hour ago, Sleboda said:

In fairness, it should be pointed out that plenty of people buy models with zero interest in their rules, just wanting to paint a cool model.

I've bought plenty of models for armies and games I don't even play. I'm unaware of their rules. They are just really cool models.

Apologies.  Let me clarify by stating people that are buying models specifically to play the game.

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10 minutes ago, Dead Scribe said:

Apologies.  Let me clarify by stating people that are buying models specifically to play the game.

No apology needed (though appreciated). I'll be clear as well. I do buy most of my models to play the game(s). Some, though, I get just to paint. Plus, even the models I buy for gaming are rarely purchased based on their rules. I tend to get ideas for themes based on the lore, the look of the models, and/or some silly idea in my head (like doing a Nurgle+Slaanesh army with characters named after sexual diseases).

Do I get disappointed when the rules are awful (like old TK or current Khorne)? Sure I do! I just usually tend to find this out well after purchasing the army.

Incidentally, I bought several thousand points of Bonereapers before having read the rules. For once I got lucky! 😁😉

Edited by Sleboda

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13 minutes ago, Sleboda said:

No apology needed (though appreciated). I'll be clear as well. I do buy most of my models to play the game(s). Some, though, I get just to paint. Plus, even the models I buy for gaming are rarely purchased based on their rules. I tend to get ideas for themes based on the lore, the look of the models, and/or some silly idea in my head (like doing a Nurgle+Slaanesh army with characters named after sexual diseases).

Do I get disappointed when the rules are awful (like old TK or current Khorne)? Sure I do! I just usually tend to find this out well after purchasing the army.

Incidentally, I bought several thousand points of Bonereapers before having read the rules. For once I got lucky! 😁😉

If you're actually into the hobby, buying for models is the only way to do it. Your "power" model may be squashed in the next faq/meta change/battletome update. 

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A big reason that this, while has some sensibility behind it, will never occur is because they've already tried this before and it was unsuccessful. In some newer battletomes, once the first GHB came out, subfactions were battalions like any other with points and limitations. They usually required you to take other battalions to fill this out, and the gaming scene overall became a bit warped. Some factions only required a single battalion to be included, and games were being determined by who could drop everything first. Others (notably Chaos factions), had their subfactions battalions require 4(!) battalions to be taken before able to play that subfaction. That was just absurd, and denied entire armies to truly "play their faction" within a given environment. Putting points on faction rules just brings that back. GW has been pretty good about readjusting points on units given all the circumstances involved, and tournament settings have provided a lot of insights for them on what to look at. I'm in agreement with a good chunk here that some factions just aren't equal, and sometimes that is the point. In a competitive setting, you're going to go for the best of the best because your goal is to win. Other factions are still viable, but if you're looking for the 5-0 then you have to accept the idea that you may just have one or two real factions to go with. Age of Sigmar is a wonderful system where we have seen a plethora of different winning armies and playstyles, so we shouldn't be doom and gloom about how things are lined up right now. 

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The following explains observations I made and it in no way reflects the overall attitude of the community as a whole.

there are two ways people tend to build their faction:

1. They buy models that look cool and seem to have their uses judging by the Battletome and or tests with Proxies 

2. They try to get one of each box, Test the models and sell whatever is too weak in order to buy more „good units“.

by my observation no one in my area ever buys models just for their look and no one wants to have a heap of models that will handicap their own game. 
 

just my 2 cents ^^

Edited by JackStreicher

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29 minutes ago, JackStreicher said:

The following explains observations I made and it in no way reflects the overall attitude of the community as a whole.

there are two ways people tend to build their faction:

1. They buy models that look cool and seem to have their uses judging by the Battletome and or tests with Proxies 

2. They try to get one of each box, Test the models and sell whatever is too weak in order to buy more „good units“.

by my observation no one in my area ever buys models just for their look and no one wants to have a heap of models that will handicap their own game. 
 

just my 2 cents ^^

That's a sensible approach to the game, I guess.

Here it is driven by the overall hobby and the game itself is the social enjoyment of it, not the beginning and end. It's why we have a somewhat dogged KO player even when KO were, let's face it, a bit of a mess on the table, but looked fantastic off it.

It's also why there are no OBR players in the group (general opinion is that OBR sculpts look like the 'Clowns of Death', and I don't mean that in a good Stephen King-type way 😋)

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2 hours ago, Mcthew said:

That's a sensible approach to the game, I guess.

Here it is driven by the overall hobby and the game itself is the social enjoyment of it, not the beginning and end. It's why we have a somewhat dogged KO player even when KO were, let's face it, a bit of a mess on the table, but looked fantastic off it.

It's also why there are no OBR players in the group (general opinion is that OBR sculpts look like the 'Clowns of Death', and I don't mean that in a good Stephen King-type way 😋)

I think there is only a tiny minority of even competitive players that would play any army that is good. I would consider the competitive elements in my community some of the most competitive around. And none of us would play a faction we didn't like the feel or playstyle of an army just due to its effectiveness competitively. Case and point of the say 8 most competitive we have zero FEC armies.  

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Just to remind that in the old days, every single Item/Artifact had points you had to pay for, even simple weapon options. Although it might sound useful, it did not help at all to balance something.

 

Furthermore, a lot of people enjoy the easiness of listbuilding in AOS.

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6 minutes ago, rosa said:

Furthermore, a lot of people enjoy the easiness of listbuilding in AOS.

Sure I totally get that but since they’re, I assume, selecting a faction anyway, and their choice is based on something other than randomly open the battletome at random, is factoring in a cost of, let’s say, 100-400 pts really complicating matters that much?

If it is then you’ve got to worry about how well they’ll grasp any of the main rules of the game.

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Hi,

of course not. It is probably more about a generell point. What I mean ist, where to Stop? Some Artifact are way better then others. It should be no problem to add and select points there, too, right?

 

 I prefer to keep it simple.

I also enjoyed AOS more, when we had just the 4 grand alliances... Maybe the Battletomes itself are the problem?

To add this: all you guys have valid Arguments of course. :)

 

 

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The only actual way to balance sub-factions is to make them actual choices vis-a-vis each other. Points are just another poor abstraction to create the illusion of a choice. You either want an orange or an apple, you don't want a fruit in abstract. So long as the attributes of each are relatively similar you can have a preference, if the £ of an apple is multiplicative of the orange, then the reality is you can only afford an apple, or nothing. And, the attributes of the orange are irrelevant. 

So if we want "balanced"subfactions then we need a) fewer sub-factions b) sub-factions with relatively comparable and useful rules. Now this does limit the creative freedom of the authors, but if you aren't tightly constrained you end up with some sub-factions where are only alternatively interesting in a narrative sense and provide no actual positive effect on how the army plays.

Crematorians are a perfect example, I wouldn't pay any amount of points for that sub-faction. IF I thought they were cool I might use the colour scheme but like it doesn't do anything really. And if I was forced to take a sub-faction which is the only way I would even consider them, I would still in most circumstances take one of the others unless they were so expensive as to make it hard to make an army. Because you would rather over pay to get something then pay a little to get a little.
 
TBH I think they should get rid of the idea that the fixed artefacts, and cmd traits are "negatives", they are just inherent parts of the sub-faction.

 

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I completely agree with different points in different factions, for example nagash is far superior in OBR he knows all spells and plus 1 to save when petrifex yet the same points in LON, but then some factions don't need it like khorne (love my khorne) reapers, blood lords and gore tide are all on the same level whereas skull fiend no one takes it not ever. So I am firmly with the vote for individual points costs but thats just a dream, some units points or stats are outrageously bad and GW don't do anything to balance them battle tomes come out with glaring errors, so that needs to be sorted before anything else. But with no context or true insight into the rules process we have no idea how many people are working on it, feasibility and costs etc so having an opinion is great but could it actually be done and maintained is another question. (I just visualise 2 guys  or girls grafting away at the rules with no company or managerial support expected to sort all the rules out)

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