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Zanzou

Do you like / dislike subfaction allegiances that lock your trait / artefact choices?

Do you like / dislike subfaction allegiances that lock your trait / artefact choices?  

109 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you like / dislike subfaction allegiances that lock your trait / artefact choices?

    • I'd prefer to customize my army with trait / artefact choice, even with a subfaction. Subfactions should be balanced other ways (points, abilities, or units)
      40
    • I don't mind being locked out of trait / artefact choice with subfactions. It is necessary to balance the game and I don't miss the extra customization.
      38
    • Mixed opinion.
      31


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Poll: Do you like / dislike that subfaction allegiances require you to lock your trait / artefact choices?  Is it necessary to you?

See other similar thread regarding potential ways to balance subfactions: 

  I know the topic is a little too similar but I was interested in getting a show of hands with a poll

Edited by Zanzou

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It can be a bit frustrating but i think it's a good way of making it occasionally worth not taking a subfaction and instead choosing your own trait and artefact. 

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I agree with Carnelian - I think its a good way to add subfactions and give them their own "identity" within the book. It also gives them the potential to do things that, if combined with core upgrade choices , could be "broken"; but which when using their own system lets them have a greater level of balance. 

 

For armies like Cities of Sigmar and Gloomspite, where some of the sub-armies are a very different composition to the regular; I think it also helps to add an element of lore flavour to them. An army of Pestilens that's pure Pestilens shouldn't be taking mechanical artifacts from Skyre that are in the general/standard equipment list. However the Pestilens should have access to its own that are "better or different" from the regular. 

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I don't know why not taking a subfaction is even an option Probably because not everybody had one . For me it looks like an arbitrary decision. Just make the subfaction artifacts and traits an extra you can chose and have everyone have a subfaction.

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So far opinion is 3 - 3.   I kind of understand both sides, it does help to give the subfaction further identity and balance.  However, personally I felt my creativity really being killed when trying to build lists.

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I voted mixed, because there's a lot of factors involved. Subfactions across the board are a toss-up. Some aren't well thought-out or implemented, whereas others are amazing (or atrocious, depending on which side of the table you're on.) 

The better the subfaction's inherent rules, the less painful it is to be locked into a specific artifact and command trait.

My preferred option would be that picking a subfaction "unlocked" a unique command trait and artifact, which you could use or pass over as you chose. However, given that you get bonuses otherwise unavailable to your main faction, I can understand why they made it non-optional.

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5 minutes ago, OkayestDM said:

My preferred option would be that picking a subfaction "unlocked" a unique command trait and artifact, which you could use or pass over as you chose. 

This would 100% make it great to me.  

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I picked mixed opinion because I really dont know if I like fixed traits/artifacts or not. 

1) As a balance tool I think being locked to a trait/artifact you might dont want to have can compensate for a very strong general allegiance ability, where a very good artifact and/or trait can make a „weaker“ or more specialized allegiance ability seem worthwile. 

Also some custom traits could be bonkers if combined with some allegiance abilities. 

Artifacts are no problem most of the time because you can just take a battalion and have a custom one, so its more about the general trait. 

I say (+) from a balance perspective. 

2) army flavor. 

Now this one is a bit more tricky and thats why I have mixed feelings. 

Some traits are really cool and show what the allegiance is about or are a straight up reason to pick the subfaction 

(eg Vostarg/Hermdar, both abilities give a very good 12“ aura that defines your playstyle pretty much) 

Some on the other hand are subjectively speaking „garbage“ 

(eg Barak-Nar, giving my Admiral the same 12“ no battleshock bubble he got on his warscroll, therefore telling me not to take an Admiral as Barak Nar General)

So there can be very cool traits that can be fun to have (+) and less flavorful ones, or even ones that kind of „punish“ you for making a specific choice of general (-)

Funnily enough the KO tome fixed this problem at the same time, making some traits hero specific (eg if your general is a Khemist, he must have this trait). 

I say (-) because there are many instances where a bad forced command trait can make me not want to play an allegiance at all, as I enjoy my general being an awesome force on the field the most. 

Long story short, I think the best way would be to make the traits optional but be careful about custom trait/ allegiance combos that could be gamebreaking. 

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I voted A, but would add realms and batallions to it. Cities is REALLY restrictive.

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5 minutes ago, zilberfrid said:

I voted A, but would add realms and batallions to it. Cities is REALLY restrictive.

Yeah it feels really strange that all armies from CoS must come from Aqshy and Ghyran. 

I mean sure, in the background those cities are located there but why can for example a Vostarg army can come from the realm of Shyish when their Lodge is located in Aqshy as well? 

For me its less about „where does my army come from“ anyway,‘more about „from which place does my army get a/some artifacts. 

There are many ways to travel between realms after all. 

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I can't stand it, completely breaks what should be a heavily narrative choice for me.

Several times while planning out my Hallowed Knights army I've wondered why my Lord-Celestant - Lady Cassandora - has exactly the same trait and relic as Gardus Steel Soul, even though they're nothing alike.

And this happens all over the place.

Very strange.

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Definitely mixed feelings. I dislike the lack of freedom of choice, and the bland sameyness when every army of a given faction uses the same trait and relic, but at the same time I think using traits and relics to help balance sub-factions is a better option (if done right) than making them cost points.

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4 hours ago, Phasteon said:

Yeah it feels really strange that all armies from CoS must come from Aqshy and Ghyran. 

Or they could just release another book later, eg: "Strongholds of Sigmar" with options from Ghur & Chamon, or 2 other realms

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I dislike it because in many cases it means that a majority of artifacts and command traits in the battletomes aren't used. Consider the Beasts of Chaos battletome. It's not a monobuild army, but there aren't many options if you want to even pretend to be competitive. Out of the three subfactions (greatfrays), most take Gavespawn which are considered to have the best artifact and a strong buffing CA but a weak trait, a handful take Allherd and even fewer Darkstalkers. Some take no greatfray, but the only real option in that case to have a shaggoth general and the Ancient Beyond Knowing command trait. That means that out of the 21 command traits printed in the book, 4 get used. The artifacts are marginally better off because you can usually get two in an army, but the second pick is almost always Aetherquartz Brooch anyway because the army is so CP starved, so the generic artifacts end up not getting used much. In practice, 90%+ of BoC lists I see have the Gavespawn artifact (Mutating Gnarlblade) and Aetherquartz Brooch.

Contrast with the new Slaves to Darkness battletome. There are no generic traits or artifacts, and each subfaction gets to pick from a list of 6. There's going to be a lot more variety in the choices, and much fewer picks that never see play.

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I like the way the new Slaves tome does it where there is a choice per subfaction vs the way Khorne does it ie same trait and artefact per subfaction. It means several pages of the book just don’t get used and it limits experimentation. 

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I'm okay with must use artefacts and traits, if that wasn't the case - there would be 0 reasons to take vanilla EVER since you would voluntirely pass on free abilities.

What they should do with subfactions is put a lot of effort into them, so that each of them would be as viable as others and vanilla choices.

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For me it is somewhat interesting that you are forced into a potentially suboptimal artefact and command trait. I see it as a payment/tax for getting those extra bonuses. In some armies you can opt out of the subfactions, which means you skip out on potentially neat bonuses, but you get to pick a command trait and artefact as you wish. It is a trade off, since you wont get those subfaction bonuses, but your general will usually be that much stronger. 

The army/malign sorcery artefacts are VERY strong imo, so if the subfaction artefacts/traits weren't forced onto you, I'd wager hardly anyone would ever pick those that are unique to the subfaction.

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What I would like is that they keep subfactions but make command traits/artifacts optional. However I think all subfactions should be designed like flesh eater courts. In Fec, choosing subfaction means you lose delusions which means that there is extra penalty for taking subfaction. As for balance well gw should never release stuff like petrifex elite in the first place (also good example on why c. Traits/artifacts don't really help on balance when you get good ones on the subfaction).

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I get why they do it - to make it easier to balance certain subfactions. But I know that for some factions, this is worse than others. I'm looking at Stormcast, who seem to be stuck with some real stinkers.

A change they could make in the future might be to expand the list of possible generic Traits and Artefacts to 8 or 10 and each subfaction limits your choice to a handful of options out of that list. So, the "Big Hat Stormchamber" lets you choose from artefacts 1, 3 and 4, while the "Mr Big Boots Legion" lets you choose from 1, 2, 3 and 6. That way there would be some customization options still, but they'd still be able to prevent certain particularly strong combinations from ruining everyone's day.

Personally though, the current system is simple and effective and in general I'm for restricting artefacts and command traits for the sake of a better overall play experience.

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14 hours ago, Overread said:

For armies like Cities of Sigmar and Gloomspite, where some of the sub-armies are a very different composition to the regular; I think it also helps to add an element of lore flavour to them. An army of Pestilens that's pure Pestilens shouldn't be taking mechanical artifacts from Skyre that are in the general/standard equipment list. However the Pestilens should have access to its own that are "better or different" from the regular. 

Gloomspite has no Sub factions. There is no ability/artefact lock anywhere. 

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I cannot stand the direction taken in the Slaves to Darkness book. Being forced into a subfaction and losing out on a general option to take instead killed my interest in the army stone dead. For me, that design choice was a real shame. 

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My frustration with the locked trait/artefact is it results in the command trait table being a complete waste of ink and the artefact table heavily limited by how good that faction's battalions are. Then if you run into a Petrifix Elite or Hag-Narr problem were one subfaction is so incredibly good the battletome basically becomes just that one subfaction and a system designed to promote multiple ways of plays instead locks you into just one way to play. Especially if they go the DoK way of balancing and just start pointing everything assuming you're playing the OP subfaction. Of course, you're not literally forced to play that way but it feels horrible building lists knowing you're shooting yourself in the foot power level wise. And I'm saying that as someone isn't a hardcore tournament player.

I prefer the CoS/STD system where you have subfactions that have their own Command trait table and artefact tables. You get the identity and ways to play while still having some flexibility within each subfaction when it comes to list building.   

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I think KO is too restrictive. The skyports lock all 3 code choices, artifact, and command trait, AND battleline options
To play 2k list of KO you must either:
play  3 units of arkanaut company
play  a hero that is not available for sale to unlock fly boys
play a skyport that locks down 5 other choices for you.  

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So in theory, its a good idea. It helps restricts insane combos. It also adds more value to Battalions and potentially makes the "no subfaction" choice an actual option.

Unfortunately the real-world result is different. Subfaction abilities are simply too powerful to pass up on, and there is almost always one clear outlier. In may cases the subfaction bonuses are actually better than the allegiance abilities. So competitive armies frequently end up in 1-2 subfactions. The rest are disregarded completely.

Its also annoying that they dedicate so many pages of the codex to artefacts and command traits that just never even get read/used. 

 

 

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I think the majority of players (both narrative and competitive) would prefer the unlocked option. However, I think it is an attempt at a balancing lever, to pair slightly worse artifacts or command traits to better subfactions to help control their strength. 

 

Narrative players would prefer to pick what they feel best embodies the feel of their army and that is fine but would occasionally result in broken jank.  I have found that most players have some sort of competitive slant or streak to their gameplay though, even the narrative players USUALLY want to win or live our the fantasy of their army at least. In this way, with some help from the internet hivemind, I believe most lists would would end up like the competitive players version where  unlocked artifacts and command traits would just be one more avenue to boost efficiency and make oppressive subfactions even more oppressive.  Overall I am glad that they do it.

 

Flip side. Some of the items are useless and the command traits worse. Usually piled on top of bad subfactions making them even more unappealing. I think this is just a symptom of GW rules writing and until they transition to a digital living ruleset/take the rules writing more seriously (like introducing keywords for similar effects etc.) then it will never be remedied. Subfactions like PE would be the most picked subfaction even if their command ability and artifact effectively did nothing. They are just that much more efficient than the other subfactions in all the parts of the game that matter. 

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